Well, as I have already mentioned, I embarrassed myself in a major way while trying to play in church yesterday. I had practiced the hymn many, many times. It sounded good. Really. I could sing along with it.

It turns out there is a very big difference between singing along while you play, and playing along while others sing. It is extremely challenging for me to listen to people singing and try to match their tempo while at the same time focusing on the chords I need to play. Sometimes I do okay, but yesterday I didn’t.

This is hard for me. I am a perfectionist and I hate to fail at anything. Twenty years ago, I would probably have left the room in tears and spent the rest of the service crying in the nursery or something. It’s not like I’m happy about screwing up in public now, but I have come to understand that it’s not the end of the world. My friends at church won’t reject me or make fun of me because of it–at least not to my face! And the reality is that I’m not doing it for them. I’m offering it as a service to God, and God knows how hard I worked and that I was faithful to practice to the best of my ability.

That’s my job, really–to be faithful. I believe that I will get better. I am working very, very hard to learn a new skill, and it is bringing me joy despite the difficulties of trying to teach this old lady some new tricks. Years ago, I knew a lady who was about the age that I am now, and she was always saying that she didn’t want to do anything that required her to learn a new skill. I hope I never get to that place. I love learning new skills. Sure, it would be nice if I didn’t have to perform in public while still learning, but that brings me to another thought.

The college students are back now. One of them is a violist who sometimes accompanied the singing last spring. He is willing to do it again. It was suggested that he and I could play together. This introduced a whole new level of stress for me. This means we would have to practice together. I don’t know if I’m up for that. I would be very happy for him to just take over again, especially if that’s what everyone else wants too. However, I will continue to practice and learn to play the autoharp, because I really believe that someday I’ll be good at it.

As I was preparing for supper yesterday, I discovered that we were having five guests for supper instead of the two I was expecting (all college students). Thankfully, I don’t think anyone left hungry!

Today was the first day in a few weeks that I got to go to my Bible Study, and the first day since the beginning of summer that I got to go with Robin. Sadly, my teaching schedule is such that I will only be able to go once a month during the school year–on the one Monday that we have 4-H. It was great to see the ladies again and I left inspired.

The 4-H meeting went longer than usual, but Jasper really enjoyed it and I got a lot of fairy pockets made. The first thing the kids did was to write a letter of appreciation to a veteran. Because of his dyslexia, Jasper needed help, but he did a great job.

After we got back I went to work on figuring out the chords for the hymns for next Sunday–just in case. Fortunately most of the work was done for me. I have two chorded hymn books. I have found that even though they have chords, they do not always show the chord change in the right place, and sometimes they leave out a chord change that really needs to be there. I think I have them both where they need to be now. Tomorrow I can start practicing some of my other pieces too. I don’t want to disappoint my teacher when she returns from her trip!

I now have 111 fairy pockets made. I need at least double that amount, so I can’t slack off. I really hope people like them and want to buy them!


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