Friday, February 27, 2009

greedy green goose

Because I teach piano lessons at Madison Academy, I am occasionally called upon to accompany various programs there. This morning I played for a first grade program entitled, "The Greedy Green Goose." The premise is that the goose is upset because a mother has used his feathers to stuff a blanket for her little boy. He goes to try to get his feathers back.

The boy bribes him with poppyseed cakes so the boy can keep his blanket. The goose is so greedy that he eats all the poppyseed cakes the mother has made. He explodes and all his feathers go flying everywhere. So the mother decides she will now make pillows out of the new feathers!

that's all. :o)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

fear

I have several struggles in my life...we all do. One of mine is fear. Many different fears over many different things. Now, I am intelligent enough to be aware that most of my fears will never come to pass, or that they really have no basis in reality...yet I battle them anyway. I believe it is a foothold that Satan has in my life -- a way to steal my joy, a way to divide my focus and deter me from keeping my attention on the important things, on the higher things. This is a real battle for me, on a day-to-day basis. I only write it here because I know I am not alone in my struggles in this area.

We have some friends, Jesse and Carol May, who went through a marriage enrichment class with us last spring. Jesse sends out daily encouragement emails with scriptures and devotional thoughts. Often they are very timely for me, which feels kind of cool and spooky, but I suppose that possibly they are timely simply because the Word is fresh and alive and continually speaks to us if we allow it to.

Anyway, I have been fighting this fight even harder than usual of late...and two days ago Jesse's email directed me to Psalm 56:3. "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." Just a simple verse, a clear plan. David, whom I identify with so often, in so many ways, felt fear, too. Some of his fears were certainly about different things than some of mine, but some probably not so different. And what did he say? "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You."

So I am challenging myself to make a conscious decision to think on God and on trusting Him when I face fears. I challenge you to trust Him when you are afraid, too.



"Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?"

Psalm 56:3-4


"You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.
In God (I will praise His word),
In the Lord (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?"

Psalm 56:8-11


"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by."

Psalm 57:1

NKJV

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

recordings

I have amassed a collection of recordings on the red Sony digital recorder we bought last month...which also plays mp3s, a fun little toy...but there's one kind of annoying thing about them. You see, my piano is a digital one. So, to get the balance right between the piano and the vocals, I have the piano turned down from the volume where I usually play. But the sound of my fingers playing the keys, the sound of the keys themselves actually hitting -- it sounds like I have a drum section, too. And not a very good one, since my fingers hit at all kinds of random times rather than on a steady beat. I mean, I had noticed it, but last night I was playing a song for Rob and the first thing he said was, "How did you get drums on there?"

Maybe I shouldn't put the recorder on top of the piano...

But then again, how will it pick up my voice well if I don't? and what if it still picks up that drumm-ish sound? Oh, well, would that all life's problems were this minor.

-------------------------------

Rob smiled when I played him my latest song last night. That's always a good sign. (He's not always extremely demonstrative.) This one is again inspired by our sermon Sunday. We were in Acts 3, talking about the lame man/beggar who was healed -- in the name of Jesus Christ. Peter didn't offer him any money -- he had so much more to offer. It's exciting stuff, you know? And we have hope and healing to offer to a hurting world today...but not from ourselves. He couldn't heal because he was Peter...I can't save anyone because I'm Clarissa Cox...salvation , hope and healing come from Jesus!

Jesus is the Name!!!! (makes for a good song, too.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

the fam

For some reason my whole family is still asleep at this late hour. I mean, it's 7:07!!

I remember telling my Aunt Beverly once when I was a kid that I liked to sleep until 9:00 and she said, Well, half the day is gone by then! I am finally getting to where I understand that. Time is such a precious commodity. Sleep is, too, but you can get too much of a good thing.

So Rob is doing very well. He is working on an awesome software project that I hope to be able to share more about toward the end of March, he hopes to have it ready for release by then. We are both excited about it. He is also planning to move forward with long-discussed ideas about a website for me, since I am back in the groove of arranging and writing. We've owned the domain name clarissacox.com for years...but now is the time to do something about it. I enjoy walking by his office at night and listening to him singing along to Marc Cohn, or whoever he's got playing at the moment. Tells me he's a happy man, if he's singing and working on his projects.

Julianne is growing up before our very eyes. 5th grade is a year of many changes, I remember it was that way for me, too. Suddenly you feel rather more like a grown-up than child, yet you're still stuck in child status. The mind progresses, the privileges stay about the same. So it's a little frustrating for her, I suppose. But she's a good girl, she handles herself well. She's preparing to perform in MusicMAnia again in 2 weeks, that's always exciting for all of us. When she sang her song for me, it made me cry, it was so good. She's also into basketball right now, is on a team, and enjoys shooting hoops with her Dad, brother, and sisters. She went to yet another party last night. She's always been a party-goer!

