Category Archives: Music

The one which became a repost: Marinating Isn’t Just For Meat

“Many of the adventures you will go on will not make sense to other people because the outcome is unknown. But journeys where the outcome is already known are not adventures, they’re errands. And you were created to do more than run errands.” ~Jon Acuff

I love this quote.

Oh, perhaps you’ve heard me say that before?

Okay, okay. Yes, I love a lot of quotes. I am a quote person. In general, I am a word person. And when some brilliant person strings together some formation of really awesome words which make me go, “hmm”, I get really excited. If that makes me a word nerd, then so be it!

I found this little tidbit of awesomeness today while reading my sweet friend Sarah’s blog. Sarah is, in fact, about to go on a massive adventure. I am sure some folks are looking at her like she has three heads when this Southern born and bred single girl tells them she is moving 3000 miles across the country, by herself, just because she thinks God wants her to. So the whole thing about your adventures not making sense to other people because everything isn’t all tidily wrapped up in a little bow, totally applies here. Sarah is a sweetie with a heart the size of Texas and a gifted writer (hint: go check out her blog, Living Between the Lines!). I pray that her journey is as amazing as she is.

Here is where you must ignore the naysayers. The ones who will stomp on your dreams, your callings, who will try to discourage you from jumping out into the great unknown and perhaps even make you second guess yourself. Why do they do that?

My theory?

They are people who live in fear. (And haven’t we all from time to time?) But we do not have to let the fear of others speak fear into our lives. We were created for more than running errands. We were created to go on these journeys that God has in mind for us and sometimes our own fear prevents us from heading out on these adventures and we end up missing out.

So, I say: Bravo, Sarah! Bravo for being obedient to the call and for pushing through the fear and stepping out! I can’t wait to hear all about your new adventure!

About right here is where I remembered a post I wrote back in 2007. And in light of the whole do-stuff-even-if-it’s-scary theme of this post, I am re-posting the following because I feel it bears repeating. Enjoy.


Originally posted November 13, 2007

Marinating Isn’t Just For Meat


Y’all will just have to excuse me for a minute today.  I’m having “a moment”. 

SIDEBAR: Hmm, how to describe what ”a moment” is.  Could be “A-ha” or “Something hit me like a ton of bricks” or “I’m having a minor breakdown” or something along those lines. Basically, it’s a moment in time where I have to think about something for a little longer.  Marinate, if you will. (Thanks, Lisa). To sit with something and let it really soak in.  If you know me in “real life” you’ve heard me use the phrase “I’m having a moment” hundreds of times.

I’m not trying to get all “religious” on you.  Frankly, I think people who are ”religious” are missing the point.   But I have been thinking about something this morning while I was out walking (yes, I am finally getting my ever-enlarging booty moving in the sincere hopes that it will, in fact, begin to shrink.)  And you should know, that my faith in God is the core of who I am.  I’m not claiming to “know it all”.  I’m certainly far from perfect.  But I am a Christian.  I make no apologies for that.  So if y’all are reading this and thinking I’m getting kinda freaky, well that’s okay.  Read on or not, but in order to marinate in this, and really get down to the nitty gritty of it for myself, I have to write it. 

So I was walking along, podulating (listening to the pod) and I began to really listen to the words of the song that was playing.  I listen to a lot of different kinds of music.  Huge variety of tunes on the pod.  Today, I was going with a very cool Christian musician named Jonathan David Helser.  He is the son of a man I have known since I was probably 9.  His father (a musician and minister) and my father (also a minister–definitely NOT a musician) have, over the years, done ministry together and though I haven’t known Jonny well, I have come to know his music.  And now he and my younger brother, who have both gone into the “family business”, along with my older brother, have ministered together from time to time.  It’s really kinda cool to have the second generation going.  Anyway, so I have Jonny’s album (The Awakening) on the pod and I am walking.  God Is Love is the name of the song.  Powerful song.  Part of the lyrics go like this:  “I will live out the dreams You’ve placed in me.  Shout down the walls of fear.  Nothing is impossible for those who believe that God is love.  God is love.  God is love.  I won’t be afraid.  God is love. God is love.  Nothing is impossible.”

This got me thinking.  Two things.

