Sunday, October 28, 2007

Songs That Touch My Heart

Music really touches my heart. I know a lot of people feel that way. Poetry with a beautiful melody. It only makes sense that music would speak directly to the heart and soul of so many.

While driving for three hours last night, I was playing a recently purchased Nichole Nordeman CD. I had heard many of the songs before at various Christian retreats. But one in particular was new to me. "Why?"

That's not a question; that's the title of the song. The first verse is the mindset of a young girl speaking to her father. The second verse comes from the aspect of Jesus speaking to His Father. The third verse is God answering Jesus. Each verse drew me more and more into the song, into the story. By the end, I was sobbing.

This is not the first song that has had such an effect on me. "When God Ran" by Phillips, Craig and Dean is another song that completely moves me. It starts off with a few of the many names of God:

Almighty God, the great I AM, immovable Rock, omnipotent, powerful, awesome Lord, victorious Warrior, commanding King of Kings, mighty Conqueror.

And the only time – the only time I ever saw Him run…

Was when He ran to me!

The rest of the song talks about how we separate ourselves from God, but He always welcomes us back because He loves us so much. It's just beautiful.

Another song that does that for me is "I Can Only Imagine". The first time I heard it, it wasn't a Mercy Me song; it was an Amy Grant song. Because her version was the first for me, it's my favorite. Of course, I'd thought about getting to heaven before and I'd imagined what heaven must look like. But until I'd heard this song, I never actually thought about what I would do when standing face to face with God.

For each of these songs, when I first heard them, when they first got my attention, I played them over and over and over again. I wanted to learn the words and be able to sing them. I wanted to sing them in my heart whenever I needed them. But I found that I was moved not only by the words and the melody, but also by my inability to sing them because the meaning touched my heart so deeply. What an amazing gift!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Once Every Dozen Years

I did something yesterday I hadn't done in 12 years. I went to the dentist. When I told the dentist that I hadn't been to a dentist office since '95, he asked what happened in '95. I told him I was still active duty Air Force and it's required to go to the dentist every year. Once I got out of the service and no one was making me go, I didn't go back.

Some people go to the dentist once a year. Some people go twice a year. I was on the once every dozen years plan. Apparently, a lot of us choose that plan.

I have several excuses (yes, excuses) why I didn't go back. First of all, I went to the dentist once a month EVERY month when I was growing up. I had braces three times. And when I didn't have braces, I had this thing called an appliance in my mouth. No, not a refrigerator or stove. An appliance is a retainer that pushes your teeth OUT instead of IN. On top of that, I had a root canal when I was only 12 because my sister did a front walk-over while standing in front of me and killed one of my two front teeth.

When I joined the service, they had to redo my root canal because there were air pockets or something in there. GREAT. Another root canal. On my front tooth. Lovely. But to sweeten the deal, they covered it with a veneer so it no longer looked gray. The AF dentist also told me that I had the shortest roots of anyone he'd ever seen before. In fact, at one point there were half a dozen dentists looking at my x-rays. Being that they were all officers and I was just an airman, I was too chicken to ask them what they were gawking about. But after it was just me and my dentist, I finally got up the nerve. He then told me that the roots on my teeth were so short he wouldn't be surprised if they started falling out of my head by the time I was 30. Lovely.

So, the dentist office is definitely NOT my favorite place to visit.

But it wasn't only that. Once I got out of the Air Force, it was a financial issue. I didn't know if I could afford to go to the dentist. I had a dental plan at work, but that's no indication as to what my costs would be for a visit. So, I avoided it. My son got cleanings, but not even annually. Shame on me. And I didn't go at all...until yesterday.

I told the dental hygienist, who is also a dear friend of mine, that coming back to the dentist after so long was like going to confession in the Catholic church. I was totally ashamed. I mean, I guess no one looks forward to it. But I was even more concerned that my teeth would look really bad and I'd have a dozen cavities. But no, one broken tooth (the only reason I made the appointment in the first place) and one cavity. She told me that it was amazing how good my teeth looked considering no one had looked at them in a dozen years.

So, I felt pretty good after that. And I made an appointment for six months down the road. I decided I'd rather not be on the 12 year plan again.

