samanthasound

Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

day 100 – the perks and challenges of nomadic living

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me on December 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

i guess you could say i’ve reached expert status in moving.  but it doesn’t get any easier the more you do it.

since moving for college in 2005, i’ve moved residences seven times.  now eight, counting the recent move back into my parents house.  before the year is over i will move one more time, into a home with John.  that will be nine moves in eight years.

if you’ve ever moved, you know that it’s taxing on more than just your time, effort, and ability to acquire dozens of cardboard boxes.  it’s taxing on your mind, emotions, and will.  it’s difficult to account for every little last item you own, from every piece of too-big-i-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-it furniture, to every last one of the gagillion paper clips and pens in every obscure drawer.  it’s difficult to ask for help, because you know you can’t do all that by yourself.  so often in the middle of moves i’ve thought, “i can’t wait to have one place where all my things will stay put for a long, long time.”   and still, i have that thought.

some moves are well thought out and planned.  other moves are leaps of faith and make your heart stronger and  your skin tougher.  either way, every move is a little scary.  it’s a new life, a new pattern, new habits, new people, new places and ways of doing things, whether it’s across state or country lines or whether it’s a move down the street.  it’s a definitive step into the unknown.

but i think what i’m coming to learn as a seasoned nomad is that all your belongings being in one place for a long time, enough to make it “home,” really isn’t the point.  it’s a nice thought, one that brings comfort, ownership, and security.  it makes you feel in control of your life, because you can dream and plan and live around the central location of that place.  and not that those things are bad things, but they’re not the point.  they’re not the main goals of life and living, to have one place to call home.   that’s been a tough lesson to learn.

i may have that one place, or i might not.  and it’s okay either way, because my home is not here.  oh, dear hearts!  he’s made us for heaven to be with Him!  the more i move all my things and myself around, the fuller i learn that.  and let me be honest, it’s hard every time i learn it, but it’s precious.  i may live on a farm in the countryside of Pennsylvania for 20 years or i might live in 100 more places and countries around the world before i die, and this short span of years is just the training ground.  the point is, i can and must forever trust the Lord with my life.  He’s taken me all these places in such a short amount of time, proving his love and care with me, letting me learn and find home in Him, which i’ll be doing the rest of my life.  and though it’s not been easy (really, who can say their life is?), it’s been an incredible journey literally laced with the Father’s grace, favor, and love.

here’s to many more years of that, and a true home sweet home in the presence of my God and King!

day 99 – why ya gotta do that, zooey deschanel?

In thoughts on things on December 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm

herein-lies my annoyances and overall appreciations towards actor/singer-songwriter/entrepreneur, zooey deschanel.

everyone loves you, zooey.  from the moment you charmed your way into our hearts in your green and red spandex and perfectly original voice in Elf, we knew you’d be here to stay.

then you marry Ben Gibbard.  all quietly and mysteriously and away from the public eye, we had to respect you and imagine what life would be like in your personally decorated home playing songs to one another.

and then you pair up with indie-folk giant M. Ward to produce fresh and warm sounds of yesteryear.  okay, Ben Gibbard and M. Ward, and jazzy, old-timey Camera Obscura-esque songwriting, along with a modest tour around the US in drool-worthy sparkly outfits?  then 500 Days of Summer with a perfect character and soundtrack.  girls like me had to feel the subtle twinge of envy mixed in with love.

we’re like you zooey!  but we’ve been in our small towns and totally un-famous, growing up on our joni mitchell and ella fitzgerald, singing along to death cab for cutie and scribbling songs in our journals.  we’ve been your biggest fans because you are so like us!  but you see, i can’t help but feel you capitalizing on that sound, that look, that style, that personality.  you’re capitalizing on things that make me me!  and now people say i am like you!   okay, i stole your hair-do a little here and there, but you know, it just made you look so sweet and fun.

i love singing christmas songs.  thankfully i eked in a version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” last year before you came out with A Very She and Him Christmas.  but what happened this year when i had the brilliant idea to record another Christmas favorite, The Christmas Song?  you got to it!  in fact you got to all of them, all of the best ones!  and i just can’t follow that zooey.  i’m raising my little white flag.

so i thought, oh yes, i know what i can do!  a New Years song!  Auld Lang Syne or What are You Doing New Years Eve!  i even practiced my voicing in the car, dreaming up instrumentation.  you just came out with your version of all the Christmas favorites, after all.  surely i’d have my pick of nye tunes!

nope.

and you did it with a ukelele and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  you win zooey deschanel.  you always do.

and i still love you.  but why ya gotta go and do that!?

day 98 – fun news from the heart of yours truly

In thoughts on me, thoughts on things on December 22, 2011 at 12:38 am

it was a beautiful day, delicately planned, prayed over, and poured into.

and i got to enjoy it as a complete surprise and treat!

just another Saturday, a day with 24 hours in it, just like the rest of them.

but in it i was taken away in the middle of the night, straight out of a sleep,

taken on a road trip adventure,

i watched the sun rise with the love of my life and best friend on the shore

with candles, flowers, blankets, and the cool winter ocean air,

and was wonderfully proposed to.

and i said yes, of course!

