Friday, November 23, 2012

Pulled in All Directions

Be careful in your choices, my child. You have not yet learned that everything you own, actually owns you. ~me

I do not know why I am sitting and writing out my feelings right now, instead of getting things under least one or two. I mean, I have plenty of things to do like Christmas baking, cards, and shopping in addition to paying bills.

I missed a deadline for a book review, so I was told. That should be a higher priority than this is and I have an article due in a week that I have not started either.

I could go out and shop for the Black Friday specials, but my heart is not into it, but at least my van is working now. Oh, you may not have heard about the last fortnight. Well, it might explain why I am in the state of mind--or mindlessness--in which I am currently.

Well, it began kind of like this...

Saturday, November 10th
The church board meeting was a bit rough for me. I have been introducing too many new songs it seems, beautiful songs that have been popular and some have been out for over ten years, but apparently most of our board members do not listen to contemporary Christian radio. It was mentioned that more hymns would be nice.

I would love to incorporate more hymns, but there are three difficulties I have with them. One is that our selection is very limited and most of the songs are very short. Two, I do not have a band or even a pianist to bridge between songs and pull them together, so the hymns are like an abrupt difference and feel halting. Three, except for one family in their thirties, we have a 50 year old and older congregation of churched most of their lives and every church leader agrees that style of music is what determines the age of the congregation so hymns would fit for what we have now. However, I feel led to use more contemporary music for in just eight more years we will be a sixty and over congregation of churched with no new younger families joining and nothing for reaching the unchurched.

Sometimes the service is more contemporary, sometimes a bit more traditional, and sometimes the mix is balanced, but I spend a great deal of time listening to music and talking with God about each service, so I believe I was doing what pleased my Lord. I did appreciate the suggestion by another member to consider getting CDs for our hymnals, although I found them to be quite costly, but I passed on the information on later that day.

Sunday, November 11th
This was the first service after the election and also Veteran's Day. I had my songs already picked, but on Sunday morning I woke up and changed two of them. I was not sure it was my Lord's leading or just my reaction to the board meeting and the election, but I prayed that it would please my Lord. I also would read a poem called "The Ordinary Soldier" and talked briefly about placing our trust in God's kingdom rather than man's government and about being in service to our Lord as our military is in service to our country. God is so good! The guest pastor even mentioned how he had not spoken to anyone about his subject and how all this went perfectly with his message. I am amazed every Sunday how this has been happening, when we have such a variety of guest speakers and we all just trust God's leading! Wow!

My husband decided to give me my Christmas gift early, so right after church, he drove towards Atlanta instead of home. It was not a welcomed surprise for the Princess, who had plans for her afternoon apparently, but she tolerated it better after we talked about eating at Fuddrukers, a hamburger place she really likes. Then we went to Micro Center, my husband's favorite tech store. What I wanted for Christmas was simply an e-reader but he had it in mind to buy the laptop he had picked out for me, since the new responsibilities with church music and videos were overloading my six year old laptop, which was maxed out. I mean there are USB Flash Drives that have as much space available now! The one he had eyed online was a refurb for $100 less--my husband has become quite the spendthrift these last few years! So I am now the owner of a wide-screen, HD quality, great stereo speakers (for a laptop), Windows 7 laptop with a battery that last for hours!

As exciting as that is, changing over to a new computer has its hassles and I have had quite a few. I was really deflated when I realized that the battery was not charging at all. Googling, I found this was a common problem with Windows 7, but this is why I do not do brand new operating systems...I like it better when they have worked out all the bugs of a system, about a year or two old. Finally, after a couple of days and all the Windows updates, including one for the Bios, my battery was charging and all was right with my little cyber world. I still have few programs to load, but I now have a hard drive that is over ten times the space I had before. SO MUCH SPACE! Did you hear that virtual echo?

Tuesday, November 13th
I received an email on Monday evening, as all the board members did, that gave information about two CDs with hymns and one with Christmas music that we have at the church, which was in response to a report I had given at the board meeting on the prior Saturday. I appreciated the interest in the praise and worship, but the only one CD we have devoted to traditional "Christmas Hymns," as it is called, reads that it has 25 songs. Unfortunately, only 14 are actually for church service use as the rest are nice carols, like "Silver Bells" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." You get the picture. Also, each song ranges in play time from around three minutes to just one minute. Since I have listened to every song on every CD, I had additional information. For instance, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" has verse one and five for one minute of play time--the night was very short! Since the two hymns CDs are produced by the same company, they are similar. "Amazing Grace" has verse one, three, and seven only. Knowing that they would not have this information, on Tuesday I took the time to write out a sampling of the songs so that all the board members would have more detailed, factual information.

