10 songs I’ll listen to for the rest of my life.


{Day 84. me}

I was going to use this post to tell you a few random facts about me {since day 84 was that super cool selfie}, but then I saw this post on Paige’s blog and decided that I’d rather tell you about 10 songs I’ll listen to for the rest of my life.

It’s taken me like an hour to come up with this list, because there are SO MANY. Some of the songs were no brainers, and others were up against a couple other songs by that artist (Davíd Garza and John Mayer especially). But this is the list I decided on.

songs for the rest of my life by stephanie orefice on Grooveshark

10 Songs I’ll listen to for the rest of my life.

#1. Home by Marc Broussard
This is a perfect open highway song. The first time I ever heard this song, I got goosebumps all over my arms.

#2. Rhymes for Honeys and Beats for Boys by Davíd Garza
I was torn between this song and Cold World, but I ultimately ended on this one because when I listen to it I think of nobody but Davíd, and I am so grateful for his creativity and his… self. Plus I really love the way that this song sounds so much like controlled noise. I have no idea why.

#3. Say So by Allen Stone
My friend Allen Stone wrote this song with my other friend Ernie Halter (see # ) and whenever I heard this song at Starbucks I would call Ernie freaking out. He thought I was being chased by a man with a machete. This song is SO FUN and SO CATCHY and basically applies to my life at any given moment. Plus my initials are SO, so I just feel really important. ;)

#4. Pretty the World by Matt Nathanson {When Everything Meant Everything version}
One year Mei-Ling and I drove to Spokane to see Matt Nathanson and on the way back, we listened to this EP on repeat and named days like that – crisp air and blue skies – Matt Days. This song also appears on Beneath These Fireworks, but the BTF version says “show me how pretty the world is ’cause I want something a little bit louder,” and I have always loved the version that says “just a little bit louder.” You know… like my blog name. ;)

#5. You’re the Ocean by Teitur
I wish that I could have put the entire “Poetry & Aeroplanes” album as one song, because it’s all that great. This song has so many great little lyrics. and I love the way he sings the word “ocean.” It’s my go-to Teitur song, and he’s kind of the silent champion of my iTunes library because he’s one of the few artists I can listen to in any mood.

#6. Angel of Mercy by Jonny Lang
I had 9 songs picked out and was downstairs switching over my laundry, trying to figure out a 10th. Then I realized… every morning I wake up and look at the Jonny Lang setlist from the BEST CONCERT EVER OF MY LIFE that is taped to my closet door, and I could not believe I hadn’t picked out a single Jonny Lang song. Most of these songs are at least a few years old, because how can you know if a song will last the rest of your life if you’ve only listened to it for a year? Angel of Mercy has been one of my favorite Jonny Lang songs for 15 years. which is over half my life… and crazy to think about.

#7. Lover, You Should’ve Come Over by Jeff Buckley
This is the song of rainy days. It’s also the song of someone ripping my heart out of my chest and smashing it up right in front of my face. “She’s the tear that hangs inside my soul forever.” WHAT. That kills me. It is one of the most beautiful songs in the whole entire world, ever.

#8. The Heart of Life by John Mayer
So hard to pick just one Mayer song. SO HARD. His music is the soundtrack of my life, no joke. But this is the one that kind of gets me through the really rough times, over and over and over. I see no end to that.

#9. Lighthouse by Ernie Halter
The first time I heard this song was from Ernie’s computer, played in my car, driving from Seattle to Portland at 2:30 in the morning. Written for his friends who have stood by him in the good and the bad. Ernie has been one of my safe people, even when our lives looked radically different from each other’s. Not only is the song itself beautiful, but hearing the words through one of the most familiar, comfortable, loving voices in my life makes it that much more meaningful. It is such a wonderful gift he’s given to his friends in this song.

#10. Fires by David Ramirez
This is the newest song, I only first started listening to David Ramirez last summer, but now I listen to him every night before bed because of that voice. And like so many of these songs… it is so beautiful. I wish I could hang it on my wall and walk my friends to it so they could stare at its beauty with me, and look at the little brush strokes and shadows.


What are 10 songs you will listen to for the rest of your life (if you can get it down to 10)?

Linking up with I am Mrs. K‘s April blog challenge.

2014, day 82. #throwbackthursday ;D



Day 82. #throwbackthursday

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 12.27.17 AMI’ve always wondered why really popular hashtags never seep into other social media platforms. Like… everyone knows about #tbt, but it’s mostly confined to Instagram and Twitter. And then the blogs! So many blogs have weekly link-ups that mostly exist as blog posts and are loosely attached to instagram feeds or whatever.

Anyway! This picture was actually taken on a Sunday but I’m going to post it on a Thursday because YOLO… I do what I want.

A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to start scrapbooking. Which to me means gluing things on paper and putting them in clear little sleeves. Nothing super fancy (though I did go buy a paper cutter so I could finally make straight lines). As I was sifting through my box of pictures, I came across these two gems. The first time I met Joshua Kelley and the last time I saw him. It feels like just yesterday, but it’s been YEARS. One of my all-time faves.

2014, week 12.

I’m so close to being caught up I can almost taste it. Then maybe I will blog about things other than 365. Maybe. Probably not, but maybe.

Day 76. aka St. Patrick’s Day!

Day 77. Late night blogging.
I’m not good at blogging late at night. Some people are, but I really am not. I’m the best at catching up when it’s like 11 am and I have all day to sit at Starbucks and bounce between WordPress and Pinterest and make phone calls and write letters and read and then go back to blogging…. all the while refilling my caramel iced coffee with cream. But I’m trying.

Day 78. Brides
I’m one of those freaks of nature who absolutely LOVES weddings…. and all things wedding related. I have a bridal magazine collection that teeters between pathetic and impressive. Maybe it’s imprathetic. Anyway. I bought a new one, since I haven’t in awhile.

Day 79. IKEA
One of my favorite tag feeds to browse on instagram is #ikea. I love to see what people do with what they find at IKEA. The #ikea feed was the inspiration behind my bedspread. Stopped by IKEA and picked up a few things. Have I mentioned yet (yes I have) that I’m trying to change the feel of my room by simplifying and being more aware of the things I put in it? One day I’ll be able to share pictures. One day.

Day 80. Maggie.
I love Maggie. She is wonderful.

Day 81. Bible Bowl
It was a beautiful day at camp for our Bible Bowl competition.
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2014, day 74: bliss bake shop

Day 74. Bliss Bake Shop

When I first moved back from California, I spent 3 days a week with my pastor’s boys. Now I only see them around the church. I decided to surprise them. I picked them up and tried convincing them that they were going to go try sushi. Instead I took them to a cute little bakeshop that is down the street from them. I watched as their faces and hands got mess with melting ice cream. My life is tough.

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Our friends should not be an audience.


Right now a bunch of people I really love are all gathering at my beloved camp, where they’ll pray and worship and have a lot of fun together. I won’t be there. My life doesn’t naturally flow into that camp anymore, and it’s been the bloodiest wound in my life the past two years.

So when I noticed that my Facebook newsfeed was full of people talking about the event, I realized that I’m going to have to stay off Facebook for like… at least two weeks, as people update and reminisce.

Follow me on this.

Last year one of my friends had a miscarriage, her third one. We were talking about it and how at that same time a friend of ours was posting pictures of her baby bump and the nursery’s progress and anticipating the arrival of her baby.

Our friend is so wonderful. She’s not mean spirited or anything. But knowing that situation, she would have never run up and said “LOOK AT HOW THE BABY IS GROWING! COME SEE MY NURSERY! ISN’T THIS OUTFIT CUTE?” There would have been some discretion, some kindness, some carefully chosen words and a sensitivity to the situation.

An audience sits to watch someone perform. There is distance. They face each other. They are not on the same side.

Facebook messes us up. It tells us that there is us, sitting at our computers or holding our phones in our hand, and then there are the hundreds or even thousands of people we are connected to. That’s not friendship. That’s not relationship.

