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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful for my Disability

I had a stroke before I was born.  Most of you who know me know I can't use my right side very well.  That's the way it's always been.  What you may not know is that I am so grateful Heavenly Father allowed me to have this body.  Some important things would be different in my life if I didn't have it.  Take a look:

1) Music

Without my disability I would be a prodigy.  I love music with my whole soul, and if my bow arm actually worked I'd be amazing.  I didn't practice 3 hours a day because someone made me.  I practiced 3 hours a day because I couldn't imagine doing anything else.  I never got exceptionally good because of my disability though.  Wait, isn't this a thankful post?  Yes. Yes it is.

No, I don't have to be on stage.  I have all the time in the world for this
If I had been good enough, I would have left everyone and everything behind to do music.  I love it with my whole soul, and I would have given up any religious commitments to get better.  I would have given up time with my family and friends, I would have done nothing but music.  Except that my disability prevented me.  My high school years were filled with friends, family and faith.  Now, my music has so much more depth to it because I have more depth.  I'm so glad my disability kept me from turning this beautiful gift into a curse.

2) Slowness

I can't run with my disability.  I will trip every single time.  Instead I have to walk wherever I go, and when I do that, I see things.  I see the people around me.  I see the sunset.  I see the street signs.  The world around me is so amazing, and when you walk, you can see it.  I get to be part of my surroundings.  How's that for a blessing?

When you have a while before the destination, the journey can become more fun.  Being slower often results in meeting new friends.  Being slower means being able to support others.  Being slower means I have more time to love where I am.

Yes, I love you.  Leave me alone

3) Choices

Most people have a gazillion options of what to do with there life.  I have a couple less.  I wanted to teach in Asia, but my disability prevents me.  I wanted to live in a really cute apartment with a cool set of girls, but the stairs wouldn't work for me.  I would love to be in musical theater, but my body just can't take the strain.  And I'm grateful for this.

The saddest thing to me is those who give their lives to things that don't matter.  They know what's really important, but they get caught up in the details and loose sight of what they want.  Unlike them, I can't add much fluff in my life.  Every choice I make about my time and energy is significant.  I don't have any to spare.  Because of my disability, the only things in my life are the ones that matter to me.

He is still that cute


I wouldn't wish this challenge on everyone.  In fact, I'm not sure I'd wish it on anyone.  But I am grateful I have it.  So many of life's greatest blessings are the ones we never would have asked for on our own. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

First Week of Work!

On Monday I interviewed for the job in aftercare at La Paloma  I nailed it it at the interview and was offered a job on the spot as an aftercare worker and as a kinder teacher.  Unfortunately kindergarten teachers have to be on the floor with the kids a lot, and any teacher should know to get down on the kids level when talking with them.  When I teach 5 year olds,  that's just too hard.  I had to turn it down which made me sad, but I like knowing I was wanted.

I'm not as sure I am now.  My first day was not good.  I thought I had planned well, but there were so many things I hadn't counted on.  And to be fair, these kids are tough!  Tough kids are my favorite, even now, but I realized for the first time I've never been a lead teacher before.  I've been taught how to set up the class, but last year I watched Michele do it.  I didn't do it.  Now I see myself making many first year teacher mistakes I was told not to make.  I just keep telling myself it's okay not to be perfect.  I was foolish to think I wouldn't struggle like this.  I'm learning.  I just keep telling myself I'm learning.  That's okay.  Wednesday was a disaster.  I didn't get the schedule and my plans turned out to be insufficient to entertain the kids for 6 hours (gotta love the half day).  I had them make paper airplanes but it got out of hand.  That was my bad.  I felt like I spent all day yelling at the kids.  I ended up needing to apologize a lot.  I'm just me, I have nothing else to give these kids.  I have to trust that Heavenly Father can make me enough.  In teacher school we were told that any teacher worth anything at all goes home each day and thinks "what will I do better tomorrow?"  Well right now I have a long list, but I'm working on it.  

