Tuesday, March 12, 2013

You can go your own way...

This morning on the way to school a Fleetwood Mac song came on the radio.
Katie sang along.  Yes.  She knows the words to Fleetwood Mac songs.  It's uncanny.
Many times I ask her how she knows the song...but this morning I just smiled.
I smiled and said, "This song was popular when I was at Hillsdale. Probably 1978."

(While I may have the foggiest memory this side of Madison, I can tell you the year of a song and imagine myself where I was while I was hearing it.  I am popular music savant.  I usually don't know who is singing it or the words.  But I know the year.)
(Oh and BTW, this morning I shopped for ingredients for a new pasta salad.
I forgot the pasta.)

I then told Katie that the Fleetwood Mac album was one of the highest selling records of all time.
I said, this was before Michael Jackson.  But then I corrected myself...because Michael Jackson was in the Jackson five when I was a child as The Jackson Five.  I loved their records and would see them on American Bandstand.

Easy as 123.

And then Michael was on his own and took the world by storm with BAD and then Thriller.
I remember dancing to his album Off the Wall in 1980 in my apartment in Lake Forest.
By myself.

This was one of the first music videos I had ever seen.

But here is the interesting part of the story.

I went to see Michael Jackson in concert in 1975 in the round somewhere near Glenview Illinois.
The place was not even half full and I swear we were at the matinee.
Why was I there?  I was invited to go by a woman I had become friends with over the summer in Mincoqua.  I babysat her little boy a few times and watched their house up north a little bit.  I stopped at her house in Glenview at the end of the summer for a day or two on my way to college and she had tickets for this little concert.
A mom, a teenager and a little boy.

Michael and I are the same age I think...he looked so skinny and tall and much younger than me.
I don't remember much about the songs.  I just remember him spinning.
A lot.

So I saw Michael Jackson in concert.

But in true Donna style, I saw him when he was at his least popular.

And you know what it makes me think about?

It makes me think of all the people who love doing something and they keep doing it.
Even when the room is only 1/3 full.

They keep trying.

I admire that kind of perseverance.

In any field.  In any form.
No matter what.


I think of this....

Romans 5:3-4 
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Encourage one another,


  1. Anonymous10:02 AM

    What an excellent message! Persevere! I think i will try that!

    Please look up, on Youtube, Carol Burnett and the Jackson Five. They all have white and green clothes (perfect for St. Patrick's week!). You and Katie will love the performance!!!

    Bridget in Minnesota

    PS I just had a biopsy taken this morning after a routine mammogram. If you have a spare prayer to offer, I would appreciate it!

    1. Anonymous10:45 AM

      You're in my prayers, Bridget!

      Mary Z

    2. Anonymous10:59 AM


      S.P. from Iowa

    3. My friend Wendy did the same thing this morning, mammogram and biopsy. Prayers for you both.

    4. Bridget,

      Praying for you here in rainy, dreary New Jersey. The God of all creation sees you and knows just what you need today.

      Hope is only a breath away.

      Robin~~who is ministering to herself today

    5. Anonymous11:56 AM

      God, please surround and hold Bridget in your healing grace and give her courage. Amen
      love and prayers, jep

    6. Anonymous12:53 PM

      Bridget, I am praying for you. I have been in the same position myself and know what you are going through. May the outcome of your biopsy be good and may you truly feel God's presence today. You are in the shadow of his wings and are safe there.
      Debbie Z.

    7. A prayer is coming your way..


    8. Anonymous8:42 PM

      Thank you, everyone. You are each so very kind. Thank you, Donna, for sharing your prayer warriors.

      Bridget in Minnesota

  2. Ooh, that's SO good and encouraging. and i can't believe you saw him live! And I'm pretty sure that 'Thriller' came out before 'Bad'... but he had that one album before Thriller that was fairly popular....I think it was called 'Off the Wall', wasn't it? Ah, i remember the old Saturday morning cartoon of the Jackson boys... loved it. Love me some pop culture. And Fleetwood mac - I don't know much, but I have always been mesmerized by Stevie Nicks!

