April 29, 2012

Another Step of Faith

I took another step of faith today. First of all, I made the decision that to play the cello well, I need to devote serious time to practice and study. Second, I decided that to play the cello really well, I need to give it a much higher priority than I have been lately. Now, granted, I have been super busy with school, and with graduating -- that has taken first priority since last Fall. Yet, I know I could have applied myself more, and could have been farther down the cello road, so to speak, than I am. However, giving myself a break, I know that I am where I am for a reason. I am simply trying to do too many things at once, and frankly, something has to give.

My To Do List includes:
  • Continued improvement on the cello, moving into grade four by the end of the year
  • Solidly learning French by the end of the year, and then adding in German by next year
  • Completely my Masters (in May), and then starting my doctoral program next fall.
In between, I need to work, and take care of myself and my son. I am well on my way to losing the weight that has crept up on me over the past year and half. I have lost 6 lbs already, and this has been in one week. I anticipate losing another 4 by the end of next week, and then slowly dropping 2-3 lbs each week until I hit my target weight of 140. I am pleased so far, but I know that with the weight loss, I also need to start exercising and I need to prepare myself for more physical activity (like traveling). I am  so ready to travel, but right now, I don't think I have the physical energy to do it.

How do I improve on cello and do everything else on my list? Well, I think the best way is to be super organized with my time. This means taking time to do everything in small increments, and consistently working towards accomplishing the goal. It is just like with weight loss -- you cannot drop 20 or 30 lbs overnight. You have to lose the weight each week, and it takes a cumulative toll -- whereby you see the final result at some point down the road.

This is true for everything on my list. I started playing the cello two years ago, and truthfully, I am farther ahead than most beginning students. For example, I am learning 4th position, and I am just about to start to read Tenor Clef. I also play with a small chamber group, and I have played works by Vivaldi as well as other composers. These were easier versions for me to play, thanks to my teacher, but they still were far more advanced than what most year 2 students would be able to play.

Furthermore, I am about ready to begin Suzuki Book 4, having completed all the pieces in book 3 except for two. I still want to complete those last two pieces, but the feat is still something to relish. I did complete books 1-3 in two years of study.

My new cello is a blessing, and I can play it well. I want to be really solid, so that I can play for my church, and I can be comfortable sight-reading any piece and then play it after just a week or two of practice. I also want to play cello solos and not freak out. I totally freak now, and struggle to perform. I get anxious even when I tell myself not to do it. I mess up or I fear that I will mess up and ruin the piece of music. This is rarely the case, yet it ruffles me and I lose concentration.

As far as foreign language, I have decided this: I can learn a foreign language easily since my Lord has provided this gift to me. I am able to do this, and I can do it so well, that I don't need courses to learn how to do this. I am registered for four semesters of French, and I had hoped to take a certificate program in Linguistics. Now, I am wondering if I really need to do this at all. The Lord is able to help me, and if it is his will, then so be it.

Last, I think I am ready to tackle any thing the Lord asks of me. I understand now that it is not about me. It is about Him, and in Him, and through Him, I am able to learn how to do anything He desires for me to do. This means that nothing can stop me, because no one can stop Him. My rest is in Him, and in His provision -- therefore -- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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