Beyond the Twenty-First Time

Six years ago, I was bopping along in my car, oblivious to the need around me. A new song debuted on the radio station I was tuned to. As I listened, I had to put my turn indicator on and pull my car over.

To get my weeping on.

Monk & Neagle’s song, The Twenty-First Time was that powerful, for me. It overtook every excuse I had ever given for not recognizing Need. Grace took that opportunity to reach in, grab a hold of my heart, and gave it a much-needed shake.

I hope you can overlook some of the heavy-handed images that were chosen for this video. I am praying that Grace will reach in and touch your heart, in any way, for the good of the deeper message within the lyrics. And I deeply hope that we will all be willing to keep looking way beyond the twenty-first time.

William Shakespeare famously said that “When words fail, music speaks.”

May it be true here, today.

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This post is day 21 in the Write 31 Days challenge.

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Two for the Road

Driving is a source of great pleasure to me.  I know I’m not alone.

Although I much prefer to be. Alone. In my car.

My thoughts can breath. Aspirations and inspirations and exultation’s stop getting all mixed up. Moments of clarity become stretches.

How many times have you had a conversation with a parent of kids under 21 who exclaimed, “And, I got to drive for twenty whole minutes, ALL BY MYSELF!”?  How many times?  Maybe it was you who uttered that very thing just this week?

One of the most precious get-away moments comes as I press play on a song that mama wants to hear. Can I get an amen?

Here are two of my favorites. I’d like to share the music, of course. But, I’d also like to share the why, because I like each one for radically different reasons.

If you’ve never heard the words “amazing” and “grace”, together, about a song, then I ask you, where have you been living for the last 235 years?

There is a version of this song that has undone me more times than I care to count. Amazing Grace, (My Chains Are Gone) was the song I first sang upon realizing the extent of my deep need for True Grace to swoop down and save me. It was later the song that ushered in a realization that addiction was part of my DNA. It is The Song that reminds me, again and again, that my chains are exactly that – mine. I’ve truly been set free.

And Grace reminds me that it doesn’t matter what I chain myself to – or how many times I attempt to chain myself to anything other than the God who made me – He. Will. Find. Me.

And set me free.

While I won’t apologize for my taste in music (it is, after all, thinking in sounds), I will say that some things just appeal to my inner need for a beat.  When I first heard “Letting Go”, by Bethel Music, I was on the verge of making some rotten decisions.  The moment the words “you’ve brought me to the end of myself”, I knew.

I knew that Grace would meet me there. At the end of myself.

And He did.

And does.

What tunes go on the road with you? Share please!

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This post is day 2 of the #write31days over at The Nester’s website.

And Then, I Turned My Six Year Old Into a Go-Go’s Fan

I sing my children a lot of songs from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. I’m super cool that way.

Anything that can even remotely relate to our life experiences will be butchered sung. “Three Little Birds”,  “I’m Gonna Love You Forever”, “Vacation”, you name it! If it was first broadcast more than two decades ago, I’ve attempted to sing it for the entertainment of my Sweetkids. I’ve even purposefully switched up the words, on some songs, in an effort to help a child reach another developmental milestone.

And I butcher the tar out of every. single. one.

But, they don’t know that.

Or, they didn’t.

Recently, Sweetboy wanted to know if “Oh Mickey” was a real song. As if I could make up awesome lyrics like “You’re so fine you blow my mind. Hey Mickey!” all by myself…

So, of course, I had to show them.

On You Tube.

My poor deprived children know of The You Tube, but they haven’t had a lot of experience surfing around on it.

Plus, there’s that whole “what’s appropriate for little eyes” thing.

Suffice it to say, that once I fired up the first video of Toni Basil singing, “Oh Mickey”, and explained what a music video was, they were hooked.

Sweetboy lost interest around “I’m Gonna Love You Forever”, but Sweetgirl? Well, as soon as she caught sight of Belinda Carlisle singing “We got the beat”, she was a goner!

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That child sat through no less than 10 videos of the Go-Go’s singing all 4 of their greatest hits.  She watched various versions of each one, and about flipped out when we got to a later version where most of the band had cut their hair, short.

