Last Day of Being 30 Something ~

~ Almost 40 ~.pngToday has been a good day.  I got a good sleep.  Hung out with my great family.  Took a long nap (I’ve been very tired lately) and dyed my baby girl’s hair (she is 13).  I wanted to sit here and document something on my last day before turning the BIG 40!  What has happened to me these last 30 years?  Well, I grew up in a loving, worship pastor’s home, traveled a lot and lived in 8 homes, in Canada, California, Washington, and Detroit, graduated high school, studied vocal performance privately and in college, traveled the world as a singer and speaker for World Vision and Mission of Mercy, got married to a worship pastor-in-training, had two beautiful kids, was called by the Lord to write, started writing songs, moved to three churches, produced my first debut album, continued writing and performing, homeschooled our kids for 3 years, was gently nudged to lead worship more often, became the women’s director for our church, moved again as an act of faith, put our kids in public school, became a leader for a moms group, had much needed rest from ministry, got confused about songwriting, my purpose, and my calling, so after every resource was gone and every idea was spent, I prayed and God opened the door for me to be a worship pastor and a private music instructor.  Because our church was in dire need of specific worship songs, my songwriting bug returned and I began writing again.

That is a lot of living in 30 years.  What’s next?  Hmm… Well, I’m getting more tired as I age, I have to dye my hair to cover grey.  I can pass as a 30 something still, but definitely not a 20 something.   My thinking has changed a bit.  I’m definitely more seasoned which has been the byproduct of years of patience, humility, disappointment, knowledge, experience, and perseverance.  I’m still someone who has too many ideas swimming in my head.  I like moving forward.  I don’t like being content with the same ol’.  I am more excited as a worship leader, more patient and sanguine as a music teacher, more social with my children, more grown up as a wife, more focused as a songwriter, more prayerful as a child of God.  What’s wrong with that?  Nothing.

Yes, it’s hard to think I will be 40 stinkin’ years old tomorrow, but I like who I am now way better than who I was at 19.

My hope is that in the years to come, Lord willing, I will be closer to the Lord, moving in the Holy Spirit, more thankful for what God has blessed me with instead of always wanting more.  I love my husband dearly, even though it doesn’t show too well when we are talking about finances, sorry babe.  I want to play more and do life together.  I love my kids deeply, even though they drive me up the wall with all of the questions and emotional outbursts, sorry kids.  I want to play more and be present in their lives.  I love my family members, even though most of them live far away.  I want to write them letters more and find ways to spend time with them.  I love to write songs, even though in the industry standards they are still not cutting it.  I want to continue having songs flow out of me and write for my church because it brings me so much joy and deepens my understanding of God.  I love being able to be a worship pastor, even though I don’t know how long this season will last.  I want to follow God’s lead and grow this church up to be in love with Him and transformed by His glory.  I love passing down what I know about singing, songwriting, and playing the piano, to the next generations coming up, even though it requires a lot of work and patience lol.  I want to invest all of my experience into them so that they can become great at their musical abilities.

I won’t be able to eat the amazing food I use to.  I won’t be able to shed the extra pounds that I use to.  I will probably still need to take naps and drink coffee.  But, that’s okay.  Here’s to the next 40 years.  I pray God will help me make each day count and never wasted.

Photo on 7-1-17 at 3.54 PM

Lara~

Praise the Lord for All He Has Done – Psalm 111

111 Shout praises to the Lord!
    With all my heart
I will thank the Lord
    when his people meet.
The Lord has done
    many wonderful things!
Everyone who is pleased
with God’s marvelous deeds
    will keep them in mind.
Everything the Lord does
    is glorious and majestic,
    and his power to bring justice
    will never end.

The Lord God is famous
for his wonderful deeds,
    and he is kind and merciful.
He gives food to his worshipers
    and always keeps his agreement
    with them.
He has shown his mighty power
    to his people
    and has given them the lands
    of other nations.

God is always honest and fair,
    and his laws can be trusted.
    They are true and right
    and will stand forever.
God rescued his people,
    and he will never break
his agreement with them.
    He is fearsome and holy.

10 Respect and obey the Lord!
This is the first step
    to wisdom and good sense.[a]
    God will always be respected.

Back To Periscope!

Happy 2017!  Can you believe we are in the year 2017?  I am really having a hard time coming to terms with this.  =)  Well 2016 was a good year, full of learning experiences and rest.  God was faithful and a good, good Father and I know He will continue to be this year!

