Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Week Before Christmas

On Sunday, I gave away my shoes at church . . .
Soles for Souls is an organization that donates gently worn shoes to individuals who do not own shoes. We partnered with this organization and Pete challenged us to donate the very shoes we had on our feet that day. By Sunday evening, 1,000 pairs had been donated!

It was a humbling reminder that even after the flood (I was able to save plenty of shoes) I have already replaced my "boot collection" and own FAR too many shoes. There are people who do not own 1 pair of shoes. Think about that for a moment. I gave away a full trash bag and I wish I could see the lady who receives my knee-high, tan suede boots! 

:)

Monday began one of the longest and toughest weeks of my year.

The week before Christmas.

Two weeks of work to be done in one and 3 nights of Christmas Eve rehearsal/services.

My 2 page checklist:
I’ve joked that I’m going to frame this to remind myself that I made it!

On Tuesday, I had an appointment with a new neurologist. I get really nervous and insecure about doctor’s appointments. I’ve had many doctors blow me off and have run into so many dead ends that I fret when I have to go explain myself. I also had to leave our staff potluck and secret gift exchange to go to my appointment! I cherish that family time so it was hard to step away.

On my way to the appointment I was reminded of my life verses Philippians 4:6-7: 

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

I prayed this prayer:

 "Lord, I won't be anxious about this doctor's appointment. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to see this doctor. I pray your peace and comfort would fill my heart and people would see You in me today."

I made sure I said "Merry Christmas" to every nurse and person who helped me get around the hospital. I asked them how they were doing. I kept a smile on my face as I walked the halls.

So in the midst of a week where I feel overwhelmed and have already lost my cool many times, I had the opportunity to be a light. It reminded me what Christmas is all about. Jesus was born to die to save:

*Jackie, my nurse.
*Dr. Klienfield
*The lady who drew my blood.
*The sweet women at the help desks who showed me where to go! 

He was born to die to save me and you.

Merry Christmas! Thank you for reading my blog in 2010. I'm excited to see what plots develop in my musical in 2011!  

God bless.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Proud Choir Nerd

Jason and I LOVE The Sing Off. We wish the series would last longer than 3 weeks.

As I listen and watch these talented a cappella groups sing, I am reminded of my favorite choral moments:

*Performing with the 1998 Marshall High School chorale, "And So It Goes"
My heart swoons for Billy Joel's writing and voice. To hear and perform all the intricate parts a cappella, this soon became one of my favorite songs.

"So I would choose to be with you
As if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break"

*2000 Texas Girls All State Choir singing, "There Is No Rose Of Such Virtue"
A female choral moment of perfection. I was in awe and sat motionless as tears poured from my eyes. 

"There is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bare Jesu;
Alleluia."

*Performing with the 2000 Texas Mixed All State Choir, "Chichester Psalms"
Leonard Bernstein is a genius. The writer of West Side Story composed this Hebrew choral work from Psalms 108, 100, 23, 2, 131, 133. My choir teacher helped us translate some of the passages. As I practiced I would see these truths across the top of my page, 

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness."

"Surely goodness and mercy
Shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever."

*My entire experience with the Ouachita Singers from 2001 through 2003
I cannot pin point one ultimate moment. I heard overtones for the first time in this choir. My range was stretched (I sang alto 2!) Our choral director, Dr. Charlie Fuller knew how to make a group of singers blend so well. We traveled to China my sophomore year and I had some health issues while we were there. I had to sit out on one of our performances so I got to watch and hear this talented group from the audience. I cried the entire time and appreciated the opportunity to be a part of such a special group.

If you have been a part of a choir or appreciate choral groups, what is your favorite moment or performance?


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snapshots

My friend Joe Gomez is the talented photographer that captured the feature profile photo on my blog. It embodies my blog's theme so beautifully.

He has a strong eye for this craft and I have loved watching him learn and expand his creativity.

He recently sent me this edited shot from our last shoot. Makes me miss my dancing days.

He also caught this moment at our worship night.


He shot my sister Alissa's bridal portraits. They are all so pretty and fun! (I could only post this one cause it doesn't show the dress!) :)

Check out his blog and keep an eye on this dude.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I'll Sit This One Out

I named my blog, "My Life is a Musical" because I have a song in my head ALL the time, whether I am singing it or not.

