Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Teacher

She patiently reads to her brother, often encouraging him to read and helping him sound out words.

She shows him how to do house work, teaching him more patiently than her mother does.

She helps him with his school. In fact, it is her delight to do so.

Over the last while, the conviction has crept upon me - slowly, I might add - that my daughter is a born teacher. In fact, although it is too soon to say for sure, I wouldn't be surprised if that is her life calling.

A few days ago, quite out of the blue, she asked me what I thought she should do when she grew up. Truthfully - and this will be met with some opposition I am sure - I am of the opinion more than ever that as a female, she needs to *first* plan her future to be at home, raising the children God gives (should He decide to bless her). All other future plans should revolve around that.


I asked her the question: "If you decide you want to further your education, what would you do if you got married and had children? Would you be willing to forsake your *career* to be the nurturer of any children you might have?" Because, quite simply, I believe this to be one of the reasons women (yea....even APOSTOLIC women) are often tempted to hold part-time jobs and give their children up to a babysitter. They don't like their two year, four year or even longer *year* education GOING DOWN THE DRAIN.

To this end, this is what I advised her (yes, I know she is only eight but it is NEVER too early to guide my opinion....AND...so she doesn't have to work a minimum-wage paying job all her life if she doesn't get married):

That since she loved teaching, even THRIVED doing it; AND all indications are that she excels playing the piano.........that she concentrate putting the two together to teach piano. Because teaching piano pays excellent, is something she could do while pursuing more education, while single, while married, while raising and nurturing her children to help out financially if necessary, as an empty-nester, and even in her retirement. In a nutshell, it is something she could do at all stages of her life.

It is also something she could contribute to children who could not afford lessons by donating a little time each week to an inner city school teaching kids. I said this last point because my daughter......BLESS HER SWEET, LOVELY HEART......asked if teaching piano was something she could do to help those in need.

I tell this next story with full permission. My youngest niece, Jenna, who is 19, just began piano lessons. Tonight she completed her second lesson and came over, much frustrated. I give her full credit for trying. I tried in my early 20's to take lessons and quit after a month. I found it extremely frustrating after playing by ear for years (and not very well at that) to try to "unlearn" all my bad habits and start at the beginning playing Mary Had A Little Lamb. She has the same teacher as Hannah, and we are discovering him to be a bit "out-of-the-box" in his teaching style. I think ultimately it will be good for Hannah because he is pushing her out of her comfort zone. For Jenna, he is trying to get her to play songs that are not beginner level. It does seem as if he is putting the cart before the horse.

So, much to Jenna's credit, she swallowed her adult pride and asked Hannah for help. For the next hour or so, Hannah - very patiently - went through one of Jenna's songs, teaching her things that it seemed her teacher skipped. Step by step. Line by line.

Precept upon precept. Here a little, there a little. ((smile))

I was in the kitchen listening. Hannah never lost her patience. Jenna never got mad at Hannah. I marvelled at Jenna's occasional "OH, I GET IT'S!!" until eventually they played Jenna's first song duet-style - Jenna playing the left hand and Hannah the right. In one hour a whole lot of progression was made. It was beginning to click for Jenna. Hannah was in her element.

And I was in the kitchen teary-eyed.

My daughter is born to teach. In what capacity in the future, only God knows.

But the piano is a wonderful place to start.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Thought About Teenagers

Just found this quote that I want to share:

"The idea that kids must first be teenagers for seven years of their young lives, and in many ways their most ambitious years, before they can be adults in our society is absurd. I have not found a place in the Bible that says anything about this teenage time. What I have found is this: "When I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish things behind me." (1 Cor. 13:11). Why aren't children maturing the way they should?"

This came in my homeschooling journal today. A woman was doing a book review on John Taylor Gatto's Weapons Of Mass Instruction, and was stating her opinion. Since I have not yet read that book, I am not sure if she was reflecting the view of John Taylor Gatto.

What do you think? I have never thought of it this way. I definitely will be pondering it......

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Music Of My Heart

With the passing of well known pastor and singer (amongst apostolics), Brother Murrell Ewing, I have been thinking a lot about music. This has come about because, like so many others since Brother Ewing's passing, I have listened and watched him on youtube. I have been touched by his thorough, unabashed love for the Lord and anointing, both in preaching and singing. Whether or not one liked his musical style, nobody could deny that he was anointed.

In one of his videos, he was telling the congregation that when his daughter Vonnie Lopez (also very well known for her musical ability among apostolics) was a child, she did not appear to be musical at all. His son, Landy, from a very early age was obviously talented, so he and his wife, Joan Ewing (fabulous songwriter) found themselves praying in earnest that God would bestow this gift upon their daugther as well. This is where the video clip ended, but it is obvious that we know the end of that prayer, for we know the talent of Vonnie Lopez.

I then watched the archive of Brother Ewing's homegoing/funeral service online. Near the end of the service, they played a clip of the last time their family was together for Thanksgiving. At this gathering, in the midst of their family's usual singing and playing, Brother Ewing started unexpectly praying. They were blessed to be able to get his praying on video and played it. I have transcribed a portion of his prayer, particularly the part he prayed about music:

"I want to thank You for the beautiful, beautiful family that You not only gave us in these yesterdays of my mother and daddy's life, I want to thank You for what You've given Joan and I. And let me say thank You right now before I go any further with this prayer, let me thank You that You gave our family the knowledge and an ear to be able to hear music. So many people cannot enjoy music like we are enjoying this tonight. They just don't have an ear to hear it. It's kind of like Jesus said about some of his followers, He said, "You just don't have an ear to hear." And that's so true in so many people's lives. But You've given us not only the ability to hear music, You've given us the ability to harmonize and make music ourselves, and enjoy what we can produce. And we can get the blessing from that as well."

