Note by Note: Will You Stand With Me | No. 7 | 1.21.19

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  ~Eleanor Roosevelt 

I almost quit guitar lessons about twelve years ago. Between Mom duties, two or three part-time jobs, graduate school, band practice, major league volunteering, etc., there wasn’t enough time to practice. And frankly, guitar was kicking my butt. 

As many of you know, it’s humbling to be an adult learner. Being a pretty accomplished violinist -- as well as a card-carrying perfectionist -- made it painful to fumble around on the guitar. And I wasn’t finding time to make much progress. 

Close to quitting (and saving face), a friend asked me to consider a job at a residential treatment facility. I would lead a youth choir, play music for the weekly worship service, and lead musical activities for 5 to 12-year-olds who were hospitalized for mental health and behavioral issues. 

I really wanted to be the person who could do that job, but I was still struggling to sing and play guitar at the same time. Plus I had never done anything remotely like this. 

Wrestling my fears, I determined to live into this challenge. I’m still not sure exactly how I put two and two together, especially given the tough crowd. But taking that job and persevering with the guitar led to countless opportunities and new paths. 

Sometimes we see turning points loud and clear, and other times we ease into them without knowing…. 

Today’s video is a shout-out to all who have stood with me and to those who stand with each other when the going gets tough. 

When have major turning points occurred in your life? What new things(s) are you itching to learn? 

All the best—with gratitude, 



“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”  ~Andy Rooney 

For inspiration, I recommend reading Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown…or really any of her books.


Joy Zimmerman is a soulful singer-songwriter known for compelling vocals, inventive songs, and captivating performances. A traveling musician based in Kansas City, Joy is currently working on “To the Girl”, her sixth album of original music.  Joy is a multi-instrumentalist whose eclectic music might be best described as folk rock with extra helpings of other favorite genres. 

Joy's songwriting awards include an American Songwriter Lyric Contest Honorable Mention and eight Walnut Valley Festival NewSong Showcase wins. She has recorded three albums in Nashville and two in Kansas City. 

More information available at

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