I just waltzed around the kitchen singing the Christmas carol, "The Christmas Waltz" because it was snowing outside. :)

But there is one song I have trouble singing,

"You walk with my through fire and heal all my disease
I trust in You
I believe You're my healer . . . 
Nothing is impossible for You" 

Sometimes I sit and pray when this song is in the set list. I have to fight back tears when I lead this song. I doubt these lyrics. I want to believe healing of my physical body will come but in the back of my mind I don't think it will ever happen.

Today I was able to float to several campuses and experience Cross Point as an attendee. I chose to sing these words. I chose joy over sorrow. 

As I was leaving the Bellevue service an older gentleman stopped me and said,

"Your enthusiasm during worship inspires me. I needed that today."

It reminded me that my attitude, my body language, my words, my actions and the song of my heart can make a difference in someone's life. 

Healing is in Your hands God.

"How high, how wide
No matter where I am, healing is in Your hands
How deep, How strong,
And now by Your grace I stand, healing is in Your hands"



Friday, December 10, 2010

A Time To STEAL!

Every year my friends Jenni & Jessica throw an ornament exchange party. 

These two sisters bake lots of goodies including their grandmother's sugar cookies. My hands down favorite cookie of ALL TIME! 

We get to catch up with sweet friends and have a little fun stealing ornaments from each other! 


My favorite stealing moment in action! Poor Jess!


















At the end of the night my friend Brooke pulled me aside and gave me a very special ornament.


This thoughtful gift represents my blog and my life. So I ended the night in tears. :)

It is on nights like these that I'm very grateful to have lots of wonderful friends in my life. I do not take it for granted.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Character Make-Over

Two weeks ago I asked a question, To Cut or Not To Cut?

On Monday night I scheduled an appointment for highlights and a fun side bang. Kind of like Reese Witherspoon. 

My hair dresser Kate made me dinner. I was on the fence about what I wanted so I told her when I finished eating I would have a verdict.

 And now I've been sporting this sassy new do! 
I LOVE IT! A big thanks to Kate for making me look good! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another Blonde in My Musical

I met Jarrod Morris 9 years ago in Theory I class on my first day of college.

He says the first thing I said to him was, "I think I forgot to put deodorant on today. . ."

I don't remember that. :)

Later that day we had another class together, Ouachita Singers, an elite choral group. Who did I get assigned to stand by? 

Jarrod. 

After college, life moved both of our families to Nashville and I've been working with Jarrod at Cross Point for the past 3 1/2 years. It has been a joy to watch my friend grow vocally and musically through the years. He is a passionate worship leader, a gifted musician and a great song writer.

Recently, he wrote a Christmas song with Clint Lamberth. You can listen to it HERE. We sang it at all 4 of our campuses this Sunday and got a great response!

We are giving away this song for churches to use during the holiday season. You can download the files HERE.

Let me know if your ministry or church decides to use the song! ENJOY!

Friday, December 3, 2010

You Talkin' To Me?

We go to sleep with the TV on. I love it when the last channel we watched is Bravo and I wake up to "The West Wing" reruns. 

Today I woke up and caught the end of the Kymaro Body Shaper infomercial. :) Next up was a program called Believers Voice of Victory with Jeremy and Sarah Pearsons. I know nothing about this ministry or this couple but I decided to watch and hear what they said about Jesus. And if they begged for money. :)

They spoke about strength and beauty in the presence of the healer, which is the title of Sarah's latest album. They read from Psalms 96:1-6. They said people try to work to receive their healing but healing has already been provided for us. It is in us now. God wants to restore and heal what is invisible (soul) and what is visible (body).

While I am watching I am thinking about my head, neck and shoulders hurting. Do I have a sinus infection? My ears hurt. I need to blow my nose. All of the sudden Jeremy says, "For you that has a sinus infection, that pain in your head and neck, that whole part of your body that has been creating tension and pain, close your eyes and picture Jesus on the cross and you see that pain on Him, not on you."

Who me? He even pointed to his shoulders and up which is my pain area!

So I closed my eyes and did what he said. 