Thursday, November 15th
Thursday I started out with my usual errands wrapped around the Princess' piano lesson. I have noticed something going on with the van for the last few months, but whenever my husband drove it, the problem did not happen. Well, it really happened when I put the van in reverse to straighten it out in a parking space. The Princes thought we had hit something. "No, I pretty sure that was the transmission," I said as I tried to act as if it was just one of those little bumps in the road of life. Although it slipped, it did catch in gear and we got out of the parking space. Going forward did not seem to be the problem so I went on the rest of my errands being sure I would not have to go in reverse, but I forgot when we stopped in at a store near home. I got out of the parking space and parked where there would be no cars around the rest of the evening in case we needed to have it towed for now I was having a bit of a problem starting to going forward too. I called my husband who was on his way home but nearly two hours away. My daughter and I shopped and went to eat at a restaurant while he drove home to let out the dog, feed the pets, and clear out his work van full of parts to make room for us and the groceries. He drove my Dragon Heart to the garage and we followed in his Pegasus.

During all this my child lost her tween whine about what we could not do and just went with what we could do without a complaint. Apparently, I am better with crisis management than I think I am and it has been rubbing off on her.

Friday, November 16th
There are times I do not like being right. This would be one of them. This is the second transmission we have replaced in less than six months. Pegasus had to have a new one when she encountered rubber coming off a semi in July. Fortunately, Dragon Heart's transmission would not be as costly and although a setback, we are still free of credit card debt. So, we were told we should have the van back Tuesday evening. I began preparing foods for the church dinner on Sunday.

Sunday, November 18th
Although we have absolutely no traditional Thanksgiving hymns on any of our church CDs, I did find a medley video we could use. I asked for what we were thankful and everyone said the things that I expected home, family, health--basically all the things that make life comfortable and can be taken away. God had reminded me before the service that all the things for which we are typically thankful are things that we will not have to be concerned about in heaven so I passed on that little message.

The Princess had invited a friend to service with us as we were having Thanksgiving dinner at the church and I am glad she was there as the other family with a child could not make it. Although we usually do not leave until 9:00 AM, her parents dropped her off early at 8:00 AM as they were leaving for their church; they are heavily involved with the children's ministry there. I made a pumpkin pie, an apple pie, and brought a store bought peach pie, along with three kinds of homemade sourdough rolls and my Holiday Red Cabbage Coleslaw for which a few people ask; one of the church members loves it and calls "purple stuff." (I try to make extra so he will have plenty to take home.) After the dinner, we hung the greens for Christmas.

That evening I had scheduled for us to have pictures taken...I have not done this for years because it is a zoo during the holidays! We arrived about ten minutes late and were told there were four families before us so maybe thirty minutes wait. Thirty minutes later we were told there were four families before us so maybe thirty minutes wait. No kidding! Well, there was a book store near and so we went there. Pictures were taken and we waited another thirty minutes or more to view and choose.  We went just a bit over the budget amount...just a bit. Then we could wait another thirty minutes for them to be processed or pick them up later. The Princess was sure she would feint for lack of food so we opted for the later pick up.

Monday, November 19th
I was in crash mode. It became obvious as I wrestled with migrating email files that just was not working for me, mostly because I was just too burned out to think it through. Good news came in the late afternoon: Dragon Heart was ready for us with a new transmission. My husband also stopped to get the pictures.

Tuesday, November 20th
We paid the garage and picked up Dragon Heart, then I went back home to mess with the new computer and my husband on to work. I was so very glad I had the van later on!

The Princess brings in Sharii to me saying that he is not acting like himself and he had something I should see on his neck. One look, one feel, one phone call, and we are rushing to make an appointment in just twenty minutes so we can wait at the vet's for at least thirty minutes in the lobby, and another twenty in the examination room. Sharii has had swollen glands now and then every since we got him as a kitten, but never something like this. Half the width of his neck was the size of this thing. I thought it was an abscess. One stick of a needle and drawing out the fluid confirmed it. The recommendation was lancing, draining, and antibiotics. About a hundred dollars and another thirty minutes later, I had a cat who was happy to see me again and was draining from a much larger incision than I expected. Later that same cat would growl at me ever time I touched him.

