Thursday, February 27, 2014

Something to Offer

A few weeks ago in our main church meeting, Mike and I were asked to speak. Our assigned topic was "Sharing our talents and gifts." Because of my particular talents (or lack of) I made sure to emphasize the importance of recognizing the talents and gifts that are not ones to be publicly shown "on a stage". It seems the talents that can be shown on a stage are the ones we too often give the most attention to.

It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that I really do have talents, none of which could be performed at a talent show. In fact, you likely won't see me at any talent show. Which made me have to carefully phrase certain parts of my talk, as an upcoming church party is a...talent show. (Which incidentally is safe to say the Sowby Family will not be attending.)

I have never been a fan of "talent shows." Never have and don't think I ever will. It is always the same type of outward talents being shown every time. What about the handful of people (especially children) in the group that don't have an "outward" talent to show?

Like me.

I've never been one to have talents to "show." Although I could plonk out a song on the piano as a child, I was never close to being as musical as my brother. And even though I took ballet for a few years, my mother was heard to say, she thought I had "two left feet." (Which I think is all wrapped up in my non-musical side. I can't even tell you what the beat is in a song.) There were just some "talents" I didn't (and don't!) have.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make was one week we spoke in our church meeting and the very next week, my dear husband sang a duet with somebody! I felt like the timing of it all negated my talk. There I was last week trying to emphasize the "non-showy" talents we each have, and my husband goes and performs a duet (for the first time ever) the next week.

Let's talk about Mike just briefly...

Mike is very musically talented, but he doesn't really actively engage in any musical pursuits at this stage in his life. He has practiced and sung in our church choir almost weekly for the almost 9 years we've lived here, and occasionally he'll sit down at the piano and plonk out a song (with no music). He can also yell from the other room which note a child should be playing instead of the wrong note they played. He also accurately predicts contestants that will be in the Top 10 of American Idol each year.

Back to Mike and his duet. It was totally out of his comfort zone. He has always sung in choirs, but never in a duet. He reluctantly agreed to do it when a lady in our church asked if he would. He was pretty embarrassed about doing it, and didn't feel very confident about his ability, but he wasn't nervous about his duet debut.

I, on the other hand, was nervous for him. I was also nervous for me. You see, I sometimes have a tendency to laugh at times when laughing isn't really appropriate. Watching my husband perform a duet with a lady in front of our whole church congregation was unfortunately very close to inducing one of those inappropriate laughing episodes.

There was one small moment when I caught eye contact with my mother sitting at the other end of the pew, and I quickly looked away for two reasons. One, I was concerned it would really make me laugh and two, I was scared she'd give me "that look." You know, one of those "mom looks."  I probably haven't had one from her since I was a teenager, and the thought of her giving me one when I was 39 years old, still scared me. Maybe though, she wouldn't have given me the look, she was a little side-tracked holding Megan's head down on her lap when Megan had a brief laughing episode of her own.

I did also have to lay Joshua down at my feet for a short time until his laughing subsided.

You see, watching Mike sing a duet just isn't normal. And as proud as we all were of Mike and his efforts, it did cause a little stir among us.

After church, our friend emailed me a recording of the song. I have listened to it about 20 times since then and each time get teared up. I am so proud of Mike. If I knew how, I'd post a recording of it on here. Even though it would make him mad. (He was bugged when I told my parents he was singing, and even more bugged when I emailed the recording to his mother.)

Mike will be just as bugged that I just wrote a whole blog post about him singing a duet in church, but I consider my ability to write and record our experiences a talent of mine. He can share his talents in his way, I'll share mine, my way.

We make a good pair.


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