Many Parts, One Body (with tangents)

Romans 12: For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

I, being an almost-done-with-school music major, was leaning forward in my seat a few months ago when the pastor preaching at The Ransom Church in Sioux Falls gave an analogy of an orchestra having many different parts, but together make a beautiful sound.  It’s true.  The whole “many parts, one body,” analogy that Paul preaches so many times throughout the Epistles makes more sense to me all the time.  When I was younger, I thought I was worthless, and called myself a pinkie toe, cuz the body doesn’t really need it to function (seriously, I’ve met people who don’t have pinkie toes before).  You don’t even notice your pinkie toe until you run into a chair or something and it’s facing a different direction than the rest of your toes (not that I’ve done that or anything).  But then I realized that the analogy was talking more about the hands and feet that do God’s work, the body parts behind the scenes that make all these things run smoothly.  You don’t notice your abs, either, unless they’re hurting from actually using them.  You might notice other abs, but God’s creation was meant to be admired.  I play percussion in my college band, and the percussion can be boring sometimes.  But it’s like the abs that keep everything together and up to tempo that the director (the smart brain keeping control) sets.  Feel free to admire us, too.  Not that most of the guys back there have great abs or anything, but seriously.

1 Cor 12: 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

We have many gifts, but God made us for a single purpose: to bring him glory.  My gifts are music and writing, and I love that God uses that to bring him glory, when I don’t see it.  I read writings and play music by others and glorify God through them.  But if we were all musical and writing, who the heck would do the rest of it?  What about the farmers that grow our food, the teachers that teach the children of tomorrow, the barbers, the accountants, the doctors, the mathematicians, the politicians (yes, we even need them), and all of the rest?  Seriously, there are more jobs out there than probably ever.  Who knew half a century ago there would be computer tech people and help desks and computer software designers, and developing GPSes for people who get lost a lot like me or for straight lines to be made in every field?  But we need them, too.  Now, I can wish that could make a bunch of perfect lattes in speedy quick time or was good at math, but honestly, I can’t.  That’s what Taylor the Latte Boy and the calculator on my phone are for (and thus, the guy that put the calculator on my phone, thank you!).  We need each other. And together, though we each are very different, we make a beautiful song.

Anna 🙂

Super Strength?

So, last night, I dreamed that I discovered that I have super-strength. And that this whole MS thing only affects me when I forget about it. But nobody else knew about it, and because I really do have MS, my secret identity was safely hidden. But then, because I was so excited at the dream, I went and shared it on Facebook. And now I’m telling you all. When I woke up, I thought about it and mixed it with ways it could be even awesomer, cuz that’s what I do. I thought about writing a fictional adventure based on the dream, but then I started thinking in analogies, cuz I do that, too.

God HAS granted me with super-strength. It’s pretty cool, but he is the only source of that strength. Nobody or nothing else can give me that power. It may not be visible (as I DO have MS and have trouble even walking sometimes), but it starts on the inside. It continues to grow on the inside until the strength has captured the outside, as well. When I forget about my Lord and all the good he’s doing in me, sometimes I get caught up in the wallows of this MS and it gets the best of me. But then Christ shows me his face, face, and he helps me through the race, race, I’m reminded of all his grace, grace (taken from my Tik Tok Parody…not exactly, but the jist).

My grandma had MS, too. She was super strong and didn’t let it get her down, because she had Jesus. Well, I know this Jesus, too. He is awesome and super-great. It was not his will for me to get MS, but now that I have it, he will use it. He has supplied me with what I need. I will not let MS get me down, either, for I, too, have been given this strength. It’s so great!