Thursday I had so many kids in my classroom.  I finally ended up with an aide for just  the one day, and that was amazing.  She had good management and showed me a trick.  When you want the kids to stay quiet, dim the lights and leave them dimmed as long as the quiet is supposed to last.  It worked miracles.  In the end, Thursday turned out good.  Friday I was going to get there early to make copies of worksheets.  I can't expect the kids to be quiet for an hour if I give them nothing to do.  Technically they are supposed to be doing homework, but they don't have enough to last the hour.  Most of the kids do it in class anyway.  Well I got there a half hour early by my calculation, and it turned out that I was 15 minutes late for a staff meeting I didn't know about.  So I showed up late to the meeting and I didn't make any copies.  When quiet hour came I had to talk them through about 50 minutes of it.  That was hard, but together we managed.

The teacher whose room I use asked me on Friday to be more careful about not letting the kids get into desks and materials.  She also said that she was really happy the kids had me.  She said most of the aftercare teachers just stood there and barked at the kids for all those hours, but I have management systems and I focus on positives and use values education.  That made me feel good.  Maybe I'm not doing as awful as I feel I am.  

What made me so sure I was doing better on Thursday and Friday was that I had so many positive things to say to the kids.  Even when they misbehaved, they knew they needed a consequence and accepted it without complaint.  They all have this amazing light in their eyes.  They all have these smiles that I think could melt stone.  I have about 33 kids and each and every one of them is different.  They have different needs and different coping strategies.  It is so exciting to see into each heart.  I'm still humbled that these children let me in.  When I see them light up, I know I'm one of the luckiest people on earth.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jobs-where to start?

Today I met with an employment specialist-Jenna Geerson at WEDCO (she's amazingly cool if anyone needs an employment specialist.  Seriously, if you need one look her up) and we got a resume ready for me to apply for jobs.  But, what do I want?  There are so many different things I could do.

For some reason I'm really in love with the idea of working in a museum.  I love the idea of being a docent.  I could spend my days bringing exhibits to life for people.  I love history, I love the world we live in.  That would be the life.  How many of you have listened to me summarize a book or movie that I've loved?  (If you haven't we may not know each other very well.)  The one problem with this idea is that docents are volunteers.  To get paid work in a museum I'd need a library science degree or a museology degree.  I don't have the money to go back to school, so this one is looking less likely.  However I do have plans to start volunteering at two different museums, so who knows?

Teacher Aide?  I'm not really in love with this one.  I want to do it all or nothing, but that's kinda immature.  I feel like I've been working under other teachers for so long now, but I think if I did it I would fall in love with my students all over again and learn to love the job.  I never got the chance to intern in middle school.  People usually love or hate teaching middle school.  As a teacher, the kids with attitude, the kind that talk back, fill my little heart with joy.  I just want to try it, to see if I fit.  Plus if I do it for two years I can get my teacher certification, and maybe still fulfill my dreams of teaching abroad.  Or teach abroad now?  I'm divided on that one.

I've also thought about being a librarian.  Spending all day every day matching people to the right books?  Wow, that's a meaningful life.  To be surrounded by the written word, the stories that shape (and have shaped) individuals and societies.  And then to make them accessible to others?  Just, wow.  But there's still the matter of that pesky library science degree.  You know, the one I don't have?  Maybe some day.

