Thursday, July 26, 2012

moving to wordpress

You can find me at clarissacox.wordpress.com from here on out.

blessings,

Clarissa

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

returning

Since my last post, in February, much has transpired. Songs have been written. Prayers have been said. Decisions have been made. Songs have been written. Prayers have been said. Jobs have been sought. Songs have been written. Prayers have been said. Children have been consulted. Songs have been written. Prayers have been said. Schools have been discussed. Songs have been written. Prayers have been said. Job offers have been put on the table.

You're probably getting the idea on the songs and the prayers, so just assume they continue, okay? Job offers have been pondered and wrestled through, options weighed. A position has been accepted. Rob began his newest position at Deloitte as infrastructure architect yesterday. What that entails is quite beyond me. I am just very, very thankful that he knows how to do it. Someone has to pay for the upkeep of all these children (uh, and me.)

Neighborhoods have been viewed. Routes have been driven. Houses have been shown. A home has been chosen. We are all moving at the end of next week to join Rob. We are moving into a beautiful house and are very excited about it -- perhaps I will post pictures after we get settled.

All those songs? I've written at least fifty since Christmas. Yep, you read that right. Some are still in process, but they count. The floodgates have opened, and there is no sign of them closing. I'm not saying they're all good. But some of them are. I'm practicing. Learning, I hope. I have four other songwriters planning to write together with me, too, mostly on worship music. But I'm writing all kinds of things. Worship music. Love songs. Country songs. Inspirational songs. Blues songs. Rock songs (Well, Rob calls at least one of them "Hair Band". Soft Metal, perhaps?) Instrumentals of all musical styles. It has been suggested to me that I should write musicals, too. Have several songs written for one already, really, based on Acts. I have NO idea what, if anything, will happen with any of that. But I feel a calling to do it, so I'm doing it, writing whatever I feel like writing. And I'm going to be in the best place around TO do it.

The children? The older ones are excited about the move. The younger ones are not quite as confident about it, because they don't remember much about living in Nashville. Chloe, nothing at all, as she was only 2 when we left. But they have all enjoyed visiting Otter Creek Church recently as we've been preparing to return, and we expect that connection will help their transition to go pretty smoothly. Abbie does still remember several friends from Otter Creek, so that is a help. And of course, Joey and Julianne remember many people.

Well, it is riDICulously late. Rob will see this and shake his head. He forgot to encourage me to go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. ;-)

I leave you with John 6:44, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Has He drawn you yet? Listen for His voice...

Blessings.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

the creative flow

I picture her like a nearby waterfall. One that has always been there. Her source never dries. Her supporting rocks never wash away. Her destination doesn't matter. As long as she flows.

From the beginning of time, those who have a need to create have gone to her. From her waters, they drink. For inspiration. For direction. For provocation of thought. For completion of great works, or perhaps of fanciful ideas.

Sometimes Nature, or perhaps even God, places barriers in the way to reaching her. Those of us who were born to create go days, weeks, months, even years through sometimes long, vast, painful dry spells when we cannot tap into the creative flow.

Other times, we drink. We guzzle, thirstily, and produce and produce and produce, joyfully able once more. Nothing can keep us away from her, times like these.

No matter where we are, the creative flow is always there. Near. Waiting for whomever may come, whomever is able. Her source must be the greatest Creator of all, for without Him, none would be able to create anything. And, of course, she recycles. For nothing is new under the sun.

I offer praise and thanksgiving to my God for this creative flow, which makes my life fuller and more richly blessed. May each of you who reads have opportunity to drink as well, in your time.

Blessings.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

decades, or 17-27-37



Seventeen. August, 1991.
The week I met Rob and we first sang/performed
together at a University Christian Student Center
Hamburger Supper at Tennessee Tech.
Man, I was blonde.

Twenty-Seven. May, 2001.
With my third child, Abbie. The year I arranged with Keith Lancaster
and the first year I had an arrangement published/recorded for/by The ZOE Group.
What a tired smile.