The Lord is my light and my salvation. What shall I fear? He is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

Certainly, not MS. “God is bigger than the Boogie Man, he’s bigger than Godzilla or the monsters on TV” (Veggietales) and the ones that try to show their faces to us here. “Our God is greater, our God is stronger; God You are higher than any other! Our God is Healer, awesome and power, Our God, Our God…!” (Chris Tomlin: Our God). I hope you were singing right there, cuz I certainly was. Songs pop into my head randomly, and sometimes I sing them in conversation. You got a taste.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

God gives us all that we need when we need it.  And remember:

I was reminded this week by multiple sources (all coming from the Lord!) that even though it’s hard sometimes and I don’t realize it, God is working in me.  “Tick tock on the clock, but the work of God don’t stop, no!” =) He’s working in you, too.  Just…wait for it.  Sometimes, it takes time to discover that you have access to a power you hadn’t realized you’ve had.  But, when the time is right, the Lord will reveal it to you.  Christ has given more people this strength than we even realize right now.  All of his followers and those who believe in him have access to it!  And each person has spiritual gifts that we have power in from the Lord, who supplies it all.  But, that’s a whole ‘nother post.  Just, keep that in mind!  =)

Smiling, Anna =)^2

Tik Tok Parody for SITC Milwaukee Project 2012

Picture taken using Dave's camera

So, I rewrote these lyrics sometime in June for the staff transition banquet.  And, because I wanted to reference these lyrics in another post of mine, I thought it would make more sense if I just shared it here.  In such a secular and not-quite-appropriate song for all those chillins out there who do indeed listen to this music, I Jesus-fied it and gave it a meaning.  A lot of it also relates to our Summer Project, so this is for those students.  Enjoy =)

Wake up in the morning prayin to my Lord
Grab my Bible, I’m out the door, I’m gonna spread the word
Before I leave, meet my team by the chapel to chat
‘Cause when we leave for the day there won’t be time for that

I’m talking action group on the Mon-days
Interludin as we share grace
God always on our minds, minds,
Practical training of all kinds, kinds,
Socials of all fun-ness,
Trying to reach out all God’s awesomemess

Here’s Life, got the knife
Of the word take slice
City, it will be
A place that’s living free
Tick tock on the clock
But the work of God don’t stop, no

Project, will affect,
How we will reflect
Renown, of the crown,
Of the king that’s all around
Tick tock on the clock
But the work of God don’t stop, no

Ain’t got a care about world, but got Spirit in me
Ain’t got worry how things go, ‘cuz God’s way will be
And now, the peeps are lining up cause they hear we are different
And we share the love of God and lend them a reference.

I’m talking about ‘speriencing God’s grace, grace
God showing us his face, face
Gonna lean on him through the race, race

Now, now, we go until Jesus comes back, back
Or the city is transformed, formed
Ci-Ci-City is saved
Mil-wau-kee is

Don’t stop, let’s talk,
Lord, I will not give up
Right now, gonna bow
To the king that’s like wow
Tick tock on the clock
But the work of God don’t stop, no

Project, will affect,
How we will reflect
Renown, of the crown,
Of the king that’s all around
Tick tock on the clock
But the work of God don’t stop, no

Lord, you build me up
You break me down
My heart, it pounds
Yeah, you got me

With my hands up
I praise you now
We sing that sound
Yeah, you got me

Lord, you build me up
You break me down
My heart, it pounds
Yeah, you got me

With my hands up
Put your hands up
Put your hands up

Now, the party don’t start til God shows up

Don’t stop, make it pop
Lord, blow my doubts up,
Today, gonna play,
When we hear what God say
Tick tock on the clock
But the work of God don’t stop, no

Project, will affect,
How we will reflect
Renown, of the crown,
Of the king that’s all around
Tick tock on the clock
But the work of God don’t stop, no

Hold Me Tight

Hold Me Tight, by Anna Olson, written 6-19-12.  I think this shall turn into a song, but not sure yet.  I’ve been going through some tough stuff, but God just showed me his face when I was writing.  Ta-da!


All these little things keep going wrong!

I reach out, Father, but I can’t see you!

I’m pouring out my soul in song,

But I’m reaching, reaching—where are you?


My whole trust is in you, my Savior;

I know you are there, but I can’t tell anymore!

You saw this mountain before time began,

Before I tripped on this rock and it tore.


Take my hands and pull me close,

Hold me tightly in your arms.

I am safe when I am there,

For you protect me from harms.


I cry out to you in tomorrow’s uncertainty,

Though it be a minor detail in your eyes.

