Happy Friday…and time for another Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is practice…which immediately reminds me of the years of piano lessons. They were decades of ago – seem a lifetime ago – but memories of those required thirty minutes every afternoon still seem painful. Dreaded. Thinking about the time spent practicing is bittersweet. I recall the arguments, even tears, over getting it done. So many times she admonished, “Practice makes perfect!” But I also remember the results. The music I could play and the enjoyment I had. Oh, the enjoyment!! Truly bittersweet is the regret of not following through and my lack of ability now at the piano.
Those middle-school thoughts also bring memories of my mother. Those memories are bittersweet as well, as they often are with anyone we miss so dearly. I love to remember but the remembering also hurts. If you are missing your mother this weekend, I pray you will find joy, even peace, in a memory. Choose one or two special memories and savor those this Sunday. If your mom is alive, don’t take this time for granted. I know days like Mother’s Day can mean many things – and stir many emotions and responses – from all of us. Whether you are a mom or desperately want to be a mother. Whether your relationship with mom is close, strained or absent. Or perhaps you are like me – not only missing your mom but your own mama’s heart is full but forever marked by grief. Whatever your situation, find someone to bless on Sunday. Find another mom to appreciate, to encourage or simply to remember. It’s the best way to have a Happy Mother’s Day.
START – My mom’s mothers (um, my grandmother) played the piano by ear. She even played and sang in the early years on a weekly radio program. Way before my time. My mother inherited her singing ability. Mom loved to sing – sang little choruses and “ditties” all the time – and used her singing voice to serve the Lord. Musical talent came naturally to both of them. For me…not quite as natural.
My musical ability requires much more practice and training. When I sing in the choir, I do best following a stronger singer. And my piano playing skills have all but disappeared since I gave up practicing – or even playing. I have always said that I have just enough musical talent to realize I don’t have enough talent. But I love music and would love to play. I enjoy singing and would love to sing well (or, at least, better). I would also like to learn a new instrument. A very new trick for this very old dog:) Learning the clarinet, remembering the piano, improving my voice…they all require practice.
I know this but I don’t always do this. I admit it. I also know this applies to so much more than music. Any skill or ability – whether learned or a natural gift – requires practice in order to improve, perfect and to simply to be of any value. Increasing in knowledge without using the knowledge is of little value. Having wonderful natural talent without ever using it is a shame. Whatever we have been entrusted with – talents, knowledge, abilities, etc. – we should be careful to appreciate them and to use them in order to honor the Lord.
STOP. You can find the rest of the FMF posts on “practice” here. Again, Happy Mother’s Day!!