When our friends become our audience, we are no longer actually living life with them. We are performing a carefully choreographed dance to seek the approval of many with no concern for our friends in the back row who cannot walk.  Our friends are on the stage with us, moving together and watching us sing from the stage. They are the company. We cannot lose sight of this any more than we already have.

I’m not perfect in any way, and I’d say my struggle with social media might be unhealthy, but I crave real community. Not “likes” and “shares,” but actual sharing life. I challenge you all to live more life with the people who are naturally in it. Don’t drag others into the “shareable” moments, just let them be treasures in your heart.

2014, week 11.

Day 68. Scrimmage
With the divisional Bible Bowl tournament coming up at the end of the month, we met up with a Salvation Army church nearby and had a little scrimmage match. We won the first scrimmage and they won the second. Spoiler alert: we were against them in the divisional final, and they beat us but it was our first loss and since it’s double-elimination, we will be facing them one more time in a few weeks.


Day 69. Julep
You guys, I am so down with Julep. I’ve been working on not biting my nails and having lots of fancy colors has made me kind of develop a thing for painting my nails.

Day 70. X
…but it’s okay because grace.

Day 71. nightstand
I’ve been in the slow process of simplifying my life. My room and my walls and my closet, and part of it was my nightstand. It usually just collects junk but I switched in my silly reading lamp for this adorable lamp I found at Target and organized the nightstand, and now I love it.

Day 72. Darby Smart
I recently purchased a Darby Smart box. It’s brilliant – it’s a whole craft, and they send you everything you need. Because I had the day off, I figured it would be a perfect opportunity to be a little creative.
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Day 73. Brick.
A friend of mine contacted me awhile ago about using Salvation Army uniforms for a production of Guys & Dolls, and we hooked them up. As a thank you, I was given 4 free tickets to see the show. It was in an old, closed school building. It was the first nice day we’d had in awhile and I just kind of stood staring at this brick for awhile, soaking in the last moments of the day.

2014, week 10.


Day 61. Young Adult Dinner.
Salvation Army pastors in the area invited young adults over for dinner. We made it ourselves (okay so my friends made it and I played with the kids, pretty typical) and enjoyed a time of discussion afterwards.
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Day 62. Mocha Club
I donated $50 to my friend Annie‘s purpose project and as a result got to fill out an application to go to Kenya with her. My application wasn’t chosen, but I am just SO EXCITED that her project was funded and she totally raised an insane amount of money in a very short amount of time.
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Day 63. Lipgloss
As part of my never-ending quest to simplify my life, I have started to go through my bathroom closet that is just overrun with stuff and organize it all. I am one of the zillions of people with a chapstick problem…. the big problem being that I lose them and then replace them and then find them. I went through pockets, checked drawers and decided to use my old accessory hanger as a way to keep track of my chapsticks… and discovered that maybe I have a lot more than I realized.
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Day  64. Dis n Dat.
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Day 65. Hot chocolate and popcorn
After Valentine’s Day, I got a bag of snack-sized tutti fruity flavored kettle corn. And I am trying to ration them, because they are so… so… good. and throwback to winter: my Mickey Christmas mug.

Day 66. flowers.
Winter is brutal, man. So to have a beautiful day and notice the color starting to spring up in our yard gave me a whole lot of hope. Hope that the cold warms, the ice melts, and there are days full of light ahead of me.

Day 67. rain.
And then….. right back to the rain. These two pictures in a row make me think of a great Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers song that says “you’re still here like a flower in the rain; you get knocked down then you rise up again.”


2014, week 9.

Day 55. overachievers
So I’m not sure how these people fit all those bodies into such a small car, but kudos. And yes, this is a super zoomed in picture from my phone.
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Day 56. Jamestown Revival
When I was in Nashville at the end of January (it feels like just yesterday!), we went to see Ernie‘s friend’s band play. They were really good, and I was able to see them at the Bing Lounge. I took my dad :)

 Day 57. X
Oops…. :)

Day 58. ridiculously good ideas
This is basically the most perfect notebook of all time, ever.
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Day 59. Nottles. 
I spent the day with my favorite little gingers. We fed their chickens and I pushed them on the swings and it was – and always is – just what I needed. They never cease to humble me with the way they love me.
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Day 60. hearts.
Can you guess which holiday I am missing so bad?

