Long Lost

What are your long lost passions?

A long lost friend (who shall remain nameless) asked me recently what my song lyrics are looking like lately. It shocked and embarrassed me.

It shocked me because…nobody really asks me that anymore. Well, John asks what I’ve been doing with music, but he doesn’t specifically ask about lyrics. It just struck me as awkward, and then I remembered that there was a time when many friends and family were asking (regularly) what I was doing with songwriting. It shocked me that this friend asked; and it shocked me that I was shocked.

And then I was embarrassed to realize that I have allowed this once profound passion of mine to simmer on the back burner of my not-very-demanding life. Did I used to love songwriting? Why had I stopped?

Oh, I wrote one this year…about the coffee guy. Kind of. But that was in January. How dry and uninterested I’ve been since then.

My 2:43a.m. resolution is to write a song tomorrow (well, today).

And as a side note, if you’re one of the people I’m writing letters to this week, I may just share the lyrics with you and ask for your opinion.

What are your long lost passions and dreams? Why have you abandoned them?

I’m in love!

Oh man…

I just…I seriously love my guitar.  He makes me feel so talented and beautiful and cherished. I really, really love my guitar. He doesn’t remind me of my failures or my imperfections; he just welcomes me and makes me feel like whatever is on my mind is important. Sigh. What a great instrument.

I just really love him.

And I need to spend more time with him.

Just Another Hymnal

Well, the book sale was wonderful, but mostly a bust. I didn’t find a single book on my list! I did find some goodies, though. And in spite of the fact that I already have several different hymnals, I couldn’t resist the 1941 Lutheran Hymnal in the Music section! She was calling to me, “Sarah! Sarah! Take me home with you!” I’m not embarrassed by my choice. You cannot, as a rule, have too much music.

I was working through the hymnal last night and found several hymns I was unfamiliar with, several that were older than most of the hymns I know. Look at this one:

O gladsome Light, O grace
of God the Father’s face,
the eternal splendor wearing;
celestial, holy, blest,
our Savior Jesus Christ,
joyful in thine appearing.

Now, ere day falleth quite,
we see the evening light,
our wonted hymn outpouring;
Father of might unknown,
thee, his incarnate Son,
and Holy Spirit adoring.

To thee of right belongs
all praise of holy songs,
O Son of God, Life-giver;
thee, therefore, O Most High,
the world doth glorify,
and shall exalt for ever.

This song is from the 3rd century and its author is unknown. It is beautiful. I was astounded that a hymn of the Church could have survived so long. Most of the hymns we sing today are only a few hundred years old–and even those seem ancient to us! But here is a song the Church was singing in the 3rd century, and it blew my mind. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with the bigness of history and of the Church.

It can be so easy to forget that the Church is more vast than right here and right now; that there really is “a cloud of witnesses.” The notion that somehow we are able to sing the same worship and praise that Christians sang in the 3rd century just overwhelmed me with a sense of both my smallness in the scheme of things and also my being surrounded by so many Believers.

It also made me wonder what songs we would add to our hymnals as history unfolds. There has been this incredible transition in some churches, moving away from “hymns” and preferring something more “modern.” But aren’t most hymns “modern” to their time? So what songs would we add to “O For A Thousand Tongues” and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” and “Doxology”? What songs of adoration will be remembered from the Church today?

Any thoughts?

Pax Domini.

Semmie

The Waiting

Aaaaaaaah, The Waiting!

So I was driving home, and SmileFM played an old song from The Waiting. It happens to be one of my favorite songs of all time. You can go and listen to it on The Waiting’s myspace page if you want. It’s presently the second song on the list: Hands in the Air. By all means, listen to the others, too! But. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to this song without crying. I’m such a baby.

And oh! I was flooded with memories! The Waiting was, if I remember correctly, at Sonshine Festival the first year that I went. They weren’t at the main stage, but were at the second or third stage along with MXPX and…oh…Sozo, maybe? I cried at Sozo, just so you know, but that’s an entirely different story, and it involves water and instruments. So.Good times.

Anyway, I don’t think Toge and I even intended to see The Waiting perform. I could be wrong. One of us (I won’t say which one of us) had a slight crush on one of the guys from Sozo, and I think we were waiting to see them. Togs–did you know of The Waiting prior to this? At any rate, I was not familiar with them until this concert. I thought they were remotely cool when they did the 500 Miles song, but Todd Olsen settled the matter for me when he played his guitar…behind his back.

That’s right…behind his back. It was the funniest, weirdest, most personable thing I had ever seen from a “musician.” It was a life-changing thought for me–that music could be both soul-searching and fun. And there it was. I was hooked.

I saw The Waiting several years later when I was volunteering at FireUP. In fact, I was as high as the sky that weekend because I had the lucky job of working at their table! WOOHOO! I have a picture somewhere that Toge took of me at their table. Hm…mental note: find the picture.

Anyway, Brad Olsen released a solo album last year, as I understand it. I had no idea. Sorry, Brad. But I will buy it. And I will love it, I’m sure.

But behold–greatness of all greatnesses–The Waiting…has a new album coming out this year! AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

This is me, going fangirlish.

See Jenn? It can happen.

I’m so happy.

Today is such a good day!

Almost Christmastime

One of my all-time favorite Christmas songs was Almost Christmastime, sung by David Meece. I first heard it on the little white cassette tape that mom bought for us one year. At my former blog, I shared the story of a couple Christmases ago when my mom bought me a copy of this CD. I mention the song today only because I haven’t listened to the CD yet this Christmas. I listened to it some months ago when I was still looking forward to the season, but now that the season is upon us, I haven’t listened to it. I will remedy this today.

Still, with or without the song, it is “almost Christmastime!” I am excited. I’ve been busy preparing for the day, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.

