Prayer, Overcoming Unseen Doubt

Yesterday, I read a passage on prayer in Luke 11. I had heard it so many times before, and I wanted to gleam something new from it that I hadn’t before. So I got a commentary. Growing up in the church, and being active in the church in college and since, I had heard all of the extra tid-bits about the passage that my NIV commentary talked about. I was, frankly, disappointed. But do you know what I never really realized? God hears my heart, and, apparently, it was asking him for something new. I felt like there was a reason I had read that passage—there always is. Up my prayer life? I admit that I pray “popcorn prayers”—when I think of something or someone, I say a prayer for them. I have been super concerned about my Mary Kay business and its lack of growth.praying hands

A few hours later, God spoke through my husband. “Pray like Charles,” he said, referring to a man in his men’s group study at church. How does Charles pray? “He thanks God for things in advance, and just trusts that it will come to be.” I remember Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I talking about this before, but I hadn’t paid much attention, I guess. “Remember when we lost the ring?” Dr. Coyote asked. Yes, we had lost my wedding ring just shy of 6 months after being married. We had prayed for it almost every day, had torn the house apart, and had friends praying with us. 2 or 3 months after we had replaced it, I found it—I didn’t even know the inside of that bag could come out, but when I took it out, there was the ring. God waited until we weren’t anxious about it anymore to bring it back—and we both thought we’d lost it forever. I’ve been anxious about my work at Sound House and my Mary Kay business. Things weren’t growing fast enough. But I was DOUBTING. By praying for the same thing over and over, I didn’t trust that God would answer my prayer after asking him ONCE, so I felt the need again and again. Last night, I decided to stop doubting. Oh, I’ve always had faith. But faith mixed with doubt…even doubt that we don’t realize is there? Counterproductive.

“God, I’m done doubting,” I prayed last night. “Thank you for my team members, even though I don’t know who they are yet. Thank you for making me Kat’s first offspring director, and for helping me become a red jacket before April.” The conference call that our unit does every week was POWERFUL last night. And I only say that because God had been moving in me, and was reminding me of my initial excitement for doing Mary Kay. I again heard his call for working this business. I am reassured!

What are you doubting God to do in your life?

Be blessed, my friends!

Anna E. Meyer

Reflection and Praises– senior recital

As I am undergoing year four, part two, of my college career, the end is coming and it is causing me to reflect.  It’s not coming THAT FAST, as I am student teaching next fall, but still.  I performed my senior percussion recital a couple weeks ago.  It was a big factor of causing me to look back.  I have accomplished so much despite the Multiple Sclerosis I have, I am in awe.  Upon entering college, I was not very good, and symptoms only added to my ability of getting the improved playing down very quickly.  But through the MS and its restraints, I have found a determination I didn’t know I possessed.  I even had a prof tell me last semester that I am the most determined student he’s seen since he’d been teaching at this school.  My recital was a Saturday, and my dress rehearsal was the Wednesday before.  I had been preparing for this recital for almost a year, though I had only had some of the pieces in my hands for a couple months.  I had been practicing and practicing, more and more, increasingly up to the point of my recital.  My recital was the Saturday after everyone was back from spring break, so I spent more than half of my break on campus, PRACTICING.  I enjoyed it, and playing soon transitioned from the practicing so that I wouldn’t make a mistake to practicing so I couldn’t make a mistake.  At the end of my dress rehearsal, my prof told me that he was proud of me and all I’d accomplished.  And I realized—I WAS, TOO!  It was an incredible feeling, and I still carry it.  I performed a recital all by myself.  I played with two ensembles, one of which played a piece I wrote, the other in which I soloed.  Seven pieces, three memorized, and all well-prepared.  Eight instruments.  People asked me many times what my favorite was.  I have no idea still—I played pieces on the vibraphone, timpani, marimba, xylophone, a multiple-drum set-up, a triangle/woodblock combo (not a solo, an orchestral part for the piece I wrote), and flower pots.  Yes, flower pots.  I think, in the end, I decided that I liked playing the flower pot piece the most, because it was unique and it took more work than just playing it—I went and sat in a Menard’s listening to flower pot pitches; I went to find a theater prof to get help speaking it well; I went and found a classics prof to get the background of the text, I experimented a ton with how I should play them, what I should put them on to get a decent height, whether I should stand or sit.  When I uploaded my solos onto YouTube yesterday, I realized that I was kind of putting myself out there, and I didn’t know what I thought of that.  But I also put them there so that friends and family who couldn’t see it would, and so that people learning the pieces could hear different interpretations (as I always do when learning a piece).

