I can't win sometimes

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There are some things as a parent that I have found are non-negotiable when it comes to my kids. Granted, I have only been a parent for 5 years, but I have learned to listen to what my kids ask me to be a part of in their lives. On Tuesday of this week, Sydney mentioned that one of the moms of one of her classmates had lunch with them. Todd and I have done this once before. But Sydney doesn't usually ask us to come to stuff. But this time, she said, "Mom, will you come have lunch with me at school?" I was thrilled. So, I planned to pick up McDonald's and bring it to her during her VERY early lunch time from 10:30 - 11:00.  Sydney is a child that has to prepared for the schedule to change. So, I told her that I would be a little late, but that I would be there.

Now, we ALL know that McDonald's starts serving lunch at 10:30. They have done this since I was child. So I was sitting in the parking lot at 10:25...waiting. At 10:30 on the nose, I pulled into the drive thru and began ordering my Happy Meals. The lady replied, "I'm sorry, Ma'am...we don't serve lunch till 11." OK...now I panic. Syd has no lunch and we do not have a wide variety of fast food on the Island. I whip over to Burger King...order the meals...and they proceed to tell me that the fries are going to be awhile. They were still pealing potatoes :) 10:40 now...

I finally get there at 10:45. Sydney is in tears. She says ," I thought you forgot and were sitting at home." We try to eat, but she is so stressed out because she knows that lunch is almost over (again, she is VERY conscious of time!) We woof down our food and the bell rings. I walk her back to class. I ask her, "Are you mad at mommy?" She says,"No...it's alright." with a very disappointed look.

I know...the reward is in the trying, but man, I felt like a loser! Note to self...PACK A LUNCH to have at school with your child. Second note to self...call the Corporate offices of McDonalds and tell them they have a rogue restaurant that is messing up people's lives!

Anybody else feel like they can't win sometimes?


Facebook or being with faces

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No one can argue the culture-changing effect of social networking because of facebook. Company stats reveal that there are 350 million users and that 50 percent of them log in on any given day. My multi-class high school reunion in October would never had occurred without facebook. Needless to say, there was less "surprise" since most of us saw everybody' profile pic before we arrived. I have re-connected with so many people in the last 2 years since I joined facebook. I have been able to pray for some of my friends who have been going through some serious stuff that I would have never known without facebook. I have seen people engage with other people spiritually that I don't think would have happened without the tool of facebook. But, as I expressed in a previous blog, the more connection I have in the virtual world, the more I sense the need to unplug from it.

I spent most of yesterday communicating to two groups of people that I am doing life with on the Island...my small group that meets each week and my womens' mentoring group that will meet once a month for 2010. I was so energized by the expectancy of connecting with them this year.  I woke up this morning with such a deep sense of connection to those around me, to my community, and to God. I love blogging, texting, reading blogs, and technology. I have connected with some amazing people in Worship Arts because of twitter and being a blogger.  People I would have never met without it.  But I think I was really surprised to see the emotional difference that I felt about these people - flesh and blood that I interact with on a regular basis -  versus connecting with my friends on facebook, twitter, and through blogging.

 Stats tell us that my age group (35-54...no comments,please...I'm on the low-end of this bracket!)) represents 30 percent of the user database of facebook. We are the largest demographic on facebook (4 percent higher than 18-24). So, I'm processing that...is my demographic replacing flesh and blood relationships with facebook friends? Are we doing both?

So where are you? Are you energized by connecting on facebook more than being with faces? Are you like me and are more energized about interacting with flesh and blood? Do neither have any impact on you? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.


Evening in December Recap - Hear a sample!

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Our First Annual Evening in December Concert and Dessert was on Sunday night. I have been overwhelmed at the response from those that attended and from my team that pulled it off. I have dreamed of doing something like this for over a year at our Hilton Head Campus, and then I planned it for this year, but in my wildest dreams, I never imagined what happened. I say in my blog bio that I'm a wanna-be movie score composer because I love arranging and pulling off unique musical events ( my inner "David Foster!)

We did record it and it will be available NEXT YEAR for purchase. We just can't turn it around in 2 weeks (design, licenses...) and it be done right, so for those who have been asking...next year! And we WILL be adding shows so more can come.

We raised over our goal for Woodhaven Apartments and have brought more attention to the needs there as a result of this concert. Thank you so much to all of you who have e-mailed, called, text, or spoken to us about the concert. We are so thankful that you enjoyed it and we can't wait till next year!

Here's a little sample of the night for those of you who missed it...

CHRISTMAS CONCERT



Settled

Todd has used this word a lot in the last few months. I'm not a huge fan of this word and I am not sure really what it means. I have used this word before and everything opposite of this word started to unfold in my life.  This is the last word I would use to describe my life pretty much since 2003. Don't get me wrong...These last 6 years have ROCKED! So much adventure, change, out-on-the-ledge living...no regrets AT ALL. But I'm starting to realize that I have entered a different season of life now. Sydney starts Kindergarten in August...our church campus is 2 years old...Sean is no longer a baby...and we bought a house in a horrible economy (we got a GREAT deal!) So, there it is...I put it out there. No guarantees that it will apply to our lives for very long, and honestly, I'm cool if it doesn't :)


two weeks

I have been in somewhat of a "fog" the last 2 weeks as we spent one week packing and this past week moving. I looked at Todd at some point this week and said, "Honestly, if there was a gun to my head right now, I could not tell you what day it is." We are SO happy to be in our new home..pics to come! So , here is what happened around the Cullen house the last two weeks...

