Wednesday, February 28, 2018

First Spiritual Thursday in March

Today Karen Eastlund is hosting via Irene Latham's blog.  Our topic today is Music.  And music is a favorite.  I am more into the traditional hymns than the newer Christian music.  It isn't that I don't like modern music, I just don't like it in church.  Great in the car or a concert though - then it is Christian entertainment, not worship or worship prep in my mind.  I'm old school... I'm not much for a "worship team" or "praise team" - sorry!  I don't hate you if you do!
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But first - in case this comes out disjointed or stupid sounding (yipes! I said the s word!) - I guess I'm going to have to start out by saying I've been sick for over a week, with the flu, and am still weary.  I went to the doctor last week on Monday because of a strange heaviness in my chest that was making it hard to breathe. The next day I had chills, fever, joint pain, sensitive skin, disorientation, dizziness, fatigue, chest congestion and coughing.  Then, a few days into it, came the heart palpitations and strange very strong, disturbing, randomly occurring heartbeats.  I finally went to the doctor again this week on Tuesday, and they ordered blood work and an EKG (and echocardiogram as a check on the status of my heart murmur).

Strangely, just before my appointment, I received a text from my brother asking me how I was doing.  I told him about my strange symptoms, and he said that his wife had had the same thing happen when she had the flu this winter.  She also has a heart murmur and occasional palpitations the same as I do, and they had become the same disturbing strong irregularities that I was having, way worse than "normal".  It now appeared that these were actually a symptom of the flu!  At least for those with heart irregularities.

My tests all came out good.  My murmur hasn't changed in the past two years - oh, but it was funny that during the echo, I had a random strong heartbeat causing the tech doing the test to exclaim, "Wow! I felt that!" as he did a little jump back!  He didn't look concerned though, just surprised!
There's something reassuring about that.  Now that that is "off my chest" so to speak...and you realize that I've been quite under the weather and sooo tired....so if I don't make sense, it is just because I am still tired (though I just got dressed for the second day in a row!).

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I was disappointed that I missed church two Sundays because of the flu.  I was supposed to sing at church last Sunday.  I love singing at church, I love the whole everything about it.  Mainly I love it because it surprises me every time I do it.  I was not a soloist ever. I enjoyed singing always, but soloing would just set me to trembling thinking about it. The thought of a duet was pushing it even.  But one day when I was about 60 years old my brother, a pastor, asked me to sing a duet with him.  It never seemed right to refuse anything a pastor asked you to do as a part of the ministry, so I did it with trepidation.  During the singing of the duet he stopped singing, and I was left soloing. I made it through, he joined me later in the hymn.  Not long after that he asked me to do a solo-solo.  I was sick to my stomach, but I did it because he asked me to.

It seemed the oddest thing; I found that I got a lot closer to God when I sang.  The singing surprised me each time I did it - that I could actually do it.  And it grew me.  It grew my relationship to God because I had to rely solely on him to do this.  I had to always focus on the "why" I was doing it.  I had to ask Him to remove me from the equation, and make it fully about Him.  What an awesome feeling!  I have to say that now it is my favorite ministry.  Sometimes it makes me cry - even when I am singing...when I hear the words I'm singing, and it is like it is not me, but God singing them for me or through me... all I can say is I want to forever be able to sing - in the good times and the bad... like Paul and Silas.

Music is and was the beginning of a deeper understanding of and relationship with God.

I know you are all going to just write the best stuff about this, and I am going to think "eesh!"  But it is all I can say.  I'm looking forward to reading what everyone else offers up!
The song I put here disappeared, so now I am posting another - a modern song that I love sung in a tribute to Billy Graham:



*Gearing up for March Madness Poetry.  I've made the cut for the competition (despite my stupor lately)... so register yourself and/or your class to vote for your favorite poems.  There will be an insane number of poems and variety of styles and usage of words at Ed DeCaria's in March!

Okay, I'm putting this up here again - a link to my acapela "It is Well with My Soul" with multiple parts that I sing all parts of - no music.  I had it up before, took it down, and now put a link here.  It may disappear again, as I don't feel too comfortable doing this. I'm not that good, just sincere and prayerful!
https://youtu.be/rtkfaDa71kc?t=18s

17 comments:

  1. Dear Donna - continued healing to you, my friend! So sorry you've been sick. But oh how this touches me: "I found that I got a lot closer to God when I sang." To remove oneself from the equation.. such humility. Allowing a higher power to flow through and speak... so so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. And best of luck with the March Madness! I know you will write some amazing poems. xo

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    1. Thanks, Irene! I am healing, it is just so incredibly slow and tiring! I'm hoping Laura Shovan's month of Ekphrastics has helped warm me up to the March Madness.