I bought him inside with me during the evening and had him lay on my lap. He stopped growling and fell asleep. He would be spending a few days in the garage, which he loves to do but not half a much as Midnight. The squirrels began to take advantage of the missing cats and I hope they clean up the acorns while they have the chance.

Wednesday, November 21th
AT&T our phone and Internet ISP has been sending letters that if we do not take their offer to switch to U-verse that they will not be maintaining the DSL and we could lose service. They offered a new router for free and a reduction in monthly fee. So I spent some time last week trying to understand the costs and services to make a decision. I decided that we would go with U-verse with VOIP and they scheduled it for the morning on the day before Thanksgiving. Now, first I have to explain that while everyone who works for AT&T is so nice and seems quite proficient in their jobs, I have had the worst experiences with the company. Nothing ever goes smoothly or right. We used to have two phone lines, when I had a business. One was in my name and the other was in my husband's. They convinced me to combine the two onto one bill because it would save us money. Well, then both numbers were in my name. We tried to change the names and they disconnected one of the lines and then the other one. After the second time, I just left it. Later I closed the business and dropped one line...and made the mistake of again trying to change the name on the account. Since I decided to just leave it just was the better choice for my sanity.

So, here we are making another change with AT&T. Thankfully, my husband was home in the morning for the installation. Oh, the guy shows up, but we are not in the system so the DSL disconnect cannot happen. He cannot do it because the DSL guys are union. (You really do not want to know what I think of unions and to add to those feelings there is the whole Hostess and baker's union thing going on this week too.) However, we did get switched over and I have the dust from the lines being run through our drop ceiling in the office area in the basement to prove it. I must say that the phone lines are so quiet now. We have more bandwidth, although we did not ever use our limit before even with Netflix. I opted for the faster version so we are not seeing "rebuffering" when watching Netflix and my husband's employer pays for out Internet access. However, we need another router to network with our external hard drive that is supposed to be for backups, but also is being used to store the music and videos that would not fit on my old laptop and right now I cannot access the music.

I received an email telling me that I missed a deadline for the book review blog tour. I really do not understand why this one company has the program set up this way. What is the purpose of everyone posting their reviews during the same week and flooding the online retail customer reviews at the same time, then there are hardly any reviews afterward? No other company for which I do reviews does it this way. I would have dropped this book review program, but they enticed me with an educational book that I thought would be great for the Princess. I am too easily tempted by a book it seems. Look for the review in my next post. (I hope.)

I just realized as I wrote this that I completely forgot to fast! How could I forget to fast on Wednesday. I have been fasting on Wednesdays for four years! This is just another indication that I am just being pulled into too many directions.

Thanksgiving Day, November 22th
It was just the three of us at the meal for my daughter was playing with her friend in the morning. My husband soaked the turkey in brine overnight, as it never is dry that way. We had a simple meal with lots of leftovers. We played Wii Sports (I am extremely good at golf although in real life I dislike the game) and a board game in the evening that had us all in stitches, my husband most of all.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my Lord and all this things about which I will not have to be concerned in heaven when the things of this world pass away.

~ My Lord, thank you for what You have given that I cannot yet see. ~

Friday, November 9, 2012

Realization Days After the Election

It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here. ~The Trumpet Voice of Freedom: Patrick Henry of Virginia, p. iii.

In a sneaky way, one of my personal rules was broken. I did not realize it until this week. I distracted myself with the election and all that lead up to it, but I messed up.

I have this rule about placing expectations on other people: I try to have low-to-no expectations on people.

Now, I do have expectations on my daughter; she has chores and lessons she is expected to do with a reasonable attitude (relatively reasonable for a tween), but these expectations are necessary to guide her growth into a responsible woman. I have few on my husband, truth be told. However, the rest of the world...I hope, but I tend not to expect, which is one of the reasons I am a highly defensive driver!

Yet, I had some expectations of people in my country, of the presidential candidates and...yes, even of God in regards to this last election.

