He picks up the harmonica and puts it to his mouth and out comes a song. If the key is right, he can play along with CD’s and instrumentalists.

Instruments intrigue my husband. He can sit down at a piano, think of a song and with his right hand find the notes. It’s music to my ears!

So, coming upon a keyboard at a music store, he embraced the challenge of learning the left hand. And a challenge it has been. Self-taught, it takes discipline and perseverance.

However, practice will eventually make perfect.

Many years ago, as an adult student, I took up piano. I knew from the start that my small hands wouldn’t allow me to play many songs. But I always loved how my teacher answered my dismay.

“There will be some music you can’t play. But there will be tons of music you can play.”

And, so, with my husband Ken.

He approaches learning with joy. Yes, frustration wants to intrude. But the joy of learning carries him through the struggles, like making his fingers work on the keyboard according to the instructions as well as coordinating his left hand.

Since we pray about everything, even this gift of music needs the support of prayer. It buoys up joy.

Philippians 4:8 & 9 NLT reminds us to stay focused on admirable and true virtues. Then the Apostle Paul closes with “Keep putting into practice … everything you heard from me and saw me doing.”

Ken admits that it is easy for him to get distracted. So, focusing on the task at hand is challenging in itself. Yet, as he goes back and reviews the early songs and then progresses to the new ones, his focus is restored.

There is a certain grace that accompanies learning and practicing.

If we let negative attitudes creep in, they overshadow the positive results we are longing to achieve.

And this goes for any endeavor worth pursuing and growing in.

I know this was true of my writing. For the longest time, I didn’t look at it as a career goal or call myself a writer. I just loved to write and share my thoughts.

Then through a persistent and kind mentor who believed in me along with a Christian Writers Conference, I recognized God’s call on my life and embraced and practiced my craft (even when it hurt to cut words). The journey has become the joy it should be.

Whether music, writing or any creative endeavor, God’s ‘perfecting grace of practice’ cannot be skipped. Selah

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