Music makes the whole world go around

After a week of dealing with a lupus flare, I recalled my hospital stay in 2008 and my long track back to better health during the time I recovered from CDiff .

I did much walking. I would step out of the house and just walk!  I had anxiety issues so going for a walk would help. And while I walked I would play my iTunes or play music at home throughout the day.

I’ve always been passionate for the artists I listen to and have always received joy from their songs to this day.  I can hit repeat and never get bored.

When I was little, my parents would often have weekend parties. They would play music from Santana, Mexican music artists, and some popular artists of the 1970s and early 80s.  I used to love to dance to this music and so I grew a love for music early on.

Then MTV happened.  My attachment to music got stronger.  And for whatever reason, I became a rebel in my own mind on who I chose to listen to.  I ended up choosing to listen to groups that were about some form of leather and spikes. It made me feel tough and almost like showing those around me I’m going against the grain. Yes, I was bad to the bone….. Ha!

My mom bought me a stereo for Christmas one year. She never complained to me, but I wonder now if she regretted it. I would turn the speaker out the bedroom window so that my friends and I could listen to music while playing in the front yard.  Not caring or even wondering if the neighbors were disturbed by it.  I also had a beat box. Again, going around the neighborhood carrying it, playing the music loud. Sometimes with roller skates on.

Throughout the stages of my life, I have had some sort of theme music to go with it. But now as I’m older, I find myself wanting to only hear the oldies but goodies. It takes me to a time and place that seemed innocent. Tank tops, shorts, ice cream man, trips to the store with my Dad, road trips to California, summer time at the beach, riding my bike through the desert trails, and slow Sunday mornings.

The music stirs a comfort in my heart that satisfies an emotion. I can’t hug my Dad but if I hear a song, I remember him. I can’t go back to family gatherings but feel the joy when a song reminds me of them.

My husband often laughs or is surprised by my knowledge of music. When we are on our drives to meet family and an old song comes on, I begin to sing. He’s surprised I even know the song.

I love music that touches the soul.

During my recovery, I remember playing Chicago – Strongchicagoer Everyday. Over and over. It felt like a revival for me. I would sing and dance in our office listening to it. I was by myself all day so I had no worry of looking foolish.  And in my heart, I knew during the dance I would give thanks to God for helping me progress.

So when you’re having a rough day, if you can find some time to just sit outside, put your earbuds in, and listen to some old favorites to reach that place, I know it will bring you some peace.  Give yourself some time to enjoy.

Here are a few videos of my recent cravings:

Todd Rundgren – Hello It’s Me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLeCB7Kn-VE

Van Morrison – Into the Mystic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEvsDuJYEnI

Stevie Wonder – As

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWhMyOs0pCQ

St Cecilia – Patrom Saint of Musicians, Pray for us! Pray that whatever needs healing good music helps us get there!+++

What is love?

Today is Valentine’s day. My husband and I don’t celebrate it. Not because we refuse but because our anniversary is in two days – February 16. I love to shower my Godchildren, nephews, niece on this day and may splurge on some sweets for the evening but that’s about it.

On a broader subject of love on Valentine’s day, I thought I would use this day to speak about a topic that is much on the news these days.  The battle with immigration and refugees and how “love” fits into all of this.

How do Catholic Christians/Christians define love?

Being Catholic, of course, I follow many writers, speakers, educators of the faith on this topic. There’s no denying where the Church stands on helping the immigrant/refugee. Basis is emphasizing love.

It just so happens as I’m reading the news, I’ve also been battling my health. And every time I do come down with something, I can’t help to think of those who are suffering and don’t have the luxury of staying home or for that matter have a home like the refugee or the immigrant.

So in this time as I lay in bed or on the couch, I came across this post from Franklin Graham, a prominent voice for the protestant faith, on these subjects. Guess I’m a bit confused on whether his statement speaks for the protestant church as a whole or it’s just his opinion??  Anyway, I read it because I was very much interested on what his powerful position has to say.

graham

I have a problem with this.

