Tag Archives: Flyleaf

Good Memories

I expected today to be tougher in all honesty.  When I got to my Nan’s grave this morning I fully expected to struggle, it wasn’t easy, I arrived there shortly after what would have been the time I received that phone call from my Mum, a whole year earlier, informing me my Nan had died.

I admit I was close to tears this morning, I certainly began to well up, but I didn’t actually shed a tear.

Work was busy this morning, especially for a Saturday when there is only four members of staff on, it was none stop, even my Boss said he’s never know one like it!  Maybe that was a good thing, kept my mind busy!

But it was walking from work to my next job at the Architects, that invoked a strong memory of my Nan from my youth.

When I was young my Nan lived in the flats at the end of the road where I work, just over the old railway bridge (now the cycle track I regularly walk) is a stream that runs from the lake underneath the road.  I’ve walked over that stream many time over the last year, but only today did I actually look across the road to the place my Nan used to bring us to catch tadpoles, minnows and sticklebacks, she would buy us butterfly nets and we would catch all sorts of wildlife and put them in jam jars to take home.

I would have only been around five or six years old, but when I looked across I could almost see it as if it had been yesterday.

I saw my cousin earlier this evening, she’s only about a year older than I am (we are Nan’s youngest grandchildren), I mentioned it to her, she smiled when she shared the same memory of those summer days by the stream.

I know I’ve used this video many times, I created it in memory of my Nan, so I’ll use it again today.

MAMA by FLYLEAF
What makes you happy
What makes you smile
And when you smile please
Is it for real
I know you’re not one
One to pretend
Even when I was a child

You grew up too fast
And had to be brave
Braver than most strong men
That I’ve ever seen

Sing your song mama
Sing it out loud
I want to hear your voice
It’s the loveliest sound

Little girl
You can come out now
The dangers all gone
You can come out
All that you’ve held
Is too much to hold
So let it all go now
And you will become gold

Sing your song mama
Sing it out loud
I want to hear your voice
It’s the loveliest sound

Sing your song mama
Sing it out loud
Dad’s really singing
You’re beautiful now

Laughter and tears
Gracing your face
The music of your strength
Held up this place

Yet Daddy’s right here now
You can let go
He’s holding it all now
And healing your soul

Sing your song mama
Sing it out loud
I want to hear your voice
It’s the loveliest sound

Sing your song mama
Sing it out loud
Dad’s really singing
You’re beautiful now

There’s something
I’m trying to tell you and
I’ve tried to tell you before and
Each time I try to profess it
It just leaves me wanting more and
I think you are beautiful
And I’m proud of you
What I’m trying to say is
I love you
I love you 

The Most Unexpected Of Comments

These days I’m getting used to waking up at random hours in the morning, it’s become the norm for me. Like many I guess one of the first things I do, especially in these days of smart phones, I check my social networking accounts.

Usually it’s Twitter or WordPress then maybe Facebook, although to be honest I don’t spend much time on there these days, I only check to see if I’ve become a target for more veiled attacks from people I once called friends.

I’m aware of late I haven’t been responding to any comments on my blog, to be quite honest I’ve been posting, but not really interested in my blog of late, I’ve not been too positive over the last few months, which is not what I set out to be. I haven’t been visiting many of my followers either,interactive blogging has been a chore and one of many things that have slipped over the past weeks.

But one comment this morning has breathed a bit of new life into my blogging life. When I checked my interactions this morning I had a notification to approve a comment, not from a fellow blogger, not even one of my recent posts either, but from a search which found a post of mine from back in March.

Back in March just three days after my Nan died the song that I wanted as a tribute to her I couldn’t find on YouTube to go with a post about her, so I made a lyric video for the song Mama by Flyleaf.

So I was amazed this morning to find a comment from Lori Mosley, the Mother of Lacey Sturm, the former lead singer of Flyleaf.  Not only that but Lori wrote and sings the last part of the song.

I still find it unbelievable that in this day and age of technology, that not only does my blog and testimony reach out across the world, but it was also found and commented upon by the Mother of someone I admire and respect, in fact for nearly two years Flyleaf’s song All Around Me was the ringtone on my phone.

