Busking at the Mall…And Anywhere Else She Can Think of

Busking at the Mall…And Anywhere Else She Can Think of

The girls were given an oppor­tu­nity to play their harp at the mall this past week­end. So, they have been prac­tic­ing and prepar­ing for their big pub­lic debut of harp play­ing. I sensed some nerves rat­tling around in the girls over the last cou­ple of weeks as the day drew nearer.

Except for with Faith.

On the way to their last harp les­son before the big day, Faith piped up from the back seat, “Mom? I have a great idea!”  {Oh, dear. I can only imag­ine what’s com­ing next…} “I think we should bring Peter’s fedora and get tips while we play at the mall!”

Two things ran through my head:
1. How on earth did she know it was called a fedora? and
2. Do they allow this?
and to be hon­est, there was a 3. WHAT?!?!? Where did she get this idea from?

As I attempted to sup­press my shock and the fact that I found this humor­ous, I decided to duck the ques­tion, and gave all blame and respon­si­bil­ity to her teacher. “You need to ask your teacher. You prob­a­bly won’t be allowed to do it.”

Well, lo and behold, her teacher thought it was a GREAT idea! Faith marched right into her harp les­son and asked if she could have a tip jar. No gig­gles or sur­prise from her teacher. Just nods of yes and encour­age­ment. Ha!

So, Faith got one of my mason jars with chalk­board vinyl on it and wrote out “TIPS” with a red chalk marker. She car­ried that jar to the mall, and stuck it on the floor in front of her harp. Of the three girls, she wanted to go first. She plopped right down in her chair and played “Away in a Manger” 6 times through. In a row. With her sparkly pink shoes show­ing under her flow­ing dress.

faith harp

And she col­lected tips. After some­one would drop a dol­lar or some change into her jar, she smiled and said, “Thank you!” And then kept play­ing. She delighted her audi­ence. And her mother, of course. And, her sib­lings as well. She does that to us.

Not to be out­done, her sis­ters took turns play­ing also. They seemed to enjoy this new ven­ture after they worked out their nerves, and were quite pleased with Faith’s Tip Jar.

duet harpThe girls had a won­der­ful time, the patrons at the mall seemed delighted to see such young girls play­ing the harp. It was so fun to see the older peo­ple and lit­tle chil­dren watch them. I saw quite a few twin­kles in the older generation’s eyes, and gaped mouths in the lit­tle ones. One sweet lit­tle girl even danced for Pey­ton as she played “The Holly and the Ivy”. And one adorable lit­tle boy wanted to give it a try also. Play­ing the harp, that is, not dancing.

So, tonight, we were enjoy­ing some fam­ily time. Faith and I played a game of  Skip­pity while the older chil­dren played Ticket to Ride with Daddy. She read The Princess and the Pea to me, and I asked her to play a song for me on her harp. She ran to get her tip jar, and she told me to go get my wallet…

See her tip jar in front of her harp?

See her tip jar in front of her harp?

Not so fast, you lit­tle stinker!

**The pic­ture at the top of this post is one I took of Faith out of our din­ing room win­dow. We have had a lot of snow over the last week, with tem­per­a­tures falling below zero most days. Faith won’t be deterred. She had Pey­ton bun­dle her up and out she went. Her bright col­ors really cap­tured my atten­tion, so I grabbed my iPhone to see if I could snap a few shots of her with­out her notic­ing. She was busy, hop­ping around from spot to spot, shak­ing lit­tle trees, dig­ging up snow, look­ing for adven­ture. I finally caught this one, and think she looks like a lit­tle snow elf. I really want to pack­age her up and keep her lit­tle for­ever, but I know she must grow up and become the woman God has in mind for her to be. So, we teach, train, dis­ci­ple her daily. And, like the sib­lings that go before her, we com­mit her and her future to prayer, that she will always have a heart sen­si­tive to God, long­ing to please Him, honor Him, and know Him more fully. I feel so unwor­thy for the task.