By the way, I'll be 37 in two weeks and none of my teeth have fallen out yet.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's All About the Love

They say that time heals all wounds.

Uh-uh. No way. I have way too good a memory to forget things, especially things that hurt me to the core, simply because a few years have gone by. The words, the actions, the feelings are etched on my brain and in my heart. Time doesn't do anything to alleviate that...especially for those of us that have the memory of an elephant.

I think that the ability to accept the wrong-doing as just another experience that shapes who we are is the first step to healing. But that's all but insignificant compared to the forgiveness that hopefully follows. Releasing the person that injured you also releases you. Then and only then can one engage a healthy life.

All of that takes love. Love of a higher purpose. Love of oneself. Love of your fellow man. Love of peace. Love.

Love heals all wounds. God's love for us that we learn in order to know how to love others.

"Love is patient. Love is kind. It is not jealous. It is not boastful or conceited. It is never rude and never seeks its own advantage. It does not take offense or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice in wrong-doing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Lord, help me to be patient and kind. Show me when I am being jealous, boastful, or conceited. Soften my heart so as not to be rude or to take advantage of others. Teach me not to take offense or hold a grudge. Allow me to find joy in the truth and avoid rejoicing in wrong-doing. Help me to make allowances to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Help me to demonstrate Your love. Amen.

Unreasonable Superstitions

I can't believe I haven't posted anything in a week. It's not that I haven't had anything to say. I ALWAYS have something to say. I've just been busy. Mostly at work. By the time I get home, I just don't care to take the time to be productive. Really bad habit to get into. But it's the truth.

Yesterday, I went to my very first Colts game in person. What a great time! And the Colts won! WooHoo!! I swore if they lost I was never going to another game in person again. But now I'm safe to go see them again any time. : )

I know it doesn't make any sense to be superstitious. But with my sports, I am. My son and I are pretty serious about it. If he's watching a game and his team is winning and then I walk in and the team starts losing, our deal is that I have to leave. It doesn't matter how much I want to watch the game with him. It's more important that his team win. Even if they don't, I definitely do NOT want to be the reason they LOSE. So, it's an agreement we have. And like I said, we're pretty serious about it.

Speaking of my son, he'll be in town this weekend. He and I are HUGE Colts fans. Unfortunately for him, he lives in Bengals country now. So he rarely gets to see the Colts. Even more unfortunate, this weekend happens to be the Colts bye weekend. So, he doesn't get to see the Colts AGAIN. He wasn't very happy about that. He'll be home again for Thanksgiving. And the Colts have the Thursday night game...on the NFL network. Our cable company doesn't have the NFL network. So, two visits to Indiana during football season and no Colts football for the boy. Sorry, kiddo. If it were up to me, we'd be able to watch Colts football on demand...ALL YEAR ROUND!

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's Time for a Nap

I find that I am tired all the time. I know that I often don’t get enough sleep. I’m really a night owl and enjoy watching television late or reading until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. And as I get older, I find myself waking up more often during the night. But at least I don’t struggle to get back to sleep like I have in the past. So, I usually blame my tiredness on that. But sometimes I wonder if it’s something more.

I’m sitting at my desk with plenty to do. It’s 10:30am on a Monday. I’ve been here for nearly 2 hours. Yet I feel I could curl up into a ball on the floor of my cubicle and sleep. Every time I close my eyes to think, to concentrate, I find myself wanting to nod off. I’m REALLY tired.

And it’s not like I ran and ran all weekend. In fact, I didn’t get nearly as much done as I wanted to/needed to. I slept in Saturday; I slept in Sunday. I even napped during the Colts game. And I LOVE to watch the Colts games. I just always feel like I’m trying to catch up on my sleep.

I read an article in a women’s magazine years ago about how you can never actually catch up on missed hours of sleep. The article suggested that any damage done to your mind, body, and soul by lack of sleep is already done. You can try to heal from that damage by sleeping more. But it’s a futile effort. It probably doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t reverse the damage. I don’t know how true any of that is. But frankly, today it just affirms my desire to take a nap right now.