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Things I love, that lift my spirit, Part 1b, a.k.a. “The Holy Spirit is a Crooner”

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post (I have one in the mix that was nearly ready to be posted, but it can wait…) for something I just HAD to share…

I mentioned in a recent post about how music is one of the things that lifts my spirit…it is true in so many ways.

Music can make housework easier.  Music can prompt me to move my booty and work up a sweat, too!  Music helps me praise my Lord continually!  So often, if I turn on Praise music when I am down—which in and of itself in those moments is a sheer act of the Holy Spirit, because how many of you out there, when you are down, know that is EXACTLY when you do NOT feel like listening to praise music?– and just by listening to that music, my body becomes alkalined, my spirit aligns with the Holy Spirit, and my smile comes out again (and maybe through a sheen of sobs and tears, right?)!

Well, as much as I love listening to Praise and Worship music or Christian Contemporary, or Gospel, there is also a lot of GREAT secular music out there! Songs that inspire me by the beat, the melody, the words, the instruments, the time-period they are from, the nostalgia they bring:  WHATEVER!!!

In fact, I often use a mix of secular and Christian music in the playlists for my Christ-centered yoga classes…if it inspires, it’s in.

In my Blackberry, I use an app called “memo pad” to keep a list going of songs that I hear and want to put in a “someday playlist”…since I listen to music so often, I hear a lot of great stuff!  (Of course, I know there is a lot of yucky stuff out there, too…and thank the Lord I have the ability to turn the dial or hit the skip button!!!)

I only mention that to say that there are probably at least 30 songs on that list right now…and they have come from a time period of at least a few months, so it isn’t as if they are things that I am listening to right now or recently…

I say that just to set you up for the big point of this story…or should I say testimony?

You see, music also lifts my spirit in an amazing way via the Holy Spirit…you might call it coincidence, but I don’t believe in that.  I believe in Divine appointments.

Sometimes, when I go out walking, or jogging, or biking (and THAT is going to be a star in this testimony), I take along my I-pod and I set it to shuffle…and I ask God to be my DJ. You would be AMAZED at the timely mixes He comes up with!  I mean it!  Sometimes I can’t wait to get home just so I can write the list down for use later!  And it IS a mix of all kinds of music, but the words and themes are often so amazingly perfect for that moment in my life…

Sometimes, though, I don’t need an i-pod.  I don’t even need to be outside walking.  I don’t even need to be awake.  Sometimes, I wake up from a nap, or in the middle-of-the-night, and there is a song playing over and over and over in my head, and it just won’t stop.

I will lay there, frustrated, eyes wanting to be closed, body tossing, thoughts of the day beginning to whir about, and saying, Lord, I would really like to get back to sleep!…and at this point, not really paying attention the song in my head, because it is just background noise to what seems to be an obvious frustration.

If I tune in, if I decide to listen, I find that it is my Lord singing over me…

Zephaniah 3:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 The LORD your God is with you,
   the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
   in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
   but will rejoice over you with singing.

Did you know that the Holy Spirit can be a Crooner?  And I do mean,”Crooner”…like  a Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby (my ultimate favorite), and to get a little modern, Harry Connick, Jr or Michael Buble’ kind of crooner…

Very often, in the middle of the night, if I would just get up and have my devotional time with the Lord RIGHT THEN, I would find out that He is trying to tell me something…but you know, when we are sleepy, that doesn’t always sound appealing.

And, if you are like me, you might have a history of waking up in the middle of the night and watching tv,  followed by eating and watching tv….which never turns out well or serves our little temples appropriately, and generally just makes one more tired!

So you can see why I might just want to go back to sleep, if at all possible.  But like I said, if I just tune in, I might hear what God is saying…

Let me back up a little. 2 days in fact.

2 days ago, my hubby and I were enjoying our semi-weekly bike ride around our tiny little Mayberry town. He has a day off in the middle of the week, and while I have to work later in the day, we enjoy that morning together, often choosing to be active together via our bikes…

I love my little town.  I feel safe here.  It feels like a throwback to a simpler time, and my husband and I both adore that about it.  I literally have only to ask our local postmistress if I have a question about who to call for this or that, or how something works around here…I have joked about that, but it has never been more true than 2 days ago.

