Church

Church. Haven’t been in a while. Been with God pretty well every minute of every hour of every day, that’s the flip side. Through the last year, the last fifty-four, leaning heavy on God’s presence, the idea, the support, the release.

Talk to God, it’s a healing, freeing, release. Release from the bondage of worry, of doubt, of dread. It’s so simple, really. Let God’s Will be done. I pray that frequently. Began decades ago, that simple prayer: “…thy will be done….” Such a simple but basic release that provides relief.

So easy to say, so much more difficult sometimes to do.

Maybe that’s what Church helps us with; getting to the mindset; remembering that mindset; finding solace and joy with others. Church. But we haven’t been in a while, a long while. But have been with God often; reaching out to God often. Seeking the solace and comfort and certainty. Fleeting certainty, is that possible?

I hope God understands. Wait. I’m sure God understands.

Sing Along

Enjoy the music? Sing along, the best way to feel it.

I was in the kitchen with my younger daughter the other day, and she was quietly singing a song from the movie, Trolls.

Can you guess which one?

Yep, the same one I posted the lyrics for this week…”Get Back Up Again”…

Such a good song, such simple, powerful, uplifting words…no lie.

And then a day later?

My son sang along, too.

I love listening to them sing along, an honest connection with and simple expression of what they hear.

The muse, the lyric, the magic of music, the song, let it sing from your mind to your voice to your soul, and out to the world.

It’s maybe the most human of actions, words to music and the joy and feeling and expression that comes forth.

Let it be, let it be me, let’s sing along…!

Groove

Find it, it’s a magical thing. Sometimes called The Zone, if you prefer. But I prefer the groove.

Sitting in the rocker, feet up, evening time, lights low, music playing softly in the background. Jazz playing, older genre, World War II era maybe.

Trying to find the groove, feeling it’s there, but fleeting, difficult to hold on to; wish it would stick to me, soak in a little deeper. Want to stay in that space, that mindset, feeling of peace and harmony and belonging, somehow.

Funny thing — I feel like I belong most of the time; but when I’m in the groove, all the more.

Get there. Find your path. Then go down that path frequently. Find your way. To that space. That place.

Satisfying. Nurturing. Soul-full. Good for the soul, being in the groove.

GROOVE.

Lyrics Post: “Get Back Up Again”

So good, this message. Sung to millions of millions upon millions more children. Through a fun, full-length feature film called “Trolls.”

Oh so SO GOOD. Simple message. Face the music. Do your best. Keep going. Fall down? Get back up again.

“Get Back Up Again”
(from “Trolls” soundtrack)

I really hope I can do it
‘Cause they’re all depending on me
I know that I must leave the only home I’ve ever known
And brave the dangers of the forest
Saving them before they’re eaten
I mean, how hard can that be?

Looking up at a sunny sky,
So shiny and blue and there’s a butterfly
Well, isn’t that a super fantastic sign?

It’s gonna be a fantastic day

Such marvelousness it’s gonna bring
Got a pocket full of songs that I’m gonna sing
And I’m ready to take on anything
Hooray!

Some super fun surprise around each corner
Just riding on a rainbow, I’m gonna be okay

Hey!
I’m not giving up today
There’s nothing getting in my way
And if you knock-knock me over
I will get back up again
Oh
If something goes a little wrong
Well, you can go ahead and bring it on
‘Cause if you knock-knock me over,
I will get back up again

Oh, oh, oh, get back up again

I’m marching along, I got confidence
I’m cooler than a pack of peppermints
And I haven’t been this excited since
I can’t remember when!

I’m off on this remarkable adventure
Just riding on a rainbow

What if it’s all a big mistake?
What if it’s more than I can take?
No, I can’t think that way
‘Cause I know that I’m really-really-really gonna be okay

Hey!
I’m not giving up today
There’s nothing getting in my way
And if you knock-knock me over
I will get back up again
Oh
If something goes a little wrong
Well, you can go ahead and bring it on
‘Cause if you knock-knock me over,
I will get back up again

Get up, get up, get up
Get back up again
Get up, get up, get up

I’m okay!

Get up, get up, get up
If you knock-knock me over, knock-knock me over
I will get back up again”

GOODGOODGOOD

Writer(s): Pasek Benj, Paul Justin Noble

Thought Box

The THOUGHT BOX.

Not sure where this idea originated, but it’s one I’ve used with the kids since they seemed open to it. I apply the concept to bad dreams, primarily…or at least that’s where it started. Now I apply it even more liberally, to things they are scared of, worried about.

