In exactly one month I will be on a Greyhound bus bound for that beautiful brick building on Bowery street. A building filled with men whose lives have been transformed by the glorious grace of God. A building that I call my second home very effortlessly. A building where some of my best friends live. A building full of love and hope. A building that was so hard for me to leave the first time I cannot imagine ever leaving it again. But I won't think of that right now. I will just think about the look on all the guys' faces when we get up there!
I just wrote two songs in the past 16 minutes and I really like both of them. I mean sure they need a little tweaking, but TWO SONGS?! I'm lucky to write one song a month, usually. It takes me so long to write a song because I often lack motivation or inspiration. But tonight as I sang Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald and then moved on to a more modern Norah Jones, it hit me!
I popped out two songs and loved them both. I even recorded them onto my computer with that little recorder thing which I hate doing because I know someday I'll have to listen to it and I hate the sound of my own voice. But I had to record them because I can't forget the tune!
I sure hope Anna was serious when she said if I came up with the lyrics she'd write the music for it! (:
This whole week I was stressed out. And I shouldn't have been, but I'm a perfectionist when it comes to certain things - singing, for example. My voice has to be perfect because my voice is the most precious thing I have from God (other than my family and friends). I see my voice as a huge gift and when I am sick... I don't sing. When I can't hit a high note... I don't sing. When it's too low... I don't sing. When I'm in front of a huge crowd I still get jitters even though after singing in New York my jitters have slowly started fading away.
But tonight was a big night. When I'm in charge of something (especially music) it has to be perfect. And things were not going perfectly. Songs were being rearranged, I wasn't on time for things. I was unorganized a few times, I wasn't ready for practices. I had a bazillion things to do an hour before everyone would have started arriving. I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
I couldn't eat I was so nervous.
A good friend pulled me aside. We went into a little room. She closed the doors and we stood in the dark. She took both of my hands and started praying. For this, I love her. (And for many other things too of course.) She prayed for God to bring me peace about the night. She prayed for Him to make me calm. She prayed for everything to work out.
Before going up on stage, I did not hear anything anyone was saying. I was praying the entire time. I told God that it was all out of my hands. Everything was up to him. The lives he transformed, the things people heard or took in from all of it. It was all His.
And as soon as I stood up on that stage, before I uttered a single word, I was immediately calm. I had no fear, no nervousness, no fright, nothing. I let myself go. I even sang a few off-key notes and didn't flinch. So many imperfections happened that I noticed. But they never fazed me.
I had the most fun tonight that I've ever had while leading Worship. It was so amazing for me to really experience God while I was leading my peers. It's been really hard for me to really worship while leading because I dwell so much on the actual leading part than coming in contact with God. It was a nice break. It was a nice change.
And then of course, after everything, another good friend came up and told me that a girl he'd gone to high school with came to our organization for the first time tonight. She was kind of a party girl in high school and tonight during our songs she was crying. I suppose it's hard to watch someone break down, but at the same time it's good because they are making their peace with God. They are going to learn from the experiences.
Anyway, before I went to sing I couldn't eat anything. But soon after I was ravenous so I downed two brownies... and then went for a bagel.
So now here I sit, writing this blog and staring at a zip-lock bag of brownies... should I go for a third?
I am obsessed with writing. Almost as much as I'm obsessed with singing. I have two journals and a blog. If that's not ridiculous then I don't know what is. This blog is sort of personal but things I am willing to tell the world. And then I have a VERY personal journal in which I confide in. It is pink and pretty. And then I have an inspiration journal. Which isn't so much inspirational - it's more of just an artsy kind of journal. Basically it's TUMBLR, just not on the internet. And if you don't know what tumblr is then I'm sorry.
So anyway, I've been going really strong for the last couple days. I've been journaling every night, blogging every day, and I've made 11 new pages in my Inspiration journal just in the past two days. I love writing. I love drawing. I love CREATING. It feels good to see the finished product.
I currently read this blog and got inspiration for the following post.
I know that only Jesus was perfect and no other person on earth shall bear the title of "perfect". Even though I try so hard so often to be "perfect", I know I can never be. So here I am embracing the fact that I am imperfect. But it fits me so perfectly.
Some days, most days, I don't wear make up.
I lose my temper easily when it comes to my brother.
