Not an Ordinary Performance

I am a songwriter. Anyone who's read my profile has figured that out. Although not writing as prolifically as I once did, due to the daily ins and outs of raising a family, running a business, and the fact that I sold my piano a year and a half ago when I thought we were moving overseas, I still occasionally come out with a few gems. Unfortunately, due to said lack of piano, my playing skills are not currently up to my own standards for performing, so for this reason I have not shared my music with anyone for well over two years.

Until tonight.

It all started about two months ago. The Moms Time Out group in Grimshaw that I had attended a few times announced that they were going to be hosting a ladies' event in May, with the theme "Spring Cleanup", and they were looking for people to help out with preparation and to participate in the program.

Without consulting with my brain, my mouth opened and volunteered me to perform a song. In front of about 15 women. So my pride wouldn't let me take it back. As soon as my brain figured out what was going on, the red alert siren started wailing, and it desperately started flailing it's hands around in the air trying to gain the attention of my mouth. My brain was shouting, "You don't have a piano, and you haven't had a real practice in well over a year, and besides that you swore never to sing and play at the same time again!"

Which I did, after doing a concert with my friend Candace (the same afore-mentioned Candace that will still have to be the topic of a different blog entry) in 2001. The concert was videotaped, and we had many issues, not the least of which being that our entire band did not practice together until the day of the actual performance! The whole thing was a huge learning experience for me, and after watching the video and seeing how poorly I performed, both on the piano and vocally, I decided that I was not talented enough to do them together and should just focus on one or the other while performing. Besides that, I've never been fond of my voice, and have often bemoaned the fact that I have to rely on the whims of fickle vocalists (with apologies to all my vocalist friends) to get my music performed, instead of being blessed with the voice to just sing it myself.

Despite all of this, having committed myself to this performance, I bravely soldiered on towards fulfilling the commitment. I knew right away the song I wanted to perform was "Ordinary Days," which had been written in 2001, with a third verse added on my recent trip to Grande Prairie. Since this event was for young moms, I knew it would be perfect.

I ended up doing most of my practicing on the cheesy little 5-octave Yamaha keyboard I have had on semi-permanent loan from my uncle and aunt for some time now. It went better than I thought, although Jason was a little disturbed to be kept awake by my practicing on Saturday night, since the office (where my keyboard sits) is right above the guest room where he has been sleeping due to his cold. (However, the practicing even inspired me to get my recording setup put together again, and start experimenting a bit. I have a bunch of new songs I need to get on tape, so it was a good excuse to get ready for that.)

I didn't get the jitters until driving into the town of Grimshaw tonight, just before the performance, which is pretty typical of me. While I was performing the song, my mind was racing a million different directions, and I had to keep reminding myself to focus on where I was in the music, and not worry about all the other stuff (not the least of which being a strange sense of embarrassment that plagues me when performing my own music in public, probably because I don't want other people to think that the talents God gave me make me more special than them--which is how we so often view anyone who puts themself in the public eye, whether it be an actor, musician, politician, or other performer). When the song was finally over, I felt--pleased. This is not a feeling I have often had after a performance. I am usually super-critical of the job I did. But for once, I knew I had done a good job, and I was willing to let myself believe it.

After the event was over, I received the usual compliments for getting up and performing a song, but a few of the comments stuck out--I actually had several people complement my singing voice, which surprised me. That makes me wonder--would there ever be potential for me as a singer/songwriter? Even if it was just in a local setting? Hmmm...food for thought.

And now, for your reading pleasure, I will include the lyrics in full of the song I performed tonight. (This is a copyrighted work, in case anyone is thinking about ripping me off. However, if you are interested in hearing the music, let me know and I'll see if I can figure out how to post sound bites to the internet.)

Ordinary Days

by Talena Winters

Sun comes up, I roll out of bed--the beginning of an ordinary day.
Cup of coffee and Cheerios; The news has nothing new to say.
Children laughing down the street, and I begin to see
That even when I can't hear You, You are still talking to me.

And You are with me on ordinary days
Working in my life in extraordinary ways
I don't know how or why, it's a mystery to me.
But You are God of ordinary days
You are God of ordinary days.

In the morning I never do suspect all the things that You will send my way
And I know that sometimes I neglect to bow my head and pray
And thank You for all the things You've given me, Your mercy and Your grace
But now I know when You're walking by my side there's no such thing as ordinary days.

And You are with me on ordinary days
Working in my life in extraordinary ways
I don't know how or why, it's a mystery to me
But You are God of ordinary days,
You are God of ordinary days.

And today is just an ordinary day,
Just another ordinary day.

Every day I'm one day closer to the person You want me to be
Like a stone the river has worn smooth, that's how You're changing me
Even though the change may be slow, it still is taking place
It's You who brings me to Your perfect will through the course of ordinary days.

And You are with me on ordinary days
Working in my life in extraordinary ways
I don't know how or why, it's a mystery to me
But You are God of ordinary days,
You are God of ordinary days,
You are God of ordinary days.

Edit: Yay! I figured out how to embed music into a page! Click on the player to hear a version of this song, recorded by my friend Candace and I (plus a few friends) when we put on the concert in 2001. (Candace is the one with the lovely lead vocal voice. I am the one singing out of key in the background because I was playing the piano at the same time. Oh, well.)