Monday, March 31, 2008

My Burd-day

video

My 30th Birthday was wonderful. I have to say that this phone msg left by my 2 year old niece was probably the bestest birthday greeting of the day hands down . . . ahhh have I ever mentioned how much I love being "Auntie"?? (The video isn't really exciting to watch, but the audio is definitely worth listening to:)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mallards

5 years ago today a beautiful mallard duck crossed my path. It was a bright sunny March day, much like today. There was still a little bit of snow on the ground, and if you listened closely the birds were chirping sweet little spring melodies. It was a lovely tranquil morning. Inside I felt far from tranquil. In my heart there was a tremendous weight, the heavy weight that only grief can bring. I didn't know how I was going to get through the day and I just kept praying that somehow God would get me through because I knew that my own strength wasn't enough.

The night before our family sat around the dinner table as my grandmother shared what exactly she had put in my grandfather's casket. She mentioned that she had put in a stuffed animal duck. My sister was baffled. And kept saying "a duck? you put a duck in the casket? why? I don't get it." My grandmother's reasoning made sense to me because I was the one who had given Tutty that duck. It was a stuffed mallard, and I brought it home one day when he was sick, because I knew how much he missed watching his ducks at the cottage. He kept that duck by his bed until he died. The duck represented Tutty's love for nature. My sister felt it an inappropriate gesture nonetheless and ranted about the "duck" for the rest of the evening.

The next morning as my sister and I were walking to the limousine that would take us to the funeral home where my grandfather's casket was waiting for his funeral procession, a beautiful mallard with a glistening emerald head waddled across the snowy path in front of us and then spread his wings and flew into the sky. I was just so amazed that an actual duck would appear out of nowhere. Neither of us acknowledged the duck at that moment because we were trying to be silent, but for me that duck was God's way of saying, "It will all be okay, I'm carrying you." In that moment that duck was a symbol of God's love for me. It gave me hope that I could get through that day. After the day was over my sister asked me if I had seen the duck. She said that she felt as though that duck was a sign from God and that she now didn't find the stuffed duck so odd anymore.

I have to admit, I just can't look at mallards as just ordinary ducks anymore. Anytime I see one, I stop not only to remember my grandfather, but more so to give thanks for the love and faithfulness of my loving Father. The Father who always provides us with exactly what we need in order to give us the hope and the strength that carry us through this life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Opera

Have I mentioned how much I love opera? Of course it's assumed since I've spent more than half my life training to sing it, but seriously there is just something about it. . . . I've been spending a lot of time lately just listening to as many recordings as I possibly can of amazing singers, mainly because I'm trying to pick a ton of new rep to work on and eventually build into my ongoing list. I do this about once a year and it's at this time when I just listen -when I Listen without analysis, when I listen as an audience member rather than an aspiring opera singer - that I really remember what it was that drew me to the art form in the first place. . . there's just something so beautifully human about it. . . the stories that are told, the emotions that it evokes. . . .
Sometimes as I work at it myself, I lose perspective of what an extremly powerful art form opera can be.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Measuring Up

Knowing that I will never ever measure up is something that I will always have to face. Understanding this ultimate truth is the challenge of life. Understanding that no matter how hard I try I will never ever meet any of the real standards that I so desire to meet. Understanding that it is the desire to measure up that so often causes me to fail. Understanding that disregarding this fact will be the cause of my downfall. Understanding that the temptation to ignore this knowledge is the strongest weapon that can be used against me. Understanding that it is only through my understanding of never being able to measure up that I can comprehend the true meaning of grace, mercy, and love.
Comprehending and being able to acknowledge that I will never measure up is the single greatest gift I've ever received.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ok Diva, time to spill the beef !

People who make assumptions about other people, eventhough they've never even taken the time to carry on a real conversation with the other person. We all do it, but yup that's definitely my beef today.