This song was written for our God-daughter, Maria, who lives in Norway with her parents, Katie & Kjell Møgster, and three big brothers. Back in 2006, the Møgsters called us from Mali, Africa (during their missionary years) and asked us to be her God-Family. They invited us to meet them in Norway to attend Maria’s baptism. Well, of course, we said “yes!” with great enthusiasm and immediately started the process of obtaining tickets that would eventually have us arrive in Ålesund, Norway.
Now, a baptism is always a special event. But in Norway, it is a HUGE event. Many hours of preparation were put into decorating the house, setting up tables, making centerpieces, organizing name tags, and preparing group games. Oh yes, then there is the never-ending supply of food!
The morning of the baptism was spent preparing for the special baptismal worship service. The worship experience was amazing! I couldn’t understand a word of it, but the rhythm of the liturgy and prayers felt familiar, especially the Lord’s Prayer.
There was only one part of the service that was in English, the part when I got up and sang. The Møgsters had informed me that it is often a tradition for the God-parents to have one of their gifts be a poem or song. So, I happily wrote Maria a song, in the weeks before our Norwegian odyssey. The words of the chorus were projected onto the screen and I invited everyone to sing along during the last time through…which they did, in their conservative Norwegian way of doing things.
After worship, we drove back to Kjell’s mothers home with the family. Immediately, their friends and family started arriving for the festivities. There must have been about 40 people there, each with a name tag showing them where they were going to sit. We heard Norwegian songs, ate Norwegian food, played group games and learned a lot about … Norwegians!! The last visitors (who weren’t going to be sleeping at the house) finally left around 8pm that night. Finally, it was down to just the…15 of us. This included 7 children, 5 of them young elementary school boys!
The whole trip was an amazing adventure. Being immersed in another culture for 2 1/2 weeks gave me a much bigger understanding of our world. My family and I didn’t want to leave!
In June, 2011, during one of our reunions with the Møgsters, here in the States, Maria asked me to sing her song. I happily agreed. Maria was 5 at this time, so I could look her in the eyes as I sang. She would blush and turn away, but soon I found her looking at me again. It was a precious moment. Clearly she felt very special about having her own song.
I am so glad that my song touched Maria’s heart. It clearly made her feel loved and cherished.
Has anyone done something extra special in your life while growing up? Have you ever told them what it meant to you? If not, think about doing that. It would mean a lot to them.
Writing songs for me is like getting a buzz from too much coffee. After I wrote “Let’s Get a Latte” I was so amped up that I had to keep the caffeinated lyrics flowing! Hence, “Too Much Caffeine.”
Being a person who loves learning the behind-the- scenes information, here is a little behind-the-scenes tid bit for you.
For some reason when I perform this song I feel like I am singing on stage in a Broadway musical.
Ever since I was in the musical Annie in 6th grade I have had a desire to bring a little drama into my music once in awhile.
I even have these hand gestures and dance moves that are acted out in my head. Due to the guitar in my hands it is a bit difficult to act them out. Instead I express my drama through my face and pregnant pauses in my guitar playing.
Anyway, speaking of drama, this song reminds me of how serious some people are about their morning coffee.
Not quite a year after moving to Boise I attended a women’s convention with a bunch of church ladies I was getting to know. We had a delightful time together.
On the final morning of the event we all gathered in the conference room at the hotel for breakfast. We had all just received our breakfast when I heard some grumbling sounds across the room. I looked up and saw that this older lady had just discovered that we had already run out of coffee. Up to this point I had not realized how important it is for some people to have their morning cup of joe. It’s like coffee is the key to opening the door to their “smile”. No coffee. No smile.
Since I had never really witnessed this before, I almost started laughing at her behavior. But luckily I stopped myself from letting loose a giggle. The look on this ladies face told me that this was no laughing matter. Eeesh!
I had to work hard not to laugh. Don’t you hate that! It’s seems the harder I try not to laugh the funnier the situation is to me and it just gets harder to keep it under control. Hee hee!
