Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Relaxing Power of Music

It was a gray day inVirginia. The low hanging clouds and chill in the air gave a whisper that autumn was on its way. And although autumn brings to mind football games and crunchy apples, on this particular day my spirits dragged.

 The passing of my Mom brought a painful emptiness inside. The sudden loss of my older brother added to my gnawing sadness. Financial pressures. Decisions. And then, wherever I turned something needed fixing.

 Single parenting certainly has its moments. Along with being  teacher, cook, chauffeur, and doctor, plumber and mechanic are on my list of roles.  Even after many years of experience I still am not a plumber or mechanic. So the toilet that refused to flush properly, the leaking refrigerator and the broken garbage disposal headed my list of repairs for the day.

 My spirits sank even lower just thinking about the things that needed attention.

 But then through the early morning mist I heard the faint chirping of a bird.

 My heart lifted with sheer delight and I turned my head to see where the bird could be. But I saw nothing and slowly proceeded back to my home. And then I heard it again. A faint, delicate trill.

 My heart beat faster with joy. Absolute joy.

 Once more the chores of the day faded into the background.

 It has always been that way for me. Music has a way of lifting me into another realm that truly relaxes and calms.

 Yes research has shown that music has the power to not only soothe but also to heal.  The “music” of the earth affects our brainwaves causing a healing in our cells and organ. The music we choose to listen also impacts our brain. Yes, from Bach to rock, we are either stimulated or relaxed by the music we choose to listen to.

 Hearing the simple trill of a solitary bird reminded me once again of the power of music to lift the spirit and energize. It wasn’t long before I was back inside playing my favorite CDs. From the soothing melodies of Tim Janis, to the classics of Mozart and Brahms, to a praise and worship melody- I find that music leads me to a place of peace and hope and healing.

 Choose your music carefully. Not all music is relaxing. Nor is it all beneficial for the mind, body and soul.

 But music is a gift which when used properly can lift your spirits and add color to any gray day.

Have you discovered the relaxing, healing power of music? If  not, take some time to explore the power of music today. You’ll be amazed.

Safe

It’s been a strange week. An earthquake on Tuesday left my daughters and I rattled and unnerved. Along with straightening pictures and sweeping up glass from the cherished broken crystal glasses we also sought ways to relax again in our home.

 Relax?

 “I always thought I would be safe here,” my youngest spoke putting words to our deepest fear.

 Even as she said it I sighed within. Would any of us ever feel safe again in our home?

“You are safe, honey,” I reassured giving her a squeeze, “because your safety is in the One Who holds you.

 Safe, no matter what.

 My girls and I held each other close for a long time.

Gratitude filled our hearts as we saw buildings condemned and then torn down.

 In only a few seconds a familiar deli is now permanently closed.

In only a few seconds sanctuary ceilings are cracked.

In only a few seconds school buildings were seriously damaged.

 But

no lives were lost. Miraculously no one was hurt.

 Once more neighbor stood beside neighbor watching with horror and waiting to see if their homes would crumble.

 Shaking earthquakes have led to stronger relationships.

A big hug. A tender embrace there.  Phone calls of concern.

 Hearts that look up in faith to the One Who Loves and understand maybe a little more that safety is only in Him. That’s how it’s always been. And that’s how it will always be.

A Peace that Grows

Someone  has said that “he only is advancing in life whose heart is getting softer, whose blood is warmer, whose brain quicker, whose  spirit is entering into living peace”.

 Peace, to be peace, must be a living peace. Oftentimes folks think that retreating from responsibility or becoming numb to life’s difficulties is peace. But true peace is a quiet within in the midst of activity and responsibility. In the midst of earthquakes and hurricanes, illness and loss.

 Have you discovered it?

 Although I am aware of my own continual need for growth in this area, I am also discovering the wonder of receiving peace and then responding in peace. Over time living in a state of peace can become as natural as breathing. And isn’t that what we would all like to experience?

 We live in circumstances that continue to challenge a life of peace. News and weather reports threaten our peace of mind. Friends disappoint. The unexpected happens.

 So how do we grow in peace? And is it really possible?

 Yes it is possible. And that is the first step to growth in peace. The more we realize and accept that peace is not a luxury for only a few but a possibility for us, the more we begin to seek ways to discover it ourselves.

 Peace is a sign of a growing life.

 Peace is a growth in adjustment. It is growth in maturity of character. Changes will most certainly come in life. Accept those changes. But remember what never changes and hold tight to that.  

 In a world filled with constant change fix your eyes on the Unchanging One. He will never disappoint you.

 Be at peace this week.