    1. Yes. Off the Wall. Lake Forest.
      But then I mixed up Thriller and Bad.
      Thriller was 1982. Bad was 1987.
      Thriller was off my radar...
      Bad back on.
      Stevie Nicks always scared me. I think she's a witch or something.

    2. Total witchie-poo. But I saw a video of her live concert on HBO in like 1986 and I was totally hypnotized..

  3. PariSarah10:06 AM

    What a lovely thought!

  4. Great message! And forgetting the pasta? Totally something I would do. :)

  5. Our minds must work a bit the same. My kids think it is a bit odd that their mother will hear a song on the radio and make comments like, "This was popular when I was in 8th grade" or "I remember listening to this song in the car with my friends when I was a senior in High School."

    I also routinely forget major important items at the store—even if they are on my list. Perhaps it is because my mind is full of random memories of music!! ;)

  6. Donna, I love how you think. I recently went to the market to get ingredients for Tuscan Bean Soup (it is delicious) and almost walked out without the beans.

    I remember going to California to visit my grandparents when I was about 9 or 10, and listening to the Jackson Five playing over the sound system at the pool. Forever after when I heard A-B-C I would relive those awesome times and could almost smell the pool's snack bar.

    Fleetwood Mac? LOVE them, although I don't know all the words. I loved their reunion album from about 10 years ago (The Chain?).

    I was at book club here in Zurich 2 weeks ago and there were 3 Americans there, plus gals from other countries -- we started talking about favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, and our hostess (who is German) jumpeded up and fetched Rumours and popped it in her stereo and we were singing along. it was Awesome. The love of Music goes past borders I tell you :-)

    Sorry, I'm writing a book today - now it's time for coffee.

    *except to add, I love that verse. It's a fav.

  7. Donna, I read this while Ethan is taking a lunch break. We are listening to the Les Mis soundtrack (10 year reunion) which is one of his favorites. He keeps asking me to play "The Confrontation" and "Stars". Yesterday it was "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. Anyway, he will know lots of music when he leaves this house.

    I have The Jackson Five's Greatest Hits in my closet. Ethan hates when I sing young Michael since it's so high and I sing dramatically. ;) It seems crazy that Michael Jackson played to a slim audience. But I do remember those years when he wasn't part of the Five yet he wasn't a name by himself.

    Music takes me back to the place and time when I first heard it. Most of the time I can remember the year.

    1. Hi Southern Gal, I LOVE Brandi Carlile's "The Story" - gives me goosebumps

    2. 10 year reunion is my favorite cast!!!!!!

    3. I'm just checking back. Hi Susan and Steph!

      Yes, The Story and 10 year reunion cast are the best. I'm seeing the play next week. Squee!

  8. Anonymous10:57 AM

    Persevere. I love that word. When Sophia was in the NICU I heard that word in my head over and over. I also heard, "Be still and know that I am God". God was speaking to me very clearly. I can't describe it other than I just "knew".

    My husband went dressed up as Michael Jackson for Halloween once when he was a kid. White gloves and everything. I've seen the picture. Pretty funny.

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain." This comes to mind after reading your message today.

    Sarah P. from Iowa

  9. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Sometimes an oldie will come on the radio and I'll start to say "This song was popular when..." and Molly will finish my sentence with "Your senior year, right?" or "The year you got married!" That's when I know I've been repeating myself, but I also know she's been listening. :)

    That Fleetwood Mac album is indelibly wrapped up with so many college memories. Love it! Love the verse, too. Persevere our own way.

    Mary Z

  10. forgetting the pasta, that's the story of my life....I go to Lunds to grab potatoes to go with roast that is in the oven...$85 later, I'll get home and NOT have potatoes in my bags!

  11. Romans 5 is one of my faves too. It's very dear to my heart. It has helped me through some rough times. Another like it is Psalm 27:13-14: "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord."

    If you want to be really great at something you just have to keep doing it. Practice practice practice, even when no one is watching or listening.

  12. I laughed out loud when you said you remembered "him spinning a lot." Not sure why, but that just made me laugh.

    I love it when a song comes on and it's an oldie, but goodie, and I sing and my kids go nuts and laugh at me. :)

    That verse just about killed me today. Life is so hard right now and I must remember: hope is just a breath away. Not sure if God just gave me those words, or if I read or heard them somewhere. But they are speaking to me today.

