Song Challenge, Day Twenty-Five

A song that makes you laugh

AH!! A fun one!!!

OK, so the first song I thought of was “Evolution Redefined” Geoff Moore and The Distance. It’s a great little song!

But the second one to come to mind REALLY makes me laugh! There is one thing I can say about Randy Stonehill—he either makes you laugh or makes you think. “Great Big Stupid World” is great for both.

What God Gave Us

Little Cub is a curious little bear. She has lots of questions about the world around her. Fortunately she also has loving parents and grandparents who are more than willing to patiently answer all of her questions. And the book God Gave Us So Much gives readers three times the questions and answers.

Author Lisa Tawn Bergen and illustrator Laura J. Bryant have teamed up again with three Little Cub stories all in one. In this book, Little Cub learns about the world, love, and heaven. And she learns about the treasures from God contained in each of them.

This book is fun for both parents and children. I had a lot of fun reading it with my preschooler cuddled on my lap. That he could not only understand what was being taught in the book but also could chime in with his own thoughts and questions was great fun for me.

There are places in the book where the narration gets a bit confusing, though. I often found myself adding “Little cub said” or “Little Cub asked” after short speeches. That made it easier for both my son and I to keep track of who was saying what. But even with those slight inconveniences, which my son didn’t even notice, did not subtract from the enjoyment of the book. It’s definitely a treasured addition to our book shelf.

Song Challenge, Day Twenty-Four

A song you want played at your funeral

“Victory In Jesus”

Yep, that’s the one. I don’t really want it played so much as I want the people gathered at my funeral to sing it. This the one thing I want remembered about my life—that it isn’t about me, that it is JESUS who made me who I have been and that He has brought victory into my life. I want my friends and family to think about me victoriously dancing down Heaven’s streets rather than crying because I am not in my physical body any longer.

Getting Healthy Step by Step

Every now and again, I see something on Facebook that really catches my attention. This week, it was an ad on the side of the page. The ad was for a program called “Step by Step.” (And no, it has nothing to do with New Kids on the Block. Thought I should point that out for those of you who know my NKOTB fascination!) This is a healthy living challenge sponsored in part by the local hospital. The goal is to promote better food choices, exercise, and a smoke-free lifestyle for people in Jackson County, Michigan. I thought about it briefly before I took the plunge and signed up for the challenge.

It doesn’t “officially” start until May 1. Still, I am starting to make some changes. Like adding fruit to at least one meal each day and adding vegetables to at least one other. And I am moving more. Yesterday, I set a timer for 10 minutes, ushered my sons out of the house and started walking. When the timer went off, we turned around and headed back home. I had planned to take the dog, too, but he busted his leash. UGH. I thought trying to walk a lively black lab would help to raise the intensity of the exercise. But, just walking was better than what I normally do, which is sit at home, thinking, “You know, I really should exercise.”

Today, I did another of the small suggested movements on the site. I put on one of my 1980’s CDs and danced while I was cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, and making dinner. That was so fun! And it felt good.

Something that I have been doing lately is working. I saw a woman Monday night who I haven’t seen in a couple of weeks. She said that I looked good, that she can tell I am losing weight, and that I just seem to glow. Yea! It felt good that someone could see a change. I know I have been feeling a change. Clothes that were much too tight last summer are starting to fit!

Song Challenge, Day Twenty-Three

A song you want played at your wedding.

Finally, and easy one!!!

I got married 11 years ago, and I am so not planning to get married again!!! But I can tell you what songs were played at my wedding and what was played at our wedding vow renewal ten years later.

When my bridesmaids walked into the church, we played “I Do” by 98 Degrees. (Yes, Amanda, another boy band!) And as a side note, the video is one of my all-time favorites!! LOVE the twist at the end!

When Daddy walked me down the aisle to give me away, we played “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle.

And when John and I lit the Unity Candle my cousin JoEllen sang the song “My Valentine.” I don’t have a recording of JoEllen singing it—not one that I can share here, anyway—so I am sharing the original version by Jim Brickman and Martina McBride.

Ten years later, we renewed out wedding vows. We again had the pleasure of a live song by a good friend. This time, it was acapella version of Shania Twain’s hit “Still the One.” My best friend Lori sang it for us. Again, I don’t have a recording of her singing that one so I have to treat to the radio version.

The last song that I want to share is one that I used for the background music on a slide show of our lives together. That song is “Love of My Life” by Jim Brickman and Michael W. Smith.

Writing Teacher

Parents: English Teacher Writes Racy Novels | News | Snyder County News.

I have never read–nor do I ever plan to read–a novel written by Judy Mays.  Until I saw this article, I’d never even heard of her.  And now that I have…well, I am not sure what to think.

Here is the short version–a 10th grade English teacher in Pennsylvania has been supplementing her income by writing racy novels.  Parents (at least two) are upset by this.  They don’t think that a woman who can write like that should be teaching their children.

On the one hand, I think what she is writing is a waste of time.  And reading it is an even bigger waste of time.  At the same time, I am slightly envious of her.  I mean, she is not only writing novels she is publishing novels.  And the novels she is publishing are actually selling.  There are far too many authors out there still struggling to find a publisher for that first novel.  Though this style of writing is not what I want to do, I can’t really say anything other than, “Good for you!” to a woman who is making money at this craft.

