Posted by: bandaidchild | April 23, 2011

“What Now?

I bet that’s what the rag tag bunch of faithful followers wondered. Don’t you think those who loved Jesus begged for something, anything on this Saturday? Perhaps God could’ve flown down a dove adorned with a detailed note describing why today needed to be silent. And what tomorrow meant, and how they would weep, oh how they would weep, but His death would not be all for naught.

You think some of them wondered if Jesus had said something important and they missed it? Think they scolded themselves for being distracted at the dinner table? Wishing they spoke in parables like Jesus seemed to constantly communicate to them in. Nothing made sense right now, and if someone could have just picked up all the puzzle pieces and started helping….

But that didn’t happen. No dove with a cute little transcription, nobody helped pick up the puzzle pieces (not just yet anyway), and yet they had both worry and praise on their lips.

Did the Disciples go fishing that day? Take walks? Play games? Did they attempt to find something to do to stop their racing mind from having its reel go off course? Did some of them get sick over the images of their friend dying? Did they make Mary a meal and wipe her tears? Did any of them see Judas’ body swaying from the tree? Did they gather to pray? Eat? Share their favorite memories of Jesus with one another, like the time someone tripped Jesus and they were all in on it and it was one of the funniest days they’d had when the religious tension grew? Or that time He stopped that storm, or how about that creepy pig story? Maybe some of them laughed thinking upon Him.

You think?

Were the overwhelming events that had transpired in the last day too much to bear that some of them did nothing? Absolutely nothing?

Sometimes I wish the Bible didn’t have so many ellipses within it. The day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is shrouded with mystery and here I am scratching my noggin at what they all did that day.

I suppose His Words here are like anything else in the pages; they reveal who we love and trust, even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

(even that doesn’t make sense!)

This is the day of ultimate dissonance. Two notes close together on a piano that make a grating, uneasy sound…And all everybody could do was wait for the resolve.

And there was a resolve. The melody was somber and celebratory in a very bittersweet way for the Disciples. But believe me: there was resolve.

Amen.

So what now?

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Posted by: bandaidchild | April 7, 2011

Peace (piece)

That’s the title of an incredible song written in 1958 by the late great Bill Evans. I’ve always loved that he named it that. What’s interesting is that he continues the same melody throughout which becomes the background melody after a while, and improvisation takes over. For a large portion of the song, the notes Evans’ chooses are aptly chosen, given the melody underneath. But towards the end, it starts to become very chaotic. His use of dissonance is not one I prefer, because it creates such a grinding rift in what was originally created. Near the end, you’re wondering where the peace went in the song, and those notes don’t end until seven or so seconds before it’s done. Some people find it hard to listen to this song because the notes he plays are actually distracting to the piece. But I feel it represents what seems to be going on in my life, my heart.

Today I went hiking all by myself (and Jesus, of course) for several hours. It was cloudy, and the sky threatened rain, but it was still beautiful. I always found it corny when people would state emphatically, “I went on a date with God and it was sooooooooooooooooooo awesome!!!!!”

I thought, “how can you go on a date with Him? That’s kind of creepy. Romanticizing for sure, and…I know the Bible talks about the Bride and Groom stuff, but I just can’t pictorially resonate with that image. And, why does it have to be a date? Why couldn’t they’ve said that they spent time with Jesus? It’s not like one of you paid for dinner and then watched Save the Last Dance followed by some snuggling.”

The truth is, I spent time with Jesus today. We didn’t go on a date, and we’re not going steady. But I tried to talk to Him since it’s been a while for a number of reasons. He kept me from falling every time the adventurer in me climbed up a rock face. That was sure nice of Him. He spoke to me through some songs blasting through my ears, and the hugeness of the scenery around me. I didn’t cry, I didn’t worship atop the mountain; I talked and listened, and we went on an adventure together. I enjoyed it. I’d bet He did, too.

This resonates with my heart right now.

Mindy Smith- Peace of Mind

I need peace of mind and a hopeful heart,

to lose this rage and move out of the dark.

I ain’t lookin’ for rainbows or shooting stars,

just some peace of mind and a hopeful heart.

I need peace of mind and lullaby,

cus there’s an angry voice in my head tonight

telling me to do things that cannot be right,

I need peace of mind and lullaby.

And a miracle for this broken soul,

a little miracle for this broken soul.

I need peace of mind and a gentle hand

as I try to change the way I am,

And hope God forgives me when I can’t,

I need peace of mind and a gentle hand.