Joey -- well, Joey is all boy, and for the most part very happy. He wants to play outside with the boys down the street every day when we get home, he wants to play outside all the time. He loves to play basketball, he would probably do it all day and all night in all weather if we would let him. He also loves to jump on the trampoline. He has a several friends in his 4th grade class at school, and even gets into trouble pulling pranks with them sometimes. But not often!! My mother said she was glad to know he had it in him, or something like that. (I'm sure she'll correct me if the wording isn't right ...) :-) I'm about to get him back into piano with me, if he'll do it...we've had somewhat of a hiatus.

And my Abbie... taller than everyone in her 2nd grade class except for one boy! A beautiful smile with dimples. Hair that has grown very long. Too long! It's so hard to brush, but she has a fit when we talk about cutting it! Abbie is taking piano with me. She is also playing basketball, so our Saturdays our spent at basketball games for the three older ones. She has a laugh that will take down the house. We have to make her stop laughing sometimes, for it gets out of control and she can't make herself stop!

And then there's our Chloe. She's tall, too, but "no bigger than a minute", Rob's sister's father-in-law would have said...colorful character...Anyway, she is reading up a storm. She gets to read for her pre-kindergarten class often. She loves school. She was very bored when she had to miss all but one day this week due to a croupy cough. Chloe is the most bizarrely happy child we have ever seen. She is just happy all the time now, almost obliviously so. A constant source of laughter for us, really. But what a joy, huh? Anyway, she is taking piano with me, also. We're really just getting started.

So that's the roundup! I love my little family! I know, it's not that little...and the children are not that little anymore. I just turned around, and five years passed. Mind-blowing. We went on a little trip to Chattanooga last week, and I was remembering when Rob and I lived there before we had any children. It just doesn't seem all that long ago, but over 13 years have passed since then. I never could have fathomed what the intervening years would bring. But I suppose no one ever really can.

Have a blessed day...

Friday, February 20, 2009

for those who struggle

So I was driving my Abbie to basketball last night, and songs kept coming on Way FM, singers going on about how they were getting so strong and they knew they would never be the same, those sort of themes. So at basketball practice I wrote a song about the flip side...about what it's like to be broken, and how God loves you and has hope for you even then, and you can serve Him even through your struggles. And I just came across this writing from Paul, and I think he would agree.

2 Cor. 12:8-10

"Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A.I.

Go Danny Gokey! (Just don't sing Hero anymore. I liked that Seal song way better for him, didn't you?)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

songwriting again

Wow! I am amazed that so many people are still reading this thing. Nice of you, faithful followers, and occasional unusual searchers...feedjit is a fascinating piece of technology. I have rather had my head under a rock for the last month or so, in a way... writing somewhat maniacally! And of course, it is my usual fare, for the most part .... worship music. Though I did get one country song in there. At least I think it's a country song. One of the ones with morals. :-)

My writing buddy, Michael Lusk, and I have been teaming up a good bit. No, we don't live in the same city anymore, but the internet and the digital recorder he finally convinced me to buy make it so easy to share ideas that we don't even actually have to meet to write something together!

I must say, our preacher at Twickenham, Brad Cox (no relation that we know of), has been preaching some really great lessons recently. He's always good ... I guess I'm just in the mood to really pay attention! You know how sometimes it's easier than others. And I keep writing songs during his sermons!! Anyway, Michael and I just finished up a song that I started off of one of his sermons about 3 weeks ago. I couldn't get satisfied with a melody. I tried it about 3 different ways. I just needed someone else's input...so I turned to him. He came up with a completely different melody than I would have ever thought of, and I love it -- very fresh and upbeat (that's the part I never would have come up with. Upbeat!! Everything I write is slow!!) He also took the verses and made something more general, more applicable to worshippers-at-large, I guess you could say. I was kinda too wordy. He left the words of the chorus as is, though ... I've got it arranged now, and it is so fun! To sing, to arrange, to play, to write, all that.

I've actually been on a complete writing binge for the last month. I've written enough songs to make an album. A CD? A compilation. A collection? They're not all good enough for that, though, unfortunately!! But a few have potential.

I've also been arranging again. Like the dickens. I think I've done 6 arrangements in that time. Now I'm working on a DOOZY. Anyone ever heard Mandisa sing "Shackles"? Don't laugh. Yes, that's what I'm working on. It's quite a departure for me, but I guess my client has faith in me...apparently more than I have in myself!! He has graciously given me until the beginning of March to finish...and it may just take that long!!

Well... I just wanted to say hello to the world. I am still alive. I may even write more in this blog 'o mine; I hate to disappoint my loyalists. So who keeps coming here through a search from Decatur searching for clarissa cox? Is it my mother? Such things keep a girl awake at night. No, not really.

I need to put sick children to bed now!! G'night, world!