1. What are the dreams that God has placed in me?  

2. What are the fears that I have that keep me from living out those dreams?

We all have dreams.  Whether you believe they were placed there by God is up to you.  I always wanted to be a wife and a mom.  I am thankful that I have been able to do that.  And I love being a wife and a mom.  That was my dream from the time I was a little girl.  Are there other dreams in there?  Dreams hidden away?  Is there a new dream?  I’m thinking on that.  Looking back, there are other things that came along when I was younger that I think I chose not to do because I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough to do them.  So the fear creeps in.  Fear of rejection.  Of failure.  Of disappointing someone else.  Of what others will think.  You start believing the lie.  And you start building your own personal wall of fear…brick by brick.  Then you don’t try those things that come along.  You miss awesome opportunities. 

Who told me to be afraid?  To build the wall?  Only me. 

I often tell my kids when I see fear taking hold,  “What is the worst thing that could happen?”  It is easier to give advice than to take it.

I can’t change the missed opportunities of the past, but what I can do, NOW, is recognize that the fear exists and see it for what it is.  It is a wall.  A wall that keeps you from getting to the dream on the other side.  But it is not an impenetrable wall.  You can tear it down, just like you built it–brick by brick.  But you have to do some work.  And you might need some tools, say a crowbar or pick ax.  And you might need some help and support.  (Think Women of Brewster Place and all those determined women breaking down that wall in the rain together.)  So, I’m marinating in all that.  Soaking in it and seeing what I think of it all.  Do I have more dreams?  How will I face the wall of fear and shout it down?  Will I let it stay and keep me from some exciting stuff?  What am I going to do about it?  Here’s what I’m thinking:  

If perfect love drives out fear, like the Bible says, and if I believe that God is perfect love and if I believe that God lives in me, then there is no room for both God and fear in my life.  Think of it as sort of an equation.  Like this:  GOD ≠ FEAR. 

One of them has to go.  And driving God out is not an option.  

I’m lettin’ that marinate.

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

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Filed under Faith, Lessons, Music

The Mother Lode

Emma-second row from top, third from leftAnother winter band concert has passed us by. Wonderful, as usual, but with a different flavor this year.

I like to call it “Baby Stank.”

I realize that, technically, Baby Stank is not a flavor, but an aroma. A massive one. One they should harness and use in the next biological warfare weapon. Oh, yeah, you could wipe out an entire city with that funk, I do believe! <shiver>

On the row below Hubby and me in the very crowded gym, a family was seated, holding an oh-so-cute little boy, probably less than a year old. He was really cute, but wait…

What the…

What’s that smell??!

Oh, you mean that green cloud hovering over our heads?

Um, yeah. That would be it.

It was unmistakable.

It was <Dun, Dun, Dun!> Baby Stank.

As we fanned our programs in the hopes of steering said cloud away, we burst out laughing and reminisced about the good old days. The days when your precious one has laid the mother lode in his pants and you have left the diaper bag in the car. Which, by the way, you had to park a mile away. But you would only be gone 45 minutes, right?

Trust me, honey, that is time enough for your child to lay a load the size of Mt. Rushmore in his pants. And time enough for it to start fermenting…and disseminating its bouquet to the immediate surroundings.

Every couple of minutes, they would shift said baby, from Mama, to Daddy, to Grandpaw and the scent would waft anew. Or then, they might start bouncing him in time to the lovely music the band was playing. Surely that poo smell was about to knock them out too? Right? Could they possibly be immune?? Somehow, they managed to pretend that nothing was happening. <shakes head in disbelief>

But we were all on to them.

At one point, the lady seated next to me gave me a look. Cocked head. Raised eyebrows. Wide eyes. Yes, she had smelled it too. And so had her daughter next to her, who had asked her mother, with a confused look, “What is happening? Is something happening??!”

There was simply no escape.

So, between fits of uncontrollable, stifled laughter, we endured, er, enjoyed the concert and thanked God we no longer had children in diapers.


Filed under Kids, Music, Random Silliness

It Is Well

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll–whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul.” ~Horatio G. Spafford, 1873

Horatio G. Spafford 1828-1888I grew up as a well-loved kid in the 70s and 80s, the second child, and only daughter, of a Methodist evangelist and a homemaker. (Props here to my most awesome parents, John and Betty Jo!  Love you!) Most of my memories of childhood are bookended by family, love, friends, church and Jesus. Throw in a little sibling rivalry and some summer camp, too.  In the midst of all of that, music has impacted me a great deal throughout my life—basically, everything makes me think of a song.  Just ask my kids.