2 days ago, I was bit by a dog.  On my left bum. While riding my bike.

Laugh.  A Lot. Because in Hindsight (pun intended), it makes for some good jokes.

On the flip side, it hasn’t been funny at all.  It has been painful and exhausting and stressful in many ways.  It has affected my way of life, my performance on the job, my ability to sleep, put stress on my family, my pocketbook (though hopefully that can be remedied later), and it has affected that feeling of safety I adored.  I have hope in God, though, that the safe feeling, with precaution and knowledge (and pepper spray) will return.

It has even given my postal lady a cause…ha ha! (We may have a new campaign in Taneyville to write our State Rep about our lack of protective Statutes in cases such as mine, where if a dog bite happens outside the city limits, the County Animal Control must rely on the state laws about whether or not they can require a pet owner to give up or confine their dog for a period of 10 days to watch/be sure there is no Rabies infection, etc…in this case, there is no such law.)

So, in the middle of the night, the night after the incident, I really DIDN’T want to wake up and go into the living room to open my devotional.  I DIDN’T want to be tempted to eat out of a need for a comfort or to deaden the pain, physical AND spiritual.  I DIDN’T want to have to be strong.  I prayed for sleep.   It didn’t come.  After a half an hour or so, I decided to really notice the song that had been playing in my head over-and-over-and-over from the time I woke up…(I HAD noticed, but I hadn’t REALLY noticed, know what I mean?)

It was the chorus of a song that I have had in my Blackberry future playlist memo for awhile:  “Lost” by Michael Buble’.

I could only think of a few lines of the chorus, and the rest were just da-da-da-da, right?…more on that in a minute…

I went out to the living room and opened my devotional.  Perfect. I won’t go into that too deeply, but suffice it say that it was about being aware of my Lord’s Presence, that I face NOTHING alone, that His Spirit in me IS causing me to be free, as the person He created me to be, and that I do not need to worry…

…Because I was scared.  Scared that I would start eating for the wrong reasons.  Scared that I would be too tired to do what needed to be done.  Scared that we might never talk to the owner.  Scared that I would have to pay medical bills.  Lots of things…just plain scared.  And feeling as if I was alone in something that seemed so laughable anyway, and that there might be no hope  for help at all (from the government or anyone official).

So, as I sat there and listened to what God was saying through His Word, I began to listen to what He was singing over me as well…I sang the words that I could remember quietly to myself, catching on sobs as I asked God if He were truly singing to me, and asking that it not be a “coincidence”…that I really wanted it to be real.  I chose to believe that it was, and He confirmed it later.

Here are the words that I remembered, “as” I remembered them:

‘You are not alone.  I’m always here with you, and we’ll get lost together, till the light comes shinin’ thru…da-da-da-da-da (couldn’t remember), baby, you’re not lost…”

I was feeling so lost!  I was needing so much comfort!  And the Holy Spirit WOKE ME UP to tell me how very NOT LOST I am!!!  That He is always with me, and will continue to be!

Believe me, that was enough for me.  — But how many of you know that God loves to go the extra mile for his “babies”?

On the way to work, still without good news, feeling a bit sad again, tired, and apprehensive about how the dancing would feel (I was soooo sore), I decided to actually listen to “Lost”, curious to see how close my version of the words might be.

(The first verse does not apply at all.  Didn’t expect it to…was just interested in the chorus…and God did not disappoint…)

1st Chorus to “Lost”

“‘Cause you are not alone
I’m always there with you
And we’ll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
‘Cause when you feel like you’re done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you’re not lost
When your worlds crashing down
And you can’t bear the thought
I said, babe, you’re not lost”

I mean, honestly, God IMPROVED on my memory!  I was feeling SO DONE. Done was the perfect word.  And for the light to be “pouring” through, just seemed so perfect…and yes, it did feel that the world was crashing down, as in real life, it isn’t just one thing happening to you, there are of course, others happening (which need no mention here)…so one can be overwhelmed, right?

