Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Year Ago

My mother is a great pianist. Sonatas, fugues and concertos were the background music of my life as student after student came to our house for their piano lessons. Though I tried many times, I was never able to learn to play. Some of this, surely had to do with my failure to practice, but I just don't think I got the gift. My sister did. With only a few lessons, she plays beautifully by ear just about anything she wants to. My great aunt Cecelia was a concert pianist and my grandmother allowed my mother to skip dish washing to practice piano so she could be like her aunt. It's in the family. But, not in me. I would sit at the piano, looking at the music in front of me and wait for the sounds to come out of my fingertips. Though I love music, music history and even music theory, I can't play an instrument. Something I've always regretted.

One of the reasons that Dave wanted us to relocate was that he felt that we had come to the point where we could just keep going steady, see our kids grow up, retire and look back on a very comfortable life having never really done anything exciting, dangerous and daring for the Kingdom of God. When he told me that we should move to Hawaii this week, a year ago, I thought he was crazy and I told him so. I knew that coming here would mean tremendous sacrifices, unpredictable economics, and a radical change for our children. After thinking it over, I knew Dave was right. My usefulness in Maryland seemed minimal at best. To be honest, I was silently frustrated that God was closing the doors for me. Having once been very much a part of what was being done at our school, circumstances prevented that now. Why was He doing this? I had once been useful, but now what was I doing and what should I be doing now that Laura would be graduating?

My greatest desire in life has always been to teach and write. When I am teaching a crowd of children or adults, I am rarely nervous and I find that the words come easily. Often I think to myself "this is what I was made for." I think God delights in giving us gifts and seeing us use them. It brings me joy to do what I'm made to do. And I've realized that this gift is just as important as playing an instrument.

When I started here at Trinity, I was given a laptop with a clean documents folder. That folder is now full hundreds of documents that have been written to teach students, parents, and teachers. I haven't written on the blog lately because I've been so busy writing for the curriculum committee at school. We are in the process of piloting a science curriculum that is completely integrated with history and begins with what the children know. One of the teachers I work with asked me if I was stressed given that this was my first year of teaching and I was being tasked with a lot of writing responsibilities. I explained that, to me, this was fun, not stressful. And it is. When I'm writing I rarely take a break. Unlike the music that was forever stuck on the page, words flow from my hands quickly and easily. And I've realized too, that the years that I was frustrated because God had given me the task of homeschooling my daughter through her painful journey of RSD were some of the most critical training years for what I'm doing now.

Interestingly, writing is also in my family. My cousin is a novelist and another aunt was a newspaper reporter. My family has always loved word play and storytelling. So perhaps all the family gifts haven't been lost on me. Once again I see His hand in my life. Though I have often longed to be different from what I am, I have come to a place where I am comfortable with who I am...and what I do.

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