Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Struggles and Maturity

"2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

If there were a list of "over-used" Bible verses, this would be on it, I know. But, honestly, can Scripture really be overused (when in the right context!)?

We are all faced with trials. Some big, and some little. I guess I've always known that and recognize that this is just a "part of life".

But these verses hit me hard. What we choose to do with our struggles is completely up to us. We know that God is faithful within our struggles. But we always have the choice to make these struggles worth something. It's not enough to simply say that God will help us through. He will, but we still have a choice. A choice to mature and persevere, or to let the struggle go by and no change us.

How do I react to my struggles? The big ones and the little ones. Who do I call on when I have an issue? Is there maturity and love in my words, actions, and reactions? Do I choose to "lack nothing", or do I get caught up in my judgements and feelings?

How do your struggles change you?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Third Time's A Charm

So, about two weeks ago I got this email:

"Hello Leanne,
Hope you are doing well.
Would you be interested in going back to Carnegie Hall and playing this time with MIchael W Smith?
We are hosting Michael at Carnegie in Jan 2013.
I've attached the detail sheet below. I'd love to have you in the orchestra again if you think you could come.
Let me know what questions you may have.

I was sitting in a meeting at work when I read this, and I think my eyes nearly did popped out of my head. Shock. I love the "just let me know if you have questions". Of course I have questions. Gah! A few e-mails followed back and forth and I got this one:

"The choir is about to fill up in the next 2-3 weeks then we will start building our orchestra.
90% of the players will be union professionals from NY, so it will be a really fine orchestra directed by David Hamilton.
Several of the pieces will be from Michael's new instrumental CD which is awesome and was recorded by the London Philharmonic."

Wait. What? David Hamilton, the man I secretly curse because of the impossibility of some of his string orchestrations? The man who orchestrates all of MWS's work? The man who is a genius?

Wait? What? NYC union players? Me? Play? With them? At Carnegie?

So all that to say, I'm headed back to New York, New York. For the third time. To take in more 5th Avenue, to see more Broadway shows, to travel and hang out with one of my oldest friends (who gets to sing with us too!) and to play at Carnegie Hall. Again. 

Carnegie Hall. January 2012. Annie Moses Band.

I'm in awe. I don't know how this is happening to me. I feel like it shouldn't happen to me. But it is. I feel like the luckiest most blessed girl in the world. 

Thank you Lord for this talent. Thank you Lord for parents who saw the value in musical education. Thank you Lord for this opportunity. ALL glory be to Him.

Central Park. August 2008
Empire State Building. January 2012

Yellowstone, Bison, and Co.

So, back in May I went on a little road trip. 

Down to Wyoming. To Yellowstone National Park. With two special people.

Here are a few highlights. 

Me, being me.

This was a lovely little road side stop in Montana.

Finally at Yellowstone. Reading the warning about the goring bisions.

My Penny and Nessa. With the geysers.

Walking the boardwalks.

My favourite series of pictures.

I decided to join the Chinese tour group.

It's always a good time for a photo shoot.

Old Faithful

Another favourite...and a long run for Penny to get to that sign
after setting the timer for this shot.

The beautiful sisters.

Another timer opp.

A beautiful moment in the Lord's creation.

My favourite moment. So breath-taking.

Geysers are not the most pleasant smelling forces of nature.
"Get me out of this stinkin' fresh air!"

Another favourite sequence.

This bision caused a slight delay while leaving, but did bring out
Jocelyn's feelings toward these beasts.
"I love bison!"

Oh, well, that group shoot didn't work.

Me and the photographer herself. I love her.

Some photo fun while waiting at a road construction site.

 Just another look.
Why make a good photo, when it can be a funny one?

And a little spelunking to end our weekend.

What a joy to spend a solid four days with these two. I love that we can chat, be silient, laugh, be hyper, be sad and down, be high on sugar, and create amazing memories together.

Majority of photos are compliments of Jocelyn Dawn Photography - www.jocelyndawnphotography.blogspot.ca

If you have made it to the end of this post, congratulations.