All Things Work Together

“For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

Really? Do all things work together for good? I choose to believe that they do, but admit that it’s difficult to cling to this when tragedy strikes, or when things don’t go my way.

In my last blog, I expressed the frustrations I’ve had with vocal problems. As a singer, I’m choosing to believe that things will work together for my good. And I must admit that this has led me on an interesting adventure!

At the beginning of summer, I decided that I was going to push myself out of my comfort zone and do some things that I normally don’t do. This was to be an attempt to live life to the fullest and to live fully in the moment. I had no idea of where this would lead me.

It started with a conversation with a friend. She knows an opera singer who prepares for performances by swimming. He said that it was the absolute, best way for a singer to get in shape.  Well, being desperate, I decided to try it. Our neighborhood has a fabulous resort-style, salt water pool. I hate to admit it, but I had never swam in the pool. Why? I hate even the thought of wearing a bathing suit in public; however, I had already made the decision to push myself out of my comfort zone. So I knew that there was no stopping me now.

I went on a desperate search through the inner sanctum of my cluttered closet and found this little, dusty, spandex thing called a "swim suit." I pulled it out, dusted it off and stretched it over winter's extra 'poundage.'

Here's an excerpt from my journal: "July 13th: Swam 6 laps this morning. I’m doing new things to be fully alive. What is not normal is what I am doing . . . pushing myself out of my comfort zone into a new way. I like it! It jolts you out of the ordinary and brings forth new ideas and new breakthroughs. So, here’s to new beginnings!”

Now that I’m fully into this swimming thing, I’m convinced that it is indeed the best thing for my voice. I still don’t like stretching the spandex over the expanse of my privates every morning, or dealing with "wet pool hair" every day, but the benefits definitely outweigh my complaints. My voice is stronger, I’ve lost weight, I have a golden tan, sun streaked hair; I breathe deeper and have more energy than I’ve had in a very long time. I'm loving it!

Now, I can’t help but wonder: what else have I missed out on because I’ve refused to get out of my comfort zone? Are the very things I desire out there for the taking if I simply step out and do what’s difficult for me? And I wonder the same for you. Are you missing out of being "fully alive" this summer because you’re hiding behind an excuse?

Please, let me encourage you to step out and do that thing that you’d like to do, but you’ve held back on doing because it would make you feel uncomfortable. Your breakthrough is there for the taking!

Will you take it? Odds are, it could be the very thing that works together for your good, coming to you to enrich your life. Choose, along with me, to believe that even the obstacle you are facing could be just the catalyst to move you beyond the norm of your life, into a life that is more "fully alive."

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Who Stole Your Song

Yesterday I was at the grocery store, when the guy bagging my groceries started singing a popular Sarah McLachlan song.  He looked at me and asked me to join in with him (I do live in Nashville ... a.k.a. Music City, USA! ). With everything in me, I wanted to belt it out, but couldn’t.

You see, I am a singer with vocal problems. The last few years have been rough vocally and, a few months ago, I was even struggling to talk. I have worked with vocal coaches and breathing experts. I do a myriad of strange exercises for the voice, I’ve started swimming, and I vocalize regularly. My speaking voice is stronger,  but my singing problem is still a mystery. In August I will visit the Vanderbilt Voice Clinic and, hopefully, finally get an official diagnosis.

I have good and bad days, but it’s all very frustrating, because everything I do depends on my voice.  I believe I’m dealing with something much like Shania Twain. If you haven’t heard her story, she also lost her voice. Hopefully,  it looks as though she is getting it back.

Everything I thought I would be doing during this season of my life is on hold. My plans did not pan out. I cannot sing the song that is in my heart. So I’ve been singing a different tune lately: I’m painting! I'm also building a business to encourage creatives in their marketing pursuits. My song is now being sung in new and different ways. Most of the time, I’m fine with it. Today, I’m not. I miss singing.

What song do you long to sing? Have circumstances, difficulties or a lack of funds stolen your song? Is there an ache inside you to do something that you simply cannot do?

What do you do with that disappointment? Do you ignore it or deal with it? I’m doing all I can to get my voice back. What are you doing to get your song back?

"Most people die with the music still in them." 
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Don’t let life go by with your deep desires buried inside. You were created with a song to sing and to be fully alive you MUST sing it. Life has a way of silencing our song, but we must be intentional and fight to get it back. Some of us don’t even know the song anymore? We can’t even hear it.

Here is the rest of the quote: "Most people die with the music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out."  Oliver Wendell Holmes

Determine to set aside some time to listen to your heart. What is the song? It may be faint, but odds are, if you listen long enough . . . you will hear it again.


Robbed By Rabbits

For every breakthrough, there are pesky 'critters' that want to rob you, just before the first bloom!

My beautiful garden is being attacked by bunnies. At least I thought bunnies were eating my flowers. But yesterday, I came face to face with "Jack" Rabbit;" he was bigger than the neighbor's fat cat! Jack startled me and he has already been back this morning for breakfast!

As soon as you decide to step outside of your comfort zone and launch into the deep, it's as though critters appear to gnaw on the blooms of your creativity, before your glory is even revealed. These critters may be bigger than you expect and closer than you had imagined. They may even be members of your own family, who are threatened with your new activities.

I'm reminded of a passage from the book, The War of Art. The author talks about learning to function fully, in spite of fear and opposition. That we are not to let those 'rabbits' destroy our creative flow, but we are to learn how to move forward, in spite of them. So . . . this morning I did a little on-line research and ordered some "Shake Away" for my garden. It's a deterrent for rabbits.

Do you need a little 'Shake Away' for your garden of creativity? Are you struggling with fear and insecurity, disorganization, or lack of discipline? Do you stumble with marketing and feel like a failure, before your 'glory' is even revealed?

Don't despair . . . I'm gonna shake away some of your critters!  First, you need to name the 'critter'.  What is it that is keeping you from making headway? What is your excuse?

Have you swallowed the lie, that you'll always be a struggling, starving artist? That it really is too hard? Let me encourage you, with the Internet, we now have the opportunity to have a world-wide store, open 24/7. With YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, we can advertise while curled up on the couch in our PJs. There has never been a more opportune time for creatives.  We simply need to let our creativity flow over into our marketing. We must 'do something' to get rid of those pesky rabbits.

So I'm going to encourage you today by offering a free gift. Just fill out the form to the right of this forum and get my 'FREE GIFT'. It's a special report ~ Artists Arise! 12 Steps To Turn Your Vision Into Provision. Allow me to help you 'shake away' those - as Elmer Fudd would say -"dirty rabbits" today!

1 ~ Leave a comment below.

2 ~ Fill out the form on the upper right to get your free report.

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New CD Release For The Fourth of July

             I want to let you know about a new CD my hubby just     
     released. It's a solo piano CD of seven of America's favorite patriotic songs plus three originals, done in his signature 'calm' style.

  For a FREE song, song samples and download options click below: