A Little Bird Told Me..,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bug Free

Sooo... this is definitely me. Bees, flies, slugs, mosquitoes, etc... just about any bug "bugs" me. Though flies are the absolute worst!

I can laugh now about this, but it brings an instant thought to my mind... 

Of course! What ELSE did you expect? If there wasn't a parallel somewhere, you might be off watching mindless twerking videos or dreaming of T.S.O tickets... but yet, as ever, I digress... 

What are the things that bug you the most? For me? One thing in particular just grates on me... chewing loudly... especially gum... if you stand next to me and slurp gum, you will probably see my panic stricken eyes scanning for exits.  

How can you possibly get spiritual with this?!? I can see that wearisome look in your eyes. 

Don't worry... I can! 

Have you noticed that God is in the business of character building? I am thoroughly convinced that above all things, that is His favorite hobby...

The other night at church band practice, we were seated-listening to a speaker before we bounded up onto the platform in instant cacophony.

As the speaker was intently 'bringing it' on humility and selflessness, (insert ironic smile) I was aware that someone had stealthily crept in late and sat directly behind me. 

Then IT happened... about twenty minutes of gum slurping... As I cringed and twisted uncomfortably in my seat like a gator on a line, I was finally rewarded with the words: "Ok, c'mon up front, let's pray." 

FREE! I bounded up to the front like a lottery winner. To my utter horror, The Chewer came right up next to me.  sigh...

As much as I hate the lessons, I DO know what's going on...

"My child, don't reject the Lord's discipline, and don't be upset when He corrects you. For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights." Proverbs 3:11,12 

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  James 1:2-4

While gum chewing is in no way a trial, while I am grimacing, it's a good reminder of the "Pearls of the Process."   

Meanwhile, I am going to invest in some earplugs. 


*Pic courtesy of Bitstrips 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Paying It Forward

Hello and welcome! 

I am thinking again. That usually means trouble for the poor unsuspecting victim reader. 

This time, I am thinking about getting older. Unfortunately, it's a fact of life. 

You may get older, but that doesn't mean you have to get OLD! 

My favorite people are the ones that no matter how old they get, you still see a spark in their eyes. 

Yet, again, I digress.

There is a point to all this nonsense  rabbit trail is that: if you are going to get older as a musician, what are your options? 

  • You play as long as you are physically able to do so  
  • You teach
  • You take up Scrabble and forget music
  • You whine and carry on about how you used to be so good, and relive your glory moments in front of everyone you can subject them to find - this also includes posting them to Facebook, Twitter, or sending endless videos 
  • You pay your talent forward  - which is also aptly titled: it'snotallaboutme.com

Now is when I insert a Scripture, since I tend to draw continuous parallels; so if you need to close your eyes and avoid at this point, go ahead. :P 

"Freely you have received, freely give." Matthew 10:8

(See that wasn't so bad) 

As seasoned players we have a lot to give to the up and coming. 

They have the chops, speed (whew, do they EVER!) and they have dreams. 

I may not have theory, BUT I can show them style, finesse, and the space BETWEEN the notes: a most woefully overlooked area. 

(Thank you to my dear friend Shawn Byrne for that invaluable lesson

I can give my time and my blood, sweat, & tear soaked experience to make YOU a better player!

So, as YOU have been GIVEN, give back! You never know what impact you can have on a life! 

Build a lasting legacy - build people!!! 

God bless! 

<><   Lori 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fill 'er Up!

Gas prices have dropped by a minuscule hair breadth... and, of course,  I am profoundly thankful. I figure any expense that actually drops is moving in the right direction. 

So, of course, my thoughts travel. Now would be the time to RUN sit back and endure enjoy this week's diatribe. 

As I am thinking of full gas tanks, I reflect that there are other "fulls" too. 

As the holidays approach with the usual sneak and stealth, I am thinking of full stockings, full plates, and then consequently, full bellies.

You can fill up your mind, your heart, and be full of a lot of things... not all of them good - i.e. be full of pride, bitterness, anger, drugs, alcohol, etc...

It's so easy to fill up your day, your house, credit card balances, wardrobe, and your calendar. 

The problem with a lot of "fills" is that they leave you emptier that you started. It's like trying to drink nail polish remover. It looks like water, it pours, but it evaporates and won't satisfy. In fact, it will make you sick! 

When you drink to escape, eat to numb, run on empty, and shop til you drop, you aren't helping.That problem, that hunger, that lonely won't go away at the end of it. 

We live in a society that breathes microwave-instant-now! We want full, and we want it NOW!!!! 

Can I tell you what satisfies? Every time? No lie... 

It's not a what, but a Who... 

Check this out... 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (in effect, Jesus), for they will be filled. Mathew 5:6

They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8 

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 
Ephesians 3:17, 18

So, let God open you up! Running over and spilling out to all those that are hurting right about now. 

Trust me, there's nothing like it <>< 

God bless!!! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Single Minded

Here's mom and dad... also known as Flo and Joe, respectively. 

Aren't they adorable? They were married for 59 years. Then my dad changed his mailing address to Heaven...three years later mom went, too.

It's been a challenge learning how to live without them. To say adapt is woefully inadequate. 

Since their passing, things have changed in consecutive 360* circles. Repeatedly. 

As a young woman, I couldn't even imagine getting married. 

When Jesus throttled my world at thirty four, I slowly grew to think that getting married would be a really cool thing. 

Now, years later, I am learning to function as a single woman, for all intents and purposes, alone. Alone in a world designed for "twos." 

It can, at times, be incredibly lonely. 

The married couples usually tell me that I am better off single - "Married people are often as lonely as single people." "Marriage is overrated." "You're better off, you won't have to deal with divorce."


How do I maintain sanity in all this? 

Firstly, I am incredibly thankful for a God that takes care of me, and sends people to make the journey a little easier... 

I keep my focus on the race that I am running... I am running to win...  "Don't you realize that in a race everybody runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!" 1 Corinthians 9:24


as far as heaven goes, Jesus said it really well: 

"When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will ALWAYS be with me where I am." John 14:3 

I can't imagine a better place to be than in His arms, can you?


Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize that there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you  Lao Tzu 


"Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth."  1 Timothy 6:6

So, let hope arise, and dare to trust the One that holds you in His Hands. 

The best is yet to come! 

God bless- 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Grit and Guts

So, I am a dyed in the wool Red Sox fan. I love watching, (at least when I have time) the boys give their all, doing what they love to do! 

I think the thing I love best about them is that they don't quit. They're scrappy! 

"We don't give up, we don't give in," Will Middlebrooks said. It doesn't matter what the scoreboard says. We're going to come out, we're going to fight, we're going to grind it out." 1

There are so many parallels for me, personally.

As a musician, I can attest to giving all I have to a song. Whether writing it, interpreting it, or out and out note thievery, lol, there is generally an odious (to the non musician) amount of practice required. 

Heaven help the poor folks I live with, doomed to an existence of endless repetition. The same parts over and over and over and over and over and over... amen... (For you math types, think of PI :)

As a Christian, truly that line from Will Middlebrooks inspires me.

Like the Sox, I need an attitude of cannot quit. No matter what. As I watched that plucky team pull it's way out of the bottom of the glass, I determined, again, to dig in...  

  • When the checkbook bounces so hard it makes a basket.
  • When there is a diagnosis that doesn't make sense. 
  • When the job is gone, the car is broken, and the cupboard is empty. 
  • When there are no options. Period.

It has been a season like that for me. A really long one. 

So, I have two options. Give up, or go on. Option one isn't going to get me very far... 

So I look up and remember. I remember all the answers that I have seen; sometimes the question never even left my lips. 

Best of all, I am not alone. The amazing power of God and all of Heaven stands with me. As His child, I can take courage to keep going! 

"Be (stay) strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!" Ephesians 6:10

So, if you are tempted to quit, DON'T! That answer or breakthrough might be just around the bend. 