Thirty-Seven. January, 2011.

Teaching piano and voice in full swing at Madison Academy
and at New Song School of Fine Arts, Madison and Hampton Cove, so far.
Arranging music for our church, The Light. And others that ask.
Just cowrote a new song with Michael Lusk. This morning,
during Sunday School. (I'm bad about that.)
I know, we were in different cities ... he wrote his part another day, emailed it.
I did my part this morning, Rob fixed and emailed it.
Still needs tweaking. Great joy in the writing, though!

Parenting. Four VERy. DIFFerent. Children. Together with Rob.
By far the biggest challenge of all.

And the very beingness of marriedness itself. Easier, now. More of a joy than ever, now.
Entering a good season, we think. Ever prayerful...
Ever hopeful.
God is ALL OVER IT!!!!!! All of it.

It's snowing, everyone!!!
Stay warm!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Happiness






My family and I are, like so many others, in the middle of a nice, long break from reality (in a manner of speaking.) The children are off from school, I am off from lessons, Rob is off from work. It's been this way well over a week and will be that way for almost another week. We are getting spoiled!

We have had some wonderful extended family gatherings over the last two weeks. The fun began on the 18th of December at Uncle Bobby and Aunt Beverly (Spurlin)'s house. We gathered in with much extended family for Christmas finger foods and chili, and had a rollicking time playing Dirty Santa together. We hadn't exchanged gifts with that bunch as a whole like that in many, many years, and it was a blast! So funny what people will fight over. Of course my brother, Dave, wound up with a Rubik's Cube! (With a little help from his loving sis...) He has always been the king of solving the Rubik's Cube. But hasn't had one in a long time. What ever happened to those things?

We have a few December birthdays in our family, also. So, we got together at Nana and Papa's (Rob's parents) for his mom's birthday last week. Them, their kids, in-laws, and grandkids. 12 of us in all. We fill up a place. Ginny's birthday wishes? A sink and can lights. I know, right? So she got Lowe's gift cards.

Then that whole crew came to our house for Christmas Eve. Our first time to host. It went so well. We ate all the wonderful favorite foods, let the kids open gifts, enjoyed visiting. I even played Christmas music on the piano for awhile, something unique to hosting at our house. Some folks sang along. And the kids played with gifts. The pictures at the top are from Christmas Eve at our house.

On Christmas morning we awoke to sheer beauty. The joy on our children's faces that Christmas had finally arrived, and the blanket of whiteness covering the earth all around us, with beautiful snowflakes continuing to fall well into the afternoon. A White Christmas! An unexpected one, at that! It was absolutely glorious. God surprised us, as only He could. And we loved it, every moment.

For Christmas lunch, we headed out to my mother's house, where we met up with her, my brother, my grandfather, his friend, Wilma, and my Uncle Calvin. It was so beautiful, the snow out in the country. And the kids got a Wii! Mother cooked up a little scheme with Uncle Calvin, too. A couple of the kids had gotten wind of the idea that a Wii might await them there after snooping around and finding a Wii game at our house. So, one of them said to my mother, "When can we open the Wii? A bit taken aback, they decided for Uncle Calvin to open the Wii as though she had bought it as HIS gift. The kids were really sweating it, let me tell you.

Poor Chloe still thinks Calvin bought them the Wii. She sent him a note via my Facebook and everything.

Next up, cousin Sarah's birthday! Baby girl will be FIVE!!!! Can not believe it. The Hunters are taking us all to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate. That will be a big hit, we always love Chuck E. I love my skeeball. The kids have to watch out for me, I'll take their tokens. (Not really. But I'll want to.)

I hope all your Christmas celebrating is going well...and that you have a lovely New Year's Eve and Day!

