Saturday, September 8, 2012


Have you ever known someone who is good at anything they do?  School.  Crafts.  Cooking.  Sewing.  Singing.  Being tender with their children.  Finding the positive in people.  Multi-tasking.  Reading their scriptures.  Painting their nails.  Feeding their kids a good breakfast.  Playing an instrument.  Making friends. Being able to lose weight.  Budgeting.

I'm not.  There are two things that I know I do really well: bake, and play the piano.  Those two things come very naturally to me, and I feel good about saying I am good at those two things.

There are many other things that I'm alright at, but it takes a lot of work and practice!  When I was called in by our bishop a few years ago, and asked to play the organ for the ward...I knew I was in trouble.  I didn't know how to play the organ.  And in fact, they only asked me out of sheer desperation - they had no one and they knew I would be willing to give it a go.  But inside...I panicked.

I asked them to give me a key to the building, and a couple weeks to learn how, and I went to work.  I went up to the church every day, two tiny children in tow (James was not yet born so it was just Sariah and Emerson).  I learned how.  I wasn't all that great, but I was someone who could play so I agreed to it.

Fast forward to now.  I am a rotating organist - meaning, I play every 3 months.  We are lucky enough to have 3 people in our ward now who can play so I get to share this responsibility.  But you know what?  It still doesn't come easily.  I have to practice and practice and practice.  I take this very seriously because a good organ player can really set the tone for the meeting.

This morning was no exception.  I was up at the church, practicing.  Once I was done practicing, I hopped over to the piano to practice some music I am going to be playing for a fireside and a bassoonist.  Once I was on the piano, I saw this lovely sight::

Sariah is 5, and at the age where she's a real trooper.  She goes with me just about everywhere because she minds, doesn't throw fits in public anymore, and loves to help.  So when I said I was off to practice the organ and to the grocery store, she was in the car with her seatbelt on before I even had slipped on my shoes.  She's sneaky like that!

Last Sunday, she even sat with me up on the organ while I played.  She LOVED being up there with me.  She watched my fingers and feet move.  She watched the stops change with the mood of the song.  She loved seeing everyone in the congregation from the high point of the organ.  And...she was silent and still.  The perfect companion!

I want Sariah to know the value of practice.  When one practices something, they become better, and the attribute becomes solidified within them.  I hope that I am able to show her that even though you are afraid to do something, practice makes it easier to do.  My palms still get sweaty and I have to wipe them on my lap right before every song.  And this will be the case for probably as long as I live!!  But practicing makes it easier to get through.  Sariah sees that - she sees that it is not easy for me, yet I push through it.  There will be times in her life where things won't come easily and she'll have to push through.  This is life, and there is a purpose for that to be.

"Keep your chin up, Mom," is what she told me as I shook my hands in frustration after I biffed up a couple chords right in a row.  I tell her that once in a must be sticking.  


Carlie said...

on the contrary, i believe there are many things that you are great at. you ARE tender with your children, you are kind and genuinely interested in others, and finding out what you can do to help without someone asking. you are obviously a great multi-tasker with your own kids, and being the mom/maid/washwoman, and working a time-demanding job. you always seem to be in a good mood- i think even your grumpiest times, you still smile about something. you are fiercely devoted to your husband and children, and obviously, in magnifying your calling. it's one thing to teach your kids the blessings of practice, and doing hard things, but for them to see it in real life, and SEE you struggle, i know will impact their decision making.
i realize you didn't write this post as a pity-party, or fishing for compliments, but i felt like sometimes we don't see our best qualities. you need to know how amazing you are, how inherently kind and sensible you are. may we all take a perseverance lesson from this!

Leann said...

Love this. I am so grateful for those who play organ, but even more who play it well. I always had the experience of the music being too slow, Sunday, it was too fast. Wow that sure made it hard to feel reverent during a particular song.
Great post about practice and dedication. You rock!