I throw out my hands to trust you’re there,

But I need help, for I can’t by myself, I realize.


I see you standing and waiting for me,

You hold out your arms for a hug.

I run to them as fast as I can,

For you have given my doubtful heart a tug.


Take my hands and pull me close,

Hold me tightly in your arms.

I hear your truth when I am there,

That you protect me from harms.


In your arms, my enemies can’t get me

When you hold my gaze, I believe no lies.

When I’m with you, I feel stronger

I read the compassion in your eyes.


When your eyes meet mine you don’t look away

Though there’s motion and distraction all around.

You take my chin and draw my attention,

For you speak volumes but without sound.


Take my hands and pull me close,

Hold me tightly in your arms.

I am safe when I am there,

For you protect me from harms.


Take my hands and pull me close,

Hold me tightly in your arms.

I hear your truth when I am there,

That you’ll protect me from harms.

Saturday Smiley: MUSIC

If you’ve read enough of my previous posts, it is evident that 1) I love Jesus; B) I am musically-obsessed; Choo-choo Train) I like to write randomly about random things (hence the subtitle of my blog, “Anna’s Random Writings.”  Cuz that’s what it is).  But LATELY, my music obsession has flared up again.  And, it makes me smile.  (Hence, the Saturday Smiley!)

As I am a junior in college, I have taken most of the music side of my music education major classes.  I LOVE learning what I’ve been learning!  Just this last week, there was a night when I couldn’t fall asleep so….I had seen the Nokia ringtone transcribed, poking fun at the NY Philharmonic violinist who imitated the disruption.  So, I copied it down on music staff paper and rewrote it in retrograde form, inversion, and retrograde inversion. =)

Music is SUCH a broad topic that it can’t be adequately described in just one post, and I’m sorry if this gets long (disclaimer).

So, this week, I have been thinking about the feeling and emotion that music creates.  No other art does this, no other school subject or anything, really.  Something that makes you feel the way the composer did when he wrote it?  Last year, I did an independent study in which I researched music therapy.  Did you know that David of the Bible was the first recorded music therapist?  Although he had another name.  Yeah, he used to play his harp for King Saul (who probly had some sort of disorder…have you READ 1 Samuel?).  Cool stuff!  My own personal releases are writing when words come or playing when notes come.  Mom and Dad got me a drum set for my thirteenth birthday.  They may have questioned it a time or two when I was really mad or something.  If you would like to hear the drum set being played in my house, you might sit outside on a lawn chair or something if it’s a nice day out.  The volume is only slightly dampened.  The piano in our house also was the instrument of some good stuff, and still is when I come home!  =)

I love how there is literally, a song for everything.  I love how in instrumental music, you can feel.  My sister recently made a video for a class—with aid of the background music, you could totally feel the…adrenaline of the scene.  I think pretty much anything can be epic with background music, you know, the instrumental kind.  My personal favorite part is when the low brass or string basses sneak in and play something that is just waiting for something to happen.  Tomorrow, the Augustana Orchestra (of which I’m a percussionist for) is playing a concert—Shostakovitch’s Ninth is one of my favorites on the program!

Anyway, this wasn’t as long as I worried it might.  I stopped myself.  I told my physical therapist last week that deep down, everyone wants to be a music major.  He agreed!  He’s like, “I used to sing.  I wonder what it woulda been like to be a singer instead of a physical therapist.”  Ha!  There is so much more to music than one can hear or see at a glance.  It is a language, and there is a science to it.  Music has its own math, and I never even realized how complex it is until I got to Augie!  It’s crazy, and I love it!

In conclusion, MUSIC is my Saturday Smiley!

Smiling musically, Anna =)^2

The Angels and the Shepherds (A Christmas Blog)

“Have you heard?  Jesus is going to be born on earth tonight!”

“Oh my gosh, yes!  Hey, do you wanna go and check it out?  A bunch of us are going to earth tonight.  God’s letting us!”

“How awesome is that?  Duh, I wanna go!  I wanna see him as a human for myself!”

“Yeah!  I’m so excited!”

Meanwhile, on earth…

“Hey, guys, I’m gonna take a quick nap.  It’s been pretty quiet tonight.”

