amy courts: en route


The Good
June 18, 2009, 10:15 am
Filed under: Faith and Faith Life, Music

I don’t know about you, but it’s really easy for me to spiral from one not-totally-optimistic thought down into a pit of pessimism. I sometimes wonder if that’s my spiritual gift: the ability to see the dark side of anything. I think I get it from my mom. My dad would tell her, “you’re such a pessimist!” and she’d respond saying, “No, I’m a realist.”

For the record, I think she was a bit of a pessimistic realist. Or, in other common words we all understand: a cynic.

I inherited that glory. Or maybe I just adopted it because it came so naturally. Either way, I have a particularly advanced skill for finding something to complain about anything. If I play a really great show, I’ll dwell on the one less-than perfect song. Or the size of the non-crowd.

If I make a sizable deposit into the bank account one day and have to pay for a vandalized car window the next, instead of thanking God for His provision I find myself cynically nodding along, thinking “of course I made that deposit just in time to spend it on something stupid.”

When my husband generously and very deliberately does something he knows I’ll appreciate (like pull weeds and clear our entire “courtyard” of unruly greenery), I’m more prone to wondering why he didn’t empty the dishwasher too.

It’s true. I’m a bad wife.

But here’s what I’m learning. Joy – true, unadulterated and impenetrable joy – is in the small things. In having a husband who appreciates my dark and light.One who knows what I appreciate and makes the effort to do it, even though he doesn’t have to.

It’s in having the most perfect dog in the universe. No, seriously. Of all the crazy, mean, biting, angry, out-of-control abandoned canines we could have taken in, we got the one everybody else is jealous of. The one who cuddles, hugs, doesn’t bark, and came to us completely potty trained and house-ready.

It’s in having a guitar that makes beautiful sounds, even though its player isn’t as good as she would be if she practiced a little more.

In having the time to read books and enjoy the story.

It’s in having a car at all.

It’s in playing songs that five people appreciate and relate to. Writing songs that people “get”…that people actually take in and enjoy, because for whatever reason, they find hope in the melody and lyric. And that creates a relationship, a bond. And in the community that creates.

It’s in knowing that I know that I know that what I’m doing – whether it’s being a wife, or a stepmom, or a babysitter, or a musician, or a dreamer – is what I was created to do. And that, even when I’m discouraged by the “progress” others are making in my industry while I stand by wondering what I’m missing…

…Even when I’m disillusioned by the back-to-high-school popularity contest inherent in it all…

…Even when I’m broken down and tired, wondering when or if my time will come….

…I am doing something no one else can do, simply because these songs, these words, these melodies – they’re the outflow of my heart and my soul and my perspectives.

That doesn’t make them special or particularly wonderful, or worthy of being heard. It just makes them unique. They’re mine and no one else’s.

And I’m reminded that each of us – me, included – have a very specific and unique purpose during the few short years we live. And if I am living and doing as I was designed to live and do, then I am becoming what I am meant to be.

And it’s in a really good, strong, perfectly flavored cup of piping hot coffee.

See.

It’s the small things. The good in the mud that makes it worth playing in.

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