Joy in Service: Day 10 The Gift of Music

December 10, 2011

There was a time in my life when I wanted to be a professional musician. I gave up that idea when I chose to have children and mother them myself. It was incredibly painful and I thought I’d never be able to play my horn again, never have the experience of playing with an orchestra in my life again. 
I was wrong. Today I’m spending hours playing some of the most beautiful music there is with a group of musicians who come together just to share it freely with the community during Christmas.
I’ve spent hours at rehearsal and practicing but that doesn’t even come close to what the conductor and organizers have put in. Or the soloists. Nobody is being paid for this but because we all find such joy in sharing music we are happy to do it.

I think one thing I’ve finally lived long enough to understand is that when you sacrifice something, things change… but often the change is beautiful.

Of course it was worth sacrificing that dream to have my children and be with them. But I had no idea of the blessings that would come from it.

I never would have imagined myself as an artist or someone who travels and teaches art to others. That never would have happened in the driven, single purpose, life of the musician I thought I wanted to be. I certainly have as much joy from sharing art as I do from sharing music.

And now I have music too. It’s certainly different than it was. I’m nowhere near as good but this time, it’s not all about me, and about being the best and beating out the other musicians for a chair or solo spot. This time it’s about sharing the beauty and the fun of music.

If you are anywhere near Apex, North Carolina come today and share with us. The Apex Nativity Celebration is a display of over 800 nativity sets from around the world. There will be live music the whole day. At 7:30 we’ll play and sing Handel’s Messiah together. There is nothing like making music. Even better is sitting in the orchestra in the middle of it all. (I’m in heaven there!) It’s just as good to be in a crowd of hundreds making this beautiful noise.

How can you share your talents and gifts today?
In what way, big or small, are you making the world a better place?

Please leave a comment telling me about your experience.
We’ll inspire and give ideas for service to each other and I’d love to send you a little gift from my studio in return.
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  • Reply
    Hands to Work, Hearts to God
    December 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Hi! What a wonderful sharing about sacrificing and receiving so much more in return! I started my faith journal 5 years ago as a way to remember what I prayed about in the morning. I found it absurd that I couldn't remember the bible verse or what I meditated on. Now I share about this with sisters in my community and once even with nuns and a priest! I share about the joy there is in using our God given gifts and talents. I am so happy you're using your musical gifts! Patsy from

  • Reply
    December 11, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    As kids our family did not have money for lessons so we never got music lessons or dance lessons(which I would have loved) but my mom was always home and making a place for us to come home to after school where we could talk and unwinded. A safe place.
    I was an RN but stayed at home with my kids. It had been my dream to be a nurse all my life. Things have happened that I could not go back to that as a career, healthwise for me. And you grieve tDhat.
    But I was at home to help my kids, friends and parents when there was illness, serious illness and some bumps in the road that took years of patience and my skills of being a nurse.
    Like you we have never had fancy cars. Trips to Disney every year with the kids. (My husband is not very handy in the home repair world so we did not have that blessing lol)
    I could have have been making 70K a year (that's what a full time RN would make in Canada now with 25 years of experience) but I am not sure my kids would have made it through the problems that they had.
    Now at approaching fifty I do not regret the decisions we made for me to be available. Some of the decisions were made by us and some of circumstance.
    This not a slam on women who work, or need to work but just to say we do all have choices or need to learn the gift of making positive the road we are lead down.
    Now I chose to live helping and serving others just as I would have in my field. My mom had said at time over the years that I wasted my degree… I disagree. I think I have been using it all along. I just don't get paid for it. lol
    So exciting about using your gift of music!
    Next week we are going to the Sing a Long Messiah in Toronto, Ontario.
    So even it I didn't get music lessons long ago. I still get to sing in the choir at Massey Hall in Toronto!
    Best wishes on your performance.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I am so happy for you! To be able to go back and embrace your music and give it as a gift to others is huge. My husband is in a barbershop chorus. The joy that is spread via music is often forgotten, but can be seen in the faces of the listeners. Last night was the annual boat parade and city song fest. People of all ages listened to and then joined the chorus in song – magical. Sometimes the path we left merges with the path we are on and new doors open. As to being a stay at home mom, I applaud you. My mom and I had a licensed day care for years when they were unheard of and raised some children from babes to teens. I understood having to work, but I also saw families in which after leaving my Mom's, they had me babysit until late at night. Those children thought of our family as theirs. When those children had children, most of the women either worked part time or stayed home. I found it interesting that they wanted to give their children what they did not have themselves. Break a leg tonight!!! I wish I could be there. Music soothes the soul.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I know what you mean. We lived in a 1k sq/ft home, did all the renovation and maintenance ourselves, drove one VERY used car, didn't ever go out etc. for a good 7 years before things got more comfortable for our little family.

    and no toddler is generous. At least not when their turf is invaded. They can be taught – some will learn better than others – but if they aren't shown they never do learn.
    Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Best wishes for your performance tonight! As a stay at home mom, I enjoyed hearing how you were able to pick your music back up again, in addition to the art you have in your life, all the while following through with the decision you made for your children. Bravo!

    Many people–including me–have said that I am "lucky" to be able to stay home with my girls instead of working. It's true to some extent, but I am also making a sacrifice–choosing to live on almost half the money that we could be living on if I were working outside the home. I don't really consider it a sacrifice, though, because we are doing just fine, and I wouldn't trade my time with my kids for any job in the world. I hope that my mothering choices are making the world a better place by bringing up two loving, generous, creative individuals. (The jury is out on "generous"; they are preschoolers right now, and generosity is not yet one of their strong suits!)

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