Whisper to a riot

The words of Dave Grohl,  “whisper to a riot” (Song called “Walk” from the band, Foo Fighters) create a dichotomy of audible discernment interpreted by many in different ways.  For some, it speaks simply of the musical style of the Foo Fighters, which often starts with a catchy tune or lyric and eventually explodes into less melodic screaming synonymous with grunge or punk music.  For me, its symbolism reflects growth from someone shy or intimidated who comes into their own and is no longer afraid but stands boldly to proclaim something they’re passionate about.   More specifically, it accurately describes my journey in faith. 

People are often surprised when they hear me say I’m shy and introverted but truthfully, I’m perfectly content when I’m all alone.  Some say it’s because I’m seldom all alone, and that if I were, I would feel differently – I’m not sure about that.  As a very little girl, I was painfully shy and terribly awkward.  In school, I hated to be called on, even if I knew the answer.  I preferred  (and still prefer) to be largely unnoticed despite the fact that my deepest desire is to make a strong positive impact on people.  My favorite opportunities to play music for people occur when I can simply be background music out of the limelight.

As it relates to my faith, for most of my young life, I kept my belief’s to myself.  I didn’t really see a reason to share my thoughts or beliefs with others.  Something’s changed, however, over the course of my life, and more specifically last summer when I felt as if God asked me if I’m willing to share my story.   At first, I wondered out loud what story I could possibly have to share, but as I’ve stepped out in obedience, I’ve realized that God has done some amazing things in my life and the lives of people around me that it excites me to share the good news.   Truly, the more that happens to me, the more I want to share with others.  I’ve truly become part of the “go bold or go home” club.

This reminds me of a verse in Luke 12:8
“I tell you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will also confess him before the angels of God.”

My challenge today to each of you is move from whisper toward riot. Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to share your story with someone. Who knows, you may discover or unleash a new passion.

Be blessed, my friends!

SB

Copyright 2018. Journey for life. All rights reserved.

Song of the day: rooftops

Lyrics:

Here I am before You
Falling in love and seeking Your truth
Knowing that Your perfect grace
Has brought me to this place
Because of You I freely live
My life to You, O God, I give
So I stand before You, God
I lift my voice ’cause You set me free

[Chorus]
So I shout out Your name
From the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours

[Verse 2]
All the good You’ve done for me
I lift up my hands for all to see
You’re the only one
Who brings me to my knees
To share this love across the earth
The beauty of Your holy word
So I kneel before You, God
I lift my hands ’cause You set me free

[Chorus]
So I shout out Your name
From the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours
All that I am
I place into Your loving hands
And I am Yours, I am Yours

Gym playlist #8. Walk. (Foo Fighters)

Immediately following the most hellacious 3 minutes of my treadmill routine, I consider this song my “recovery” song. A slower pace, but good beat and message, “walk” is one of my favorite Foo Fighter songs.

Written by Dave Grohl, it’s been speculated to symbolize his own recovery after the death of friend and band member Kurt Cobain (Nirvana).

I highlighted the lyrics that speak most to me in this song below. First and foremost, the recognition of being lost is the first step to finding your way back. The uncertainty in the statement “I think” paints a gut-wrenching familiarity of knowing something is missing but not quite sure what or how to fix. I’ve felt this and I feel other people feeling this, and pray they find their way as I have found mine.

“Getting good at starting over every time that I return” paints vivid imagery of the prodigal’s son. The most vivid message I ever heard on this biblical account was by Judah Smith at Calatyst Convention a few years ago. Judah pointed out that when the son returned, the father didn’t wait for him to get cleaned up before running to him and hugging him. In truth, the son was probably filthy. That didn’t stop the father from meeting him exactly where he was and bringing him back home

So, too, the Fathers love for us. No matter how many times we’ve strayed, or how far we’ve gone, He always welcomes us back.

For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:24.