“WHY Mama?!?!”

Some questions, there are not answers for.

“I like them Go-Go’s”, she informed me. (We watched a few too many Country videos, before that. Apparently.)

I told her that I used to have That Exact Record right there, with the water-skiing cover.

“What’s a record, Mama?”

Some questions, I wish I weren’t old enough to answer.

Off to the side of the video we were watching, there were, of course, all of the other related videos. She recognized “Jane” and “Melinda” (I didn’t have the heart to correct her), and asked if we could watch one of those “new” ones.

But, as soon as she realized that these ladies were not with the band anymore, and I explained what going “solo” meant, another freak-out occurred.

WHY Mama?!?!”

Some questions…

“Let’s go back to the other ones where they sing together,” she asked me.

And just like that, another Go-Go’s fan was born.

With the touch of the “Play” button.

Yes indeedy!

Thank you You Tube.

If You Give a Mom Some Earphones

Today is International Women’s Day. I’d be remiss if I didn’t honor the women who have worked hard to pave the way for the rights and opportunities that exist for us today.

And, while I consider myself an excellent multi-tasker, this woman right here has learned that she truly can’t do it all.  But, in particular:

If you give a mom some earphones,

chaos may ensue.

She might become oblivious,

as music streams on through.

Things might be forgotten,

kids may be left waiting,

Chicken could be burnt,

all while she’s creating.

If she learns what’s good for her,

the earphones, she will hide.

Otherwise she soon may find

her problems multiplied!

Inspired by one of our family’s favorite children’s books, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff.

Sadly, I’ve come to realize how very much headphones and I don’t work well together. Unless you get an alarm involved.  (And, preferably, not the fire alarm.) Because, lately, every time I put on my headphones, click over to my beloved “All Sons & Daughters” radio station on Pandora, and attempt to multitask, any number of not-that-productive things can happen.

I could forget, for instance, that I put the chicken tenders in the toaster oven and the fire alarm could finally get my attention to let me know.

Or, I might start writing after putting the Sweetkids to bed, with the intention of writing for just a couple of hours, only to look up and see that it is 1:00 in the morning.  And those sweet children will be up and kickin’ again in five short hours.

Then, too, I’ve also had the great displeasure of locking myself out of my house, in my slippers. All because of those blasted headphones! I missed the arrival of the school bus and had to go to my kind neighbor’s house and explain why she had to scoop my kids up with hers.

Because, if you give a mom some headphones…

you should probably make sure that she also has an alarm.

Have you ever gotten lost in thought with your headphones on?  Please tell me other people do this too?

Reggae in Heaven

Doesn’t some music just say home to you?

Now, don’t laugh…but Reggae always speaks soothingly of home to me. Spending my summers in Bimini meant that I absorbed the music and rhythms of those around me.

Whenever I hear some of my favorites, I am instantly transported. I think of The Lady Up On The Hill who made the Johnny cakes and Bimini Bread on the other side of the island, or of the dances done at Brother Ozzie’s downtown bar to “Come Back MaryAnn”, or the radio tuned to reggae as the islanders cracked open the newly fished conchs for all of the tourists.

The music was everywhere. It flooded my soul almost as much as the summer sunshine did.

Reggae makes me relish those innocent summers when I played with the dozens of stray puppies without worry for where they would end up.  I miss doing the ring toss in Brown’s Bar downstairs from the hotel, without concern for anything other than how much candy we’d be overloaded with for all of our wins.  I fondly remember dancing with the Islanders, whose only aim was to teach a young lady how to keep time and rhythm to the flow of the island music.

To this day, put some Bob Marley on and I am instantly taken back to that time and place where I was free from stereotypes and ran the island with all of the other children that called Bimini “home”. That music reminds me that there was a time when there were no adult worries beyond what to rustle up for dinner amongst the things that were freshly caught in the waters that day.

Yup. I’m pretty sure there will be Reggae in Heaven.

Three little birds told me so.

Yes indeedy.

Bimini

What music takes you back?