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Consider Birds

A Little Bonus for You

Living In Song

My friends,

I am thrilled to introduce you to my dear friend, Dawn Wink.

We met in the summer of 2013,

and we became what I call "fast friends".

The first time we met,

we chatted up an hour and half like it was ten minutes.

We were immediate kindred spirits,

as Ann of Green Gables would say.

While Dawn lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico,

her parents live here on the prairie in western South Dakota.

On this vast, sparsely populated, rural country, they are considered my neighbors,

twenty-five miles down the highway.

Dawn will introduce you to the concept

of living in song.

To me, it represents this very concept

of trading anxiety for peace of mind.

Not by ignoring, stuffing, or pretending the negatives away,

but by acknowledging, facing,

and then dealing with them

like a meadowlark...

My friends,

meet Dawn Wink.

Do you know what your "Song" is?

Give yourself five minutes and let your mind go to the places and/or activities

in which you find the deepest sense of peace.

This is your Song.

I know that one of my places of Song is walking on the prairie or anyplace in nature

with my camera and my eyes wide open seeking beauty.


Something I love is how art speaks to each one of our stories and we each bring our own story to the interpretation. 

This is true of music/song, writing, visual arts . . . any and all of it.

Sharing our stories as artists, as friends, and as companions on the journey

helps each one of us to find comraderie, connection, and sometimes 

a deeper understanding of our own story.

So, in my journey of faith, a few years ago, I found a concept about

the Lord that is so fitting for this idea of living in song.

It is called the "strong song".

Oh my heart!!! I just remembered this as I watched Dawn speaking

and began looking at my old pictures of Meadowlark inspired art.

You can look up the following verses on strength and song or "strong song".

Think about them.

Journal your thoughts.

Ask, "What would you say to me about this, Lord?"

And write whatever comes to mind.

Here's the verses:

Psalm 28:7; Psalm 27:1b; Psalm 62

Exodus 15:2; Isaiah 12:2

The Passover Psalms 113-118

Psalm is a word for "song".

The Passover Psalms were sung during the week of Passover by the Jews

to remember their deliverance out of Egypt as they were led by Moses.

These Psalms (113-118) are also known as the "Hallel" Psalms.

Hallel is Hebrew for "praise".

These are "Strong Songs".

Likely, Jesus sang these songs the night before his death.

Each of these verses pair strength and song

with salvation

which in these instances refers to

rescue or deliverance from a place of desperate need, pressure, tight space.

Another way of saying salvation, in this case,

is "room to breathe".

I find great comfort in the connection

of song in the face of grave circumstances

with rescue and room to breathe.

Is that not what you need in moments of anxiety, of deep worry?

Relief.  Room to breathe.

Peace. Of. Mind.

Psalm 118:5, a song, to remember deliverance:

I called on the LORD in distress;

The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place.

The LORD is on my side;

I will not fear.

What can man do to me?

My friends,

in this verse, I read that the word distress

is a picture of constraint, constriction, or lack of room.*

When the Israelites stood on the banks of the Red Sea,

as they were fleeing the Egyptians from slavery,

do you suppose that they were feeling this kind of distress,

constraint, constriction, lack of room?

And how much more so Jesus as he sang these words the night before his death?

Thinking back to the meadowlark,

I have watched meadowlarks arrive in March

only to be blasted by a spring blizzard.

Do you know what those meadowlarks do?

They turn their faces right into the wind

and sing their song

loud, clear, strong.

Certainly the Lakota people

watched the meadowlarks on the prairie

defiantly sing their song of hope and spring

into the cold blast of air and snowflakes.

Like the Jews singing the Passover Psalms

remembering God delivering them from their fears

breathing down their necks.

Like Jesus

facing the cross


Hallel songs.

We too can be like the meadowlark, like the Jews, like Jesus,

closed in by our fears into a place of distress, constraint, constriction

and search for that place of peace

deep within us,

face our anxieties

and turn up the volume

of song

whatever that looks like

in our stories, our lives.

Find your place of Song.

*New King James Study Bible footnotes, copyright 2007, Thomas Nelson, Inc.; page 935.

This spring,

I was invited to create an "Artument"

{an artistically altered musical instrument}

for a benefit auction for the historic Homestake Opera House

in Lead, South Dakota.

I chose Song from Meadowlark as the theme of my Artument.

Below are videos of the project using

techniques that I have shared in this class.

You can take the layering of papers and paints

and add them to an endless array of surfaces.

What could you create as a reminder

of your place of Song?

I am more than happy to give my recommendation of Meadowlark.

  A story addressing hard and raw truths faced by many women of the prairie.

Friendship weaves a beautiful thread of resilience and strength.

Song dances into hearts renewing a sense of purpose and identity

in the face of anger, fear, and unpredictable pain.

You can order your copy of Dawn Wink's novel here:

Meadowlark: A Novel

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