Whatever You Bury Inside, Buries You

I heard Dr. Janet Maccaro say on a network show, "Whatever you bury inside, buries you." She is the author of “A Woman’s Body Balanced by Nature.” Sounds like a book every woman should read. A woman in balance. A nature balanced woman. A woman I know very well, comes immediately to mind. I'm planning on ordering this book for this woman. Her name is Sue. And she is me. :)

You might think of your year in seasons like, winter - spring - summer - fall. This sugar-addict-turned-holistic-attempting-dried-fruit-nut, used to categorize my year this way: Valentine candy hearts, Girl Scout Cookies, Easter peanut butter eggs, candy corn and Christmas cookies. That's my definition of the seasons. And since I'm aware of my insatiable desire for sweets (no matter what it is), I bury all the reasons why I have such an addiction to begin with: Sugar tastes good. It's an instant fix, an instant high with a deadly future.

I haven't completely deleted all sugar from my so-called diet or way of life, but I'm not eating nearly as much as I used to. There's an irony in this process too. While not giving in to my palate's desires while guarding the intake of "sweet", I uncover some unfinished business in my spiritual and emotional reality. How can this be? How in the world can something so simple as deleting sugar expose a raw nerve or a discovery about my inner self.

Health professionals are in agreement: Sugar is in just about everything you eat. It covers up anything that (on its own) doesn't taste good. Keeping that in mind, it takes great discipline to read labels, to learn what foods (natural or not) are low in a glycemic index, and to keep the sugary processed stuff out of your mouth. I'm not an expert but I read labels and I also see the huge difference in my body and disposition when I just stay away from the sweet stuff.

"So, what is this really about, Sue??"

I deleted the sugar (the fluff, the addiction, the cover-up) to find that there's no replacing what the power of the Holy Spirit can do.

I deleted the sugar (the trends, the competition, the rat race) to find out that God is more concerned about what my real motives are.

I deleted the sugar (the pride, the need to be right, the controlling spirit) to find out that my knees need to bow daily to Him and not the intoxicating toxin called ego. All along it's been the sugar of my own gospel that's been hiding all this stuff. 

It's a good thing to overcome an addiction. Don't get buried in a sugar bowl. 

Ironically, I speak and sing for events around the country called "Chocolate & Chuckles!" (I eat the strawberries!) And my latest album is called "Sweet Life". But the real teaser and twist to it all is - nothing, absolutely nothing - is sweeter than a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Now that takes the cake... No cover up here.

Crown Her With Many Crowns

I just spent a small fortune on my hair. Ironically, there's no real or definitive "wow" to worthy such a ridiculous sum of moolah. Oh, it feels great; the color is natural; about seven shades of light brown... the cut is nice. But I keep thinking about the mouths I could have fed with this outlandish expenditure on my coiffure. Man. It bugged me for days. Finally, I just said to myself, "Well, at least you feel badly. That's a good sign. And you'll never do that again, will you?" Nope.

I have a few friends losing their hair due to cancer treatments. They have NEVER looked more beautiful. Bald. Shiny. Bold. Stylish. Coping... Without walking in their brave shoes, I have no right to even try to comprehend their feelings of loss. But most assuredly tell me, "It's unnervingly freeing - to not worry about my hair anymore! There are many other issues that are worry-worthy and hair is the least of these!"

I agree. I pray diligently for my courageously gorgeous friends who have accepted their cancer challenge in stride. There ARE so many other things that are more "worry-worthy" than just what's happening folic-ly.

Survival. Joy. Connection. Living. Breathing.....to name a few.

So, as I read 1 Peter 5:4, "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away...", it all makes more sense than ever.

The glory crown. On a head with or without hair. And the best part is it's not like modern hair color, dyes or pigments. This glory crown will never fade away. Trust me - this glory crown costs a whole lot more than a sitting in a salon chair. It's price-less.

But at the hand of the master-stylist, it's also free.


(also read here on Sue-biquitous!) 

