Monday, June 22, 2009

guilty as charged

I'm sad for the Gosselin family. And I'm just as guilty as the next person for being interested in their personal lives, which is possibly one of the contributing factors to their failed marriage. It breaks my heart that with them, you see the effects of the media on family relationships and marriages. The media can be a good thing, but obviously in some cases it highlights the worst of people's lives and forces them to relive it a thousand times over, making it become even more painful than necessary.

Jon & Kate's marriage isn't only caused from the media, as Kate said; the same thing may have happened without the show. Whether or not the media contributed to their separation, it's heartbreaking, and I'm guilty as charged for talking about the lives of people I don't know personally. And so instead of writing on and on about it, I'm just going to pray for their family. They are real people. As are all others in the spotlight of the media who also need our prayers.

Thanks to Jon Weece's encouragement to Southland Christian Church in Lexington, KY to write letters of encouragement to Britney Spears a few years back, I've recently recognized the problem with "celebrity." Though their lives are lived in front of a camera, they are real people with real problems, just like you and me. And I'll pray for them just like I'll pray for my own friends and family. I'd love to place my opinions on this situation, and to throw blanket statements over marriage and the media and whatever else, but instead I'm just going to pray for some peace and love to reign, even in the midst of tragedy, for the Gosselin family. Would you join me?

Who knows...maybe the fact that they have the TV show could be a blessing in disguise. It's creating a way for millions of prayers to be said for them.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

the Enneagram

So after reading Shauna Niequist's blog recently about the Enneagram test, I was immediately intrigued and paid my $10 to take the online test tonight. I absolutely love personality tests and continuing to figure out more about who God made me to be, so I'm encouraging you to do the same!

I'll tell you now that I'm a 4...most certainly. Then I'm a 9, 6, and 2.

Go here and take the test for yourself and then let's chat! I'm very curious and am looking forward to learning more about it! So far, my description has been RIGHT ON in terms of accuracy...moreso than any other test I've ever taken. I promise you, this could be one of the most helpful tools in understanding who you are and then who others are and how to interrelate with one another.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

music finds

I have a love for music that just might teeter on the border of crazy and obsessive. I can do just about anything I might otherwise hate if I have music in my ears. I used to hate running (in fact, I still do), but I will do it if and only if I'm listening to music. Tonight i ironed about half of my wardrobe for about 2.5 hours (which was very monotonous and annoying) only accomplished with the help of good music in the background. Cleaning? You got it. I need tunes.

I particularly love finding artists that are lesser known, or at least ones that I have never heard of. I'm also partial to songs I can sing along with, especially if there is a harmony part that I can find. If a song doesn't have good vocals, I probably won't listen. Also, the lyrics are usually a make or break for me. I love lyrics that I can relate with.

Lately I've discovered a few artists/songs that I can't stop listening to. It's likely that many other people already have heard them, but if you haven't before now, I'd recommend taking a listen. (I will link their myspace sites where you can listen to several of their songs in full for free. If you like them, you can find them on iTunes I'm sure.) Here's my list:

