Monthly Archives: July 2013

Here comes August


Tomorrow is the big day. The first month of actual sabbatical time. Teachers are already beginning to set up their  classrooms for the coming year.  Honestly, the set up part and the going to the teacher store part was always kind of fun to me. Or at least not a bad thing.

But instead for me…tomorrow starts a big push (especially as I get back from vacation in a few days) to pick up voice and piano students. July has been slow and honestly…I’ve been ok with that. It’s been a perfectly relaxing month. Well besides the complete emptying of my basement…but otherwise, perfectly relaxing.

When we get back from vacation (Niagara Falls/Toronto, just in case you’re curious) I hope to get back into the swing of lessons and pick up many students that I don’t even know about yet.

This is a faith thing for me. I have an idea of how many students I would like to have…but am also trusting that surely God knows what I need. As I biked today I even told God, if in a year you want me to go back to teaching…and you make it abundantly clear, I’ll do it. Part of the clarity issue is obviously whether I can be self employed and make it work or not.

Self employment is an interesting experience. Great freedom. Great boss. Also far less security. I’m at peace about it…but I know people around me who are worried for me. Maybe I would be worried for my friend or relative too, if I was the one watching on.

I try to live my life in a way where I make good choices, but ultimately where I step out in faith and trust that God will provide. I don’t allow a whole lot of worry to enter the picture, mainly because I know when I have it’s been a whole lot of wasted time and effort.

We either trust God or we don’t. It’s honestly that clear of a decision. If we don’t trust God in one area…we might as well say we don’t trust Him in any area. He is either big enough or not worth my time. He either can handle the details of my life or what was the point of Him coming to this earth in the first place.

I believe in Resurrection power faith. I believe that if Jesus could be raised from the dead (and he was), than surely He can take care of me and lead me where He wants me to go. I don’t think that means that it will be easy or without hiccup, but I do believe in the provision of God.

August for me is my last month of getting teacher pay. It marks a significant change for me. The end of health insurance also. Although I am in the process of at least getting some insurance to cover us when our current one is done.

This is my month when faith hits the road and takes me wherever it might lead.

My part is to listen to God and to live in a way where I am open to His leading and direction. My part is to work hard and take the opportunities that present themselves to me. My part is to take initiative. But ultimately, I am not the one who raises the dead. He is. Ultimately…for me to do this self employment thing and for it to work…will require an act of God on my behalf.

He is able. I am willing. I’m trusting Him to provide. And if this is only temporary, I’m sure He will make that clear as well.

Welcome August. I think I’m ready for you.

Side note…if you live in the area and are interested in private voice or piano lessons I know a great teacher who has openings for lessons. The lessons are $20 a half hour and include all of your supplies. The lessons you will receive will be of the highest quality and progress no matter what your current level of musicianship is guaranteed. Let me know if you are interested or have a friend or family member that might be. Thanks!

Broadening my horizons


This week I decided to make myself available to the people who attend my church. I just put out a Facebook message to all of them (It’s easy…because we’re in a “group”) letting them know that I would be available this week to help them out if they needed it.

I have a to do list as usual for any given week…but I knew most of the stuff I’m doing is not life and death stuff.  I thought an offer to babysit, or do yard work or help someone clean, etc. might be something that was a real encouragement to the people I am trying to live in community with at my church.

It helps that our preacher has been preaching about community and doing life together. That’s where the idea got planted.

It also helps that right now I’m putting together a sermon from 1 Thess 2: 1-10 and one of the verses in that section says “We not only shared the gospel with you but our very lives.” Got me to thinking…I share a lot of gospel time with these people…but not much of my “very life” time.

This is what happened.

A couple who doesn’t have transportation needed a ride to their doctor appointment and to the local Wic office. I had just met this couple on Sunday. So…today we road around together and got to know each other a bit. It was fascinating because they are from a different culture. India. To hear their story of coming to American and about their family and plans for the future was really a great way to get to know them better. In one afternoon I became friends with them in what would’ve taken me easily several weeks if not months to acquire with church alone.