Or a miracle for this broken soul,

Just a little miracle for this broken soul.

I need peace of mind and a hopeful heart. . .

I think peace is something that is being presented to me. I’m realizing I don’t have it when I am filled with so much rage I don’t know what to do with it. . . Except what I chose to do with it, which isn’t very good. I’m about to begin traversing through the messy road that is emotions. For me, emotions have always been a mystery. Either I have them and go coo-coo, or I fight against expressing them, or I get confused and angry about expressing them, or I feel selfish for expressing them, or I don’t have emotions, and have trouble connecting them to an event. I’ve always felt a little disconnected with my own emotions for various reasons, and I am realizing that learning to be comfortable with emotions and then expressing them appropriately will be very freeing for me.

And that I will have to visit this topic for a long time in my life.

The same predicament exists for me with the object of forgiveness. I can’t say I’m “ready”, but I forget that I have to re-visit the act when my heart gets cracked open like a Cadbury.

So, wish me well, eh? I’ll try and share as I learn more.

-Becca

Posted by: bandaidchild | February 12, 2011

Bloated With Thanks.

You know when all the tryptophan hits your system, the belly expands to suggest you’re in your third trimester, and your eyelids get droopy?

Ah, Thanksgiving bloating.

I’m not sure who has been praying for me, but I have felt such joy lately. The past several weeks, I have been filled with so much joy that I can only attest to the Lord.

I feel bloated with thanks.

And it feels awesome. This joy has manifested into praying for people more, taking more risks ( my One Word for the year: tenacity), and looking for ways to serve others.

my joy has conveyed trust in Jesus.

The only difference between Thanksgiving bloating and my preverbial bloating is that it’s not uncomfortable, and I don’t want to take a nap to relieve the pressure, or get popped like Violet who turns into a Blueberry in Willa Wonka.

When I first went to South Africa, anytime I had a moment of downtime, on the bus, or during our “scheduled” quiet time, I started compiling a “thankfulness” list. Once I returned home, I’d jot something down when I thought of it; after hanging out with a friend, at bedtime, at school. It became the longest consecutive list I’ve ever written. If you go into my room in Glen Allen, Virginia, pass my bed and duck down you’ll see my old Bible. It was the first Bible I actually read out of, took places, wrote notes in the margins at youth group–grew to know who Jesus was. In between His Words, you’ll find papers of blue ink with my scribbles of things I’m thankful for. They’re all written on hospital paper, some big hospital that gave away free notepads that my Mom scored I suppose. On the list there were blue pens, of course… A warm bed, making snow angels with my best friend, pickles, crayons, doctors who do brain surgery, the kindness of strangers, my youth group, Pastor Dave, Trevor, Molly, Lilia, Anna, Dana, Katie, Kaelee, The Nauthinator.

When I went to college, I got a big kid Bible with smart commentary in it, and then again when I went to South Africa for a year I was gifted with a Bible that I LOVE and still use, and will probably never retire because it holds so much sweetness.

But, my thankfulness piles remain in between the thin pages of my adolescent Bible. And, I didn’t stop being thankful, but, I haven’t thought much about it until the last two weeks. So I’ve decided to start writing again. I don’t have any more of that sweet hospital stationary, but I can manage to find some plain old paper I’ll bet.

Part of me hopes that my grandkids find these pages and it only reinforces the joy of the Lord that sprouted out of me when I lived my life.

I am so looking forward to sharing life with my folks. I’m excited to volunteer at the clinic with my Mom, and perhaps be on the same volunteer rescue squad as my Dad if he decides to go back to school and get re-licensed as an EMT. To cook for my parents, to talk about our days together, to laugh at the quirkiness of the squirrels outside, to coo at my kitten when she snuggles or bats around a packing peanut. To have real, deep conversations, to struggle through the messiness that is…. me, and all that I’m bringing to the house, and to feel raw love, and to exchange it.

I am so thankful I have parents who love me, support me, cheer me on but never pushed me to do anything I didn’t want to (except maybe dressing me in green jumpers for band concerts). I am equally thankful for the extra set of parents I was gifted when I came to college, and whose marriage continues to inspire me, impress me, humble me, and realize that there are men out there who are still looking to serve Jesus with their hearts, are hard workers, and will love a woman….all at the same time!

This trifecta is not commonplace, and I am so so so so lucky to see it lived out by wise folks right here, as well as my own parents. Thank you.

I love sighing in the breath-of-fresh-air-sort of way.

