Life...


The Elysian Flute Trio: Me, (Sheila), Jen, and Marianne

A certain unnamed person mentioned that I need to blog.

I haven't done a random post just about what's going on in everyday life for a while, so I shall. Maria reminded me that I forgot to mention that my Mom did come home from the hospital fine that evening. She is still well. :)

I have Concerto Competition coming up on Saturday, and festival in a couple weeks, so that is very exciting, and I'm really looking forward to it! I have a bit of prep to do, and I sort of injured my arm yesterday attempting to snowboard (I promptly scared myself and went back to skiing, but it still happened...) so my left arm is a bit sore and yesterday and today I didn't get much practicing in. I think tomorrow I'll try to do a bunch more flute.

I haven't given you a proper update on what's happening with this new 'singing thing' I'm doing!

It is going fabulously...and it pays to have a singing teacher who does acupressure! :D I went for my every-other-week lesson today, and just enjoyed it so much. It's a real stretch for me, singing 'solo', (as in, not with a choir) but I need that stretch. Just today Rosemary told me (after me saying it's hard to make myself do vibrato unless nobody's listening) that she falls into the 'nobody' group, as in, singing for her is like nobody's listening--Sing with complete abandon! Needless to say I love it.

Oh yeah, and back to the first sentence of the last paragraph; as I mentioned before, I hurt my arm, and was therefore very tense, especially after trying to sleep last night and really straining myself trying to find a comfortable position. Now get this: Rosemary actually noticed my tenseness in my singing! Wow! How's that for professionalism, eh? So I explained about my aforementioned injury being I guess the main cause of the tenseness, and she promptly stood up, asked me about it, and did a little sort of half massage-but-not-really, half something-or-other on that shoulder/arm that seemed really wonderful, and gave me some tips. Yay for healthiness! Otherwise, I'm just LOVING being able to sing, and I'm really starting to feel it, literally, physically, and I'm trying to give up on listening all the time. When I'm at lesson, I'm really trying to follow her advice and let her be the ears, and it is SO freeing. I really am truly falling in love with singing.

Flute is incredible, as always, and speaking of which, I have flute lesson tomorrow, and practice with the pianist! Hopefully my arm won't act up. Seems okay as long as I rest it really close to my body. Good thing it's my left arm! Jen is amazing, and I love seeing both the flute teacher side of her, who is an absolute wealth of information and ideas and creativity, and also the human, fun, encouraging, and sweet side of her. Makes for a fabulous rapport. Like I said, I have festival and such coming up, and I'm VERY excited, and so is Jen, so it will be a bit of a team effort. :) Oh, and I think my trio will be doing a concert in early fall! I'll post our website when it's a bit more detailed, as right now there isn't much on it.

Piano's fun, and I'm also playing one piece in festival, but there's nothing extraordinary happening. I went to Lasqueti again about a week and a half ago for some theory/history/harmony intensive, and enjoyed it immensely. I ADORE Mrs. Morrison! She is the sweetest lady, and it's kind of nice to have a 'co-conspirator' in my veggie decision. Totally encouraging. We went for a walk in the beautiful, seemingly untouched forest, and wandered through the garden (talk about temperate climate, there are still cabbages, and brussel sprouts, and lots of root vegetables out there!), and just had a marvelous time. :D I'm switching to RCM from CC now too, because of using government grant money, which means that I have to take an easy exam in May, but that's not a big deal. I got my results from my January theory/harmony exam, and they weren't great. I was really surprised, because I felt so confident and did so well on all the practice exams. I had no problems whatsoever on the exam, so Mrs. Morrison and I think it must be a mis-marking. Not sure though. We'll see when we get the exam itself back. In any case, I'm loving it, and really enjoying being so comfortable on the piano--finally!

And now...I've updated you on life. Haha. All music. :) Really! Well, we did have a fabulous Bible study tonight too. I enjoyed that a lot. God is good!

