Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Being Told No

This school year has been really interesting for me.  Musically, I can't catch a break.  If I'm not being challenged in my ensemble trying to string together chords that I've never played before, I'm getting my butt kicked by trying to learn the finger picking style of Tommy Emmanuel. 

E, A, B, C#m doesn't cut it anymore.  It looks more like this:

G6, F9, Em7, C#m7, C7
Bm7, A#9, Am7, G#9, G6

Or this

My ensemble worked really hard on our Christmas song so we could audition to be in the showcase.  We figured out 3 part harmony a capella for the beginning and slowly building into a freakishly, awesomely epic ending.  I spent a lifetime and a half trying to figure out how to string the chords together. 
Out of 10 ensembles, only 5 made it. Both my roommates ensembles made it...mine didn't.

Two weeks ago, the school held auditions for some summer tour bands.  I auditioned for the worship band for lead vocals, backup, and/or guitar.  I felt very confident in my audition and thought I had a pretty decent shot at making the band...I didn't.

I'm not bitter or angry. I don't feel like I've been overlooked.  I have no hard feelings towards my roommates nor the others who made the band.  In fact, I'm super excited for them! But I feel like I'm watching myself react from outside my body...does that even make any sense?

See, I'm not used to being told no when it comes to music.  I'm used to being a top tier musician...a big fish in a small pond if you will.  At school, the caliber of musicianship is so high, I have to work really hard to keep up.  So these past few weeks when I've been told no, it's definitely taken a shot at my pride and self-created identity.

I'm still in processing mode...

But I'm still standing.  God is still God.  He is my foundation-not music.  It's comforting to know that.  I'm not trying to just wrap this up in a neat little bow, but I know where I started in this process and I know where I'm going to end.  I just have a few puzzle pieces to fit in between.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I don't have much to say.  I just know I haven't put up a post in a while. 

Umm... my Turkey break starts Friday.  I'm driving home with some buddies.  Yay road trip!

For the first time since elementary school, I currently have straight A's.  It's a nice feeling!

I told my guitar teacher that I wanted to throw my guitar against the wall because of the song I'm currently learning.  He said, "That's music to my ears."

A while back, I got a job and a car...then my car broke down and I quit my job after less than a week.

I got a new phone case.  It looks like an old-school cassette tape.

That's all!

Friday, September 30, 2011


During worship Thursday morning, there was a message.  There was worship.  Then there was a bunch of people talking.  At least that's how I felt. I was distracted. I thought too many people were talking on the microphone not centralized around the topic we were supposed to be focused on. I had the hardest time engaging.

Then I came to find out I was fighting the Holy Spirit.

I spent two hours trying to decipher the, what I thought was, gibberish.  Honestly, it felt like too many people were getting up on their soapbox talking aimlessly. 

God didn't stop for me.  No, he worked through a lot of stuff for a lot of people.  Boys were challenged to step up and be men.  Women started believing they were actually beautiful and worthy.  We found new revelations in being dependent on God alone.

...I say "we" like I participated.  I didn't.  I was stone cold.  I see what I'm doing and I want to change what's going on.  I'd rather not find myself in this nasty funk the next time the Holy Spirit comes romping through the room. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Old Post

I randomly remembered as an intern, I started a collective blog for all of us interns.  I stumbled across this post. Here's what I wrote-

At my home church, my pastor was talking about Simeon. If you don't know who this guy is, he was the priest who blessed Mary, Joeseph, and baby Jesus. Simeon was the man who patiently waited for Jesus' arrival because it was promised to him. God told Simeon he wouldn't die until he saw the Messiah.

With that knowledge, Simeon waited patiently. He didn't go out to the temple and have his heart skip a beat seeing every newborn that was presented to the temple. He didn't constantly seek out families with newborns on the street corners. No, the day of baby Jesus' arrival at the temple, Simeon felt compelled by the holy spirit to go to the temple. It was like any other day and Simeon just felt he needed to be there to pray. BAM! Jesus was there.

