Why I Prefer to Sing in a Choir

I mentioned on Thursday night that I had no excuse not to sing my own piece of the Great Litany today… and I did. I also had the experience of opening my mouth and having nothing come out of it, so I asked the person beside me (who was the musician from Wednesday) if he’d sing that section with me. I got myself back together and did the rest of my share of the petitions in my very quiet and breathy head voice which doesn’t project well… but is still mine. Surprisingly, life went on and my choir director gushed later about how proud she was of me for not panicking and keeping going.

This is why I sing in a choir, y’all. The person next to me held my hand while I was singing my sections because I was completely terrified, and he hugged me when it was all over, despite the fact that we’re in Washington state and dealing with COVID-19 hysteria. This is what all of my choir members are like and why I make choir practice a priority, even when I am dead tired.

Someone (not St. Augustine) made the comment that he who sings has prayed twice. They weren’t kidding, especially with the Great Litany today! It covers every possible need… and then a few.

Still, I really prefer to sing with other people. There is something amazing about joining voices with other people that gives me a glimpse of heaven.

Saturday Music: “How Deep the Father’s Love”

When I first heard this song, I thought it was probably from the 19th century. It isn’t. It’s from the 1990’s and Stuart Townend (the composer) wrote it as a hymn, which is a style different from his normal contemporary works. (Source)

I’m sharing it because I love it and it focuses on Jesus dying on the cross, which is what saves us as Christians.

7 Quick Takes: Booted Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Explaining the title. I sprained my foot and then proceeded to be my peripatetic self for two weeks until it got excruciatingly painful to put weight on it. So… I went to Urgent Care last Friday, got an x-ray done, and they put me in a walking boot. I asked if they couldn’t just show me how to tape it up, and the provider looked at me like I was crazy. (I am, but that’s not the point.)

So… I’ve been in the boot for about a week now and it’s helping me to not make it worse. It has also led to my priest calling me “Stumpy” (no, I didn’t kick him), one of my choir members teasing me about fighting him for the last pancake on Tuesday (I didn’t), and my evil twin commenting that I got “booted” for having unpaid parking tickets. Hmph.

My boot.

— 2 —

Dress funnies. I woke up at 9:02 on Tuesday and had to be at the clinic for my appointment at 9:20. I hurriedly tossed on a dress and my fitness leggings, put a sock on my booted foot, shoved my foot into the boot, limped downstairs, put a dress shoe on my non-booted foot, and managed to make it out of the house by 9:10. I arrived at the clinic with coffee at 9:17. 😀 (My former mother-in-law used to joke that I could go from “zero to car” in 4 minutes… which is kind of accurate.)

However, I stunned my parents by wearing a dress on a day other than Sunday, and one of my co-tutors barked at me for wearing a dress on a day when I wasn’t on campus. I am now required to provide 24 hours notice to her if I plan to wear a dress so she can witness this. (I did send her a picture.)

My dress from Tuesday.

— 3 —

Forsythia. My grandmother used to bring forsythia from her garden to church during this time of year before Lent started, so I brought some last Sunday in her memory. Mom picked it and forced it along toward opening. Those who knew Grandma and Grandpa loved it.

Forsythia.

— 4 —

Facing my fears. Before worship yesterday, I asked our musician (who normally sings tenor in the choir) if he needed help with music during Communion. He said that he’d be happy to have me sing with him because it meant that I could sing in English and he could sing simultaneously in Spanish… which is how I ended up cantoring “I Am the Bread of Life” with him and inadvertently facing my fear of singing by myself in public. I now have no excuse not to take my own cantoring part in the Great Litany on Sunday… maybe.

My #ashtag.

— 5 —

Elizabeth Warren. She appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the videos are hysterically funny. It’s so good to see a candidate with a sense of humor. I’m sure she wouldn’t boycott the White House Correspondents Dinner like 45 has.

— 6 —

WTAF?!?!?!? This just infuriates me.

— 7 —

Kelly’s Lent. Girlfriend is crazy. Her Lenten list is here.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Things I Will *NOT* Give Up For Lent Edition

7 Quick Takes

Lent starts for those of us in the West next Wednesday at midnight. Here are some things that I will *NOT* give up for Lent this year.

— 1 —

Coffee. My Lenten discipline should be penitential for *ME*, not everyone around me. It’s also a safety risk for those who have to interact with me.

— 2 —

YouTube. I need entertainment, OK?

— 3 —

Yarn. Let’s not deprive me of one of my stress releases, y’all.

— 4 —

My iPod. Again, let’s not make me get rid of one of my stress releases. Singing along to it in traffic keeps me from inflicting my road rage on others.

— 5 —

Sleep. I do this enough already!

— 6 —

Swearing. I’d be broke within the first day of having a swear jar for Lent. (I’m pretty sure my students would have a pool going as to which hour this was going to go down.)