Blessings on you all,
Sheila

We're a silly bunch!

He Holds us in His Hands


Hello dear friends,
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I have recently discovered how amazing, encouraging, comforting, and compassionate people can be. God surely is good.
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A recent day started out as a normal day. My Mom and I went to a practice for me on flute with my piano accompanist, and went to the bakery, and when we came home I worked on som sewing, while my Mom did some office work and made some phone calls. My Dad and I had plans to go to a symphony concert in the evening.
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At about 4:15, my Mom had a TIA. TIA stands for Transcient Ischemic Attack, and is basically a mini-stroke. She was confused and couldn't speak, but within a couple minutes was fine. I've done quite a bit of first aid and lifeguard training, so I immediately checked her pupils, but they weren't uneven. Since that was okay, and she was acting normal (albeit laying on the bed) I called my Dad, and told him he'd better come home. I also checked in my first aid book in case there was something that I'd seriously missed and needed to act on immediately.
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Then I called the BC nurse line, explained what had happened, and they told me to call 911. I did. I never thought I'd dial those numbers! Soon we had the ambulance there, and fortunately by that time my Dad was home. I'd kept my cool so far, and was managing pretty well. My Mom was fine, but occasionally couldn't say exactly what she wanted to. They took her to the hospital (I rode in the ambulance...is that weird or what?) and did a bunch of tests, confirming the TIA. I read her from scriptures, and did a lot of praying.
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Since she was fine, and they were just doing a bunch of tests, my Dad and I got to go to the symphony concert, (I was SO glad I'd worn a skirt that day!) and it was such a blessing. I had a couple bouts of scared-ness, but I never cried, and if you know me, you know I cry at everything. You're reading words from an emotional girl. Anyway, I went outside at intermission to find my flute teacher (Jen) who was in the orchestra, and she was so sweet. I needed encouragement, and I got it. What a blessing.
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The neighbours, the pastor, the paramedics, the hospital staff, rebelutionaries, the flute teachers, ;) they were all so wonderful!
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My Mom came home in a Taxi while we were at the concert, and is now completely back to her old self, and we're so glad. Just a few more tests, and we're done. I just felt through the whole thing like God was giving me his wisdom and peace. I managed to smile when I was scared, take charge when I had to, and keep my cool in the face of what could have been a tragic situation. Now, I'm not bragging about myself by saying that; I'm bragging about my God. He is amazing!
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Let that same God be there for you, no matter what happens. Let Him be your guide, know that He will see you through, no matter how big, how scary, or how terrible the situation. He holds us, as instruments in His hands.
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God bless,
Sheila

A Special Gift

I was recently talking with Erica on the phone, who was mentioning how God was laying it on her heart to bless people with things, and though she wasn't actually thinking about this at the time, she did do this. I discovered, much to my complete and UTTER excitement, this, at the post office this afternoon.



Isn't it fabulouso? And Erica...zoom in on the pics on the wall. Haha.
(Weird how your smile can look okay in the mirror, and you take a photo and it turns out horrible!)



While we're on this topic, I thought I would post a couple pics of other VERY special gifts that I have received. :) Mariah sent me this one for Christmas 2006... (these are old pics)
Isn't that the most gorgeous scarf you've ever seen? I LOVE it!!! If I hadn't received this, I probably wouldn't have learned to crochet. :)
And this, I mean, a handmade skirt? It's one of my absolute favourites! Maya (Mariah) made it for me for my birthday last April.
I also received a cross-stitched kitten/puppy thing that said 'A friend knows all about you and STILL likes you' from Maya this Christmas, but I can't find the pic!
At the time I received these gifts, I hadn't met the giver. Can you believe it? Such special tokens of love from friends you've never even hugged. Goodness, crazy!
So, the moral of the story is this: You can bless people greatly through gifts. Not that we should give gifts just because 'it's the thing to do', but because we can be a blessing. And of course, we must remember that gifts come in the form of just a phone call or a note too. These gifts can mean the most of all!
Give in the name of Jesus!
Sheila
This is odd for me, I usually don't do tags, but Bryant tagged me, and this time I feel like doing it. Here are the rules:

:: Link to the person that tagged you.
:: Post the rules on your blog.
:: Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
:: Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
:: Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

So here goes!

