You know those experiences in life that are stressful at the time but become something you laugh about later? This story is one of those…
So why is it so important that I fight the heat, the crowds, the traffic and the bugs, just to see something I’ve seen for decades? And why in the world did I feel a little guilty this year because I stayed home to watch them on TV? I had to do some soul searching to understand what REALLY is behind my love for fireworks.
Fast forward several decades to NY again when my daughter, Kelly, was living in the city! It had always been a dream of mine to be right on the water like those people you see on TV at the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. (If you have that dream when you watch the show, let me share some information that might just help you enjoy your spot from the couch!)
One year while visiting Kelly, we actually did it! We got down to the river early enough in the afternoon to claim our spot right next to the water. We had a picnic, played games, made friends, and watched the sun set. With great anticipation we waited for it to get dark enough for the fireworks to begin!
As we were waiting, I realized I needed to find a bathroom. What we didn’t know was that once the area next to the water was filled with people, it was roped off and no one was allowed to get in or out! Yeah…no way to go to the bathroom!
So I did a little mind over matter and convinced myself that I could hold it until after the fireworks. During the fireworks, I forgot all about the need for a bathroom and was feeling like this was one of the best decisions I had ever made! Most amazing fireworks show ever!
We finally made it to our stop and I painfully found an open diner on our walk home! Whew! Sweet relief!
I still laugh every time I hear that lady in my head and will forever remember that as a moment when laughter turned a very stressful situation into something bearable, well... almost!
Even though I said at the time, “I’ll never do that again!”, we actually did go back another year to watch the NYC Fireworks - on a river cruise! We had a front row spot on the water and watched the fireworks from the upper deck of the boat! Bathrooms were included! Now THAT was one of the best decisions I have ever made!!!!
Not too long ago when that I happened, I could hear God’s still, small voice whisper, “Just breathe Marlowe, just breathe!” Once I remembered to breathe, then I could begin to “cast my cares on Him, knowing that He cares for me” I Peter 5:7.
I went to the piano and began to play very slowly and quietly... to pray and receive His peace. This song, “Breathe”, came out of that experience.
Many thanks to Sonder House for adding my track, "Breathe", on the album Recollections Vol 2 now streaming wherever you listen to digital music!
I never know what song will speak to my listeners at any given time. Sometimes a song that I consider to be very simple can turn out to be an audience favorite. Such has been the case with “A New Morning”. Whenever I play it in concert, someone usually comments about it. Even a person battling cancer was recently moved to tears in my living room as I played it for them. That’s when I knew I needed to release it! This recording is straight from my own living room!
This glorious cover photo was taken by a friend of mine who lives in South West Virginia. She has always been an early riser and has seen hundreds of beautiful sunrises. (I count on her to tell me about them!) She captured this sunrise and it has not been touched up at all! She posted it with a link to these most appropriate lyrics by Chris Tomlin “I see You in the sunrise every morning…It’s like a picture that You’ve painted for me…Love letters in the sky”
As strange as it might sound, this was a fun date we will always remember! Now, before you start thinking my husband is weird, let me say he would be the last person on the planet to EVER suggest visiting the cemetery to celebrate my birthday! THIS WAS MY IDEA! So maybe I’m the creepy one! Let me explain...
Next, per instructions, we explored the cemetery, reading the markers and talking about the things that stood out to us. It was very humbling to see so many WWII veterans, some of whose spouses are still living. Of course it was sad to see the markers of children who had died way too young. We watched an Asian family putting incense on their family members’ graves.
Another suggestion from the date book was to talk about what we might want our own epitaphs to say. This is where we had a lot of laughs. I’ve certainly never laughed out loud in a cemetery before because the only time I have ever visited one is for a burial. It is a different experience to visit when you are not so emotionally raw. I must say, it helped take away the mystery and yucky feeling I’ve always had about cemeteries. I almost didn’t want to leave because I was enjoying walking and being outside on such a beautiful day and soaking in the fresh air. But then, Robby broke my lingering mood when he gave his answer to the last date question, “Was the date eerie or comforting?” He said all he could think about the whole time was the hundreds of dead skeletons just lying in their caskets! Ok well... let’s just say he was a really good sport!
In all seriousness, I just turned 61 and it’s very strange to be at the age where more and more close friends and relatives are beginning to have major health issues, so it does make me think about how I want to finish the race. Every day is a gift from God and I want to live fully engaged while at the same time keeping an eternal perspective, for I know this earth is not my final home.
I will leave you with Molly Skagg's beautiful new version of Johnny Cash's song "Ain't No Grave"
Do you ever feel you need a vacation from your vacation? We can so easily get exhausted during the Christmas holidays! Every year we say the same thing don’t we…”I’m not doing this to myself next year, I’m going to simplify and make Christmas less stressful”.
Then…out of nowhere… messages like these that I received in response to
"A Shepherd’s Wonder", remind me of why I do what I do.
“You’re my angel today…I have been very ill and discouraged. I just watched this several times. It was so uplifting”
“ I can’t stop crying watching this! Thank you so much for sharing your talent”
“…very soothing in my time of pain”
It always means the world to receive these messages. The true prayer of my heart is that people feel touched by God’s presence through my music, whatever their need or circumstance.
As I look forward to 2019, I am feeling the need for REST. Not rest from work, or new projects, but rest from my own striving. I can hear the words of Mother Teresa saying “We must let Him do it! We are but His hands and feet; we must let Him do the work!”
My verse for 2019 is Hebrews 4:11
“ Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest”.
In keeping with this theme for 2019, here is my new single of Lance Allen’s beautiful song “Rest Your Way Home”.
Listen on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube. Also available on Google Play, Deezer and other outlets. Sheet music available at www.marlowecarruth.com
How do you find your place of rest? Leave a comment!
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