A Tale of Two Encouragers

The Scene: 5th Grade

The Characters: A music teacher, a mom, and an insecure 10 year old

The Setting: Small town Virginia, 1970s

In fifth grade, a very exciting and unusual thing occurred. Our young, beautiful music teacher announced that she was having auditions for a big musical, “Oklahoma,” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Yes, the original Broadway version of the musical, edited of course for 5th grade appropriateness. Live music and everything.

We were all beside ourselves with excitement and nervousness. I went home and announced the news to my mom after school. She was a wonderful musician herself, and promptly ordered the “Oklahoma” album so that I could learn and practice the songs to get ready for the auditions. She calmed my many anxieties and steadily encouraged me that I could do this.

Auditions came and went, and lo and behold…..Ado Annie came my way. After a brief disappointment that I didn’t get Laurey (which, by the way, was much too high for my singing voice and not right for me), I dived into the role and thrived under my music teacher’s encouragement and direction.

Somehow, that group of untrained, untried fifth graders pulled off the musical, and we gained confidence and memories that would last a lifetime.

So thank you, Mom. Thank you, Debbie Greeley. You made a huge difference with your love and encouragement. Love, Lisa

P.S. If any of you reading happen to know this song, it will do wonders for your mood to sing along with it this morning. By the end, you will be singing your head off and loving it! 🙂

P.S.S. If any of you would like to share stories of someone who encouraged you along the way, I would love to hear them in the comments below. 🙂

P.S.S.S. Cathy Liles Sweeney….you better be singing along! LOL

Carefully Controlled Chaos


Multitasking is sometimes just carefully controlled chaos.  This morning, I stepped back from myself for a second to see how someone else would see me, and it made me laugh.    Moving fast, putting on some sort of clothing that matched, walking the dog (twice before 7:30 AM !!), making three breakfasts, packing lunchboxes, doing my morning exercises, driving children to school…..all before 8 AM.  I have read articles about how women are supposed to multitask well.  All I know is that “when it all comes down, it’s an awful lot to do.”  (from Hats, Amy Grant, Heart in Motion)

But now that things have slowed, and I’m sitting here chilled at my computer, there is a happy sense of getting it all done.  That God gave me enough “umph” this morning to go.  Praying for all of you this Monday that you are getting what you need to done.  And that you can relax for a moment afterwards.  🙂  Slainte, Lisa