Saturday, March 28, 2009

asking, and receiving- the story of music

A while back I picked up the Duggar's new book. I do recommend it. Aside from having my curiosity satisfied by learning some of the logistics that go into raising a family that large, I did find the book inspiring as well. Their commitment to their values and ideals is something remarkable. But one of the most interesting things I noticed was how they often prayed for very specific, albeit small, needs. I honestly don't do this. If there is a crisis, sure, someone having surgery, someone very ill, that kind of thing, of course I'm praying for those kinds of intentions, but it never really occurred to me to pray for, say, a needed piece of furniture or for help in selecting the right math curriculum. I'm not sure why. It's not that I think God isn't interested in the small details of our lives. I guess I've just kind of felt like God knows what we need and will guide us to what is His will in all circumstances as long as we are living in a state of grace. And I guess I didn't feel like these trivial things were "important enough" to trouble God with. It kind of reminded me of this old sketch on Saturday Night Live in which Phil Hartman plays an exasperated Jesus who is tired of being called on to hear this housewife's every waking thought. Anyone remember that one?

Anyway, this of course is silly, God is not Phil Hartman, and so I've been trying to work on this in myself this Lent. It has been a fruitful experiment. I find it has been very freeing, mentally, to lay all of this *stuff* before God, all these trivial concerns and small things that I've thought too trivial, even if almost subconsciously, to bother Him with. Because these things may be small, but they are important to *me*, and I find I am able to let go of them and stop fretting over them once I give them to God, whether it's something as pressing as an argument with John or just my ongoing internal discussion on whether we really need a second toaster or not.

(We really do. I just don't want a junky cheap one, and I don't want to fork out the cash for a nice one.)

Lately, we have been praying for a piano for Jack. Well, it would be for everyone, and I've wanted a piano for quite some time, but mostly it's for Jack that we've been praying for one. Jack is very musical. This has been obvious to us since he was a baby. Unfortunately, his parents are marginally musical at best. We enjoy music, John can even play the guitar a bit, and I can give emotion-filled performances of Hot Cross Buns on several different instruments, but Jack...Jack is really very musical. I don't know if it's musical in the sense that he will be composing his first symphony before he turns 5 necessarily, but he *loves* music, especially classical, and he *loves* instruments, all kinds. We have bought him toy instruments, many kinds...a toy violin, keyboards, rhythm instruments. He loves "pinanos", and everytime we are visiting someone or someplace that has a piano he spends the entire time trying to get at it. But most people aren't thrilled with having a four year old bang on their piano keys, and he is crushed every time I drag him away from it..."But I *LOVE PINANOS*" he wails. And he does. He loves pinanos.

So, we started praying for one, a free one or the funds to buy one. Lo and behold, several days after we started praying we saw one posted free for the taking on our local freecycle list. This sounded promising, even God-sent, but I had no idea how we were going to get it to our house. We don't own a trailer or a truck, nor are we "good enough for mooching" friends with anyone who owns one. I called around and found out that it would cost $200 to move it, money we couldn't spare for such a thing on such short notice. I had serious doubts we would manage to work anything out. The people with the piano were moving and it needed to be picked up by April 1. Even if we managed to secure a trailer, we would need lots of manpower to move the thing. But the fact that we had been actively praying for this piano gave me confidence. I took a leap and tentatively claimed it and posted a plea for help on our local homeschooling lists. It was hard for me to do. I'm not a "plea for help" kind of person. And I was kind of disappointed when I only got one reply for concrete help. It came from another homeschooling mom, one in our Catholic homeschool group that I honestly don't even know super well, but it was a good reply...not only did she have a big trailer, she would attach it to her Suburban and drive it to pick up and deliver the piano. Even though her husband would be working the day that we needed her. Even though she would need to bring her six very young children along. God love her.

So, there were still a lot of details to work out, but to make a long story, well...shorter...we managed to secure the use of the trailer and it's owner on John's only day off between now and April 1st. We managed to talk my two brothers and one of their friends into helping John move the piano in exchange for a homecooked dinner afterwards. And so, tomorrow evening, if God continues to will it, we will be owners of our first piano. There's still a lot to go wrong. For one thing, at this very moment, it is snowing like mad. And my brothers, perpetual 15 year olds that they are, can be very flaky people...and without their help there will be no piano moving. We've never moved a piano before, so we really have no idea what we are doing, and all kinds of potential disasters come to mind. I've not seen so much as a photograph of this piano, so I only have this kind stranger's word at the condition that it's has been stored in her garage for three years and I'm sure at the very least it needs a really good cleaning and tuning, but I'm afraid I might find out it is unusable and be stuck trying to get rid of it myself. But the snow is supposed to melt by tomorrow night, and so far we have everything lined up to go. If our manpower comes through, we will take the leap and pick it up. And all I really know is that if God wants us to have this piano, then it will all work out.


Angela M. said...

I join my prayers to yours!

Pam said...

Your story is so similiar to one of ours! My son wanted a piano when he was about six and we prayed and prayed for it. A friend of my mom, was giving away her piano because she was remodeling. So we had a free piano. The only catch was that it was 2000 miles away! My dad, bless his heart, hauled that piano on a trailer for 2000 miles and delivered it to us and hauled it in all by himself(he's a big man).
So I have confidence that your piano dream will come true!! Ours did.

carmelitemom said...

As you know Mel, we were able to snag a free piano as well. I am so happy you found one and I pray it works out. I really liked this post...I forget about the "little things" too and it's so important because alot of little things can really add up and become a worry or burden. Thanks!

Charlotte said...

I know someone else who prayed for a piano and got one.

Maybe I should pray for a van!

alvaro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.C. said...

Lovely story, Mel! We're learning to pray for small things, too. My mom and my mother-in-law are very devout this way, but my husband and I are very , um, cerebral Catholics, if you will, and this sort of thing did not come naturally. We have discovered that our wise mothers were right all along! Praying for Jack's piano! P.S. Today I left the kids with my husband and ran off to buy Avery insertable dividers to implement your "planning for disaster" system for our homeschool! I would still love to hear more about it.

10:48 PM

Sara said...

I'll pray too! Your blog inspires me, and I'm grateful for your witness.

Kelly said...

That is a really amazing story Mel! I can't wait to see pics of this piano!