Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Being happily wrong.....

We all do it.

We all tend to see what we want to see and ignore anything that doesn't line up with our pre-conceived beliefs.

We all look for the good in those we love  -- so we can justify loving them -- and gloss over the bad.

And we all look for the bad in those we hate -- so we can justify hating them -- and refuse to acknowledge the good.

We all want to be RIGHT so badly, that we sometimes ignore reality so that we never ever ever have to say those horrible, awful, terrible three words that we hate to say more than anything in the world.

"I WAS WRONG"

Actually, I have come to the conclusion that saying "I was wrong" might actually be a GOOD thing.   A very, very good thing.  Because.....

....maybe it means I actually learned something new.  

....maybe it means my thinking has evolved.

....maybe it means I have learned to humble myself enough to realize that I don't know everythingand that there is still a lot I can learn about people, places, emotions, situations etc....   I don't have it all figured out and I never will.

So lately, I have been trying to really open my mind to new ideas, thoughts and opinions.  I truly try to listen when someone presents a differing opinion than mine and then sincerely think about what has been presented to me.  I really try to open myself up to the possibility that they might be right and I might be wrong. 

Then, one of two things will happen:  Either I realize that my way of thinking was wrong, and I now am enlightened to a new truth…. which is a good thing.  OR…. if after mulling over the new information with an open heart, and I still feel good about holding fast to my original beliefs, it just reinforces my opinion and I feel even stronger about my original stance/belief/thought/opinion.  

Seems like a win-win to me.   

love hearing about other people’s ideas, beliefs, and thoughts about all kinds of things.  Religious, political, creative arts, parenting, relational…. you name it.  Finding out what people around me think, and why they think that way is always interesting to me.  And I think I have gained the most wisdom in my moments of willingness to listen.  

Everyone’s thoughts/opinions/beliefs are made up because of their own unique life-experiences.   So I don’t blame or judge someone for thinking differently than I do.  Our journeys have been different, so it only makes sense that we might not think alike.  But that doesn’t mean we have to be enemies either.  And that is a stance that is happening way too often in our society today.  Immediately assuming that because we think differently, we are enemies.  It has to stop.

So please....don’t be afraid to listen friends.

We learn by listening.
We connect with others by listening.
And I find that most of the time, we are listened to by listening first.

So yeah….. Don't let your ego convince you that admitting that you might have been wrong is a bad thing.  Next time when you find you have to say, “I was wrong”, ----don’t say it defeatedly. 

Try saying it happily, with self-assured intention. 

 “COOL!  I WAS WRONG!” 

 Because now you know you have learned something new, which should make you happy!   

And you know the old saying, “Do you want to be right?  Or do you want to be happy?” It totally makes sense now, doesn’t it?   :-)))

Love y'all,
M





Sunday, July 3, 2016

Love first.

Social media is amazing.   It can turn strangers into friends, and even more interesting, sometimes friends into enemies.  I've seen both of those dynamics happen in my little "Facebook world" lately.  

Unfortunately, we can't hear someone's tone in a post, so it's easy to misinterpret someone's comment to be mean-spirited when in fact, it wasn't meant that way at all. I learned this lesson myself one day as I jumped into a volatile conversation on someone else's FB page, something I have since learned is dangerous territory.   I thought I would lovingly and sensitively point out another way of looking at something.  I thought my little post would calm the waters a bit.  BOY WAS I WRONG!  I immediately got attacked by a number of folks that I didn't know, or barely knew.  They totally misinterpreted my words and inflection in my comment.  I left feeling hurt and embarrassed and completely misunderstood.  Right then I decided that from now on, I would stay in my own "living room" (aka my own FB page), or only enter into other people's "living rooms" if I felt invited and not barge my way in, thinking my input was needed, when it was clearly not requested.  LoL

I recently posted a question on my own FB page, asking about people's thoughts on a specific "hot topic".   I like to hear what my friends are thinking about current events.  I love to hear how people are coming up with their views and feelings about important issues and most of the time, even if my friends and I don't agree, we can disagree with much respect and dignity toward one another.  The PROBLEM is when my friends start talking to each other, and maybe they aren't personally acquainted, and they easily misinterpret someone's "tone" in their comment and then BAM!!  All out war begins.  I saw two friends getting "into it" with each other in the comments and one decided to try and end the argument by nicely and sincerely saying, "Ok then, well, have a nice day!" and the other one said, "Hey! Don't try that condescending stuff with me!".. and I was like, 'Hey, hey... I know them and I promise they weren't being condescending!  They were seriously just telling you to have a nice day!"

That reminded me that we have to "love first" in life.  Especially when you are in a disagreement with someone.  It's hard to have an open and honest conversation with someone from behind a computer if you haven't invested in them in a personal way first.   Well, I find it hard to have any kind of important conversation with someone from behind a computer period.  I find it's always best to have those kind of discussions face-to-face, eye-to-eye --- but we live in an age of technology and so sometimes that is what happens.  So I think we need to learn how to do it a little better when those situations occur.

Remember:  we need to invest a little love into someone before they will trust you enough to listen to an opposing view.  