That got me thinking again though, that was way back in autumn 2008, at the time I was far from a Christian and thought that the song was about a relationship, now when I hear it I understand that yes it’s about a relationship, but one with God (although I still want to answer my phone we it comes on). There are many Christian songs I listened to before I was saved, many I heard and never understood, that’s all changed a little bit now.  Music is a big part of my life and Christian and inspiring music is something I listen to a lot, especially when walking.  My current favourites aren’t hard to spot, they tend to accompany my recent posts, over the last few months the music of Jesus Culture and associated artists has been my go to music when I’m low and in need of lifting, but the music of Flyleaf and other artists still make up my regular daily playlist.

Thank you Lori for your kind comment and encouragement, I really appreciate it, as I do all the comments I receive, I read them all and appreciate everyone of them, thank you all so much.

As things improve each day and I feel more positive as each one passes, maybe I can get back to the more positive and hopefully inspirational posts.

ALL AROUND ME by FLYLEAF
My hands are searching for you…
My arms are outstretched towards you
I feel you on my fingertips…
My tongue dances behind my lips for you
This fire runs in through my being…
Burning…
I’m not used to seeing you

I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive

I can feel you all around me,
thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling,
savoring this heart that’s healing

My hands float up above me….
And you whisper you love me
And I begin to fade…
Into our secret place
The music makes me sway…
The angels singing say
We are alone with you…
I am alone and they are too with you

And so I cry…
The light is white…
And I see you…

I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive

I can feel you all around me,
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling,
Savoring this heart that’s healing

Take my hand I give it to you
Now you own me , all I am..
You said you would never leave me
I believe you, I believe…
I can feel you all around me
thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling,
Savoring this heart that’s healed

Dealing With Death Once Again

Just seconds after my last post, I answered the phone to my Dad, he called to tell me my other Nanna had died this afternoon, just 8 weeks after my other Nanna passed away.

Needless to say the same feelings of numbness have descended again, I felt so up for everything earlier, now I don’t know how to feel again, I’m not sure I can go through all these feelings a second time, so soon after struggling with them before.

In a strange way when I left for work today, I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be too long until I received this news, but so soon and when I am so tired, I just pray I can stay strong enough to deal with this again.

I’ve been in tears again for the last ten minutes or so, even as I type this, I can see this being the norm for a few days again.

I prepared this lyric video for the Flyleaf song Mama, when my other Nanna passed away, so I post this song once again.

There’s something
I’m trying to tell you and
I’ve tried to tell you before and
Each time that I profess it
It just leaves me wanting more and
I think you are beautiful
And I’m proud of you
What I’m trying to say is
I love you
I love you
(Mama by Flyleaf)

Today Is A Fantastic Day, Why? ……

After suffering for a large part of the last month from the loneliness and desolation that being lost in my own mind brings, this evening I was prompted to remember something I wrote on this blog, all the way back on 11th November 2012, in my post Average Days, that none of what I went through at the beginning of the month was a bad day, there was bad news, there were bad moments, but not bad days, they can never be bad days whilst I’m still counting them.

As I have posted before, there aren’t any bad days, average days or even good days, whilst I am counting them as SoberDays, they are purely fantastic days, through all I have ALLOWED myself to suffer, I say I allowed myself to suffer because I have a choice how to react to every situation, if I have overcome all that has been thrown at me and still make it through the day without turning to the Bottle again, then that is indeed a fantastic day.

I must remember that I am still overcoming all these tests against my sobriety and my faith and each night I remain sober and I still pray, regardless of what has happened during my day, then that is indeed another fantastic day.

A twitter post I came across earlier today also made me think about my last few weeks, the post was by Josh Thompson, ‏@RealPastorJosh;

“Don’t judge…you don’t know what storm I’ve asked them to go through” – God

How should I approach these storms, am I to feel sorry for myself that I’m having to face these tests or rejoice in the fact that not only I have I faced them, but I have come through them, still counting and still on my journey.  I may have lost my way a little in the process, I may have put my hand up and admitted I couldn’t do it alone, I may have fell into His arms and let Him carry me for a while, but I am still fighting hard, I am still recovering, I am still rebuilding and I am still moving on from addiction.

Believe in dreams
You love so much
Let the passion of your heart
Make them real
And tell
All the ones you love
Anything and everything you feel
(Believe In Dreams by Flyleaf)

Today is fantastic day, SoberDay 361, just 4 more to go to a truly wonderful,
a truly remarkable, to a truly monumental day in my life,
to raise my hands to God in praise for the strength He has given me to complete
the most amazing year and for all those that are to follow.

