This true story is for my best (female) friend.  You know who you are.  Merry Christmas!

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.
Victor Hugo

They were introduced after church…our new music directors, a young couple with impressive credentials: one with an excellent voice, one with impeccable piano/organ skills, both with different but complimentary people skills and a desire to build a wonderful music program.  They announced, as is always announced, that anyone who liked to sing or ring bells was welcomed to come to practice for choir, bell choir or praise team.  I thought I might try praise team.

Christmas music

I liked to sing, my voice mostly in the alto range, although on good days I could stay in the soprano range or drop into tenor.  My mom and I sang alto and tenor for years at church, but after I married I didn’t do so as much as it confused the singing of the melody for other members of my family.  I missed it and thought this the perfect opportunity.

Although I played piano for many years and learned theory, theory was never something I enjoyed and I hadn’t be playing seriously for years, so I struggled with having to pay attention to timing.  I was on the outside of all the musical jokes and references by the rest of the (small) praise team and knew I was usually the one who was wrong when something didn’t go right.  But I wanted badly to sing and so I persevered.  They were gracious and encouraging.

Christmas was approaching and one night after practice we chatted, she about his family coming into town, how busy she was, how behind , wondering how the house would be made ready, the gifts wrapped and everything done.  This was something I knew, a set of skills I possessed—helping, organizing, getting things done while having fun.  I offered to come over one night and help.  She said, as is always said and as is expected, “That’s nice but…”   I told her that I’d like to and that she should pick a night and time.  Otherwise I’d just drop by.

We set it up and I arrived.  We took out and arranged all the special ornaments and decorations.  We wrapped gifts.  I suggested a pillowcase for the pesky shape of a frying pan and it worked beautifully.  We talked and laughed and had a wonderful evening.  And although it took time to grow and mature, the Christmas gift we received that night was the lasting gift of friendship.  ­­­

Merry Christmas to all of you, my real and virtual family and friends.  Thanks for your support and encouragement, for reading and commenting and “liking”, for talking back and forth and for sharing bits of your life with me.  May the Lord richly bless you at Christmas and in 2013!

http://www.gbgm-umc.org/stjohns/notes.html

Comments
  1. Merry Christmas and blessings to you!

  2. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Merry Christmas, Janet! I love this story. I especially love that you told her to pick a time or you would just drop by. More of us need to do that~~just drop by.

    • You’re right, Robin. Most of us have been conditioned not to accept any help, even when we need it, as if it reflects on us as people. Accepting graciously is a gift many of us need to learn and practice. Have a wonderful Christmas with (most) of you family and may 2013 be your best year yet.

  3. May all of life’s frying pans end up in pillow cases… 😉

  4. Joyce says:

    I liked your post here, Janet. It is interesting to learn of your ability and connection to singing in a choir or praise team. I can relate to that. I came from a minister’s home (my parents were pastors of churches for over 40 yrs.), and our family was raised with music ability and musical instruments. My sisters and I were taught piano lessons, my brother learned to play the trumpet like my dad, and my mother played a saxophone. My husband went to Bible College and was licensed under the full gospel denomination (Foursquare) like my parents were, and we were active in ministry work all through college and after his graduation, continuing in ministry work for years after getting out of Bible College, so this story about you and your friends rings a (familiar) bell with me. It’s good to hear another’s story and connection to much of the same.

  5. An awesome Christmas story. I hope you had a nice Holiday.

  6. If we can learn to accept invites of hospitality from others, and to offer our services voluntarily without contingencies, but with love. We are all servants of Christ. I love that you offered to drop by, to me it showed your sincerity. I enjoyed visiting your blog, and look forward to visiting with you again.

    Shenine

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