Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Faith is a matter of grace: The ultimate un-guide to surrender.


Life is the practice of turning up every day however it presents itself. In each step we take, we find the grace of being present to what the day presents within another moment of practice.

When I was a young girl I learned to play the accordion. I didn’t want to play the accordion. I wanted to play the piano. But my father loved the accordion and insisted that is what my sister and I take.

“You can’t take a piano to a party,” he’d say and under my breath I’d mutter, “I wouldn’t be caught dead taking an accordion to a party.” Hyper conscious of what my friends would think, I held my secret of accordion mastery close.

My sister and I had to practice daily. She dutifully put her fingers to the keys, squeezing the bellows in and out, carefully following the notes on the sheet of music laid out on the music stand before her.

I would practice more haphazardly. I’d fidget and stall. Chatter about how the notes danced on the page without my having to play them and squeeze out notes just for fun. I’d play tunes I’d heard on the radio, believing I intuitively knew the notes that needed to follow each note without needing the music in front of me. With each piece I played, I had faith the next would follow. I had faith my body would know which note belonged.

I was good at playing by ear. Not so good at following the notes. Though, when I had to, I could, follow the notes that is. It’s just they were not want interested me most. I wanted to experiment. To chart my own path. Create my own sounds. Test the limits of my faith in my body to know which note came next just by the sound of the last one that I played.

When it came to exam time, my sister always beat me by one or two marks. I didn’t have her patience, nor commitment to practice. I al.so didn’t have her faith in the value of practicing studiously every day.

I no longer play accordion. Yet, when given the chance, I will sit down at a piano keyboard and attempt to play the notes of a popular song. In my mind, I play beautifully. On the keyboard, it’s another matter.

I have lost the art of knowing the music. Of feeling each note before it appears and having faith my body will know which one to play without needing to read it on a sheet of music in front of me.

Faith is like that. It takes daily practice and a deep commitment to living it, whatever it is for me, every single day. It takes trusting the unseen note will appear because it is the one that fits next to the last one just played.

In the art of living faith on a daily basis, daily, moment by moment, practice is an essential ingredient to finding the path where I belong.

It doesn’t always come naturally to me, but with practice, it does come with grace.






Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

11 thoughts on “Faith is a matter of grace: The ultimate un-guide to surrender.

  1. life, like breathing, comes naturally

    to all of us

    practice, it would seem, is not required

    for survival, for thriving, for flourishing …. this is art/science/practice/instinct …. and fantastic

    more than ‘faith’ in its common usage, I submit that ‘faith in ourselves’ is the only faith we need

    and without it, we are rudderless boats out at sea ..



    Liked by 2 people

  2. Louise, this one made me feel that you need to write a book. Chapters with these kind of amazing metaphors filling each page! Reeeeally good! We are blessed because we have your blog and can go dig through your archives daily when we need some inspiration! But for the ones who don’t know about this blog. I think a book, yes a book. I am voting for a book! 😉
    We’ve probably talked about this before. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like me and my sister. Only it was the piano. She’d practice meticulously and “perfectly” but I got bored with playing as written. I’d also intermittently make up my own thing.

    I can read but play better by ear. I wouldn’t say that I play the piano because I couldn’t just start playing in front of anyone. I also can’t spot read. When I read music now, it’s like a kid learning to read a complicated book – sounding out what is written.

    I have taken advantage and spent time alone with a piano for a few hours a night for a month. It is rewarding to take some (popular) sheet music, figure it out again – remembering, but also discovering that maybe I’d been playing part of it wrong before.

    I found a YouTube video of the composer playing a song I have the sheet music for. I watched on my phone while sitting at the piano with the sheet music in front of me. He wasn’t deviating from what was written. Reading along, I realized there was a part I played wrong since learning it (thanks a lot, piano teacher)! Finding that and retraining and practicing the right way was really rewarding.

    Even though I got it to a good place, I’d still screw it up if I had to perform for anyone. Funny thing is that the practice area isn’t as isolated or sound proof as it feels. My first thoughts were less about imperfection, but wondering if people heard me swearing and berating myself when I messed up. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love reading your blogs. I can’t say I read them all, however when I do, there is always a message that resonates for me. We all experience life in such a unique and personal way, yet it is profound how the fiber of our being is so deeply woven that we have so much to learn from each other’s jouney. Thank you for opening up your heart and sole to us all in this ciber world. I admire and appreciate your gift to put your words to print. May you continue to follow your passion for writting. Have a glorious day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh…Louise…I can totally see you with your squeeze box (please tell me that I am using that correctly!!!) And I fully understand…I wanted to play the piano so badly…I just wasn’t that into the practice and was quite honestly surprised that I couldn’t just sit down and play! Thanks for your wonderful story…can’t wait till you get your new baby!! My little guy just had a little bit of a hard time transitioning in our move from the south to the north…but he will adapt! 🙂 Blessings dear friend ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am running late this morning — sorry for no personal replies to your messages. I will respond this evening — it’s been a busy couple of weeks! Blessings to all for taking the time to say hello and leave your remarks. You shine.


  7. Yes, grace. Louise, I am re-learning grace atm and all I have to do is think of youxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The Sunday Wrap: June 21, 2015 | The Seeker's Dungeon

  9. Beautifully said. Love how you wove such an endearing story into a great message.


  10. Pingback: The Sunday Wrap: June 28, 2015 | The Seeker's Dungeon

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