“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:28
A couple of things… One of all, (that’s my husband’s favorite phrase lately…) I’ve decided to celebrate Lent this year. I basically grew up Baptist… I say basically, because that’s really the closest denomination to Independent Christian without just saying non-denominational and being vague. As a kid we went to a bunch of different churches, one of my favorites being Harvest Time near Rock Falls, IL, and it was Baptist. My church back home in Illinois claims non-denominational, but all the staff and pastors are of Baptist background, and if I’m not mistaken, members of the American Baptist Association. So anyway, I’m currently attending a United Methodist Church. I like the church, but I love the people. And since we are the body, the people are the church, so ipso facto, I love the church. I’m not a United Methodist, and I’ve never been a part of a church that celebrated Ash Wednesday with a service, and did the ashes on the forehead. So it’s a new experience for me. I read up on the history of the service and it’s symbolism, and I’ve got to say, I don’t understand why it never caught on with other denominations.
For those of you who don’t know, Ash Wednesday symbolizes the start of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert before he began his ministry, and is also the first day of Lent. Lent is the 46 days that lead up to Easter Sunday.To put it in military terms, the Lenten season is basically like work-ups to Easter. And you know what? I like that. I always feel like Easter passes me by and I forget the significance of the day.
Last year on Easter Sunday, I was in San Diego, California, either at Sea World,
Two of all, (Mitch likes that one too…) I recently sang “Time to Say Goodbye” with Mitch at the Valentine’s Banquet hosted by the United Methodist Men. I honestly could not believe the reaction. We both sort of learned the song last-minute; Mitch had spent a week in the field and had gotten virtually no time to practice it, so instead of him singing it as a solo after zero preparation, I decided to help him out and we did it like Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli, that way we each only had to learn one verse of Italian. Anyway, Mitch and I are the youngest members in the chancel choir at our church, so that I suppose, was shock enough. But I did indeed manage to sing a high “A” above the staff, as did Mitch (it’s seriously more impressive when a man does it, no lie.) … We finished the song and we got a standing ovation… A STANDING OVATION! At a dinner function, that blew my mind socks off. Typically people are way more in to their steak than the entertainment, especially if they don’t know the language in which your song was written… Apparently we made an impression. So anyway, the next week at chancel choir rehearsal, a collective group of people decided that I should be in the soprano section instead of the alto section. I have not sung soprano since I was a freshman in high school, back before my voice dropped like an adolescent male… Now, from my husband’s school of thought, he doesn’t see the big deal. He isn’t a big believer in voice parts, mostly because he has a crazy broad voice range, from bass 1 to soprano 1… But I don’t know that I agree with that. Granted, I have found in my years of performance, that what my tuba instructor, Larry, told me is true, “The only way to do it is just to do it.” I had no idea what that meant at the time, but when I was playing “Sandy” in Southeastern Illinois College’s production of Grease, I started off the rehearsals for the show not being able to belt a “D” in the staff… But by just practicing it in my head voice for 2 months, I eventually added those notes to my belting range. (I apologize non-music people, just try to go with me here on this…) So the music the altos have been singing in chancel choir likes to hover around a high “D” or “F” in the staff. So for me to stretch up a step or two to a “G” or “A” isn’t a big deal for one or two notes in a song. But it hurts my vocal chords like crazy if I have to sing those high notes consistently, especially without a proper warm up.
And the point of my ramblings here is that it says in Proverbs 31:28 that “…her husband also, and he praises her.” He praises her, because of what she does in the LORD, not because she deserves it on her own. I know I have received compliments on the performance at the banquet, but that’s not why I sing at church. I didn’t join the chancel choir to gain the praise of its members or the congregation. I sing at church because I’m aware that God has blessed me with a gift that I can use to His glory. When I sing at church, I give God my best. It is for the LORD, not for men. And I don’t feel like screeching out notes that are technically out of my range is giving God my best, and if that’s what this choir experience turns into, I will have to step down. I was told last night at rehearsal that I sell myself short. I disagree. I don’t think I sell myself short at all. I’m simply self-aware, and humble enough to realize that what I do with my voice is simply me being the instrument through which God can speak. It’s not me, people… It’s The Man! (by The Man, I mean God) And that’s my two of all.
C, (Mitch likes to do a continuous list and then switch it up…) I don’t actually have children, and I know I’ve been on that soap box once already this week, so I’ll spare you. But I do have two pretty doggies that love me and Anna, the oldest of the two, keeps putting her front paws on my wrists as I type, as if to say, “Alright mama, that’s enough. Now come play with me.” So until tomorrow….”Con te io li vivro”