Nothing miraculous happened. But my soul was encouraged and quieted. Today I will remember that healing is in His hands and that Jesus carried that for me on the cross.

A couple of minutes later, Jeremy did ask for money, but he didn't beg. :)

I'm glad I fell asleep watching "Friends" last night. God had a plan to speak to me through channel 14.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cultivate Her Day!

It's a Cultivate Her blog post day! Click HERE to check out my thoughts on Constructive Criticism and tour the blog to read more insightful posts from women leaders. This ministry is challenging and encouraging women to pursue great things!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm Sensitive

There is a song by Jewel that I relate to:

"I was thinking that I might fly today
Just to disprove all the things that you say
It doesn't take a talent to be mean
You words can crush things that are unseen
So please be careful with me,
I'm sensitive and I'd like to stay that way."

But I DON'T want to stay that way.

Being sensitive is a hindrance when you work with a team of boys. :) I often get frustrated when my feelings are hurt and I can't shake it.

Being sensitive encourages me to hold grudges, take things personally and avoid constructive criticism.

Being sensitive affects my relationships in a negative, destructive way.

I think I will sing a different version of this song from now on:

"I was thinking that I might fly today
Because I appreciate many things that you've said
Everyone's intention is not mean
Words can build things that are unseen
So please be patient with me,
I'm sensitive, but I don't have to stay that way."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Creativity Is In My DNA

I had no choice.

I was born with the creative gene. 

Both of my parents are artists. Both of them are creative. 

They are excellent portrait artists and skilled painters. My dad can figure out how to fix or remodel ANYTHING! My mom is so good at decorating. You should see her home and her classroom at school.

My house is now full of artwork that my parent's have drawn.

My mom drew this when I was a baby. The original is in my Gran & PePaw's house. I love it because I look so happy! 


The next drawing was a wedding present from my dad.


I got this last one from my dad yesterday. He drew it from a picture I took a little over a month ago. I couldn't believe he finished it that quick. The detail on it is amazing!  


Although I can't draw or paint like them, I am thankful some of their talent was passed down to me. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Leading Man

9 years ago I met a boy named Jason. We worked at the same work-study job and one day we had the same shift.


I thought he was cute and overheard him say he was going to a Liberal Arts study session that night. I was going too so I asked if he would go with me. We left the study session because it was lame and decided to grab a bite to eat. We spent the next 3 hours at Burger King. :)

And as they say, the rest is history.

Jason is a static character in my musical. He doesn't change. He is the most calm, easy going person I know.

He loves adventure! He can play the guitar, bass and piano. He can sing. He is a great athlete. He is very intelligent. And funny!

My mother thinks he can do NO wrong.

I'm pretty lucky he is a part of my musical. As I continue to develop in this character arc, I am thankful he is by my side, loving me unconditionally.


Monday, November 22, 2010

To Cut or Not to Cut

I have been growing my hair out for two years.

I like how I look with long hair but find it easier to fix when it is short. :)

My sister is getting married is January and I'm thinking about cutting my hair after the wedding. 

Any thoughts for the leading lady?

(photo by Joe Gomez)



    (Photo by Joe Gomez)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Almost Skipped Thanksgiving

This weekend I wanted to start decorating for Christmas. 

When I presented this idea to Jason (I had already written it in my planner) he said, "No! You can't just skip over Thanksgiving!"

I got in the Christmas spirit because I knocked out 75% of our Christmas shopping last weekend.

And one of my love languages is gifts.

Honestly, I like buying people gifts more than receiving them. It brings me so much joy to remember something a friend or family member said they liked or wished they had. I also love the challenge of finding them something that will match their personality or style. 

I was anxious to put the Christmas tree up so I could place all my gifts under the tree. :)
But for now, I will focus my attention on turkey, dressing, congealed cranberries and family.

This is definitely a year to give thanks.
"You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn

You grieve you learn

You choke you learn
You laugh you learn
You choose you learn
You pray you learn
You ask you learn
You live you learn"

ALANIS MORISSETTE, "You Learn"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Night of Surrender


Worship Night was beautiful. My prayer is that we will remember what we felt, heard and saw and carry that into our daily lives as we worship God. 

Not just on Sunday. 
Not just in a packed house on a night we label, Worship Night.

