Friends, I am really wrestling with God lately. Over the past three years, I have seen God show up in enormous ways. Those glimpses of Gods power have truly lit me on fire and given me a passion to want others to experience what I have…
But man, the details of life can really get me down.
I apologize in advance for todays diatribe… but want to get it out there and ask my journey community if they could pray for me.
In 2019, We opened our music studio in Greensburg… my business partner Dan and me.
We are at the three year point and I’m exceedingly frustrated. I’m frustrated with parents who don’t respect our studio policies, students with little to know commitment, and managing the minutia in the daily details. I’m frustrated by families who don’t pay their tuition and expect lessons for free because they are going through hard times. In June, we saw a large drop off of students for a “summer break”. I’ve been teaching long enough to know they ain’t coming back
(As an aside, while I genuinely want to be sympathetic to people, and have actually paid some of their invoices out of my personal pocket – because it’s deeper than the studio pocket right now—- I find myself resentful for a couple of reasons.. one is that I too, have gone through A LOT of turmoil over the past three years of Dan’s illness. In addition, I think back to the sacrifice my own mother made to provide music education to me.. in 1985, she paid $25 per lesson for me to study privately with a professor from Duquesne University… that equates to almost $70 per lesson in todays currency…. And never once did my professor go unpaid)
Shortly after opening in 2019, Dan got very sick with his cancer and/or alcohol withdrawal (the docs couldn’t agree). It was literally within months of opening and I found myself questioning if I had heard Gods voice at all, or if it was just my own voice all along. I asked God to send me a sign one day… and literally within minutes, the phone rang and someone inquired about lessons. I needed that affirmation that day…
We’ve been growing steadily since, although Covid threw a wrench in, we seemed to recover nicely. We’ve continued to grow and God provided a windfall that enabled us to upgrade some things in the studio to prepare for other growth.
Dan passed in August. It was truly a blessing to see him grow in the Lord from broken man to redeemed, and ushered into Heaven, a journey for which I will be grateful to have been part.
I am confident that it was, indeed, Gods call top open the studio… the “coffee shop” that began in my mind back in 2009… and God has seemingly affirmed through the years.
I find myself, however, once again questioning if I just misheard God, or if, perhaps, the studio was simply a tool God used for me to help Dan get his life straightened around.
My hears desire is to have the studio be an awesome place where kids and families can go, not only to master music, but to work on mastering life. My vision is to do music missions someday, either home or abroad. I know somehow I need to be present to connect with students and families, but still work my day job and teach in my home (my home studio is what’s earning the money to pay my half of the studio). I don’t even pay myself for lessons that I teach at the studio because I donate my salary to the overhead expenses.
Over the past week, I’ve been working on a five year plan of personal finances, specifically to plan out being able to retire from my day job. (On paper, it looks like it will be in August of 2027).
I’ve been asking the Lord to show me something… some sign, some word, some gem that will keep me going. As I laid out budget before the Lord and prayed for His guidance, I heard very very soft words, “Give more”
I tithe 10% of my salary. And I give of my time and talents on top of that, and sometimes even more financially. i never felt I had the right to tithe my husbands income because … well because. But I thought, “ok, God, I can give more money if that’s what you want”….
I am familiar with the loaves and fishes.. and keenly aware that God owns the cattle on 1000 hills.. I don’t mind giving more financially… I just want to be a good steward of all he’s given. At the studio, I know I pay my instructors more than what good business people would recommend, which leaves very little for overhead (which is why I donate my time to cover the overhead). I am grateful for my day job because it affords the opportunity to be able to not get paid from the studio, but also requires the , that I keep my day job. Lol. What an ironic conundrum.
Since yesterday, our studio enrollment dropped by four more lesson blocks per month. Pretty soon there won’t be anything left to give….
Could I ask that you pray that God will show me what He wants of me.. and give me the courage to obey ? I specifically need some affirmation that the music studio is something He wants. If it is, I am REALLY needing that sign…. And if it isn’t, I pray He will show me the best way to decommission it… I appreciate so much!
Be blessed my friends