“Say, rookie, you slept all day, right?  This is our job—to watch the sheep when it’s dark, and the wolves might come.  Just because it’s been quiet doesn’t mean that something will come when we least expect it—”

And suddenly, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord!”

Cue the multitude of angels putting on the best light show you can picture only better and singing the best most beautiful music you can hear in your head, only better, even if you’re a music major.

“Glory to God in the highest heaven; and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” they sang.

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, after all of the shepherds and the sheep closed their codfish-like dropped jaws, the shepherds were all like, “Guys!  We have to get to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us!”  And so they did.  And after they had seen Jesus for themselves, they went and told it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere! (In your head, attune your ear to Cottonwood’s Christ Lutheran Church’s Sunday School Christmas Program….when the kids pretty much yell this song at the top of their lungs.  ‘Cuz I’m pretty sure that’s what the shepherds were doing, as well.)

Okay, so that’s my own interpretation of that part of the story, my own twist.  But it’s WHAT HAPPENED!  So awesome!  Jesus LEFT HEAVEN so that he could COME TO EARTH.  While he was here, he taught and healed and caused an uproar among the Pharisees with his radical-ness.  AND THEN, he left the presence of God completely when he took on OUR SIN.  Think about it—he took on ALL OUR SINS and PAID THE PRICE, giving us the greatest gift EVER—eternal life; getting to hang out with God!

I don’t know when Christmas became so materialistic and politically correct, because that is NOT what it’s about.  And Christmas is more than a break from school, it is more than a story that is reenacted by kids at a Christmas Program—it is REAL.  We celebrate Columbus Day and President’s Day and Thanksgiving, but THIS?  This affects ALL THE WORLD!  It even affects the heavenly relm!

I get so excited when I THINK about it!  Ahh!  I have no good way to end this post, so I’ll perform a recapitulation.

Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains!  And the mountains in reply, echoing their joyous strains!  GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST HEAVEN, AND ON EARTH PEACE AMONG THOSE WHOM HE FAVORS!  Come to Bethlehem and see, him whose birth the angels sing!  Come adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord the newborn King!  GLORIA, IN EXCELSES DEO!  GLORIA, IN EXCELSES DEO!

Beatles in Conversation?

So, I had typed this up and I recently came across it.  I had put it as a note on Facebook, but I thought it would do better here. I think this took place on our way toward Rochester late summer, maybe.  Lotsa time in the car.

To set the scene: Mom driving, me riding.  Me coming up with ideas to kick off a new story.  Ready….go.

Me: What should I name my character?

Mom: Jude?  Eleanor Rigby?  Penny Lane?

Me: Really?  I guess I am a Paperback Writer.

Mom: See?  See how they run?

Me: Get Back on topic, mother.

Mom: We can work it out!

Me: Okay.  Where should my yet unnamed character live?

Mom: A Yellow Submarine?

Me: I should have known.  From Me to You, I think we need to listen to another CD.  This ain’t easy.

Mom: Well it’s gotta be about—Something.  We are taking a Long and Winding Road.  You’ll have plenty of time to work on this story

Me: Yesterday—mom—I could have had this done by now!

Mom: We just need to come together on an idea!

Me: Yeah, yeah.  You are no HELP.  Let it be, mom.  Let it be.

(a couple hours later)

Me: Ugh!  I’m not trying to start a revolution here!  I’m just trying to write a story!

Mom: Looking across the universe, are these pesky details really gonna matter?

Me: Hey, Slow Down, Yes It Is!

Note: I didn’t get all of these capitalizations correct, but…who can name how many songs were listed in this so punny conversation?

A Thanksgiving Post

So. I know many people who start lisetening to Christmas music when Halloween is done.  “But, there IS no Thanksgiving-genre of music!” they say.  “Besides, Christmas music is like the best EVER, and most people only listen to it for a month!”  My retort, of course, is to change the words of any song that pops into my head to have something to do with Thanksgiving.   I mean, when there’s SNOW on the ground, I start singing songs to myself like, “Let It Snow” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”  But there’s no SNOW on the ground!  (Although, I do confess to you, that I started singing related songs when I was walking across campus last night, changing the words to, “Where’s the snow, where’s the snow, where’s the snow..”  It worked.)