Things annoy me that probably shouldn't.
I often say the wrong thing or don't think before I speak.
Sometimes I lie to the people I love so they won't worry about me.
I whine too much.
I get into moods where I don't want to talk/listen to/be around any people at all. This mood switch can happen so fast that I didn't even see it coming.
I rarely finish the projects I start.
I can be judgmental
I have a hard time saying "no".
I'm VERY critical when it comes to people's singing and/or acting abilities
I have an overwhelmingly strong desire to quit school and move to NYC to pursue a Broadway career
To some I seem very put together. But I get frazzled very easily and sometimes I lose my cool.
I like knowing, though, that I don't have to have it together all the time - even though when I'm having a breakdown moment I don't see it as very ideal.
Be yourself. It sounds corny, but it's true. You were born an original. Don't die a copy.
Smile. A lot. Laugh when you want to and sing all the time. I tell people to sing because that's how I cope with things. Whenever I'm sad or stressed or hurting I sing and it instantly makes me feel better, as does listening to music. And you don't need a good voice to sing. It doesn't matter if you can't carry a tune in a bucket or you can, if you have a problem with pitch or not, if you're off key or on it, sing loudly and proudly.
Write - it's a wonderful stress reliever. I don't know what's wrong with me, but for the past week all I've been doing is writing in my journal. ALL. THE. TIME. I've never written as much as I have the last few days. It's wonderful.
Tell someone you love that you love them.
Pop bubble wrap. It's fun and theraputic.
Blow bubbles outside. Who didn't love blowing bubbles as a child. If we do child-like things that remind us of that time when we were young and carefree, then we'll feel young and carefree.
Find an animal that you love and play with it. I love dogs, but some people prefer a cat or a hamster, maybe even a snake....
Create something. A novel, a drawing, a painting, a song, a sculpture, pottery, jewelry, clothing. Make something that is all yours, belongs to no one but you.
Cry. It releases endorphins and makes you happy.
Take pictures. Capture those happy moments and no matter what happens never ever burn them. Why should you erase something if it once made you happy?
She took a look at the world around her and all she saw was red. Hearts, faces, doors, windows.... She looked through everything and noticed that everything was different than she'd seen before. People were hurting, crying, in pain. And when she'd finished crying herself, she smiled and some of the red faded into the background. The sky turned a shade of blue she'd never imagined possible. The sun shone a little brighter than ever before. People took off their masks. Life had meaning. Words spoken were not words of hate, but of love. Life was lighter. Life had meaning. Time passed by slowly, allowing her to drink in every moment. Her heart felt light and her head was in the clouds. Life had meaning. All because she cried.
Crying cleans out the toxins in our bodies - whether it be of our soul or body.
Tonight, after talking through a problem with a good friend, I realized that all this time I've been completely selfish in my pain. I thought that I was the only person going through something while everyone else is fighting a battle as well.
I didn't even know what was going on with him until tonight and now I realize I've been so blind to the goings-on around me, especially with my friends.
It's not even that my problems are so big, it's just that sometimes I think I'm a freak because I feel some of the things I feel. At times, I really think I'm screwed up - like the way my mind works and especially how easy it is for me to fall for someone. (I've always hated that thing about myself. I get attached way too quickly.)
But tonight, I saw what problems he was having to deal with and my heart just went out to him. He had so many emotions - regret a huge one.
I try to live my life by "no regrets" - that everything is a learning experience, and that's what I told him. And although sometimes there is just NO talking to him because he's hard-headed and stubborn, I think it gave him something to think about.
So goodnight, my friend. Sleep well and pray, keep God your focus and everything will work out according to His plan.
If I was given one wish for anything in the world, I would not wish for a thing. I would want everything to be the same and go on normally. Why would I want to change God's beautiful plan? Sure, I might wish for love... but who's to say that it isn't coming my way soon? I may wish for money, but money makes people shallow. I may wish for good grades... but I want to earn them myself. I may wish for friendship, but I know who my true friends are. I may wish for wisdom, but if God did not make me wise there is a reason. I may wish for more wishes, but what would I wish for then?
No, if I ever got to wish for anything, I'd give it back. I just need my family and friends, a glass of sweet tea, some good music on the radio, and a great book in my hand.