Bradley Hathaway wrote this about joy:

“On Being Joyful And Content”

I'm ecstatic!

and my thoughts
are
uncontrollably
sporadic!

Yet centered around one center

Joy.

In plush ripe tones,
joy is rushing through my bones!

If joy were a color,
it would be purple pastel pretty

Like old women and young children
both wear on easter

Smiling while having deviled eggs
and drinking kool-aid

Chasing blown bubbles
in the backyard

The young ones' distracting hats
fly off...

And the old ones laugh
a contagious laughter
that is to be shared
by everyone there

The sun
shines down upon them
as all of their physical imperfections
gleam
beautifully

and inside,
inside
I feel like this;
and I look outside my window
and imagine the
future purple pastel pretty
moments of joy
that I will one day have with my wife.
My Children.
My friends.
My family.

I really look forward to those moments.
But I am thankful for the one
that I am having right now.
this morning.

Alone.
On my couch.

Overwhelmed by Joy.

 


					
Posted by: bandaidchild | January 18, 2011

He Makes Beautiful Things.

Greetings and salutations.

 

The Lord has been teaching me things that I wanted to share with you guys. I’ve noticed when I start writing I may have a topic in mind but once I’m finished I notice that I’ve veered off my original path. I think in this way that Jesus uses my wandering mind and fingers and helps me to solidify more of what I’ve just learned, or convicts me to learn something new. I love how He does that; what a gift.

 

Over the last month or so I’ve really been trying to get tuned into what it means to go forward despite fear. Firefighters do it all the time. While they have a strategy of how to put out the fire, and they have adrenaline flowing through their veins, there’s an element of fear in each working fire. Many firefighters have families to think about, and structure fires are especially dangerous due to the compromised infrastructure.

But they don’t look up at a burning building with their gear on, leaning on the rig as people scream, and bite their nails. They take a deep breath, work as a team, and go inside a building that may collapse, kill their crew, patrons inside, or start other buildings on fire if they dawdle.

These folks are normal. They drink beer, play Scrabble, mow their lawn, get angry in traffic, go to religious services, play with toy race cars with their kiddos. Their lives, other than when the pager goes off, are relatively normal. None of them were born with a special gene making them laugh in the face of danger. But, they have a job, and they do it because they love it, despite the fear, despite the danger, despite the possible consequences of their sacrifice.

Fear doesn’t have to be as monumental as running into a burning building when everyone else is running out. It can be fear of taking a new way to work, or meeting someone for the first time, or swimming in public or being a freshmen in High School, or an awkward preteen. For me, I fear change where I’m unable to control most everything.

Dang. I can’t believe I just admitted that. While getting mah hur cut today I confessed to my beautiful friend Annie, “it’s amazing how you can love Jesus but not trust Him at all. I wonder if that means I really love Him…”

All of my plans got changed six months prior to graduating college, and I had an exceptionally hard time dealing with the deviation. If you’ve been with me on this blogging journey long you know this “detour” sent me to stay at a psych ward for a week to cool myself down. A nice nurse told me that my problem is that I suck at adjusting to change, and I need to stop the car, get out, and smell the flowers.

Change scares me because I feel nekked. I feel so uncomfortably vulnerable that I go out of my way to avoid change. My therapist says I’m pretty good at avoiding change; probably one of the best clients she’s ever had. You could say I’m a prodigy when it comes to avoiding change.

A friend told me in an email a few weeks ago that it’s okay to be scared. I’ve heard this before, sure. But this time it stuck, and I really took a lot of peace from this notion. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be scared.

I can’t really think of anybody in the Bible who didn’t do a single thing without an element of fear. Many of them, after the Lord gave them a task cried out, “But Lord, I’m scared!” followed by a number of excuses. But you know what? They pressed on despite their fear. When the Disciples were in the boat trying to catch some fish and Jesus came walking on the water they were scared. I bet at least one of them peed his pants. They didn’t add that to the Bible because maybe God didn’t want to embarrass one of the faithful. But Jesus showed Himself to be sovereign, and gentle, and Holy, and wonderful and beautiful and the Savior. Even the one who wet his pants could not deny that Christ could be trusted. And so with his pants soiled, he made the decision to trust Jesus.

I am certain that fear acts as a paralytic to us. We cower, cover our eyes, pretend something doesn’t exist, or make excuses.  And then in the dark we curse ourselves for being like that dumb lion in the Wizard of Oz, or we weep over opportunities we passed up.