For the whole account, read here Prodigal

A million miles away
Your signal in the distance
To whom it may concern
I think I lost my way
Getting good at starting over
Every time that I return

Learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
Learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

Do you remember the days?
We built these paper mountains
Then sat and watched them burn
I think I found my place
Can’t you feel it growing stronger
Little conquerors

Learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
Learning to talk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?

Now,
For the very first time
Don’t you pay no mind
Set me free, again
To keep alive, a moment at a time
That’s still inside, a whisper to a riot
The sacrifice, the knowing to survive
The first decline, another state of mind
I’m on my knees, I’m praying for a sign
Forever, whenever, I never wanna die

I never wanna die
I never wanna die
I’m on my knees, I never wanna die
I’m dancing on my grave
I’m running through the fire
Forever, whenever
I never wanna die
I never wanna leave
I’ll never say goodbye
Forever, whenever
Forever, whenever

Learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
Learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

Learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?

The 1,000 mile Journey – Week 2

Two weeks ago, I began a journey of 1,000 miles – my second one (the first 1,000 was in 2015).   Joining my friend as a show of support to get in shape, I decided to give myself a goal – 1,000 miles (because, why not).   

So, within 2 weeks, I’ve traveled 67 miles.  It’s not an auspicious beginning, but it is a beginning nonetheless.  I am moving in a positive direction, which is more than I was doing last month. Along the way I’ve had to get reacquainted with some things, like the proper way to pack my gym bag (not forgetting a towel, or gym clothes, or socks, or makeup, lol), and setting my workout targets (like finishing 8 miles within 35 min, or rowing 3 miles in 28 minutes).

If I intend to finish 1,000 miles in 12 week, I’d have to average 83 miles a week or 14 miles a day (with one day off per week). 16 weeks is more like 10 miles a day. Doable on a bike, for sure, a bit aggressive for me on a treadmill. I’m still getting into a groove but will say for now somewhere between 12 and 16 weeks I’d like to complete the current 1,000 miles.

This summer, my youngest daughter and I will be part of a missions team to NYC. One of our planned fundraisers is a “century” bike ride (100 miles in one day with opportunity to join at the 50 mile, 25 mile or 10 mile mark). I know we can do 10 or 25, so I’m setting my sights on the 50, maybe a stretch goal of the whole 100. This will prepare me for my longer term goal to bike from Pittsburgh to Washington DC.

I appreciate all of you who have been supportive of this journey. I’ll keep you posted on my progress along the way!

Blessings,

SB

Copyright 2018 journey for life. All rights reserved.

Gym Playlist # 7 – Anticonfirmity (Krystal Meyers)

This is by far the most difficult part of my treadmill workout.  At a solid 5.0 MPH (which is a full run for me and my short legs), this 3 minute song feels more like an eternity.    This song is exactly the reason why I play music during my walk/run/whatever you want to call it. 

Classified as Christian Punk Music (??) this song is from 2005 and has a lot of fire in it.   It reminds me of a saying that one of our pastors used to say about teens – they work so hard to be different that they are all the same.

Besides the quick pace of this song, the message to me is one that tells me never to be afraid to be who I am.  As my good friend says when I tell her to be herself, “I tried to be someone else once, but failed at it, so now I’m just me – who else would I be”. 

Be Blessed today, my friends.

SB

copyright 2018 Journey – For – Life  all rights reserved. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G5-LrNWXh0

It’s all around, pressure from my so called friends
It’s all around, I’m measured by some stupid trend
It’s all around, everyone is just like them
It’s all around, it’s all around, it’s all around

So I’m anticonformity
I don’t try too hard to be
I’m not what you think you see
Inside, I’ve made a change
And I’ll never be the same, no way

They conform, un-individuality
And they conform, forget about variety
Yeah, they conform, they don’t know what they believe

They conform, they conform, they conform

So I’m anticonformity
I don’t try too hard to be
I’m not what you think you see
Inside, I’ve made a change
And I’ll never be the same, no way Image is overrated
If it washes off in the rain
You know, you gotta go deeper
To go against the grain