Let me say this right now: I think I have a new revelation. I guess I have always thought that God just chose whom He chose to have musical ability. I didn't know why He chose whom He chose. It is my belief (and remains so) that if God chose to give a person musical ability that they need to be very serious, careful and not big headed about it. Because of this, I have never been one to flaunt my own ability (at least that I know of).

What is a revelation to me is that a family can so enjoy music, bask in the wonder of it, talk about it, be well known because of it, and still be totally ANOINTED, CAREFUL AND HUMBLE about it. My brain has a hard time mixing the two. Although those in our family that are musical have gotten together and had fun jamming, none of us really talk about music outside our own family. We talk about it if we're asked, we sing if we're asked. I'm not saying that is bad, but I am saying that I almost feel like we've been scared to ENJOY IT TOO MUCH. And although I regularly ask the Lord to anoint my singing, I am ashamed to admit that I haven't often thanked Him for the ability to sing. Somewhere in my pea-sized brain it almost seemed to me that that prayer made me less than humble. (If you wonder where that came from, your guess is as good as mine).

What's also a revelation is the fact that if you ask the Lord, He may just make a previously non-musical person turn musical. Like Vonnie Lopez. Which again is warped because, come on, this is the Lord we're talking about.

And you know what? I've been asking like I've never asked before. I have a daughter who has surprised me by her piano playing ability. She has been told now by several people that she is advanced. She loves it. But she had never been able to sing. Although she is only eight, the singers in our family all could sing quite well much younger than that, so I assumed she would not be a singer. However, in the last few months she has been expressing a genuine desire to sing. She has been trying to hear harmony parts. And, since I've got my new "revelation", I've been praying for her. And you know what? Tonight in church (as she has done for the last few services) she is listening to me sing harmony. She sang harmony with me (we're talking high tenor) and for the first time tonight when I heard her singing it fairly effortlessly, I changed to soprano to see if she could keep it on her own.

AND SHE DID! FOR QUITE A WHILE! And she could not wipe the smile off her face when I gave her the thumbs up!

And you know what, I now have dreams of duets with my daughter. She could even play the piano and sing harmony at some point in the future. And you know what else?

I AM NOT GOING TO BE BASHFUL ABOUT IT! Although I won't flaunt it, I will enjoy what the Lord has done, REJOICE AND BE GLAD about it.

I am going to start praying for my son in earnest. He can't carry a tune in a wet paper bag.


Although tonight after the first song, he nudged my arm and informed me, very seriously, that:

"Just thought I'd let you know, mom, that I was singing the low part of this song."

And I grinned. You gotta love it. God is good.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Normal And Daring

I don't think it's daring, I think it's normal.

I recently read this statement on someone else's blog in defense of their belief. Since then, the comment has stuck in my brain and has made me think of the things that I think are normal. Some of them are very distinctly MY OPINION.

I found this person's belief very interesting, so much so that I believe given the opportunity, I could be "swayed" by their belief. Thus, on this New Year's morning, I decided to compile a list of things I think are normal. Things I am firmly convinced of and the roots of belief run deep. This is not to condemn those in disagreement, but is meant to cause thought. As well, I would be interested to hear what other's view as normal. I love giving thought to something I have never before thought about in a certain way.

Here is a list of eight things that come to mind as being normal to me (in no particular order):

1) I think it's normal to homeschool my children. I think it's daring to send your child to a public school.

2) I think it's normal to breastfeed. I consider it daring to to try to replace mother's perfect-for-their-baby milk, with a one-size-fits-all formula. (Although this is pretty much a societal norm).

3) I think it's normal for a mom to stay at home with her children and for a dad to be the breadwinner. I think it's daring for parents to put their children in daycare.

4) I think it's normal for children to have two parents (a mom and a dad, more specifically) and very daring for a mom to intentionally choose to be a single parent (for the sake of having children).

5)......and we're getting more controversial here.......(bearing in mind there is no malice intended..) I think it's normal for parents to be the main influence of their children....NOT PEERS. This means that I think it's daring for children and youth to spend too much time with other children and youth (yes, even youth groups) because it causes conflict of "influence" between the parent and the peer.

6).....more controversy......I think it's normal for a woman/girl to be distinct from a man/boy in dress and conduct. I think it's daring to blur those lines even a little because of the danger of.....INDISTINCTION.

7) I think it's normal to go to church for every scheduled service. I think it's daring to miss (except for sickness, of course) any of the scheduled services quite simply because we're human and humanity is CARNAL.

8) I think it's normal to have close bonds with your "blood" relatives (despite stinky quirks or traits). I think it's daring not to give special consideration to your family (over friends.....for the most part) because we reap what we sow, and we can fully expect to end up lonely and alone in our old age (because if anyone will stick with you to the end, family will BEFORE a friend). That is a FACT.