Here’s how it works:

Close your eyes, and in you mind’s eye, imagine a small box. That is your Thought Box.

You control your Thought Box. You decide what gets to stay there. If something creeps in that you don’t want there, push it out. It’s your decision. It’s your mind. You control it.

Not sure how effective the process is for them, but maybe it helps a little. If it doesn’t help them, it for sure helps me use words as a strategy for coping with negative thoughts in the mind.

Not only does it work for them maybe, but I’ve been using it more of late in my own head too.

Work clouding my brain? Use the Thought Box. Too many issues to count? Revert to the Thought Box. Things you can’t control getting the better of you?

Thought Box.

You decide what stays there. It’s your mind. You control it. You control what gets to stay in the Thought Box.

Try it. I hope you find it useful.

Edge Redux

Sometimes it’s razor sharp, tender to touch. Sometimes from the dark, from the deep it shows itself, the edge.

From the edge, on it, uncertain, something like despair. You reach out, call out, searching, hoping for relief. The mind chases, words racing in, filling every space.

The rubbing, grinding, down to an edge, leaving you unsure of yourself, uncertain. Surely you can find your way through, out somehow, not giving it, not giving up. Timeless, knowing the answer, getting these as before.

Scribble down, the babble down, then simply clear; the mind, in the dark, back from the edge. Respect it, don’t fear it, just know it, go along again. Go along with it again.

Super Lu

My X-factor, as I often refer to her; at least I did, when she was little. The thought comes to mind still.

She is our third child and second daughter, a bit of a surprise (to me, anyway)…and then all the joy and beauty and sass and pure goodness I could hope for. I’ve said before, I didn’t think much about gender before our first child, our first daughter was born. What a gift and awakening. And then Number Three came along. A Second Daughter. Alleluia.

And this is her day.

Seven today.

She is strong and capable and smart and willing and able, able to be whatever she decides. And to my dying day, I am absolutely delighted to follow her path.

It’s gonna be something. And actually, it already is! She’s a wonder to behold, so much behind that smile, that look in her eye, such a delight!

I love how she dances, how she sings, how she draws, how she wags her finger at me, how she speaks Spanish with a Peruvian accent…how she sometimes calls me “…Jeff…”

Really, chica? I’m your Dad…

And so glad that is so!

Happy Happy Birthday, Super Lu~

God’s Work

This concept comes to mind often for me. When am I closest to God? When am I doing what God wants me to do? When am I truly aligned?

Sometimes it seems obvious, immediate, powerful.

Like watching my son run along the beach.

Or standing in the ocean with him, teaching him to hold his ground and the water rushes in, rushes out.

The ocean often has that effect on my overall. Timeless.

But it could be something entirely different. Like blow-drying my daughter’s new, furry friend.

All snippets, all bits of being closer to God, just a bit, just a bit. And sometimes a bit more.

Beach

Funny thing, the beach.

Timeless, the waves, the sound, the water never stops.

Here with family, a little break, celebrating birthdays. Time with the kids, our reduced family, COVID-style. Would that we could be a bigger group, but the pandemic demands a different path.

All the same, the beach is our friend. The ocean is our friend. Magical friends, they are. They create this simple yet so special, wondrous place, space.

The beach, the ocean, it’s one of those places that might bring us a little closer to God, if you let it, if you’re open to it, if you believe in that sorta thing.

I believe in that sorta thing. With my family, in nature, all the more aware of the infinity of it all.

The beach. Family. Timeless. Joy.

Family

My mom used to say it, “family is most important.” It seemed like hyperbole when I was a teenager.

Of course family is important, I thought, but so is spending time with other friends, doing fun things, etc. Typical teenager thoughts, young person thoughts, natural. I thought at the time my mom was trying to convince us; as a parent now myself, I think I see a broader perspective.

As a parent I have this thought, and when it comes to mind I proclaim the same in my own head, “family is most important.” I think though, I’m not trying to convince anyone; I’m more making a sort of proclamation. I think maybe by saying it, stating it, it adds another layer of value, of meaning, somehow.

Maybe that proclamation is an outward expression to share the love a little more, and not so much convince.

That’s for sure what I feel. I want my kids to feel the value and the depth and the security of family. And I want them to know how much I value them.

Most important is family. It’s the foundation, if we make it so, if we let it be so. AMEN.