Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nostalgia (WHY the Compilation?)

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic lately- finding myself hearing old 'loved' classics that I typically don't listen to (anymore), and having memory flashes that are taking me back in time - to when these songs were relevant in my life- and why- and where I was, and how I felt, and who was in my life at the time.... and..... on and on and on.

This is the beginning of, what's sure to be, a long compilation of my musical nostalgia.

I have to admit- this is one of the blogs that I hope my daughters' get a chance to read in their formative years- so they can understand that I wasn't always where I am (or going to be) in my life.

I want to be raw- honest- and just flat out BARE-NEKID about the memories that flash back via these songs; so that I can have a good recollection of what I experienced in my formative years- and hopefully, be able to show my daughters that it's possible for me to empathize with them- despite the old-fogey status I'm sure to have reached by then.

First- I gots-ta offer a clarification as to WHY I typically try NOT to listen to 'secular' music as a primary source of musical entertainment:

It's not that I think secular music is "evil".... ahem... if we're talking Waterboy lingo "of the debil".... or anything randomly and ridiculously religious like that.

Music has been, for as long as I can recall,  one of the most important parts of my life.  I sure can't explain exactly why, but truly- in all forms, it has typically been able to deeply impact me, in one way or another.

I can quickly get transported  into an entirely different mood and mindset- just by putting myself in the midst of a song. Or album.  Or genre.

(That's deep, man!)

Back in the day- when the lyrics of Bush said "I don't wanna come back down from this Cloud...."- part of me wanted to be on the same cloud as Gavin Rossdale.   He sounded just as tormented as I was (in that time of my life).  He seemed to be able to empathize with the hidden compartments inside my mind, based on his music, and the lyrics, I had this feeling that I wasn't alone in my thoughts.  Something in me said "You can trust what this guy is singing about- he gets you- he knows where you're coming from....." and
Bush certainly did have a huge effect on me at age 15.   It wasn't positive.  I think this is probably a time that I realized exactly how effective music was on me.  We'll come back to this later.

Fill in the blank to whomever else was a huge part of my music-bank in that time frame: A little bit of grunge, hard rock, pop, country, and even some skr8raight up- GANgStA bein' repre-zented by the Bone Thugs in Harmony.... Whaaaaat-UP!!!!!

At a time in my life when I found VERY FEW people that understood me- I found that I was drawn to songwriters as if they were these emotionally empathetic magnets.  Music was an outlet- a way for me to deal with some of the hardships that I experienced, but couldn't quite compute.

It was a way for me to put a form of wordage to the feelings I was unable to express.

I could create my own comprehension of the lyrics, based on the way the music moved me during that specific time in my life.  I grew to a point- that I  did I want to even know the "story behind the song", because really- I had MY OWN story for the song.

Fast forward to the here and now "Amber"- and I'm still that teen-aged girl drawn to music in an effort to help me sort through my crazy life.


I've been "MADE NEW", (and I'm like- SUPER OLD now), so, the life stuffs that I need to sort through can not be "lyrically counseled" inside the secular world.  At all!

Whereas before- I needed to hear someone express that THEY, too were in the same kind of pain I was in.  They, too, had suffered.... I needed to hear them angry, and synical, and depressed, and... whatever it was I was feeling at the time that I was latching on to the song; NOW I have to testify to an entirely different reason for my ever-growing-musical-passion.

When hopelessness rears it's ugly head in my face, and I feel bound, and broken hearted, and ANGER because I can't understand..... I can tap one of my Worship playlist and hear Nichole Nordeman's "I AM". I can sob with a different sort of brokenness when I'm being ministered by Kari Jobe's "You Are For Me".   The sorrows  that try to surface from my past are often squashed by the hopeful lyrics of Casting Crowns' "The Voice of Truth", and Natalie Grant's heart-on-her-sleeve "The Real Me".

I can't lie and act like I'm perfectly renewed just because I've surrendered my self to Christ- I'm still prone to depression- and it's really easy for me to trip up in my walk- falling flat on my face, with scraped knees and bruised palms-  right back onto the 'wider path'.

