Archives for category: Audio

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Ok… it’s time for the dreaded letter [X]!!!! Before we get there, though…

Truth: I’ve been a bit uncharacteristically emotional the last few days. Not because it’s the holiday or anything – I actually had a lovely time with great friends who came over for lunch on Sunday, and their kids schooled me on the Wii. Literally. I’d never played before and they got a great laugh at how inept I am!

No one can run a Mario Cart into the wall like I can. 🙂

No, I just think there are those wisps of time when a person has to sit in the pain of it for a moment. Even me… the girl who hates sitting in anything but the joy. I miss outside. I miss going to church. I miss not seeing my friends’ kids play, and I want to visit their new homes and be a part of things. I’m struggling so much with this new view in the mirror and I’m struggling most because I have no patience for struggling!

I like being strong.

Seriously.

I know this will pass as soon as I get some rest… I really only get emotional when I’m exhausted, and that’s where last week’s allergic reaction and crazy amounts of Benadryl have left me. But sometimes, there are good reminders in the sad stuff, too.

That’s why [X] is going to stand for X-Marks-The-Spot.

You know how, on a treasure map, the trunk of gold and spoils is always marked with an X? Or how those signs in the mall that say “You Are Here” give you a red X to find your location?

The marking is there to let us know where we are, or where we would like to be. It shows us what we want to know. Where our heart lies. It shows us the treasure.

I listened to a song by Selah recently that is a good reminder about how He has marked an X on each of us. Whether we remember to go to Him or not, he’s left an impression on our hearts. He knows our location. He knows where our heart lies. He knows we are His treasure. Because of that, we are never alone no matter how isolated we may be.

This line in the song was the reminder for me this Easter: I would never stake my life on any lesser thing than the cross of Christ where He gave His life to ease my suffering. If there’s one thing I know, you were never left alone… because you can always call on Jesus’ name.

Here’s the song One Thing I Know, in case you need to hear it today, too.

Because He has left an X to mark the spot on each of our hearts.

09 One Thing I Know by gitzengirl

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Ok, [Y] should be much easier on the suggestion front! Throw them at me in the comment section 🙂

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Songs

Ok, total honesty here. I had an idea earlier to write about different songs that have meant something to me at different times in my life. Funny ones, sentimental ones, nonsense ones that are probably only funny to me.

But as the day has gone on, I’ve decided I’m either feeling a weather front coming through or I was up and around too much this weekend. Because my body is saying ouch and my head is saying “impending migraine.”

Lucky for me, I have one song that I recorded back in the day that I haven’t shared with you yet. You remember how I went in the studio and had enough money to record one song after another, without any breaks or being able to go back and fix what I didn’t like?

This is the song I wanted to go back and fix something on.

The thing that sucks is that it was my FAVORITE song to sing, and anyone from St. Stephen’s who is reading this will already know what song I’m talking about.

So, for your listening pleasure, here is my recording of On Holy Ground… the part that will not be your listening pleasure are the two flat notes that make me cringe. Please just ignore them and enjoy the rest. 🙂

03 Holy Ground by gitzengirl

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Don’t forget to leave ideas for a [T] topic in the comments! [and no wisecracks about the flat notes :)]

In an effort to get back into our Flashback Friday routine, I thought this post was a great one to revisit during the Christmas season. Hope it helps put you in the frame of mind for what Christmas is all about. This song does it for me every time.

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Breath of Heaven
[originally posted 12.8.08]

Since my first day at college, I was involved at St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Student Center. I loved that place and the ever-evolving community. As a freshman I had upperclassmen who took me under their wing. I had friends my age who were going through the same ups and downs of college life. And as I made my way through the years, I eventually mentored others and took them under my wing. While the community changed, the environment didn’t. It was a place of love and support and acceptance and learning.

All of those things are still in that building for me. I haven’t been able to be there to celebrate Mass or join in activities for a long time, but I can close my eyes and see the details, smell the essence, hear the trickle of the baptismal font and feel the closeness of the air that hugs you into a sense of serenity. I loved worshipping there.

Mostly, I loved singing there.

I’m not the best singer in the world, but it is, hands down, the thing I loved to do the most. I don’t read music so I would meet the pianist for our practice session carrying a mini-recorder to tape the songs. Then I would take it home and play it over and over to have the music ingrained in me until I could sing without thinking.

I would stand up to the microphone on Sunday morning and see a sea of faces who were there for something so much bigger than us. And I would do the same thing each time… silently pray the Memorare and ask for Mary to send one of the angels in the choir to sing for me that day. I would ask that whatever message was supposed to be given would be heard, and then I would concentrate on the words and the meaning and trust that the notes would come out right. Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn’t, but regardless I always felt a connection with the community.

One year around Christmas time I had recorded a radio jingle for our local airport… it was the corniest jingle ever, but the studio I was at gave me a deal on some recording time. I had enough money from the jingle to be in the studio for one hour, and I recorded eight songs back-to-back. Each song had one take… no going back to fix it if I hit a wrong note or ran out of breath. I took the opportunity to record the songs I had done most often at St. Stephen’s to share with the people it meant something to.