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  2. This is beautiful, Donna! I love how you've discovered a new ministry through obedience and, like Irene said, humility. I love these lines: "It seemed the oddest thing; I found that I got a lot closer to God when I sang. The singing surprised me each time I did it - that I could actually do it. And it grew me." (I feel similar about Bible journaling, i.e. making art in my Bible... surprised at what comes out and sensing I've tapped into a mode of expression that helps me feel closer to God.)

    I hope you are soon 101% - and win lots of rounds of March Madness Poetry!

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    1. YES! That's it "surprised at what comes out and sensing I've tapped into" something bigger than I could ever be! Thanks to you and Margaret for introducing me to Audrey Assad's music.

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  3. Thanks for sharing, Donna. Your bout with the flu and its affects resonate with my own experience. I am thankful to hear you are healing. But most of all your words about music resonate deeply with me --" Sometimes it makes me cry - even when I am singing...when I hear the words I'm singing, and it is like it is not me, but God singing them for me or through me... all I can say is I want to forever be able to sing - in the good times and the bad... like Paul and Silas." BTW... loved our poetry experience in February.

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    1. The Ekphrastic poetry was a lot of fun. During the worst of the flu, I just propped myself up in bed and stared until something came! LOL!
      The music thing is hard to explain to some people. When I get complimented I am at a loss as to what to say. I want to say, it wasn't me, it was God. I've finally just gotten comfortable in just saying thank you. All they wanted to say was "good job", not get a life story!

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  4. I'd love to hear you sing one day, Donna. Your experience with singing reminded me of a quote I read read his week from St. Augustine. "Grant what Thou commandest, and command what Thou dost desire.” It's a lovely picture of obedience to God and dependence on Him. May your body heal completely very soon!

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    1. Ok. I left a link in the comments on your site...I'm not that good...just sincere and prayerful about it. My link is to something I created just sitting at the kitchen table with Garage Band. Acapela, all parts are my voice. Video by me. I was playing around.

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  5. I'm so sorry you've been sick! Thanks for sharing about your experience with music. In the same way that teaching something makes you know it better yourself, I think speaking or singing in public helps you know your message at a deeper level.

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    1. A bit of a relapse today, yesterday was better, but in general I am headed in the right direction! Hoping to be able to go to church Sunday, whoo-hoo!
      You are right, the teaching and speaking/singing does help you get to depths you couldn't have otherwise.

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  6. Take care of yourself. I've been reading all y'alls post and it makes me feel happy how your words glow.
    My Granny always told us grandchildren "Make a joyful noice unto the Lord. Except you Patty Jean.... please don't sing." Y'all might think that's mean but you have not heard me sing. My own granbaby when she was 18 months old ... put her little hand over my mouth and said, "Don't sing Granny. Dont sing.

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    1. I can't even imagine telling one of my grandchildren not to sing. But so funny to have your own grandchild ask you not to sing! Maybe it isn't as startling (or hurtful?) to you any more? I think God would still want you to sing to him - no one's voice is perfect down here!

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  7. Donna, hope your path to recovery continues. Just continue to give yourself lots of TLC and don't rush the process. I love how singing grew you and your relationship to God.Congrats on being selected for the poetry competition. Looking forward to the March Madness Poetry.

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  8. I appreciate getting to know you a little more with this important post, Donna. Perhaps the strange heart beats are a form of body music (not to make like of the arrhythmia.) I am glad you have quick & good medical care & that you & your loved ones are on top of things. More healing & peace to you.

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    1. Oh, if only they were body music. Maybe I'll comfort myself with that thought! They are fewer and less strong now, so I'm good with that. Thanks!

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  9. Donna, this post is a such and uplifting example of a humble person reaching out to others to share God's love. Your video was so lovely with the sea rushing in and the lilt of your voice. I am so enamored of those who can sing. It is such a gift from the Lord and you are making full use of your gift. May the spirit of healing be upon you so that you can reach full recovery soon. Best of luck with your challenge.

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