So I’m anticonformity
I don’t try too hard to be
I’m not what you think you see
Inside, I’ve made a change Anticonformity
I don’t try too hard to be
I’m not what you think you see
Inside, I’ve made a change
And I’ll never be the sameYeah, I’m anticonformity, anticonformity, anticonformity
I’ll never be the same, no way
Anticonformity, anticonformity, anticonformity
Inside, I’ve made a change
And I can never be the same

Daunting Doubts

In my sophomore year of college, I signed up to be part of a Co-Op program between local companies and the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering.  I was pursuing a degree in electrical engineering, and, though the program added 1-2 semesters to my overall college career, it provided an awesome opportunity to do hands-on work in the field of engineering, gain experience and create good networking contacts.   The program was designed to have students work full-time for a company during their second-semester sophomore year instead of attending classes, then attend class full-time during the next semester – and continue this rotation right through graduation.  Not all students who signed up were hired by companies, but the university did its best to ensure all applicants had a fair shot at interviewing.  The students were subject to candidate competition just as in the “real world”. 

On the day before my interview in the Test Engineering department of a local manufacturing company, I learned that one of my classmates was also interviewing with the same company.  He was a better student than I was.  He would surely get the job.  The insecure part of me told me that perhaps I should cancel the interview, but the rational part of me told me I should interview if not just for the experience of it.  I was positive Tom would get the job; there was no way I could compete against him.

I approached the interview much as I approach everything in life – by just being me; open and honest and just myself.    When the  Test Engineering manager asked me what motivates me, I answered with the only honest answer I could give:  “Fear of Failing”.   A few days after the interview, I was surprised when I was offered the position.  I accepted, and became the only female in the test engineering department.

During my first semester working there, I created schematics for black-box testers they used but didn’t have documentation for in case they ever needed to recreate, and designed and built some additional test equipment.  I also worked on a process problem that they were having, which involved gathering and evaluating data on their combustible gas sensor manufacturing process.  At the end of the semester, I had to give a presentation to the CEO of the company (along with my boss and managers in between).   Within the first few minutes of the presentation, the CEO discovered that I was left-handed – and so was he, so he made a few comments which helped to put me at ease.   After the presentation, my boss told me I had done a great job. I mentioned that, though I was finished with the “project” itself, I wanted to follow through with the process changes that were made, to see how they were performing during my school semester.  I asked if they could continue to send me data during the semester.  He was so surprised by this that he went to HR to ask if I could simply work part-time during my school semesters; so, until I graduated, I worked for that company – sometimes full-time and sometimes part-time. 

Sadly, as I approached my graduation time, the company had a hiring freeze because it was closing a plant in another state and relocating people to Pittsburgh, so they were unable to offer me full-time work after graduation.  During my exit interview, my boss told me two things that really impressed him about me.  The first was that comment about being motivated by fear of failing during my interview.  He said he’d never had anyone be so honest in an interview before – that was the single moment that secured the position for me – brutal honesty.   

The second thing that impressed him was how well I fit in with his male-dominated department.  Most of the guys in the department were in their mid-late twenties (I was 20-22 at the time), although a few a bit older, and all of them respected my work, were able to kid around with me.  We all had a great working relationship  (some of them called me “cupcake” – LOL – that was before people got so uptight about everything).    I’ve actually kept in touch with a few of them for all these years. 

