Monday, June 8, 2015

One word can change everything...

So, I find that what people say can have a drastic affect on me. That whole saying "sticks and  stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" saying is a totally wrong. Sometimes all it takes to steal my joy is one word, one sentence from someone and I can go from being on top of the world to seeming like someone pulled the rug out from under my feet and I've fallen hard.

What's so crazy is I realize this and I still let myself be so affected by the words some people say. Generally I find its either something someone I really care about said or something someone said about WHAT I really care about. What's so crazy is that I will sit and stew and think and over think and analyze what was said and let it completely take away any positive feelings I had about whatever it is they commented on. And I guess I should clarify. If someone says something positive I'm like "oh cool thanks!" And I move on with life. But if what is said is even remotely negative it can bring me down so fast and really affect my mood and excitement and honestly can even make me want to make drastic changes to plans and even life in general.

So, I have realized 3 things:
1. The opinion that truly matters is God's opinion. He created me the way I am and loves me and all my perfect imperfections. And even though I sin and screw up he will still love me. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus." Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." And 1 Corinthians 10:21 says, " So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." So it really comes down to no matter what anyone else says, I have to look at myself and say, "Are you bringing glory to God." If not, well then maybe that person is right and I need to rethink my choices, but if I am then I need to let the comment role off my back and move on already.

2. I gotta lighten up! Really, one comment by someone (even if it is someone I care a lot about) does not reflect everything they feel, and by my over-analyzing it, all I am doing is putting words in their mouth that they never even said. Which is really unfair on my part. And if it really does bother me than much and I can't just let it go, then I need to just ask them about it instead of sitting around and reading way more into a small comment than I should. 

3. And probably most importantly, when someone really does say something negative to me, I need to remember where my joy comes from. I can't let even genuinely mean or negative comments steal my joy and ruin my day. James 1:2-3, "Consider it pure joy my brothers when you experience trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance." 1 Peter 1:8 -9, "You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls." Romans 15:13, "I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." That's what I want more than anything. I want to be so completely filled with joy that I overflow with hope for all to see. If I let someone's words steal that joy, then I am also letting those words steal my hope as well as any hope that could overflow into someone's life as well.

Going to go forth and live with joy because it makes the journey all the more beautiful. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"A good song is like a good meal..."

Haven't posted anything lately. Not for lack of having anything to say necessarily, but more for lack of having the words to say what I really want to say. I think my brain went on mental shut down after the school year ended and everything I have been thinking has been running around my mind like a hamster in a wheel and the hamster just doesn't know when to quit.

Life has been pretty ordinary lately. Nothing too exciting, and I think that is when I start to think about so many different parts of my life, so needless to say, several posts to come soon.

But today I was struck by something that has been a part of me for a long time, and I can't help but write about it. I love music, I have always enjoyed music and liked listening to music from back in the day when I blasted New Kids on the Block and Paula Abdul cassettes in my room to when I started driving and I used my makeshift stereo system to blare my "Nothing Says I Love You Like Punk Rock" Cds, to now when my musical taste ranges from classical, to pop, to Sinhalese songs, to Hindi songs, to rock, and any other number of musical choices. What I have come to realize is that for me music isn't about the actual music (I know odd), but it's about the words and the memories and the experiences and people tied to the music. A single song can make me laugh, smile, and/or melt into a puddle of tears.

I am so tone deaf. And I have ZERO rhythm. Which is why my love of music is kinda of odd... I love to dance to, but you have probably never seen me dance, and if you do see me dance its because either you love me A LOT and see me in moments when I am just me, or I love you A LOT because I am willing to dance in public and cast aside all cares about my severe lack of rhythm for you. Now you may have heard me sing, and I apologize now. I know I can't carry a tune to save my life, but there is something about a song I love coming on that sometimes, regardless of whose ears I may be hurting, I can't help but sing. I love being at home and in the car when I can just sing along to all my favorites, which is an extraordinarily long list...

So, knowing that it is not the actual instrumental part of the music I love the most, but more the lyrics and memories tied to the music, I have begun to see music and songs as a way of explaining my life. I seriously set music to what I am doing. Like in a movie when a song plays during a scene, its like that for my life. If my life were a movie I have a song for every scene. I can hear a certain song, and its like I am suddenly transported to a completely different time and place. I mean vividly transported. If I shut my eyes I could tell you exactly what I was smelling and tasting and seeing whenever that song had its biggest impact on my life. For example, Norah Jones' "Come away With Me," "Painters Song," "Lonestar," and just about any song from her "Come Away With Me Album" instantly transport me to Bolivar, Missouri, in my sliver Ford Focus with the windows down, and the orange and red fall leaves blowing past my windows as I drive down the street between the dorms. The air is just cool enough and crisp that it brings a slight chill to my skin, but it's just a perfect moment. I could go on describing the scene but when one of those songs come on it is like I am suddenly slammed through time into a completely different place and the memories flood back. It's like that with just about every song I hear. I instantly connect it to some memory, or to a person, and when it comes on it can be an amazing memory and I can laugh about it, smile about, feel sentimental, or cry about the pain, loss, or joy that whatever it was brought me. When I hear the song Oceans I am transported to a beach in Sri Lanka and the amazing moments I have shared with my wonderful creator Lord and the times I have spend in prayer breathing in the spray of the ocean and thanking Him for the beauty around me.

I also love how a song can so succinctly capture what I am thinking. The lyrics of song can easily express so many feeling within a few lines. Way to go song writers! I find that I catch myself wanting to insert song lyrics into what I am saying, or when someone says something that is also the line from a song I start singing the song in my head.