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it will be an honor to learn with him, to lean into the Spirit and hope in Him with each other, for forever.

we want to hear His voice and see His glory more than anything!

my heart is full of treasures!

day 97 – before this is over, i’m going to tell you about my music

In thoughts on me, thoughts on things on December 14, 2011 at 11:34 pm

 

so, i’ve purposely kept it a little mum.  lock and key.  lips sealed.  on the DL.

but i just can’t keep it in any more!  just for you my friends!  a little update on my music.

i started a project in November of 2009.  yes, over 2 years ago (can you believe that?), i decided to record a few songs on more than garageband.  i did not realize, of course, that that step would take me down a 2-year long road (and then some) for the result.  but the result is going to be better than i could have imagined or hoped for!  yes, after all of this time, my EP is most definitely on the way! (even though now the term “EP” is like a dead horse to me.  i just want to make up another name for it…. mini album.  teensyrecord.  shortstack.  ya know… feel free to add to the list)

it started out with a little steam of attention and a lot of gusto from myself – i made some silly and fun monthly update videos, until i realized that i could make all the update videos i wanted and be hilarious and still not record my songs well or put a great voice to them.  i played a handful of shows, and realized that i needed to focus and tend to the side of creating and recording for a good long while.  i even recorded all of the songs all the way through, and decided to start over.  start over?!?  was i kidding???  i couldn’t do that all again!

but i needed to eat that slice of this-isn’t-so-easy pie.  it didn’t taste good but it was really good for me.  and started the project again with stronger legs underneath me, steadier feet, and a better idea of what i really wanted.  with friends behind me and the Lord guiding my steps, i planned and planned and planned, and then, in June, i packed my bags for nashville.  10 days, 6 songs.

music inspires me.  it’s in my head all the time.  i hear beats and swells and orchestras and simple melodies every hour of the day.  i hear it in my turn-signal and in the pace of my steps down the sidewalk.  i have, in my head, a complete score to my life.  it’s all tied up in my conversations with God, in fashion, in art, in my relationships, in everyday life and the most simple, mundane things, in beautiful things and difficult things.  and i just want to share a little of that with you.

so, without further ado and long-windedness, i would like to announce (though still largely keeping mum on the matter) that my bite-size album is coming early in 2012.  for real!  in the next few months you can expect to see and hear

  1. a new website.  the hub of all things you need to know about my music, with a blog, of course : )
  2. some videos on said website
  3. a single
  4. albumette release!
  5. release party, of course!

if you’re reading this and you’ve pre-ordered the EP, don’t you worry.  i’ve got some pretty awesome things in store for you!

okay, glad that’s off my chest.  until then, get a little christmas cheer from this version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas that i did last year.

day 96 – if you’re hungry, go find food

In thoughts on God, thoughts on me on December 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

simple enough, right?

i was sitting in the audience when the man up front said those words, and then continued on with his message.  that simple phrase hit me, and i just held on to it.  i was hungry, and acting like i didn’t know where my food source was!  yes, i know where it comes from, but i just go on eating stuff that isn’t really food at all and always feel like i am tired, have so little to give, or that i’m just getting by.

ie: so much of my life.  can i get really down and personal with y’all?  i look for food everywhere, and i love to eat.  in my relationships i look for food to eat up and to make me bigger and stronger.  i look for food in my purposes and plans, in what i’m doing or planning on doing that is or seems important or impressive – my jobs, my blog, and all the other hats i wear.  i look for food in entertainment.  i look for it in the pantry, in my bank account, in my cup of coffee, and in my closet.

i have no other way to describe it than food.  real, good food that fills up the innermost parts of me.  as i get older i am learning that the best way to start my day – no matter what, no matter how christian-totalitarian it sounds, no matter what is going on in life, in pleasant plenty or in distress – the best way to start my day is with a heaping portion of food.  

to feast on the Word.  this requires so little of us that it seems like it can’t be real.  all we have to do is show up, sit down, and start eating.  isn’t that what we all really want?  feasting.  gorging!  going for seconds and thirds if we want.  hot, fresh, steaming food.  ice cold cups of water.  rich wines, endless.  fine cheeses.  there is plenty.  have you ever seen the movie Hook?  you know when Peter Banning sits at the table and sees the feast for the first time, with heaping bowls of colors and meats and fruits and anything you could possibly imagine?  it’s like that.  that’s what i mean.

wake up and take a BIG bite.  eat!  don’t worry about cleaning up before you sit at the table, just come right like you are!  the Word of God is the truest food.  it fills up in ways no other thing can fill – whether otherwise good things or downright bad things.  good and even great things made into the thing become bad things.   it’s trying to feast and survive on things that aren’t real food.  the good things resemble food but are just other parts of the party, and you’ve gotta eat to really enjoy them.  no one likes a cranky party guest trying to do business without having had a nice meal around the table with friends.

you know?  it is just so simple.  if you’re hungry, go find food.