I expected that over half of the American people would be very concerned by many things our president has done in the last four years and our increasing debt due to uncontrolled spending. I expected them at least to be outraged that he knowingly lied to them and to the United Nations--basically, the entire world--setting up a man who made a YouTube clip, which had nothing to do with it at all, as to why four Americans including our Ambassador in Benghazi was murdered in a military attack that lasted for hours. It was act of war, (notice I did not write terrorist attack, because terrorism is an attack on civilians for the purpose of terrorizing them) while our nearby forces were told to stand down. I actually watched a large of part of Congressional hearings and then I watched ignorant Obama supporters at an Ohio College being interviewed about Benghazi, who did not have a clue about the attack at all but were voting without even googling. So much for being informed voters! Although I wonder if that would have mattered to them...?

I expected that the politicians to be...politicians, but better at showing the stuff they are really made of, so to speak, even though I knew that depended more on the mainstream media, which seems to favor one party over the other and tips the scales accordingly. That is probably why college students had no clue about Benghazi. Worse, though, I expected whoever was elected to work toward a resolution to better our economy before the dollar's inevitable demise.

What I expected of God about the election was that He would see to it that the candidate who served the greater good for the country would be elected, but I realize that the worst expectation of all.

Instead, I should have been willing to accept that God's purpose is not to make America what I would like to see it be. Why would He? How is America so different than ancient Israel that many times turned away from God, worshiping idols and practiced immorality, and then overtaken by enemies? As a nation, we have failed God, so we should expect being overtaken by our enemies, shouldn't we? But our real enemies are not of this world.

We can try to repair the crumbling front of being a great nation with superior military power; try to brag on the great men of our history who built our government into a sovereign country; and proudly claim our Constitution protects our rights of freedom. We could do all that but how does that stand with God? The reality is that today America is not a nation "in God we trust." It is ironic that these notes and coins on which that quote is stamped is on the very edge of crashing to worthlessness.

I should have not expected anything from any person. I should have trusted in God for all of it. There is always one very good thing that comes about from adversity...seeking God. I think people will be provided many opportunities to exercise this. I do not know what will happen with our nation, but I do know that we, as a people, have been comfortable with material amenities and unchallenged spiritual convictions. We allowed what is so ungodly to take over because of Constitutionally protected rights--that which protected religion when it was necessary has been twisted in our courts to protect from all religion. But then, religion is not what God wants from us.

This week I have been reminded of Paul singing praises in prison as I began preparing the praise and worship service for this coming Sunday. Also, in our weakness, God's strength. America may become weak, but if that is what it takes to make the lost souls in America turn towards God, then I should welcome it. My expectations would not have been met no matter which candidate won, because meeting my expectations was not God's purpose and I was not surrendered to His will.

Finally, I came to this conclusion:

My man did not win on the election,
but then my Man was not even running.

~ My Lord, thank you for reminding me that this is not my home. My home is where You reign and that reign starts within my heart.~

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Down the Drain with Eyes Turning Up

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. ~Winston Churchill

I have often wondered at what point one finally gives into to the struggle of rushing water, when the body is too exhausted to continue and the hope to survive has been replaced with the emotionless desire to simply yield to one's fate.

I want to resign myself to the drain.

I went to sleep last night realizing that today I would wake in a country that is no longer the American dream. No, it did not change overnight, just a few decades of one socialist idea becoming law and then the addition of others like it slowly eroding personal liberty while promising security. Last night, however, was the indication that just over half of the American people, most of them living in large cities, are into entitlement.

These are people who must have food brought into their grocery stores, because they have no place to raise their own. In a crisis of having no power, as we are seeing in the northeast after the wake of Hurricane Sandy, they can only survive by relying on the generosity others and, if that is not enough for them, they will take from others, because producing the most basic needs for survival like food and warmth is not possible for them. This reminds me of the last chapter of Ayn Rand's book, Atlas Shrugged--actually the entire political train wreck does.

Perhaps it is the inevitable course of mankind as it seeks to make all that we want as humans righteous in our own sight. I had hoped that Americans would come to understand how much government would have to take from them to give all it is promising to them. It is obvious to me now that too many, far too many, people are dependent on government support, or just want to be, so they vote for the representatives who promise a government that will care of them and that will protect them from all judgements about their lifestyles...even from God Himself. We are an arrogant nation racing to condemn ourselves as we substitute God with government, religious beliefs with secular policies, and charitable generosity with forced redistribution.

