I was asked this questions, and as I began to think long about what this meant for me, I then found writing a response to this request a rewarding and insightful experience. If you ever wondered about my gifts and passions you may find reading this a helpful insight into a part of who am and a side of me that informs much of what I love amidst a life in ministry.
I hope that this great sense of understanding the following answer to “What Is Your Why?” helps to inform my calling to ordained ministry as an elder in The United Methodist Church. My imagination is undoubtedly running wild with hope and possibilities for what this future role will have in store.
What is Your Why?
I am passionate about helping others discover the systems and practices that fuel their ability to live into being their best selves. More specifically, I love to teach about organizational tools and the practice of practice as a form of growth and self-empowerment.
I get excited when other people get excited about themselves and look forward to the joy that comes from recognizing personal growth. As I studied to become a certified teacher, I realized how much I loved being a part of such moments and those seasons of year-over-year growth and change that were evident in my students. That time of being a full-time music teacher was life-changing in that I learned how it was not so much the particular subject that carried the most valuable educational weight, but the relationships I had with students and how through this I could intentionality instill in them the “never give up” attitude I brought to my work. It was clear that teaching was but a brief moment for me but could be the beginnings of something special in their lives, an innate desire to learn and do more than they thought possible before we met.
If I have learned nothing else as a school teacher and in my studies as a musician throughout undergraduate school, I recognize that it really does not matter what subject is taught or what instrument is played if the educational and central focus is rooted in the betterment of the person. As much as I think of music as a foundational experience for anyone, it is the practice of practicing music that has time and again shown to inform what I find to be most helpful in developing intentional personal growth. In fact, it is the concepts rooted in these practices and so music need not be in the picture to engage in them. As I began to unlock such understanding and methods of study with purpose, a vision of the possible began taking shape. I realized that I could not keep this empowering understanding of the practice of practice to myself. Holding such thoughts in just seemed counterintuitive and unnatural for me.
While becoming a more self-motivated learner, I also learned more about areas of organization. I have struggled with personal organization over the years and have learned valuable lessons along the way in the demands of managing a classroom, coordinating performance, writing lesson plans, and otherwise as I now work in marketing and eCourse development. Recently, I gained a sense of freedom around the fact that I can be a gifted organizer helping others even if I struggle with my own needs. This liberation from feeling as though I needed to be perfect in order to help others seek perfection has awakened me to the God-given authority within.
Out of being organized, I believe others can make room in their minds to access what they are capable of, to understand what they can uniquely do, and feel free to seek engagement in those things that are pressed upon their hearts allowing them de-stressed opportunities for diligence and focus. How great it is that I love planning, organizing, and helping others through such work.
I used to wonder what it was about practicing hours in a practice room, sitting at a piano repeating phrase after phrase, which drew me to come back day after day. I used to wonder why I found it so interesting to pour over lesson plans and draw out the possibilities and connections in hopes of reaching every student in the learning styles that they could grasp. I used to wonder why I cried tears of joy watching those television shows when vocalists performed at their peak displaying what seems to be effortlessness artistic completion. It wasn’t the song I was learning, the lesson I was hoping to teach, nor the beauty of the performance itself that moved me to curiosity, wonder, and awe. I was and am drawn to the process of what it takes to develop something and someone to the point of meeting the vision face-to-face.