While that certainty exists, I need to trust in the certainty that I CAN trust Jesus, and life is going to be filled with moments where I will fear the unknown, and I need to step forward.

You know that sweet part in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom where he goes through all those crazy booby traps to get to the water of eternal life? And when he gets to a ravine with no visible way to cross he freaks out?

Well, if you kept watching, (which I’m sure you did because George Lucas is a genius) you would notice he mentally prepared to take the step, and he lifted his leg and stepped, completely scared.

I have to make decisions that will dramatically change the trajectory of my life. And part of me wants to crawl back into my turtle shell where everything is warm and homey and comfortable and familiar. But, for the first time maybe ever, I think it’s time to become vulnerable enough to LET the Lord lead me. It’s time. It’s time to become tenacious to sticky note reminds of His Truths all over and take steps, even if they’re baby steps, in the direction I think I need to go.

And He will do beautiful things.

Take a look at this song. Not only is the use of orchestration absolutely brilliant, Michael Gungor is a great, great writer.

 

All this pain,
I wonder if I’ll even find my way?
I wonder if my life could really change at all.
All this earth,
Could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come up from this ground at all?

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

 

He is making beautiful things, and He will continue to make beautiful things out of us. It’s time I let Him have all of me, and not just the parts I feel comfy giving Him.

 

-Becca

Posted by: bandaidchild | December 26, 2010

Love is.

Much like a treasure hunt, I’ve found some invaluable things in Virginia, and I think they’re worth mentioning.

Love is….

Decorating the Christmas tree with your Mom.

And when you break an ornament the first words out of her mouth are, “it’s OK. Now don’t step on it; I don’t want you to get hurt.”

Seeing the ornament your grandfather got for you- a duck- when you were born, and even though it says “Becky” on it, you still love it.

A big paper Jesus you colored red, blue, orange, and squiggles of pink when you were a little kid that you made in Sunday school that your Mom proudly considers an essential item on the tree, and places it front and center.

Your cat, who has disowned you because you’ve been gone for two years slowly napping closer and closer to you.

Even though you have a faux-hawk that they don’t quite understand, they still introduce you to every one of their friends they’ve made in Virginia with pride.

Your Dad turning the heater up to 72-a record in this household- just because you are cold.

Paying for your plane ticket home and then not being mad that you didn’t get them anything for Christmas. And the fact that you actually had your dad pay for your mom’s gift and your mom pay for your dad’s in your attempt to get them something, they still loved the CD and the watch.

Your parents keep thanking God that you’re home and that they get to spend this time with you.

Your Dad going to the store somewhat constantly because of your severe addiction to milk.

Being taken to all the music stores in town not for your parent’s benefit, but solely for yours. And when you play a 3,000 dollar Taylor your Mom laughs at the price and doesn’t compliment you on how you are playing because she knows it embarrasses you.

Your Mom and Dad making a snowman with you in the backyard, each adding their own component to the process: Mom helped with accessories, such as the hat, arms, gloves, eyes and such; Dad helped maintain solid foundation so snowy wouldn’t topple over.

You can’t recall the last time you played in the snow with your parents, and at twenty five, you figure that this is a spectacular memory that you’ll hold onto forever.

And with this Christmas wish is missed the point I could convey.

If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You’ve touched my life,

‘cus here is where You’re finding me in the exact same place as the New Years’ Eve.

And from a lack of my persistency, we’re less than half as close as I want to be.

And the first time that You opened Your eyes, did You realize that You would be my Savior?

And the first breath that left Your lips, did You know that it would change this world forever?

So this Christmas I’ll compare things I’ve felt in prior years,

to what this midnight made so clear,

that You have come to meet me here.

To look back, and think that, this baby would one day save me…

And the hope that, that You bring, that You were born so I might really live,

To look back, and think that this baby might one day save me.

And the first time that You opened Your eyes, did You realize that You would be my Savior?

And the first breath that left Your lips, did You know that it would change this world forever?

And I, I celebrate the day…

That You were born to die,

So I could one day pray for You to save my life,

Pray for You to save my life,

Pray for You to save my life.

–Relient K

I have always loved that song. I am in awe of how Matt Thiessen is able to articulate something so interesting. Did Jesus know He was Jesus? What sort of intellect did He possess? Could He have walked, if He wanted to, right out of the womb? Who knows. But one thing is for sure: He lived His life for love. Love of His Father. Love of the people He came to die for. Talk about living life to the fullest…. and having a purposeful life.

