Tuesday, July 27

New Song: Come (A Prayer of Hope)

I'm happy to introduce my newest song here to you all: Come (A Prayer of Hope).

This is a rough, live cut of the song from a funeral I sang for today. Hence the random looking over to my right. I was making sure that I kept the song to an appropriate length to cover Communion.

I wrote this song specifically for funerals, to be a song of consolation, of encouragement, of return to the Lord. Through His love and strength alone do we conquer adversity and emerge from trial.

I welcome your thoughts. It's a brand new song, still "under construction." This is actually a short version, as there were only a few people at this funeral. I hope you enjoy it. I also have a brand new audio recording on my website of "Lord, When You Came To The Seashore." Listen here.


Come (A Prayer Of Hope)
June 25, 2010

~*verse one*~
There is no pain He has not felt,
No sadness He doesn’t know; He holds all your tears in His hand.
Your cross, He carries with you, the heavy load you bear.
Give it all to Him. Give it all to Him. Give it all to Him:
You do not walk alone.

Come to Him, you who labor and are tired.
Come to Him, you with sorrows you can’t bear.
Come into His presence, feel His tender love.
Come, His love will carry you.

He lifts us from the flood that threatens us.
He shelters us from the weapons of our foe.
He heals us with His tender touch of mercy.

He loves us more than we could ever know.
He loves us more than we could ever know.
He loves us more than we could ever know.

Come to Him. Come to Him.
Come to Him, you who labor and are tired.
Come to Him, you with sorrows you can’t bear.
Come into His presence, feel His love. Come, His love will carry you.

© Gabriela Frei 2010

Wednesday, July 14

Watch Me on TV!

Well, to be honest, you're really watching the Lord Jesus on TV, as this is a televised Mass. But I'm providing the music, which is pretty awesome in my book.

I got the opportunity to share my gift of music with two local parishes as well as with the people in Southwest Florida who suffer the incredible burden of being limited to their homes. The shut-in community is extensive here in this area, as Florida is Retirement Central for much of America. I considered it a real honor to play a role in making the Mass more special for their viewing, even though it is the reception of Our Lord's most precious Body that is the true gift.

I wanted to share that link with you all, just in case you wanted to see me live in action. This particular video is of the Mass from this past Sunday, July 11th, at St. Raphael's Parish in Lehigh Acres, Florida. The pastor, Father Dennis Cooney, actually concelebrated my marriage ceremony in 2008, as well as led a pilgrimage to the Holy Land that my family was so blessed to go on. He is very special to me.

Click Here to Watch!

Tuesday, July 13

how to retain your sanity.

I've been pondering of late that I really could make better use of my time.

Matthew is now 14 months, and such a precocious little bugger. He's into everything and onto everything and his preferred mode of movement is running full throttle into everything. So I have my hands full 24/7 just keeping up with the Kid.

But in those precious moments of spare time, it's all I can do not to just launch myself onto the nearest couch and enter into full veggie mode.

I've never been much of a TV watcher. My siblings would always rave about the latest TV show that is a "must watch this summer," and I would always be woefully out of touch. Not this summer, baby!

Ok, so maybe I'm still out of touch in regards to the "cool shows," but I still have watched more television in the past 6 months than ever before in my life. And granted, I have needed it for more than one reason.

1) I needed the relaxation from chasing the Chubb.
2) I needed to put my feet up and unplug myself for a while.
3) I needed to hear a voice other than my own, with a vocabulary at least as sophisticated as a junior high student... (although that's sometimes a stretch...)

But I feel as though little by little, I can start to engage my brain cells a bit more and stretch myself intellectually again. Yikes, even the thought is intimidating...

But I am slowly reconnecting with my love of literature, catching up on some quality reading while the Bubbs sleeps. My latest page turner, Catcher in the Rye, was a satisfactory accomplishment that everyone tells me ought to have been read while I was in junior high... ah well, better late than never...

So I ask you all. Doesn't matter if you are a Mommy with bubbas of your own to chase, or a recent (or not so recent) college grad, high school grad, whatever: how do you continue to challenge yourself intellectually now that the summer is upon us, or now that a constant pitter patter of little feet fills the formerly silent air of contemplation?

Even though I am a Mommy, I feel there is no reason I can't continue to grow, to challenge myself, to think and ponder deeper things... I just might have to squeeze it in between Dr. Seuss and diaper changes now.

Sunday, July 4

Thank You All

I just noticed that my little counter is over 1000 visits.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for sharing in my life since I started blogging.

I can't express the joy and peace that sharing has brought me.
It's just nice to get some things out, to know that someone out there is reading and perhaps being blessed, either by my joys or struggles.

Hopefully, I've helped you in some small way.