Mama by Flyleaf

I was looking for a music video to go with my post yesterday, in tribute to my Nanna, but the song I wanted I couldn’t find on youtube, so I decided once again to create my own, I finally completed it this evening.

The words and music are by Flyleaf, but the images are all hand written by myself.

There’s something
I’m trying to tell you and
I’ve tried to tell you before and
Each time that I profess it
It just leaves me wanting more and
I think you are beautiful
And I’m proud of you
What I’m trying to say is
I love you
I love you
(Mama by Flyleaf)

Daily Prompt: Musical

Daily Prompt: Musical
What Role Does Music Play In Your Life?

Quite simply music does and has always played a large part of my life.  I’m not particularly musically gifted, I don’t sing (tone deaf) and I don’t play any instruments, but I love good music, regardless of what type.

Although I prefer to listen to music that is created by and played by the artist, boy bands, girl bands and the large part of the dance music genre hold virtually no place in my musical tastes, the odd song done well is okay, kind of like Back For Good by Take That, etc, other than that I like music driven by the musicians, not the producers.

I grew up listening to a lot of sixties music, including Motown/Soul and reggae, mainly through my parents influence, they held the purse strings and bought the music, so we listened to a lot of their tastes, I still like that music, although at the moment I don’t really listen to a great amount of it.

There is still the odd song from the sixties Motown sound that I really like, although not so well now, Indiana Wants Me by R Dean Taylor is still a stand out for me, I can’t explain why, I just really like it.

Obviously you’ve gotta love the Beatles, even if you don’t I think everyone has at least one song of theirs which you must love, for me that one is A Day In The Life.

When I started work in 1990 I was in to any sort of music, but I soon developed a taste for the UK’s Indie music scene, with bands like James, The Wonder Stuff, The Charlatans, Suede and Carter USM, I would get my wages and spend around £200 a month on CDs and records, my parents garage is filled with over 1500 7” vinyl singles and 1500 CD singles and over 300 CD albums, they always nag me about moving them, but I just haven’t got room.

When I started dating Victoria back in 1997 I slowly reduced my record buying, but still brought the odd CD throughout the coming years, like many I’ve download from the internet over recent years and since I’ve had my iPod I’ve filled it with thousands of songs.

About five years ago my tastes changes again and I move into the slightly heavier US rock scene, some quite heavy, some more radio friendly and some quiet angry, I chose songs that echoed my mood at the time.

Eventually I discovered Christian Rock music, even though I wasn’t a Christian at the time, the music was good and I enjoyed it. I found through my troubled years that followed I started to listen to it even more, until eventually when my world collapsed and I turn to God for the strength to rebuild my life, I started to listen to Christian Music even more and now listen to very little else.  There are many great bands and songs, I try to add a song to every one of my posts (except with poetry or photography posts), I try to choose a song that matches the content, but not always, it may just be the song I was listening to last or really caught my attention earlier in the day that I just want to share.

Quite simply for over twenty years I have been immersed in a world of music, my tastes change as life moves on, but I never ditch those tastes, I just archive them and return to them in moments of nostalgia.  I have rarely walked alone without music in my ears in those last twenty years, starting with an old cassette tape walkman, an early portable CD player and now my iPod.  When I walk every morning I have music in my ears and quite often, in moments of solitude, I sing along.

So 38 Weeks And I’m Still Here = Bonus

Yesterday I celebrated 38 weeks of sobriety, 38 long weeks since I last tasted the Architect of my downfall.  So how did I celebrate, by winning a pub quiz, obviously.

Don’t worry, I drank lime n soda all night, drinking never actually crossed my mind.  The only downside to winning a pub quiz is that the prize is in BEER TOKENS, which is a bit ironic as only three out of our nine team members actually drinks!

Today was a real big anti climax, I wanted to go Christmas shopping, get a few of the kids presents, I was a little undecided, should I take out all my money spend it on rubbish, without worrying because the world is ending anyway or save my money just in case the world doesn’t end.

Either way it didn’t end, so that was a big disappointment.