Thinking back to my own moments of self-doubt, when I thought for sure Tom would get the position over me. I could have crumbled in the face of competition, but I didn’t allow my insecurities to deter me. Instead, I just was myself, and I happened to be who they were looking for. When you’re feeling insecure about something, just remember that sometimes you can’t see the big picture. Keep your faith and be yourself Be blessed today, my friends

SB

Copyright 2018 journey for life. All rights reserved

Gym playlist #6 Burn it down (Skillet)

Do you ever wish that you weren’t a prisoner?
Do you feel like you’re done?
All the dreams you had are hard to remember
Well, you’re not the only one

Well it’s over, it’s over, it’s over
I won’t be pushed around
Move over, move over, move over
Get back or just get out
Set this plane up in flames
It’s over, it’s over, it’s over
It’s time to burn it down

This one goes to the castaways
Who break their backs slaving every day
All these things I can do without
Gotta burn it down, burn it down
Burn it down, burn it down
Burn it down, burn it down
Burn it down, burn it down

Do you ever feel your colors are fading
Like your world might combust
Do the voices in your head make you crazy
When they’re the only ones you trust

Well it’s over, it’s over, it’s over
I won’t be pushed around
Move over, move over, move over
Get back or just get out
Set this plane up in flames
It’s over, it’s over, it’s over
It’s time to burn it down

This one goes to the castaways
Who break their backs slaving every day
All these things I can do without
Gotta burn it down, burn it down
Burn it down, burn it down
Burn it down, burn it down

It’s over, it’s over, it’s over
Move over, move over, move over
It’s over, it’s over, it’s over
I won’t be pushed around
Move over, move over, move over
Burn it down, burn it down

This one goes to the castaways
Who break their backs slaving every day
All these things I can do without
Gotta burn it down, burn it down

Burn it down, burn it down
(I won’t be pushed around)
Burn it down, burn it down
(Get back or just get out)
Burn it down, burn it down
(I won’t be pushed around)
Burn it down, burn it down
(Get back or just get out)
Burn it down, burn it down

To be honest, this song is from more recent Skillet discography – it’s an ok song, but what really picked it for is pace.   Enjoy it or not, it’s out there.   Be Blessed today,

SB

copyright 2018 – journey for life – all rights reserved. 

Outgiving

In 2012, my husband had a life-changing medical event and was off work for nearly a year.   At Christmas-time that year, he got word that there was a package for him at his place of employment.  He stopped one day to pick up it up, and brought home two enormous gift bags the size of large garbage bags.   The folks at his shop said only that one of their customers, who had heard about Rich’s injury, stopped by with the package – they didn’t know who it was or weren’t telling.

We gathered the entire family around to open the gift.  We were awestruck by what we saw.  Though not knowing us at all, someone had tried to find gifts appropriate for each person in the family.  There were games, and blankets, and candles, and decorative pillows, and treats, and all kinds of goodies.  In addition to the thoughtful trinkets, there was a devotional book along with a Christmas card about the Savior of the World.  

We were all completely humbled that someone we didn’t know would have taken the time and effort to have so elaborately put together as thoughtful of a package as they possibly could without knowing the family.  All they knew was that Rich was out of work – and they felt his family should get to have a Christmas.   

We tried to find out who had left the gift so that we could properly thank them, but were never able to.  In reality, I don’t believe they did it to receive a thank you. 

I wept hard that night at the thought of the compassion bestowed upon us.   I vowed to always do my best to do similar for other families, and every year, now, I look for opportunities to be a blessing to others

Just a few weeks ago, one of the store managers where Rich works had a heart attack, and is off work for 8 weeks.   Almost immediately after it happened, Rich asked if we could organize a financial gift for him and his family.  He said he’d like to ask the other guys in the shop to contribute but didn’t know what kind of response he’d get.  I assured him that we’d be happy to not only organize, but fill the gap to make it a good financial blessing for his family.   He got to work collecting money, and we put the final amount into a card last Friday and gave it to the man, who was overwhelmed with emotion.  

The following day, Rich found out that the company had achieved a sales target it had been trying to achieve for 4 years, and so gave everyone in the company a bonus – it happened to be the exact amount that we had put into the envelope for the manager.    My husband was surprised about this.  When he told me about it, I simply smiled and thought, “you can’t out-give God.”  This is a principal I’ve long known, and it is a such a blessing for me to see that others can see it as well. 

photo cred: sheisstronginhim.com

Be Blessed today, my friends!

SB

copyright 2018 Journey For Life  All Rights Reserved