Love In The Wind: Trust in God & Soar!

Hey guys!!

I’ve been a little MIA on this blog for awhile, but hey … that’s life ūüėČ However, I recently had an experience that I just can’t help but write about. My little brother got married last weekend!! It was a great day & I had the honor of playing one of my newest songs, “Love In The Wind.”

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I find it funny & awesome how God works in mysterious ways in our lives. When I started writing Love In The Wind, I just knew that I wanted to write a love song. I didn’t really have a reason for that, I just knew that’s the direction I wanted to take it. I wrote a beautiful, pretty¬†simple, lovely melody. This was going to be my love song. Then, out of the blue, a new sequence in the left hand came to me & at first I thought, “Oh man…this is going to be so awesome for my next song!” However, I soon realized that it complemented my love song very well & that I could combine the 2 ideas.

Pretty soon, my special 2 part song, “Love In The Wind” was born & I created this whole story in my head on what the song was about. This fueled the song & made it become one of my favorite songs I’ve ever created. I imagined Part 1 of the song being the story between 2 people in love.. passionate & romantic. The song changes at Part 2 & this is where the “wind” comes in. At this change, I imagined that something happened between the couple & they could no longer be together for whatever reason (like death or military or something like that). In this part of the song, they are no longer together but can each feel the other’s “love in the wind.”

Have you ever had that feeling? Like when someone you love is no longer with you, but you can still feel their love with you? I have… & it made this song really resonate with me in a way that no other song has. In fact, once I completed the song, the first person I shared it with was my husband & I was in tears afterward.

When Kevin & Abby asked me to play a song at their wedding, I could think of no better song to play. Not only is it a gorgeous song for a wedding in general, but there is a deeper meaning in choosing this song for them. Abby’s mom Jean passed away 8 years ago & I just felt this deep sense that¬†this would be the perfect tribute to her…conveying that her love would be with Kevin & Abby on their special day. I think God (& Jean!) had this in mind when they planted the seed of this song in my mind, even though I didn’t know who or what this song was really for at the time! Oh, and how fitting that the day of their wedding was a windy day.

Now, I have made major strides with my stage fright & performance anxiety problem in recent years, but for months before the big day, I was SO NERVOUS. I thought about it a lot & couldn’t put my finger on why exactly this performance was so different than others. After all, I was only playing 1 song & had played multiple songs at other weddings & events with significantly less nerves.

I ended up settling on 2 things:

#1. It’s a family wedding & my fear stems back to when I was an adolescent & was not able to finish the song at my brother Paul’s wedding.

#2. I am so in love with this song & I want to do the song justice so that it resonates with other people the way it does with me!

I tried to calm my nerves by practicing my song every single day leading up to the wedding day. I prayed a lot to God & to Jean & asked that they would help calm me on the day of the wedding so that I could convey the meaning of the song & sincerely enjoy the experience of sharing it. I still felt some pretty strong nerves as I practiced at church the night before the wedding at rehearsal, & also when I practiced it there the morning of the wedding after taking pictures.

However, once the ceremony started, I felt a sense of calm wash over me & I was significantly less nervous (of course, there were still some there but I was feeling much better!) When it was time for the song during meditation, & all eyes were on me, ¬†I looked at Kevin & Abby & thought, “This is for them.” Then I thought, “OK God, OK Jean, help me out here!” I started playing & really focused on connecting with the music, the meaning behind it all, this special day & how beautiful it is to be able to contribute this gift to the newly married couple. I was comfortable throughout the entire song & I’m happy to say that my prayers were answered. It brought some people to tears & I consider that to be mission accomplished ūüėČ

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Afterward, some people told me that they could see the trees blowing in the wind through a big clear window that was above me as I was playing the song. I believe that was another little “hello” from Jean. I think, in that special moment, everyone at the ceremony felt her love in the wind…and I’m so blessed to be the one that she was speaking through.

Love,

Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
YouTube: Janeen Arens
Instagram: janeen.arens

“It’s a God Thing”

 

Quote - God's gift

What’s your “Why” ? I used to not know the answer to that question. I wasn’t connected to the purpose of sharing my gift with others. I used to think it wouldn’t be humble of me to put myself out there & share my gift with the world. I used to be scared.

I’m still scared sometimes, but now I am connected to my “Why.” I now remind myself of this often. I think of my piano talent as a gift from God & NOT sharing this gift with others would essentially be throwing that special¬†gift away. I want to use this gift from Him to serve others & touch other people’s hearts.

When people ask me how I write music, I say, very honestly, “I don’t know. It’s a God thing.” I think of myself as a vessel through which God inspires beautiful music & do my best to honor that “call” when He puts melodies in my head.

I truly am so grateful for my gift from God & I thank all of you who root me on throughout this scary journey to put myself out there. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

-Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
YouTube: Janeen Arens
Instagram: janeen.arens

365 Days of Love: The Sweetest Gift Idea!

Hey all!!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner!! Need a gift idea…. for next year?

