Unexpected Blessings

I wish you could have been at my house the other day.  My daughter Kristen has always bemoaned the fact that she quit piano lessons as a little girl long before she became proficient.  So a couple of years ago, she decided to join her children taking piano lessons again.  Not always easy to carve out limited time in the life of a busy mom and wife.

Interestingly enough, regret can yield positive benefits.  Kristen has actually become good at playing the piano, and it’s a neat thing to watch her dedicate herself to mastering the art of music by disciplining herself to regularly practice alongside her children.  She is hungry to excel and seems to enjoy the process…unlike those arduous days of a less than enthusiastic student of music.

Christmas recital time is just around the corner, but Kristen does not relish showcasing her talent with small children in front of their parents and grandparents.  So in lieu of a formal recital, Kristen asked her teacher if she could bow out and instead hold a family recital in my home so her grandmother and her parents could watch her perform in a less intimidating environment.

First of all, you must know that my grandmother, mother and aunts all played the piano…and they all played well.  I practiced hard throughout my adolescence to become even a sliver as good as my relatives.  I loved retreating into my special times of playing the piano.  My mom and I played duets together in my recitals, and I loved those special times of music in our home throughout the years.

Yesterday, I ushered my sweet mom into our living room where my piano waits to be played.  Kristen started off with a duet with her teacher.  Then she played a solo to a most appreciative audience.  I watched my nearly deaf mom nod in approval and happily wave her right arm (her broken left arm is in a cast which keeps her from applauding!).  Then Kristen’s 2 children took turns playing their recital pieces, and the room was aglow with pride, love and the wonderful sound of music.  What mother, grandmother and great-grandmother think their little ones are anything but prodigies?!  Such talent!  Such potential!  Chip off the old block, no doubt.

It was a sweet time of music, laughter and joy.  My mom’s legacy of her love for music has already been passed down through the generations.  She has given us a gift we will always cherish.  And yesterday a memory was made that will last my lifetime.  Seeing my precious mom soak up that moment’s happiness and joy was rich.  Watching my grandchildren’s faces as they focus on reading music and trying to master their piano pieces was priceless.  And then seeing my Kristen come back to music after so many years and grab hold of its value…well, that was worth it all.  All those times of unsuccessfully coaxing her to practice and begging her not to quit.  All those times…God in His faithfulness promises to restore what the locusts have eaten.  All the unproductive years gone by. Restored.

You know, God has a funny way of surprising us with unexpected blessings. Who would have thought that I’d be sitting at my grown daughter’s piano recital in my home with her children…and my 93-year old mom?  What a gift.

Thank you, sweet Kristen, for your wise ways and tender heart that have made you see value in the little things…family time…and magical, musical moments.  And by the way, God has given you the gift of music.  I’m so thankful you’re sharing it with me.  I love you, dear daughter.


Barbara Beck


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