I’ve been trying to encapsulate how I’ve been feeling the last month or so, and I think I found the perfect word: selfish.

At times I have hung Jesus up like a seasonal garment. Sometimes I haven’t even hung things up, I just crumple them on the floor and notice eventually they’ve collected dust from sitting so long without any attention.

I’m not sure why I suddenly thought Jesus wasn’t as important, but I did. And I started down a maze without a map and without thinking I needed help. Part of me feels stuck in the maze still, and it’s cold, and I’m ready to ask for help out. But then I think, “what if Jesus wants me to wander in this maze for like, a long, long time?” and I wonder all of these deep thoughts, and don’t get around to actually asking Him personally.

It makes me nauseated to think about how content I’ve deceived myself to be without Jesus guiding my actions and decisions. Ironically, both the love I have felt from my parents and my own conviction of how much I have disregarded His is what keeps me up this night.

I have a lot of humility to obtain. Pray for me.

Love is…

Jesus, who was born into nothing short of filth, grew up working with His hands and doing hard labor,  maintaining continuous communion with His Father, and ultimately becoming the sacrifice for all of mankind.

Knowing that while I abandon God selfishly, He waits for me–and forgives me, as far as the eye can see, as far as the east is to the west.

I think I’ll want to ask Jesus if He knew He would be the Savior the moment He came into the world. Though perhaps I will simply weep at His feet out of sheer joy. Either one would be fine with me. I’m sure there will be time for questions.

-Becca

Posted by: bandaidchild | November 21, 2010

On Grief.

I searched for a good quote to sum up what I’ve been feeling lately, but I could not. Dickinson is just a little too….. over the edge. Narudo doesn’t write about death (just love. Pshh.), even Lewis’ statements are too brash. So I’m just using my own words for this one.

 

For the last week or two, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a dull state of grief. Grief over so many things changing….people getting engaged or married, divorces, death. Financial woes, job eliminations.

If spider monkeys could weep as much as they play, it would seem I’d be a spider monkey for all the crying I’ve done at various points of any given day. Kinda makes me feel like I’m in a perpetual PMS state. . . Not exactly fun.

Everything is changing. Sometimes I think as the leaves jump to the ground and this side of the earth gets grey and the days shorten, it is reflective of abandonment. God must be hibernating amongst the bears.

But He’s not. I know this. And I don’t just know it because the Bible tells me so…but because I have been witness to his faithfulness over and over again.

“It’d be so nice to look out the window and see the leaves on the trees begin to show. The birds would congregate and sing; a song of birth, a song of newer things. The wind would calm and the sun shine. I’d go outside and I’d squint my eyes. But for now I will simply withdraw; sit here and wish for the world to thaw.  . . .And you gave us the most beautiful of days, ‘cus when it’s always winter and never Christmas, sometimes it feels like You’re not with us, but deep inside our hearts we know that You are here, and we will not lose hope.” (Relient K)

A professor at my old college wrote something last week that struck me. He talked about the power of sadness; of how it bonds people together in a way that’s difficult to describe but simply happens through shared experience. Shared grief. And how the Bible does not explain the way Jesus’ smile looked (I bet he was a crooked smiler. Personally.), or how He laughed….it conveys Jesus much more as the “man of sorrows” than any other trait. I found this to be deeply personal, and these thoughts have been swimming in my psyche like lone fish for days now.

Tonight I found out a dear family friend passed away today from a viciously rapid cancer. This afternoon I was eating chicken fried rice and having a discussion about what it means to fear God. I said,“Am I supposed to be afraid God could kill me right now if He wanted? Is it sheer pride that I have the audacity to be apathetic about whether God smites me down in this instant or takes me when I’m fifty?”

I loved her a lot. Sue was kind, gentle, compassionate, joyful, beautiful, vibrant, thoughtful, humorous, faithful. She loved and trusted Jesus implicitly, even when it was hard. She was courageous in her faith. She taught all of her kids in the way of the Lord, and I loved her. She was interested in my life and where God was taking me. Her daughters brought me more life learning and fun than I could’ve asked for.

Sue’s oldest daughter, Katie, was my mentor in High School. She taught me the importance of authenticity. She never took herself too seriously, and I always wished I could be half as cool as her. I am just now learning to laugh at myself. Katie taught me to serve in the inner city and jump in where I could; that it wasn’t a specific skill set that made you eligible to serve others, only a willingness to learn. During some of the most formative years of my life, Sue shared her daughter with me, and for that, I am deeply grateful. Deeply.