It is Thanksgiving when we acknowledge all that we’re thankful for.  What comes to mind is session from the Life Options conference I attended last weekend.  The story was of some big-shot with Campus Crusade who was flying in from Florida.  The guy who picks her up asks her how her flight was.  She starts telling of all the things that went wrong, being kicked off a flight, having complications having to do with that, turbulence, etc.  The guy who picked her up was like, “You deserve better than that!”  She stared at him and responded, “I deserve hell.”

I believe that, as mortal beings, we all deserve hell.  We are sinful to the core and I at least know I sin more times a day than I’m even aware of.  But Jesus came down to earth and gave us the GIFT of salvation.  Everything we have now?  It’s a GIFT!  So, I’d like to say thank you to the One who spoils me with such a great life.  I have my family, my extended family, and we are so close!  I love them all!  God has granted me with  many wonderful opportunities, from being able to even be at Augustana, to Project this summer and all the people I’ve met. There are so many gifts I haven’t even acknowledged as gifts from God, but they ARE!  I don’t notice; I take things for granted.  I love my life, and am so thankful for everybody and everything in it!

The point that was being driven home at the conference from that story is that we cling to things we think we deserve, when everything we have is a gift.  I have been trying so much this year to be able to let go of control, my firmest grasp, and let God take care of it.  Because I’d say he has done a spectacular job when I have.  I’ve been learning to let go of other things, as well, but I just want to shout a thank-you for EVERYTHING!  I’m thankful for you, my readers, and I’m thankful for people who help me out when they do.  Gah!  It just makes me so gosh-darn EXCITED!

Smiling through the not-yet snowy and still sunny weather, Anna =)^2

“It’s beginning to feel a lot like Thanksgiving.  All the grass is brown.  It’s the color of fall, and through it all, I feel like break is…needed.”  … “Oh the weather outside is colder, and I feel I’m getting older.  But I don’t really know, so where’s the snow, where’s the snow, where’s the snow?”  …  “I really must leave.  Baby it’s cold outside.  Let me go, please. Why go and freeze outside.  But I’m wearing sleeves.  You’ll blow away, the wind is ice.  Through buildings I’ll cut through.  Staying here is nice.  I really gotta go, dude.  I don’t like your attitude.  Fine, I’m leaving already.  ‘Cuz baby it’s cold outside!”  … “Oh come, all ye turkeys, come and we will eat you!  Come, ye, you fat and wide, we’ll eat up your meat.  Come, don’t be scrawny, we will wait for you to fatten up.  O come, let us enjoy you.  O come, let us devour you.  O come, let us speak over your leftovers, because you’re the tradition.”  … I could go on.  I’ll stop.

**Also note that everytime I sing these songs, the words change.  Just fyi.  And no, I’m not crazy.  Much.

Kansas: The Epic-Ness

Hey, I have a poster just like this in my room now..!

Why yes, I was the timpanist in the orchestra that played with Kansas on October 14th.  I want to tell you guys about it because it was an EPIC experience, and I don’t ever want to forget!  Ready?  Okay!

Okay, so I hadn’t really heard of Kansas much before this.  Pennington, my instructor, went to one of their concerts when he was in high school, and my mother was a fan, as well.  I mean, I’ve been listening to some of the 70s music as of late, but Kansas?  I’m afraid I hadn’t really heard of them.  And so we were given the music soon after school started.  Boy, was it hard!  I heard later that some colleges even went so far as refusing to play with them because it was so hard!  It was funny, though, because at first we played some classical stuff for a concert that’s near that date.  And we were…okay.  Then we read through the Kansas stuff and the learning curve pretty much went up.  A lot.  We all spent a great deal of time practicing.  I even went to Dr. Stanichar, the director of the Augie orchestra, and got all the full scores so I could look over the music and know what was all going on.  I had listened to some Kansas on YouTube, but the more recent performances that had the orchestra parts, had horrible sound.  So I got some recordings from Stanichar, as well.  I think I was listening and working on that stuff with all of the extra free time that I didn’t have, plus some.  Pennington helped me a great deal, and I was so thankful when I got to the Washington Pavilion for dress rehearsal!