The Sun Makes A Difference

Seasonal allergies don't even compare with seasonal depression, I'm told. Well.... I'm more than "told", I'm a victim at times too. We went over seven days without sunshine recently, and I was ready to go buy one of those sun lamp thingys. But then, the big ball in the sky made its appearance, and I just stared in the face of this unusual but welcomed light. I felt the warmth, the clarity, the orange through my eyelids. Happy. Smilies. Deep breaths. Even the sky looked bluer than ever. 

Think how much greater it'd be if we continually kept our face towards the Son. Never letting a day pass without putting our face in His Word. The true Light. This far surpasses any physical attribute of the sun. For if we stare into the sun, we can become blind. But staring into the Light of Lights only purifies our vision. I "see" that now more than ever. Clearly. 

Ooooh! She Said A Bad Word!

(True story!)

A friend told me that her little boy came home from Sunday School (what's that??) and tried to tell his mother that his teacher said a bad word. She tried not to make a big deal about it, but probed a little and asked a couple questions.

"Are you sure? What did she say?"

"I'm not allowed to say the word, mom. You told me I couldn't."

"Well, in this instance, Joey, it's OK to tell mom what the teacher said", she quickly responded.

Sitting on the stool in the kitchen, swinging his feet in the air, he blurted out, "It's the bad word that Daddy says a lot."

How could she not smirk? She looked away, then with a little composure came back to gaze at her 5 year old's face.

"Honey, you can tell me what she said. You won't be in trouble."

"Well, it's a good thing. How come daddy doesn't get in trouble when HE says it?"

"Joey, daddy DOES get in trouble when he says it, with me, anyway. But you still haven't told me what she said."

"OK, we were talking about camping and being outside and stuff, and she told us that Joshua in the Bible before he camped out and crossed over the Jordan, they left their "Shittim" home.

I'm sorry, but this is funny. :) LOL!

Read Joshua 3:1

Sing With Me

In a much simpler time, my New Jersey family (the Crane clan) gets together at Uncle Elmer's house. We gather around the piano and sing until the wee hours of the morning. This is where I learn to sing harmony. This is where I feel the inborn connection of singing from the heart and not just from the vocal cords. My grandmother (Anne Crane Beatty) insists that I learn how to sing alto. This is a command that I treasure to this day. She not only bangs out the notes on the piano for me, but she sings the part. She smiles and raises her head up and down, as if to flow with each note. Then she says, "Don't worry. You'll feel it. Listen to the melody line first and then listen for the part underneath the melody." I hear it.

My mother always sings the melody. She's a soprano. Sometimes Aunt Ruth finds her spot too, singing whatever part is left. So, I am determined and destined to fit in somewhere. I search and find my home - the alto part. My voice is deeper than most little girls I know. I am so happy to find my place in the lower timbre. I am nine years old. And it is 1964.

Patti Page, Rosie Clooney, Marian Anderson, Nancy Wilson, Ethel Waters, and later - Ann Downing, Jeanne Johnson, Gloria Elliott, Kathy Triccoli, Marilyn McCoo and Oleta Adams would round out some of my favorite early and present influences. Great women with beautifully deep voice ranges. And all great enunciators too, never questioning lyrically what they're singing about.  

So where am I going with all this in 2013? Here it is:

The greatest compliment a singing artist can have (in my opinion) is when a listener says, "I love your singing. I love your tone and texture. I understand every word. But I especially love that you sing in a register where I can sing along with you too!"

There it is. The key. Many worship/inspirational/contemporary songs are difficult for most women to sing. Too high. But when they are keyed down to a lower register where a worshipper (musically inclined or not) can comfortably sing, YOUR song then becomes THEIR song. And if your ministry in music is truly about others like you say, then this should register with you.

Sing your songs; do it with excellence. But get around the piano again. Teach, reach and enunciate and by all means, sing your songs so others can sing along with you. Together.

Listen here for Sue's sample of singing "alto"... Give Me Jesus

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