Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Audrey Assad

It's Wednesday. And it's raining.

That's a terrible combination if there ever was one.

So I found myself doing something that I don't like doing but that needs to happen -- cleaning, and clearing out my email inbox. The latter is far easier and of course, I can be sitting on the sofa while doing it. That begs the question --- "why, Carey Beth! Is something wrong with you that you must live a sedentary lifestyle??!" To which I reply --- "No, dear one, I am just lazy. And it's raining and it's Wednesday, in case you forgot."

While clearing my inbox, I've come across some jewels of articles that friends have sent me that I've failed to read until now. One of the articles my dad sent is this one from the New York Times columnist David Brooks. Basically, anything Brooks writes is incredibly worth reading. And basically, my dad usually sends me everything Brooks writes because he is nice like that (my dad, not Brooks, although I'm sure Brooks is nice, too.) So I read the article, and I also clicked on the YouTube link for a song by Audrey Assad that is referenced in it.

And then something shifted deep inside me as I listened to one of the best voices I have ever heard. That's a bold statement, but I really mean it. I'm not sure if Audrey Assad is a happening in the Christian music scene that I just totally missed, or maybe she is relatively unknown, but I can't believe I've never heard her music until today. It's probably me -- I tend to put Christian music in a little bubble off to the side that I'll only tap into if I'm feeling really desperate because the Hot Hits radio is failing to play anything except Katy Perry's "Dark Horse." If I hear that song one more time I will seriously break something. Ugh, to even mention Katy Perry in the same post as writing about Audrey Assad is like a criminal offense. (Side note: I have nothing against Christian music. Sometimes I just feel like the Christian radio stations don't play the best Christian music that they could... but this is probably my sour heart getting in the way.  I hate it when that happens.)

Audrey Assad's voice, lyrics, piano... EVERYTHING about her music is a beautiful praise. If you are a music person, then you know that feeling when a song so gets to your heart. It's hard to explain -- but you just know it's right and it's what your soul wants and it makes you laugh or cry or dance or worship or maybe all of it at once. Music can do that like nothing else can. That is what I'm feeling right now as I listen to this music. It's soaringly beautiful, and it's made my rainy Wednesday infinitely better. I hope it does for you, too.

I Shall Not Want (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5xEYgGr6ms)

O My Soul (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_dAswUDjpE)

Sparrow (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfSI3mnZaqQ)

Humble (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7qLNDGTm-E)

You Speak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFr6dVTVN2w)


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to Look Good at Any Age

My mom saw her birthday blog post about turning 60 and said this:

"Good genes, good jeans, moisturizer, hydration, a forgiving heart, a confessing mouth. Then you will be beautiful at any age!"

Noted.

I think friends help the process, too.


Tra la laaaaa!

Oh, and maybe a killer red coat.





Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Georgetown Spring


Spring is finally here in all her glory. It's time for showing some skin and feeling some sunshine on your face! Along those lines, I had a breakthrough thought the other day and I think it's worth sharing. 

While walking down Wisconsin a few days ago, I saw a woman who was wearing super tight and short shorts that didn't really do much to flatter her body, if you know what I mean. I was about to do my normal reaction: stare and form a judgmental thought or two (or ten) about her. But then, clear as the day, a voice popped into my head and said --

"If you are taking a second glance because you are going to be judgmental, it's best not to take a second glance." 

And just like that, I didn't glance in her direction again, and this practice dramatically reduced my negative and unkind thoughts about this woman. Pretty simple, but profoundly renewing to my soul. 











The two pictures above are from Easter brunch on Sunday. Dear friends and a goofball man who I happen to love. 

Maybe I should back up and explain a bit more about why I had that breakthrough thought about judging others. The thing is, I sometimes have terrible thoughts about others. I mean, just plain mean. I really hate that I do this, except for one redeeming thing that comes from it -- it makes me so aware of my need for a Savior. I realize how quick I am to form opinions (mostly negative) about others, and that I do it to elevate myself and stroke my ego a bit. 

It's so stupid. 

Really.

So turning my eyes and not taking a second glance is a means to redirect my thoughts and not go down that wayward, judgmental road. It helps me to focus on and desperately see my need for the goodness and loving kindness of God, who saved me not because of my works (thank goodness,) but because of his mercy. (That is paraphrase of Titus 3:4-5. Read it. So, so good.)

Spring, I'm so glad you are here. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mom's Birthday

A lady never tells her age, but my mom looks so good at 60 that her daughter must tell her age for her.

Just look at this cute, young spring chicken:


HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAYS to my Mamacita!

My dad is one lucky guy, and by the look of these pictures, he sure knows it:










They are so cute with their matching salt and pepper hair :)

Barbara -- Once a babe...


Always a babe.


I love you, Mom!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Love Is

One of my resolutions for the new year was to be more consistent with blogging. I even actually now own the Grace and Daisy Chains dot com domain... But clearly this hasn't spurred me onward. Life has just been busy. It's no excuse, I know, but even on the days when things have slowed down, writing a post hasn't been a priority. But I have SO MUCH TO SAY!! Everyone does. And I have so very much enjoyed this little online space. So while I make no promises, I do hope to be more consistent in posting from here on out. I recently sliced my hand open on a mandolin (one of those kitchen tools for uniformly slicing fruit and vegetables) and I can't write very well. Typing, however is unencumbered.

So today, here is a light little note about the "Love Is" cartoons by Kim Casali.

If you don't know "Love Is" than you probably didn't grow up in Dallas, Texas, where the "Love Is" cartoons still run in the Dallas Morning News everyday. My mom cuts them out and sends one to Michael and me at least once a month.

There are ones about Michael, the medicine man:

The middle "making it better" one is quite relevant these days as Michael had been nursing my hand back to health.

There are ones that Mom sends to Michael when I am out-of-town:


I personally think there should be one where the man leaves the toilet seat up. I swear, I go out of town for one day and Michael reverts back to his bachelor days. 

And I fall into the toilet in the middle of the night.

Then, there are the ones that depict Michael's sweetness, like cooking or rubbing my feet. 

And of course, there are ones like this one that are for Mamacita and me!


There are ones that are solely just about love:


And ones that mimic things what we do together, like canning applesauce:


And love is the sum of all things you mean to me.


And then there are the ones that mom sends that apply to me:


For the record, I do not look this happy when I wake up every morning. 

Except when I'm at the beach.

And this is me too:


Now here's the thing -- you don't need a husband or wife to share all of these kinds of love. A husband is nice, but friendships are just as true a way to share love. 

And of course,