I'm sure you've noticed that God's time and our time don't always coincide together harmoniously. Years are like seconds to our Creator. Ever asked God, "When will ____ happen?" and God says, "Soon, just hold your horses. Slow down. Be Still." ...But soon doesn't come soon enough.

What really caught me during my pastor's message was a renewed vision of Psalm 46:10- Be still and know that I am God.

I won't lie, being patient sometimes sucks. Sitting still sometimes sucks. Not having control over my own situation sometimes sucks.

...but good things come to those who wait upon the Lord. Look at Simeon; he got to see baby Jesus.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Music I'm Attached To

Some of this music is new to my iTunes library...some of it isn't and I have just finally discovered it amongst the hundreds of tracks I have.  Here's a short list of what I have been thoroughly enjoying the past few weeks-

The Outsiders (Whole stanking album)- Needtobreathe
You Will Find Me- Andrew Ripp
Rolling In The Deep- Boyce Avenue cover of Adele
Open Up Heaven- Kim Walker
Bleu Bird (Whole Album)- Customary
For Love of You- Audrey Assad
Careful- Paramore
Show Me What I'm Looking For- Carolina Liar

There you go! Look them up.  Love them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

So shiny and new!

I'm at this new school now and I am thoroughly enjoying myself here.  I only have one class currently, but my regular schedule will be starting up next week.  Theory classes, band practices, worship and accountability...good freaking times!

What I'm finding myself most drawn to about this school is the way they go about community.  Last week we had a morning in the park and we all played some intense ultimate frisbee.  That's not what got me jacked.  What got me going was the fact that a good handful of the faculty joined and played just as intensely as the rest of us.  Last night, we had a drive in movie night in our own parking lot.  Some of the students brought out their couches or lent the beds of their trucks for others to sit in.  Tomorrow? We're getting snow cones!

Another thing I'm loving about this school is how they treat us like adults.  The rules are actually fairly minimal.  I find no reason to go against what they are asking of me.  Yet, I'm finding some other students around here wanting to rebel.  These are the people I'm also finding aren't really worth my time.  Why? Not because I don't like them, but because I don't want any more of that rebellious spirit in me- I've got plenty of that to deal with all by myself.

The verse in 1 Corinthians has been slapping me in the face quite a bit the past two weeks- "Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial." I haven't felt this overwhelming, compelling need to rebel, but I want this verse to kick me up the pants if/when I find myself starting to toe the line. 

This school is a nice, fresh start for me.  I'd like to keep the self-inflicted heartaches to a minimum while I'm here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Heat is a Killer

I have been living in my apartment for three days now... but I have only spent one night sleeping in it. Why? Because the air conditioning is busted. Sunday, our room was over 90 degrees. Yesterday, it cooled off to a balmy 88. Next door to my roomies and I, 70.

One of these days, I will be able to fully enjoy my own room in my own apartment. Until then, I'll just have to sweat it out.

I thought I would be missing my car a lot more than I am. Although I miss the freedom of being able to go wherever I want whenever I want, there haven't been many places for me to go exploring that aren't on the trolley line or within walking distance. All of the students received a 6 month trolley pass. The trolley runs from the front of our apartments to the front of the school- so nice!!!! Even if I had a vehicle, I wouldn't be able to park on campus- there is virtually no place to park.

There really isn't much beyond that to share. I finally got my little dreamy MacBook Pro whom I have lovingly named Rory. He is now my technological boyfriend and we are madly in love. One of my classes started yesterday and it is pretty interesting. My teacher is pretty sweet and makes the class fun and a lot more bearable- that says a lot considering it's a 4 hour class.