Check out this recap from my friend Brittany's blog. Great insight and stunning photos. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm Not Afraid

This Summer while driving to Texas to visit my family, I heard a song that took my breath away. The song was "Show Me Your Glory" sung by Kim Walker.

I was sobbing by the first pre-chorus:

I see the cloud.
I step in.
I want to see Your Glory as Moses did.
Flashes of light.
Rolls of thunder.

I'm not afraid.
I'm not afraid.

I'm not afraid? 

Really? 

That's a loaded statement. 

Up until a couple of months ago I'd spent my life screaming, "I'M SO AFRAID, of everything!" I relate to Charlie Brown because of his anxiety. I still nod my head in agreement when Lucy helps Charlie figure out that he has pantophobia, THE FEAR OF EVERYTHING! :)

Tomorrow night I am singing this song at Cross Point's FIRST Worship Night. The chains of fear have been breaking in my life. Every day I feel one start to crack and crumble at my feet. The old self has gone, the new has come. I have butterflies in my stomach because I want to do this song justice and when I think about hundreds of people singing, "I'm Not Afraid, SHOW ME YOUR GLORY," I have to fight back tears! :)

Join us tomorrow night, November 17th at 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM)
at the Cross Point Nashville Campus
4301 Charlotte Ave 

Come ready to experience God's Glory and worship our Lord and Savior who is worthy to be praised!

Cultivate Her Day

It's a Cultivate Her blog post day! Click HERE to check out my thoughts on being "the best" and tour the blog to read more insightful posts from women leaders. This ministry is challenging and encouraging women to pursue great things!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

When God Snapped His Fingers

My first job was at a Tanning Salon. I would go in after school and close up shop at the end of the night. I had lots of free time waiting for customers to arrive so I started reading my bible. That was the first time in my life that I read my bible on a consistent basis. My parents had just got divorced and I needed comfort. So what book did I start reading? 

Job. :)

I remember reading chapter after chapter wondering when this guys would catch a break and when his friends would shut up and be nice! I stuck with it and in chapter 38 the Lord speaks, 

"1 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
 2 “Who is this that obscures my plans
   with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
   I will question you,
   and you shall answer me"

I pictured God snapping his fingers three times in a Z pattern saying, "I know you just didn't!" 

:)

He proceeds to declare who He is and what He can do. At the time, it felt good to know that God was bigger than my circumstances.

 8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
   when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
   and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
   and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
   here is where your proud waves halt’?"

After two chapters of God explaining how awesome he is, Job makes his first reply. I am sure his knees were shaking. His voice cracking,

 4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
   I put my hand over my mouth.
5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—
   twice, but I will say no more.” 

The Lord continues to describe His majesty. Then Job has thought about what he wants to say and is ready to answer,

 2 “I know that you can do all things;
   no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
   Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
   things too wonderful for me to know.
 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
   I will question you,
   and you shall answer me.’
5 My ears had heard of you
   but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
   and repent in dust and ashes.”

Not long after I started reading the bible and forming a true relationship with God, I graduated high school and left home for college. 

-People distracted me from Him
-New opportunities distracted me from Him
-Anger and bitterness distracted me from Him

For many years I was obsessed with independence and control. I lived as if I set the world in motion.

I read these chapters for the 2nd time yesterday, 10 years after I first read them. As soon as my eyes scanned verse 6 of chapter 42, my heart dropped.

I am currently seeking surrender but all I could say after reading that verse was, "I repent God. I repent for all those years I lived as if you were not God and I repent for the moments in the days, weeks and years to come when I will not submit to Your authority. Forgive me Lord."

I love it when scriptures come alive and minister to you in different stages of life. Today, I am thankful God is bigger than my circumstances, He is in control and I am not.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"It took some time for her to see
How beautiful love could truly be
No more talk of why can't that be me
I'm so glad I've finally seen"

:)

Kelly Clarkson, Miss Independent

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yeah, like Garden State

If there was a movie that would best describe what my life as a musical is like, it would be Garden State. Not because of the story line, but because it is a good mix of comedy, drama, heartache and inspiration.

"Zach Braff describes the themes of the movie as "love, for lack of a better term. And it's a movie about awakening. It's a movie about taking action. It's a movie about how life is short, go for it now."