As I was preparing for my recital, I continually prayed that God get all the glory.  I don’t know if putting some of those pieces on YouTube will do all that, but I desire it still.  I totally couldn’t have done the recital or anything without the Lord’s help, I am being totally honest here (not just saying that).  When I have no energy left but still needed to practice, I would somehow find it once more (usually after a plea in prayer).  I would not be able to be that determined on my own, either.  I am super THANKFUL.  God has blessed me in so many ways.  And all that family and friend support?  Another AMAZING blessing, and I am so thankful for them, too!   Praise and glory be to God, forever and ever!  Amen.

Oh, and here is my flower pot piece that I talked about a lot here, just because I know you’re curious.  (It’s long but worth it.)  And, if you really want to, you can follow it to my channel to see the others.  (Thinking of you, Anita!)

 

🙂 Anna

A Fascination: Music

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of sound.  For giving mankind the creativity and the ear for music, so beautiful!  ‘Cuz it is.  Anyone who’s talked to me ever knows of my…obsession.  Sound, in general fascinates me.  It’s so thrilling!  It makes me smile lots. Music goes deeper than words.  It creates feeling.  It is an art; it has its own language; it has its own math and architecture.  That alone fascinates me.

I am the type of person who will start singing for no rhyme or reason.  Or hearing a line of somebody’s will remind me of a song that I’ll have to start singing, at least in my head.  I continually have what appears to be a playlist in my head and I can shuffle from song to song.  Sometimes, I have a song stuck in my head I don’t want there, but I’ll find a new one and start singing it.  I was getting sleepy in a car driving from Milwaukee, WI to Minneapolis, MN, so I sang at the top of my lungs for two hours.  I sang with whatever melody was in my head, though I kept trying to change it.  I guess I’m just weird like that.

When studying the works of great composers, from Beethoven and JS Bach to Holst and Grainger, I stand in awe.  They know what to do with melodies and include every bit of manipulation of them, making the piece sound amazing.  I have tried my hand at it, sure, but I’m not very good at writing like they do (can ANYONE write like they do?  It’s hard!).  And then I think about The Great Composer and how much more He can do with something as simple as a melody.  (THAT makes me smile!)  But, it’s fun to twist a melody around, play it backwards and upside down!  =)  That’s where all the music math and its own language come out.  I’m still learning the language of music, and how to speak it, but like I said, I’m learning.

I love listening to pieces with no words; the feelings inspired by them are simply awesome.  It is super fun to write or do other work while listening to Holst’s The Planets, because it’s like epic background music.  Sometimes, what I’m writing corresponds with the music perfectly.  But then it won’t totally make sense without the music.  I’ve tried to do homework to a non-words playlist of music I like, so I won’t be tempted to sing along.  However, that does not work, as I just want to sit and listen instead.

When I go to a movie, I notice…the music.  Among other things, of course.  The friend who went to go and see the movie with me and I will be talking about the movie, and all of a sudden, I’ll be like, “Did you hear the music in that scene?  It added so much!” usually followed by blank stares, unfortunately.  Once, I did see a movie with a fellow music major and we spent the remainder of the day discussing how perfect the music was for it.  Next time you see the Avengers, for instance, listen to the music during the final battle scene in Manhattan.  (It’s epic.)

In all my unashamed music nerdness with some of my friends who are like me in that way, we found this:

You Know You’re a Music Major When…

… you begin conducting with a piece of uncooked spaghetti.

… the number of credits you’ve earned is higher than the number you get when you add up the ages of everyone in your immediate family — and you’re still not close to graduating!