But the Crooner wasn’t finished…

The second verse DID seem to apply, and the second chorus had a couple of word changes that, when I heard them in the car, caused me to bring my hand to my mouth over a gasp and a quiet sob of gratitude to my Big Daddy for understanding…

“Life can show no mercy
It can tear your soul apart
It can make you feel like you’ve gone crazy
But you’re not
Things have seem to changed
There’s one thing that’s still the same
In my heart you have remained
And we can fly fly fly away

‘Cause you are not alone
And I am there with you
And we’ll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
‘Cause when you feel like you’re done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you’re not lost
When the worlds crashing down
And you can not bear the cross
I said, baby, you’re not lost
I said, baby, you’re not lost
I said, baby, you’re not lost
I said, baby, you’re not lost “

Maybe reading this, you think I have gone off the deep end.  Maybe you think I am a religious fanatic.  To which I reply 2 things:  One, for me it is not about religion but relationship…and when I am mindful in my relationship with my Savior, these kinds of things happen all the time, but I don’t always share them out loud.  It had been awhile, and I have been praying for that closeness again…in fact, that leads me to point Two:  If I be crazy or a fanatic, let me be crazy for Christ!  I actually had been praying that I might get a bit more radical in my faith again, and look what happened!

So.

Real World.  Puncture wound still open, but oozing less, I think.  Phone calls to make on Tuesday to Health Department (Rabies vaccine) and my Postmistress (who has information to give me about with whom I should speak at the Prosecuting Attorney’s office..yuck.)

Really Real World.  My Lord is on my side and sings over me.  In a smooth, velvety voice on this particular occasion..who knows?  Tomorrow He may be rockin’ out or playing the ukelele…but my Hope is in Him.

Please pray for the Dog Owner…I mean that.  Please pray also for me.  Check on your own city and State ordninances, and consider carrying some pepper spray  (hate to hurt ANY animals, but it will also protect their owners from lawsuits!)…

Be loved, protected, and sung over…because you are.

I pray for you, too.

love,

Robyn
Ps…was tempted to post a pic, but it’s pretty gross.

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Things I love, that lift my spirit… Part 1: “music and mayo”

I love, love, love, love, love MUSIC.

I love, love, love, love, love teaching Christ-centered yoga, and using music that helps to center my mind on good, lovely, admirable, excellent thoughts as I practice!

And I love, love, love, love, love….mayonnaise.

WHAT?!?!?

Yes, it’s true.  I ADORE ME SOME MAYO.  When I was a kid, my dad loved Miracle Whip, and my mom loved Helmann’s….for a long time, I followed Daddy’s footsteps.  I don’t know when it happened, exactly, but at some point in my life, I made the switch.  I crossed over.  I became a mayo-girl.

Hmmmph.

Guess what?

Mayonnaise is not exactly good for you.  Depending on how it is made, it can be downright horrendous for you, in fact.  And still, dag-nabbit, it’s yummy.  You can take marvelously healthy things like apples and nuts and celery and coat them with some mayo to make a Waldorf Salad…and you have lost a little of the good-n-healthy…maybe more than a little, depending where you got it…and how much mayo was put in…

Now, I have made mayo at home the old-fashioned way, with egg and oil and cooking in a saucepan forever, and drizzing and whirring, and….phew!  And let me just say, it tastes great, and honestly, the homemade version has less ingredients, and in moderation?  not so bad…

BUT!

These days I make a much leaner, meaner,and thank-You-so-much easier “mayo”, and I have just got to share it with you!

I also want to share my 2 latest playlists for my All-levels Vessels of Clay Yoga classes….

