I am so grateful that Dad has encouraged us to write testimonies about how the Lord is teaching us His commands. This week the command He challenged me with is to love Him above all else. (Matthew 21:21-22).

Daniel juggling"la, la, la, la, la" My alarm was going off again. I pushed snooze a couple times before rolling out of bed and jumping in the shower. In addition to a late start, I was moving slow that morning. I knelt to pray and fell asleep again. "This is dreadful" I thought, "Now it’s getting late and by the time I fix my hair it will be time for staff meeting and I will not have any time to practice violin. I need to hurry. This isn’t feeling like a spiritually deep time with the Lord anyway. I will keep it short so I still have time to practice violin."

Esther looking like she is juggling :)Oops! This must not have been a good thought process because it was followed by instant conviction. The Lord seemed to ask me to put violin on the altar. "Esther, I love being with you, let’s not rush it" So, on the altar it went. "Of course, Lord, no problem", I said more than I felt. It was good to have unrushed time together and there was still 20 min to practice before staff meeting.

Later that day, Mandie popped into my office. "Hey Esther, weren’t you going to audition for the Indy conference orchestra?" Oh dear, I had missed the deadline. Merciful Mandie said I could still send a video in if I wanted to or I could run across the street and play it for her in person that night before she left the next day. "I’ll look at it", I promised.

Enjoying a lovely evening with Jennifer and Sarah. It was glorious to have Sarah here for the Journey!The party hostesses!

After work I printed off the audition music, enjoyed a delightful dinner with Abby (which included a salad with our own homegrown lettuce:), put up the deer-x that Michael had given me for our garden and did my little exercise routine. It was about 8:30 before I tuned up my violin. "Oh, I think I’ve seen this music a couple years ago", I thought. I was amazed how quickly it came together! Within an hour and a half, I had learned it, played it for Mandie and was back home putting my violin Powerteam at the parkaway. That was record time for me! I’ve never done an audition that fast before! Why had it gone so well? The Lord answered this question strong and clear – "Because you put Me first, Esther." There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord was blessing me for loving Him more than violin. Secondary things are not the issue – God will do what He wants with those. The main thing is that I keep loving Him and putting Him first in every little decision I make.

Myself, Molly and Katieteam two