Saturday, October 13, 2012

In a different "Zone"

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I have been in church my entire life... LITERALLY. My dad is a baptist pastor and has been preaching and teaching since long before I was born. In fact, I jokingly talk about how I was in church every time the doors were open since 9 months before I was born. Its a way of life for me and I want it to be the same way for my children and family.

Throughout my entire church life, I have been at the forefront of activities and events. When I was just a little girl I began singing at my daddy's church in Ulysses, KS at the age of 5. After that first initial song of praise I was hooked and began to sing solos in church all the time. My mom also has a wealth of musical talent and her and I would sing songs together frequently. Throughout my early years of life, between the ages of 5-12, I was singing praises to my God on a regular basis.

At the age of 12 my family moved to East Texas to Arp Emmanuel Baptist Church for my dad to continue his calling to God as a Baptist preacher. It was also at this time that I began my long journey of making music and giving it back to God. As a new 6th grader I was able to choose the instrument I wanted to play and luckily I was able to get to play the saxophone. This was a lifelong dream of mine and I am so grateful to God for allowing me this opportunity. I knew at that point that I would be forever grateful and give my talents, both vocally and instrumentally, back to Him.

For the remainder of my time spent at AEBC, I played my saxophone in the "ensemble" led by an amazing man of God, Bro. Tommy! He also allowed me to perform solos both singing and playing on a routine basis. In fact, Bro. Tommy made a schedule of performers and I was able to give my talents back to God nearly twice a month. I truly believe this is when and where I discovered my true calling in the church... To give my talents back to Him. Thank you Bro. Tommy for helping me realize this calling by allowing me to perform so frequently!

When I graduated high school and went to OU I knew I had to find a church to call my home and continue to give my talents back to Him. I visited several churches but ultimately found Bethel Baptist Church in Norman, OK. Ironically, this is where I found my husband too!

While at Bethel I immediately became active in the Orchestra and Band playing my saxophone. This came naturally to me and I was even able to help the music minister, one of my all-time favorites, Bro. Jerry as a music intern during my senior year of college. I was very active in the music department; playing my saxophone in the orchestra, playing my saxophone as solos during Worship time, singing solos in the Worship services as even sang in a Sunday night praise team. I was so very active in this music department that I also taught a 3-6 grade children's choir, which is where Chris and I met. I was at Bethel almost as much as I as at OU. It was an amazing time in my spiritual-musical life and I am forever grateful to Bro. Jerry and the entire Bethel Family for allowing me to give my talents back to God.

Shortly after Chris and I married we moved to Shawnee, OK for my band job at Grove Public School. Chris a I visited many churches in Shawnee but were continuously drawn to Immanuel Baptist Church. We both loved the pastor and his sermons but we also liked the flexibility of worship services. They had a traditional service like Chris liked and a more contemporary service which I enjoyed. Shortly after joining IBC, the music minister called and asked me to perform a solo with the choir on a upcoming Sunday. I performed with the choir and I immediately knew this is where God wanted me to be. Within weeks, I was asked to lead the orchestra. This was an answer to prayer as it gave me yet another opportunity to serve The Lord and give Him my talents. I continued to serve as the orchestra director for the following 6 years while living in Shawnee. A new music minister came after a few short years and my passion developed further for giving my talents to Him. Bro. Jason also helped me discover another calling of leading music within the church. This too was a wonderful time in my spiritual-musical life.

In the summer of 2011, Chris accepted a teaching job at Aldine ISD and we moved to Houston, TX. Within weeks, Chris and I were attending Mims Baptist church with his parents. This was not at all where I would have pictured us attending but it worked. I immediately started playing my saxophone in the orchestra and Chris even started singing in the choir. This all seemed natural to us and it seemed as if we would just pick up our old church lives from previous churches as place them into Mims. But since moving our membership over to Mims, I have been slowly taking a back seat in the orchestra/ music department (thanks to numerous other saxophone players and musicians) and in 15 months I have not played a solo or special music (feels so weird to me). I can feel myself moving more towards a different "zone". But Chris really likes the traditional music and for the first time in my adult church career, I LOVE our Sunday School class. So for this reason... WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!

In fact in most of the above scenarios I was incredibly active in the music ministry but rarely active in the education and Sunday School department. At IBC Chris and I never really "fit in" with any Sunday School class. At one point Bro. Todd started teaching a pastors class that we really liked but unfortunately when IBC went to 3 services, he had to give that up. That was a sad day for Chris and I because we really liked and learned a lot in that class.

On the very first Sunday at Mims in this Sunday School class Chris and I felt a connection with the families and couples in this class. Most of them are teachers and a few couples are even BOTH teachers, which is cool for Chris and I to interact with. Chris has always had a somewhat "dry" sense of humor and most of the time you either like him or you don't (at previous SS classes it was the later) but for whatever reason he is well accepted and appreciated in this class. Most of the husbands and even some of the wives love college and pro football and that is a topic of discussion most Sunday mornings before the lesson begins so Chris loves that! The class just seems perfect for Chris and I and I am so glad God called us to this church and this class. I can wait to see what else he has in store for us at Mims.

All of this is to say that for the first time that I can remember I am focusing less on my musical talent and gift and more on serving God in other ways within the church. I am currently helping in Awana on Wednesday night as well as other service opportunities that in previous churches and positions I would not have had time for.

I feel under-used and appreciated sometimes in this music ministry and slightly out of my comfort "zone". As mentioned above, in ALL of my other church life experiences I have been at the center of the attention and for the most part in the musical spotlight. Honestly, that is where I LIKE to be but clearly God has other plans for me in this stage of my life. I don't know what they are but I can't wait to find out.

I am blessed and I thank God for His blessings He has given me. Whether in the music "zone" or in any other service field, I will give ALL my talents back to Him.

God is good... All the time!!!


  1. We felt the same way when we first visited Mims! It was not the kind of church we thought we'd join...but we LOVED the Sunday School class from the first Sunday we were there! I love teaching a class, but I sure miss being in their with the adults! :)

  2. Thanks Jacqueline! We just LOVE the Sunday School Class! I sure miss singing and playing my sax more often but I know God has a different plan for me right now! Thanks for your encouragement!