This post is slightly out of order in my own mind because I haven't posted any pictures from our QC (Quad City) Christmas, but I wanted to get my thoughts down before I forget.

While in California, I knew our time together was precious, limited, and I wanted to jam-pack it full of people to see that I don't see but once a year and my immediate family. Mission accomplished on those accounts, but it unfortunately didn't leave much room for time with the Lord or time with The Steinway.

That's right, my parents saved and saved and saved for what I didn't realize would be the best gift of my life. The Steinway sits in an open room of our house in front of the window you see as you approach the front door. It's gorgeous grains of black wood and white keys grace our house with beautiful tones and (my favorite part) I can "wail" away on it and make it sound loud and majestic in a flash. Not necessarily from any talent of mine, but because it's a brighter sound than others.

I remember the day our family went to the piano store to pick it out. The long car drive made me sleepy, but when we walked into the store, something in my mind went "ding!" with the doorbell that announced our presence. So many instruments seemed to turn and look at us, like puppies in a pet store, just begging to be chosen, or at least played with. One by one, Katie and I would try our hand at the keys and one by one, we eliminated choices. But, we'd always come back to this beautiful black one with an antique fleur-de-lis -ish design on the music shelf that would hold our books while we played. Simple. Gorgeous. And the sound that she produced was enchanting. Addicting. And we took her home. (Well, the moving crews helped too...) We never named her, but she was immediately part of the family.

The Steinway was many things to me through middle and high school. It was an escape from the stress of classes and extracurriculars, it was an escape from chores-if I was practicing, Mom wouldn't bother me to set the table. "Give me some dinner music, Carrie." She'd always say. Sweet! No vacuuming! I'd think. But, most importantly, The Steinway was a way for my Dad and I to bond more closely through music. So, this Christmas break to California, when I sat down to play pieces I've known for 10 years, I asked Dad to sing along. And he, lovingly, obliged.

I danced in the morning when the world was young
I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun
I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth

Dance, then, wherever you may be

I am the lord of the dance, said he
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he 


The song we walked down the aisle to as I became a Mrs.. Originally, a Shaker hymn, the Quakers  adopted the song too and as we were married in a Quaker church, I felt it fitting to pay some homage to my family ancestry. I learned this piano piece, however, many many years before I ever allowed myself to even think about my wedding day.

I danced for the scribes and the Pharisees
But they would not dance, and they would not follow me
I danced for the fishermen, for James and John
They came with me and the dance went on

Dance, then, wherever you may be

I am the lord of the dance, said he
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he



I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame
They ripped, and they stripped, and they hung me high
And left me there on the cross to die 


Dad sang with a lot more emotion than I've ever heard come out of him before-maybe my fingers know the music so well at this point that my ears can concentrate on other things, or maybe because he knew Gerard was listening...At this point in the song, I was really glad to be recording it!

I danced on a Friday when the world turned black
It's hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body, and they thought I was gone
But I am the dance, and I still go on

Dance, then wherever you may be

I am the lord of the dance, said he
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he 



At this point, my eyes tearing up, it's difficult to see the music as I'm realizing that we have to go back to work and away from my family's sweetness the following morning. I wanted to sit there and just "be" with Dad for more time than I knew we had.

They cut me down and I leapt up high

I am the life that will never, never die
I'll live in you if you'll live in me
I am the Lord of the dance, said he 


Dance, then, wherever you may be
I am the lord of the dance, said he
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he 



And it was at the end of the piece where God met me, despite not having spent a lot of time in His Word, He let me know, through my Dad's voice, that my family is always a part of me, will always be with me in some small way, and that God is faithful while I may be faithless. He will live in you, if you'll live in Him and He can lead us in a beautiful Dance wherever we are in life or geography.


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