God Bless! 

1 CNSnews.com - "Napoli, Victorino rally Red Sox past Yankees 12-8" September 7, 2013 1:35 AM
Mike Fitzpatrick, Associated Press 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Lost Art of (Meaningful) Conversation

Hey! Thanks for stopping by!!! Or more likely, stumbling in and scrambling for the mouse :P 

I have, of course, been thinking again. This pic was taken at a Pizza place in New Haven that SHOULD be famous. I cannot understand why it isn't. But that is another rabbit trail for another  diatribe story. 

If you look closely, you can see that we are all communicating. Just not with each other... actually, this pic was staged... by me... to prove a point.

That point being that good stimulating (audible) conversation is rapidly becoming a lost art form. 

I am old enough that I remember a time before cell phones... and no, I wasn't born during the first world war...

When I was a kid we played outside. We got dirty. We made tree forts, played with Barbies... roller skated with our neighbors... we actually knew our neighbors. We colored, jumped in giant leaf piles, and had no idea what a video game was, since that hadn't been invented. We waited all week for Saturdays and cartoons! 

"What's your point,"  you ask warily?
"Why the trip down memory lane?" (and half way to the Twilight Zone)

My point is this... 

That everything has a price... This glorious time of technology, social networking, and instant information costs us something... 

While we are busy documenting our lives on "Insta-It'sallaboutme.com", we are missing something... 

The elderly guy on the park bench that wants to hear a pleasant voice, not necessarily you texting... 

The woman with three screaming and overtired children in the grocery line who could use a smile or a kind word...

Maybe the waitress that comes to bring your sandwich and fries is so lonely that she can't see a reason to live anymore...

While it's true that technology can bring distant people "closer", it usually misses with regards to people in the same house, or room, or at the same table for that matter...

I am working on my boundaries with regards to how much I use my cell phone when I am with people. I even put it AWAY, especially at meals :) Even with growing dependence on electronic devices, I want to keep balance. Board games are a great way attempt your transition into "being WITH people." Slooooowly but surely, I am making progress...

Make that difference!!! Those around you will be glad you did, and you will too!!! 

God bless! 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

A New Day

What an absolutely gorgeous day!!! With dew point and humidity actually cooperating - it's perfect!

Yesterday was humid, icky, and uncomfortable. 

But today is a new day... Carpe Diem!!!

That means seize the day in Latin. 

Seize, according to the incomparable wisdom of Google: 

Verb: 1.to take hold of suddenly and forcibly.
2. Capture (a place) using force. 

Wow, that is intense! 

Therefore, with all the passion I have, I am going to make the most of this gift, today

So I will love hard and make the most of who and what I have been given. 

I am learning to live in the moment, rather than worrying, fretting about things in the future - which usually don't end up happening anyway,  and dwelling in the mistakes of yesterday. 

Chew on this promise from God's Word: 

The faithful love of the Lord NEVER ends, 
His mercies NEVER cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh EVERY morning!
Lamentations 3:22,23 

So, as you are loved,  go out and do the same!

God bless! 



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Can someone PLEASE turn off the heat?

I knew that hitting what I call "mental-pause" wasn't going to be a picnic. In addition, clearly, my "mental" has paused... :) 

Seriously, I have never liked the summer. While summer affords longer days and school-free time, the scorching "Triple H" days send me running off to every freezer door I can find. 

My lure is cool crisp autumn days, with fairs, pumpkins, and sweet blessed heat-relief. Energy comes bounding back; I become a fanatical time stacker: packing every moment of fun into a desperately short wink of a season.

Comedian Jeff Allen talks about his wife's uncomfortable foray into "Furnace mode":

While I am glad that I don't go this alone, I wouldn't wish this insanity on anyone... not even legislators...:P 

I guess I need to concentrate on making some good memories with those I love while the days are longer... and of course, the countdown to cooler begins... as of now it's 51 days!  <>< 

*Jeff Allen's link used with permission 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

But I AM happy for you!