I've thought often recently about being a genealogist.  I've done work on my own family lines for a while now and I love it.  This is fueled by my strong belief in life after death.  (for more on my beliefs, go here.  To see why I got into genealogy, go here) It is a great tragedy to me that people die many times over.  Leaving this life physically can be a happy thing.  The tenderest feelings of my heart surround the memory of those I knew who went on before me.  But the sad fact is that we go on too.  I will fill the lives of my children with the memories I have of my grandparents.  I will share them and try to give my children the strength I gained from these remarkable people (stick with me, this will tie into genealogy, I promise)  But, and this will make some of my blog readers sad, I won't pass on much about my Grandpa Christensen simply because I never knew him.  I don't have any memories to share.  He has died in memory as well as in body once the family line gets to me.  As a genealogist I can bring the records of a passed life to light.  I can share what bare records show about the choices they made, where they went, what they did, who they did it with.  I can make their lives meaningful once again.  I can thank them for the person I am and I can share them with others.  As much as I love the rising generation of children, I also love those who came before me.  Dedicating my life to them is something I could be proud of.

What about teaching music?  This is still my dream job.  To me music is so beautiful, so simple, so complex, so elemental, so sophisticated.  Yes, it can be all those things at once.  It is what I'm made of and I love the job of unlocking the beauty within others.  (Just reread that last sentence.  It needs no expounding.)  I'm more than qualified for this one.  Problem is that there aren't very many of them.  Where do I get a job doing this?  That's the million dollar question (and if I could make a million doing it I'd know I'd died and gone to Heaven)

I like the fact that I'm passionate about all these ideas.  I know with my whole heart that happiness comes from within.  No matter what job I get, I will fall in love with it.  I choose to be happy.  I'm also sure that Father in Heaven has a plan for me.  Somewhere He is guiding me to what's best for me.  I'm just trying to figure out what that is.  Any thoughts from friends/family?  Input is always appreciated and considered.  Now...DISCUSS!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Roommates for Life!

You know how it is when you live with someone, then you don't, then you hang out again and it's super awkward?  Not me!  This week I went back to Phoenix to spend time with former roommie (and current best friend) Katie Sparks Devey.  Have you checked out her blog yet?  Wait 'til you finish this first or you'll never click back here.  When I got home my parents asked me what we did.  We talked.  I was there for around 26 hours and we only spend about 10 of those hours not visiting.  You'd think that hanging out with someone for 16 hours would get old, but not when you're with Katie!

What did we talk about?  Well right when I got there she...okay, I'm gonna censor that one.  Then when Tim got home we had a long conversation about...yeah, I'll keep that one to myself.  Okay, in between all the roommate stuff -we talked about, I don't know- life, hopes, dreams, memories, and funny things we'd heard.  We laughed ourselves silly, then we talked serious, then we started laughing again.  I'll be a little honest and say that my life has felt like a marathon lately.  Some rough things happened and now we are dealing with them.  It was so wonderful to leave all the issues to be with Katie.  I told her what was going on, and she listened.  She's really good at that.  I can share anything with her and she will offer love and empathy and insight.  Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame is quoted as writing 

"The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved -- loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves."  

Katie, to me, is the supreme example of this.  Few people are as familiar with my darker side and my flaws as her.  Few people have heard all my jokes as often as her.  Few people have more reason to be annoyed with me or be as heartily sick of me as her.  Yet she still likes having me around.  And as for me, I never get sick of her intellectually stimulating conversation (your mom!)  Katie has a warmth and a love of people that makes others want to be around her.  She's crazy smart, but doesn't give the "I'm so intelligent" vibe.  She gives the "I'm so happy to be here, tell me about yourself because I find what you have to say fascinating" vibe that every person loves.

I would be remiss if I didn't put in a word about Katie's husband Tim-this guy!

Life would have been awkward if Katie married someone I didn't really like.  The truth is, there are few people I like more than Tim Devey.  My biggest problem with him is that when he starts goofing off, it's over for me. There's no way I can stop laughing, let alone get in a smart remark of my own.  He's funny when there are funny things going on or when someone presents an idea as funny, but knows when to stop.  I love that Tim always helps me find humor and joy in life without ever making me feel laughed at or like I'm being silly (except when we're both being silly.  Then it's just truth.)  At this point he knows me almost as well as Katie.  They are both just loving, kind people with open hearts and open arms.  And they love each other so much it makes me wish I was as happily married as them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Music to my ears...not yours ;)

Guess what...I'M PRACTICING AGAIN!!!!!  Yes, I'm screaming about practicing, but it's with joy this time.  I love practicing.  It's some of the most constructive work I've ever done in my life.  That being said, I'd like to talk about real practice and what it sounds like-and how much it takes.