I have a problem that he speaks about the Good Samaritan but adds his own statement on how to further deal with those who have been hurt along life’s road. I don’t recall a spot in the bible where Jesus said… “love your neighbor…..but only this much because you have to make sure your house alarm is working properly”; or “help the stranger….but only this much because you don’t want him to turn out to be a terrorist”.

The issue is not that U.S. shouldn’t be careful or cautious. The issue is knowing there is a great need in our world of people who are seeking help and us making it harder for them to live in peace and dignity as we would only want for ourselves. Yes, God doesn’t tell us to expose our cities and homes to hostile people but He also doesn’t say to just stop giving. The careful issue is how we define hostile people because I hate to say it, but today I see many “christians” being hostile to these life issues which should be viewed in the same way as protecting the life of the unborn. Life is life!

So in my heart, when Jesus said:

 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. – Matthew 5:7

…I don’t think He had a limit on it. That’s what the whole sermon on the mount tells us and warns us.  I think those in powerful positions have to be very careful how they speak. It saddens me that there is much interpretation on what is love and how to love.

This is Love!
This is Love!

A girl can’t help it!

Stress.

Stress + Lupus = Down time 

These last weeks there has been different levels of stress. Some everyday stress that I can deal with and one big stressful situation that with days gone by, seems to have taken its toll on me. 

That’s the weird thing with Lupus. You don’t know until it hits you how well you’re coping. It also becomes a pride issue because you want to say “I can handle it” but even when your mind may say that the attacks of stress are already hitting your body.

So now I’m there.

It’s our anniversary week and I have the feeling we will need to postpone a trip we made because of how I feel. I know that anymore added stress will just knock me and keep us from fully enjoying our time.

The good thing is that it really has been a long time since I’ve felt like this. It’s also not as bad as past flares but I know enough to know my limits.

The symptoms for this flare are mainly fatigue, wiped out energy, and a bit dizzy. If I have any energy, whatever ounce there is and I use, I’m down again.

Really as long as I’m with my husband to celebrate our 21st anniversary it doesn’t matter where we are.

Thanks be to God for His graces! No matter what, I know I am blessed to be where I am.+++

Patience and Prayer

There are things I do a bit different now that my mom lives with us. I find myself not participating in things as much which is somewhat a IMG_5900setback.

There were years after I was diagnosed with Lupus, where I didn’t want to commit to anything. One, it would cause paranoia, the thought of being around social scenes or people made me overwhelmed. Two, my lifestyle changed which meant I no longer was socializing the way I used to. I became more reserved. Mainly because I could no longer physically enjoy a “party” outing. Bars / dance clubs were no longer my thing.  My husband , thanks to his commitment to me, did what I wanted to do, so he too stayed away from people and events to stay with me.

However, in the past recent years, I was grooming myself to step out and stop being fearful. Making commitments whether taking classes, volunteer, simple friend dates, etc. I was feeling some confidence.

Lately, it feels like I’m not keeping that up and it’s starting to set me back to the old ways.

But today it hit me. Patience.

Life may have opportunities for me come June. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to get mom active. Use time to create. Just spend the time with her while my husband is working during the day. I need to redirect my focus and be joyful in my day. Not feel burden or weight of what I can’t change but look at what I can control.

Lately, I’ve been praying for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Praying for change in me. I know that by praying for this my Lord will use me for purpose. Sometimes I think, I’m not around many people how can I be useful. But you never know what His design is if you keep thinking of it in your terms.

This blog for one. I pray that it is a useful tool to get others to relate as a first step closer to hopefully reaching out to Jesus.

Pray too for the gifts of the Holy Spirit! You’ll become salt of the earth if you try! Sometimes we want to get from point A to point B so badly, but it might just take a bit longer. There’s a reason my life is where it’s at. I’m truly grateful I am able to do what I am able to do. Keeping myself purposeful in the capacity that I can.