Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Final Recital (for a while)

My students’ Spring studio recital is this weekend, Saturday, April 30 at 10:00 AM at Fjeldberg Lutheran Church in Huxley.

I’m telling you this because you are invited to come. All 16 students will be playing. They are going to sound fantastic. It will be my best recital ever!! In fact, it will probably be so good, it will be very hard to have it be my last.

Last, as in, I’m not going to be teaching any more, for a while. I’m taking a break.

As I looked over what I am involved in, where my time is spent and where and how I should be spending my time, this was the next thing on the list to fall below the line. Dave Ramsey uses that term ‘below the line’ when he described how when he was getting back on his financial feet and he only had so much money to pay off debts, that some debts didn’t get paid that month because they were ‘below the line’. I’ve adapted it for my life, especially this year. Two kids in junior high, one brand new to our family and taking a lot of time meant that lots of things fell below the line. I was simply out of time and energy.

A newly employed friend asked via Facebook how does a person do it? How does one work, have a family, eat healthy, spend time with friends, etc. The answer is that you can’t. Well, you can, sort of, but, almost always, something has to give. It is always a balancing act and you must continually look at your life, the direction it is headed and question if the path you are on now is going to get you to the destination you want to be later on. Sometimes the destination changes or you just simply don’t know. For me, the destination became clearer. I needed to make changes to get to that destination. I needed to clear some space in my life.

It’s not to say that I don’t think piano or music isn’t important. It is! It always will be! (If you want me to get started, I can, but it will have to wait.) I love teaching piano. I ‘geek’ music! I’d love it if you still wanted to ask me questions regarding music and music study. I know a lot! I’ve spend 16 + years doing that and almost 30 years actually playing music. I won’t suddenly forget everything I’ve learned. I won’t mind sharing with you.

I will miss my students. Period.

But what I REALLY don’t want to miss are my kids!! I’ve only got one time with them! Audrey has 5 years left before she graduates. Ben needs me after school to decompress. Luke will need me after Kindergarten next year. I’ve not regretted the time I spent teaching, so don’t misunderstand me. I don’t wish to go back and not have taught when the kids were younger. However, junior high is altogether different. The activities are right after school versus at 5:00 or later when they are younger. I want to spend time being there and being ready for them.

Other things are up my sleeve, too. I won’t sit around suddenly and eat bon-bons and watch soap operas (though I’ll have to watch my blog-reading carefully.) Oh, no!

The Rosebud Exchange Program that our family participated in this last year by having Victoria live with us is expanding. This coming year we hope to have 20 kids be hosted!! That’s a tremendous amount and what is needed are some detail management and more support. That’s what our family is going to do. I’m so excited!

Also, I want to be available. When I was a young mom, with just little ones, I looked up to older moms for advice and encouragement. What I found was that so many stopped coming to Bible study because their kids were all in school and they could get a job. I missed them. Instead of them leading Bible studies, I was! Not that I couldn’t, but my hands were pretty full and I really could have used the wise council of them. I didn’t want that to be me. I’ve spent the last two years in a great women’s Bible study and I’m practically the oldest one there. I realized I am now the older mom! When looking at my time and energies, it came down to teaching was taking up the most time and that needed to fall below the line for now. I want to be there for those moms, for friends, for my sister when she has baby, for my family, for the other things God has in store for me to do.

I may sound all strong to you. Hah! I cry about every other day! In fact, I often have to pull Bill aside and ask him why I chose to stop teaching, what the big picture is again. I’m a little concerned that once next fall hits, I’ll kind of wander around the house, lost and wondering where I am, who I am, etc.

Funny story: A student’s younger sibling started Kindergarten one year and I asked her what her mom did all day now that the last child was in school. She told me that her mom went shopping a lot and had a big pretzel every day!! (I don’t think I’ll be doing that.)

He will lead me. I won’t be lost. 

So, if you’ve got time Saturday morning, come hear my students play. I’m immensely proud of them!


  1. It really struck a chord with me that you talk about things "falling below the line". I've been doing some soul-searching lately and have realized that those things I love and feed my soul have been falling below the line and the other... ummm... stuff has remained in my life. So I want to flip my line - get those things that really don't matter to me dropped below the line and those things that I love and feed me back up into a priority status. Your message helped solidify my idea! I'm sure your students will miss you, too, but that God will help you fill your time. :)

  2. So proud of you for taking this big step of obedience. God always rewards obedience, and I'm excited to see what He has in store for you. You have been an amazing piano teacher, and I know you will be missed in that role. You are also an amazing mom and wife and friend!


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