I’m bored…

I’m bored…

Those are prob­a­bly every mother’s most despised words. Well, at least they are up there with “He’s touch­ing me!” or  some­thing along those lines. They really get me riled up. They cause me a moment of panic, to be hon­est. How am I fail­ing my chil­dren to give them the oppor­tu­nity to feel bored? Am I not chal­leng­ing them enough? Not offer­ing enough insight and purpose?

bored: adj; feel­ing weary because one is unoc­cu­pied or lacks inter­est in one’s cur­rent activity.

I haven’t had the lux­ury to be bored in a few years. You know: chil­dren, home­school­ing, home busi­ness and all. Lazy at times, per­haps. Bored? Not so much. I’m sure every mother can relate to that sen­ti­ment. Our work is never done, so if we are lack­ing some­thing to do, we just need to look beyond our noses to find the next thing.

When I am faced with these words as they pop out of the children’s mouths on those rare occa­sions they didn’t think before they spoke, I just cringe. What? Don’t you know that this moment, right here and right now is a gift? Don’t you know that you are not guar­an­teed the next minute? How on earth can we waste our exis­tence by being bored? If you knew you only had 2 days left to live, would you be bored right now? What would you do that would glo­rify God? Go do that!

I cer­tainly under­stand the moments of the loss of focus. I think most of us have had that hap­pen. But, what a shame to let those moments define our days.

As we are enter­ing into the sum­mer months, that temp­ta­tion to be bored is ever present. How can we spur our chil­dren on to redeem the time rather than waste it on friv­o­lity? I’m not say­ing that we ought to remove all plea­sure and enter­tain­ment from their lives. But, again, it shouldn’t define it either.

Lately we’ve been inspired to get some sort of fam­ily econ­omy going, where the kids are inte­gral in it. We want to teach them how to run a suc­cess­ful busi­ness. We just need to find some­thing that they can prac­tice with, take respon­si­bil­ity for, and not worry (too much) if it flops. The main thing will be to teach them the account­ing, the drive to seek out busi­ness, the cre­ativ­ity to think out­side of the box, and the gump­tion to do it even when it is hard. Per­haps that Fam­ily Eco­nom­ics Con­fer­ence we went to inspired us more than nor­mal. I’m excited for the chil­dren in this endeavor. They have all tried a few things, like dog walk­ing and yard care. But, we live out in the coun­try, and we only have a hand­ful of neigh­bors. Most aren’t in the mar­ket for these things. And, if they are, well, there are only a cou­ple of peo­ple. Not really the mak­ings for a boom­ing business.

The inter­net is avail­able, which is really excit­ing. It really opens up doors for us that might oth­er­wise be unrealistic.

So, what ideas do you have? Reselling seems pop­u­lar. I’d love to find some­thing that the kids could really get behind (but not want to keep it all for them­selves!). Any cur­rent or upcom­ing fads we could get in on? I’d love it if they came up with their own idea. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Another way we can quell the bore­dom is by min­is­ter­ing to oth­ers. Some ideas I have include vis­it­ing nurs­ing homes so the girls can play their musi­cal instru­ments for the res­i­dents. They haven’t quite mas­tered their harp yet, but it’s hard to make a harp sound bad. It is just so sooth­ing. They can offer to walk the neigh­bors’ dogs, rake up pine nee­dles, bake cook­ies or breads for friends as a sur­prise to them, or write let­ters to grand­par­ents and cousins. I think I may put a list on our refrig­er­a­tor for them for those moments when the “b” word nearly slips from their lips. They will have a go-to place to find some­thing prof­itable to do with their time.

Faith practicing her harp

Faith prac­tic­ing her harp

Please, share ideas that you have. I’d love to get more items on my list for the kids. What are you going to do to bat­tle the bore­dom bug?


Photo credit: Con­law­prof / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA


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