Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Night of a First

My beautiful, gorgeous, shy, scaredy-cat daughter had a first last night!

Back at the end of January, Marissa told me that she wanted to sing a special...not a solo with the Youth Choir....a solo for regular church services. WHAT? This is the girl who doesn't want to stand on the front row of our 50 voice choir. WHAT? She told me she wanted to sing a song called "It's My Desire"; not the one in the Sing Unto The Lord songbook but another song on an album we got at Christmas.

So, fast-forward to the end of February when I and Sarah made the calendar for March. Sarah was going to schedule someone who has a great voice but doesn't believe in herself too much yet to sing a solo for the March youth service. In discussing the calendar, Sarah told me that she wanted to schedule the young lady but was afraid that the girl would bail on us. So, we put Marissa on that service.

When Marissa found out, she said, "Okay. But I think I might want to do a different song." I was shocked that she didn't do what we thought the other young lady would do!!! Marissa chose "Rend" by Jimmy Needham and we practiced, changed the key, discussed her voice, discussed her diction, etc. She sounded good and then it was time to go to church for the scheduled Youth service.

As the service progressed, Marissa got more nervous and more nervous. She kept looking at me and saying, "I don't think I can do it, Mom." We prayed with each other during the song service and I kept encouraging her to just do her best. Then it was time to go onto the platform...we started forward only to have Marissa turn to me and say, "I can't. I can't." I hugged her, put my arm across her back, propelled her forward, and said, "Yes, you can." We got onto the platform. Marissa went into a hallway off the side. I told her to get back in there and she said, "I am going to run away." LOL I asked her, "Who are you singing for? The audience or Jesus?" She answered correctly and said Jesus. Then it was time.

She walked nervously across the platform to the pulpit (which is HUGE and helped "hide" her...) picked up the mic, and started to sing. She told me later that she freaked out a little when she heard herself through the monitors and that was why she had pulled the mic away for a second. She also pointed out that she muffed the words on the first chorus.

BUT she DID it. She sang her first front of 200 people or so...and she did well. Very well for a shy, scaredy-cat. In fact, I think the scaredy-cat part of her personality is getting removed slowly through each time she conquers her fears and allows God to use her for His glory!!! Yep, I have a feeling we will be seeing a more confident Marissa in the future and hearing more of her God-given beautiful voice!!

Oh, and the song she sang was about rending your heart from the world. Allowing yourself to become a broken vessel to be used of God. And Pastor Booker preached about what a difference a line can make when it comes to the World of Sports. He taught about tearing away from the worldly things and focusing on God. How cool is that to be in tune with the leading of God the first time you choose a song and sing a solo????

Yup, I am a very Holy Ghost proud mommy!!!!

Sing for the Lord, Riss....Don't get caught up in the "applause"....Be careful to stay in tune with God's anointing and give Him all the glory!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

RIP Layla Grace Marsh-Lessons Learned

Yesterday my daughter, Marissa, came across a blog, , about this incredibly beautiful 2 year old princess who was fighting Neuroblastoma. The pictures of this precious jewel are incredible. Especially the photos that the family was able to have done just before Layla got really bad. We read the entire blog, 10 months worth of posts, in one sitting (no, we do NOT normally do things like this) and shed many, many tears. The smiles she shared with her family and friends are incredible. She was a fighter and a VERY smart little girl. There are video clips of her showing her incisions, getting tickled by her daddy and laughing the most precious laugh, and telling her mommy just how she felt about bedtime during one hospital stay.

This morning we found out that little Layla had gone to be with Jesus.

My heart is broken for the Marsh family. I keep thinking about how I would be feeling if this had been one of my children. I truly feel that God has used this little girl and her family's wonderful but painful journey of her life to remind me that the world doesn't revolve around me, my family, my church, my immediate surroundings. There is a great big world out there where so many people are hurting, dying, losing loved ones, and suffering through their own trials.

I am burdened anew for deeper prayer and intercession for the world. Marissa has been deeply affected as well and is determined to pray more. Mark and I spoke this morning for a while about how so many recent developments, circumstances, painful trials, and physical ailments have been directing us once again to the throne of God. I am not saying that we haven't been just isn't enough any more. God is wanting more of us. And I believe it is because of His soon return. His people, His church need to be in intercession for the lost and hurting so that they too can come to know Jesus in the fullness of truth.

If you get a moment, remember Layla's family during this dark hour of sorrow. And take a little longer to pray for others as well. Pray for my family and me too, please!

God bless you, my friends. I am praying for you!