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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Blessed By Our Past

Pocket Full of Quarters Journey 2015
Blessed by Our Past

Written in San Jose, California
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38

Some of you may not know that I taught piano for 38 years. My students were gifts from God that still bless me today. I had my first student at aged 16 and I taught until Bob moved me to Phoenix in 2006. I loved teaching piano. My piano teacher, Mrs. Warren, arranged for my first student and taught me that the role of a piano teacher was crucial because in most cases, piano teachers spend more individual time with a child than any other adult except their parents and possibly grandparents. I decided at 16, to accept the responsibility. In addition to teaching them piano, I committed to praying for them weekly on the day of their lessons, a practice I continue today. I also mentored them in their Christian walks, nursed them through broken hearts, challenged them when they needed it, and did my best to be present at important events. People might say I was a blessing to my students and I pray I was, but trust me, they blessed me more.

I may have stopped teaching but on this journey, I continued to be blessed by my past. Margo Bouchillon is what we in the biz call a good piano mom. A good piano parent shows up on time, doesn't force piano lessons but insists on practice, makes music fun, follows directions from and celebrates their piano teacher, and makes their piano teacher laugh. A good piano parent is why some students become good enough to fall in love with music and to be able to enjoy it for a lifetime.

Margo loved music and made it a priority. The result - her sons loved music and serve their churches through music as adults. I taught Margo's sons while they lived in Jacksonville, Florida and believe it or not, became reacquainted with her in State College when her youngest son attended Penn State, went to my church, and just happened to end up in the same Life Group as me.

Margo lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington and invited me to visit her. I go where I'm invited and spent a few days in her lovely home. I was totally blessed by Margo's love of Jesus, hospitality, and encouragement. The result of Margo hosting me was that 4 people came to know Jesus while I was there and I left refreshed and with clean clothes.

Now let's talk about Kristen Givens Smith. I've known her most of her life. She took piano from me for 12 years and was my son's duet partner. Her parents were also good piano parents and I consider their entire family my family. Kristen and I formed a special bond early on. Kristen's Mom called me on Christmas night asking me if I would be Kristen's teacher and I've always told Kristen that she was my Christmas present. Kristen is a daughter of my heart. When she is happy, it makes my heart soar and when her heart is broken, mine is as well.

Kristen is all grown up now with a family of her own and I spent several days with that family in San Jose, California. Her husband, Charles, is a former employee of our software firm and was one of the brightest engineers we ever hired. They are Christians and love God and their church. It was a joy watching how much they enjoyed their 1-year-old son Piers.

During my time with Kristen, we had our nails done, where 2 people met Jesus. Then we went to lunch and our server met Jesus. Can you imagine the blessing of going evangelizing with a former piano student?

Sunday was a day tailor made for me. Charles and Kristen made it happen. It started with me speaking twice at their church on my favorite topic - evangelism. Kristen sang the solo in church and what a blessing it was to me to hear that sweet lovely voice I'd accompanied her when she was a child. We went to a picnic at her church and I got to witness first hand just how beloved they were in their church community. It was everything I'd ever prayed for on Kristen's behalf. After the picnic, a group of 5 of us from her church went evangelizing and 12 more people met Jesus.

The day ended with me getting to keep precious Piers while they went out. We "facetimed" with Bob. Here's another thing that you might not know. Bob supported my teaching in the same way he supports my ministry and he loves my students as much as I. We enjoyed Pier's playing with Rascal over the phone and showing Bob how he could throw a ball. We taught him to say GrandBobby and Gi Gi. Bob said, "You sure do have precious cargo there. Are you sure he is only 1?"

Those seeds we sowed into those young lives so many years ago have blessed us 10 times over.

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