So, first, let’s lift our spirits with that mayo recipe…and no, I am not promoting that we get our comfort or peace from food!  However, a little bit of a good, healthy thing added to our super-healthy foods will definitely keep us from feeling deprived, depressed, and ready to run to the nearest convenience store for the packaged-food-poison of our choice…and how many of you know that when you do that, your spirit, not just your body, feels horrible?!?  So, let’s choose this instead:

Beannaise (from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak)

2 cups drained cooked or canned white beans (one 15- or 16-ounce can)

2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar ( I use Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar)

1/2 tsp salt (I use himalayan sea salt)

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil*

1/3 cup organic canola or safflower oil(or a blend of both)*

(I also add a pinch of cayenne pepper, which is what one does when making “traditional” homemade mayo anyway!)

“Place the beans, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and dry mustard in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Process until very creamy.  With the appliance running, drizzle in the oils in a slow, steady stream through the cap opening in the lid. (It’s ok if you cannot do this with your appliance…I can’t either…just add little bits at time…maybe split the oil into 2 sets.) Continue processing until well blended, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container as needed.  Chill thoroughly before using. Keeps about 7 days in the refrigerator.  May be frozen.”

{Here is my little eco-friendly commercial:  my local friends see me using old glass jars for everything from drinking fresh veggie juice or green smoothies to storing leftovers or…yep, my Beannaise.  Why store things in a plastic container which is leaching all kinds of yucky stuff into your food, when you already have plenty of glass jars just from buying things like pasta sauce, pickles, or peanut butter?  Sure, they will stack up eventually, and you will need to make a trip to the recycling center, but until then, save the various sizes (those pure-fruit jam jars are great for bringing little drinks in your lunch box, or for salad dressings, while the mason jar sizes are great for hummus, Beannaise, bigger portions of homemade dressings, leftovers, and well, for this southern girl, drinking some “healthy” sweet tea!) AND support your health while lowering your addition to rising energy costs, etc…

–just a thought!}

*For the fats, I go a few different ways…I have mixed olive oil and flax oil before (flax is ok as long as you don’t cook it over 400 degrees, or it becomes a hydrogenated oil), or olive oil and walnut oil, or whatever…if you have a flavor-infused oil, that could make an interesting mayo!  Something I REALLY like to do, is use 1 part EVOO to 1 part Veganaise–a vegan mayo product.  It gives it that much more mayo flavor on top of what your recipe is giving.  Recently, I used the last little bits of all the mayo’s we had in our fridge, as well as oil…some were an omega-3 brand, some were a “light” helmann’s, and some were Veganaise…plus the EVOO.  Obviously, it is up to you what is ok in your sense of moderation…just pray about it and wait for peace.  With all of the beans, you get much more fiber and protein than you do in your usual mayo!!!

Beannaise from "The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook"


For those who dig this stuff, here is the nutritional information provided with the original recipe’s ingredients:

per 2 Tbsp:

calories- 96, protein- 2g, fat- 8g, carb- 5g, calcium- 18mg, sodium- 60mg.

By the way, this book is a great book full of recipes for making “cheez” out of nuts, beans, and other items, as well as making sauces, spreads, entrees, etc all while being dairy free…This particular recipe is free of gluten, soy, nuts, yeast and corn…so, this cookbook addresses a myriad of food-related allergies…

It also has some great charts on how much calcium can be found in  plants vs dairy, and how much better balance one can find in protein, fats, and carbs in plant-based foods vs other more “traditional” ideas….

Check it out:   

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Uncheese-Cookbook-Delicious-Dairy-Free/dp/1570671516/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1307918406&sr=8-1

Ps…I have been known to keep mine longer than 7 days…but usually not much longer, because I use it up!!!

Now for the music portion of our spirit-lifting!

