Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gratitude and Remembrance

Tonight I learned that my flute teacher, Mary Roberts Wilson, is gone. One of the most amazing people I have ever known, this barely 5 foot tall elderly Welsh woman was one of my early life's greatest influences. A force to be reckoned with, to be sure... in her 80s she still walked 3 miles a day and did push ups. She could terrify me with her strictness, and often did when I had not practiced enough. I wanted so much to please her, and sometimes I did... Sometimes she was even proud.

"Music is in your soul, Jenny," she told me in college. I didn't believe her then, but have come to since. She knew more about me than I did myself. And I loved her.

Mary taught me to truly love music. She taught me to feel it. She pushed me to not be satisfied, but to demand excellence, and become what she believed I could be. And I was good.

I learned the news in the middle of Jay's band concert tonight and spent the rest of it with tears streaming down my face. I always thought I would somehow hear that she had passed and be able to make it to her celebration of life, to say goodbye. Four months too late, I never heard. So I grieved as I listened. And remembered. Years spent with a woman who shaped me in significant ways... It is not possible to forget her.

Dear Mary, how glad I am to know that you loved Jesus and I will see you again! Thank you for all that you gave to me. I can't wait for our next duet!

"To be born Welsh is to be born privileged, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but music in your blood, and poetry in your soul."

Mary Elizabeth Wilson

Wilson, Mary Elizabeth (nee Roberts) Born July 29, 1916, to Ruel W. Roberts and Inez Taylor Roberts in Edgerton, Wisconsin. Passed away on June 6, 2014 in Spring Park, MN. Graduate of Minneapolis Central High School and Oberlin College of Ohio in flute performance. Preceded in death by husband, Gilbert Avery Wilson and brother, Arthur Roberts. Survived by sons, John Taylor Wilson and Richard Allen Wilson; grandchildren, Nelson Earl (Lisa) Wilson and Elizabeth Ann Wilson; great grandchildren; nieces and nephews and a lifetime of dear friends and musical colleagues. Mary was a noted instructor of flute at Macalester College, Augsburg College, Hamline University, College of St. Thomas, College of St. Catherine and Bethel College, as well as many private students. She served as a church organist and choir director and as Principle Flutist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mary loved nature and especially enjoyed spending time with her husband and sons at the cabin they built on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Her warm, loving nature and friendliness will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. Service of remembrance will be held on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Grace-Trinity Community Church, 1430 W. 28th St., Mpls., MN 55408. Visitation will be one hour prior to service at the church. Memorials preferred to Grace-Trinity Community Church.
Published on June 15, 2014

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Ireland Beauty

Back in July, Ed and Vonda, Bri and I went to Ireland. Words cannot describe the time we had or the land we saw, but perhaps some pictures can come close.

I'm not sure I'll ever feel at home anywhere else on this earth after visiting there...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Perfect Christmas

Tonight I think I should blog; this is a day I want to remember. Not because it was over-the-top exciting, and not because I got any superly cool presents (although I do like my new Magic Mouse I am using as I write this!). Today was amazing instead because of how much I enjoyed the small things. The things that matter...

Bri and I slept in a bit while the kids opened stockings downstairs. When we came down, there was Lindsay, our dear "daughter" home between ministry assignments, playing a new game with the girls while the boys tried out a new video game. Christmas had arrived and they were so excited! The day was spent playing, assembling, mediating, baking, and keeping things to a manageable chaos. In all honesty, it wasn't perfect, but it was life with the ones I love and there was much joy. At times when I would come close to losing my patience with another demanding, hopped-up-on-sugar-and-presents child, I told myself that I would just let it happen and not try to control every moment. And so I didn't. On one of the most hectic and energy-sucking days of the year, there were very few cross words that came out of my mouth.

It is hard to know why things are changing. Surely a part of the reason is the ages of the kids: almost 11, 8, 6, and almost 4...life is becoming more manageable and fun. Maybe another part is now having my own life separate from home. Working has given me life I have not known as a mother and helps me appreciate so much more the time I have with my children. Perhaps I am simply realizing the brevity of life, that we don't have an unlimited store of Christmas days or any other days for that matter. I have come to see that all of life is a gift--every heartbeat, every laugh, every memory. There are no guarantees and I am so thankful for every moment. Whatever the reasons, things are different now than they have been in years past.

Today my heart was also more tuned to the gift of Christ. As we finished the advent calendar we talked about how there is nothing we need so much as Jesus, and that if we have him and nothing else, we have enough. In the future I want to build more service and giving into this day to continue to reinforce this message and to be living more as Jesus did. We have so much more than we need, and I pray that we will all care less and less about the "stuff" of Christmas.

