Dellinda EbelingThis article written by Dellinda Ebeling, Texas Representative

It’s amazing the number of great people in
my life I would never have met if not for handbells!

So said a posting on Facebook today. Ok, it read “music;” but I substituted “handbells” because this is a handbell website after all. Moreover, I’ve been around and involved in music my entire life; and music has become a significant part of my life and a serious avocation for the past three years. So I devote this time and space to gratitude for some of the people and things in my life.

I am grateful for a husband who understands and indulges my obsession, is always there to move the tables, pack the bells, move the bells, raise the tables, lower the tables, and prepare a hot dinner on Sunday nights after my 2-3 hours of rehearsals…for the daughter who kept begging to join the group oil I realized she really was serious and whom I miss now because that broken arm just won’t let her play…for the other daughter who is always there with the camera and the muscle when it’s needed and will shake a maraca if I beg.

I am grateful for talented people who give up personal time with their friends and families every week for ten to eleven months a year to do this ministry together for the worship of the God we love and who always strive to push the limits of what we can do together…for new kid ringers who keep me on my toes and make me marvel at the quickness of a child’s mind…for a church staff who supports, encourages, and includes handbells as a part of a vibrant worship experience…for friends and fellow strugglers who affirm what we do as a part of their worship experiences…for the director down the street and his ringers who have welcomed me into their circle because whoever gets enough handbells…for my friend who lingered over lunch this week with me for four hours while we solved all of our problems, bell and otherwise.

I am grateful for a wider community that both a national organization and social media have brought to me…for bell friends like “the musketeers” who provide a safe place in “the boardroom” to talk about anything…for the other online friends, some I’ve met and others I haven’t met yet– ringers, directors, composers, arrangers–all of whom graciously share what they know with me, an average untrained volunteer handbell director of just one church handbell choir out of hundreds, made better by what each person has brought to my life…for colleagues who serve together corporately for the advancement of our art…for opportunities to travel, to learn, and to meet other crazy, obsessed, and passionate people.

Finally, I am grateful for the music that brings life and renewal to my soul and spirit every time I hear it in rehearsal, in worship, in my car, or just in my head. May the music and those in your life feed your soul in the year that is to come.