Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Gratefulness Endurance Test

This week is definitely a testimony and a test of my endurance. For example, the morning started off with me teaching 90 kids a brief dance choreographed to "Green Eggs and Ham" from 'Seussical, The Musical,' in 10 minutes for their physical warm-up. It wouldn't have been so strenuous if I had someone else do the dance while I explained it. But, hopping on one foot while kicking three times in the air, where you literally punch the air with your foot at a 45 degree angle was the first three counts, and the last 5 counts were curling up into a ball then springing open into the formation of an X. Well, that could have been the end of my day right there, but it kept going. All for the better.

We are in the middle of "Covenant Kid's Choir Camp" at our church, and I'm having a blast. I basically leave the camp each day hoping they'll let me come back and teach again the next day. At my former job, they never gave me free reign of the microphone, and here I have access to 4 microphones all day long (it's only 3 hours), and they are amplified throughout the entire 1st floor of the building (very large). That's not really why I love it though, there are 90 kids clothed in excitement, gratefulness, and eagerness to learn. Last year we had 2 vocal teachers and a pastor, and this year we have 3 vocal teachers, 2 instrumental teachers, and a pastor. Did I mention 90 kids? The more the merrier.

I feel like a walking testimony of God's grace displayed in front of these kids, because I am not only able to walk around and teach (and sometimes dance) with energy, but my voice is back. I was not able to sing (nonetheless talk) throughout December and January, and now I am going on my 4th day of singing, on and off for long periods of time throughout each day. Is this the gift that I can now use again, when back in December I came to grips with possibly never getting it back? Yes. Just when I'm about to become frustrated with my limit to how much I can do, I remember moments where I wore sunglasses during church and sang mentally while the congregation was standing and singing out loud.

I have had my share of not-perfectly-comfortable moments this week. Like, carrying in 2 precious sleeping children up 2 flights of stairs and feeling my lower back slow down and legs fade until I crash into my own nap. Knowing that even though I feel mentally awake, I need to take breaks and not exert too much physical energy to save up for the end of each day, where dinner and bed time would need my saved up strength. Today I hovered between nausea, hand cramping, oncoming of a sore throat, extreme tiredness, fatigue, ocular migraines, anxiety, emotionalism, jealousy, wanting to pick-a-fight, complaining, stress, fear, and pure excitement and gratefulness that I could be doing anything at all. Notice I said, "hovered between" because I am so glad that the narrow path kept me from getting sucked into any of them. There is only One who carves out the Way and only God's steady direction in my thoughts could keep me planted on it. Like a little mono-rail line. It seems so skinny. Maybe because the path is precise and appears to float through mid-air, yet is firmly grounded.

I'll take it.

I was feeling inspired by a woman I met yesterday. She said, "If I live another 6 weeks, I'll be 93. My children say I'm just stubborn, and I say, well, what am I going to do, sit home and die? I'm going to go out and do things . . . I have 40 great-grand children. . . They say I have lasted this long because I know how to pray. That's all I can do for people is pray. If someone does me a favor, I just keep praying for them constantly. But you better watch out, [then she stuck her firm, strong, and long wrinkled finger in my face] because my prayers are answered."

I guess getting sucked into gratefulness wouldn't have been that bad. Maybe that's like arriving at Magic Kingdom on the monorail. It is truly freeing to be grateful.