Inauguration

Well, it is finished. The United States is now celebrating or sobbing for its 45th President Donald Trump. And it almost seems as though the world has gone mad in a sense. There’s nowhere I can go, especially here in NYC, where I don’t hear people complaining, debating, protesting, or rocking back and forth on subway cars muttering “The End Is Near Now!”

To be honest, by the looks of things, if I didn’t know God for myself I’d be looking for the next available bunker and stocking up on cans of vienna sausages and pork and beans. Fortunately for me (and my poor mother whose heart probably can’t take another Sutana antic) I do. And in knowing I have hope, I have security, I have faith and surprisingly to most I actually have peace about the whole thing.

“Gasp! But Sutana, how could you. I mean the man wants to deport immigrants and build a wall at our boarders. And what about health care benefits? Our low-income and impoverished communities like the one you’re living in now? Oh and the arts, my God the arts! Wasnt it the educational funding for music equipment and instruments the very thing that offered you the opportunity to have your very first instrument which in turn made creativity, music, art, words and expression some of the things intertwined into the very fibers that make you you today?”

Cant lie I agree with what you’re saying. In no way do I think its wrong to fight for what you believe in and stand up for what is right. In many ways I am not a supporter of many of the proclaimed changes President Trump intends to make. However, When all of this Trump business started I made up my mind that I was not going to fixate on the “America is the laughing-stock of the world” mantra, nor focus on the chaos, the riots, and the  “why was Kanye there?” of it all. Im going to fix my gaze elsewhere. I am going to look to the real ruler over all things. I my friends am going to look to God.

The bible says:

“Make your motions, cast your votes, but God has the final say.”

     -Proverbs 16:33 MSG

Let us not forget whom is really in control here. Especially as believers. We have no need to fret and fear as the world does.

Call me naive, perhaps I’ve watched one too many Disney movies as a child. If anything though, I’d like to think that at the least I am just a bit more hopeful than most. But here is an idea, and it might be a bit of a shocker: How about we just give the guy a chance and trust God for the rest. After all who knows? Perhaps he will have a massively positive influence and be a vessel to change the world for the better? I can see it now…

Peace in the Middle East, U.S. debt will decrease, and the love for our planet and all mankind will increase….

ooorrrr if not…

Then at least the most we can hope for is that this guy ain’t right.

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Hiatus…

There was a time I really used to think that going on hiatus was a bad, horrible, awful thing that you should never do… HA! That was until I went on one. For the last month or so I’ve taken a break from nearly everything it seems like. Social media, relationships, blogging, friends and family at times. I ate an abundant amount of carbs, didn’t workout at all, then again I never did, watched Game of Thrones on repeat for the 6th time and got alone with God and myself to really figure out what it is I was doing with this gift we call life.

During this time I really realized I was just doing. Doing this, doing that… but never really being anything purposeful. Growing up, in a lot of ways things just happened for me. I happened to go to an awesome college, I happened to start singing and playing guitar, I happened to fall in love with an idiot or two, I happened to move to North Carolina then to New York, then to California then to Florida and back again, all while happening to go absolutely nowhere all at the same time.

Something in me needed to change. Perhaps die is a better way of putting it. I got to a place in my life where my complacent, lackadaisical, all pray and no work attitude had to perish and I had to begin to accept the calling, the plan, the purpose and the will of God for my life.

I now live in NYC, a definite dream I’d always had since I first visited as a teenager. Not much seems to have changed on the outside, by meer glance some would say I appear to be worse off. However, I know that more than what appears to be going on externally there is something greater, more fruitful and more inspiring going on on the internally. And in due time the vine of my life will begin to blossom and the fruits will undoubtedly show.

Glad to be back…

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What Music Lessons Taught Me About Life

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If I’d known that I was going to get so much out of taking vocal lessons I think I would’ve signed up sooner. I’ve been privileged enough to work with an amazing instructor who is as honest as he is kind… and I will also say that since I’ve been working with him I’ve not only learned a lot about music and vocals but surprisingly I’ve learned a lot that I can also apply to my life. Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way thus far:

  • Who cares what others think?

Standing transparent before others and bearing all you have can be kinda scary. “What will they think about me, what will they say?” I can admit I sometimes have to fight these thoughts whenever I choose to e authentic and sincere. But I’ve learned that whether they like it or not this is my voice, my song, my words, my life and my truth, so it comes with no apologies. Just as an artist stands behind his work even if it looks like goobly glop to others so I’ve learned to stand by the unconventional masterpiece that is me.

  • No one is perfect EVERYONE has weaknesses.

One of  the first things my instructor told me was not to worry. Everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses. The key is to enhance and amplify your strengths and improve your weaknesses. So the next time I feel a little unsure because of a weakness in an area of my life,  I remember, we’ve all got eum honey. No one is perfect.

  •  Strive for excellence not perfection.

And speaking of perfect, I know we’ve heard it a million times “Practice makes perfect.” Newsflash, it doesn’t…and that’s OK because what practice does do is make us prepared. When we prepare or practice with a spirit of excellence we give it our full effort, our best shot; we give it all we’ve got and leave the outcome to God. Sometimes we come out on the other side with the results we were looking for and other times we come out with something slightly different. Either way both are opportunities to grow, learn and develop. What more can you ask for when you give it all you’ve got?!

  •  Don’t compare yourself to others!

Ew the comparison trap, its an ugly snare. Truth is, there will always be someone or something that can seemingly do one thing or another better than you, more effectively than you or differently than you. That’s just the nature of this game called life. Your mission is to take those special, unique, and precious gifts that you’ve been given and use them as effectively and proficiently as YOU can, in whatever way God intended and planned for YOU to use it. NOT ANYONE ELSE.

  • Confidence is KEY…

Confidence comes from knowing who you are and living in that revelation… confidence is not only empowering to self it’s attractive to others. Remember, confidence is not defined by what you do or how good or bad you do it. Confidence is defined by knowing who you are and living in that truth to the best of your ability.

  • Stay Inspired…

Inspiration is all around us God is always speaking. I know that when it comes to songwriting I’m constantly looking around life for the perfect melody to call my own. Sometimes it’s in the good sometimes it’s in the bad but I know whether it’s in the sunrise or the tears that have stained my pillows there is inspiration all around. Look around in your life and ask God to open the eyes of your heart to see the inspiration, hope and lessons he is constantly whispering to you

  • Better Together.

We need others. As much as I’d like to do it all myself, i can’t. Any time I open up, humble myself and let those who are good at what they do come alongside me we can all do something great together.

The Tree & Me

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And there it was, this old scarred tree, burnt, wounded and vacant, waiting to be filled, praying to be whole. Among a forest of blossoms and ancient pillars abundant in leaves it would seem to have stood out in the worst way.

What may have been considered the most ugliest of creations, to me, became the most beautiful, the most relevant, the most important, the most likely to be me in another life…

This tree would never audibly speak no matter how hard I’d try to channel my inner Pocahontas,  yet it still told a story worth a thousand words. What had marred it so visibly made it so worthy of wonder.

wp-1452497093066.jpgQuestions came to mind… almost in endless numbers. How did this happen? How did it survive? How did it manage to still stand so strong, head still high, hands still reaching towards heaven….?

I am that tree, broken yet whole, scarred yet healed, humbled by circumstance yet still standing, head high and hands still reaching towards heaven.

Mended, strengthened, and filled by the greatest power ever known.