Sunday, March 19, 2017


Michelle had a violin concert two weeks ago and federation on Saturday.  Her concerts/Federation always make her nervous.  She finds it challenging to memorize the songs (memorization has never been easy for her) and having to perform alone is nerve wracking, especially for Federation when she is being judged and receiving feedback.  She works really hard and even though I know she sometimes gets frustrated when she feels like she didn't do her best, I am proud of her for continuing to work hard and to try.

I've been thinking a lot lately about effort and goals and determination.  It seems like many things came easily for me as a child.  I learned to read early and I did well in school and I really loved to learn.  I still do.  (Today in church they started calling me Sister Dictionary in young women's because my friend Sara, our YW president, said I usually know the meaning of almost any word.)  The ability to read well, remember things, and learn easily has blessed my life in countless ways.  But because so many things came so easily to me, I think I often gave up too easily on things that didn't come so easily.  For example, in college I really wanted to learn to play guitar. My wonderful parents bought me a guitar for Christmas and I took a class.  I did practice and try but it was hard and it hurt...and I didn't get very good during that semester long class and while I still have the guitar, it doesn't get played.  Some day I really should pick it up and try harder to learn.  I can think of several other examples of times I either tried something and gave up too easily...or times when I was afraid to even try because I didn't want to fail.   I've also been thinking about the times when I felt the greatest accomplishment. One of these was when I finished a half marathon.  That was a huge accomplishment for me...I really don't enjoy running and I'm not very good at it.  I have to work really hard to exercise because I really don't enjoy exercising...I like the way I feel when I am completely done and I like the results when I exercise regularly...but I don't enjoy the process and so it is easy to put it off or neglect doing it.  I'm not sure if this is totally true, but in a sense I feel like it is a bigger deal when I run a half marathon because it is truly hard for me than it is for someone who loves running.  Just like it would be a big deal for someone to read 25 books this year if they only read 5 last year...but it will be no big deal if I finish 300 books this year (including picture books and chapter books and novels) because I typically read about that many books a year and I LOVE reading.  Sorry, I know I am rambling.

Back to violin. I  think Michelle has natural talent, but I also watch and know that she has to work hard at it and it doesn't always come easily to her.  I see her struggles and I think that in the long run she will be better and stronger for experiencing them.  It makes me both hurt to watch her struggle and sometimes doubt herself and also feel pleased that despite the struggles, she continues on.

I hope that she will continue to put in an effort on her school work and violin and so many other things.  I hope she remembers that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  She has great potential and I hope she sees and remembers that each day!