I love listening to musical families. I think that is one of the things that drew me to Stephen when I first met him. Back when we were dating I used to sit on the couch in my parents living room and watch Stephen play his electric guitar. I would quietly observe as he picked through the different notes making them produce familiar tunes, such as the Mario Bros theme, or Jaws, and my personal favorite, My Girl.
I’m happy to report that I think we lucked out and Sarah has taken after her father in the music department. I may have played piano as a young girl, but that was with the help of lessons from a teacher. Not Stephen. Stephen hears a tune or a song and moves his fingers across the keys finding the notes required to duplicate what he just heard. It’s incredible. It’s something I can’t quite comprehend, and I absolutely love getting to watch his eyes and fingers go from thought to production. When he reads this he will think and probably tell me that he is far from a musician. That he doesn’t have real skills with instruments, but just knows his way around a few notes and songs here and there. Hogwash. My husband is humble, which is one of the many things that I love about him. Sure, he may joke about being awesome and rad and asking you for a high five when hanging out with friends and youth groups, he’s a kid at heart and I’m pretty sure he’ll always have that quality that keeps me laughing. But while he is a kid at heart, and a jokester to the core, he is also a hardworking husband, father, friend, son, youth leader, worship team player, employee, and mentor. That’s a lot of roles for one person to manage, and I’m sure he can get overwhelmed at times with filling those parts each and every day. After being together for over 7 years I think I know how he stays sane. Music. Music is an escape from the world and it’s many responsibilities. It’s a way for him to reconnect and focus all of his responsibilities around the most important role in life.
I know writing this won’t suddenly make his believe that he has a gift with music. No matter what you tell him he still won’t, and that’s not why I’m writing this. Stephen knows great musicians. He knows people that get paid to play music. People with top of the line equipment and almost a lifetime of experience. People that he admires and asks advice from. I’m sure they have helped contribute in his ability to learn new instruments and how to best work with what you have. The first guitar we bought Stephen was at a yard sale for $7. He still owns that guitar and I hope we never get rid of it. I’ve seen and heard him worship using that piece of equipment and it’s been some of the most humbling experiences of my life. To have the honor of listening to my partner worship our God that has given him that exact talent.. The God we have given our lives and marriage to. I hope that is something I never take for granted.
Music is part of Stephen’s soul. He gets joy out of showing others how to play and giving them tips that have helped him along the way. In my eyes, my husband IS the greatest musician I know. Every time he sits at the piano with our daughter in his lap and encourages her to bang on the keys, he is a teacher. When he grabs his guitar and sits on the couch to sing to our daughter, he is a vocalist. When he plays around with different tunes and cords, he is a composer. Even back when he put headphones on my belly when I was pregnant, he was a DJ. Every small thing he does, especially when he dosen’t know someone’s watching, he is using his gift to encourage people. He is using wood, strings, keys, and drums to show, speak, and spread his love for God and all the people who need to hear of that love. He is using something he enjoys for a cause much bigger than himself.
Today I got to watch the start of our next generation using an instrument for joy…
She’s no Beethoven, but it’s my favorite piece to date.
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