Friday, January 6, 2012


At the end of last month, I made some decisions about what I wanted my 2012 to look like.  I knew I wanted to make a few changes, so I scribbled down some ideas, but I made sure not to mention them out loud just in case I changed my mind (except for that running decision...)

On Monday, I listened to a song on my MP3 and sang it, and thought what a great song it would be to sing in Sacrament meeting...the thought was sort of fleeting.  But it's one of those songs that for some reason is duplicated on my MP3, so it repeated, and I sang it again.  And again, I thought, "Someone should really sing this in Sacrament meeting.  It's so beautiful."   And that's when it occurred to me that singing in Sacrament might be one of those crazy things I want to do in 2012.  
I have a live-in accompanist in my home, and while those are not the traditional roles we play (usually SHE sings and I accompany)...wouldn't it be so cool to switch that for a minute and sing a song with my daughter accompanying??  I have some connections with the Ward Music Chair and she's always looking for special music, so I added "Call Donna" to my list of things to do in 2012. 

But here's the crazy thing...the very next night, someone from the Stake RS Presidency called me and said they had a favor to ask.   The Stake is doing a production of Women at the Well, and she asked if I would be one of the soloists, and sing He Came For Me

Here's the back story on that...(there's always a back story, you know...)
When the Scout Master and I were first married and living in Atlanta, our Bishop was a man named Deon Lewis.  I adored him.  He and his wife both made an extra effort with me because I was a fairly new member of the Church.   He gave the greatest council EVER when I thought I couldn't handle my first little Primary class.  Essentially he said, "Just do it and stop complaining."  (only he was more compassionate)   And she taught me how to lead music.

Bishop Lewis' wife, Daynia, had a beautiful singing voice.  She sang often, but it was effortless for her, and she was very humble about that ability.  I loved when she would sing for Sacrament meeting and I loved singing next to her in choir.  She was one of those people I always wanted to emulate.  One of the years that we lived there, the Roswell Stake did a production of Women at the Well.   (yep...the same one the Allen Stake is doing this spring.)  I'm a big Kenneth Cope fan, so I had already purchased the CD and the song book, and had memorized every song on it by the time the production happened.  Daynia sang my very favorite song on that CD...the one that I played to death and sang the heck out of for months in my car on my commute back and forth to work.  The whole show was amazing, but especially her performance, and I cried all the way through it.   I also thought how much I would love to be able to be just like her someday...

Here's how those two things are related and ridiculously improbable...
1.  That CD came out in 1995!  It's been around for almost 20 years and the one and only time I've ever seen it performed was in 1996 just after it came out.
2.  I can't remember the last time I've seen a Stake musical production of anything.  Do they even DO those anymore??  (apparently...)
3.   I am NOT in the Stake radar.  I don't know anyone on any Stake levels, even the Stake Presidency.  I don't know any of the women in the Stake RS Presidency except for a very casual, acquaintance-type relationship with the Secretary because she happens to be in my ward.  
4.  I am not on the soloist circuit.  I have never been a soloist.  My family gets called on all the time to sing together, but I almost always manage to slip behind the piano for those things.  
5.  I am a pianist and an organist.  That is my comfort zone.  It is effortless for me to play for a baptism or to substitute for the ward organist on Sunday.  I couldn't always do that, but there is no longer any question in my mind about my ability in that area.  If necessary, I can play without any notice and manage most of the hymns or Primary songs.  One time I even played the opening hymn for Priesthood opening exercises (because no one else was available and I had snuck in there for something...I can't remember what.)

So, here is what I'm taking from this experience...THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES!
It's been a secret desire of mine to do something like this...for my entire life.  I LOVE to sing.  In the car, in choir, and in the privacy of my own home, I have a little bit of talent in this area.  But there's this something...I don't know what...hounding me to do more with it.  To magnify that talent.  To use it to testify of the things I know.  And now I get to do exactly that.  

I didn't have to print any music.  I didn't have to make any phone calls.  I didn't even have to learn the song.  I didn't utter that thought I had earlier this week with a single person, but yet, less than 24 hours later, the opportunity presented itself to do exactly what I wanted to do...just in a totally different way than I expected and on a MUCH larger scale.  Singing for a Stake musical production wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I thought about testing my soloist wings.  

Maybe, singing needs to become one of those effortless things for playing the piano.  Eventually after doing that for awhile publicly, my legs stopped shaking, my hands stopped shaking, and I stopped worrying about all the mistakes everyone might have heard. 

Our thoughts are like magnets.  We attract the things we most desire and the things we think about most often...positive or negative.  That happens to me over and over and over.  

I said yes to Sister Dalton.  It's totally scary, but I totally want to do it.   And if my little thoughts have magnetized someone else to think about calling me as a soloist to sing my favorite song, in my favorite musical production, then I'm not going to let that opportunity slip by because of doubt or fear.  I'm doing it.

I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows me and who shows me on a daily basis that He is aware of what I need and what I'm capable of.  I'm grateful for the confidence that gives me and the opportunity to do more than what I ever could by myself.  And I'm grateful for the little magnets out in the universe that make absolutely EVERYTHING within reach and totally possible.  Sometimes it takes 20 years, but anything is possible...

Be Good.  Be Patient.  Don't Forget.

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