What I am really outraged at, though, is not that Ms. Mays (or Mrs. Buranich as her students call her) is teaching a high school class while writing this kind of book on the side.  Rather, it is that she is being criticized for finding a way to supplement her teaching salary.  (And let’s not get started on the whole need for a teacher to supplement that salary!)  She isn’t doing anything illegal.  She is not involving the school in her decision to write and publish this kind of book.  In fact, I kind of respect that she uses a pen name.  She is trying to keep her two careers separate.   Some might say that is because she is ashamed of what she writes.  I have a feeling, though, that she made the choice to protect her school and her teaching career.

There has been some talk on Facebook today about whether she should keep her teaching job.  I say yes.  Who better than a published author to teach and English class?  She has to have a firm grasp of the English language and a knack for stringing words together to have been able to land a publishing contract.  That should be seen as an asset in the classroom.

Now, if she is using her books in the classroom, then there is a problem.  I can’t imagine that she would be.  If so, her “secret life” would have been discovered long before now.

One thing is pretty certain–she is being talked about now.  And even I know that is the best way to get your books known!

Judy BuranichJudy Maysteachers

Song Challenge, Day Twenty-Two

A song you listen to when you are sad.

Now, that is an interesting one! The answer is “it depends.”

What does it depend on? (Or, “On what does it depend?”)

Oh, I am so glad that you asked!

It depends on what I am sad about and if I actually want to get out of the sadness! If I am in a mood where I want to just wallow in my sadness for a while, I will listen to the saddest music I can find. Usually, this happens when I am in the middle of writing about a character who has encounter a real sad time in life. I like to keep myself sad then, so that I can empathize with the character more. As I said on Day Four, the song that makes me the saddest is Joey McIntyre’s “I Cried.” At one time, I listened to it for a straight half an hour to get through a certain section of a book.

But if I don’t want to wallow in that sadness, I might listen to the songs that I listed yesterday. Sometimes just blaring those songs and dancing like no one is watching me (especially when no one IS watching me!) is all I need to snap out of it and move on.

Most often, though, my sadness comes out of yet another bout of depression. I’ve suffered from depression for years, probably since my high school days. Within the last six years, though, it has gotten worse. Sometimes it has me so down that I can’t even think about being up again. Others, I am down but I know that I DO NOT want to be. (This is a situation, I am happy to say, that happens more and more lately!) I can’t always get rid of whatever issue triggered the depression. But I CAN get myself out of it. I can do that through reading or writing or talking to a friend or listening to music.

And if I am going to use music, it has to be praise music!

Try it sometime! It’s virtually impossible to be depressed when focused completely on how GREAT God is. This song by Chris Tomlin is my favorite. It reminds me that no matter what chains are holding me down, the grace of God can cut through them and give me freedom and happiness. Thank you, Jesus!!!

Song Challenge, Day Twenty-One

A song you listen to when you are happy.

Hmm…. Wow. Can’t believe how hard this one is. Has it been so long since I have felt happy that I just can’t think of a song? No, that can’t be it!

Back on Day Two, I posted “Hello” by Lionel Richie as a song that makes me happy. And it does, because of the memories associated with the song. But I don’t often listen to it when I am happy. That is more of a lost-in-the-memories kind of a song.

When I am in a good mood, I like to listen to upbeat, dancy kind of songs. Songs like this…

or this one….

or maybe even…

OH!! Or this one!! LOVE this one!!!

In fact, just listening to all of those has brightened up my mood today! Nothing has changed, I’ve just enjoyed some upbeat songs. Wow. Guess there really is power in music!

30 Day Song ChallengeAce of BaseCherRicky MartinRob ThomasSantana

A New Challenge

A to Z Blog Challenge

I came across this in a blog post a couple of days ago:

What is the A to Z Challenge? It’s blogging a letter of the alphabet every day the month of April (with Sundays off for good behavior.) It begins April First with the letter A and ends April 30 with the letter Z.

Considering I found it with less than 10 days left in the month of April, it’s not really feasible that I can finish it in the month of April. So I decided to not even start! No, instead I am going to do this challenge in May. And I don’t know that I will take Sundays off for good behavior. Especially since I plan to pre-write as many posts as I can. That will help me get through the Challenge, even if life throws something totally unexpected my way.

This plan, though, leads me to one question. How do you, my readers, feel about the blog challenges that I am using? I know why I like them—they help me keep focused on writing a little something every day and they help me to reveal a little more about myself. My best friend, a woman I have known for 20 years, said she enjoys reading them because even she learns new things about me. I didn’t tell her that my writing the challenge posts also helps me to learn new things about myself!

Song Challenge, Day Twenty

A song you listen to when you are angry….

Wow. Some of these topics are very easy. Others really require a bit of thought!

I suppose it all depends on how angry I am! In the last couple of months, I’ve started listening to praise music when I am angry. It is so hard to remain angry when singing songs of love to God. When I am real angry, I need something more than that. I need a song that is full of God’s love, but I also need something where I can really just SHOUT OUT the words. Never been much into head-banging music, but it sure helps when I am angry! And this is the perfect song for it.

The song is “It Is Well” by Kutless. This is a rock band version of the old hymn “It Is Well With My Soul.” The terms “hymn” and “rock band” don’t seem to go together. But this song shows that the two can work. I love it!!! In a way, it is an angry version. To me, it is like the band is shouting at the devil “do your worst, but everything is good with me because I have Jesus on my side!”

Yeah, there is nothing like beating up on the devil when I am feeling angry and down!!