So.  I, being section leader of the three (plus one borrowed) percussionists of the orchestra needed to be there to load-up all the percussion stuff from the band room.  There is this nifty truck that backs up to the loading dock by the Humanities building that transports everything for us.  It was us percussionists, the orchestra manager (who is a double bass player and got his percussion load up lesson 101 for the day), Pennington, and Chris, who is the truck driver and in fact, is really good at life size Tetris and loading up everything.  I was wowed when it all fit (‘cuz we had a lot of random yet not too small odds-and-ends).  But it did!  And so those of us who could be there were aiming at being at the Pavilion loading dock to take everything off the truck at noon.  Okay, so it was just Tyler (the double bass orchestra manager) and I who could be there, and we were late.  We missed the time that the truck was there, but taking things off is a whole lot easier than putting things there.  So we went and had lunch and figured out what to do.

“Hey, I’m the timpanist,” I introduced myself to the stage-hand guys who went with Kansas who were setting up chairs and stuff.  “Could I play some?”

“Uh,” said the closest guy, “yeah, I think so, let me check to see if the sound stuff is all figured out.”  Not too long after he’s like, “Yeah, go ahead, play all you want!”  We walked over to the timpani.  “Feel free to move them closer or further or however you’d like,” he said.  And so I did move them slightly closer so that I could hear the brass who were my cue much of the time.  Tyler helped me uncover the timpani and move them around.  And then I got out my trusty tuning fork (which I think is the hit of the percussion section ‘cuz I don’t remember a day when somebody doesn’t grab it, strike it, and hold it up to their ear to listen to the A 440 until it fades away).  On the timpani I had been playing on in the band room (which were the timpani we brought to the Pavilion last-minute like…and everything fit!), the pitch had been dropping and the letters on the side, which adjusted with the pedal, weren’t accurate.  So I set them all so that I wouldn’t have to constantly be listening to the fork and then the timpani as I changed them—there were some fast pedal changes in that music!  My favorite part: THE TIMPANI WAS MIKED!  That has never happened and will never happen again.  I was SOOOO excited!

PLAYING WITH THE CONDUCTOR: Larry Baird was the one who arranged all this music for orchestra to play with the band.  He was also our conductor.  Each conductor is different, but his style wasn’t too hard to pick up on.  He gave me great eye contact and cues (which helped a lot, because I get lost waaay too easily).  “It’ll all make sense tonight,” he kept saying.  “Play bigger!  It’ll all make sense tonight.  Make sure you come in strong here, it’s gotta be loud!  It’ll all make sense tonight.”  I admit it was a tad-bit different, the way they had everything set up—the normal instruments I’d play by were on the other side, and I heard more strings than brass unless I attuned my ear and watched the horns or something.  It was good, though, to be able to hear other parts.  We went through most of the music with him, before the band came out for the last half hour and ran through like, two songs with us.  Maybe three.  It’s a little fuzzy in my memory ‘cuz it was just AWESOME!  Yeah..

THE TIME IN BETWEEN THE DRESS AND THE CONCERT was spent eating supper and hanging out with some of the other orchestra people.  AND THEN, Stanichar asked for all of the section leaders to congregate so we could be in a PICTURE WITH THE BAND!  I was told the pic would eventually get emailed to me, but A) I don’t really know whose camera the actual picture was taken on and B) I haven’t gotten a picture yet.

THE CONCERT was EPIC!!!  So, most of the songs, we hadn’t even played with the band yet, but it went so well!  It was awesome!  And Larry, the conductor, had some awesome cues!  He’d stop conducting when the band got a little crazy, but he’d point to the entering section two measures before they came in, conducted the one before, and made sure they came in when they were supposed to.  Another reason I was thankful for writing in so many of my cues!  That, and…I’m glad other people can count better than I can, so that they enter the time their supposed to.  It all worked out!  And yes, it all made sense (finally!).  =)

The band was super nice to us all.  They complimented us as an orchestra.  The bass guitar would turn around and jam with Tyler.  The first violin, Matt, actually stood up and improvised with the electric violinist.  During dress, the drummer came back to the percussion section and said hey to all of us, commenting on how jammin’ it was back there.

