Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sometimes I Do Hard Things

There was a time a few years ago when someone asked me if I would lead/conduct a song at church and I responded, "I would rather give a talk naked than do that!" I was then given the assignment of a prayer instead. I've NEVER had much musical confidence, and certainly not in leading music. Part of the problem comes from not being able to figure out what "the beat is", and the other part of the problem is feeling like an idiot waving my hand in the air. And I guess another part is the same question I have as Luke, "Why do you really need someone leading the music?"

Sometimes, I do hard things and over the last couple years I have really made a deliberate effort to (somewhat) learn to conduct music, and did it last year in a very small meeting.

Sometimes I do even harder things...

Like last Sunday, my dear friend Lori was going to be absent from church. Her role each Sunday is to lead the older children (8-11) singing in Primary. (The children's organization in the LDS church.)  A few weeks ago, in a weak moment, I committed to being her substitute.

I'll sum up my past experience and expertise in the area in Mike's simple comment when I told him a month ago what I had committed to do...

His reply? "Oh dear."

So much for that boost of confidence.
So then I told Megan, and her reply was something along the lines of, "You?"

Thanks to her too.

To make a long story short, Sunday was my big debut. Somehow in the days preceding my leading, Mike was asked to play the piano. (Served him right for his "Oh Dear!" comment.) He ended up only playing the opening song, and Megan took over for the rest of them. (He didn't feel confident or able to do the "spontaneous" song choices that my singing time activity required.)

It felt a little bit like a Sowby Family Circus with me conducting, and both Megan and Mike having taken a turn at the piano, but then turned into even more of a circus when the "Singing Time Dice" that was rolled required "stand on one leg" for the duration of a song. Not only did I have to wave a hand self-consciously in the air, while sweating profusely, I also had to stand on one foot IN HEELS, all while singing right along. As if I wasn't feeling self-conscious enough, I happened to look over to my left and saw the Primary President taking a photo of me!

What????? A permanent record of my circus act for all to see?!

Speaking of that "Singing Time Dice" that I used, there was one option on it for "No Chorister". I told the children ahead of time if they rolled that choice, I would personally deliver them a treat that evening. (Only one child rolled it, but she is my new favorite Primary child now.)

One of the options was, "No Piano". Both Megan and I were mildly concerned for this one in the days previous,as we are both well aware of my inability to sing on-key. When one of the children rolled it, I found myself looking over to Megan for some kind of immediate help and escape, and instead found her trying not to laugh. Fortunately she played a nice intro, and then I looked to a capable adult in the room to start everyone.

What a day.

Then, as if enough Sowbys hadn't participated in Senior Primary, Ellie was assigned to give the closing prayer. As proud as I am/was of doing something so completely out of my comfort zone, I am glad the  Sowby Family Meeting last week's Primary meeting is now just a memory. I'd much rather teach or speak than wave my hand in the air while people sing.

Oh well! I did it! I did something hard. When my friend later emailed me the following photo, she praised me for doing hard things and complimented me for staying right on beat! (At least I was during the balanced-on-one-foot song.)

On beat and on one foot in red heels while conducting a song.

I can do hard things.
Yay me.

(Not sure why my mouth is closed here. I was singing too!)


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