A Journey of Faith Into the Unknown

Did you ever crawl into a small cave as a kid or venture into the dark woods that sat at the edge of your grandparent’s yard? Did you ever wonder when you would meet “the one?” Are you still trying to figure out your place in this world and your true calling? It’s frustrating isn’t it? The unknown. It is in these moments that we have to place our hope and trust somewhere or in someone coupled with our dreams. Often that trust is placed in the hands of a parent as a child. As adults we place our trust in man and often get our hearts cracked open because trust was misplaced. Man is fallible. My hope is that by now you have learned to place your trust in a heavenly father, Our Heavenly Father. Only He can truly lead us through the dark woods into the unknown with a spirit of peace that guides and gives comfort while we wait for the big reveal, the epiphany, the arrival into the known. That journey into the unknown takes faith.

Faith is a daily execution of one baby step after another believing in the unseen and the unknown. So for my family, we are exactly on that adventure through a dark forest without a flashlight and unable to see what is ahead. Yes, I said, “adventure” because it is all about perspective. Walking out a medical journey with my children isn’t something I ever expected. You see I have had to re-adjust my dreams for them and their future. But that re-adjustment came last after the acceptance of their new diagnosed limitations.  Accepting my children’s medical diagnosis felt like what I imagine drowning and falling off a cliff at the same time would. In that moment you are trying to suck the air into your lungs and instead you are taking in water as you feel yourself falling into an abyss of despair. I have wrestled with God quite a few times since that fateful day the doctor hurled those hateful and fatal words our way. I have been angry, self-reliant, and independent of my heavenly Father.  I have found myself standing in the middle of grief alone. I chose it.

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Melding the Artistic and Christian Lifestyles

Dance Project 2011 at Western Kentucky University. Photo by Andrew Duff

In the past few months, I have been feeling convicted about the difficulty of melding a Godly mindset with the highly emotionally driven reactions that seem to be required in the arts. I know there are a good amount of books and lectures about being a light in the world of performing arts, and maintaining a pure heart and mind. But I wan’t to talk about the paradox of maintaining a Godly mindset, contrasted with the actual mental technique of the performer.

I was a musical theatre major and dance minor in college. My acting teachers would consistently drill into me that I had to be emotionally transparent, let things effect me, and react very realistically. This naturalistic way of entertaining my thoughts ultimately led to me reacting in a very worldly way… to everything. I became obsessed with how high I could rev my emotions. Every thought I had quickly turned cinematic, and my emotions just outrageously flirted with the world. I experienced this worldly change creeping into my real life in the name of “transparency.” I even considered this change a success because I thought it was making me a smarter actress. But at the same time it was making me a weaker Christian due to my sinful nature. Let me explain why it is so difficult to have genuine emotional reactions and a make Godly choices at the same time.

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A Broken Little Heart

I have a friend who, a few years ago, stopped believing in the same kind of Jesus that I do.

“In you and you and you, and in me, and sun and sky,” she would say, pointing to each with frustrated enthusiasm, conflicted that others didn’t see or experience the freedom of believing in her God, or at least in some kind of god who was, and is, and is working in everything.

She was an existentialist, perhaps, or an earth mother, although I don’t believe she’s read Kierkegaard or is a listener of Krisha Dass. Neither label would even half capture what kind of person she is, though I would like to acknowledge that this is true of most labels.

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Artist Highlight: Adam Whipple

Don’t listen to Adam Whipple’s new record if you’re going through something hard. I mean, seriously, don’t. Don’t listen unless you’re ready to work through those complex, deep-down feelings inside you. But, if you are ready, then oh, boy; The Broken Seasons will deeply reward you.

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Me and Rich and Jesus

I was in my parents’ kitchen when I heard the news. It was twenty years ago, but I still remember standing in the tight space between the fridge and the stove, surrounded by the warm browns of the tiny floor tiles and cupboards, thinking that a light was gone. Rich Mullins had died.

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Good Grief

“Life is pain, highness” says the blue eyed Westley to his fair Buttercup in The Princess Bride. “Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

But most of us would rather listen to a salesman than Westley; because pain is, well, painful, and we prefer to ignore its thorny role in our lives.

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Kids’ Music, for Grown-Ups

Many of us here are Foundling House are both parents and appreciators of fine music. This means we try to pass a love of good music on to our children, though this can be a difficult task at times. There exists a vast and nigh-impregnable jungle of subpar kids’ music out there—all of which will go unnamed here. Suffice it to say, it’s often designed to appeal quickly to children with the bare offering a danceable beat. Or it’s overly sentimental—the sonic and lyrical equivalent of trying to stand on a waterbed.

We remember being kids in the seventies and eighties, and some of us raised kids or had young siblings during the nineties. The Muppets and Sesame Street reigned supreme, with their apparent rock influences pushing into the music. Then there were shows like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which had that stellar piano combo and compositions put together by jazz great Johnny Costa, and later Blue’s Clues, which featured percussion-based jazz with cool world elements. The creators of these shows took obvious care in selecting music which was as good as the entertainment value of the productions. Plus, they seemed to think that kids could actually handle listening to excellent music.

The notion that kids need decent music as much as adults is home territory for us. Therefore, we’re taking the time to point you in the direction of a pair of wonderful offerings from a couple different artists.

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