1.) I don't use shampoo, conditioner, or shower gel, and as soon as this tube of toothpaste is gone, I won't use that either. No, I don't stink. :P Ask me if you're curious. :)

2.) I LOVE Caf-Lib but I can't stand coffee!

3.) If you measure the circumference around my ponytail, it's 11 cm. (almost 4 1/2 inches)

4.) If I have several foods on my plate, I eat the one at a time (I'll eat all the peas, then all the potatoes, etc.)

5.) My 6 best friends all live 'abroad'. (Thanks to the internet!)

6.) I am a citizen of both Canada and Switzerland. :D

WooHoo, there you have it, 6 random facts. I tag:


Off you go! Have fun!

Hugs,
Sheila

An Instrument in Christ's Hands


Dear Friends,

I've used this name for my blog so long that I don't think about it much anymore, but sometimes I do, and when I do, this is what I think...

What is an instrument? Here are two dictionary definitions, to start things off:

1.) A device used to produce music
2.) a. A means whereby something is achieved, performed, or furthered
b. One used by another as a means or aid

So truly, what does it mean to be an instrument in Christ's Hands, His hands alone, and being that instrument with all joy and fervour?

I believe that it means that I am to be used by another (God) as a means or aid for some purpose, to further the kingdom of heaven. After all, that is God's purpose, and if He uses me to further His purpose, that is what I will be doing. For instance, if I was to purpose it in my mind to stir the pot of soup on the stove, and I picked up a stiring instrument, (we'd usually say utensil) I wouldn't be using the spoon to clean the bathroom sink, or to pick up dog toys off the floor. I would use it to stir the pot of soup. With the relationship between myself and God, it is exactly the same. I am the spoon, the world is the pot, and the me is God. (Analogies always break down somewhere)


I would be rather upset if my spoon chose not to help me stir the soup, but rather wanted to attempt to clean the bathroom sink. Knowing that the spoon was not a good instrument to clean the sink with, I would correct it, and inform it of its rightful duties to keep the soup from burning, and would draw it back to myself, to be used for its proper purpose. In the same way, if I choose do do something against God's leading, (like a spoon trying to cleaning the sink) I will surely fail, and dire consequences will follow. (I don't want to use the spoon to stir soup after it has scraped soap scum!) So sometimes, God boils the soap scum off. Boiling doesn't feel good. It's really hot, and hurts a bit, and we know that when our cleansing is complete, we will be required to go back to work as Christ's instrument.

And when we do, we are fulfilled. Like Jonah, who, after running away to 'clean the bathroom sink', was 'boiled' in the belly of a big fish, and told to head on to Nineveh, and the rewards were fully worth it!

That being said, I don't think being Christ's instrument is all about doing things we don't want to do! If our lives are fully committed to Jesus, it will be our greatest pleasure to serve as His instrument, doing His bidding, and reaping our just rewards. He has given us the priviledge of being His instruments, and all we have to do is consent.


This is why I want to be An Instrument in Christ's Hands. It is a most worthy task, and I can only pray that I will in some way fulfill it. Of course, I love the fact that instrument is also the name of something you make music on, because, after all, I love making music! So that is another quick aside for the name of this blog, but really, it's all about serving our heavenly Master, a loving God who I long to know better, and with His help, I will.

Now, as we all set forth to be the best instrument that we can, let us lift one another up in prayer, and further Christ's glorious purpose as we are...

Instruments in Christ's Hands

In His name,

Sheila

Another Amazing 'God Moment'

This is actually kind of like a PS. to the last post, so please read it first if you haven't already.