That alone would be reason enough to fill my spirit with music that sings Truth, and Hope, and Love, and Redemption, and .....

But that's not the only reason I choose to fill my ears with word-based-lyrics, and anointed musical compositions; it's because I WANT to hear it.  It's relevant.  I can relate.  Like country music to sappy romantics; but so much better.  This music is FOR REAL moving, rather than emotionally moving.

It doesn't just minister to my heart, and my spirit, and my mind- but it does something that I have a hard time doing on my own....something that typically- I DO NOT do on my own-  it puts my FLESH in a solid-white, tie-in-the-back, double lined, triple stitched, hard-core STRAIGHT JACKET; it immobilizes the hyper-active 'sin nature' in me - for at LEAST the length of the song/album....

I have a primary collection of contemporary Christian.  But? On one, specific MP3 player- I have old and new favorites- anyone from PINK, to Nickelback,  Casting Crowns, Toby Mac, Bad Company, Carly Simon, Brook Frasier.... and on and on.....  IT's my 'work out' player- - - my 'I'm just gonna check out for a lil bit' player'.


Nostalgic Music:

OUT. OF. NOWHERE- songs and memories.... just show up, uninvited- harassing my busyness, probing for attention.  And this is why I'm here, on this blog page.  If I don't write about- it won't leave me alone.  In the past 24 hours, I've already compiled a 52 song playlist of some of the past and present nostalgic....

Geesh.... 'present nostalgic' is a complete oxymoron.  Whatever. Who cares? I love oxymoron's.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blurts.....? Blurbs.....? Whatever- Just A Bunch of Stuff

I got a little lost on Facebook, when I had planned on blogging.  Then- I got lost on blogger- reading, instead of writing.  I am so incredibly directionally challenged!


This blog is going to be varied, and so random.  My eyelids gained weight- and they're far too heavy to hold up for a detailed blog.

I may or may not come back later and elaborate.  It just depends....


  Last night I got a last minute rush of "Do IT!" and showed up for an Oprah casting call.
The theme:
 "What have you always wanted to do- but life got in the way- and you've never done it."

Just narrowing it down to ONE thing was enough reason for me to keep my tail between my legs and stay home watching Netflix and catch up on laundry.

Long story very short- I narrowed it down to ONE dream.  I dressed up.  I met a friend there.
I got turned away.
After waiting for 3 hours.
Cause I'm 29... not 30 (yet).
Lame.  The stipulation was NOT clear on the exact age of the applicants.
Then... another interviewer agreed to 'do a quick session' with me.  And I was not turned away.
Who knows if anything more than a fun hang out time with a cool chick will come out of it?
I'm okay with whatever.


Marriage is SO stinkin' hard.  Really.  What were people thinking to INVENT marriage????
Oh.  Never mind.  People aren't the creators of the 'world'.  It's God.
It's a little harder for me to question WHAT He was thinking.  He is God, ya know?
Apparently- He's got a pretty good idea about how 'things should work'.
Marriage is ROUGH.  It's all emotional and tense- and intensly emotional!!!


I have a standard of conviction in 'certain' areas that I wish I would quit wavering from.
Nothing huge- just personal.  I'm not cheating (nor do I want to) or shooting up heroine... but still... not doing what I should, even though I should be doing it... and doing things I shouldn't be doing.... and so on, and so on, and blah blah blah.


Speaking of convictions- I despise being told to 'stop being so uptight' when I express a specific conviction I have about a specific thing.  The person(s) I'm referring to are varied in their walk.  No better, no worse than I... but I'm thinking the get irritated with my conviction because- MAYBE- they assume I'm judging them based on the fact that THEY do not have that conviction.....
To be clear- it's not ONE specific person- but lately- I've had a cluster come in- and this is just something that has been urking me.


I like random topics- and jumping from one thought to another freely.
I'm going to let my eyelids take a rest, now.
Coming soon:  All time favorite songs- why I love(d) them, and what they mean to me now...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Writer and the Reader

I started writing a children's book today.  

