It's like the top of my head lifts open a little, while at the same time my heart develops a fissure small enough to not kill me, but big enough to let something in.

I sit here listening to the high school chamber orchestra play Handel's Overture to The Messiah and Peter Warlock's Capriol Suite and I start thinking of letters I need to write and contacts I need to make.

This is what music does for me.  It opens pathways and helps me to tune myself. Sometimes those little pegs in me that hold my strings need a crank or two. 

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Today I felt the spirit.

When little Logan came up with the primary kids and leaned against the step stool and banged and banged it against the podium as he sang, I felt the spirit.

When the choir sang about looking for Jesus to come, to the manger, to the wounded, and to the world today, I felt it again.

When Brother Anderson told us about the special Christmas he spent in the mission field almost 50 years ago with the poor widow with her 20 years of tithing saved in a jar in her closet, I felt the warmth yet again.

When my women friends talked about ways to get our houses in order, there it was.

Gathering does it for me. I know this about myself. I need that quiet alone time, but I am a gatherer, whether as a leader of other gatherers, or just as a gatherer myself. I need people. I need to have things rub off on me. I need to look in eyes other than my own.


I find myself

I find myself drifting, when my little brain gets a minute, to thoughts of my children and husband. With one son married and one engaged, I hope they remember and reflect on the happiness they hopefully saw in their parents' love for each other. I hope they realize how important it is to have a family that is soaked clean through in the gospel of Jesus. I hope they work hard and find fullfilment in their families first and professions second.

I do a lot of hoping. These are good men. I see it and I feel it. It is satisfying and warm and lovely.


showing up

It happened again yesterday.  I sat right here where I am sitting now, in my classroom, and was inspired by parents who are doing hard things.

I was moved by one sweet father's comments about the importance of showing up to things for his children. I got a little choked up. And after I suggested it was his destiny to be the father of four children with disabilities because he was the right man for the job, he said in his strong hispanic accent, "I love my destiny."

See, for our Christmas program in December we had two children whose parents didn't show.  After three invitations sent home and personal phone calls made to each house. I realize that there are always work obligations or unavoidable barriers, but these are my kids.  And I love them, so I get protective of their soft little souls.  And when one little girl stood there after our final musical number, while everyone was mingling and eating sugar cookies and sharing stories, and she cried and said, "But where's MY mommy?".... sigh.

So I soak up these parents who figure out some way to make things work. I applaud them and I give them huge hard pats on the back. It's hard enough to make logistics work so that you can show up to things physically for your kids.  When you can also show up emotionally you earn the heart-felt respect of the teacher.


it's called a cello

At a cello recital at a very posh nursing home. These cute old folks walk in and ask if they can sit on "the very front row." One man looks at my son's cello and asks, "How long have you been playing? And what is that?" We just choose to answer the latter question and then they sit in front of us, he and his wife, and hold hands.


thick sap

When your boy is a high school senior you find yourself thinking, "This will be the last time we attend a jazz ensemble concert." Or "Weird that we won't have early morning marching band ever again."

It is both gut-wrenching and terrific at the same time when new eras begin.

So I sit here a little choked up as I think about my boys becoming men. I get pre-nostalgia nostalgia.  Followed by nostalgia.

Sappy, sappy me.

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I sing in a choir every year from September until December. We perform sacred Christmas music, including Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols.

Soul food, this.

We practice in this non-denominational chapel with its high-pitched ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows. While we practice we see birds, deer, and beautiful mountain views, and I feel close to God.