We all need to remember that everyone we meet is dealing with some kind of hurt.  Disappointment, devastation, rejection, insecurity etc... Walking around pointing fingers in each other's faces only adds to the hurt all around us.  I really think if we can stop pushing each other away by adding hurt upon hurt, and start choosing to focus on what we have in common... and love first.... we can probably find it easier to show kindness and compassion even in the areas we don't agree.  

I love what Bob Goff says:  "We have to hold someone close before we can hold them accountable."

Love First.
THEN talk about the hard issues within a circle of grace, mercy and accountability.

Love First.
THEN listen with an open heart.

and most importantly.....

Love First.
THEN make that Facebook comment.  :-)))

Love y'all,
M







Sunday, June 26, 2016

Scared to death.....

Everyone is so afraid these days.

They are afraid that their choice for President won't win.
They are afraid that their religious beliefs are being threatened.
They are afraid that their lifestyle choice leaves them vulnerable and marginalized.

They are afraid of losing their guns, not being able to marry who they want, not being able to choose who they want to do business with.  They are terrified that their comfort zones are being stretched beyond their... well... their comfortability.  AND more than anything, they are all afraid of not being heard.  That's right.  They don't think their wants, needs, and desires are being HEARD.  

So they talk louder.. and louder... until they are yelling, no screaming at the top of their lungs. Begging to be HEARD.   And with everyone so hell-bent on being heard, it seems no one wants to listen.  So with no one listening and everyone screaming, we are left with a very loud cultural problem.

No matter what "side" you are on of the issues today, everyone seems to think that their side is being overlooked, marginalized, and bullied by the other side.

Houston, we have a problem.  

I get it friends.  I have to fight the urge to panic too.  But you know why I don't?

Because I know who is really in control.  

Politics drive me nuts in general because getting down to the real truth of ANY issue seems to be downright impossible, but when an election is imminent, I try to pay attention so that I can be an educated voter.  I see many people exercising their "right" to vote, but they don't use that "right" in a responsible manner by educating themselves about what and who they are voting for before going to the polls.  And no, a steady dose of news from only one news channel/news source is NOT educating yourself.  You have to dig deeper people.  Listen to all points of view and get your information from different sources, then use your brain to sort through as much of the gunk that you can, and then use your heart to vote your conscious.  Then leave it up to God. 

That's right.  Leave it up to GOD.  Because HE is ultimately in control and will use whoever wins to further His plans for our country.  

I hear many people complaining about how we don't have a good candidate from either party to vote for.  They whine and say things like, "We're all screwed!"   Well, if you are putting all your faith in any human being, then yeah, I understand why you feel that way.  But if you are putting all your faith in GOD, then that takes the pressure off.  That's why I don't get too worked up about who might become our President.  And maybe that's precisely why we don't have a "good candidate".  Maybe it's God's way of trying to show us to stop putting all our faith in a human leader and start looking back to Him for guidance and peace.  Who knows?  I mean, it sure has gotten me remembering who to put my faith in.  

So come on friends... let's stop acting like people with different political views/religious beliefs/lifestyle choices/sexual orientations etc... are our enemies.  And if you DO feel like they are your enemies, well..... Jesus said to "Love your enemies".  And he was really clear about that.

Love God.  Love each other.  And stop letting fear dominate our thinking and our decisions.
Aren't you tired of being scared to death??  
Me too.

Love,


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

It's been awhile.... new update!


Hi friends!                       June 14th, 2016    
Well, it's been awhile since I've updated here.  OOPS!  It's been a crazy busy year and I've just been neglecting my updates, but I'll try to be better.  :-)

This week I'm playing "in-the-round" down in Birmingham, AL at www.workplay.com with the amazing and talented Kaci Bolls and Alissa Moreno.  This will be a FUN show, so if you are in the area, please come out and join us!

Then, NEXT week, on Friday, June 24th, I'll be "in-the-round" at the world famous Bluebird Cafe with Rob Harris, Marc Imoden and Matt Schneider.  Tickets go on sale Monday morning, June 20th at 8:00am SHARP on the Bluebird website: www.bluebirdcafe.com

 

Coming up on July 1st, the return of TWELVE AGAINST NATURE at 3rd and Lindsley!  If you are fan of Steely Dan, you won't wanna miss this show!  All the great Dan hits plus DEEP album cuts performed by Nashville's top musicians (and a couple of chick singers!).  Also, the night starts out with MAKE ME SMILE, performing music from the band "Chicago".   Tickets for that show can be bought here:  http://3rdandlindsley.com/jul.html


That's about it for now.   And always remember,  there isn't anyone out there who isn't struggling with something, so when in doubt.. be kind.  

Love and Blessings,

M


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Losing Dad... one year later.

As I sit here typing these words this morning, I am sipping coffee and staring out at Mt. LeConte in the Smoky Mountains.


 If someone would have told me one year ago that I would be here, in my own little cabin just outside of Gatlinburg, TN, a place I have loved since childhood, I would have thought them crazy.  But there is one thing I have learned in the last few years of my life.  God's plans for us can have many unpredictable twists and turns.  Some of those plans include hard struggles from which we can learn and grow.  And some plans are just beautiful surprises that show us that HE can work all things out for our good, no matter what the circumstances.