I didn't meant to.  It was a spur of the moment kind of a thing.

 (That's how I operate!) 

Kyla (age 7) is an avid reader.  She gets genuine pleasure from a 'good' book.  I watch her while she's reading;  she smiles, she scrunches up her nose in confusion, she laughs out loud, and at the end- she lets out a sweet sigh, as if she's saying "Ahhhh.  That hit the spot!" 

Inside my little-black-composition book, I began writing a rough draft.  I asked the girls what they'd like to read about if they could pick a special book to read.

Kyla said: "I'd want it to be about the Jungle, and the zoo, and lots and LOTS of dogs."
Zoe said: "I want there to be a girl named Maya, and she can have a big sister named Zoe....."

This stemmed a huge argument between the two of them- "No! Zoe!!  You can't have your name in it- that won't be fair.  If your name is in it, I want ZOE to have a big sister named KYLA, and she'll be 16, and you can be 8......"  On and on and on the discussions went; until they forgot what they were arguing about and resumed swinging on their swing set.  

Eventually, Zoe wandered over to the trampoline with Leah- and Kyla asked permission to get her "dog training" book from her room so that she could "Start training Schneider to do tricks and stuff."

And my pencil? It grew wings!!!  I was inspired.  I wrote out several pages in the midst of Kyla's bossing training her dog, and Zoe's training teaching of her baby sister to take part in the death-defying act of walking around the trampoline ledge.  

After the girls grew bored of their dog and baby training, we meandered on into the front yard.  I was sitting on a lounge chair, in between both the front and the back of the yard- making it possible for me to be "two places at once", and Kyla strolled over to the back of my seat- so that she could read over my shoulder.

(Pause.... Confession time:   I ab-so-lute-ly can NOT stand having somebody read over my shoulder as I'm writing.  Who knows why, but I come to a complete STOP when it happens.  I can't focus- I'm too aware of the person standing behind me..... etc. etc. etc.....)

I finish the sentence I was working on (surprisingly) and I smile up at my curious little-grown-up- brown eyed -girl, "Do you want to read what I've written so far?"  (Dumb question!)

Kyla smiles, her eyes get HUGE with excitement, and she (all but) snatches the notebook out of my hand.  Her eyes are glued to the pages before she even sits down.  I watch her, and something inside me gets fulfilled as her eyes dart back and forth down each paragraph.  She is smiling, and she's thinking, she giggles, she looks up at me and makes a small correction about one of the details in the story-  and on the last page, she may as well have scooted her rear to the edge of her seat- because everything in her said "I want MORE!"

My precious daughter looks up at me and says "Wow, Mommy!  That's a really good story so far.  You wrote ALL of those pages in just a little bit of time.  It would have taken me FOR-EVER!"

She doesn't know it yet- but.... her encouragement, and obvious pleasure in what I've written is more motivation to pursue this crazy dream of mine {to be a writer} than any I've ever had before.  She was IMPRESSED that her Mommy was writing a book.  She seemed proud.  Is that goofy?  I'm happy that my daughter seems proud of me?  

This book that I'm writing- it'll be effortless (eh? to a degree).
It's primary subject is something that I know well, it's something I dearly and truly love with all of my ENTIRE heart!  

I'm writing it on paper- with a #2 pencil.  The kind you have to sharpen, and the kind that requires a cap-on- replaceable eraser.  It'll be inside in a little-black wide ruled composition book- available for my editor daughter to read whenever she wants!  And it'll be the FIRST of many, many more to come.  Whether they are here for our very own personal bookshelves, or whether they make it onto thousands of other bookshelves- it won't matter....

I've had many friends and family members suggest that I "Write a Book" one day.  It's humbling to hear it suggested- because, though I LOVE to write, I don't necessarily see myself as all together talented.  I write without thinking (almost).  It just flows out of me.  Don't writers have to be 'trained professionals?'

The question that I've asked when the suggestion to 'write' has been made has always been the same:
"But? What would write about?"

I've overjoyed to have the answer to that question tucked away in my little-black-book tonight.