    Love all you ladies and your great comments!

    1. Just taking another peek here before getting back to my chores.

      Bless you Robin. As I was reading your comment, the words "your heavenly Father knows what you have need of" came to mind - that passage about the lilies of the field, and the birds - and how God cares for them. And wanted to pass it along.

    2. I should have added: Luke 12

    3. Anonymous12:04 PM

      It helps me during the down times to remember our Lord saying, "Fear not for I am always with you." Praying for you Robin. jep

    4. Thank you, ladies. Your prayers mean the world to me. I am off to work now at the fabric store. I like my job and it keeps my mind off things here for a little while. I just really need more hours to get some bills paid.

      Blessings to you all!

  13. I remember music much the same way: what summer it was, what I was doing when it was playing daily. I remember that Fleetwood Mac album being played constantly in the summer of 1977. I worked at Denny's and went shopping with a co-worker. We were at the Limited and "You Make Loving Fun" was playing on the speakers in the store. Every time I hear that song, I remember clearly looking at jeans on a rack at The Limited.

    Thriller always reminds me of an aerobics class where we did the same routine every class and Thriller was one of the songs. It's a VERY long song when you're exercising. :)

    Happy thoughts, Donna, which brightened my day!

  14. Persevere. That word jumped off the page at me just now. Thanks - I needed that. And the Romans scripture - one of my favorites.

    I had that Fleetwood Mac album... and I had a 45 of the The Jackson Five doing ABC. I played it over and over and over until my parents absolutely went crazy! One sunny afternoon, I must have brought my record player out to the porch because I have a vivid memory of playing out in the front yard and singing along (I was in elementary school).

    Music does evoke such memories! Thanks for jolting awake some really nice ones!

  15. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Music is like food for the soul, at least for me. When my mother was in a coma and dying we sang to her and read to her. Our hearing is the last sense to go I remember reading somewhere. No matter where we are when my husband and I hear certain songs we remember where we were living or how old we were. Music touches us. That is why I am in such awe of folks like Stephanie who can make beautiful music...what a gift.

    Forgot the pasta, you must be related to me. ;-) I dare not go into a store without my list.

    Hope you each one enjoy the day and let's all remember to dance!
    love and prayers, jep

    1. Oh. I had my list.

    2. Anonymous6:12 PM

      Oh dear, it was one of those had the list and still forgot times. I have done that, too. jep

  16. Anonymous12:40 PM

    my mom and dad saw the jackson 5 when michael was like 8.

  17. Anonymous12:40 PM

    (that was me )


  18. It is a very good habit to have, isn't it. Perseverance.

    Today it is rainy and dreary in Philly. I feel sad for so many of the kids I work with. I want to bring them all home. Although, if I had to bring them home I suppose I would have to cook for them and I have been such a huge failure at making anything Gary or Kaish likes this week.

    I am sad, but you made me feel better. : ) You always do. Thanks for sharing a smile.

  19. Forgot the pasta for the pasta salad. That made me laugh. I, too, have a very strange memory for things that don't matter a hill of beans, but they stick in my mind forever.

  20. I lost all thoughts of your music commentary - which I could relate to - once I got to the bottom of your post. Of course, you have no idea how encouraging it was to read at the moment.....for someone who loves what they are doing but often does not do the nitty gritty work of ministry until God brings someone through the door. His timing, not mine. It's especially hard when you know about all the hearts that are hurting out in our world today....who need someone to listen.to care.to love on them.

    So, yes, persevere with a pocket full of hope called Jesus.....

    Tammy ~@~

  21. Anonymous10:03 PM

    I just heard Fleet Wood Mac in concert about 3 years ago and they were awesome............sounded as good as ever! I love your comment about typical Donna............it is SO cool that you saw Michael Jackson in concert, that's history Baby! Karen F.

  22. You have now arrived to the place I have been for some time. Lists. Make a list of everything you need before you go and cross it off as you get it. My mother-in-law taught me. I no longer think I can keep it all in my head


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