Advice from Elphaba

This morning, I woke up with this sentence on repeat in my mind:

“Don’t lose sight of who you are.”

That line is from the song “I’m Not That Girl” from the musical Wicked. It’s taken entirely out of context here, but that message was one I needed today.

For the last several weeks I have been bogged down, trudging through the unusual monotonies of life. I have kept up with the demands of eight schedules, school assignments for seven, and various other church and community-related activities. But, I have not been myself.

I know, because last fall, I was not myself. And I have felt that lost feeling again.

At one point this week, I decided I was finished with feeling that way. I broke out my toolbox of coping skills: more diligent scripture study, reaching out to friends, more fervent prayer, yoga, Temple attendance, running, and embracing my love of music (thus the song running through my head this morning). In all these moments, I felt like I was cracking open a window, allowing just a bit of fresh air and sunlight into the tired room of my soul.

But I had practically given up something that is an integral part of who I am. I almost stopped writing.

This morning, as I pondered that singular line from a most-beloved musical, I felt the message resounding in my brain.

“Don’t lose sight of who you are.”

I have to write. It is healing. Supporting. It is my sanity.

I created a poem once that begins with these words, “I was born to write a song.” Not just any song–but a song of words, woven with care. A musical.

So, I’m back to my desktop today, trying to remember, recall, reenvision through my own revisions the novel that is part of who I am.

And I am singing.

Mom, Will You Sing to Me?

My children are getting older. In fact, yesterday I spent the afternoon making a (late) birthday cheesecake for my oldest child. 🙂 We have yet to eat it (hopefully we will dig into it tonight), but the recipe looked delicious!

Anyway, I used to often sing to my little people when my eyes were tired from reading many stories and I was ready for the room to be darkened.  I sang songs from our church’s Children’s Songbook along with songs I learned in my college voice classes (like “Wiegenlied” by Brahms in the original German or “O Rest in the Lord” from Mendelssohn’s Elijah).

Sometimes my little ones would tell me to stop singing (which would break my heart because of the many fond memories of my mother singing to me at bedtime).

Then, the other day, I was surprised by my oldest daughter (who is fast approaching teenage life), as she called from her own room to me at bedtime with these words:

“Mom, will you sing to me?”

My heart melted, and I was taken aback for a moment, wondering what to sing, trying to find my voice.  Soon I began to sing one of my favorite Children’s Songbook songs, “I Feel My Savior’s Love,” which I sang to her oh-so-many-years-ago as I held her in my arms, nursed her at my breast.

The whole house fell silent, except for my voice, ringing through their bedrooms singing of love.

My husband soon joined me, and we sang together to our little people.  Our voices blended and lulled our children into safe and pleasant slumbering.

And, now, I have another favorite memory to add to my already full heart.

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