I remember standing in church as a child and singing those good old Methodist hymns that, for the most part, made no sense to me whatever.  When we weren’t singing hymns in church, my older brother and I were sitting in the pew cutting up, laughing at the blue-haired old ladies and getting the death dagger stare from my mom as my dad was in the pulpit. Oh, how my brother did enjoy making me laugh in church.  He was good at it too.

Those were also the early days of what we now call “contemporary Christian music”. My mom had her shoebox of cassettes that she kept in the car filled with artists like Keith Green, Dallas Holm, Amy Grant and Andre Crouch. Y’all remember cassette tapes, right? Of course, at the time, I was trying to get her to listen to the radio in the car so I could sing along with Debby Boone. I did not have the wide musical appreciation that I have now.  Let’s face it, I was just a kid, after all.

As an adult, though, I have a great love of the old hymns.  In fact, not only do I love them, but I take great comfort in them.  What I love even more, is knowing the stories behind some of them and the joy and pain that the composers brought to those beautifully written lyrics and music. There are so many wonderful hymns, but my most favorite hymn of all time is It Is Well With My Soul. (Second favorite would be How Great Thou Art.)

It Is Well With My Soul was written by a man named Horatio G. Spafford in 1873. He and his wife, Anna lived a fairly well-to-do life in Chicago with their five children, and they were very generous to many causes with their time and their money, thanks to Spafford’s successful law practice. But in 1870, their only son died of scarlet fever.  I can only imagine their devastation, yet they pressed on. In 1871, there was the Great Chicago Fire, which left the Spaffords their home, but little else.  They had invested much of their wealth in real estate and most of their holdings had been destroyed.  They pressed on and ministered to those in Chicago who had been left hungry, homeless, sick and injured as a result of the fire.

Fast forward two years to 1873 and the Spaffords were in need of some time away. They had planned a trip to Europe and intended to meet up with the great evangelist Dwight L. Moody at a revival he was holding in England.  Spafford had some loose ends to tie up before he could get away, but he decided to send his wife, Anna, and their four daughters on ahead on a steamer ship heading to Europe. He planned to follow soon after.  Tragically, while crossing, the ship that carried Anna Spafford and her daughters was struck by a British iron sailing ship.  The Spafford’s ship sank in a matter of 12 minutes in the Atlantic Ocean.  Anna Spafford was one of the few survivors. However, all four of their daughters were lost. When she was taken to safety, Anna sent a telegram to her husband, which said, “Saved alone.  What shall I do…” Of course, Horatio left right away to go meet his grief stricken wife and bring her home.  It was while sailing across the Atlantic on the way to meet his wife that Horatio Spafford penned the words to the now famous hymn It Is Well With My Soul. It has even been said that it was written even as he passed over the place where his daughters had drowned.  And yet, he pressed on, his faith intact.

Anna and Horatio Spafford eventually went on to have three more children, two girls and  another boy.  Sadly, the little boy died as a small child just as his older brother had, of scarlet fever.  But they pressed on.  They left America and settled in Jerusalem where they helped the poor and the needy, the sick and the homeless.  They existed to show the love of Christ to everyone…even in the midst of their own personal profound tragedy…until their deaths.

Is it well?  Is it well when the world seems to be going crazy?  Is it well when you feel isolated and discouraged?  Is it well when you lose your job, your home, your health, your children, your security? Even your very life? Can I truly say, “It is well.”? Do I choose to say, “It is well.”?

Sometimes I find this refrain swirling around in my head and my heart.  …It is well.  With my soul.  It is well.  It is well.  With my soul…  Especially at times when things don’t seem so well.

I find comfort in Spafford’s words.  I find them all the more comforting knowing the anguish and the staunch faith behind them. I pray that in the midst of our own personal trials we all can sing “It is well with my soul”, cling to our faith and press on, and focus on loving others and God’s love for us, as Horatio and Anna Spafford did.

It Is Well With My Soul

Horatio G. Spafford 1828-1888

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


Filed under Faith, Family, Music