I haven’t written in a while. Not REALLY written. I’ve posted a couple of things that really resonated with me, that were (are) pertinent to where my head has been these past few months, but nothing really from me. My husband has said on a number of occasions that I need to get back to writing, and he’s right. It sustains me, revives me, and most of all, it’s an outlet for my thoughts that are otherwise being shared with him in the middle of the night when he would rather sleep.
I have felt the weight of writer’s block for a while, and I’ve wondered…a lot…why it has suffocated my desire to write for so long. Especially since I know that the longer I go, the harder it is to start back again, and the more of an unspoken (and unwritten) victory there is for silence. I do not want the silence to win.
The annual Blogging A-Z Challenge took place this month, and sadly I was unable to participate…for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was starting out the month of April quite sick. But beyond that, and beyond feeling wholly uninspired to write for the past several months, I have been practicing the piano like a fiend. It’s a good thing, and unlike the practice sessions of my childhood, where I would count the minutes until the required time had elapsed, I have to keep a close eye on the time now or I will blow by appointments, school pick up, and the like because my head is so immersed in the music. Never in my life did I anticipate this…not just an enjoyment of the work, but a craving to get at it and stay at it until the music is mastered. (And if you are a musician, you know the music is rarely ever “mastered,” just prepared enough for public consumption. There is always room for improvement.)
All this is a preamble to say that never in my life did I think I would play for church…and by play, I mean lead the music from the piano. Not only did I not anticipate that eventuality, but (more importantly) I did not anticipate enjoying it. Seriously, I have a fairly well developed case of stage fright, and the thought of actually speaking in front of a group gives me jitters and cold sweats, far beyond the normal performance nerves that I have always had. I was a bit terrified to take this on, even on this temporary basis, because of fears that I would screw up enormously (I have), make lots of obvious mistakes (I have), constantly battle nerves (I do), and ultimately be a distraction to the worship service. Never did I think I would love it, but I do…as long as I never have to speak up front. I’m serious!
What makes it great goes miles beyond being able to play beautiful music. Though in and of itself, that would be enough, it’s getting to work with fellow musicians, willing of heart to share their musical gifts to the glory of God, that makes this an experience I am treasuring. There is no way to adequately thank them for their willingness, not only to share their gifts, but to put in extra practice time and deal with my (more often than not) last minute changes. I love conversing in the language of music with fellow speakers, I love tweaking the performance of hymns so we work together better, and I love accompanying other musicians who are glorifying God with their voices and instruments.
I will miss it when it is over, but not in a sad way. It’s a lot of work…great work, if you can get it, but work nonetheless. It takes a great deal of time, and though I enjoy every moment of the time I am putting in, I know I can’t devote adequate time and pursue expanding our family. We have been seeking to adopt a child for so very long, to have a sibling for our son (who desires it so very much). This gig has been a glorious respite to the waiting, waiting, waiting for our second child And we’re still waiting…somewhat impatiently…to see where God will lead us in our search.
So I will revel for the next couple of months in the glorious music I am blessed and honored to play each Sunday. I will soak in the beauty of the melodies and the love of God that pours forth in the words. When I am finished, my family and I will worship God from our pew, and hopefully sooner than later, we will worship as a family of four.
…I’d (finally) start enjoying Christmas again if I turned off the TV entirely for the next month, and instead listened to beautiful Christmas music, watched Christmas movies, practiced Christmas carols on the piano, and read a few books?
Won’t happen, of course, but it’s a thought.
I’ll at least listen to Christmas music. Here’s one of my faves!
Though I’ve been writing / posting recently, I’ve been experiencing some writer’s block on a post I’ve been working on for several weeks…a sentence here & there, but not coalescing quickly. I ran across today’s post from You Must Be From Away, and I was inspired to do my own Tunes for a Tuesday post. So here are some selections I love from my other passion…music.
Stuart Townend – Beautiful Savior
Rage Against the Machine – Beautiful World
Queen – It’s a Beautiful Day
U2 – Beautiful Day
Darryl Worley – Awful Beautiful Life
10 Years – Beautiful
Prince – The Beautiful Ones
Jimmy Buffett – The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful
Bellamy Brothers – If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)
Darren Hanlon – I Wish that I was Beautiful for You
Duran Duran – Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful
R.E.M. – At My Most Beautiful
Joe Cocker – You Are So Beautiful
Darius Rucker – She’s Beautiful
INXS – Beautiful Girl
Van Halen – Beautiful Girls
Bon Jovi – When We Were Beautiful
The Cure – How Beautiful You Are
Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
Beck – Beautiful Way
Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Beautiful
Smashing Pumpkins – Beautiful
Creed – Beautiful
Rascal Flatts – Long Slow Beautiful Dance
Sister Hazel – Beautiful Thing
Annie Lennox – A Thousand Beautiful Things
Josh Woodward – I Want to Destroy Something Beautiful
Shawn Mullins – Beautiful Wreck
Kelly Clarkson – Beautiful Disaster
Tina Turner – Something Beautiful Remains
Maroon 5 – Beautiful Goodbye
Clearly, this survey hit a nerve…and a funny bone! It is still making news, even if only to make huge fun. And frankly, the survey (and the women who responded) do deserve a fair razzing for this. I mean, really, smart jeans? Watches soaps? Admits looking at other women? I don’t know about you, but I have more respect for myself than to settle for a man who “looks” at other women and sees fit to “admit” it to me, and any man who loves and respects his other half will go out of his way to make sure she knows that he has eyes only for her. That is a real man.