One year ago today, I was sitting by my Father's Hospice Bed.  He had been unconscious for 4 days now.  We had said our goodbyes and now it was just a matter of his little body giving way to his spirit.  I remember reading something about how in those last days, as the body grows weaker and weaker, the spirit gets stronger and stronger, so that it can launch up into heaven.  I got comfort in that imagery.  Of course, my little Daddy, always had a strong spirit!   He was truly an amazing human being and I still miss him terribly.  But......

.... as I look back on pictures that my "Timehop" app sends me daily, I am reminded of just how frail he was.  And instead of feeling deep sadness that he isn't here with me anymore, those pictures actually give me deep comfort because it's clear he was struggling every single day, and now I know his struggles are no more.  He is with Mom, and his parents, brothers, sisters and friends who had gone on before him.  I'm sure they all gave him quite the welcome when his spirit joined them in heaven on March 16th, 2015.

I almost posted a picture of him in those last days.... but then I decided against it.  I don't want anyone to remember him like that.  That wasn't him.  That was his earthly shell, still taking in breaths, but not LIVING.  Instead, I'll post this:

Thanksgiving 2013, Gatlinburg, TN
 Dad loved to travel, but during his last years, it got too difficult to make many road trips.  This was his last travel experience.  Of course, it was to Gatlinburg.  One of his favorite places on this earth.  He loved the mountains.  I was telling my husband yesterday that I finally have figured out why I love this area so much.  I remember coming here with my parents as a child and having such sweet family memories here.  Lots of laughter, love, and God's beautiful natural artistry. My parents were happy here, and I'm so glad that we got to bring him here one more time.  That's how I want to remember him.  Smiling and in his "happy place".... which has now become MY "happy place".  And I am so grateful that we were able to find this little cabin, well, it actually almost "found us", but that's another story for another day.  Just let me say that it was clear God sent us this place and that Dad wanted us to have it.  That is why we named it "Heaven's Gift".  I am so grateful for this beautiful and magical place!


I recently watched the most amazing eulogy that Oklahoma Thunder assistant-coach Monty Williams gave at his wife's funeral.  Actually, I'm gonna post that here because if you haven't seen it already, you need to take 7 mins and watch this:



I took away many things from his speech, but the one thing that truly hit me was him saying,

 "I did not lose my wife.  When you lose something, you don't know where it is, and I know exactly where my wife is."  

 That is how I feel about Mom and Dad.  I haven't lost them.  I know exactly where they are.  They are together with our Lord in heaven, and someday I will see them again.  I am so thankful that they instilled in me such a deep faith and love of our Lord from an early age.  I might have strayed a time or two in my life,  but I always came back to what I knew was true in my heart and soul and I have them to thank for that.  

So with this one year anniversary passing now, I will choose to honor them from now on... not by mourning or grieving any longer... but by living life to it's fullest.  I will honor them by loving the people around me that are still here.  I will honor them by loving the Lord with all my heart and soul and strength, and hopefully passing on that love to others.  

It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since we said goodbye:




One year ago, I never thought life would feel "right" again.  But I was wrong.  Life feels very right again..  It's different, yes.  I am stronger now.

I will always miss you Dad.  But thanks for teaching me how to be strong enough to let go of the grief and learn to smile again.  Happy one year "Angel-versary".  I'll love you forever.... Marcia  






Tuesday, January 19, 2016

PBS, CC shows, & The Bluebird....

Hi Friends!            Jan. 19th, 2016

I am sitting in Austin, Tx tonight after a long, but FUN day of rehearsals for the upcoming PBS special, "Christopher Cross and Friends", which we are taping tomorrow night at The Moody Theatre.  I'll let you know when it airs... I heard today it is supposed to air in some markets on March 17th, but I'll try to keep you updated with more info. 

 

I've been really looking forward to this show, getting to sing with not only CC, but Michael McDonald and Mike Love as well... but unfortunately my voice decided it needed a vacation this week, which REALLY has me bummed out.  Laryngitis is NOT something you want to get on a week like this!!   SO... if you're reading this on Jan. 19th or 20th, I'd appreciate a few prayers going up for me!  

In other news.... we have some fun shows coming up with CC in Feb... Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, CA, -  The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, - Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, CA -- and the Moody Blues Cruise!!  


I'm pretty sure some fun in the sun will be much appreciated by our gang by the end of February!  I hope some of you made plans to join us on the boat!  It's gonna be a BLAST!

AND in March... I'll be joining the FABULOUS Kaci Bolls in-the-round at the BlueBird Cafe on March 12th... also with us will be two amazing and talented guys, Jay Knowles and Fred Wilhelm.   This will be a special night of stories and songs, so please join us if you can!   You can get tickets here:  www.bluebirdcafe.com   


That's about it for now.  I hope you are all having a wonderful start to this new year.  And always remember,  there isn't anyone out there who isn't struggling with something, so when in doubt.. be kind.  

Love and Blessings,
M