I play the violin/viola (okay, mostly the viola) and I practice a lot.  Lately I've been doing 2-3 hours a day.  Normally during the summer I'd insist on a minimum of 4, but I'm not in shape yet.  And I never do it all at once.  Right now I'm up to an hour at a time if I want to ice my arm afterwards, or a half hour if I'm going light on it.  This means that I'm practicing 2-6 times a day!! (my poor family.)

Here's the kicker.  Most people think when I say I need to practice, that I need to make beautiful music for a few hours.  Nope, that's not what it means.  Imagine high, screechy, out of tune scales.  Then imagine someone playing the worst of them for an hour non-stop.  The point of practice is to take the parts that sound bad and do them over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over (you still reading?) correcting a little each time until they sound good.  And once it sounds good, what do I do?  Find the next icky sounding spot and  start all over again.

Lets say I'm almost finished with a piece so it sounds pretty good.  Let the music begin, right?  Wrong.  Then I will choose a single phrase (usually about 4 bars) and play it non-stop until ever note rings the way I want it to. So I could literally play the same passage over 50 times in a single practice session.

Okay, okay, it's not all like this.  I do practice putting the piece together and getting all the louds and softs (dynamics).  I try to see the big picture and work on that too.  I don't put emotion into my music every single time I play.  It's exhausting and if the technique isn't there the emotion can interfere.  However, there are some practices where I just work on the emotion of the piece, the message if you will.  But if you were in the habit of listening to me practice, you would see the working kind of practice is far more common.  I practice my scales every single day and I spend time on technique every single day.

When I've told roommates that I need to practice, they say they love listening to the violin/viola and they would be happy to have me practice.  Poor souls had no idea what they were in for.  My mom shuts the door and doesn't listen.  And that's fine.  Performance is supposed to sound good.  Practice is supposed to sound bad.  Good.  Bad.  See the difference?  If you want the good, go to the performance.  If someone says they want to practice, don't expect the good.  We clear?
That's not me, but let's pretend, okay?

Now, while I'm here do you mind if I practice for about an hour?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Graduation Day

So the big day finally came.  I'm graduated!  I'll confess, the night before, I stayed up late dreading it.  Graduations don't generally float my boat too much (hey, you try playing Pomp and Circumstance every single year for 10 years!) but they don't usually fill me with dread either.  I was angry that I was getting the wrong degree.  I still feel strongly that I earned my elementary education degree, not the educational studies one I got.  I was dreading seeing my cohort because I just didn't fit in with them anymore.  I was dismissed from the program, I was not celebrating my teaching certificate the way they were.  I was afraid it was just going to hurt too much to be surrounded by everyone else.

That morning I got up and got ready.  I got two graduation gifts.  1) the title to my car.  In all honesty I wasn't that excited at the revelation that I now have to pay the car insurance, but I was happy at the symbol of me being an adult.  The other was a gorgeous necklace that I'm excited to have (even if I can't put it on ;)  Next, Mom, Dad, Trevor, and I got in the car and drove up to Phoenix.  We were all tired, so we kept to ourselves and just enjoyed the view.  We finally got out of the car and went to lunch at Oregano's

So whose bright idea was it to have food slathered in red sauce right before going to a formal-ish event?  Seriously, did that person know I can't eat food without getting some on me?  Jeez.  Wait, I got to pick the restaurant.  Okay, it wasn't my smartest idea, but I love Oregano's.  I love that they have good food and such a laid back atmosphere.  When I picked it, I forgot that no one else in my family likes jazz.  Oops.  They bravely put up with it for me and enjoyed the black and white tv show being shown in the corner.  I did drip some spaghetti sauce on my dress, but graduation robes were made to cover that, right?