I learned about arranged marriages and about U.S. citizenship and other various issues.

Real people. Cute baby. Me given an opportunity to help. It cost me nothing. But today I shared my very life with them.

It occurred to me on Sunday when our Pastor spoke that I need to listen to the Holy Spirit guide me each week when we gather and see if He is bringing any need to my attention that I might be able to help fill. A great perk of being on sabbatical is the freedom I have to help someone else. I’m not feeling like I’ve got to wring every moment out of this summer and an afternoon given to someone else is a major inconvenience. Instead…it was very interesting/rewarding.

I have to wonder how many weeks/months/years have gone by when I would’ve never dreamed of putting out my time and services without first seeing a need. When I would’ve felt that kind of freedom to give with no strings attached, just a desire to be a blessing.

I don’t want to make more of it than it was. It was a car ride, some time, some conversation. Nothing huge. But today I blessed a couple from India and made them feel loved and cared for. Living in a town this far from home is a big deal. They commented to me how much their family and friends are amazed at the kindness of “strangers” here in our church and town. Just yesterday their neighbor gave them a stroller.

If I was in a foreign place with a new little baby I would see God as people gave me practical help. I believe that’s what they’re seeing. And they even told me how lovely of a singer I am 🙂

I hope this freedom to bless others will continue. Not a forced thing or through a program…just through flexibility and availability.

No dread


Yesterday I overheard a conversation in the aisles of Walmart. I could tell it was two teachers talking and they were having the all familiar conversation that goes on this time of year. They were talking about how fast the summer is going by and how they’re not ready to go back. I know the conversation well. It was all about dread.

One of the biggest changes I see in myself so far this year off is that I no longer have any dread.

I’m sure I still have some stuff that I put off or it isn’t fun. I still parent and keep a house and am soon going to be focusing in on my private lesson business…but still no dread. Not like I’ve had in the past.

I didn’t realize how bad I really dreaded life until I started to notice on Facebook that people left me humorous posts about “Mondays” because I posted so often my dread of another week starting. I really lived for days off and weekends. The problem with that is…out of 7 days a week that only meant 2 days were good. Not a very good ratio.

The dread thing is probably somewhat a character flaw in me. I’ll take responsibility. Lots of people go to work at jobs they don’t prefer and they don’t feel the need to express dread. I’m not sure how that works but I’m guessing it’s a buck up and get ‘er done mentality. I know that feeling. I know that way of life. I just began to realize that bucking up and getting ‘er done…wasn’t good enough for me anymore.

When I say that it makes me sound terrible. Or at least I think it might. Or…maybe it makes me sound smart that I finally figured out how to make a change. If you keep doing the same things over and over expecting things to get better without change you’re fooling yourself. Even with Jesus in your heart. Discomfort and dread are tools that lead us to better places I think.

Today is Monday. It’s a beautiful day. I have absolutely not an ounce of dread in my life. I’ve made a good breakfast for my kids. I’m going to take down our tent today and run a few errands, make a few phone calls and work on an upcoming sermon, I hope. I’ll pick up around the house and make lunch and dinner. I’ll interact with my kids. The sun is shining but later it’s supposed to rain and I’m looking forward to the rain…my yard needs it.

No dread. Simply embracing the day as it comes. I’m counting down to nothing. Absolutely. Nothing. I’m not counting down to a vacation or a season or a holiday. I’m not counting down to days off. I’m literally enjoying each day as it comes.

Maybe this is a common way of life for many people. But it sure wasn’t for me. It’s a whole new novel concept to have no count down and no dread.

Maybe it sounds like I’m living in lala land. And maybe I am….but I’ll stay for as long as I can pull it off. It’s a good place. Not because there is lots of money or lots of stuff or lots of extras. It’s a good place because I’m free.