  • DSCF7673 Sydney finished preschool...she is officially a Kindergartener...say that 30 times really fast! She is headed to HHCA in August.
  • IMG_8715 Todd and I celebrated our 14th Anniversary on June 3rd. For those who know us REALLY well, we can all say that Todd deserved a big kudos for that!
  • IMG_0431 My Worship Arts Intern, Emily Wolffe, from my Alma Mater, Liberty University, started this week. Her 1st task? Painting Sean's bedroom last Friday night! She is an awesome woman, gifted musician, and a REAL servant to put up with our move being right smack in the middle of her 1st week on Hilton Head! We are going to have an awesome summer!
  • IMG_0447 Ellie Lancaster was in Hilton Head this week and we had the chance to reconnect. We have known each other for about 9 years from NorthStar and most recently we were original staff members of The Gallery Church in NYC. We love you, Elle!
  • IMG_0458  IMG_0453IMG_0461 Sydney turned 5 years old today. She is such a big girl and just a joy to our lives. I would think after 5 years of being a parent I would have more of a clue? NOT! We celebrated with some of Sydney's close friends and our friends as well at the Yacht Club (My b-day is tomorrow.) Yes, it was a much deserved treat...sitting around the pool and they fixed the food!
  • We love our new home. We feel SO blessed that God has given this to us. Our friends, the Krupas, from ATL were able to move into our rental house. God just worked the whole thing out! Now the fun begins...painting, pictures, and giving this place "our touch."

Hope you had a great two weeks...looking forward to being back in the blogosphere this week!


I can't help but smile :)

As a leader of artists in my church, I deeply desire that all of us pursue a fully devoted life to Jesus Christ.  We all love our music, art, and creative outlets, but IS our desire toward God first and foremost and serving others? We have great conversation about God and our spiritual journey (I love having multiple services because of the "chat" time) but are we "working it out?"  God has been answering me very specifically that my "job" is to model it, talk about it, pray for them to do it, and give HUGE kudos when I see is happening. My cellist, Rob Rechey, is a Senior in High School.  In the last 2 years, God has done some really cool things in his life (through the ministry of our AMAZING High School pastor, Rob Jacobs) and by being a part of our worship team.   He is leaving in 2 months to return to Mexico and attend college (his parents live here.) Rob showed up at 9 AM this morning to translate all our announcements into Spanish today for our Easter Egg Hunt.  I just wanted to give him the biggest bear hug when I saw him today. He was simply serving. I can't help but smile :) and I know My Father is smiling, too.


Harmony

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"Harmony Scroll" by Jane Bellows

In a recent blog, I talked about this being the new focus of my life. With that, God has shown me some very personal things lately that have made this concept VERY real to me. This is something SO POWERFUL that He is teaching me about my life right now and I feel His leading to share it with others. With God's direction, I am praying through leading a community group for women on the Island that explores this concept of life and how God's Word gives us great instruction on doing it. The group will simply be called "Harmony" and that is as far as God has given me direction. Please pray with me about what this looks like and pieces of the puzzle coming together for this.

What does harmony look like to you?


What's up?

My posts have been rare lately. Blogging will always take a BIG backseat to my family, my ministry, and my music and all 3 of those have been SMOKIN' BUSY lately! Here's a few things I want to share.

  • My acoustic skills have taken a HUGE upswing. It's been a year now that I have been leading worship with the acoustic and I am FINALLY not nervous about it.
  • I love my band...we are rocking it out at the Core Campus in Bluffton this weekend.  We are songwriting together now and I AM LOVING IT!
  • My 2 year-old son now sings "Sing Sing Sing" at the top of his lungs in the car.
  • My almost 5 year-old daughter now prays "A Big Girl Prayer" and thanks God for her toys all the way up to her mommy and daddy.
  • This is first March in 3 years I am not having to move!
  • We are working on our first Art show at our campus that will premier on Easter Weekend. I am submitting a few photographs of the Island.
  • I have been LOVING our 40 Days of Prayer journey that we have been doing via our campus blog. It has been a spiritual highlight for me during this Easter season.



Sunday Recap - SERVE DAY Stories

This video will speak for itself, but it was an amazing day of worship and celebration of what God did in us and through us on both campuses last Sunday. I chose songs of worship that we were very familiar with and that people could REALLY sing!  Here was our service:

"Come Now is the Time to Worship" - Vineyard
"There's No One Like Our God: - Vineyard
Welcome/Announcements
SERVE DAY Highlight video (both campuses)
SERVE DAY Panel - testimonies (see video)
"Sing to the King" - Passion
"Everlasting God" - Brenton Brown
Scripture Reading - Matthew 5 :1-16
Time of Response (communion, giving, and  prayer station)
"Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone"
"God of this City" - Passion ( I did a video loop of pics from our Island projects under the lyrics)

We had 100 percent of our regular attendance on a Sunday participate in Serve Day. This was a defining moment in the life of our new church campus...God be praised.  (BTW - the terrible filming of the panel is all me...Can we say NOT a steady cam?)

Check out Fred's for more setlists!



Sunday Recap - SERVE DAY!

Serve day Yesterday, we got outside our church walls and served our Island community. Here was our service:

"Sing, Sing. Sing" - Tomlin
Welcome/Get into teams/Greet
Scripture Reading - Romans 12
Prayer of Dedication over Serve Day
"Happy Day" - Hughes

After our "Pep Rally", we did the following: visited nursing homes and assisted care facilities, visited patients in the hospital, cleaned up trash on our roads, painted the gym of our boys and girls club, did repair projects on our campus, prepared 18,500 plastic Easter eggs for our BIG Community hunt in a month.

The weather was AWFUL, so we canceled a couple of outside projects, but that did not keep almost 100 percent of our active attending congregation from participating!!! The consensus after today was that we should do this as a church campus once a quarter on Saturdays.  Everyone's projects went well and NEXT WEEK are are going to share the stories live, through video, and with pictures in our services. I CAN"T WAIT!!!

Join me at Fred's for more Sunday setlists.