The song I still have people tell me they miss at this time of year was a song I would have sang today on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception… Breath of Heaven. So, for all of you from St. Stephen’s that read the blog, and for all of you new friends of mine, I’m going to share my recording of it today. I know others have sang it better, but I hope you get as much out of hearing it as I got out of singing it for so many years. Just click the play button on the player below and wait a second for it to start. And remember I’m not a professional… just a person who loved the experience of sharing the moment.

Ok, so this whole suddenly-having-a-new-allergic-reaction-to-a-random-food-ingredient-thing is a bit more tedious than I originally expected it to be. Ridiculous amounts of Benadryl later, I feel like I have nothing to write about but food allergies. Because let me tell you, whey is in a lot of food. Including milk, butter and cheese. And do you know how many products contain whey, milk or butter?

Don’t bother looking… I’ll just tell you. It’s a lot of them. Which is why I’m a bit obsessed with food labels at the moment. But that doesn’t mean you should be obsessed with food labels, so I’m choosing not to write about them. Well, starting now.

Instead, I thought I would go to my old standby when all else fails. The song Ave Maria.

Yeah, I know that’s probably not where you thought I was going with this. But that song has saved my neck many times when things have gone wrong. For example, my friend Chris’ wedding. Back when I was a wedding singing traveling fool, I showed up early for his out of town wedding rehearsal to meet with the accompanist. She was sitting at the piano waiting for me, so it was just the two of us in the chapel. And when she started to play the first song I knew we were in trouble. Because it didn’t sound like music.

Now, I’m not saying she was just a mediocre piano player. I’m saying she put her hands on the keys and hit random notes, much like I would do because I don’t read music or have a clue how to play. But this woman was apparently a regular accompanist at the church… and that just wasn’t adding up to me. After about 20 minutes of stopping and starting and realizing that her blank stare and lack of emotional affect were a bigger problem than I could deal with, the priest showed up.

I went out to the lobby to explain the situation and he said, “Oh, I was afraid that was going to happen. She’s been caring for her ill mother who just passed away and some have been concerned about her having a breakdown.”

Really? Then maybe you shouldn’t have recommended her to play at a wedding. Where there would be added pressure on her. But at that point it wouldn’t have done much good to point that out to him, so I just stepped aside when he said he’d handle it.

The priest came in and ushered the woman out, and I had the pleasure of telling an old friend that there was no one to play for his wedding the next day. Thankfully, he’s a mortician so he had some contacts and was able to find a woman to come play the processional and recessional and a couple of the songs. The rest of the music she didn’t know, however? Me. a cappella.

Which is how the Ave Maria saved me that day. And on a few other occasions when a song needed to fill in for empty space during random church services. And today it’s sparing you from having to hear more about whey, milk, butter, cheese and food labels.

You’re welcome.

Someone is having withdrawals from his blog mascot fame.

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I told him NorEaster asked for photos of him in the comment section today and he seemed to perk up a bit…

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Then he started barking orders.

Obviously he’s been thinking a lot while we’ve been laying around, because he had some big ideas for me…

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Let it be known that when the alpha speaks, I listen… so here’s another song I recorded back in the day:

Thanks for being so patient with me, guys. I’ll work on a post to update you on life in general… I’m just realizing while putting this little one together that it’ll have to be done in spurts instead of my normal way of writing [which usually consists of me sitting down and babbling until I’m done, otherwise known as rambling], but I’ll do my best to get one up by Monday.

In the meantime, enjoy the song and I hope you have a GREAT weekend…

Miss you all!

Hello, sweet peeps…

Running a bit slow today, so in the absence of my words I thought I’d leave you with my voice.

Hope you enjoy it and have a beautiful weekend… I’ll meet you back here Monday for our first “letter sponsored” post. 🙂

Earlier in the week, Tam made this ever-so-subtle comment about what I could do for you all while we’re waiting for the computer that still has not been shipped from the Dell warehouse [not that I’m bitter or anything]:

i know what you can do while you’re waiting…find some more of those awesome songs of yours. and. you know. share them 🙂
That Tam, she’s always thinking.
And since she asked so nicely I thought I’d better do as I’m told. [She’s really good at talking me into things… like Twitter. And Facebook. And oreo cravings.]
Tonight I had the girls over for our faith sharing night, and this paragraph from Max Lucado’s Traveling Light struck me in a big way:
God hates arrogance. He hates arrogance because we haven’t done anything to be arrogant about. Do art critics give awards to the canvas? Is there a Pulitzer for ink? Can you imagine a scalpel growing smug after a successful heart transplant? Of course not. They are only tools, so they get no credit for the accomplishments.
Now, at some point in the discussion I think Susie called me a tool, and didn’t mean it in the nicest way, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here. 🙂 In every part of the 23rd Psalm, which this book is based on, it talks about all God does for us:
He makes me…”
“He leads me…”
“He restores my soul…”
And once again I am reminded that I need to be mindful of having a servant’s heart. I have to be intentional in all the actions I take, knowing that all I do needs to point back to Him… the One who gets the praise for writing the story of our lives. The story for which I am blessed enough to be the ink.
And I just happen to have recorded a song back in the day that reminds me of that. So, thanks to Tam, here’s my recording of My Soul Desire: