Hey! My name is Whitney Ostercamp. I’m a volunteer worship leader over at The Gathering’s Clayton site, and I wanted to share some things that continue to inspire me.
The Bible Binge
I was first introduced to podcasters Jamie Golden and Knox McCoy through their captivating recaps of Bachelor episodes. No joke, even if you’re not into the Bachelor, their retelling of the episodes and analysis of what happens is worth a listen. I cry-laugh along with them each time. They also cover all things pop-culture related in their podcast The Popcast. Most recently, they came out with another Podcast that I am slightly obsessed with: The Bible Binge. Basically they take stories of the Bible and retell them in a modern way (as if they were episodes of The Bachelor). This podcast has strangely helped me gain a deeper understanding of familiar Bible stories. It’s super light-hearted and perfect to listen to while cooking or putting away laundry.
St. Louis Cardinals
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Mike Shannon is back on the radio, temperatures are (hopefully) on the rise, and the boys are back on the field. Baseball has always been a central part of my upbringing. My eyes brim with tears when those clydesdales trot around the field. I know where to get the best hot dog and the coldest Bud Light in the park. I don't care that my shorts are soaked with sweat in the 8th inning in 103° heat. I do enjoy watching the game itself, but to me, what I enjoy most is that there is no greater community than the one found inside Busch stadium. Baseball unites all races, genders, generations, economic statuses, and political views. Sitting in my one little seat in that big stadium of people is the closest I’ll get to experiencing God’s creation on Earth. For a sweet nine innings, we Cardinals fans are one. We are equals, with no boundaries, no divisions between us. We're all friends rooting on our birds. Baseball heaven, indeed.
Being a Tourist in My Own Town
I grew up in St. Louis, but moving back and living here as an adult is a completely new experience. There are always new restaurants, shops, and small businesses opening that I like to go discover. If I ever have a free morning, I like to just get in my car and find a new spot of town that I haven’t been to before. This past weekend I went to Fiddlehead Fern Café in the Shaw neighborhood and just fell in love with it. Get in your car and go. Wander. Explore. Rediscover your own town in a fresh light, and take time to appreciate the architecture and landscape around you. Experiencing your city through fresh eyes may make you fall even more in love with it.
Recently I went to our regional music therapy conference in Iowa City. I love going to conferences not only to stay up to date with the most current research in my field but also to learn from the pioneers of music therapy. There is nothing more inspiring to me than to pick the brain of someone I respect. I like to figure out what drives them, what goals they are setting, how they got where they are now and what they wish they knew along the way. I encourage you to find someone who admire in your professional field and take them to out to coffee. Learn from those who have gone before you and be inspired by their wisdom.
I know, I know, you’re probably sick about hearing about Hamilton. Especially if you’re in St. Louis (the touring show is currently playing at the Fox). Welp, I'm here to tell you that it’s worth the hype. I actually didn’t listen to Hamilton for about 7 months after it premiered on Broadway. My mom and sister continually begged me to listen, telling me how life changing this musical is. They were 100% right. The first time I listened to the soundtrack, Neil was at rehearsal for church and I was making dinner at home. When he came back from rehearsal, he found me sitting on the kitchen floor... crying... it’s that good. Just listen to it, and have the Wikipedia synopsis up to follow along with the story. The music continually inspires me. I always hear something new and it's one of the only soundtracks that just hasn’t gotten old. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius (genius) and should command your respect (respect). Learn more about Hamilton in this special by CBS Sunday Morning.