Friday, June 23, 2017

Steady

Slow and Steady Wins The Race

The tick tock of the metronome is steady. I find comfort, safety even, in staying within the beat. The tempo is too slow but my fingers magically find the keys because my practice is teaching them where to land.


I move the weight lower so that the speed of the metronome increases just a fraction. It feels the same tempo even though I can see I've made a change. This is steady practice where change happens slowly. Eventually I will navigate this Bach Two-Part Invention closer to the intended velocity, but for now I am still discovering how the notes intertwine. As I progress I hear a different emphasis on the left hand notes. The faster tempo brings new power to the lower voice making it push the higher. It makes me feel connected to this German man who had a gift to bring voices together in perfect harmony and temperament.




 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Worth

Are people who agree with our world view of more worth to us?

My Christian heart says "of course not!" But, in truth, I find that friends, family, and strangers who see things differently challenge my trust in them. Will I be rejected if I say what I feel is really important to me? Is being right more important than seeing worth in the soul?  



   
I know that I have sins which weigh me down yet I often feel the love of God when I am not worthy. I have learned, through the spirit, that I am always worthy of love and belonging, always. Can I extend that knowledge to others? Even those who try my patience or revile my approach towards them? I hope to keep my heart open to see others as He sees them. 


As the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ views disease in His sheep as a condition that needs treatment, care and compassion.
Elder Dale G. Renlund



 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Expect

         What can I really expect of myself?
  
  I publicly accepted a challenge. As part of an online piano teaching class, I announced that I would learn the Bach Two Part Invention No.8 in ten days. So what do I expect of myself? 
   

  I expect:

  1. My practice time will be limited
  2. I will have to set the fingerings from day one
  3. I will have to slow my tempo down to play without mistakes
  4. I will feel discouraged with fingers that move with less agility than when I was younger
  5. Some measures will be smooth as silk and others will bump and often crash
  6.  I will have many, many repetitions with mistakes
  7. I will get discouraged at day six
  8. I will learn to love this piece with every fiber of my being


This process is not so different from my relationship with Jesus Christ. I am limited, I need a strong foundation of ways to connect to him, I will often feel discouraged as I make less than stellar choices, and I will learn to love him with every fiber of my being if I give myself to Him.


 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Nurturing For The Wrong Reason

Nurture-the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something.

Have you ever watched a TV show or movie with a character called "a fixer"? They are advertise that they can make something go away or make something happen. They can change the destiny of a person or an organization. What a powerful role. It may be that I confuse the role of mother with that of a fixer. 


The word nurture is a verb so it carries action within it's meaning. There are so many right reasons to nurture but I believe there are some wrong reasons, as well. I like to think that I am still nurturing my family, even though my children are all over thirty, with families of their own. Sometimes my family does not respond in the way I anticipate. The irritation that creeps up with my family is a red flag that I may be nurturing a role of "fixer", instead of mother.

This Saturday will be very busy on the island where I live. Visitors will travel by ferry to be part of ballets, drama performances, even sheep dog trials which fascinate so many people. I picked this day to have a piano recital. I have grandchildren participating who must travel by ferry. The "fixer" in me wants to warn, admonish, and even arrange rides from the boat to the recital venue. Will they make it? Sure, this sounds like I am helpful. But, I don't worry much about the other students arriving. If they encounter a hang up and come late or, worse, don't show, I feel sorry but not personally responsible. I know I am nurturing "the fixer" when I want to take control of the outcome. This kind of nurturing does not provide strength and support to my family, it puts stress and potential disappointment into an already stressful day. This is an example of nurturing for the wrong reason.

This month I will be looking a little closer at the possible dark side of nurturing. 





To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.





Friday, June 2, 2017

Future

When you are young you dream of the future and when you are old you reminisce about the past.

Scripture reminds us to look to the future. Heavenly Father sent messengers, prophets, to unveil what lies before us. But, scripture also reminds us to remember the past. 


 Knee replacement surgery looms in my not so distant future. I prepared for this for years, exercising my arthritic joints so that I could have strong muscles to support a new knee. The choice to replace is a choice to dream of a better future. A future with easeful walking and a steady stance. I remember my Dad struggling to deal with pain in his joints. He did not have a choice to replace his knees or hips. He bravely faced a future of pain. I am grateful and hope to arrive at my dreamed of future.





 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Moderating My Negative Thoughts

Most Negative Thoughts have Little To Do With Truth

Negative thoughts pop up uninvited. But, in truth so do positive thoughts. Moderating them becomes vital. 


Last week I found thoughts of my ineptitude and my lack coming on a regular basis. These thoughts seemed to follow difficult conversations with my students. As I observed them arise I looked for kernels of truth. It helped to ask questions of myself. Did I feel unease because my students were not progressing as I planned? Did I need to change my approach?  Was I expecting too little or too much of myself? 

I liked moderating my thoughts. There was power in sifting through and seeing what had evidence in reality. I learned that negativity about myself arises more often when things don't go as I planned. The furturizing I do about what is going to happen often leads to disappointment. Perhaps it would be wise to admit that I have less control of the outcome as I would like to think.

There is a line in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin where her father and Lizzie are discussing the scandalous affair of her younger sister. Mr. Bennet admits that he is distressed but that the feelings will likely dissipate as time goes on. He is seeing himself as weak at that moment. Well, feelings do change and knowing what feelings are actionable is essential. How can we know? How can we know that a thought is true and needs our attention? Experience tells me that patterns emerge in our thoughts. When a recurring pattern arises it needs analysis. Does this pattern reflect my better nature? Does it require that I change? Is this a pattern I should embrace and nurture? 

Nurturing moderation has proven to show me that setting limits in my life gives me power, that I have changed and can continue to change, and that moderating my thoughts can reveal patterns which can be nurtured or altered.






To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.




Friday, May 26, 2017

Visit

Coming Into A Community Changes From First Visit To Long Time Connection

I visited Five Minute Friday because I found the writing of Lisa Jo Baker. She gathered me in with many others. The first post I shared was three years ago, almost to the day. The word prompt was hands and I was reveling in the joy of using my hands to hold brand new twin grandchildren.


I searched for other Christian women who could share the journey they traveled,  writing about their exemplar, Jesus Christ. I was shy at first to write candidly, but each visit made me bolder. I made friends, some I follow to this day. It was uncanny how I could see the growth in these women from week to week. Improving my writing voice was second to learning about all of you. Thank-you, Lisa Jo and Kate for keeping us together.





 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.