So, I’ve been having epiphany after epiphany lately.  I can’t even go into all of it in one blog and I may never get it all written out for you really.  [If you don’t want the update on my life and just want the epiphany stuff, skip to the 3rd paragraph.  Really.  :)] I will try to stay more up to date on my writing here, but I really don’t want to write just for the sake of writing something.  I want to write when I actually have something to say.  I don’t want to waste your time, or mine!  And my life is a-changing.  Yes, again.  Who knew one person’s life could possibly change so much in one year!?!  I started my new job this week.  I’m back to teaching music for Pre-K-5th grade.  It is hard to leave the boys each day and not be home, but I have been surprised just how much I love being back at it again too.  I have struggled some this week with excitement over doing something I love so much and guilt for leaving the boys. Oh, and feeling selfish for leaving the boys, even though I know it is absolutely what is right for our family.  There is no doubt about going back to work, so haters step off.  I already know your opinion and you really don’t need to share it with me. :/  I think some of what I’ve been feeling may be those feelings that I think I “should” feel and put on myself.  Anyway, this week has been exhausting and exciting. 

Also, I auditioned for the worship team at our church and made the team! Yay!!  I’m super-excited to have the opportunity to help guide my church family into worship on Sunday mornings.  It is truly one of my greatest desires and joys to see others worshiping the great and mighty God!  So much fun to get to worship together!  But none of that is what this post is about.  I mean, all of that is great.  Really.  I feel like I am breathing more fully than I have in a long while.  But this post is about the journey. 

Sunday.  This Sunday the boys and I will have been gone from Phoenix for one year.  We packed up the U-Hauls and drove off (sobbing) on the 15th and made it into Tyler on the 16th.  I find it a little poetic that exactly one year apart, I am starting another new leg of this journey of my life back in the classroom.  But that being said, what I find far richer is what I have FINALLY started to figure out the past couple of months.  And that is about our journeys as a whole.  Those journeys are important too.  Not just each destination point. 

We always want to get to the “next thing”, the next stop on our journey.  We can’t wait to get from point A to point B, and we want to do it QUICKLY.  No taking our time between destinations.  Not in this fast food, tweeting and instant communication world.  I think with each new generation, it seems to get a little bit worse.  We’re use to instant gratification.  I can always get ahold of my husband.  Seriously.  I can call him.  If he is in a meeting and can’t answer, I can text him or instant message him.  If I think of something I need to tell a friend, I don’t wait until I can call them and talk to them.  I text, email, tweet or Facebook them.   We are seriously in a crazy time in our world.  I love having all of those things at my fingertips, but I do wonder what we are sacrificing for it.  But I am chasing a rabbit a bit. 

Back to the journey.  One of the things God has been impressing on me is that I wasn’t focusing on the journey while I was in the middle of it.  I was either focusing on point A, where I had been (and part of me still wanted to be), or point B (where I just wanted to get to and be finally).  At this moment, I am still between points, but I am getting closer to point B I think.  But that can’t really be important anymore.  God doesn’t want me to focus on how fast can I get to point B (or back to point A especially!!).  He wants me to focus on the here and now.  What is He teaching me right now?  Where does He have me right now?  What does He want me to do right now? 

The past year has seemed like a journey from hell to be honest.  I’ve wanted to be out of it in every possible way.  This is just me being totally honest and raw.  I wanted nothing to do with anything of where I was put.  I wanted to run anywhere else.  I prayed for a better place, and I don’t mean here on Earth.  I really just wanted to not have to deal with it.  I couldn’t understand why I was put in a place I wasn’t getting to do what God had made me to do.  No college people in my life really (and those few that are in my life I really didn’t appreciate like I should have.  I’m so sorry).  No leading worship.  No deep friendships in the place I live in.  I sat in the muck.  The woe is me muck.  The why did You have me learn all of that the past 4 years just to take it all away muck. 

I didn’t know how to cope with all of my emotions, feelings, even despair at times.  The only thing I knew to do to handle it all was go back to music.  It’s what I know.  Music.  Worship.  It’s a safe place for me.  So I sat down at the piano by myself and did just that for the first time in my life (sitting at the piano and doing it by myself I mean).  Usually if I sit down at the piano, I have a purpose for it.  But this past year, I have done it just for the sole purpose of worship.  Other times, I would set my Ipod and worship with it-LOUD.  It became less and less about my need for healing and more and more about my need to just be in a state of worship.  It became a heart-cry, a lifesong.  And then I had one of the many epiphanies.  This is one of the things God wanted me to learn over the last year.  That I can worship anywhere and anytime.  I don’t need anyone else, any other musicians, any other…anything.  Just me and my God. 

And so, while that was an epiphany in and of itself, the bigger epiphany was that I needed this journey to grow.  I needed this painful and dreadful year so that I would dig deeper, learn more and GROW.  I was happy a year ago.  Really, really happy with my life.  And I worshiped then too.  But the heart-cries…they came when I had high emotion usually,good or bad.  This year started that way, but it is ending with the realization and the desire to have heart-cries every day just because I am called and made to worship and have heart-cries in that manner.  Not because I need something or am in a highly emotional state, but because I was made to cry out to God (you are too).  Not because I am singing with an awesome band and group of people, or being led by my favorite worship leader, or around my favorite style of worship.  I am called to worship fully and without restraint in any style, at any and all times.  I am called to worship.  I am called. 

So are you.  You are called.  You may not be called to lead worship.  But you are called to worship.  Like David cried out to God in the book of Psalms, giving worship no matter the place He was in, good or bad, you are called to have heart-cries of worship.  All of our hearts cry out.-  “Notice me.”  “Don’t be mad at me.”  “Life is good.”  “Life is bad.”  “I don’t want to be in this life.”-  We all have something on our heart that we are crying out either silently or publicly.  This last year has taught me that no matter where I am and what I think my needs or desires are, that heart-cry cannot and should not be louder than “You are Holy!”  “You are amazing Lord!”  “I give you all the praise!”  “Thank you for your redemption and grace!”  “Thank you for your love!”  “Hosanna to the King!”  Nothing should be louder than that. I learned that if I continue to cry out those things, that worship, then the other heart-cries become less and less heart-cries.  They become less and less period.  And I don’t need anything or anybody to do it with.  I just need and have to do it.  Nothing should be louder than our praise and worship.  Nothing.

Staring Up,