When I got there I took some pictures with my family, then we parted ways.  I went down to get my registration card and saw my cohort.  They were taking group picture.  Tears pricked my eyes, but I asked if I could join in.  They all said "of course" a little like it was an obvious question.  Every last one of them was happy to see me and many came and specifically asked me how I was doing or express their support.  I felt a little silly for thinking I didn't fit in with them any more.  We've been through Hell (ummm....I mean iTeach) together.  We've laughed and cried over pretty much the same things.  I feel incredibly blessed to be part of this group.

I'd just like to take a quick paragraph to thank the people in my cohort for being amazing people and true friends.  A special shoutout to each of you: Kazmere, Stephen, Kristina, Liz, Elizabeth, Mellissa, Huy, Derrick, Janette, Liliana, Yesi, Becky, Leah, Cami, Hayley B, Hayley L, Anthony, Kayla, Nada, Ashley, Dulce, Caitlyn, Hannah, Evelyn,

There was just one part of this I never factored in: stairs.  I feel whoever invented stairs should climb and descend them for the rest of eternity.  I can go up them semi-okay, but going down is scary.  I still never quite know when my right knee is going to collapse, so I try to avoid them.  The solution: conga line!  Okay, maybe it was just me and one other person, but it worked.  Going down the stadium stairs I took Hayley's shoulder and we made it down.  Actually, I tripped on the last step (yep, I called that one) but because I had ahold of someone I stayed upright.  Thanks Hayley!  We went up a ramp to get our degrees, but we had to go down the stairs after to get off the stage.  We had to do it in front of everyone too!  Thank goodness for handrails, that's all I have to say.  When I got to the bottom my teacher Lessita told me good job.  I was so grateful for the recognition and the encouragement.

We sat together and took in the solemnity of the occasion, enthusiastically (but politely) giving our love and support to each person as they came across the stage.  Who believes me?  Really we talked and laughed quietly among ourselves the whole time.  Hey, I don't expect the grad students to be paying attention when I get my degree.  There were 1,100 people graduating.  Yes, that many.  Kinda boring, but who goes to graduation for the entertainment?

Afterwards I went out with everyone and got a hug from my teacher Ashleigh.  She told me "you are going to do amazing things!"  Man, I am grateful for all the mentors in my life who have given me the confidence to try.  I'd be lost without them.

So how do you improve on a day like that?  What kind of celebration can make it all that much better?  I'll tell you...SLEEP!  Yes, there was sleeping on the way home.  I was content with that and happy to call it a day!

Seriously though, it's been a long, hard six years to get this degree.  To say I went through hell is almost too literal for my taste.  I don't quite know yet where I'm going from here, but I think it's gonna be pretty good.  I'm off to have some more fun, meet some new people, and laugh along the way!

ps pictures will be added as soon as I can get  the camera

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Making a Case for Fantasy

Hi there!  Confession....(remember this is a secret, so don't tell anyone!) What's that you say? This is a public blog?  Oh, so I guess the secret's out...wait for still there?...I'm a NERD!!!  There, I said it.  Boy do I feel better now.  Well now that I've got that off my chest, there are some more things I'd like to say.  I'm sick of people dissing on science fiction/fantasy nerds.

Certain people (coughcouch*sara*coughcough) have bugged me my whole life about my deep abiding love of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I say what's not to love?  One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from the last season of Star Trek: TNG.  Speaking of hatred Picard says to a colleague, "at first it is hard and rough, uncomfortable to us.  Soon it becomes warn and soft like old leather.  Before we know it, we reach a point where we can't imagine being without it."  Can you handle that amount of sci-fi technical nonsense?  Wait, there was nothing about science fiction in that quote.  If we put it back in context, you will see that it's about an interspecies conflict, but the episode was about two separate groups that had made war for so long, they did not know how to live together in peace.  Do any nations come to mind?  How about people?

