Thursday, December 08, 2011


I realized the other day that I am able to make a living off of doing what I love.

Not everyone can say that.

I love music. More specifically, I love singing and lines in instrumentation that sing and how much expression the human voice can convey.

So much of what I do day-to-day in my "jobs" includes, even requires that talent/gift/ability. I am so thankful that I get to be a voice in God's kingdom. I know I am other things as well sometimes, like hands and feet, but that's not where I'm most comfortable. Where I can deliver grace and truth and love is in singing it out.

Music is the way I worship - has been since I was a teeny tiny little girl and staying up way too late singing all the praise songs I learned at children's choir that day until my mom came in with a gentle "that's enough, now it's time to sleep."

Music is the way I process. When I am in a mood - whether it be an excited mood, a mellow mood, frustrated, humbled, scared, or can help me process what's going on and pull it out of me so I can move on. Just today, I was feeling a bit sad over some recent frustations in another job, and turned onto one of my favorite blogs to hear the music she has alongside her amazing writings. It immediately put my heart at ease remembering that God is in control. Not sure why, but it helped to release the tension I had been carrying around with me for a few days now. Usually, just hearing a few notes of a well-loved song will cause me to break down and remember to choose life and forget the high drama of whatever moment is upon me.

Music is my income. From teaching elementary school to teaching private voice and piano, I am able to make a living (and a pretty decent one at that) by helping others learn the joy of music-making. I get the comment from other teachers and parents all the time, "Oh, you're a music teacher! That must be so fun." And, trust me, it really is. But, I don't love all aspects of music. And I don't love all aspects of students. But, I love that I am teaching something I love (therefore it is conveyed to the children) and I love that I love teaching children. (this was not a discovery I made until after college). So, it makes any troubles, as they say, worth it.

(on a side note, one of the benefits of teaching elementary school is silly scenarios like this: I have a faux painting of the Mona Lisa holding an electric guitar by Karen Cannon in my room. A kindergartener recently looked at it, got all excited, then asked if that was me and could I teach him to play electric guitar. Ah, I love that I can be compared to the Mona Lisa in my job...ha!)

Music is my pasttime...well, sortof. I am in a choir...which, really, I don't like choir music, but I love singing, so this works. And, if you're gonna be in a choir, Lyricora is a pretty sweet deal...amazing musicians, great literature to sing, and fantastic it. I also, as this blog chronicles, audition for various opera companies from time to time when I find that my life is becoming a bit calm in any way. (that's a lie...that never happens, I just can't stay away from auditioning. It keeps me on my toes and I love that I can occassionally do something that is just for me. Well, and the audience. You know what I mean.) I probably get to do anywhere from 2-5 different performance opportunities a year that are beyond my line of work. That's not much by performer standards, but plenty for a working momma like myself.

I also love playing piano selections, which can help my moodiness...this was something I did so often in high school...if I was frustrated, it was Chopin's Waltz in E Minor. If I was happy and reflective, it was my hymn arrangments passed on to me from our old church organist. If I was anxious, it was anything I could pound out to get the tenseness out of my body. Nowadays, I don't get to play as much as I would like to...or maybe I just don't remember it as a helpful thing to be doing. But, it makes my boys happy to hear me play, though Jeremiah often requests I sing too, so that makes it doubly hard. But I digress.

So, I am happy. I really didn't have many dreams for what my life would look like when I was older, (except I wanted to be on stage), but I think if I had had more domestic desires early on, this life would have been somewhat ideal. I hope that I can stay on top of my craft and stay sharp for a while to keep music the biggest way I make money and enjoy life. I am so thankful for this life God has given me. I never did an official Thanksgiving post, but everything I am and have is from Him. I could never praise or give thanks to Him enough. I am honored to be used by God through His gifts to me.

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