Sue’s other daughter Tori and I had lots of fun together. We played guitar together, we laughed until we fell on the floor. I had a completely different relationship with both of these beautiful women, but I always laughed substantially harder with Tori. She too manages not to take herself too seriously. I’d imagine they inherited that from their Mom.

Both of Sue’s daughters always had a hunger to learn, to get better, to grow closer. They were constantly growing, and I find this a testament to how Sue lived her life for Jesus and how she taught her family.

Sometimes I thought Sue would see me at Church and ask how I was doing because she knew Katie had taken me under her wing. Though honestly, I think she just cared about me. Just because I was a human being, and I was important to her daughters, and so I became important to her. What a gift.

 

Well, she passed away today. And I’m angry and sad about it. I’m typing through hot tears. As I squint, light is reflecting off my eyes like when you drive downtown at night after it has rained.

In my head I am stomping my feet like a four year old. “but it’s NOT FAIR.”

Like Veruca Salt, I’m even a little snotty in my head. She was too gifted a person to die today. Too young. She had children and grandchildren and an incredible husband. That’s not fair. IT’S NOT FAIR, IT’S NOT FAIR, IT’S NOT FAIR.

I figure if I stomp, snot, yell enough it’ll make a difference.

What difference? I dunno. Maybe if I do it enough I’ll be like Dorothy with those slippers and everything will go back to normal. I hate death.

Sue was ready to leave I think. She so loved Jesus, and was ready to see Him. I wonder what she’s doing right now.

Maybe taking a new spin in that new body of hers that no longer winces from walking? She is seeing what we only sing about from powerpoint slides and read about in the Bible.

To my friend, thank you for being an absolute joy to those that knew you. Thank you for sharing your daughters with me. I am a better woman for having known you and your family. I miss you already. . .

 

Tears have a wisdom all their own. They come when a person has relaxed enough to let go and to work through his sorrow. They are the natural bleeding of an emotional wound, carrying the poison out of the system. Here lies the road to recovery.

— F. Alexander Magoun

 

-Becca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Posted by: bandaidchild | November 2, 2010

Newness.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. I suppose I go in seasons of feeling completely uninspired, and so I don’t like to force pseudo-inspiration on my brain and write a lame post, especially because I don’t have too many readers anymore.

The last several days, though, I’ve been itching to write. It seems my season has shifted, and with the bitter cold that is threatening to freeze us all, here I am, curled up with blankets listening to warm Christmas music, so ready to write.

I’ve often stated that I live my life primarily in my own head. I grew up in a house that, upon recollection, seemed pretty quiet. No oral processors in the Schneider family, except for my Father on occasion. This silence that precedes me sure makes me thankful that Jesus knows what I am thinking all the time. Sometimes I forget to take stock of things that are happening around me, things that I am learning, and things that Jesus is doing in my life, and I find that writing it out or verbalizing it in some fashion is helpful. The following will be assisting in taking stock of newness.

Since I last wrote, I was a 911 dispatcher. It was a fascinating job, but not one that highlighted nor complimented my skill set. I’m learning in therapy that “skill set” and “intelligence” are two different things. My tendency is to simply write my own self off; there is a sad comfort in labeling myself dumb and resigning to defeat. “I couldn’t hack it in the job…that’s just how the cookie crumbles,” I’ll say. But I am learning to be alright with understanding my weaknesses, or simply personality clashes. I can play three instruments with proficiency, which some people cannot do. Musical ability is not within their skill set. Multi-tasking and mechanized organization is not within my skill set.

Got it.

Now I have a job working with a handicapped guy. I’m his weekend care-taker, but it’s not a job I’d describe as “drab” in the least. It’s keeping me on my toes, and I am learning so much about physics, and being a servant.

This man is unable to do most things for himself. He relies on the people around him to be his hands and feet, and I cannot help but ask the Lord to show me through this job about trust.

When I pick him up, he has got to have 100% trust in my ability to know what I’m doing in order to get him from one place to another. He went from being a vibrant 21 year old, to a 22 year old guy who was unable to do anything for himself. I know I can learn a lot about what real trust is from him. At 32 years of age now, Hagen implicitly trusts, and I often wonder how much of it he has to fight on a daily basis because he remembers who he used to be, what he used to be able to accomplish, and the reality of what is now.

He trusts because he cannot live without others.