Hey all! I hope the beautiful weather finds you well and full of good things :) 

I am pondering again... oh good Lord, not THAT again...  "So, what musings are you going to share THIS time," you wonder, warily. 

I was reading a post by our worship leader on Instagram, and it prompted me to write. Lucky YOU! lol

What do YOU do when those around you are getting raises, jobs, recognition... how about when those nearest are getting engaged, and you seem to be providentially and most "terminally" single? Or when you see your friends becoming "successful", i.e. meeting celebrities and thriving? (inside joke) 

Tough one, eh? If you are like me you are happy for them, but there is that little teeny weeny piece of your heart that melts away a little as you wonder if you are EVER going to see those good things you have been hoping and/or praying for... 

It has been happening to me these days... my circle of friends has shrunk like my wallet, and my blogs and articles are virtually dusty and "unwrapped"... 

Here are a few things that the Word has to say... 

'Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.'  Philippians 2:3 

'But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.'  James 3:14 

'A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.' Proverbs 14:30 

OUCH!!!! That smarts... 

Can I give you a word of encouragement? Hopefully, it will help... it's simply this... 

'Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.' Romans 12:15

'Yet I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living.' Psalm 27:13, 14 

For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 

You have your own unique path, and good things  WILL come, and may those you love be happy with you, and weep with you  <>< 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Sound Word

Hey! Welcome back! Yes, tread carefully, it can get dangerous in here... 

Today I want to bring up something that has been on my mind a bit - oh look! more ramblings... 

As performers, musicians, and vocalists, we want to sound good. You don't invest years of blood, sweat, tears, and practice to sound like cousin Waldo's 5th grade clarinet recital... (my sincerest apologies if your name is Waldo and you do, indeed, play the clarinet- rock on, dude) 

Here is something that took me YEARS to fully grasp... you are only as good as your sound tech... (if you have no sound tech(s), your restrictions tend to be equipment/amp mix, venue, and technical level;) 

I learned quickly to make friends with the guys (or girls) that are doing my sound. The tech is really another band member; chances are they love what they do, (most days, anyway) and have studied hard about how to make you come across better than you actually are. Never mind the fact that they often have to schlep tons of gear... They are the first to arrive, and the last to leave... while you are horsing around i.e. endlessly noodling during the sound check, they are locating the source of the 60 cycle hum, and dealing with snarky egos... usually ours... :) 

You see, your monster ego isn't going to impress them, but your workable attitude will :) 

People will remember your character just as much as they remember your chops- don't burn your bridges behind you- make that impression count! 

**Special thanks to Jess Dunlap for the sweet behind the scenes pic! 
She can be found frolicking around with The Awakening -  www.theawakeningrocks.com


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cramming for Finals

I can't  believe the semester is almost over. It seems like yesterday I was stumbling through awkward introductions. 

Here I sit on a glorious Sunday afternoon. Inside. Here, at my friendly neighborhood Starbucks, I'm in good company. The tables are full, and you can hear tapping and sipping as we conquer agendas, bit by bit.

I have ONE class... One. It's the first class back from a 24 year hiatus. Comparatively, it's not anywhere near as mind-numbing bad as next semester will be- it was a tentative baby step in my quest to finish what I started oh so long ago. 

Many things have changed. The school, the subjects, the faces, and certainly my capacity to retain. Thanks menopause - appreciate it. 

One thing that hasn't changed is the driving need to cram. 

Whoever said that there is no prayer in schools certainly has never sat through a make or break test or exam. 

"Ok", you ask, "Where is the inevitable spiritual analogy?" 

Glad you asked!!! lol

We wait to get ourselves right with God. We wait until the last possible minute, thinking that it will be such a dreadful odious affair. 

What if I tell you that you are wrong! Once you acknowledge (notice that the word knowledge is in acknowledge- pretty cool, huh?) that you need help,  you find an ocean of grace and peace... pretty sweet!

Here's truth - yesterday is a cancelled check, and tomorrow is a promissory note - Carpe Diem!!! 