Not an earth-shattering post, I know, and I don't even care if anyone reads it. I just had to write about this day so I can remember the Christmas that I was more focused on Christ, more grateful to be with my family, and less cranky than ever before. Finally, a small thank-you note to my Savior who came out of the endless universe he had fashioned with his own breath into a tiny planet to breathe the same air as I. A small and hopeless sinner I am, yet his love and grace have redeemed me and set me free. Praise you, Jesus Christ! There is no one like you.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Conversation With Jay

First let me just say: I am done working at Affinity Plus!!! I can't tell you the feeling of not having any more plates spinning above my head, just waiting to drop. I will miss the people I worked with and the members who were so incredible, but not the stress. I am so excited to have a more normal life, with time to cook, time to exercise, time to come home and eat dinner and talk with my family.

Closing the branch tonight was a NIGHTMARE. I was there until 7:58pm, finishing up everything I could, trying to get the vault to balance, and finding creative places for coin bags that got left out of the main vault (oops!). My phone had rung once to my knowledge, and I knew Brian was probably wondering if I was still alive. But I didn't think they were outside in the parking lot. Until I finally walked outside. There were Bri and the kids waiting for me to take me out to celebrate at Leann Chins. What a great surprise!

After dinner Jay asked if he could hop in the car with me to talk about some things that were troubling him. Absolutely! I love it when he shares the deep stuff! Over the next 20 minutes we talked mostly about how to know what God's direction for us is and I was in awe of some of the things that kid said...

"Sometimes I wonder if God is speaking to me."

"So God doesn't care so much about 'what' we do but 'how' we do it?"

"I can look to you and dad for direction because God has put you in charge to show me what to do." (wish I'd gotten that on tape for use in a couple of years!)

"Now I know what I need to do: be shaped more and more to grow into a man who will follow God."

At a couple of points my mouth was hanging open after what he had just said--I was not putting these words in his mouth--he was coming up with this out of his own heart! I told him he has always had a sensitivity toward spiritual and theological things (I have a picture of the Trinity drawn by Jay at age 3). What a joy to sit and process with him such mysteries as the will of God, how to make decisions, and the creation of the world! I don't have all the answers, which makes me nervous sometimes. But in my heart I know it's the journeying together that will give him a firm foundation, not the black-and-white and all-too-easy answers. I pray that he will continue to wrestle with these things with us, because there is nothing better!

Thank you, Jesus, for my remarkable Jaydon Fuller! Won't it be fun to watch him grow up together?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Better Start Blogging Again

It's been a year now since I blogged. Lots of life has happened. Is anyone out there still blogging?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Job!

Wow, it's been a long time since I've blogged! More on that later. But for now, I just have to explode because two hours ago I got my first full-time job!

I am overwhelmed by the grace and tender care of my Savior. We have come through such a valley of sadness and fear, of enormous change and the uncertainty it brings. Just a couple of months ago I didn't think we would be able to stay in our house or town. We had no idea where our paychecks would come from, where our path would lead, or how we could find insurance. My whole life was up in the air.

But here I am now, hired by a company I am so excited to work for, at a job that seems perfect for me. Brian's employment is coming together and should be nailed down soon. He's been accepted to a wonderful Marriage and Family Therapy master's program and should graduate in two years. And we get to stay in Hudson. Near family and friends and in our sweet little house.

This job is a miracle to me. I didn't know how to find something I would really love doing. Not to mention the fact that I have only worked one tiny little job since Jay was a year and a half old. I can work my forty hours in four ten-hour shifts, and in only a couple of weeks I can drop down to three days a week. The pay is good to start, has opportunities for raises, and I can get full insurance coverage for my whole family for only $120/month. Better yet, the company (a non-profit credit union) is all about relationship. My job has been described as being an advocate for my customers; I will be able to develop relationships with them and be their personal assistant for many of their financial needs. I love it! And at a point in my life where I really needed to get out and have an existence separate from my home and kiddos...I am speechless.

The cliche is true...God's timing is perfect. Rarely as quick as we'd like, but perfect nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Forgotten Toys (Almost)

Why is it that kids start to play with a toy again only after you've just put it in the give-away pile? Seriously, they haven't looked at it for six months to a year, but just put it in the Goodwill bag and watch...it's like they have some internal radar that warns them when a toy is about to be ejected from the stadium! Their warning alarm blaring within them, they quick grab the thing, play with it like it's the best and most intriguing item on the planet for just long enough to make you feel guilty for almost having given it away. (How could you, Mom--it's my favorite!) Of course, as soon as it's safe again, the toy will lose all interest because (as you had correctly surmised in the first place) they really do have too many toys to begin with.

The moral of the story: take the give-away pile out to the curb/car/friend's house IMMEDIATELY. Don't wait, or that toy is never leaving!