My parents came, as well (like mom would miss it, she was so excited!), and they waited in line for autographs from the band and conductor.  I had Varieties that night, and while I was in the dressing room, I received texts from both Mom and Dad, saying that the conductor said I was good.  And that the violinist was like, “The timpanist?  Isn’t she the one with another gig tonight?”

Varieties is a completely different story that I won’t get into just now, cuz this post is already somewhat long.  But the orchestra played again that Sunday at the Homecoming service, and I am now a bit better at the 3-dimentional Tetris Chris is such a master at.

In case you were wondering, here are some of the songs we played with Kansas (not in order):


Point of Know Return

Miracles Out of Nowhere

Song for America

Cheyenne Anthem

Hold On


Fight Fire with Fire

Dust in the Wind

Carry on Wayward Son


This video isn’t from when we played with them, and there is an extra person in it, but this is a taste what they sound like with an orchestra (and what they look like years later with non-70s hair…..):

Hitting a Wrong Note…

So at my percussion lesson the other day, the instructor drew my attention to the fact that when playing the vibes (or any keyboard instrument, for that matter), I wait to move until the last minute.  I have three beats to move to the next note, but I wait until the “and” of four.  Yes, I am working on that.  The biggest problem with that is when waiting until the last minute, it’s a lot easier to miss a note.

I was actually still in my lesson when I was figuring out how that fact fits into my life.  I’ve been noticing more and more metaphors of little things that relate to my faith life, and I was looking for one to do with this.  So here ya go.

When we wait to make a decision, when we wait until the last minute, it is a whole lot easier to make a wrong one.  Wrong notes are a whole lot easier to hit than the correct one.  Way more CONVENIENT (there’s a lot more wrong notes on a keyboard).  Like, if you feel like you should help a neighbor who is having trouble but you wait until their trouble engulfs them?  (Dramatic, but you get my point.)  Or, you feel God is calling you to a conference or even on summer project or other missions project, but you wait until the last deadline and then at the last minute decide you might as well wait until next year, so you might as well not try to go this year—it would be impossible by now anyway.  WRONG NOTE.  God can make all things happen.  Yes, it is more convenient if you register right away and have TIME to raise money or whatever you need to do, but it can still be done whenever you decide to go.  It just takes more effort.

Which leads me to wrong note number two: laziness.  “Laziness” is known as the art of doing nothing, also relating to the term “procrastination,” or, putting off until the last minute.  I have been reading a book by Becky Tirabassi, “Let God Talk to You,” and it talks about having “God Talks,” what I call my quiet times.  It requires EFFORT to set aside time in the day to seek God’s word and pray.  A reason people may feel dissonance in their lives is because they are missing a sharp or a flat—it takes EFFORT to seek God and lift up everything to him in prayer (hitting a right note).

Point number three (because I like lists of odd numbers):  What are you putting first?  If you are building your life around relationships or grades, you are changing the key where it shouldn’t be changing, and then you are inevitably going to miss a ton of notes when things aren’t sounding how they should be.  But putting God first—that’s like playing a keyboard where the keys light up where you are supposed to hit them before you do, so that you KNOW what you’re supposed to be doing.  This is the biggest struggle I have seen in me and in the lives of others around me.  Satan’s always trying to change our keys or start playing a minor mode when it’s supposed to be major—he urges us to keep hitting wrong notes.  I practiced moving my hands to the next note with two beats to spare—my note-missing was dramatically decreased.

It takes practice to stop hitting wrong notes, but I encourage you to try it.  This blog kind of turned into a random rant, like so many of my others, and I thank you for letting me use music terminology (I was, after all, launching off of something that happened at a LESSON).  As I spend hours a day in a practice room, I also have begun to set aside time for God, so that I can prefect my relationship with him, as well.  Will you?