Thursday, May 31, 2012

12 Things I Learned Over Memorial Day Weekend

I hope you all had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend last weekend.  I know I did!  I spent time with good friends, ate delicious food and enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather.

I also learned 12 things which made the weekend all the more enjoyable: 
  1. Take a leap of faith and jump into the deep end of the pool.  If my son can do it (with “floaties” on, of course), then I can do it too.
  2. God is BIG. Bigger than any circumstance, problem or issue that you have ever experienced, are experiencing or will ever experience. 
  3. You can still look and feel attractive in a one-piece bathing suit.  There's no need to try and squeeze into that old two-piece suit anymore.
  4. When you’re on a limited clothing and accessories budget, don’t get all worked up about what you can’t afford.  Get excited about what you can afford.
  5. If something is important to someone you love, then make that something important to you too.
  6. You’re never too old to jump off a diving board.
  7. Take the time to have a conversation with a young teen.  You might find that they are more polite, kind, considerate and compassionate than you imagined them to be.
  8. Leave the fancy camera at home.  Your iPhone will be perfect for capturing those extra special moments.
  9. Spend actual face-to-face time with a friend that you haven't seen in a while.  It’s a whole lot better than just chatting with them on Facebook.
  10. Don’t rush your child to do something they aren’t ready to do.  In their own time, they will get it done.
  11. Give $25 of your personal money and sow a seed into someone else’s dream.  You’ll be glad that you did.
  12. Never complain about having a busy weekend.  Instead, be thankful for your busy weekend because it means that you have things to do and people to share those things with.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lori's Music Blog Turns One!

Lori's Music Blog is ONE year old! 

I wrote my very first post on May 13, 2011 (which technically means that my blog is one year and eight days old today, but who's counting!?) and I'm so excited that I'm still here blogging a whole year later.  What a blessing!

This blog has been the best creative outlet for me.  It has also helped me learn a lot about who I am and, more importantly, who I am not.  In the past year, I have overcome my fear of sharing my songs with the world and I was able to share two of my original songs with all of you.  I've also had the great opportunity to meet lots of wonderful new friends that have been a huge blessing in my life.  To God be the glory! 

I couldn't celebrate this day without also saying a big THANK YOU to all of you who read this blog, write comments and encourage me along the way.  I sincerely appreciate each and every single one of you, and I hope you'll stick around with me as I continue on in this next year of blogging.  There are a ton of great things in store for Lori's Music Blog, and I can't wait to share them with you!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Second Chances

Years ago, I had a giant collection of Oprah magazines.  I owned every issue since the magazine first launched in 2000, and I was quite proud of my collection.   

When it was time for me to move out of my apartment, however, I was faced with a decision - do I keep all of these magazines, or do I give them away?  At the time it didn't feel like I had a real need for them, and so I made the decision to give them the recycle bin.  

As time passed, I began to regret that decision.  I started to think about how special it was to have the first very issue of the Oprah magazine and how cool it would have been to display my collection of magazines in my new home.  But it was too late, and there was nothing that I could do to get those magazines back. 

Well, a few months ago, my husband said that he wanted to buy me something with his Coca-Cola reward points.  He gave me a list of options he thought I would like, and a subscription to the Oprah magazine was one of those options.  As soon as he mentioned it, I immediately knew that's what I wanted.  I saw this as my second chance to start collecting Oprah magazines once again.

As soon as I got that first issue, I was so thrilled.  It almost felt like I was being reunited with an old friend.  I was also quickly reminded of why I kept the magazines in the first place - the beautiful pictures, the inspirational articles, and the powerful life lessons. 

Slowly but surely, I've been building back up my collection of Oprah magazines.  This time though, I don't plan on letting them go.

Thinking about all of this makes me think of all the times that I passed up an opportunity to sing because I was too scared and too nervous.  I get so mad at myself just thinking about those times!  But, I'm trusting that if God can give me a second chance at building up my collection of Oprah magazines, then surely he can give me a second chance at singing.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there!  I pray that your children are rising and calling you blessed today because that's exactly what you are - blessed!  And a special Happy Mother's Day to my mom.  Thank you for all that you are and all that you do.  I love you!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Labor of Songwriting

Last week, I heard a new song on the radio called The Sound of a Million Dreams by David Nail. The song is so moving and speaks directly to my heart, especially the chorus:

And I'll labor for hours 'cause I know the power
Of a song when a song hits you right
Pouring my soul into stories of life
Hoping someone'll hear one tonight
Maybe my voice will cut through the noise
And stir up an old memory
Out of these piano keys
Comes the sound, the sound of a million dreams

I am particularly inspired by the words, "And I'll labor for hours..."  I find comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one who labors for hours in the songwriting process.  In this season of songwriting, the process for me has actually been a very long and arduous one.  I find myself playing the music over and over again until it feels completely right.  Once I settle on the music, then I continue playing it over and over again in order to get the lyrics, or the words of the song, just right.  Sometimes the words come pouring out like rain; with little effort, my heart starts singing the words that match perfectly with the music while also helping to convey the story that I am trying to tell.  Like when I was writing My Offering, it took me a few weeks to get the music, but the words just came very naturally. 

With the latest song that I've been working on, Simply Worship, the words have not been flowing as freely.  I've been laboring and laboring over the words, nearly to the point where I'm wondering if maybe I'm laboring too much!  But just as I was starting to think that maybe this song that I'm working on wasn't meant to be, I heard this Sound of a Million Dreams song, and it gave me the extra little push that I need to keep laboring.  I know it will be worth it in the end.