It's sad to think that besides one more on-campus concert our team is done touring for the semester. Although it will be nice to have more time to get schoolwork and practicing done without having to worry about missing a weekend, I had so much fun over fall break that I don't think I'd mind giving up more weekends to spend time with my team and praise our God together. If I could physically do it, I would love to just stay on tour forever, living in host homes out of a suitcase, getting to know families we stay with, rehearsing and playing music all day and all night long, praising God constantly, never, ever stopping. I wonder if there will be traveling worship teams in Heaven?
Tuesday we met as a team as usual, but instead of rehearsing, we took some time to debrief from our fall break tour. After having a couple days to reminisce and create my own opinion of the weekend, it was nice to hear everyone else's opinions as well as we just talked about stuff that happened, good and bad, that we will always remember from the trip. Then we took turns encouraging each other, and we spent so much time doing it that I'm sure that every one of us walked out of that meeting in higher spirits. We prayed for each other and ended our meeting early; God timed that perfectly so that I was able to make it to a test review session that ended up boosting my grade on the test the next day! I'm pretty sure God loves blessing me in little ways to remind me that He's always in control.
Also during our Tuesday meeting, we talked about our host homes. As we talked, I couldn't stop thinking about how much our second host home changed my life. I went over and over in my mind the moment when one of the little 2nd graders realized the problems he had with his piano piece and finally played it all the way through with no mistakes, finishing with bright eyes and a big smile as I exclaimed, "That was perfect! Great job!" I got to help him discover the mistakes he was making just by asking questions (e.g. Does this next note go up or down from the last one?), and he was so proud of the way he figured out the answers himself and then was able to play it perfectly. From that moment, I have been sure that I want to teach piano. I never thought such a defining moment would happen to me in a host home with HeartSong, and it changed me forever. I haven't been able to stop talking about it since!
On Wednesday, we all got an e-mail telling us to dress warm for our all-team meeting. After we all arrived to the meeting all bundled up, we left campus and took a night walk through the woods. It was almost pitch-black except for some light from the moon, and all I could see was the back of the person in front of me. When we were almost at the end, we gathered together in a clearing and looked up at the stars. After a few minutes of silence, we sang together. I LOVE when we all sing together, praising our God for everything He's done for us! I could have stood there singing forever, staring at the stars, creating harmonies with my HeartSong brothers and sisters, never, ever stopping. But we stopped, and after walking a little farther got to a campfire. We talked about the walk, and Jim gave us a spiritual application about trusting the Leader of the group; then we prayed together before making s'mores and talking around the fire. I sat for a little bit, then ate a s'more, then just took a couple minutes to myself. Over the past couple days before that night, I was so overwhelmed, but in good and bad ways. First was the schoolwork that has begun to pile up again (of course). But I was also overwhelmed with blessings that God had given me, one after the other over the course of the past week and a half, and I felt that I couldn't praise God enough for His goodness. While I was sitting by the fire, just staring at the way it transformed the wood that it engulfed, I had a moment of peace. I wasn't overwhelmed with school. But I wasn't overwhelmed with God's greatness, either. I just knew that God was good, He always has been, and He always will be, and no matter what happens I can trust Him with anything in my life. I know I will have an eternity to praise Him over and over, and even that still won't be enough.
My prayer is that I will continue to be overwhelmed by God's greatness and holiness. I don't have to be frustrated and angry that I will never be able to praise Him enough. I can be excited and overwhelmed with joy that He accepts my praise even when it's imperfect, and that with every blessing He pours out, I can turn back to praise Him. I could sing of His love forever. Never, ever stopping.