Too many people turn a blind eye as to where government will get the funding. They are told it will be from the rich, the ones who have so much more than they need. The reality is that it will come from all. They will later groan about how much everything is costing them because taxes are embedded in the prices of all goods and services. Eventually, they think it is a good idea for government to freeze prices, which will be the final death of capitalism resulting in struggling companies going out of business. Which companies will be cherry-picked and how many of them can the government buy into to keep them going? There will be more job loss and more expectations on government to provide and more government dependency. Each feeding on the other, but more like a snake swallowing its own tail.

It was not important to the people voting that our government is spending an unbelievable amount of money that it does not have while it is taking care of all of them. They are too far removed from it. They are ignorant about how our government works--rather, should work--preferring to see it only for what they can get from it. It took just a hundred years to evolve into a credit card country with people believing in entitlement over financial responsibility and making minimal payments as the spending continues and debt increases.

They really don't care how in debt the government is as long as they get more. Perhaps they believe it is too big to fail...maybe. Europe's financial problems are too far removed...well, maybe not much longer.

I wish sometimes I was like them. That I was ignorant or just did not care so that I could go blissfully along and get my government handouts. That I was not one of the 53% of Americans who actually pay federal income tax, but got all the benefits from the others that do and felt I was entitled to it and more.

But, even though I am clearly caught in the whirlpool of the drain, I still am struggling against it. What I hoped would not happen for four long years, did, in fact, happen, and I am grieving today watching the dying off of what was the American dream. Yet, I just cannot completely resign myself to the defeating exhaustion and impending destruction. Last night I lost so much hope for my country, but I am still believing God has a purpose in all things and now my eyes are focused on His Kingdom even more.

~ My Lord, My Lord, You alone are my Hope. ~

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Modern Day Pharisee

 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, 
because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord."

 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
~Luke 4:17-21

And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.
~Luke 4:24

 And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.  But passing through their midst, He went His way.
~Luke 4:28-30

Jesus was such a troublemaker!

Does this statement make you uncomfortable?

He was raised as a Jew, God's chosen people. He worshiped in the synagogue with His neighbors. One day He read scripture about the Messiah and then said "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

See what I mean? Troublemaker!

I could make a very long list of all the Jewish laws He broke: healing on the Sabbath, allowing a harlot to touch His feet as she washed them, not washing before eating, eating with obvious sinners, and so much more, but here is the thing...

He did not break even one of God's laws.

We look up to Jesus as our example of a pure life, pleasing to God. We see Him as fulfillment of the Law. We are proud of Him taking a stand against those who were keepers of the Jewish laws, the Pharisees. He was a radical. The Pharisees wanted Him to fit in their theology. They were certain He was not the Messiah, because He was not religious like them. They saw Him only as a troublemaker.

My questions then are these:

If Jesus spoke at my church, would we feel comfortable with Him? Would we see Him as too radical to be the right kind of Christian? Would He be religious enough to fit in?

I am always fascinated by hypocrisies.

The very things Jesus pointed out was not important in God's Kingdom are the very things we have made important in our churches. Have we, who take pride in believing in His ways and worshiping the way He would have us do it, not done exactly what the Pharisees did? Are we suppose to conduct our worship service in the way that makes everyone comfortable or should it make us a little uncomfortable...or would any of us be uncomfortable if we were listening to what God wants and going with the Spirit's leading rather than worrying about what we want?

Has the church become the worship place of modern day Pharisees comfortable in their religion because they are uncomfortable with being like the radical, troublemaking Jesus led by the Spirit of God?

~ Please save me from being a Pharisee and give me the courage to be a radical, Spirit-filled troublemaker like You, my Lord~

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Coffee Shop Recital 2012

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. ~Johann Sebastian Bach

My daughter's piano teacher likes to have a casual, coffee shop recital in autumn. The problem has been that the local independent coffee shops have gone out of business in as little as two years or even a few months. Actually, there had not been any around for the last few years. However, this year there is a large coffee shop called The Copper Coin in the heart of historical Woodstock near the remodeled train station on the ground floor of a four story building. This building has the look of an updated factory building, but in fact is a new build with shops on the ground floor and apartments having a modified loft style on the three upper stories. The area has become a chic kind of place.

