Monday, December 24, 2012

today's blessings

Today is full of blessings.

I just finished opening up a bunch of Christmas presents. But those are not the blessings.

One of today's blessings is that even though she is 1500 miles away, we could video chat with our adopted sister, and open presents with her. It would have been better if she could have been here, but this was great. To get to see her, to get to say thank you in person, to watch her open was great and I'm so glad it worked for us to be "together".

Another of today's blessings was spending it with family. We went to church together, we ate together, we opened presents together. Not to mention some laughing and hugging in there.

The blessing of the natural world is that the snow held off long enough for me to easily get home. I am somewhat of an old-lady-driver in the snow, so it was nice that there was just a little bit on the roads.

The most important blessing is remembering that Christ came to earth as a baby on this very night. We remember that He came so that we could be in fellowship with God. He came to take our sin on Him.
No, today's presents are very definitely NOT the blessings.

Thank you God for all of the blessings you bestow on me.

Friday, December 21, 2012

doing good

Today I bought a hair clip.

On the side of the road.

I had gone to target to get some really exciting things, like toilet paper, and dishwasher detergent and such. As I was headed home, there was a guy standing on the corner with a sign that said "I am not a panhandler-just doing what I can with what I have."

I was intrigued by this, so I rolled down my window and asked what he's selling.

And then came the reply: "hair accessories".

Even more intrigued.


So I pulled around and parked. This guy was great - he announced to me as I walked up that he loved Jesus, and that he wanted me to know that Jesus loves me. He got saved 2 years ago, and just wants to make sure people know. I shook his hand and told him I am a Christian also - I got saved when I was 7. He asked if I had been saved ever since, and I said for sure. He showed me his shirt that said "Rep the King". (For those NOT in the 'hood, Rep means "represent". Clarification: I am not in the 'hood either - in the interest of full disclosure.)

I looked at his hairbands, hair clips and what he was selling. He told me that his wife made all of them, and he was just out trying to do his best at selling them. So I bought one.

Here it is, sitting on my computer.

As I drove away, I felt really good about buying this little hair clip. I ALWAYS feel conflicted about people standing on the corner asking for handouts. I want to help, but NEVER know how I could actually help. And then I hear the statistics that some huge percentage of any money you give is used for drugs and alcohol, which makes me feel even more befuddled about what, if anything, I can actually do.

But today, I felt really good. I felt like I helped. I felt like making the decision to spend 5 dollars on a hair clip was the good one - whether I actually wear the hair clip or not. But if for nothing else, I really appreciate his creativity, and willingness to DO something besides just stand there.

No, I don't know how that money will be used. But I know that there was time spent making these, and creativity spent in coming up with something they could do. And I fell really good about rewarding that.

So, for now, I will just keep my hair clip, and pray for the hands that made it, and the family that hopefully will benefit from today's interaction.
I know I did.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

'tis the season...

...for singing.

Last Friday I sang my little heart out at our Deck The Hall concert. It was lots of fun Christmas and holiday music, and a very festive evening with a hand bell group ringing along with us.

...for doing good.

Last Saturday we went up in the mountains and sung our concert again as a benefit for a local mental health agency. We had a fun time singing, enjoyed people's company, and had a fun dinner with some friends after.

...for *cough* *cough*

Evidently, I am destined to get some sort of bronchial ailment every December. Now I think I have bronchitis, but it could be whooping cough. Never fear - I went to the doctor today. I'm on all kinds of medicine, and hope to feel much better very soon.

...for partying.

This weekend is our school Christmas party. This is seriously one of the funnest things. There is good food, great company, music, games, dancing, winning of prizes...I can't say enough how much I am looking forward to spending time with friends that I work with.

...for buying.

I love getting Christmas presents for people, and I stretch it out from August through December. But I'm almost done with buying, so now it's time to get wrapping.

So many great things come at this time of year, it's almost hard to list them all. But I am not short on blessings. I have a wonderful job, the best boss in the world, an amazing family, and a great church. Not to mention the gift that came a long time ago, this time of year. He is the best blessing of all.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

my life sings

Now I know that being a music teacher might make you think that I am musical all the time, every day. Some days this is true, but some days are just normal days, and music is just my job.

Not this weekend.

Thursday was concert day at school. I had 260 kids up on stage, performing music that we had worked on for the past couple months. And not to brag or anything, but all the music was in another language: Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Finnish, Maori, etc. They were great! Not because of me, but because they are great kids and we have worked hard together on this music. Definitely a great day.

Friday, I went to the local Youth Symphony concert. I had several kids from school in the performance, and it was great. 7 different groups, and many hundreds of students playing lots of different instruments. And it was hard music, too: much of it was from The Nutcracker. That means it is professional level music. And they played very well. One of my students was in the 3rd group from the top, and he sat 1st chair. I am so proud!

Saturday, I got to attend a piano recital, and see several of my current and former students perform. It was fantastic, and inspiring. I will be looking up some of that music to start working on myself! It was a beautiful setting, and a beautiful night of music played by a host of talented students.

Tomorrow evening I am going to a performance of Messiah here in town. A friend of mine is singing the soprano solo parts, and I'm so excited to see her. She has been working like crazy to be ready for this, and it will be fantastic! I've sung the Messiah several times, and twice all the way through. Granted, I have never sung the soprano solos (Lord, have mercy!) but I understand the music, and know what it takes to do that.
I can't wait!

So it occurred to me today that my life really is filled with music, and I am SO LUCKY to be in the midst of it. To participate in it. To see so many young people DO music, and do it well.
THAT is a blessing to me.