Another favorite episode features an unpopular engineer.  He is unpopular because he spends all his time playing virtual reality games.  Facebook anyone?  Or how about a holographic version of Second Life?  While the episode delves a little into what causes someone to withdraw into a make-believe world, it also shows how true friends can help.  It reminded me of this talk by a religious leader about what's real.  The difference between loosing oneself in cyberspace and using the internet as a tool.  Have you ever been lost in a fantasy world?  Honestly, I personally know some amateur authors that have chosen fictional relationships in place of true ones.

Confession: This is not my family, just a picture from the same time period
My favorite Star Trek episode is near the end of the series where Picard gets to live out an entire lifetime among an alien race.  In the end he finds it was all a technologically induced dream, but because of the technology, he remembers a race of people that is now extinct.  He gets to be the carrier of their memory. Sometimes I feel similar as I do my family history.  Johanne and Anders Kristensen lost 3 of their children in infancy.  When was the last time someone cared about their legacy?  Who remembers my great great grandparents, and all they suffered to bring my family  to the United States?  History is about celebrating the value of each person as much as it is about learning the events.  And all this from a sci-fi show?  Yes.

Now on to fantasy.  I personally slightly prefer it over science fiction-especially the young adult variety.  For the sake of argument let's go with Lord of the Rings.  It's not my favorite, but it's worth exploring.  I love it because of all the relationships.  The hero that Samwise becomes through service, it's incredible to me.  I hope I can be as strong and as kind as Sam one day.  What would it be like to give that selfless service in the cause of something so worthwhile?

I have to say I'm a little jealous of Eowyn, because I want to marry Faramir.  I love someone who can stand for the right in times of peace or war, and yet still see both sides.   More than marrying Faramir, I want to be Faramir.  I want to see evil for what it truly is and stand against it with everything I have.  But what makes Faramir so great is that he never once becomes cruel from being in the right.  Even the hero of the story, Aragorn, gets carried away from time to time, but Faramir never looses sight of the human equation.  In the world there is so much evil.  The family is being attacked right and left.  Everything that is good and sacred is being made a mockery of in "enlightened" circles.  Like Faramir I want to see evil for what it is and stay as far away as I can.  But like Faramir, I want to look at those attacking all I hold dear and see them with compassion, even love.  I want to fight against evil to save the opposing side as well as my own.  Faramir found even the life of Gollum, a decrepit traitor to be of value.  Can I do even half as much?

Intellectually I think the key to understanding The Lord of the Rings is understanding that the Ring is power.  Is power a bad thing?  No.  Is wanting power for it's own sake a bad thing?  Yes!!!  When someone desires power, it will corrupt.  When someone desires the means to help others, they can be on shaky ground.  Frodo did not want the power, and for that reason he was able to hold it.  Gandalf craved power.  Gandalf was wise and good, so he knew better than to allow himself to be tempted by the ring.  Aragorn was held captive by his fear of power.  There came a point when the people needed Aragorn bad enough that he overcame his fears and embraced power to help his people, against the ring.  To see the heart of each person and the journey they take because of the siren call of absolute power is the whole point of the story.  I doubt I will ever have absolute power, but I insisted on absolute obedience from my students.  I caught myself demanding they hold still at times just because I wanted to feel my own authority.  I stopped that right away, but my point is that I think power tempts everyone in some way or other, and if we aren't aware of it, power can corrupt us as easily as is did the mighty and noble Boromir in LOTR.

Now that I've shown you the light, I'm sure you're all anxious to give the sci-fi/fantasy genre another look.  Maybe one or two of you are still thinking wait, I remember watching some really dumb Star Trek.  Well, yes.  Some of it is dumb.  It's called escapist reading (watching).  I'm not saying that every story that takes place in a slightly unrecognizable setting is something with deep insight into human nature.  I'm asking that people who love science fiction and/or fantasy be seen as normal people who like the same things other people do, for the most part.  The fantasy elements are fun and captivating to me, but really they are window dressing to what's really important: the human story.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The 411

Hello everyone.  Some big changes have happened in my life lately- I want everyone to have the same story, rather than relying on the rumor mill, so here it is.