I didn’t take out all my money (tempted, but I’ve still got the rent to pay as the world didn’t end), I picked up a few things for the kids off their lists and promptly came home out of the mad rush.

I did make one mistake, I got home and put the presents next to the rabbit hutch, the bloody rabbit only started to eat through the carrier bags, luckily it didn’t get the presents, just the bags, phew!

Things at home have been good this week, Victoria and myself have actually had a few conversations and some light hearted banter, the house is a lot more relaxed, even with the added pressure of Christmas looming.

I have to be honest, this time last week, I just wanted to go to sleep, hibernate like a great bear, just wake up in the new year.  But this week has been really good, starting with Carols By Candlelight at Church on Sunday, receiving a number of blogging awards (I will be posting about these awards tomorrow) and then on Tuesday Victoria told me her Mum had invited me for Christmas dinner.

I was not looking forward to the prospect of Christmas Day mostly alone, as Victoria and the kids do the rounds visiting relatives, usually I would make those rounds with them, but obviously as we are not together as couple this year is different.  At least then I get to spend most of the Christmas Day with them, the rest of the day I will probably walk and write.  But that’s not bothering me anymore, I am for the moment quite content with where I am.

“Pleading cause we prayed for peace tonight
Bleeding cause you knew the fight was right
Take my hand, we’re almost home
We can see the fire glow
Save me grace
I’m sick of saving face
Will You hold me close?
You’re all I want to know”
(Saving Grace by Flyleaf)

So I am lifted, Christmas is starting to feel like Christmas should, I have prayed hard about my situation with Christmas looming, each time I felt like God was saying:

“Relax Son, I’ve got it all in hand, you just keep going!”

I have to say, I trusted in God and just as he promised he is coming through, I will have a bit of cheer this Christmas.

Morning Walks With God

A couple of months ago I changed my morning routine, ever since my withdrawals subsided and I could get through a day without barely any aches or pains, I decided it was time to get fit and lose some weight, so initially I started on the Wii fit, doing the jogging and step exercises, but one Saturday in August I decided I needed to get out of the house, so I put my iPod on and went for a walk, needless to say I enjoyed the freedom.

So a couple of weeks later I decided to change my morning routine, so now every morning my alarm goes off shortly before 5.30am, except for Sunday, where in reverse to most peoples routine, I don’t have the usual “Sunday Lie In”, the alarm goes off at 5am so I get up even earlier, now I guess you think I am little on the insane side, believe me if you’ve seen me walk, you will know I am little on the insane side.

Some mornings I’m up and out straight away, other mornings I have to fight the urge to turn over and go back to sleep, it takes some doing but I always seem to get myself up, except for two mornings when an old ankle injury flared up, but those mornings just didn’t seem to feel right, those days seemed fuzzy something just wasn’t as it should be, so I braved the pain and went back to walking.

I always walk with music, it’s my inspiration, it has to be the right music now, Christian artists like The Casting Crowns, Third Day, Tenth Avenue North, MercyMe, Skillet, Sanctus Real, Fireflight, Flyleaf, etc, or music that is uplifting and drives me on. I can walk and worship at the same time, spend time just running through the things on my mind, trying work out the best way to deal with them, if I can’t deal with It, I just commit them to a Higher Authority and move on to the next issue.

My morning walks with God set my day up, they give me balance and set me off to great start, they also help me lose weight, since I turned my life around I’ve lost 3 stone in weight and I feel great. I don’t walk like your average human, not that I walk like John Cleese and the Ministry of Silly Walks, but I walk at speed, I power walk, when I started out walking I tracked my speed at an average of 4.2mph, now as I get fitter I average about 4.7mph over at least one hour of walking, on Sunday’s I maintain that speed over 3 hours of walking. Give it a go, see if you can match or beat that!

The other morning it was absolutely bucketing it down, but I didn’t let it stop me, I got up as usual got ready and went for my walk, I was soaked when I got home, but I felt so alive, more alive than usual.

I get asked “Why do you get up at that time, I didn’t even know that time existed?” Well for me time is a premium, so the answer is why not, it’s the best time of the day, I get to walk as the sun rises, as God’s gift of light in our life rises, so does my spirit.

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healed
(All Around Me by Flyleaf)

I suppose for me it combines many things into one, firstly exercise, secondly my love of music and thirdly the most important, it’s my time with God, can a day start any better?