I love to make people laugh.


I am DRAMATIC. :)


I've had my share of heartache.


I have been inspired by many and hope to inspire others. 


What movie or musical is most like your life?



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"I'm falling apart
I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart
That’s still beating
In the pain
There is healing
In Your name
I find meaning
So I'm holding on . . ."

Lifehouse, Broken

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

GUMBY

My fear of clay animation started when I saw Mr. Bill holding a butcher knife on Saturday Night Live. Gumby gave me the creeps.

As a Project Manager, I get very tense and annoyed when plans change.

I am working on being more flexible.

So when I get fired up about a change of plans, I tell myself to be flexible like Gumby. I guess he's not so bad.


 I think I might need a different sidekick though. Pokey just doesn't sound right. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Girls Night!

Last month I started my first Girls Night with the female music team volunteers at Cross Point. This is a time where we can encourage and spend quality time with one another. It is also a place where we can dialog about where the music ministry is headed and how we can confidently lead people to WANT to worship a God who loves them.

This gathering began out of my journey of living many years in a state of discouragement. I have always battled insecurities, especially in the area of my gifts and abilities. Even if I succeeded at some things musically, I held on to every "No" I received and replayed those failures in my head. When I moved to Nashville, I felt as though I could never measure up. When I auditioned for the music team in the spring of 2006 I was asked to serve in KidStuff and Charge. I served on the Sunday worship team only a handful of times and always compared myself to everyone on the team and beat myself up if I missed a note. 

This attitude hindered my ability to lead. 

When I was asked to join the staff at Cross Point in the Spring of 2007, I can remember putting the music schedule together, wishing I could sing a special or lead a song. I was serving in KidStuff weekly and Charge a couple of times a month but that wasn't good enough for me. 

My heart was discouraged. 

The turning point came when Jarrod explained the audition process before we hosted our first audition together. He said that every ministry on the music team is important and people should serve with open, willing hearts. 

SLAP IN THE FACE! 

I was leading this team and had the wrong motivation and attitude. I started to change my mindset. Jenni would hold me accountable and praise me when she saw growth. I realized that no matter where God has me I need to serve with my whole heart. God began to open doors for me to grow and learn. The chains are slowly breaking so I can lead people to experience HIM! My heart is now open, vulnerable and awakened. I am so proud of our team of vocalists for serving in (formerly) KidStuff, FX, Sunday worship, Choir and Charge. And for not just doing that at ONE campus but MANY!

As I shared my story with the girls on our team, I could see their guards go down. Many of them felt the same way I did. This has become an unspeakable struggle. 

We do the following things:
-Suck it up and bury our feelings 
-Try harder until we . . .
-Quit trying 
-Resist honest feedback and growth
-Get jealous
-Become critical
-Wish we sounded like ______
 

What Girls Night looks like:

*The foundation of our time together is Galatians 6:4-5 
"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." 

*We each have a girl on the team to encourage and pray for.

*We will send encouraging notes to other music teams in the Nashville area and beyond!

*We are studying the Bible together using the Life Journal plan. We can't grow as worship leaders if we aren't growing spiritually!

*We will discuss ways to prepare when we are leading.

*We will learn about the foundation and intention of worship through song and how we can lead to the best of our ability.

Tonight is our 2nd Girls Night and I am so excited to see God continue to tear down walls in this group of talented volunteers. 

Thanks for your prayers and support!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Journals

Today I gave my sweet friend Moriah a journal for her birthday. I encouraged her to write out her thoughts, prayers, dreams, and musical aspirations.

I had a moment of sadness giving it to her because I lost all of my journals in the flood. When I was Moriah's age my journals were all about boys. :) But as the years went by I used them to articulate my prayers, memorize scriptures and write songs. I loved to read my old journals and see where God had taken me!

I had the opportunity to sit in all the services today. I was able to let go and worship without distraction. During Blake's prayer he challenged us to praise God for the mountains we are facing.

My head was pounding. 

During the next time of praise, lines from my journal started coming back to me.

I remembered a line from a poem I wrote 10 years ago when I first started having chronic pain. I had hoped to make it into a song:

"Even though my body is battered and weak
I will not let it contain 
Your love within me."