… the fire alarm in your dorm goes off and you pass the time spent waiting outside trying to figure out what pitch it was — and as soon as you get back in your room you use a keyboard to check and see if you were right.

… you find yourself conducting in public places.

… people in your dorm refer to you as “that guy/girl who’s always running out of here dressed entirely in black.”

… you spend more time in the Music Department than you do in your dorm/apartment.

… you can describe two differences between opera and oratorio, using the word “whereas.”

… it’s 9:30 p.m. and you’re still in class.

… you can play more instruments than the average person can name.

… you and your friends spend several minutes banging on a restaurant table, trying to conduct three against four.

… you have extended discussions analyzing the effectiveness of the music in Disney’s animated features, as well as instrumentation and trends from one movie to the next.

… you try to figure out what song is printed on the cute music napkins, mugs, sweatshirts, etc. you see in stores.

… you consider 15 credits in one semester “taking a break.”

… watched a movie just to listen to the music.

… you see some musicians more then your friends.

We found more, too.  It’s great, cuz it’s super true.  I didn’t include all of them, of course, just the ones that apply to me.  I got them from here.

Anyway, this has turned out to be a longer post than I thought.  I could go on and on about how great music is, but if you haven’t understood some of the things in this post, I understand that me going on wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, either.

“Thank you, Lord, for music.  For privileging us with sound and communication beyond what we can understand.  It’s so cool!”

 

Anna =)^2

A Fascination: Words

Thank you, Lord, for words.  They fascinate me though they’ve been there forever.  Seriously, you used words when you spoke all of creation into existence.  (And SPEAKING creation into existence?  Sound fascinates me, too.  But more on that later.)  And analogies are cool, like an ice cube.  I like using them and it makes me smile when others use really good ones.  I just re-read this blog of mine, and it made me smile inside, like when one is so excited about something, but she’s in a public place and would look like a fool if she shouted out.  (That actually happens to me a lot.)  Words are great.  Like when a word sounds like another and causes momentary confusion.  “What? Your pants are on fire, so you have to go to the mall?”  “No. My uncle’s gonna retire, so we’re going up north in the fall.”

It really does bother me when someone texts me and uses grammar and words all wrong.  For example: “r u comin to” or “why u going”.  There are a few things wrong: Punctuation.  It is a part of this language, is it not?  Grammar.  It, too, is a part of this wonderful language.  Unfortunately, many are forgetting a concept they never quite cared about in school.  Now, I don’t mind abbreves, I think they’re fun (see here), but using letters instead of short words is a bit…I don’t know…annoying?  I confess I am one to uses full words in all my texting.  Instead of sending a question mark when I am asking, “Huh?” I will send a text that says, “Question mark?”

I love codes.  It’s like throwing a loop in the system we call English and adding an extra step.  I not only enjoy converting letters to numbers, but I like pictures and symbols representing letters.  They’re fun.  My sisters came up with a code once using a tic-tac-toe board and a giant “X”.  I use that code quite frequently.  I don’t think they use it anymore, but I do!  I love writing coded messages, though I don’t do that much anymore.   This is my favorite code…can YOU translate?

Along with my fascination of words, I like to write.  And, you know how I briefly mentioned my fascination with sound?  I am, after all, an unashamed music nerd and a music major.  Well, I’m better at dialogue than descriptions.  I just realized that the other day.  But, I am developing my writing on the side of all other business of my life.  I actually started a story this month that wasn’t of my typical sappy writing style.  I have discovered that when you’re writing for Jesus, you can write lots of different ways!  (Action is fun to write, and to read.)

Alright, so this was a rambly-type blog, touching on a few different things, but focusing on one: word fascination.  No, I don’t use five-dollar words in everyday conversation, and I still have trouble spelling, but words are pretty cool.

I think this is the start of what will probably be a series of blogs, just because I’m fascinated by a lot of things.  I woke up this morning, and I’m like, “Thanks, God, for words.  They’re cool.”

=)^2 smiling squared, Anna

What kinds of things fascinate you?