I can live without others. I can move my arm if I want. I can type out silly stories. I can take a shower, drive a car, eat food that’s horrible for me, smoke pot if I wanted (don’t worry…I’ve always passed on the grass). The necessity of his choices were thrust upon him, and I’d imagine some days for him are terrible. I’d bet it gnaws at him that he can’t wipe his own mouth.

But I want to live with faith and trust in God. Physically, I can live without Him. But why do I? My freedom is something I’ve been afforded, but it can be taken away- my buddy’s did. I want to learn implicit trust not because I “feel bad” for Hagen, but because he has learned something I haven’t, and I know my life will be richer because of it. I want to come to a place of humility where I realize, out of my arrogance, that I cannot live without trusting Jesus for my life. Period.

In Christ alone my hope is found…He is my light, my strength, my song. This cornerstone, this solid sound, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love! What depths of peace! When fears are stilled, and when strivings cease. . . My comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand.

There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain. Then bursting fourth in Glorious day, up from the Grave He rose again!! And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me….For I am His, and He is mine; bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand. ‘Till He returns, or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Here in the power of Christ, I will stand.

There is so much trust spewing out of this song. So much confidence in Christ. I know I will spend the rest of my life asking God to give me more trust in Him, in whichever way He sees fit, but I tell you this: Trusting Him is something that He has been pressing on my heart, and I will heed to it.

In whatever way He chooses to show me, I will hold on tight to His promises.

When you go through a tunnel on a train and everything goes dark, you don’t jump off; you sit back and you trust the conductor.

-Becca

Posted by: bandaidchild | September 16, 2010

Grace Notes.

It’s five thirty in the morning.

I’ve spent a good chunk of time entering in medical terminology and abbreviations (like S.O.B. That means “Short Of Breath…) in my little online flashcard site for my EMT class.

But the other large chunk I may or may not have spent looking up Glee videos and drum solos.

(I surely can’t be expected to sit nonstop without a little fun, can I?)

I’ve heard the term “grace note” prior to watching all of these incredible videos, but never really knew what it meant.

Here’s a short lesson. The term Grace Note is most often used in regards to Bagpipes because of how the instrument itself is played, as opposed to other instruments, which do not sustain notes quite like the bagpipe. (for example: Amazing Grace has tons of “grace notes” in it because one part of the song plays one note in the background the entire time)

It’s also referred to quite a bit on the drum set when a percussionist plays something called a “flam”- it’s basically hitting the snare drum with both sticks just slightly off tempo from one another. You hear it all the time, in most songs you’ve ever heard; you probably just didn’t know what it was called. Well, the stick that hits that snare a mili-second before the other stick, that is called the Grace note.

Ok.

I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Maybe I’m doing that thing where all of this makes so much sense in my head because I typically have a full orchestral band in my head playing show tunes and the like constantly, and it really doesn’t make any sense to anybody else.

Here’s what Wikipedia said…

All grace notes and grace note types are forestrokes, that is they occur before the notes they embellish.

The more reliable dictionary.com told me that it was an “unessential note that adds to embellish additional notes”

on sheet music, that grace note gets designated a teeency little note before the big one. The one that you are supposed to hear more dominantly. Though some composers would argue this note is intentionally written small so that the player can decide how much emphasis they would like to place on it.

and while the grace note might be “unessential”, it adds beauty and purpose to the point of the piece. It adds intentionality to the aforementioned grace note.

So, I’m gonna say Dictionary.com is inaccurate in describing the grace note as unessential. Sure, without it the song wouldn’t sound that different, and nothing about the piece itself would be compromised. Not the melody, not the rythm, nothing. Though the  subsequent note wouldn’t have as much power to it. Think of it as an accent. Seasoning.

I wonder if Dictionary.com thinks that seasoning is an “unessential” component to a good steak.

I laugh in thy face, dictionary.com!

And this made me think. Made me think of Jesus, naturally. (and a Led Zepplin song with the most incredible drum beat(flood in the rain!) ever that I hope someday I can play with fluidity)

The world doesn’t give much attention to Grace. Americans especially are quite wary of Random Acts of Kindness; thinking they are being roped into something–that there are strings attached, or someone is playing a cruel joke on them which will come back to haunt them on YouTube. Like those people that glue quarters on the sidewalk. So much for thinking it was your lucky day, right?

Our society does not lend itself to extending Grace. We are, as a nation, taught less about sharing, and more about Number One, entrepreneurial goals, revenge, and shoving old people into nursing homes. Divorce is always an option now.

Whatever happened to Take Backs, Do Overs? Whatever happened to grace?