I’m no longer in teacher school.  I was told that leaving was my only option and accepted it without question.  The next day when I was thinking a little clearer I tried to take it back, but it wasn’t going to happen.  I’m graduating with a degree in Selected Studies in Education.  It’s still an elementary education degree, but with no teaching certificate.  I’m sure it’s possible to assign blame here.  I personally feel very unjustly treated.  However, there are 2 sides to the story.  Christ said “with what judgment ye judge, you shall be judged.”  If this is true, I certainly of all people must judge mercifully.  I choose to see that everyone involved was doing what they thought was right, and that the Lord has a hand in guiding such things.

You know, it feels like my life has been turned upside down.  I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.  I’ve always been a to-do list kinda girl and now the carefully laid plans I had are gone.  It’s an insecure feeling, but at the same time, it’s liberating too.  I have been so focused on my goal that I haven’t considered anything but teaching for a long time.  As usual, I was very sure what I wanted and would not be distracted from it.  Now, what if I want to be a genealogical research assistant?  Or how about working in a museum?  And I was blown away by the next thought….

What about a music teacher?  I decided to be a music teacher when I was about 13.  After the whole mess with my arm I gave up on the idea.  I figured it just wasn’t meant to be.  I had a surgery on my arm, and it didn’t heal for over a year.  It did heal, but not in time for me to get into music school.  Now I’m getting myself together to start teaching private lessons.  I can do violin, viola, cello, and piano.  I may not be as good as I once was, but I’m still pretty dang good.  I still love it more than anything.  Only my dad and my psychologist knew this, but recently as I was teaching I was feeling the disconnect from music more and more. It was starting to weigh me down.  I was so busy with school I didn’t have time for music, and my personality, my spirit, withers without it.

As I rekindle that flame in my life, I’ve not been surprised to find that I’m rusty.  I never recovered my technique after my last surgery because I was switched to education before I had a chance to get my feet wet again.  My bow and my fingers do not respond to my thoughts like they used to.  The only way to fix this is plenty of practice.  I’m up to 25 minutes at a time, 4-5 times a day.  The callouses on the fingertips of my left hand are starting to come back and it feels so good to have them there.

I’m applying to music teacher jobs at charter schools.  I feel really good about one, but we’ll have to wait and see.  The one and only thing I know is that God is driving here.  Every time I’ve turned to Him the answer has been to do my best and trust Him.  I don’t know that I’ve ever had a harder time putting my life in God’s hands.  The one thing holding me together is a line from a well loved song  “trusting my all to Thy tender care, and knowing Thou lovest me, I’ll go where you want me to go dear Lord.  I’ll be what you want me to be.”  I’m trying to follow through on that commitment.  I have to remember that God has no other purpose in existence save the well being of His children.  The universe was created for me (and all the other spirit children of God.)  He can surely get me a job.  If this is right, it is right because it will bring me happiness.

Many people have complimented me on my strength.  It’s not mine.  I have been granted peace, and the love of many good people.  I am so grateful for everyone on my side.  Sometimes I just need to cry about all of this.  That happens once or twice a day.  Then I pick up the pieces and get back to work.  Many people have gotten angry on my behalf when they hear my story.  It is wonderful for me to see how many people in my life truly love me and feel my pain as their own.  I am more grateful than I can say for their support.  However, my caveat here is that the anger doesn't help anything.  I need peace now more than I need anything else.  I cannot absorb that anger and still have peace, so I choose to leave it all together.

I will try to keep my loved ones posted on this blog.  Thank you again for all those that care.  It does help.