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Friday, December 16, 2016

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day Two

Dear Friend W,

Praise His holy name!  God is in the details!

I just wanted to update you and tell you what happened to me on Wednesday.  I was really bummed about not going to the fellowship meeting and I was questioning myself, though I knew I shouldn't because I also knew it was the Lord's will.  I buckled Son into the car and wasn't sure which way to go.  I thought about going home.  I realized I hadn't brought my phone to Bible Study and so I didn't have a way to update my husband that I wasn't going to Fellowship.  He was actually going to meet me at Burger King at noon to help me leave with Son, because I really needed to run an errand.  The errand was to go visit the nursing home that I had a performance at on Saturday.  I had scheduled a time block for my piano students and I to put on a Christmas concert.  I had never been to the facility, so I needed to go check it out and look at the room, piano, etc.  And I had to have this done by 3pm on Wednesday, because I had promised my students that I would find out if was "creepy" or not.  They call it an assisted living center, but I have learned that can mean a lot of different things on a wide spectrum.  My students were nervous about this service opportunity, and I really wanted it to go well for them that they would find joy in serving the elderly through using their musical talents.   This is why I was kind of feeling stressed even when I was planning on coming to the Fellowship.

I considered going straight to the retirement community and just completing the project earlier than planned.  I figured that I could pop in, complete my business and still make it home to text Husband about the change of plans, but then I felt like I should go get my phone first.  It was basically on the way, so it wasn't a huge deal.  Yet, I felt really shallow, like I was one of those people that couldn't function without their smartphone with them all the time.  I decided I was shallow and I went and picked up the phone and went to the retirement community.

I walked in, spoke with administration, took care of business, saw that it was a digital grand piano, and was about to leave.  There really wasn't too much to do.  Then I decided to play the piano for a volume check and I discovered that the action is very stiff which will be helpful for my students to know.  I started to play a song and all of a sudden a bunch of residents appeared!  They hobbled in as fast as they could.  Some even scooting their own wheelchairs into place.  I felt bad that I had "teased" them with one song when my intent was to leave, but then I had an idea.

I recently downloaded a hymns app on my phone, so I just pulled it up and played the Christmas hymns listed.  I could only see one line at a time, so I had to scroll and play at the same time, which resulted in some missed notes, but it ended up being a lot of fun.  A lady had given Son a bag of cookies and he just laid on the floor under the piano and ate them contentedly, which surprised me, because he's not always the most patient.  Tears came to my eyes as I realized that I had almost come without my phone, and I would not have been able to play for these elderly people.  When I was in high school I would go every Sunday and play piano at an Alzheimer's facility and I've held those memories dear over the years.  I intend to speak with the activities coordinator on Saturday about creating a long standing relationship with them, so that I could play more often for them.

I reassured the residents several times that I would be back Saturday morning at 10 and finally left.

Isn't that so cool?  I am still bummed that I missed out on hearing from everyone, but this is just so cool.  That He would direct me to get my phone so that I would be able to play for these residents on that day, and that it will bless them in the future as I schedule for time to play for them.  Very awe-inspiring.

I hope the recitals went well.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 1

Dear Readers,

I think it'll kill me off, but I'm going to post something for 12 days in a row leading up to Christmas.  There just isn't time to write, and so unless I make a goal/ deadline, I will always find something more important and time sensitive.

I do well with what is placed in front of me.  Jesus healed people (John 5:1-15) by physically touching them (John 9).  He spoke to them (Matt. 5:1-2).  He looked into their eyes (woman taken in adultery).  He was there.  He was present in mind, body, and spirit.

I've learned that to be like the Savior, I need to do the same.  I need to be within arm's reach, so my hands can bless them.  I need to be able to speak with them face to face and look into their eyes so that I might commune with their souls and discern their needs.  I need to make sure that technology doesn't distract me and pull me away from the needs that are around me.  I need to place myself around others, and when they place themselves in front of me I need to stop.

STOP.  Not just pause.  Not view them as a hurdle, speed bump, blip in the road, or detour to go around in my journey forward.

They ARE the journey!

Jesus intended that these people and situations be put in my way.  We are Jesus' hands on earth (Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about this).  Jesus Christ can no longer physically meet needs.  He can't look into faces filled with despair to offer hope.  His love is ever present and His Spirit abundant, but sometimes a physical tangible need is there, and that's where we come into the picture.  Christ has saved us all, but He uses us to help and love one another here on earth.

Countless experiences have humbled me as He has allowed me to be an extension of Him.  But I also know that I have worked hard for the Lord's trust in me.  I have listened to and acted on promptings immediately as they've come.  I remember in the beginning, I was full of second guessing myself as I learned how to listen to the Spirit, but now things are so second nature that I don't question.  Nothing shocks me anymore in the things that I am prompted to do.

Honestly, though, I love it.  It is a joy to be in the service of my God.

I feel like I'm speaking so vaguely in this post, but I just can't find the words to describe how wonderful it is to be a true disciple of the Savior that is only concerned with treating others EXACTLY as He would treat them.  And having the same hopes and desires for them that He would.  No small task and I still fail sometimes, but as I hone my abilities it gets sweeter and sweeter.  I feel bad not giving specific examples, but I don't want to cheapen or lessen the experiences I've had.  I don't do things to be able to report back on the blog.  (Matt 6:1-4)

So I struggle to blog.  My readers are not right in front of me.  Honestly, don't be surprised if I don't blog all 12 days ;)  I am journeying on with all that comes in my path!

With love,