I was talking to a good friend recently who is a musician and performer. She was talking about being somewhat nervous for an upcoming performance, and I could relate! Cause, I'm getting ready for my big performance tonight at The Jackson Hole Hootenanny at the Center for the Performing Arts. It feels like a huge honor and most of Jackson turns out for it! I wanted to say something about the nervousness that happens when you perform. I've been around people who, shall I say, have significant "ego strength." I used to feel I had to continually prove myself and compare myself to them and by the end of a performance, or annual meeting, I would be so exhausted that it took me two weeks to recover! I don't do that anymore. I try to hang around people who have big heart strength and who are not continually looking over my shoulder to see if someone more important is walking by. I'm careful not to overdo it - I'm sure it would be easy to feel I have to "keep up with the 'George Jones's" (HA!), but I try to take it slow and make real friends. I try to participate in opportunities and be involved, but I don't stay up till all hours, like I used to; I really need my sleep, and I just do the best I can. I think the important thing is to use your talent in all sorts of healing ways, not just to glorify your own ego. So many performers have such fragile egos that they are on a never-ending quest to have their egos stroked, and they work hard at it. There's nothing bad about that - it's just limited thinking and I grow impatient with that approach. I want to use my performing to heal people's hearts and to make people's hearts lighter, and more connected to the joy of this world and inspire them to follow their dreams. In my book, that is being THE REAL DEAL, as a performer. My Dad always said that you don't want to take the butterflies out of your stomach - you just want to teach them to "fly in formation!" He said that nervousness is a good thing because it will give your performance an edge that no amount of practise will. He said the only time he gets nervous is when he's NOT nervous! I truley believe God works through us to heal the hearts of our audiences - I aspire to that kind of healing work. I know if it weren't for the Great Creator, that I would not be doing this work. Every time I perform, I know it is to glorify the Great Creator - and so that helps my nervousness some. I'm doing the Big Jackson Hole Hootenanny tonight - I'm kinda nervous, too. Once a year it is held at the Center for the Performing Arts - the biggest venue in town. The whole community comes out for it - it's standing room only. I was invited this year (my first-year invitation) to perform - a great honor. Usually you have to have had 200 Hoots under your belt before your're invited - I have 46! But they invited me anyway, and I am so honored. This crowd will be just "the folks." Peers are harder - but those who are the REAL DEAL in an Association or an audience, will recognize talent, appreciate it, and enjoy how God glorifies himself by radiating through the voice, the smile, the energy. I hope I don't sound overly religeous: I don't like it when people put their religeon onto others cause I believe God has many different expressions, like wild flowers in the garden. I believe we are meant to be perfect expressions of the wildflowers we are. I want to enjoy tonights performance, and feel grateful to be up there performing. Please say a prayer for me - and help me get ready, and remember to know why I'm up there: to heal people's hearts and to be a perfect expression of The Great Creator's wildflower. I'm learning how to teach those butterflies to "fly in formation!"