  • Jordan Anderson - (He and his wife, Jessa, play together but write separately. They performed at a work conference I attended at Cedarville University last week, and I can't stop listening to his songs Popular Tree, Silly Masquerade, and Black and White.)
  • Jessa Anderson - (Again, wife of Jordan Anderson. Her voice was flawless and smooth in person. Melodies are a little cornier to some songs, but I really like Fundamentally Broken, None But You, and What Are You Looking For)
  • Eric Hutchinson - (He's been around, but somehow I missed the boat on this one. I looked up the lyrics to his song Breakdown More after hearing it on the auditions for So You Think You Can Dance and that's how I found him, and the rest is history. I'm going to see him tomorrow night in Madison, WI. I'm telling you, when I like what I hear, I'm an instant fan.)
  • Kings of Leon - (Again, not new at all, but suddenly they're everywhere. I'm in love with the song Use Somebody. Beautiful music.)
  • Matt White - (Not sure where I first heard it, but I think just, you know, around... ??? His song Love was on the movie Because I Said So, which I love, so I think I may have heard him first on there. That song and Best Days are the 2 I keep listening to.)
  • Meiko - (I just looked her up solely because she's opening for Eric Hutchinson tomorrow night in Madison. Piano Song, Under My Bed, and Boys with Girlfriends are my faves of her songs.)
  • Nathan Angelo - (Actually I've been a fan of his for about 2 years now I think? The odd thing is, only one person I know, Mike Sheagren, also owns his CD, and when I found that out, I was overly happy. I think Mike thought I was weird, but I was just shocked and glad someone else appreciated Nathan's goodness. All of his songs are great, but the 2 not on his album that I just found are Born to Love You and I Need a Woman. If you like Gavin Degraw, you will LOVE him. And sidenote: Andy Davis is helping produce some of his new stuff, so in case you like Andy...there you go.)
  • Rosi Golan - (I actually blogged about her song Been a Long Day awhile back, but she writes and sings beautifully. I go through spurts where I listen to Been a Long Day and Come Around repeatedly. Gorgeous.)
  • Steve Means - (I think I linked to him from Nathan Angelo's page, which is how I find tons of great music. LOVE his song You & Me. Makes me feel like summer.)
  • Anuhea - (Thanks to the iTunes weekly free songs, I downloaded her song Right Love, Wrong Time and went on an instant mental vacation. Since she's Hawaiian, she has a similar beachy sound to Colbie Caillat, but I'm thinking a few songs sound redundant in melody. But I do love Right Love, Wrong Time.)

I think that's enough for now...I just like sharing good music that I find. If you know of anything else I should be listening to, pass it along! Finding music that I really like is probably my favorite thing in the world.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

on hope and painting

It's been I'll try to capture a bit of what's been on my mind these days. I haven't been in the writing rhythm lately, so it may be a little muddled and incoherent. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get better at sitting down to write one of these days...

Do you ever just get to that point where there's so much going on that you're just overwhelmed and don't know where to begin? That's a little bit of where I'm at, so I'm choosing to just focus in on one thing I've been thinking about lately: hope.

I've found suddenly that I have an obsession with hope. (That's not such a bad thing, right?) It may have all started with a greeting card. About 2 years ago, a friend lost his grandpa, and I went to buy a sympathy card to send. I'm one of those people who can spend hours in the Hallmark store or in the greeting card aisles at the store, laughing out loud or tearing up at the "perfect" cards. I was trying to choose just the right sympathy card, because if you don't already know this--those are the type of cards where the words really do matter. You know, birthday cards or wedding cards can simply say "Happy birthday" or "Congratulations" and be sufficient, but a sympathy card has to be chosen specifically for each situation. Having lost my dad about 6 months prior, I was still a little sensitive to finding a card with just the right words. And then I found one that has stuck in my mind ever since. Based on I Thessalonians 4, it said on the inside:

"Thankful that we do not grieve as those who have no hope."

For some reason, it took that greeting card to remind me of that verse, and even more, the idea that we have hope. Grieving is a much different process when you know the one you loved and lost is in heaven. I've said it before that I'm not sure how others grieve those who did not know Jesus in their lives on earth. Hope is what brings forth joy even in times of tragedy.

Since then, the word 'hope' has been one of my favorite words.

And recently, I found this painting on that I just loved immediately. I've been on a streak of painting some canvases to hang in my living room based on cute things or other pictures I find on Etsy, so I've become fairly decent at re-creating them myself. I wouldn't ever claim the artwork as my own, since I basically copied the ideas from someone else's creativity. So thank you, artists who have contributed on Etsy, for inspiring me to be more creative. (The best part? I enjoy it, and if I mess up, I get to keep on trying. And if I don't like it in a month, I'll just paint over it again!)

So, I re-created the 'hope' painting twice--in 2 color schemes: one is blue and red, and the other is yellow, orange, and green with letters in white. I'm not crazy about the colors as of now, so I may be changing it. It's sitting on a shelf in my living room until I decide how I feel about it. (I may try to post pics soon...)

Anyhow, 'hope' has been one of the things on my mind, so I spent some time the other night going through scripture and was reminded of this verse in Lamentations that I just love:

"I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail."

The Lord's great love? His unfailing compassion? His Son? We have no better reason to have hope than this.