I was thankful the Lord reminded me of the mountains I had overcome AND He is still with me on the mountains I am currently facing.

God, thank you for being SOVEREIGN.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Psychology, Music and Mass Communications

I entered college as a Psychology Major and a Music Minor. I wanted to be a counselor or a music teacher. I am terrible at math and science, so I failed miserably in my first psychology classes and theory 1. 2nd semester of my freshman year I dropped the music minor and tried to stay afloat in my psychology courses.

At the beginning of my sophomore year my mom asked if I ever thought about the media/communications field. I did some research and 2nd semester of my sophomore year I became a Mass Communications major and a Psychology minor. :)

I fell in love with the communications field. I enjoyed public relations and advertising the most and was able to use what I learned in psychology to determine target markets and trends. 

I was challenged one day with this question, "How do you expect to make a difference for Christ when you'll work in a field where ethics are constantly challenged and your job is to make things appear better than they really are?" 

Well, when you put it that way . . . I didn't have an answer. 

I graduated college in 2005 and pursued a career in the public relations field. 

No luck. 

But something happened in the Spring of 2007. I got a call from Jenni Catron at Cross Point about a job opening in the creative department.

3 1/2 years ago I started my journey at Cross Point managing and equipping the music and production teams and helping out with media/communications. I spend my days as a project manager, managing all of the marketing, print, & web jobs our department produces for the church. We help with creative direction for series. We also consult other ministry areas on how to market their events and projects. :)

I recently connected with one of my professors from OBU and was able to share that I get to use the things I studied in college in a church setting. Today I can say with confidence that my job in the mass communications field makes a difference for Christ.



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Alanis an Inspiration?

I will never forget the first time I heard Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill album. My musical soul was awakened and her sound has greatly influenced mine. I discovered the Jagged Little Pill acoustic album a couple of years ago. There is a haunting version of "Mary Jane."

I listened to the lyrics for the first time. I felt the Lord speaking to me:

"Tell me Miranda, what's the matter?  Why do you roam this earth aimlessly?  Why do you waste this life and invest in things that drain your heart?"

The song shifts when she sings, "You're a sweet crusader." 

This is the turning point. 

This is when you start walking towards to light with purpose, falling at the Lord's feet.

"Mary Jane"
What's the matter Mary Jane, had a hard day
As you place the don't disturb sign on the door
You lost your place in line again, what a pity
You never seem to want to dance anymore

It's a long way down
On this roller coaster
The last chance streetcar
Went off the track
And you're on it

I hear you're counting sheep again Mary Jane
What's the point of trying to dream anymore
I hear you're losing weight again Mary Jane
Do you ever wonder who you're losing it for

Well it's full speed baby
In the wrong direction
There's a few more bruises
If that's the way
You insist on heading

Please be honest Mary Jane
Are you happy
Please don't censor your tears

You're the sweet crusader
And you're on your way
You're the last great innocent
And that's why I love you

So take this moment Mary Jane and be selfish
Worry not about the cars that go by
All that matters Mary Jane is your freedom
Keep warm my dear, keep dry

Tell me
Tell me
What's the matter Mary Jane...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Still there's one thing that comforts me since I was always caged and now I'm free!"

Foo Fighters, Monkey Wrench


Saturday, October 30, 2010

GOD IS LOVE

On vacation in Destin, FL two years ago with our friends Jad, Melissa, Jarrod and Laura, I awoke at 3:00 AM one night with a tattoo revelation.

I never wanted a tattoo.

I'm not saying the Lord told me to get a tattoo. :)

But I do believe out of my creative nature this idea came to me.

The children's song, "Praise Him, Praise Him, All ye little children, God is Love, God is Love," was in my head. I thought it would be neat to get the melody line of "God is Love," as a tattoo. I told everyone the next morning and they thought it was a great idea. Jarrod threatened to steal it!

So, for the past two years I held on to this creative moment. I have never wavered on my idea and today, I followed through. :)

It started here:



And was made beautiful by Laura the tattoo artist:




It was so much fun to be surrounded by some of my closest friends cheering me on! It hurt REAL bad, but I was tough and once again lived out my motto for 2010, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!"

We ended the night carving pumpkins! Happy Halloween!