Hear me out.

Last Valentine’s Day I came up with this sweet gift idea for my husband, Brandon. And it truly has been the gift that keeps on giving! Granted, it took a bit of work, but it was SO worth it!! You could do this for any special event though (anniversary, birthday, Christmas, etc.) or just a random “I love you” gift.

What is it, you ask? A daily calendar, each day including a reason why you love that person.

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How do you come up with 365 reasons!? Seems a little daunting, right? Maybe a little, but here’s what I did to make it even more special.

Every day for a whole year, I paid attention to a reason that I love Brandon & wrote it down (or entered it into my diary app on my phone). I soon realized that this also acted as a diary of sorts & reviewing it a year later would be fun to reminisce on what we did that day the year before.

I came up with this after receiving a sweet Valentine’s Day gift from Brandon where he typed up 2 pages of reasons why he loves me. We usually don’t go that crazy for Valentine’s Day, so this was a very sweet surprise. It made me want to do something special for him the next year, so I started planning ASAP. At the time, I had just read “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy & he talked about how he had written down in a journal 1 reason every day why he loved his wife. He gave that journal to her as a gift the next year, & it was obviously very heartfelt & meaningful. I thought, I should do that, but instead of just giving him a journal, I could make a daily flip calendar where he got to look at a different reason, on display, every day for a whole year. My crafty mind went to work immediately & I started paying attention to & tracking my “love” reasons right away.

Steps for Part 1: 1 YEAR OF TRACKING 

  1. Get a journal OR a “diary” app on your phone where you can type something in for each day. I used the diary function on an app called AwesomeNote, but I’m sure there are tons of others out there! ¬†Displaying IMG_3810.PNG

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  2. Every day, pay attention to a reason why you love that person. Trust me, this is a true labor of love. It’s hard to remember to pay attention every single day to this, but after awhile, it becomes a habit (probably a good thing for your relationship, right?). Don’t worry if you forget a few days…just try to think back on what you did that day & come up with something. And if you can’t remember, that’s when I would just write some kind of physical feature or general reason (like great¬†teeth, or kind-hearted, or something like that).
  3. Optional: Throughout the year, periodically type up your reasons in a word document (this will make your life easier when the time comes to make your calendar).

 

Steps for Part 2: MAKE THE CALENDAR

  1. Buy a flip photo stand. I bought this one from Amazon & it worked perfectly!

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  2. Pick out your paper. This was my favorite part because I have an obsession with scrapbook paper. I used a combination of nice printed scrapbook paper/cardstock & plain construction paper to save on costs. I picked out different printed/colored paper for each month’s theme (January = white, blue, silver … February = red, white, pink … March = green, gold, black … etc.)
  3. Cut your paper to desired size (if you use a paper cutter it’s much easier!). I believe I cut mine to 6×6, that way I got 4 sheets from each 12×12 piece of scrapbook paper.
  4. Type up your 365 days of love. Make sure you use a template on Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher where you can cut out multiple days per sheet. Size doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s smaller than your piece of scrapbook paper you cut out. I think I printed mine on a 4.25 x 5.5 (4 sheets per 8.5 x 11 sheet). You can print these out on any type of paper you’d like … I kept mine cheap & simple & printed on plain ivory paper.
  5. Make a cover sheet for each month (use same size as your other days). I spiced mine up & included cute themed pictures on each.
  6. Fasten your cover sheets & 365 days of love to each larger piece of themed scrapbook paper (using glue stick, tape, or whatever other method your heart desires) & organize/keep in order! Here’s an example of mine:
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  7. Using a hole punch, punch 2 holes in the top of each sheet (can do multiple at a time).
  8. Use a binder clip or paper clip to organize your 365 days by month. Here’s what all of mine looked like when completed (February is on the stand right now so that’s why it’s missing…ha)
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  9. Get out the current month to display on your stand & store the rest to bring out throughout the year!¬†If you purchase the stand I did, you can remove the rings from the top, loop through the holes you punched on your calendar & fasten on the stand. Here’s what it looks like (TaDa!):
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  10. DONE! Trust me, this is a hit … Brandon was shocked that I had done this for a whole year. It took effort but it was WORTH IT!

Lastly, MAKE THIS IDEA YOUR OWN!! This is simply me sharing something I did, but there are so many different ways you can customize this & make it your own. Don’t enjoy the crafty thing & don’t want to go through this much work? Maybe you could just buy an actual calendar for the next year & write down a different love reason on each day. You could do the journal idea & simply give your significant other a journal with your reasons. Heck, you could do 1 reason per week or 1 reason per month if you want instead of each day! The possibilities are endless, but I hope this at least inspired some creative thought & a new unique gift idea for the loved one in your life!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE!

Love, Janeen ūüôā