— 7 —

Pens. I have a little bit of a pen addiction…

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Long Time, No Write Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Just a head’s up that there may/may not be Amazon affiliate links in this post because I am an Amazon affiliate.

Good news regarding the kid. We saw Daniel’s actual G-I specialist instead of just her PA this week for the first time in 18 months, and she was giddy to see him with actual weight on him. Kiddo was 59.96 lbs at weigh-in (we’re going to say 60 lbs because 0.04 lbs is basically the difference of a cup of milk), and he is now 4’7.5″ tall. I’m 5’1″, so kiddo needs to knock it off with getting taller!

— 2 —

Cleanse this weekend. His G-I specialist did feel a bowel blockage, so we “get” to do a cleanse this weekend in the form of senna and lots of Miralax dissolved into apple juice. I’m giddy… NOT.

— 3 —

A song I have had in my head lately. I’m working on my church’s Lenten devotional book and the name is “Agape”, so the following has been stuck in my head.

— 4 —

Update on the perimenopausal dysphoria. I saw my doctor about it a little over 2 weeks ago, and she put me (the girl who can’t get pregnant except involving an angel and the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit along with miraculously regrowing three organs) on birth control because she had never had a patient go into menopause this early and the thing she’d give me for the dysphoria is already a medication I take. It seems to be helping… when I’m not hitting grief wells inside of me because of my writing subjects for the Lenten devotional book and my students aren’t triggering PTSD-related panic attacks. (Yeah, that day was a freaking joy. My therapist had never seen me cry before my appointment that next day.)

— 5 —

Slacker mom Valentines. Are your kids in school for the first time and having to do Valentines for their class? Here’s the slacker mom way: address labels + a template from Avery.Com + appropriate fruit snacks = Valentines for everyone in 10-15 minutes. You’re welcome.

Slacker mom Valentines

— 6 —

Early morning panther selfies. Now that I’m usually up early and praying, I tend to acquire a needy panther who thinks it should be a “stay home and snuggle your panther” day. (He got one today because my morning student canceled.) This leads to some interesting selfies where my eyes aren’t fully open yet.

Early morning panther selfies.

— 7 —

Gifts from my grandfather. My grandpa sends me rainbows from heaven when I really need to know everything will be OK. This week has been no exception.

Rainbows from my grandpa.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: I Love the Pacific Northwest Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Bucolic joy. On Sunday morning, it was raining but the sun came out around noon. I was on my way to Trader Joe’s in Bellingham and was driving down the hill on Broad Street to get to I-5 North when I saw the most stunning sight. The sky was clear, the sun was shining, and I was high up enough to see a stretch of the Skagit River with the sunlight shimmering on the water. It filled me with awe and joy to see it. I love the Pacific Northwest.

— 2 —

First snow. We got our first snow of the year here in Mount Vernon last night and this morning. 95% of it is melted off now (just before noon), but it looked like a giant hand had sifted powdered sugar on everything this summer. It was also nice and wet snow, which was great as it made it SOOOOOO much easier to clean off my car this morning.

— 3 —

Joy from today. In the interest of keeping my intention on making time for prayer daily (other than saying grace), I’ve made sure that I have various things at my fingertips like the prayerbook from the nice folks at Sacred Space, the Trisagion, and the podcasts from the Pray As You Go folks, so that has been helpful. Today’s Pray As You Go meditation was on Luke 5:12-16, which I know better in the Gospel of Mark. It’s the story where a leper tells Jesus that he can heal the leper if he chooses, and Jesus says “I choose to.” It is one of my favorites because Jesus looks on the leper with compassion when he tells the leper that he chooses to heal him. The reflection was interesting as it was talking about whether or not we choose to let Jesus in to heal us and what we ask to be healed.

— 4 —

The Iran situation. I go to church with a couple who taught English in Iran prior to the 1979 Revolution, so the news lately has been distressing me. I’ve seen the country through their eyes, and what I’m seeing is that we just assassinated a general in another country’s military. That is a war crime. I’m angrily stunned at what has taken place.

— 5 —

The cast of MASH on this situation. This describes my feelings well.

The best explanation of my take on the impending hostilities.

— 6 —

Daniel. We’ve had a couple good days with Daniel that are like what we had prior to the beginning of 2018 when his behavior started declining, he gradually stopped eating, and we think the bowel blockage was continuing. It’s always nice to get a brief glimpse of gaining back lost ground.

— 7 —

Our anthem for Sunday. We sing this during Epiphany every year at my church and I thought I would share. The words are from a hymn sung during Lauds at the feast of the Transfiguration, and the translation is:

O Light born of Light,
Jesus, redeemer of the world,
with loving-kindness deign to receive
suppliant praise and prayer.

Thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh
for the sake of the lost,
grant us to be members
of thy blessed body. (Source)

The recording of the hymn is here.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.