1.Praise the Lord, my soul;all my inmost being, praise his holy name.2 Praise the Lord, my soul,and forget not all his benefits—3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalms 103:-5 | NIV
I’ve shared with you my dream of starting a coffee shop/music studio where musicians can learn their skills and share it? I know I’ve talked about my big dreams, but can’t remember if I ever shared the details.
It started over 10 years ago while I was playing keyboard for a band made up of young adults from my church. They asked me to play keys for them and I saw it as an opportunity to mentor them. One night we were playing in a building that had been a bar but was purchased by a local youth group to be a hangout for their students. As soon as I walked in, a seed was planted in my mind that I’d love to do something similar. My mind is always focused on coffee, so naturally I went straight to “coffee shop”
I began to pray earnestly about it, excited to do the work of the Father. I felt strongly that He had planted the seed and felt positive I was “all in” for Jesus. As I prayed, I felt like God said to me, “fix your home “. I knew God was saying I couldn’t move forward on that dream until I dealt with some issues in my life.
“My home”…. my heart… needed some work. It had become hard in some areas of my life that I hadn’t fully surrendered to God. The problem was I had no idea how to fix my home. But I knew I had to before God would honor my dream (the one I felt strongly He gave me)
In desperation, I cried out to God and told Him I had no idea how to do that. I had to rely on Him to fix it.
I started to journal my ideas of coffee shop but didn’t share the idea with anyone for a while. I was afraid people would think it was a dumb idea. Every once in a while, a new idea would pop into my head and I’d write it on my journal. I began to work on “my home” and got serious about my relationship with Jesus. I began to really read my Bible, and really pay attention in church, working in the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit within me. I devoted my time to being a youth leader at our church, mentoring youth. Still there were areas of my life I hadn’t fully surrendered.
My kids began taking music lessons, and when they did, a flood of new ideas came to mind, which I sketched in my journal. I would excitedly read over what I’d kept in my journal thinking, “someday”.
At my job, I continued to take on more responsibility in management, and worked with my team to establish vision mission statements and develop strong teams. I’d put my journal back on the shelf and the “coffee shop” idea away. Still there was one glaring area of my life I hadn’t surrendered to Jesus… my marriage.
I don’t want to share all of the details here yet, but suffice to say there was a lot of pain and hurt in that area of my life, and my heart was extremely broken. I wanted something that I felt could never be, and so had shut myself off from feeling, mostly out of self preservation.
In 2010-11 time frame, I wrote a book called Masquerade. In it, I described the life of a middle aged musician who had masked bouts with depression over her lifetime of serving the Lord. It was essentially my story. It sat on my computers hard drive for several years
In 2012, my husband was hurt at work and required multiple surgeries on his spine. His spinal cord was being crushed as a result of compressed discs. Of course, as his wife, I stood by his side while the doctors said they weren’t sure if he’d walk, let alone work again. Our three kids were taking music lessons which cost about a car payment every month. The weight of the financial responsibilities of our life were heavy despite the job I’d been blessed with.
I thought about what I could do to help and remembered I had taught piano lessons during college for extra money. There was a family in my church who had asked for years if I’d teach their daughter but I had always said I was too busy. I decided I’d teach on Monday evenings in my home and began to advertise. Turns out their daughter was now into hockey and no longer wanted lessons. But there were a few others so I began to teach.
Over the next year or so, I added students and filled up my Mondays and Tuesdays with lessons. God began to soften my heart toward my husband. I hadn’t really thought about teaching as part of my coffee shop but as I taught more and more, I found I loved it! I began to pray and ask God to show me if that was part of His plan. He sent more and more students my way.
Humbly one night of revelation, I asked God if teaching music was part of the plan to show me and help me adjust the dream to what He wanted and not what I wanted. More and more students came my way. In the fall of 2017, I was teaching 27 students in my home five nights a week, in addition to my full time job.
It was also in 2017 that I felt a prompting from God once again… “are you willing to share your story?” I didn’t really have a story, I thought, but I did have this book on my hard drive. Long story short, I went through the process of publishing the book. New to the publishing process, I learned a lot all by the way. I just before the final step, I felt a prompting to remove a chapter so I did. The book was published in March of 2018.
One night as I was driving home late, the words “grace notes” popped into my head. A musical term, true, but the word GRACE… unmerited favor… wow. I sketched it in my journal and dreamed of a day I’d have a place to have an event called Grace Notes, where people could gather to sing worship songs and pray.
All this while, since first inception of idea, I was casually looking at commercial property, a place to put a “coffee shop”. As the idea evolved, I looked for property that had “studio rooms”. There were periods of tenderness in my heart and marriage and glimmers of hope that we’d someday have the true partnership i desired.
Incredibly, And the details of which I’ll save for another time, God brought that partnership into being, but not in the way I would have expected. He brought a building into being and I remain convinced the way in which it happened could have only been orchestrated by God.
About three weeks ago or so, I felt as if God printed me once again… this time to ask if I’d still trust Him when things got tough. I truly had no idea what I was in store for when I said YES.
The past three weeks have proven to be the greatest trial I’ve ever faced. I’m surrounded by friends who are praying faithfully, and doing my best to surrender everything to God, knowing in my head that His timing and His plan is perfect. I’m trying my best to not try to force my ideas on His plan. I’m in the midst of some heavy battle right now, my friends
I’d like to tell myself it’s because the devil knows Gods plan is big and will further His kingdom and he’s working extra hard to stop it. I have been incredibly filled with doubt that I have mistaken all of it because of selfish pride. I truly don’t want that to be the case. I am here today to lay everything down at the Fathers feet and ask Him to make things right in my heart so that He would be glorified.
I would like to humbly ask you to be praying for me as I work toward starting “Grace Notes” in the building He’s provided, praying that by the Grace of Gods, He will restore what needs to be restored.