I am being challenged about what to do about this concept of grace, because of how I read Jesus displayed it. It’s not an unfamiliar thing to me. I’ve been around Church long enough to understand what it is. It’s just that it doesn’t make a lot of sense. And there is something about revenge that just feels so. . . . . . . falsely victorious. Like a right of passage. An inheritance. Retribution. But those things are typically a self-soothing lie.

So then at three in the morning I started listening to all these drum beats and learning about grace notes, and how they come before the big one, and it made sense that to extend grace to someone is to show them Jesus.

playing anything without accent notes is just plain boring. Sure you can get by, but you won’t ever stop on the sidewalk to listen a guitar player (except for maybe Pheobe singing, “Smelly Cat”) who isn’t accenting any notes.

What will stop you, irregardless of any musical experience or expertise, is someone who truly uses their instrument to utilize all those little nuances that make a song. Now that, my friends, will make you stop (like a Triple Rainbow) in your tracks and just say…

Wow. That’s beautiful.


and it makes sense that a grace note is deemed unnecessary, though I would argue that it is not for necessity that the note is played. It is to alert you that something better is coming.

So play on. Your grace note, your accent is not useless. It is heard both by those that are listening for it, and those that don’t hear it until it hits them in the face because it is so incredibly breath-taking. Besides, we don’t toot our own horn simply to toot. We give Grace because it unveils another layer of Jesus. We toot to alert that the King is coming.

(see below for Geeky information.)

-Becca

If you’re interested in what I was talking about a flam note, I’ll just throw a few links up here so you can perhaps get a feel for what I’ve been rambling about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxxkuTz41qI (listen closely…starting at 2:08 just so you won’t miss it- it’s at 2:10)

He’s using a lot of grace notes!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jM2YwhaNCc&feature=fvsr

(soooo good!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14GYov0EdyQ (there’s nothing for the first 24 seconds)

this is the best example of constant flams–and therefore lots ‘o grace notes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tfR5KvsFVU&ob=av2e (0:15, 0:20, 0:44-0:48, 0:51. . . maybe you get the point?)

Posted by: bandaidchild | September 7, 2010

“But This I Know With All My Heart. . . “

There are lots of songs that have this type of declarative statement in it. Currently I can only think of two. But I’m giving myself the benefit of the doubt because I just got off work and my brain is a bit fuzzy like a peach.

I’ve decided to put this somewhere prominent in my house, so that I can look at it and not just hope to believe it. A few weeks ago I did my gutting. My bonfire. And I didn’t write about it, but that’s partly because I’m still processing through all of it. During this gutting session, I noticed, for perhaps the first time, how important it is to have an expectant, and active-tense heart when it comes to hard stuff like forgiving, and having faith.

For example.

Forgiveness, as most people know, isn’t saying, “hey buddy- no worries. I’ve practically forgotten the time you broke all of the bones in my foot when you dropped that log on it; oh husband… You cheating on me is but a mere memory, and one that I come to with such vagueness that the details escape me. . .” No no. It is not “forgive and forget”. it is the determination to use active–as opposed to passive–words in order to convey what you are WILLING and CHOOSING to do, despite what you want to do.

“I choose to forgive ___________ for _________. I choose not to hold this against them.”

That’s active alright. And boy is it hard!

So here’s what I’m gonna put somewhere in my house. It’s the lyrics to a song called How Deep The Father’s Love for Us.

“But this I know with all my heart:

His wounds have paid my ransom.”

It’s not a matter of wanting to believe this, because I use that as an excuse, to imply that “someday” I’ll understand. It leaves little room for faith, and I am discovering that I need to mentally conclude that knowing and feeling are different. Either one can get in the way, but for me feeling certainly seems to get in the way. Or I mix them together and call it “rationality”.

If I just keep telling myself, “someday I will understand that it is not in my best interest, nor to the Glory of God that I sustain the idea that I am responsible for atoning for what I perceive as wrong-doing. Someday I will really get what God did on the cross. . . ” then it leaves room to take NO ACTION.

and I don’t want to be that kind of a person.

So I’m plastering those words in my house, as a mantra even, so that I get used to believing this. His wounds paid my ransom. My wounds do not. He weeps at my relinquishment of control, and the pain I put myself through, and the cyclical nature of sin that it inevitably entangles me in.

so, here’s to active word usage.

-Becca

Posted by: bandaidchild | September 4, 2010

Someday.

Someday I really want a husband like this.

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