Blessings...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ivory tower

Ivory Tower...something I've long thought of. A place I am kept? A place I wish I were kept? A place I would like to go? A place to retreat...A place for princesses...A place from fairytales...Beautiful...Wistful. Distant. Cold? Isolated? Perhaps containing a puppy. Or (yikes!) maybe a kitty. Filled with beautifully-colored frocks, just right for singing and dancing around, just like every girl does, all day long...right? Oh, that's just me? Oh, that's right. I don't dance. (Anyone who saw my attempt at line dancing at the Halloween party will gladly verify.) Well, I twirl, anyway. And I twirl with the best.

I thought I would use my old pal, Google, to see what I could find out about the origin of the term "ivory tower". I found different ideas than what I had in my mind. I thought I would share them here. I mean, why not?

The first mention of ivory towers, everywhere I looked, is attributed to the Bible. Song of Solomon 7 :4 reads:
Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus.
Well, that wasn't anything like what I thought. At any rate, according to Websters-dictionary-online.com, in Judeo/Christian tradition, I discovered, the term Ivory Tower has been a symbol for noble purity. Also, in Catholicism, it is used to refer to the Virgin Mary.

The other meanings I came across for ivory tower were not half so romantic as I had in my mind. I found many long, fascinating, and some rather arduous explanations. Here I think I'll keep it simple. At answers.com the American Heritage Dictionary's definition is this:
A place or attitude of retreat, especially preoccupation with lofty, remote, or intellectual considerations rather than practical everyday life.
The term is said to be "used most often in reference to intellectuals and artists who remain complacently aloof." Uh-oh. I'm a musician--that's an artist of a sort. Hmm. Maybe this dream of a lovely ivory tower isn't such a great idea. I don't want to be preoccupied with lofty considerations. Well, okay. I do. Some of the time. But definitely not a place to stay. Practical everyday life is pretty important, too.

Maybe I can just go there for an hour or two...now and then...

Blessings...


Monday, November 15, 2010

I am alone in the house for a little while this morning. I always enjoy my quiet time between sending kids off to school and the time when I go off to teach lessons. Well, I send three of them off -- Joey, Abbie, and Chloe ride the bus to Mill Creek. Julianne refuses to ride the bus to Liberty so I drive her. And that's fine. If I needed her to ride the bus for some reason she would. Our days begin a little earlier now than they had to last year when the kids were still at Madison Academy -- we could almost get away with waiting until 7:00 to get up then. Now I wake up the younger three at around 6:00, for they go out to catch the bus at 7:00. School starts at 7:40. And at 8:05 for Julianne. Of course, I remember the days when school started at 7:00 for me, in high school ... and A.P. club began at 6:15 ... perish the thought. Bless Joey Davenport's heart for coming to pick me up for A.P. club so many times.

The kids have pretty much adjusted to their new schools, now. Julianne is having several new friends over for a birthday sleepover this Friday night after a Fall Dance at school. Abbie has had movie outings with new friends, and a sleepover. Joey had some friends over for a movie outing and a sleepover for his birthday. Chloe went to a birthday party for a new friend, and we are going to see her grade perform at a PTA program this evening, so we'll get to meet parents and friends. It's really good to get to know people who live around us.

The children are especially interested in the spirituality of the new people they have come into contact with -- I hear about it the most from Abbie and Chloe. They'll tell me who believes in God and who doesn't. It's been challenging to try to teach them how to approach people, and not to be pushy about their faith, but just to befriend people and, without words, simply demonstrate to them how God-followers live, rather than saying, "THIS is what YOU should do." That's a good way to turn people off, and sometimes for good ... I know I probably did that myself in elementary and middle school sometimes. I'm trying to encourage them to build friendships first, and trust, and that spiritual discussions can come a little later. I'm prayerful about their mission-minded hearts.

Well, my time is almost up for this morning. Off I go to teach the wonders of quarter notes, eighth notes, dynamics, pedaling, and so many other things that I myself take for granted. It's a hard job for me to break it down sometimes.

Blessings ...