The thing about a coffee shop is that people are moving around, talking, and it is loud when filled with people. The young performers get the experience of what it is like to play in this environment that is similar to performing in a band. It is a very good contrast to the formal recital in the spring where everything is staged with a quiet, attentive audience. This forum also made it difficult to get a good video and the angle of the piano was not good for stills either.

I did not do the programs this time, so imagine my surprise when I arrived to find my daughter was the chosen to be the first to play a piece called "Equinox." She would play "It is Well with My Soul" in the second half of the program. The first, which she probably could have done blindfolded, was done well...until--yeah, she messed up had difficulty finding a place to get back into it hitting more wrong notes. (Those few seconds seem so long to a mother praying.) She did finally find her place and ended it well. The second song was done flawlessly. I think she was just more nervous being first.

Now that I have taken all the suspense out, let me explain what happened on the other side of things. First, my daughter had left her music at church...twice! She took it with her the Sunday she played "It is Well with My Soul" two weeks ago and then she forgot to get it the next Sunday, being distracted with thoughts of pizza, birthday cake, and inflatables (see my last post). My husband having church keys and security code, but a heavy work schedule finally was able to get the music on Wednesday night so she would have it on her last lesson with Miss Trudy before the recital.

At that lesson, Miss Trudy asked me if I could do the introductions of the students and the songs at the recital as she still had a cough and so did another person she has used in the past. I turned toward my daughter, directly looked her in the eye, and said "This is what happens when you do praise and worship. People then think you can do anything." I was half joking. You see, people just never have thought of me as an on-stage kind of person, even though I used to sing in choirs, I played in a band when I was a teen for two years, I acted in high school and in churches, and I have given lectures and seminars for a few years.

I was worried about doing this without having the programs to go through a few days in advance, because I knew that there were a few students with highly unique names, not necessarily in spelling but in pronunciation, and these are my weaknesses: remembering names and pronouncing them correctly. I felt I would be ill-prepared. In addition, I just do not do last minute memorization well. (There it goes off in my mind again: my weakness, His strength!) Additionally, one family is from Nigeria with a last name that probably is very common there, but even Miss Trudy did not know how to pronounce it. In the formal recitals, names are not announced so she had been dodging that bullet for the last two years she has been teaching this student.

We had to race home after church to let out the dog and find the flier for the recital with the address of the place, which I just could not find so I had to call Trudy. We grabbed a bite to eat at the closest Arby's and ate in the car. Then we entered the address in the GPS....

Let me just say that GPS is wonderful technology...when it actually takes you to the address you intended. However, it is not always accurate and, of course, this was one of those times! Another call to Trudy, who is beginning to sound a bit stressed as she normally does just before a recital. We were just a mile south of where we needed to be so we showed up just minutes later and early enough to settle down and go over every student's name and song title...except that one family. I would talk to them and work on the pronunciation, which I would forget and ask again just before the child played. (Did I say I have difficulty with names?)

I did pretty well with the introductions considering one family with two students did not show up and I did not know that in advance. It was necessary on the fly to change the order of other two students because one parent was not yet present and another had a flight to catch. Another had dropped one of her pieces and I mistakenly announced even though I knew not to do so. Oh, and on the spot I was asked to turn pages for a duet in which Miss Trudy was playing with an older student. I have seen page turning disasters, so my first thoughts were, "No, please don't make me! Please, please, find someone else." I could not voice my refusal though, not in front of all those people, but...I may never be asked to turn pages again...probably. Thankfully, the unattached page just slipped down some and I recovered the paper before it fell onto the keyboard. Yeah, and that was only the first page! I had two more to go. It did not go a bad as I feared, but not as good as I hoped either.

We had a ten minute intermission and we reminded everyone that the tip jars were for the students. Once my daughter made over $7, but it is usually $3 to $6 once it is divided evenly among the students. I usually am a bit more tired on Sundays when I with just doing praise and worship so the recital was getting to me by the time we took a break. My voice was cracking also, but it was better after drinking some tea and the crowd thinned out so I did not have to talk so loudly.

The Princess feel asleep on the hour drive home and I read a book until it was too dark. With the time change, it now gets dark so much earlier. I probably would have done better to take a nap myself. None of us was hungry, so we had an apple and popcorn while watching "The Christmas Bunny" on Netflix.

~ My Lord, thank you for Your strength in my weaknesses. Thank you for my gifted daughter and may she also use her talents and her weaknesses in for Your Glory! ~