Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Driving Lessons

I had my last driving lesson yesterday, and am going in for my driving test to try and get my license tomorrow (April 1) at 10:00, so if any of you think of it, I would appreciate prayer!

I learned a lot of new things while driving with my instructor. For example:

-The instructor's extra brake pedal can be very helpful
-There are a ridiculous number of school zones in our area
-It’s hard to look over your shoulder without turning the steering wheel, (although I’ve almost got that one down now.)
-Roundabouts are apparently called “traffic circles”
-The white lines that show where the side of the road is are called “fog lines”.

The other night, as I was driving home from church (for the first time) in the dark, I gained a whole new appreciation for the “fog lines”. As the oncoming cars came towards me, their lights made the other markings on the road hard to see, and since I had to concentrate fairly hard to keep inside the lane in the first place, that made driving very difficult. I found, however, that the lights, though they blinded me to some of the markings on the road, made the fog lines easier to see. So as I drove down the road, trying not to crash into anything, I kept my eyes on the fog line, depending on it to keep me from drifting out of my lane.

Sometimes in life, things come at us that would try to blind us to the work God is doing in and through our lives. When that happens, it is so easy to drift off course and begin to believe the lies that Satan would throw our way. It is during those times that we must keep our eyes on the “fog line” --God’s Word, which alone can keep us from being blinded by Satan’s lies. Times of trial are meant to cause us to draw near to God, to let Him do that which needs to be done in our hearts. Too often, though, we are blinded by the trials and discouragements of life, and, losing sight of the “fog line”, drift away before we even realize it. A Sunday school teacher at my church once said, “The Christian life is like going up the down escalator.” The moment we stop moving forward, we begin losing ground. That is why it is so important for us to read God’s Word, and to keep growing closer to God. --We must keep our eyes on the fog line, if we are to stay on course.

~"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
II Timothy 3:16-17~

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Imperfect Pitch

Ever since I started seriously studying music, I have been fascinated by people who have perfect pitch. It is always amazing to me that they can, just by hearing a note, tell which note it is. I have heard that perfect pitch is something one can develop, and think it would be interesting to try, but I am not sure exactly how to go about something like that.

This week, I cleaned the outside of my electric organ (which is still in the garage) so that I can practice on it. The inside still needs to be cleaned out, but since I needed to practice for church tomorrow, I decided to fire it up anyway. I had not played it since we brought it home, and I had a lot of fun experimenting with the different stops to figure out just the right combination. Once I finished “playing” (no pun intended) with the stops, I played a chord with a bass note, and found that half the pedals on my organ are a half step flat from the notes on the keyboards. ‘~’ The result of this is a discordant cacophony which makes my family very glad that the organ is still in the garage. : )

That’s what got me thinking about perfect pitch. If had gotten my wish and been able to develop perfect pitch, practicing on my organ would have been torturous until my brother figures out how to tune the pedals, and I really needed to practice this week.

Often, when God denies us something we really want, He is actually being merciful. Just as parents sometimes must deny their child something for what seems to the child to be no reason at all, so we often do not know or realize that God really is working for our good.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Blessings

My parents decided to give me a camera for my birthday this year. It takes very clear pictures, and has a macro setting, (so I can take pictures up close) and with all the world beginning to bud and blossom, around me, my camera and I have been nearly inseparable ever since. : ) (The results of this are on my flikr page if anyone wants to see them.)

I have had lots of flowers to take pictures of in my new yard, and I have enjoyed making my rounds through the backyard each day, watching spring sprout up little by little. Earlier this month, I was out checking on the violets (which were, at that time, the only thing blooming) when I happened to spot a little white bud in a patch of violets that had previously had seemingly had no intention of blooming. I was delighted, because I have always liked white violets, and thought, in passing, that it would be nice if that one little white violet plant was blooming on my birthday. Late last week, I went into the backyard to check on the pink and lavender colored violets that have been blooming for a while, and spotted a white violet blooming where I thought there were only pink ones! As I made my way around the backyard, it seemed that there were white violets everywhere. They had bloomed literally overnight –and just in time for my birthday!

That may seem a very small and insignificant thing, but it was such a blessing to me to realize that, not only did God notice my wistful little thought, but He cared enough to make it happen, and in an even greater way than I had expected. It is easy, sometimes, to take the little things like that for granted, or to not even notice them in the hurried rush of life. It is important for us to notice when God does little things for us, though, because it is through sweet, personal little blessings such as my birthday violets that God shows us how much He really does care for us.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Whole New Decade...

Last week, I was talking with one of my little students, when the subject of age came up. I had asked her how old she was and she replied “I’m five. And then it will be my birthday and I will turn six, and then it will be my birthday and I’ll be seven, and then it will be my birthday and I’ll be eight, until I’m…” –Here she paused to think, pondering the prospect of old age, finally concluding, “Twelve! That’s really old.” : )

Today I enter my 20th year. When I told my students how old I would be, their eyes opened very wide, and nearly all of them said something to the effect of, “Wow, that’s so old!” Their parents, however, looked at me with that knowing smile one would bestow upon a little kid who is excited to be “grown up” at ten. How strange life is!

I remember being impatient to be “grown up”. When I was twelve, it seemed that if I only I were fourteen, all my problems would be solved, then at fourteen I longed to be sixteen, then at sixteen, I couldn’t wait to be eighteen. At eighteen, I began to realize that being grown up wasn’t all I thought it would be, and wished I was younger. : )

I figured out recently that I have been taking piano lessons for 13 years. That seemed to me a longer time than could be possible, so I figured it up again, and, sure enough, I have been playing the piano for 13 years. I have an 8 year-old nephew, and two of my very first students –who were five when I taught them– have just turned ten. After that train of thought, I would tend to agree with my students: “Miss Gwennie’s old!” : )

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Good Day...

Riding home in the car the other night, I looked down at my marker-stained hands and smiled. Today was a good day I thought as I remembered the smiling faces of my little piano students. I thought of the look of wonder on the face of one student’s little brother as I showed him why his picture showed up on both sides of the paper he was drawing on. I remembered another student writing “I love piano!” on the whiteboard in our room, and another reaching out to touch my long hair and saying wistfully, “I know how to braid.” : )
Never mind finals looming overhead, never mind the lesson with the student who just would not stay still, never mind the room that looked like a whirlwind at the end of the day, never mind the student who likes to say “no” to everything, it was a good day. It was just an ordinary day, but I was exactly where the Lord wanted me, working at exactly what He had given me to work at. There is such a blessedness in that!