Caffeine To Go, Please
Stressing over a small cup of coffee seemed silly to me. However, I have my own moments when I take things too seriously, also. How well I played my guitar, sang a song, shared my thoughts with the audience…yep, I get pretty serious about those things. Countless other things, too. But, when I take things too seriously I just suck all the joy right out of it.
Now back to our story. I am happy to announce that the hotel did had more coffee and peace reigned on earth once again.
What are some things that you stress about in life? Is it necessary? Anything you get just a little too serious about? How do you deal?
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This was the first song I wrote after moving to Boise.
While living in Yakima I reached a point in my life where I found myself in what I would call a friendship drought. I was so grateful for my mother-in-law, who lived 7 houses down the street from me, and for my sister who chatted on the phone with me multiple times a week. Between them and writing songs with my friend, Jeff, they kept me sane during this time of my life.
When we first moved to Boise with my family spring of 2004, I remember well the first “normal” day of school for my daughter and work for my hubby. I said goodbye to my hubby and then dropped off my 1st grader at White Pine to finish up the last two months of her school year. I remember sitting in my car, driving home and feeling so lonely.
A Whole Latte Love
Later that day I met a mom at the school who invited me to call her if I needed info on doctors or whatever since we were new to town. I thought that was really nice of her to do that. However, feeling a bit shy and completely out of my comfort zone, I didn’t call right away. By the end of the week, she came up to me and gently scolded, “you haven’t called me yet.” I said, “I know but….what I’d really like to do is go have coffee with you somewhere!”
Inside Scoop – We actually did get Lattes on Tuesday! My friend also did look a little dizzy being the mother of 3 boys. I think her world was one long sports activity!
Our cats, Stuart and Albert. Friends.
This was the beginning of several weeks of Latte dates on Tuesdays and the creation of a song. Having someone to talk to that would listen to me was very helpful in making me feel more at home. Boise was, and continues to be, a beautiful place! I feel really spoiled here with the ease of getting around. However, it’s the supportive relationships surrounding me that make me feel at home.
If you are in a friendship drought right now don’t worry, I have been there too. Pray about it! Pray for the friendships you hope to make and pray that you will become an even better friend to these new people.
It’s important to nurture your friendships. Friends play an important role in our lives. They help us see who we are, what we are good at, and can point out areas where we can grow.
Who do you have in your life to share your heart with? Is it time for you to invest in your social life? It is an important investment. Where are places you have gone to make new friends?
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Hosting the Hope-Filled Hearts Concert was a huge endeavor. I wanted to 1) provide everyone with a great experience from the moment they walked in the door, 2) inspire people to try new things and make room for hope to grow in their hearts, 3) touch someone deeply so they would know they are not alone in their trials, and 4) impact our local community positively by gathering food for the Idaho Food Bank and the Idaho Humane Society.
This meant a lot of details needed to be taken into account and many volunteers would be required to reach my vision. After much time, concentration, and a couple hours out of my sleep time, I came up with a long list of jobs.
The two most amazing things about working on this project were:
I always knew there were at least a few people who had my back from the start. They planned on filling in anywhere and everywhere they might be needed. Not feeling alone in the situation, I was really able to hunker down and work hard. Many phone calls, announcements, articles, and requests were written asking for volunteer-help during the final two weeks before the event.
As each day went by I had this little fire of hope growing inside. It wasn’t because I had crowds of folks wanting to help. It was but because those who volunteered really wanted to be there and help out. They said “Yes!” with enthusiasm and often added, “what else can I do for you?” It was clear these people had planned on coming to the concert anyway, so I was truly touched. Their joy and enthusiasm to help me out just fed my own little fire of hope! Even when little speed bumps came along the way I just held on to the hope that I had been given by others.
The help of others was what really kept my hope-filled heart burning so I could shine some hope back into their lives! It is good to be hopeful, isn’t it?
What are ways you can help others discover hope for their lives? Who can you help by feeding their flame of hope?
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