Life is Good

Oh my goodness, what happened to September?!  Suddenly, it's cold enough to need scarves and sweaters (and salted caramel mochas) and it's dark by the time we sit down to dinner in the evenings.  Yes, the weeks are flying by but every day is so fulfilling.  I absolutely love the work I am doing!  Life is full, life is busy, and life is very rewarding.

Life is good, y'all.

I used to be afraid of change.  In some ways, I still am - it's different, uncomfortable, and unfamiliar.  But you know what I'm learning?  Despite all this, change can be a good thing.  Really good.  The past few months have been full of change for us but it's good change.  It's a growing kind of change.  I jumped back into the life of a full-time student (which I love), Steve recreated his daily routine, we've been humbled by God's goodness to us (more than we could have asked for), we found a new church home (and joined the choir!), we defined our new "normal."  There have been a few challenging moments for sure but when I consider the number of wonderful, new opportunities we've both had of late, I find I can be nothing but grateful for all this change.

Every day is a chance to make things happen, learn something new, or teach something.  I came across an awesome quote in my reading this week: "Doing creates knowing" (Patricia Miller).  This holds so much truth in so many areas of my life right now.  Go and do this week.  Don't just think about it or talk about it or wish about it.  Go and love.  Go and teach.  Go and give back.  Go and live life to its fullest.  Go and make it happen!

xo, Ashley

P.S. Next month, we'll be celebrating our first anniversary!  Can you believe it?  What an adventure this year has been!  So grateful.

Spinning Plates

There’s a certain image associated with the great expression, “spinning plates.”  I often picture a wobbly cartoon character attempting to balance multiple spinning items on every body part until, with the climax of the classical music accompaniment, they all come crashing down on top of him.  Hopefully, that’s not how my life will unfold in the next few weeks.

It’s a great feeling to have lots going on, especially when they are all related to music.  In the next month, I will have everything from recording sessions and committee meetings to conference calls and grant applications; advisory board meetings and course preparation for the spring to choir planning and website development.  I love it!  I feel as if I am truly living every musician’s dream: to live, eat, and breathe music.  It’s more and more apparent to me that to survive in today’s music market, you must be diversified or skilled in different areas of the field.  It’s amazing how many opportunities are out there – I have to keep reminding myself of that fact.  As an example of this fact, here are few of my “spinning plates:”

  • Leading a church music ministry
  • Maintaining a private piano studio
  • Preparing papers for journal submission
  • Coordinating the Instrumental Lesson Program at FSU
  • Teaching two sections of Class Piano at FSU
  • Maintaining a private piano studio at FSU
  • Creating a chamber music workshop for amateur musicians
  • Developing a website for high school musicians and their parents
  • Applying for grants
  • Preparing multiple collaborative recital programs

Sometimes, this list seems a little out of control; but what a blessing it is to have so many ways in which to share music.  This week, I’m thankful for vision, I’m thankful for opportunities, and I’m thankful for music.

Image Credit: Lauren Chester