I have definitely been both helped and blessed.

You've watched Matthew grow. You've experienced my learning curve with motherhood.
You've been updated on my music. You've (hopefully) grown through my ministry.

All in all, I'm so very content and grateful you're here.

And I'm keeping up the fighting and running the race, per God's grace and for His glory.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! 
Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. 
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, 
With thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. 
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 4:4-7

God Bless America

The Declaration of Independence was signed today.
Read it. Remember it. Guard it with your life.
We are and forever ought to be free and independent,
One nation, under God,with liberty and justice for all,
enshrining life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Happy Independence Day, and may God forever bless America.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security...

...We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

I am proud to be an American. 
This is a great land, and her people have done incredible things.
God bless our leaders, that they might have wisdom.
God bless our troops, that they might have strength to keep us safe.
God bless all citizens,
May we never forget who we are, or what our forefathers paid 
that we might live, believe, work, study
as a free people. 


Thursday, July 1

A Gift? For Me?

I had an interesting conversation yesterday which, although only lasting but a minute, has left me pondering til now.

I was chatting with a woman I don't know at a mommy group event, and she was commenting on how her daughter (she was a grandmother) was married and soon to give birth to a baby, and how she herself was irritated with her son-in-law.

Being the devotee of love stories and babies that I am, naturally I was curious and conveyed my interest.

She continued to remark on how her son-in-law (foolish man that he was) did not think that he needed to give his wife a "congratulations on bearing my first offspring" present. How dare he. What is he thinking? She is going to all this trouble, and he's not going to reward her on this momentous occasion?

Needless to say, I was surprised at her vehemence. She then went on to account for the absurd (albeit sweet and sentimental) gift that he had bestowed on his wife on their wedding day. He had given her a handkerchief.

Now I must interject my own opinion here: this was not just any old handkerchief. It was delicate and fragile, a work of art (per the grandmother's scornful description), embroidered on one side with her daughter's maiden name and date of birth, and on the opposite with her married name and date of the wedding.


But the grandmother confided both in me, and apparently with her son-in-law as well, that in their family, jewelry was always given as a gift on momentous occasions, and in her opinion, he ought have given her a diamond (even though she had plenty).


After my short discussion, or rather, listening session with this austere woman, I was left pondering. What is the nature of gift giving? What should go into such a practice? Are you giving a gift for yourself or really taking into mind the person receiving?

At my university, there was much discussion regarding the 5 Love Languages. They are as follows and I believe self-explanatory:

1) Physical Touch
2) Words of Affirmation
3) Quality Time
4) Acts of Service
5) Gift Giving/Receiving

I can't stress enough how important it is both to know your own love language and that of the person(s) in your life that you love, be it a significant other, friends, or family.

Your love language is how you best receive love, and in turn, the love language of your loved one is how they best receive it.

This post is dealing directly with the issue of giving gifts. Some people are good at giving gifts. Some people are good at receiving them.

I am both. I love to give gifts to people, and honestly enjoy getting things for others. I put thought into each gift, into the likes/dislikes of the person receiving, and I try to make each gift personal and meaningful.

One of the most precious gifts I've ever received was when Jonathan wrote me a song for my birthday while we were still dating. It was sappy and sentimental, and absolutely wonderful and heart-melting. I still remember all the words and hum it occasionally. It makes me smile without fail.

I have a friend who is 1000 times better than I at giving gifts, and she never ceases to amaze me, outdoing herself every time. She never expects anything in return either, and I hope that somehow, all of us are loving her the way she needs to be loved in return.

Otherwise, I can imagine it gets increasingly difficult, giving and giving without receiving anything at all in return.

So I wonder, what is it to give a gift? How much of it ought be telling other people what you want/like, as if life were a gigantic gift registry? How much of it is depending on others to care enough to discover your own love language?

Was it right that this grandmother tell her son-in-law exactly how he should gift his wife, because she knows her daughter? Should he have done a better job in getting to know her desires?

Or is there an element of self-revelation in the gift he chose to give?

I think that we have to be careful in this. There are 3 options I see:

1) You can tell people how you are best loved, and elucidate the things you most would like to receive. Then you must be patient and allow them to take it or leave it...

2) You can simply wait and allow the person to little by little discover how you are loved, trusting they have both the desire to know you at that deep level and the desire to give you what you most want.

3) You can allow the person gifting you to reveal their particular way of loving you through their particular gift. This I think is tricky, because you have to trust that the person won't be lazy or not interested in putting the effort to really love you through their gift.

But I have faith in people that love. I believe that love conquers all.

I believe that a gift from the heart has tremendous value, regardless of what it is.

Then again, diamonds are always a girl's best friends. As are shoes. And chocolate. ;)


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