Friday, October 29, 2010

THIS IS OUR GOD

Take a look at our video from week 1 of our series at Cross Point, THIS IS OUR GOD. You can watch the message HERE.


the perception of relationships from Cross Point Church on Vimeo.

I was reminded of what I am learning right now while listening to Joy Williams' song Unafraid:

"Unafraid
‘Cause I know who You are
Unafraid
Staring life in the face
‘Cause I know who I am is who You made
So here I stand
Unafraid"

Join us this Sunday at one of our campuses for week 2 of our series, 
THIS IS OUR GOD:
GOD IS FAITHFUL.

9:00 & 11:00 AM

9:00 & 11:00 AM

8:30, 10:00, 11:30 AM & 6:00 PM

10:00 AM

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good"


John Mayer, The Heart Of Life

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Plot Complication

I was a healthy kid. My sweet sister was the sick one, always battling a cold or infection. The only ailment that bothered me was headaches. I would get them a couple of times a year. I learned how to swallow adult pills at age 6.

I also had mild seizures growing up. I would see flashing lights in my head when I closed my eyes and experience metallic tastes in my mouth. I had a Complex Partial Seizure at age 10 and had many tests run. All of them came back normal.

When I was 17, I started having headaches frequently. I had more tests run and once again they came back normal. Over the past 10 years these headaches have taken over my life. It is rare that I have a good day with no pain. I've seen lots of doctors, had lots of tests run and tried lots of treatments. It is still unknown what causes my pain. I am currently in treatment for Temporomandibular joint disorder. My headaches remain the same although my joints are working better.

I recently discovered that singing and leading worship intensifies my headaches and pain. Opening and closing my mouth repetitively and moving my arms and body is hard on me.

But, leading worship is a part of my calling.

I could get mad at God. 
I could give up. 
I could loose hope.

I had a conversation with my dear friend Tiffany today. She helped me realize that while I am leading worship, I have to depend on God. I am not in control of those moments. He has to give my body strength as I lead and healing after the fact. 

Today, I am thankful it doesn't come "easy" for me. I still cling to the hope that one day I will be healed.

So, this Sunday at Cross Point Bellevue, I will lead with "arms high and heart abandoned."






"And so here we go bluebird.
Gather your strength and rise up."

Sara Bareilles, Bluebird

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Abraham

As a staff at Cross Point we have been reading, The Me I Want To Be by John Ortberg. This book has A LOT of great nuggets. We are all different in how we relate and experience God. Ortberg encourages you to pursue and be the best version of yourself. Not the person you want to portray or emote.

The book has partnered with a company called Monvee. Monvee has created a test that analyzes your personality type, learning style and pathway to experience God. The test also aligns you with a biblical character that is most like you.

I'M AN ABRAHAM.
Some of our characteristics:
-talkative, dramatic, energetic, conscientious, serious, orderly, and responsible :)
-The ability to see the best in people and meet their needs in specific helpful ways. You help them believe there is more to them than what they can even see. 
-You pride yourself on being transparent and want to be known as much as you want to know others.
-You are fearful of feeling unwanted and/or unloved, you are motivated to find ways to show love and to feel needed and wanted.
-You can spend too much time trying to impress people in order to be appreciated and find yourself working to please everyone too much.
-Spiritual Inhibitor: Pride/Self-centeredness (OUCH!)
-You may become resentful and punishing toward others if your expectations are unfulfilled.

My pathway to experience God is creation. I feel God when I am in majestic settings like the beach or the mountains, which is where I spent the past 3 days:

My learning style is classroom setting where I can take notes, listen, participate and discuss. I took lots of notes during our staff time together: 
It was good to have affirmation that these two attributes were evident during this trip. I sat outside and gazed at His creation. I felt at peace the whole time I was there. I wrote in my journal. I learned through taking notes.

I came home today, went outside with Charlie and saw this: 

I felt like God was saying, "Don't forget what you learned. Come to Me and worship Me." 

I hope to find more opportunities to enjoy His creation. I want to continue to journal like I used to as I pray and read His word. And I want to be the me God has created me to be.



I highly recommend this book as a tool for spiritual development and practices. Each book has a link with a code where you can take the Monvee test.