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“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.  And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.  He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from the earth, for the LORD has spoken.”

Isaiah 25: 6-9

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“In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as all riches.  Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things our of your law.  Your testimonies are my delight, they are my counselors.  Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.  Great peace have those who love your law, nothing can make them stumble.  My soul keeps your testimonies, I love them exceedingly.  I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.”

Psalm 119 (various verses)

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“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… And from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”

John 1:14, 16

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and just for fun, Jesus’ first miraculous act:

“…there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee.  Jesus was invited to the wedding with his disciples.  When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”  And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me?  My hour has not yet come.”  His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

There were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.  Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.”  And they filled them up to the brim.  And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.”  So they they took it.  When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine.  But you have kept the good wine until now.”  This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory.  And his disciples believed in him.”

John 2: 1-12

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haha!  He so loves a good feast!

so eat up!

day 95 – taking my sweet time

In thoughts on me, thoughts on things on December 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm

in true samantha fashion.

it’s southern charm really, and a quiet, old soul that loves peace and quiet and prefers oodles of creativity, adventure, and wonder to deadlines and competitions.  like a glass of sweet tea on a wrap-around porch, or a cup of hot coffee to make the morning seem longer, i’m gonna enjoy every last drop of this til i’m satisfied.

it’s hard to know what to write.  when i think back to when i started blogging for this 100-day bout (well, i suppose now that was over a hundred days ago – but really, who is surprised at all by that?? hehe)  i can see how the days have slowly rolled by and how difficult it was, many times, to find something to say.  that’s always been something about myself i wish i was better at – saying just what i mean.  in person it can be a train wreck.  i’m the quiet girl with roller-coasters and highways of thoughts going all the time, and when i speak it can feel like a traffic jam.  i either say something in a way that is too complicated, or i say too little.  but the Lord is so good!  working in my heart and mind, and my mouth is less of a concern.

i have also felt that traffic jam in my writing.  i have so much to say, but often feel like i have nothing good or great enough to say.  and there’s the boundary of what i share out for anyone to read a fingertip’s length away, and what i keep and ponder in my heart and paper pages.  and there’s the getting over of fears and what people will think, *gulp*, about me!  The Lord has been teaching me so much about that the past few months!

which leads me to this – when i think back 100-some days ago outside of my writing and just look at what’s been going on in my life and in my relationships – with the Lord, with others, with work and other circumstances – so much has kept right on changing and growing and progressing.  maybe these little writings over this time will, more accurately than i see now, shed some light on a larger theme that the Father is orchestrating over a long period of time.  this is just a snippit of it, a micro-look into such a short season of my life.  but such a sweet and important season.  a rich season.

i read this passage the other day, and thought about how perfectly it has been my song in this rich season.

“You shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.  You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.  Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your god, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.”

Deuteronomy 8:2, 5-6

how wonderful, how rich, how blessed i am to see so clearly how the Father loves me, to chasten me and make me a woman of character, insight, wisdom, love, a woman bearing the beautiful fruits of His Spirit, and a woman clothed in strength and dignity, laughing at the future.  a woman who has willingness to work hard and learn, with a heart and mouth of wisdom and kindness.  He is so trustworthy with my life, every seemingly insignificant detail, every problem too big to bear – all things.  i still have so much of it to learn, over and over again, until it is belief in every fiber of my being and in every aspect of my life.  it is a joy to be humbled.  it is a privilege to know the wilderness, to see how very quickly i act like the israelites so discontent in my surroundings, so untrusting of the Lord’s care and plan in my life even after seeing miracles, and taking the beautiful, miraculous provisions He gives to me every day and say “not enough,” or “not what i want.”   He’s wringing out all of my heart like a dirty washcloth, right in front of me and right in front of Him.  because He loves me, and doesn’t leave me there.  He makes me white as snow, pure as gold, lovely as ever as He patiently and painstakingly works out the everything (doubt, fear, selfishness, idolatry, infidelity) with the blood of Jesus Christ.

it is good for me that i have been afflicted, that i may learn His statutes (psalm 119:71)  He knows the way that i take; when He has tested me, i shall come forth as gold! (Job 23:10-11)  i cannot wait until i can say – my foot has held fast to His steps; i have kept His way and not turned aside!  i am the richest girl in the world with a Father who really, for real loves me.

and that, my friends, is what i mean to say.

day 94 – for the “busy season” (and beyond)

In thoughts on me, thoughts on things on December 1, 2011 at 11:59 am

keep the things that matter the things that matter

open your hand to the poor

be willing to give away what you have

love with abandon

get out of your self

spend time with your family

and have the merriest christmas.