I’m 36 today. Some people don’t like to make their age public – I’m not one of them. Every year is a gift that I’m grateful for and I see no reason to be ashamed of the life that God’s blessed me with. And what an incredible blessing the past year has been!!
We have a great minivan now for getting to/from events with all our stuff, went to the Indy 500 and on a brief but action-packed trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, and saw a total solar eclipse in the center of the path of totality for over 3 minutes in a cloudless sky. Wow.
This time last year I had only performed once in public and was just diving into an online course that would change the way I see the label “musician.” Fast forward a year and we’ve had at least 16 performances in a variety of settings. Some might see that as a slow start but for a stay-at-home mom with a young child and a husband with a full-time job and budding passion for martial arts I think 16 is a GREAT number…ironically my birth-date too, ha! We’ve had the privilege to play for senior communities, churches, non-profits, artists, a local orchard, and probably the most special: a performance for the marimba’s prior owner Judy at her assisted living center.
So much has been laid as a foundation this year, much of it not visible to anyone but just a few people besides Doug and me. Books, advice, connections, opportunities…so many “bricks” being laid and leveled carefully underground that will hold up over time.
…and oh the people!! PRECIOUS time in backyards, across tables, at concerts and festivals, even a recent ladies’ leadership forum last weekend. Some of you who know me well understand that I don’t take a giant chunk of time for social events, but when I do I try to make it count (quality over quantity). The love, encouragement, and support I’ve felt from my friends and family this year has been enormous – and several of these friendships are nothing shy of the hand of God. Doug and I have been married for over 13 years and never really hosted anyone at our home – then circumstances this year just made it right for us to host two different mentors within a 3-month span. Crazy. It would be rude of me to share photos or publically spell out all the intimate moments I’ve had with folks this year but it’s been the BEST gift ever to share in your lives, really.
To top it all off here I am about to take possession of a custom-ordered instrument that will no doubt change the landscape of our music. Marimba is still the heavyweight of my repertoire and likely will be for a very long time and my love for the instrument hasn’t grown dull at all – but now I’ll have a beautifully paired hammered dulcimer to add more color, variety, and expression. It’s my birthday and Christmas gift (I’ve told Doug NOT to spend more money on me!) and I’m VERY excited about it! - those photos are coming as soon as I set eyes on it!!
This coming year is poised to be better still (I can’t believe I’m saying that because of all the pinch-me moments I’ve had this year!) and we’ll be playing at the Artsgarden downtown Indianapolis right around the corner in March. Doug will be taking a rigorous martial arts test to become certified Krav Maga instructor next month and I’ll be doing everything I can to bless you all through the music we make. There’s other things outside music that are materializing as well but much too early to share details. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is say nothing when I know what awesomeness is coming!
So, no matter how today goes or what storms lie ahead I am GRATEFUL for the past year and the rich stories that have come from it. I do not know how big of an audience God has put in our future that we are to impact but whether it’s 2 or 2 million I’m sold out to sowing into those God trusts us with – through music, friendship, prayer, and telling this story of how much He has loved me and loves you too. Come see us play this Christmas somewhere and celebrate the best birthday of all - Jesus.