This is not to say that I am against knowing what you want, and making choices that reflect that. There is no such thing as “the” perfect man, but there are many, many men who are perfect for someone. Facebook comments alone reflect that one person’s “perfect” is another person’s “not so much.” Take a look at the following lists…
|Woman #1||Woman #2|
|5’8 to 6 feet tall
Toned and athletic
Short dark hair
Smart dress sense
Gets ready quickly
Wants a family
Earns £48,000 ($77,000) a year
Enjoys watching football
Educated to degree level
Earns more than his other half
Jokes around and has a laugh
Sensitive when his wife/girlfriend is upset
Says ‘I love you’ only when he means it
Has a driver’s license
Can ride a bike
Can change a tire
Calls mom regularly
-average to not more than 50 lbs overweight
-no major health problems
-church membership history of at least five years
-willing to start a family within a year after marriage
-wants 4-6 kids
-previously married/engaged acceptable with legitimate grounds for termination
-has not had sex outside of marriage
-steady job history of at least five years
-3-6 months reserve
-place to live (i.e. not with parents)
-wants me to be a homemaker
-can support a family without requiring me to work outside the home
-he will continue to book the next event & escalate the intensity of communication with each exposure.
I love that these women put some thought into what would work for them, and therein lies the benefit (I believe) of the otherwise ridiculous survey. Far from identifying what society’s “perfect man” is, an idea that is even now being laughed at and razzed mercilessly, it is instead causing women – and men – to talk about it, to think about it, and to otherwise give voice and form to what in many cases is a more nebulous idea in our heads. I know that’s true for me.
Before I married my husband, I had ideas about what would or would not work for me, but I never actually put pen to paper and specifically evaluated each criterion. So, after 10 years together and 8 years of marriage, I’m giving it a shot…
My 2002 “Perfect Man for Me”
- Physically: like the look of him, manageable health issues
- Spiritually: be the spiritual leader of our home, but not overbearing and legalistic; understand that my spiritual history has been challenging and difficult
- Education: prefer someone with a college education, but not a deal breaker
- Family: wants children sooner than later; open to adoption (flexible on number, ethnicity, gender, health issues, family background); no children out of wedlock
- Sexual Purity / History: only two requirements other than truthful answers (if questions were asked); preference that if divorced, there were no children involved, but not a deal breaker; had never shacked up with a woman
- Personality: makes me laugh; likes good (deep) conversation about substantive things; less introverted than I am
- Interests: common and complimentary interests (firearms, scuba diving, music, travel); hobbies (woodworking, home improvement, cooking, golf)
- Financially: can support a family with my having to work outside the home; supportive of my desire to be a stay-at-home mom; has a steady job and a home
- Dating Relationship: since we dated long distance, he had to make efforts to see me; make efforts to continue our phone and email communication between visits; treat me respectfully
My husband was and is all of the above, and though there were (and are) some rough edges still to be smoothed, he is without question the perfect man for me. I told him several times over the course of our courtship that I could not pursue a relationship ever again where I felt myself getting lost. I had that happen more than once, and I had come to the point where I would rather be single than wishing I was. I’d rather be miserable and alone than miserable in a relationship. Strange thing, once I got to that point, was that I became content with my single life, and that is when I met my husband.
Perhaps all this is to say that the key to finding that perfect man is to stop looking. Know yourself, live your life in a way that reflects that, and be content. Most importantly, live in a way that glorifies God. That is the most alluring trait of all.
Day 5 of the 31 Day Blog Challenge
I participated in a market research interview this morning on politics…something I’ve never done before. For 90 minutes, I sat at my computer, cell phone set to speaker, and answered questions about my political opinions. It was a really interesting experience, and I’m glad to have done it…not just for the compensation (yep, it was a paying gig), but because I learned that I can, indeed, articulately clarify my political convictions in a way that is understandable and appreciated. No dancing around the issues…not that I could have, as the interviewer was excellent at encapsulating what I had to say in statements that properly reflected my beliefs. For someone who can sniff out bias from miles away, I can confidently say that he did not display any particular bias during this interview, and that quality gave me assurance that what I had to say will actually be presented accurately.
Why on earth it causes me to recollect the following song is a complete mystery to me, but there you have the peculiar ponderings of my coffee-fueled brain on 5 1/2 hours of sleep. Presenting…