So, don't wait... Ask Him to reveal Himself to you so you don't miss out on what you can experience today!

God bless and happy cramming!!! <>< 

References to check out in Scripture: 

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16 

"For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Romans 10:13 

"But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to cleanse us from all wickedness."   1 John 1:9 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Ok... lately, I have been revisiting my thoughts on trials, afflictions, and bumps (or moguls) in the road. 

As a child I had the idea that "if I can just make it through ----------------, everything will be sooo much better!" 

I would get through whatever problem or obstacle that I faced, just to find another looming over the horizon. 

I have spent most of my life waiting for that "golden field of easy" to appear and let me dive in! 

It's taken me way too long many years to figure out that that isn't going to happen... 

Instead, I have discovered something that, for me, is fascinating... 

There, in the MIDST of the roller coaster ride that life deals, are the opportunities to create my own "golden field."

There have been times of deep and plaguing doubt, gut wrenching pain, and betrayal that have rocked me to the core. Sometimes it's my own, and sometimes it's those I love that are going through the monsoon. 

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over.... and over.. and over... and over... and over... and expecting different results. YES!

That being said, waiting for everything to be perfect or even easy isn't cutting it anymore. 

If I want to be happy and find contentment, I need to see the nuggets that are placed in my life and seize the joy in them :)

I am learning that the laughter of my loved ones, the surprising and unexpected blessings, and the wonder and love of God have been helping to sustain me through the tough times. 

So there won't be that field of easy....  *many are the afflictions of the righteous (I am righteous by His grace, not my doing) but the Lord rescues them from them all!!!* Psalm 34:19 

One day at a time, I have what I need to get through that day.  I am learning to be grateful for the small things and believe me, that attitude is contagious! 

So, yes... there IS a Light at the end of the tunnel            <><  

Photo credit for photo 2 - A beautiful Mess Inside - thank you!!! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Attitude is everything!

Have you ever known someone that just never took no for an answer? 

No, I am not talking about pushy salesmen trying to talk you into a third blender...

I am referring to the kid from your high school basketball team that was 5'1 and determined that he was going to play professionally... you laughed incredulously, and lo and behold that spunky guy overcame ridiculous odds and made the NBA...

Or maybe it was the girl from music class that had seemingly no sense of rhythm whatsoever. She was seen later on the front page of Guitar Player with insane licks in her wake...

What sets these folks apart from the status quo?
"I think I can, I think I can." (The Little Engine that Could... :)

"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he... "  that is from the Bible - Proverbs 3:27

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about that very phrase:

"The sum of a man's thoughts are his character. His character influences the conditions and circumstances of his life. Every action springs forth first from thought- even actions considered to be spontaneous and unpremeditated. 

Wow.. that's pretty powerful.

A good example of a positive reaction to rejection was illustrated by one of our country’s greatest heroes, Abraham Lincoln. 

Lincoln knew about rejection and failure: he was defeated for the Illinois General Assembly, U.S.Congress and U.S. Senate, as well as for his party’s vice presidential nomination before he finally became the 16th president of the United States. It was his perseverance and integrity that carried him through numerous personal attacks and setbacks. Decades into his career, he still considered himself a failure in comparison to the man he would ultimately defeat for the presidency, Stephen Douglas.1

David (a 13ish year old Israeli kid) killed a Goliath (a beast of a giant) with a sling shot and a stone. He killed him on the first try. He knew God had his back and refused to give in to fear!

I was nineteen years old before I ever picked up a bass guitar. While I am not a Jaco Pastorius by ANY stretch, I can hold my own in a groove. Self taught, I just determined that I wouldn't quit. 

Conversely, here I am 24 years after I left college to pursue my musical passion, back in the classroom. To the naysayers: no matter, I can! 

So before you let someone get the last word about your future, (doubt and nay saying) listen to confidence, you CAN! 

1 excerpted from The White House. "Biography of Abraham Lincoln" www.whitehouse.gov