That's all. Bye!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Song Thingy

Did you see the way I breathed that first breath
Rise and fall inside Adam's chest
Moved each muscle, work together
Had the thought, "I'll make it better"
Gave to him a wife so he's not alone

Did you hear my whisper in the mountains
Not in the earthquake or the whirlwind
Burning bush but nothing's falling
Listen now, you hear me calling
I want you to be one of my own

Did you know that I can part the water
Yeah, you are smart but I'm much wiser
Rivers flowing into blood streams
Broke the pride of who was once king
Freed the people that I loved so dear

Know I moved the mouths of donkeys talking
Save the rider of death untimely
Tore down the stairway up to heaven
Had the people change their language
Made dependence on my very clear

Won't you life your hands up in surrender
My strength's in more than just your numbers
I will be with you inside the battle
Nothing more than you can handle
I have your back, you just trust my hands

Should you turn a blind eye my direction
Or shut your ears to my attention
Why you running, you can't hide from
Me it should be no surprise that
I pursue you regardless of your act

I have used my words, rebuilt the broken
Spoke the words once left unspoken
Saved you from where you don't want to be
I hear your words, they're so defiant
Just slow down, embrace the quiet
I know your voice so intimately
Do you know me?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Leaving Well

I want to leave Eau Claire well.

I'm not entirely sure I know how. I guess a major part of that will be what happens in the VYC internship. Lisa has ever-so-daringly let me oversee the different elements and roles all of the interns are taking on. It's weird to have permission to have my hands in every cookie jar I see :)

Something else- our New Orleans trip coming up mid-July. 4 vans. FOUR FREAKING VANS! That's a lot of people. 30-some high school students... most of which have never been on the trip before. Dear Alleli, breathe.

Me leaving Eau Claire well means having patience with their inexperience and immaturity.

Leaving well means equipping my students to rise up and be leaders amongst their peers.

Also, leaving well means not being frustrated when I don't see immediate results.

Leaving well also sure as heck means I know how to say "yes" or "no" at the appropriate times. Sometimes, I have a hard time figuring out which answer I'm supposed to give.

Well, that's it for my rant and rave. All I know is I want to leave Eau Claire well before starting the next chapter in my story down in Memphis. Freaking Memphis! Wheeee!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A God-Given Weight

Holy crap! The past few weeks has been one of the most amazing adventures ever for me! God has given me opportunities to be obedient and when I have been, He's been faithful to reward me.
I have discovered I don't need to find a balance between leader and friend. Those roles have already been clearly defined for me.
I have discovered how big of a role intercessory prayer plays in my life.
I have discovered the freedom in shedding light to the darkest parts of my heart.

But I have also discovered the burden and weight that comes with those things. There are moments where I feel like they are unmanageable, but then I remember I have a community that is strong and a God who is even stronger.

I am excited and yes, a little bit anxious to see what God unveils next. He has given me no reason to doubt that He is good. Why would I choose to disobey?

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Tonight during worship with VYC, I started tagging songs like I normally do. But typically at this point of the night, I'm in a "comfort key". My vocal range only lets me go so far up or down so I pick a key (typically E if you're really that curious) that fits me best. Tonight, it was A.

Gosh darn it! I will forever shy away from that key! I tagged a few songs and they went okay, but then I attempted the chorus from the song From The Inside Out and absolutely butchered it!

But it was so wonderful!

The students, finally, sang out. Sang louder than me. Sang with their hearts. As I struggled to hit the super stinking high notes, all of the high schoolers took over and in tune or not, they sounded sooooo good!

Gosh, I'm once again humbled. I thought I could hit the notes and came up incredibly short. God never does. That just gives me a new perspective on the title Deliverer.

I have no idea if that makes any sense. All I know is I feel so much joy from my own musical deficiencies.

Monday, January 10, 2011

An Ambitious List

I have a good handful of goals/resolutions for this new year.

-Write a song

-Drive no more than 5 mph over the speed limit

-Pray more... A LOT more

-Budget and only spend $40 cash per week (minus gas... because gas prices are ridiculous)

-Write a good short story

-Swear less

-Learn how to take a solo on my electric guitar

-Make a short video with sweet footage

-Read more

-Sing better... and higher :p

This is all off the top of my head/ list I've written out. There will always be room to add to that list... there's a whole year!