I'm going to confess something, although I am what many people think of as "a people person" I often get lonely. So, relationships are something that cause me great joy on one side but can also be painful or sad on other days. Yesterday was my birthday and with that came the many, many "happy birthday" messages on Facebook. Realistically, some of these people are friends or family, some are acquaintances and some are people I have just met a connection with somewhere in life. I spent some time yesterday thinking about all of these people. Let me tell you about some of them. Some of you might find yourself in more than 1 category.
My friends- I have some pretty amazing friends. Some are practically superheroes. I get joy from watching how incredible some of you are. I rejoice with you as I watch you teach your children or just navigate through life. I learn from you as you go through life's lessons- some easy, some not so much. I am blessed by your compassion, grace and mercy. Sometimes I'm surprised at how different you are from me, but I love the fact that I am part of your life. I hope over this year we can deepen our friendship.I also appreciate that you are a part of the life of my family.
My colleagues- I'm really lucky that I work with a group of incredibly talented people who really care about the kids that they work with. I love that the students have so many different personalities to learn from. There is at least 1 person at our school that any kid will be able to develop a great relationship with.
My family- I have a small family on my side and a large family on my husband's side. We have a ton of kids in my family and it is really exciting to watch them grow up and develop into their own little people. I have a few great spiritual role models in my family and I thank you for being living examples of Christ in my life. My husband and children bring me great joy every day. There isn't a day that I'm not laughing at home.
My penpals- As I said the other day, some of you actually know me better than some of my other friends. I appreciate you sharing your lives with me and taking the time to sit and write me deep, personal letters. I think about you often and hope that someday I will meet many of you in person. Seeing a letter from any of you is a perfect way to brighten any day. I look forward to continuing to write and seeing what this year has in store for us!
Former students- I feel really blessed that I'm still in touch with many of you. I am excited to follow your careers, family life- babies and weddings! and life in general. You all have so much potential and I'm excited to see what God has in store for all of you. It made me smile yesterday to read my birthday wishes and to see that I had students from almost every year of teaching (except for the ones who are still in high school/middle school because I won't friend them.) I am also excited that many of the relationships that started in my middle school choruses are still going strong in your personal lives. You guys are also a great blessing to me, just like (most of you.. lol) you were in my classes.
Former teachers- Some of you have no idea what an impact you had on my life- whether it was making me feel at home in your class, challenging me to grow, teaching me that I didn't actually know everything, letting me into your personal life, encouraging me to be a better musician/student/Christian/person in general. I can name a handful of teachers who made me into the person I am today.
Church friends- Again, not only am I lucky to have you in my life, but so isn't my family. I'm blessed to be a part of a great group of believers that challenge me personally and spiritually.
Musicians- I love being able to share my heart and talents with some amazing people from across the world. There are so many things that can be said through music when no other words can communicate them. Many of your messages brought me back to specific times when I have performed in groups with you or worked with you to bring the best out of our students.
Art friends- I am amazed at your talent and creativity. Some of you have taught me some fun things and have really opened me up to try to new things. If you asked me about art a year ago, I would have told you that I'm horribly bad at it and then I would've not even tried. You inspire me!
Bloggers- Thanks for all the challenges you give me and for reading my blog. I appreciate the accessibility I have to so many different people with expertise in so many different subjects. I can't wait to get to know some of you better.
Acquaintances- So why are we only acquaintances? ;) Thanks for the birthday wishes. I'm sure we have connected for a reason. Here's hoping we figure that out this upcoming year!
Now that I have said all this, I will admit that I have a lot of people I am friends or family with/to, but not too many that I have super close relationships with. Sometimes I think that I keep friendships on a surface level on purpose, but other times I really want to challenge myself to develop deeper relationships. I read a quote today that said: "In our hurry-up culture, relationships often end up on the back burner, and it’s one reason we’re starving spiritually." I would love to develop more in depth relationships with more people this year and get to know some new people too. Later in the article I just references, the author quotes C.S. Lewis as saying “Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I should say, ‘Sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.’
Thanks again for all the birthday love!