I’m No Longer Needed

This week has had a peculiar rhythm, one that has ebbed and flowed with a lack of synchronicity – but with purpose. Tonight, everything coalesced. I reach a pinnacle, or something more akin to a plateau. Grace and contentment and a surety and a sort of holy confidence – not in myself, so much, but in all that goes on around me.

RENT YOUR INSTRUMENTS HERE!

First of all, our first experience as business owners suffering the lack of patronage seems to be coming to a close. Powhatan Music and Sound suffered a bit during May and early June; it was a difficult season, one in which most people had A Lot Of Things On Their Minds, none of which seemed to be music. Cancelled and missed lessons, lack of sales, etc….all combined to bring about our first feelings of real anxiety and stress. All that changed this week, though, and Tony is once again buried by the deluge of customers and Stuff To Do. People in Powhatan like their little music store. Go figure.

Next on the list comes the adventures of my daughters, all three now finished with high school and off on adventures of their own. The two older girls are away for the summer, and the youngest girl is happily embracing her new-found status as a young adult who NO LONGER HAS TO GO TO HIGH SCHOOL!! Her summer plans include two mission trips and a possible third, with which I have wrestled and withheld my unconditional blessing. We’ve sort of been in limbo, as I’ve processed what it means to let her go, really, even before August comes and she heads to Harrisonburg. Today, finally, I received peace and closure, as I listened to our friend Karen ask questions of her in Starbucks this morning. Karen‘s questions were without the baggage of my maternal issues, and for me, they illuminated everything. We came home from Starbucks, I ate a sandwich, and then I knocked on her door and said, “I think you should go to New York.”

She beamed and I knew it was all going to be just fine. Thank you, Karen. Perspective is everything.

And back to the daughters; I’ve been beating down the anxiety-fueled maternal desire to drive to Georgia to Take Care Of Sarah and Call Her Potential Employers and ask them Why They Couldn’t Get Themselves Together and Give The Girl The Job. The days have ticked by and she’s waited for phone calls and schedules to clear, and while enduring that situation while living at home is tolerable, it’s quite another thing when you’ve signed a lease and you’re paying rent and said rent will be due in a few weeks and YOU AIN’T GOT NO JOB. I called today, and she said, “Mom, I’m just trying to figure out if you’re upset with me or stressed out about this…” and praise God, I realized I’ve raised a child as intuitive and sensitive as they come, and I said, “No.” And that was the truth. I knew everything would be okay, I’d been circling it in prayer, but good Lord, truly, you ARE good, but can we get a move on here? But I wasn’t upset. Honestly! I was at peace, impressed by her lack of anxiety and her efforts to be a Grown Up and trust that all things work together for good, and sure enough, she texted this afternoon and said, “I’ve got 32 hours next week, starting Monday!”, and then she texted from the church she’s found, where she auditioned for their worship team tonight and had a great experience, and I realized that she’s carrying that light and God’s got this. He certainly does.

And all the while, I was at MY church, listening to the band prepare music that I will not hear on Sunday, watching Elijah lead with confidence and aplomb, seeing and hearing them work together in a way that matches anything I’ve ever done on that stage. Steve made a comment about how impressed he was that these were “kids”, and I looked at that group of 20-somethings (plus Lindsay and Kevin, who are a bit past 20 but not much) and realized that God had given me exactly what I needed, what I’ve prayed for, what I’ve hoped for.

They don’t need me.

I make the plans and fuss over the music and try to arrange the flow, but they execute flawlessly, because God has equipped and empowered them to do so. I can dream it, and surround myself with people who can execute it, and all is well. They’re not “kids”. They’re brilliant musicians, people trying to find their way spiritually just like the rest of us, choosing to invest their time and talent in what’s happening in this specific corner of western Powhatan county.

I came home to a handful of fresh raspberries from Powhatan’s own Casselmonte Farm, sprinkled over vanilla bean ice cream and baptized with chocolate syrup. I bought these – and other vegetables – from local farmers today at the market. As much as possible, we’re eating food grown from the soil right here in our county. And now I sit in a beautiful kitchen, surrounded by empty space and the hum of a dishwasher. I listen as two of my kids watch a movie and poke fun at one another. I look at my list for tomorrow, of all the things that need to be done before we leave for Puerto Rico.

I’m living in this system where I’m not really needed, but I’m invited in, and I’m still contributing, and I matter. It’s just different. And I gotta say, I really like it.

Growing up? Yeah. I’ll take it.

Kevin.

Brandon.

Amie.

Travis.

Andrew.

**No good pictures of Lindsay and Kevin, because the latter stuck his tongue out at me and it ended up looking not-so-good, and the former just didn’t get a photo taken because I was swirling around doing other things. But they count. They certainly do. They bring the awesome.

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