hands playing piano
PRACTICE: Lest you think it’s all been musical roses at the Spangler house, let me assure you: No one ever wants to practice, real tears have been shed, and metronomes have (nearly) been thrown. Still, it’s been worth it.

When your plans (actually) come together

As our kids grow up and develop their own interests, sometimes it takes a morning together to remind us where we started.

One Saturday last fall, I spent the morning at the piano with my oldest, Jenna. John was in the combine and in charge of worship the next day at our little country church, so he asked us to pick out a couple more songs.

We spent the morning pulling out music, trying different keys, downloading sheet music in the right key, practicing. We downloaded some new music — “Dear Evan Hansen” — though not for church. We listened, and she explained the entire musical to me.

Jenna was beautiful and funny and silly and witty.

I flashed back to one night in college. I was playing the piano at 4-H House, killing time while I waited for John to pick me up. It was winter, still, and we'd just started dating. He arrived, and we walked back to Nabor House, cutting across Ohio Street.

"So … you play the piano?" he asked.

I heard the hope in his voice. He was a musician, too. He saw a future, and it was full of music and family and church. In that moment, I could see it, too, and I could see this was all going to work out very well.

Twenty-three years later, on any given day in our house, we’ve got someone at the piano, with strains of a violin and maybe a trumpet coming from a bedroom. Someone’s always — always — singing.

The piano is littered with paper from our youngest — scraps of paper with words and chords as she writes her latest music, stopping in mid-sentence occasionally to go tinker with a melody line.

Just yesterday, all three were gathered around the piano, laughing and joking and barreling through “Pirates of the Caribbean” on piano and violin.

Friends, all this is to say that God is good. And if you're experiencing a time where life feels confusing and hard, like your plans may never come together and nothing makes any sense, let me tell you: His plans for your life are better than you can even imagine, and He's orchestrating it all for good.

Sometimes it just takes a Saturday morning at the piano to remember.


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