Yesterday evening was the oldest DD’s voice recital. The girls are always formal for these events. I have resisted somewhat for the first two years but this year, it was time for her to have a formal gown. She’s finishing her junior year and getting ready for college auditions and competitions.
Sadly, my budget did not stretch to a formal gown this year. We were expecting that the recital would be on Saturday but then on Thursday, we received an email notice that it would be Friday instead. There went a day of sewing time! Yikes! I hurried to the fabric store and acquired some satin (6 yards in black) and 3 yards of poly silk organza in a lovely shade of blue. Notice, I did not buy a pattern. I planned instead to wing something.
When I got home later Thursday night, I found several yards of black ruffle knit that I had purchased some time ago. That find set me off in a new direction and it was a small miracle. I played with the ruffle fabric on my DD and quickly realized that I could create a wrap / column gown from it with minimal shaping / work. I did create straps from some black cotton that I had on hand. We used the organza as a shawl with out doing anything else to it. The ensemble was perfect!
I could not be a happier momma! The dress took less than an hour to create and the girl was happy.
In the last two months, my oldest DD has auditioned for a summer opera program that would take her to Italy and competed in SERNATS (South East Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing) in two categories. These are both huge events for her and finally she received some positive feedback from both! There had been lots of No’s lately and so these were huge!
First up was the summer opera program. She auditioned for the program and the scholarship which they offer. She found out she had been accepted and then within the week, she learned that she did not win the scholarship but she was an honorable mention (1 of 3) which equates to a smaller scholarship. We could not be more proud! Sadly, this program seems to be outside of our reach at this time with our limited budget.
This past weekend was SERNATS and she competed in both classical and musical theatre. She made finals in both events! That was the first step. She was the only one in her category (advanced high school girls) to make finals for musical theatre which means she won that category. She was one of three finalists for classical and finished second. That was wonderful! The girl who won has been studying since she was 5 with her mom who is a former star at the Metropolitan Opera. That means 11 years of study versus my DD’s 2.5 years of study. That’s a huge difference!
These things are just two more milestones with some other very important ones approaching. The ACT is coming up in April and another audition for a scholarship is also on the horizon.
It turns out that the scholarship audition coincided with the ACT and the ACT won that round!
The word for today is “wonder”. I see opportunities for wonder all around me in God’s creation. The fleeting smile on a newborn baby’s face, the majesty of the Grand Canyon, the beauty of a rose – all of these are “wonder”-ful to me.
If we fail to see the wonders which surround us, we are missing some of the best things in this gift of life we have been given.
I somehow got behind things yesterday and missed blogging. The word was “World”. This is one of my favorite words for Lent. To me this is simply living in the “World” but not being of the “World”. It’s a difficult charge to the Christian to do this. Getting caught up in worldly things is so easy to do, much like my time disappearing yesterday.
Accomplishing this separateness requires that we set aside time to anchor ourselves in Christ. That is definitely one of the things I need to work on for myself.
Settle is the challenge word today. Settle seems to have two very different interpretations in popular culture. To settle for something implies that you are going to accept less than what was desired. That’s a negative connotation. Then there is to settle down as in to find your soul mate and begin a new life together. That’s a positive connotation in my book. There is a third meaning as well - to settle as in to rest. I know I have said it many times to my own children “Settle down!”
Now what could it mean with respect to Lent? I suspect it is to rest in Christ and his unending love for us. We are so blessed! I also think this may be one of the harder things to do when we find ourselves wrapped up in the busyness that is our modern life. Finding time to settle with Christ – how do you do it? I think spending time in the Word as well as time in prayer are the two practices that help me most. I also find (or at least I used to find…) that worship can help me settle with Christ. Worship can be restorative for the soul.
I would love to know what helps you settle in Christ.
Injustice is the word for the Lenten challenge today. The world is full of injustice! In the headlines this week was the murder of a beautiful, smart, young woman at the hands of her superstar athlete boyfriend. This woman spoke out frequently against domestic violence. Her death is a horrible injustice.
I pray that my eyes might be opened to injustices happening around me during this season. Make me aware oh Lord, so that I might speak up and be a voice for those who are suffering.
The challenge word for today is “see”. There was much to see today in the news: a meteor that caused much damage in Russia and another asteroid that passed by with no problems. Somehow, I think that is not what is intended here. I think Lent invites us to see the world through different eyes. As we contemplate our own sins, our own unworthiness, we can begin to see the world differently. It would seem that the ultimate goal is to see the world through Christ’s eyes.
The word for today is return. I suppose in the context of Lent, this means to return to Christ. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and the liturgy for the imposition of ashes reminds us that we were made from dirt and to dirt we will return, yet we are marked as belonging to God in this simple act.
So what does return mean to me? That is a much harder question to answer. Christ is always in my heart but I have a separation in me right now. This separation (or gap) is between me and the body of Christ. It is an agonizing place to be. In all honesty, it is probably mostly in my mind. I still love the members of my church dearly. I find that I am struggling with a particular area which has left me feeling hurt and distrustful. For now, I don’t find it possible to return fully to the same body. Yet my children are fully immersed (or would be if I could find it in me to attend on Sundays) in the body, fully connected. They give me a tenuous hold.
I guess I have lots to work through this Lenten season.
Rethinkchurch.org has a photo challenge for this Lenten season. You can find it here. I don’t know about the photo part of the challenge but I think I might be up for trying to blog through it as a mediation. Most days have a one word prompt but today is a question.
“Who am I?”
I am a child of God, a sinner trying to follow Christ, a daughter, a wife, a mother. As a child of God, I must acknowledge my sins but I must also continue to live in such a way that I strive to follow Christ. My prayer today is one of thankfulness for Christ and his redemption of me (who am I but a sinner undeserving of his grace and mercy).
So two more milestones have occurred on the journey towards college. (Probably several others too…) First, my DD took her second practical exam with the Achievement Program. This is an exam that the students take once a year and in her case, she sings for a judge who is down from Canada’s Royal Conservatory. She sings songs from a required repertoire and performs sight singing and demonstrates ear training as well. We won’t know the results for several more weeks but we believe she did very well.
And for the second milestone, she took the ACT this weekend with the writing portion. This was her first time to take the ACT and we did not have additional tutoring for this one. It will function as her benchmark. We will see how her scores are and proceed from there.
Each one of these steps prepares her a little bit more for college.