2014, days 52-54.

Day 52: Love Does
Have you ever read a book that is just so great you want everyone to read it and you wish you could give copies to everyone you know? That is me with the book Love Does by Bob Goff. When I went into a local Christian bookstore and saw that it was on sale for FIVE DOLLARS, I bought every copy they had…. which was only 4. Someone else must have had the same idea! I posted a picture of them on instagram and within an hour I had already figured out who I would give the books to. Unfortunately I’m really behind on mailing things, so 2 of them still sit on my dresser. But soon they will be in the mail on their way to their new owners :)

Day 53: seeing stars 
Spent the weekend at camp for our Divisional Youth Chorus. It was brutal; I spent all day sitting at the piano, and my back ached and I was too cranky for words. I also forgot to bring a sweatshirt to sleep in, and it was FREEZING! I decided to wear my cozy sweater to bed, and I spent a lot of time amazed at how well my sweater matched my pajama bottoms.

Day 54: a little wedding
After we were done with DYC, Michael and Janet met me for church where my friend Chuck’s band was leading worship. I’ve been trying to see his band for……. it feels like years. Always bad timing, but it finally worked out. Janet, Michael and I got dinner and one thing led to another which led to another and suddenly we had a wedding on our hands. It was precious.


the opposite of worry.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 1.00.37 AM2014, Day 51.

My friend Cassie asked me to talk to her middle school small group about worry. I spent a lot of time thinking about worry, and I stumbled upon this idea:

It is so easy to think that not worrying means not caring, to imagine a life where everything rolls off and we confront problems with a “hang loose” sign and nod as we pass them. Jesus never told us to not care. On the contrary, I’d say that Jesus cared about things a LOT. He cared about the right things, though.

The trick to “do not worry….” isn’t “do not care,” but it is to find peace in the midst of our troubles. There is a place where our worry lays itself to rest in the peace of Christ and we can see that the sleeping giant is not so scary at the feet of Jesus.

3 ways I combat worry:

  • One simple question: can I do anything about it?
    This is the most important question I ask myself when I find worry creeping in. If the answer is yes, then I must immediately (or as soon as possible) make an action towards solving the problem. If the answer is no, I have to let it go. With the kids at my church, if I tell them to “let it go,” or “drop it,” I have them catch their problem in their hand and on the count of 3, throw it on the ground. Sometimes we just have to throw our problems on the ground.
  • Figure out where the worry is coming from. 
    Ben Rector sings, “sometimes the devil sounds a lot like worry treading a well-worn path into my soul.”* I think most of us worry about the same handful of things, but wearing different masks. We worry about situations arising that prove the worst thoughts we have about ourselves. If we take the time to figure out why certain things bother us, the beast shrinks because suddenly we’re not dealing with 40 different kinds of worry, but really 3 different things heightened by certain situations.
  • Remember what God has done in the past.
    Jesus said “do not worry about tomorrow.” If God is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever, then all we have to do is look backwards at our life and the years of recorded history we have and see how God has pulled through in times of trouble. When we worry, we are like 11 year old girls insisting on driving on the freeway and forcing our Father to sit in the backseat and not say anything. We take control of things that are too much for us. God never asked us to figure life out on our own. He’s not a “push you in and teach you to swim” kind of God, standing on the edge while we flail around hopelessly. He is the pool that holds the water. He is the water in the pool. and he is in the pool, arms stretched out, calling us by name to take a jump right into him. Sometimes we forget all that he is, and how carefully he has crafted each day he stands expectantly in. Gratitude lists are great for remembering the ways God has blessed you.



*If You Can Hear Me, from The Walking Inbetween. One of my favorite Ben Rector songs of all time. It gets me right in the heart.