Song

From Discover Prompts: Song.

🎶 “Sing. Sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong…”🎶

That’s the first line of an old Carpenter’s song, from way back in my childhood. And the first thing that went through my head when I read today’s writing prompt.

But what I remember is learning to sing that song in a community youth choir. We had to learn parts – I was a soprano at the time. (As I got older, I became a first alto.) This choir was the first time I’d sung in parts – singing a tune different than the girl standing next to me.

Most often in a choir, all parts stand together – soprano, alto, tenor and bass. But once we had learned our parts, the director moved us around so that the various voices came from throughout the choir.

It was hard. Hard to not be pulled into the tune of the girl singing next to me. I practiced at home a lot so that I would have my part firmly planted in my memory. and when it came time to perform, I belted out my part firmly in tune!

Here’s the original: (I like the youth rendition better; oh well.)

https://youtu.be/2LYekeK0HWo

Open Haiku

Based on the WordPress Discover Prompts – “Open.” A Haiku.

 
I’m sorry to say

I awoke feeling sadness.

Just being open.

I’m sorry for us

In this unprecedented

Time of pandemic.

Those who are alone

or lonely or sick or scared.

But God is Sovereign.

He is with us all.

He understands our frailty

and offers comfort.

He loves us deeply

and encourages us to

not be afraid now.

So I feel sadness

for those who are struggling

but God understands.

A Winter Hat

Last Saturday, my husband, my son, and his girlfriend and I went for a small hike outside Colorado Springs. It was to Paint Mines, which is an area of rock formations called hoodoos. A hoodoo has a hard rock cap on the top of softer rock, which erodes into a pillar of rock.

Hoodoos in the distance

In getting ready for the hike, hubby and I were gathering our outdoor gear. Gotta be prepared for any type of weather! As I was looking through gloves and scarves, I discovered that I don’t have a winter hat! What happened to the one my mother-in-law made for me? Or the cute purple cap? They were not with the vacuumed-sealed package of outdoor gear. I borrowed my husband’s yellow and gray beanie for the hike.

But yellow and gray don’t go with any of my coats, so today I got onto the REI website, and searched for a cute topper, one that would coordinate with my winter coat.

How hard can it be? My coat is black, so everything goes, right? But my scarves are either burgundy/cream or multi-colored pastels. Not easy to match.

Plus, it’s really important to me that the cap completely covers my ears. That’s what gets cold when I’m hiking in the snow. So the beanie needs to come down low enough to keep me warm.

I don’t look good in hats. My hair is short, and so when it’s all tucked under, I look bald. Or one glance at me and one assumes I’m bald. So I want a hat that’s cute, maybe just a little big for my head so that it’s not completely tight.

I found three on the website. I ordered all of them (free returns) so I could try them all on. Make sure they meet the criteria of cute and ear-covering. We’ll see which one makes me look less bald!

Coronavirus: Letter

My sister, Stacy Christiansen, wrote a letter to the college kids from her church. It’s beautiful, and so much can be applied to our lives. Enjoy!

Guess what? It’s me again. Stacy C. When Pastor Amy asked if I would mind writing letters two months in a row to the Good Shepherd college students, I said no. But I secretly wondered what I could possibly write to you about.
HAH!
Last month, I had the audacity to talk about “the relief that comes from a much-needed break from classes.” Let me be abundantly clear – I was talking about a week. Spring Break. A chance to unwind. I was NOT talking about all of us hunkering down and trying to remember to sing happy birthday twice while staring at ourselves in the bathroom mirror. Oh, and wondering about toilet paper and bread.
But our family has been struggling this past week or so, and I’m betting yours has too. While there may be guides on how to get through this pandemic (handwashing, social distancing, and a lot more handwashing), I haven’t found anything that adequately covers how to get through the wide range of emotions that we are all feeling. And I think that college students, maybe more so than any other age group, are being uniquely affected.
Colleges are shut down. Friends scattered with little to no warning. Your daily routine has been more than disrupted – everything has altered: from where you sleep, to where you go, to who you see. And when it will be back to normal is completely undetermined.
Fear. Gratefulness. Anger. Sorrow. Happiness. Frustration. Dread.
I’m betting you’re cycling through them so rapidly that you can’t even process them all.
So, let me reassure you – it’s perfectly normal to be feeling both relieved and resentful if you are suddenly back at your parents’ house when you were expecting not to be there until at least the first week of May. It’s okay to miss your friends. Your freedom. The opportunities. The what-ifs. And if you’re still at school, trying to adapt to a new way of learning and studying, the same is true. It’s okay to be relieved that you still have a bit of a routine but resentful that you are NOT back at home when so many others are.
Speaking solely as a Christian mom here (and not a Biblical scholar), I have a couple of thoughts that might help you during this crazy crazy time:
1) Jesus showed emotion. And I’m not just talking the obvious – the big one – LOVE. Jesus also cried and got angry. (Hint: John 11 and Matthew 21). For me, I take comfort in the fact that we are created in God’s image. And if His son got angry or showed grief? Maybe it’s okay – NORMAL – for us, too.
2) Although “Thou Shall Not Fear” is not technically one of the commandments – it’s in the Bible so often, maybe it should have been. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that God said it so much. He knew that we were going to struggle with fear – He knew that I was going to struggle with it – so he covered it early and often.
So, I’ll close with my latest God sighting. Several weeks ago, Pastor Amy had a “stress buster” weekend for the current FLY kids. Late that Saturday night, my youngest texted me one phrase “Isaiah 43:2” with no explanation or context. (Some would say a teenage boy texting his Mom for something other than money or a ride is ALSO a God sighting). After I googled it, I’ve kept the verse open on my phone. How awesome that I’ve had this reminder; I hope you like/remember it:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;the flames will not set you ablaze.
(Okay, so maybe I needed that more than you did.)
Please know that you have a community of people who care about you. We may be giving you virtual elbow bumps from a distance – but know that you and the struggles you are facing – and the emotions you are feeling – are important. We’re keeping you in our prayers.

New TV

We got a new TV tonight. It arrived from Amazon via UPS. Husband was practically “chomping at the bit” for it to arrive this evening. Of course, the moment it did, we set it up.

He’s been talking about a new TV for several years, though, honestly, I didn’t see anything wrong with the old one. But this one is bigger and with newer technology, which, it turns out, makes a huge difference in quality and picture.

I didn’t realize how heavy our old TV was until it came time to install it in our new house. There’s a built-in shelf in the living room for the TV to sit on. Hubby expressed concern that it wouldn’t support the weight of the old TV, and that got me worried. What an amazing mess it would be if the whole shelf pulled off the wall! So then I was really nervous about having our TV in the living room, and I insisted that it go on the huge TV stand in the basement. Which meant I was suddenly more interested in a new TV than I had been before.

Turns out the new TV is amazing. It’s only 50ish lbs., and the picture quality is incredible. It’s 3D. I didn’t realize how two-dimensional the people were in the show until we resumed playing it mid-stream. Suddenly, it’s as if they’re acting in my living room. The sound quality is good – no need for the sound bar. I’ll see how it plays my music tomorrow.

I’ll admit that a new TV was not on my wish-list, until I worried about the weight of it on the shelf. I had always written it off as something the hubby wanted, not me.

But I’m pleased it became a priority in our purchases. It’s actually the first new thing we’ve added to the new house – before the bookshelves or area rug. And I’m glad we bought it.

It will make “date night” at home so much more enjoyable!