I have been in desperate need to get some new playlists going, but I have not been able to schedule the time to do it!  It literally takes me a few hours to do just one playlist…I have so much fun finding music, putting it together, seeing if the transitions are right…and then, one has to factor the technology aspect, a.k.a., are i-tunes and my i-pod going to engage together swimmingly today?  So, you see how I might put this project off to time when I can focus…

That being said, I STILL didn’t have much time last week, but I was determined.  Luckily, I started a playlist a few months ago that only needed a bit of tweaking, AND I decided to use one of my favorite teacher/friend’s playlist as a resource as well…thank goodness for the sharing of playlists…it is just another way that we as members of the church can come alongside each other, help each other out, and build each other up!  So, I tweaked my own playlist, then downloaded the music from hers and added a few more songs to make it long enough for my class, et Voila!  2 new playlists for the summer!  (and one of my favorite things about that process: when I can’t fit something in, it goes into the next playlist…so I am already halfway done with a few more; Hallelujah!!!)

{By the way, if you would like to know where my most favorite yoga studio is, where I trained to become a Christ-centered yoga teacher and to get my Registered Yoga Teacher certification, click here to be blessed!:

www.yahwehyoga.com

To read my graduate story, scroll down until you find “Robyn Hurst” on this page:

http://yahwehyoga.com/category/your-stories/

And now, back to the music!!!}

“In The Waiting (Robyn’s original–for encouraging focus as we wait upon the Lord…praising, praying, and moving, and praying some more!)

  1. Effortless Relaxation pt 1     Steven Halpern 
  2. Castle Lullaby     Roger Hudson
  3. It Is Well with My Soul    Various Instumental
  4. While We Wait     Jack Johnson
  5. You are Worthy     Instrumental, background vocal track
  6. Majesty (Here I am)     Delirious?
  7. In the Waiting     Greg Long
  8. While I’m Waiting     John Waller
  9. Wait     Mat Kearney
  10. Open Up the Sky     The Refuge
  11. Waiting Room     LaRue
  12. The Sound of Sunshine     Michael Franti & Spearhead
  13. Live High     Jason Mraz
  14. There will be a Day     Jeremy Camp
  15. Amazing Grace (ft. Ginny Owens)     Jim Brickman
  16. Sweet Hour of Prayer     Classic Worship
  17. I Surrender All     Classic Worship
  18. “prayer”     instrumental backing track
  19. Ideal Weight, Part 1o     Steven Halpern
  20. Jerusalem     Steven Halpern

“My Savior is My Peace” (modified version of Court’s Restorative playlist)

  1. Journey to Peace, Pt. 1     Liquid Mind
  2. Adagio for Sleep     Liquid Mind
  3. Holy! Holy! Holy!     Avalon
  4. In Christ Alone     Bethany Dillon & Matt Hammitt
  5. Do You Know This Man?     1000 generations
  6. Better than a Hallelujah     Amy Grant
  7. You Alone     African Village Band
  8. Intimacy     Jonathan David Helser
  9. You Alone     David Crowder Band
  10. Only You     David Crowder Band
  11. Jehovah Shalom     Shannon Wexelberg
  12. All the way my Savior Leads Me     Chris Tomlin
  13. All That You Have is your Soul     Emmylou Harris
  14. Blessed Always     Donna De Lory
  15. Journey to Peace Pt. 2     Liquid Mind
  16. Accelerating Self-Healing     Steven Halpern

hmmmmm…..just thinking about these songs inspires me….

I hope the same for you!  Peace out (in Him), my home-ginis and mayo (or miracle whip) lovers!

Ps—for the Miracle Whip lovers…no discrimination here…if you need more of a tang, add a little sweet to the above recipe,  like Truvia or honey, and see if that does the trick…maybe a little more lemon as well..it’s all up to your taste buds!!!

James 5:13

The Prayer of Faith

 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.

Isaiah 61:3

 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.”

And don’t forget the give-a-way this week!  Leave a comment below, maybe tell me your favorite mayo or miracle whip story, or share if one of the songs listed above is a favorite of yours?  I will enter your name into a drawing to be held Friday, June 17th, for a yoga mat bag! ( If you have entered on another day, you CAN enter AGAIN here!)

(This is for Southwest Missouri delivery only, unless you are willing to pay the shipping charges up-front—which I am totally willing to work with—…and thank you for understanding!!!)  Feel free to leave a comment even if you are not entering the give-a-way! (but please, let me know either way…)

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