Monday, December 1, 2014

Music Monday: Ásgeir

Ásgeir's version of Nirvana's 'Heart-Shaped Box'is pretty darn cool. Hailing from Iceland, this solo singer-songwriter's music is described as melodic folk and is just my cup of tea on these rainy evenings at work. :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Music Monday: Nate Eiesland

I started listening to this track before the weekend rolled round and it's sorta been on repeat since. 'Drifting' really just captivates with its guitars, sustained piano chords and lyrics. It's sort of a sad song but I mean good music is just good music no matter what the tone. It's so dreamy and sad ... much of what my weekend has been like so maybe my husband has a point... I should definitely stop listening to so many sad songs.

This song was written along other music composers as a contribution to the compilation Red Brick Songs which features 15 songwriters from all across north America.

If you're up for it, check out Nate Eiesland's band ON AN ON

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Life's little joys

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” - CS Lewis

On a particularly rough moment in my life, I sought a counselor whose one advise helped me climb out of the pit of depression. She said that I should, renew my thoughts daily.

"Start with positive affirmations," she said. "It doesn't have to be big and grand, maybe just that you will have Joy today."

And so I began my day with a short prayer that I would have Joy. It seemed simple enough but on days when it was hard to pull myself out of bed I thought - fake it till you make it!

And so I prayed, "Fill me with Joy, Lord." And I pushed through another day. Every day I prayed for Joy, I felt tensions releasing. Another day I survived a destructing habit, was a victory which filled me with hope.

The Lord's word says in Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

In the New Living Translation it says, "...let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

I knew that I was not intended to live a life of despair and I should be living a victorious life. But here I was writing morose poetry about being lost in the dark and realising that I was in the lowest possible time in life. It's just that hopeless feeling where you think this couldn't possibly get any worse and then you find new levels of low! It seemed never ending and there was no way out of the vicious cycle.

Christian's aren't exempted from depression. It happens. I'm glad I was equipped with the right tools for battle and I had friends who would encourage and nurture. I fought hard to pick myself up and even though I sought answers though the Bible, I was still left with hopelessness.

Reading Jeremiah 29:13 left me in tears when it says "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." I thought to myself, I have no strength to seek. I just haven't got the strength to do ANYTHING wholeheartedly. Does that mean He wouldn't come and find me instead?

I read something recently which I wish I had known then. The article was about Thomas' encounter with Jesus. 'Jesus didn't rebuke him for doubting. Rather, he gave Thomas what he needed. He invited Thomas to touch his wounds, and only then did Jesus tell him he could stop doubting.'

The article goes on to say that, 'The beauty of this is Thomas had an encounter with Jesus none of the other disciples did. Nowhere does Jesus condemn doubt, rather He meets people right where they are in it.'

He meets people right where they are in it. As you work out your faith. As you work out your unbelief.

He meets you right where you are.

I'm going to say that again... He meets you right where you are.

Where I am today is a little different from where I was in my early twenties. I'm no longer the disturbed, suicidal, melancholic youth I used to be. My good days outnumber the bad ones. And bad days don't last as long as they used to.

I've found that Joy I prayed for so fervently. I think about how my outlook on life and my attitude has a way of influencing others and I think about words that have power to build instead of words that destruct. And I look for little reminders to get me through the day.

Today's reminder came in another one of Bob Goff's interviews. Bob Goff said, “I think you’re a better advocate for yourself and others with some joy in your back pocket.”

So I think today, I'm packed and loaded and ready to roll.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Music Monday: Ben Abraham

I discovered Ben Abraham after my friend Felicia's giddy Whatsapp message about waiting on his table at the Hyatt in Melbourne.

After listening to a few songs I was already hooked. I love this particular one and the story of how it came about. I love it when songs are borne out of desperation and despair but yet speak of hope.

Read about it here.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

One Word: Thrive

I watched the perfect movie to kickstart the new year. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

The soundtrack for it felt like it was right out of my college playlist with songs by Jose Gonzales, Jack Johnson, Rogue Wave... well my playlist hasn't strayed very far but gosh, I was one excited cinema-goer.

I just soooo connected with Walter Mitty's character in a way. Well sorta.

I zone out. A lot. My daydreams don't happen like Walter's do but they kinda revolve around the coulda woulda shoulda scenario.

Things I should have said. Things I could have done. Things I would do. should I? Could I?

Thinking bout all these at once brought such a heavy feeling as I retreated on new years and this led to writing my first post of this year. I've been blogging since 2004 and boy has it been marvelous to look back and see how much I've grown. In thoughts and words and deeds.

As I welcome in 2014, I think about words. Well I always think about words. But I was thinking about Words that can be used to describe a year. 2013 was about being present. To be all there. And I was. I think I lived out my promise to be present in 2013.

So what would 2014 be about? As I go through the motions of day-to-day life and experience moment after moment, sometimes merely scraping by, I realise that 2014 should be more. It's not merely about surviving another year. 2013 was good. But I'm ready for more.

For 2014, I want to THRIVE. To flourish, to grow, to develop vigorously. Although the word vigorously scares me but I know it's time. To truly thrive. To be more than I could be. More than I believe myself to be.

Sometimes when I'm alone with my thoughts it feels like I'm flying solo and and I'm just gliding but never landing. Just kinda coasting through life bearing the brunt of turbulence and rain clouds and hail on my own. I know flying solo has got me across many hurdles and I will continue to overcome. In that achievement of overcoming, I want to thrive and not just survive.

Besides 'grow vigorously', Wordweb defines Thrive as to "Make steady progress; be at the high point in one's career or reach a high point in historical significance or importance". Those are high goals, and I'm not sure if being a 'historically significant or important person' is high on my bucket list, but making a significant difference in someone's life is.

As I reach forth in an attempt to attain this goal for 2014 I'm reminded about running this race with a spirit of excellence.

Hebrews 12:1-29 ESV

" with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith."

"...and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe..."

I kick off from 2013 to 2014 and fall back on this constant prayer, that I reach from one great height to the next, in all areas but especially in my walk with The Big Guy, the ONE who's gonna help me THRIVE.