I have finally finished felting my oven mitts and trivets. They are spread out to dry on the kitchen table and the coffee table. The trivets are drying very well, but the oven mitts are taking longer. I sure hope they are dry by Thursday! I have to admit, I love the way these have turned out. Even the colors I wasn’t terribly taken with have felted into a nice variegation. I just love how they’ve turned out. I am biased because I love red, but I do think Jesse & Sara’s turned out the best!

I still have to make three journals–for Clayton, for Daniel, and for Joy Forever (Joel & Erin’s baby). I am hoping to work on these today and get them finished. My only dilemma is that the tables are covered with oven mitts!

I’ve been baking, too, which is always fun. I still have pretzels to dip, which I’ve been putting off because of my lack of table space. But I’m hoping to make a dent on that today, as well.

I wanted to write a short little poem to put in the front of each of the kids’ journals. I’m not thrilled with what I’ve come up with, but I think it will do. I didn’t want it to be too heavy or too light, because it needed to be age-appropriate for kids ranging literally from not-born-yet to going-to-college-next-fall. If you have any ideas or think I could do better, let me know. Here’s what I’ve got–short and sweet:

Whatever your dreams,

whatever your fears,

when you are happy

and when you cry tears,

Your life is a gift

and in every season,

the Lord works together

all things for a reason.

So whatever life brings–

whether smile or frown–

remember each moment

and write it all down.

Okay. I’m off to…I don’t know. But I’m off!

Pax Christi!

Sarah

God & Science

I don’t usually speak of science. When I do, I am outrageously aware of how unlearned I sound (and am). Don’t get me wrong, I have always been fascinated by the world around me; but I have never been a science buff. I don’t think I took science seriously until my freshman year of college, when I was forced to take Anatomy & Physiology with a Lab–which, ironically, I did very well in. But everything prior to that was so difficult for me. I often felt as if my teachers and my books were trying to teach me in Latin. Every once in awhile, something clicked for me, but mostly, I struggled through my science classes. I am not being overly dramatic or self-degrading by telling you…you know that old zinger? “I never get into a battle of wits with an unarmed man!” Well, I’m the unarmed man. Er, woman.

For that reason, I don’t usually challenge Atheists when they speak of science. It’s not that I blindly accept all they might say about evolution, the age of the earth, etc, but that I know my limitations. I am ill-equipped to debate this topic. Now, if you want to debate soteriology, okay! But science? Nuh-uh.

I don’t even usually think science, to be honest with you. There is something about my brain that just doesn’t connect with science, I think. Perhaps I have a child’s mind. I was recently writing at my desk, and as I paused to think a moment, my gaze was drawn to the candle burning gently there beside me. I watched and I wondered. I know there’s a very good explanation for fire, and I know it’s basic science, folks; but really–to me, it’s still just magic. For that reason, I just can’t argue about science and God. And as much as I want to believe they are not exclusive of each other, I admit that I usually just disregard science because it doesn’t speak my language.

But in the dark hours of this morning, as I stood on the back deck, bundled in my blanket and watching the Leonid Meteor Shower, I caught myself thinking two very distinct thoughts.

My first thought: How can anyone deny the science that has taught men to predict meteor showers like this?

My second thought: How can anyone deny God, deny the design and order of the world around us that has allowed men to learn the science to predict meteor showers?

Big questions in my heart and mind last night. But as I stood there shivering in the cold, watching with amazement as stars went shooting across the sky, I had to just stop thinking about it so much. So I sang–quietly, as it was 4am, and I didn’t want to disturb my neighbors–

Sometimes the night was beautiful

Sometimes the sky was so far away

Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close

You could touch it but your heart would break

Sometimes the morning came too soon

Sometimes the day could be so hot

There was so much work left to do

But so much You’d already done

Oh God, You are my God

And I will ever praise You

Oh God, You are my God

And I will ever praise You

I will seek You in the morning

And I will learn to walk in Your ways

And step by step You’ll lead me

And I will follow You all of my days

Some things never change. I hope you enjoyed the shower this morning, and that you were filled with the wonder and awe of it all.

Pax Christi.

Semmie

A Psalm

Oh, my God, my loving Father
Oh, my Rock and my Salvation
Oh, my Strength and Fortress
I will wait for You

Lift these hands, I’ll give You my heart
Lift my eyes to see all You are
Lift my soul to know You, Lord
I will wait for You

(C)2008 Sarah Moore

I wrote this in 2008 after reading Psalm 59. I was so enraptured by the tone of the psalm that I wanted to write a short worship chorus that dealt with the idea of waiting for God, or “watching” for Him, as the Psalmist says. Nothing fancy, nothing spectacular, just a simple “I’m waiting” kind of song. I had forgotten about it, to be honest. I stumbled upon it tonight, as I tend to do with songs–they sit in a pile of song guts until some random moment when I pull it out and try to make sense of it. This one didn’t need attention, in my opinion, but I found after singing through it several times that I have a couple of beefs. I was hoping someone might shoot a thought in my direction regarding these two cows.

1. The first line. I’m not happy with “my loving Father” as a phrase for this verse. The first draft of the song used, “I wait for You” in its place–but it is one syllable short. I need a five-syllable phrase here. Any thoughts?

2. I’m not SURE, but I THINK maybe there should be a one-line refrain after each verse. My inkling is to repeat the line, “I will wait for You,” but I’m not sure. Another option might be, “I will sing of Your love.” I don’t have a melody for this one-line refrain yet, so there’s not really any parameter as to how it should flow, necessarily. I’d like something, obviously, that jives with the ideas in Psalm 59.

So…anybody feeling daring enough to offer suggestions? :)

Pax Christi.
Sarah