Today, God let me have that blustery breeze. I went to the beach today, and you wouldn't believe it, when I got there, it was blowing beautifully! Now, you may think that going to the beach when it's windy isn't much fun, but let me tell you, it's glorious. I happened to be wearing a skirt, (the pink one from the pics in the Summer) and it blew my hair, and my face, and the waves crashed, and the sun peeked through the clouds. It glistened on the soaring birds...so beautiful. Yesterday I wrote a little prose, and I finished it today at the beach...it fit so perfectly. So as I sat there on a log...I felt this: (words typed underneath video) Turn off the music first!




The breezy wind dashes through my hair--I feel it go, and come again.
I hear the crash of waves on the shore, the whistle of the wind, flying
through the woods and over plains--and then my face, rustling my skirt, my hair, my very being, soul...it breathes and sighs;
the freshness brings new life and joy!
Like a loveing hand it restores me; the breath of my Creator.

The glint of the gold sunlight, as it follows soaring birds, and as I breathe,
I revel in the incredible tidal hand that sweeps and smoothes the glistening, white-capped waters to my own.
How long have young girls marveled at these magnificent displays?
To be alone with nature as it revels on its own , is truly, without wonder, amazing.
The fresh sea smell and fluttering leaves, they haunt me, and give me peace.

~~~

So perfect. I love you, God! I will be soon adding this to the 'poetry' page.

God bless,
Sheila

Hello friends,


Well, here I am, sitting comfortably at home, in a shiny neighbourhood on the edge of Canada. Sunday found me mourning. At first it took me by surprise, you see, I was supposed to go to my tiny island yesterday, but what with the weather and so on, it didn't work out. I'll go sometime in the next week, most likely, but for some reason, it really hurt me! I wanted to get away, to feel the peace of nature, and to enjoy the breeze on my face for a change, and when I had that temporarily snatched away, all my emotions poured forth.


It wasn't that I didn't want to see my family, or that I don't marvel daily in the blessings which God has bestowed upon me, but I had this incredible urge to be left alone with the quiet of the wind, and the gentle sounds of the ocean. Drop me in the middle of the prairies, and I would have been just as happy.
The other thing that really tore my heart out, was the fact that though it was a sunny Sunday afternoon, and I was longing for nature, I didn't want to go out. If I went to the most nature-ish place nearby, I would have had to go by bicycle to get there before dark, and I didn't want to. If I had gone, I would have been sort of on other people's property, and truly, in the kind of setting it would have been, I would have liked someone to share the beauty with. I have friends, mind you, wonderful friends: Mariah, Camille, Erica, Lisa, Emma, Tiffany...amazing, fantastic, incredible friends. There is one slight problem, however. I'd have to by an airplane ticket to see them. Yeah, that does put an awful damper on going out into nature with them!
So I cried about that too. I've never lived in the country, or on a little island away from all the bustle, and I know it's not heaven either, but I felt sorely missing something, and the burden was just too much to bear. My Mom was comforting me, and she told me I need to let go, and lay it all at the feet of Jesus. I tell you, that was one of the hardest things I have done in a long time. I was--as much as one can--enjoying my my misery, and didn't really want to give it up, but when I did--Oh! The joy and peace that came. I kept crying, but I could feel Jesus cradling His blubbering little girl in His arms, wiping my tears away, and giving me the comfort that only He can.
Truly, every time I've said this next phrase recently, it's just been a head decision, but when I felt that comfort, I knew that I really wanted to get to know this Jesus better. I never really saw it quite like this before, and it was amazing! I can read words written down that Jesus said! Goodness, I know it's old knowledge, but I was dumbfounded, and I fell asleep within minutes.
I just wanted to encourage you, that although some things can seem just like they've always been, when God gives you a little misery and trial, maybe He's trying to help you understand something that you've 'known' for a long time.
"2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you."
Let us live in Joy!
God bless,
Sheila
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