I was recently inspired by my favorite blog, Chatting At The Sky, to share what I learned this past month. I like reflection a lot (a thing I also learned in April), and this was a big month, so I want to share some of it with you. 1. I am already bold, whether I feel like it or not, because Christ has made me bold.

This is a revelation I literally had this week as I was driving down the road (most of my revelations come this way). I've been reading a lot about how our identity is based on what is true, not on how we feel. So, my friends, whether you feel like it or not, if you are in Christ, you are a bold person, because as one of the redeemed and free, He has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.

2. Yep, I'm a mezzo.

This seems pretty DUH to those of you who have read this blog for a while. But upon listening to my recital, I had an "OOOOOOHHHH" moment. I could hear it, very pronounced: the warmth and timbre that makes everyone 100% positive. Also, sidebar: mezzo life is grand. 

3. I know how to sing.

This also seems pretty obvious, but two days before my recital, I was having serious doubts. Thank God for my mom and tough love. And when I walked up to sing my recital, all those doubts vanished. I've spent three years training the crap out of my voice -- it knows what to do. I can't tell you what a joy that is. It means I can let go. And that is so freeing to me.

   4. Freedom.

Yeah, just one word. I read this book called Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life. It's by the same author who writes Chatting at the Sky, Emily P. Freeman. This book actually saved my life. It was like talking with a trusted friend who knew everything I secretly struggled with. I've spent my life striving for acceptance and approval and worth. Emily's words sliced through all that to my heart, and I think this has been the first time in my life that I really believed all the verses that tell me that I'm free in Christ. Because His righteousness has covered me, I'm okay. I'm already approved of. I'm safe. I don't have to strive anymore. Let me tell you, for someone like me, this freedom is beyond price. It's hope.

   And anything with sunshine makes me feel hopeful.

Speaking of hope...

5. It's good to buy yourself flowers every once in a while.

Flowers are hopeful. And it's super awesome to see some beauty in your home, especially if your home is an apartment complex in a college town and your sunrises are viewed over a parking lot and a highway.

   6. I learned to celebrate!

I have Emily Freeman to thank for this, too. She has a podcast with her dad and sister through their ministry hope*ologie, and they did a podcast about celebration (which I'm listening to, right now, for the umpteenth time). Message to Sara: it's okay to celebrate stuff!! I realized that I never celebrated my recital, so I bought a book to that end. Celebration is valuable.

     

These are the two books I bought myself. You know. To celebrate.

Speaking of podcasts...

7. I like to listen to podcasts when I run. It's delightfully distracting.

8. I'm good at supertitles.

The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra is currently doing a concert performance of Carmen this weekend, and one of my professors asked me to do the supertitles -- the translations across the top of the stage. It involves marking the entire score (four acts, so no easy feat) with slide numbers and following along with the score backstage for the entire opera, then running the slides so that they match exactly with what is being sung onstage. To say that it takes a lot of concentration is an understatement. I'd never done them before, so I was afraid I would crash and burn, but guess what? I'm good at it, you guys! It helps that I know French. Plus it's just super satisfying to get it right (Clearly I'm a recovering perfectionist).

9. The Gray Havens.

My current new favorite band. That might be because a lot of their songs draw inspiration from Tolkien and Lewis (aka my main men), but also I just really like acoustic stuff.

10. Beethoven is what is up.

At the annual Scholarship Concert, I had the pleasure and honor of singing in the sextet of soloists in Beethoven's Phantasie in C minor for Piano, Chorus, and Orchesra. Our part was awesome, but the orchestra? OH. MY. GOSH. I got chills every single night. I was rocking out to Beethoven. I love music.

   Women soloists, left to right: Soprano I, Marenda; Soprano II, me; Alto, Kathleen

That's my April. In my planner, there is a page at the end of each month for reflection on the month. One of the questions is "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this past month?" I gave April a 10. It was emotionally volatile, but at the end of it, there was hope and joy and freedom.

What about you? What did y'all learn this month?

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