The truth is that I have started to write this post, and then written, re-written, deleted and given up about a dozen times over the last month or so. I don’t have any big announcement to make. It’s just that sometimes words are difficult, and trying to give a realistic glimpse into life here is hard.
We are having one of the most stunningly gorgeous autumn that I've seen here in a long time. There is much joy to be had in going on walks and soaking up the color and the smells of falling leaves. I actually dictated most of this update as I walk. On days like today, I wonder why it was so hard to get myself out the door, but then as I walked, I realized that my hesitation has less to do with how I feel about being outdoors, and more to do with the reflection and inevitable confrontation of myself. There has been a lot of change at school and in me this year and I think it is taking a little more of a toll on me then I'd like to admit. Sometimes I want to cast blame and other times just want to curl up and hide in the corner. It’s not that the changes themselves have been hard. If anything, they make sense and provide opportunities for help and development. But when schedule changes, shifting responsibilities, and a large teaching load compound with a new living space and a new office, surging emotions remind me once again that change is hard. I am committed to what I do here, and I believe in the God who called me here. Sometimes there are longer stretches when good is less visible, when progress is hard to track, and you wonder about the purpose of your presence. But then there conversations like the one I had with a student the other day who came in for a piano lesson and was on the point of tears because of feelings of being alone and overwhelmed by the transition of a first year here. Feeling sad and spread thin, and this student was missing the depth of being known by family and close friends who are currently far away. We mulled over friendship together, and reflected on the fact that deep relationship and good friendship take time and patience. It’s easy too look around and feel that everyone except you belongs. I wish I could say that through the conversation, all fears were allayed and that this student will now have a stress-free year. However, in reality these feelings will be more like waves in the ocean, coming and going at intervals. They will continue, but they will be fewer and farther between. Please pray for the students at BFA. Pray that they will continue to verbalize these experiences, and that they will form deep friendships that will point them to Christ. Pray that in their desire to know and be known, they will encounter the One Who knows them best at every turn.
This week my Piano 1 students are spreading their improvisational wings. They have been given a number of tools and skills, and now their objective is to strike out on their own. I’m excited to report back about how they do! This class is delightful. There are seven students, which means every piano in the room is full, and they are dedicated, focused, and enjoying having fun while learning.
Piano 2 is a smaller class, but they are motivated and enjoy helping me find new music for them to learn. They are tackling music that builds their technical skill and polishes their foundational knowledge of piano playing.
I wish I had time to tell you about each of my eleven private students. If you come and visit me, I’d be delighted to introduce you personally so that you could appreciate each of their unique personalities. Several days a week, I teach lessons or classes during nearly every class hour, but because of the dedication and determination of each of my students, I can honestly say that I love the time I spend teaching each one.
If you have been following my blog, you may remember that I had significant pain in my right hand, thumb and wrist last winter. I am happy to say that that pain has subsided dramatically, and I am able to play, practice and teach normally and pain-free. I have been taking specific measures that help maintain good practice and care of my hand, and will hopefully avoid similar or worse issues in the future. Many of you kindly offered words of encouragement and prayed faithfully. Thank you so very much!!
To all of you who support me prayerfully and financially, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are vital partners in everything mentioned in this post, and I am grateful for you every day that I am here.