Through prayer, I am starting back up on Periscope again in a more focused and structured manner.  I really feel led to broadcast about things that I am passionate about.  So I am including my schedule on this post for those of you who would like to join me in the broadcasts that matter to you! periscope-broadcast-sheet

We will begin our study in the Book of Matthew today at 9am p/t.  Then, I will teach a vocal class at 11am p/t.  Lastly, we will have some casual worship time at 6:30pm p/t where I will lead you in worshipping the Lord through song, with prayer time at the end.  It is going to be a good day!

Hope you will be able to join me on Periscope.  Here is the link to my Periscope page: https://www.periscope.tv/LaraMarriott/1yNxadnkyBXJj

Blessings to you as you go into this year.  It is my prayer that God’s Holy Spirit will draw you closer to Him.

Lara~

 

By The Streams Of Grace

Here is another song I wrote years back.  It is based out of Psalm 23, my absolute life verse.

By The Streams Of Grace

©2007 Lara Marriott

By the streams of grace I find You

Down the paths of righteousness

In the stillness of Your mercy

Is where I long to rest

By the streams of grace I find You

You supply what I need

A place where Your abundance flows

You renew me

 

By the streams of grace You restore my soul

By the streams of grace is where Your love is shown

You’re my shepherd, my father

I serve and adore

I long for nothing, but to be

By Your streams of grace

 

Your rod and staff protect me

Through the valley of dark despair

You are walking right beside me

Taking me away from all my fear

Your rod and staff; they guide me

Your blessings are awaiting me

It is only in You I trust for

You are saving me, Oh

 

By the streams of grace You restore my soul

By the streams of grace is where Your love is shown

You’re my shepherd, my father

I serve and adore

I long for nothing, but to be

By Your streams of grace

By Your streams of grace

I will forever rest

By Your streams of grace

By the streams of grace I find You

Celebrate The Seasons

I’m sharing three of my songs today that I’ve written.  I hope they will bless you.

 

Celebrate The Seasons

©2007 Lara Marriott

I found myself reflecting back to memories

I thought about every numbered year

In all the things I’ve gone through, in all the years I’ve found

Times of joy, love, hope, and the tears that I’ve battled

What do I do with all these painted pictures

There are too many to count

 

I celebrate the seasons of life

Capturing each one of them in my mind

I celebrate the seasons of life

Too precious to let go

Unique to me alone

I am blessed by my journeyed road

 

Each year of mine in worn upon my face; in my eyes

I wear them as proud badges of honor

The portraits of my life are completely designed

My experiences come in every kind of color

What is told in all of these painted memories

They are what I’ve been blessed to leave behind

 

I celebrate the seasons of life

Capturing each one of them in my mind

I celebrate the seasons of life

Too precious to let go

Unique to me alone

I am blessed by my journeyed road

 

What a gift from God I’ve been given

To say this is where I’ve been

To tell the stories of my past glories

And the hard times I’ve come out of

Oh and still I will say

 

I celebrate the seasons of life

Capturing each one of them in my mind

I celebrate the seasons of life

Too precious to let go

Unique to me alone

I am blessed by my journeyed road

I am blessed by my journeyed road

I am thankful…

What Legacy Are You Leaving?

This question really hits home when you attend funerals.  You look around at how many people came to pay tribute.  You listen to the stories of how lives were forever changed.  As a worship leader, do you ever ask yourself what kind of legacy you’re leaving?  How are you investing in the people you serve?  Does your family see one person on stage and another at home?  How’s your integrity; your loyalty; your leadership?

It is so important for us worship leaders to keep this front and center in our minds; not as a prideful thing, but as a God honoring thing.  Too many times we allow the fruit of the spirit to take a backseat to our own agendas as well as compare ourselves to others.

There is something so beautiful to experience when going to a funeral for someone who lived out a life for Jesus.  Their legacy doesn’t stop when they pass away, it outlives them many times forward.  It can even cross the generational divide.  We need to be “legacy- minded” worship leaders.  It keeps us from focusing inward and drives us out-word towards others.

Being a “lime-light” worship leader can only bring superficial satisfaction, but being a “legacy-minded” worship leader will bring long-lasting fulfillment and love.

How do you want your eulogy to read?  Who would you like to see at your memorial service?  What would people say about your character? Do you want everything to point to your achievements and accolades?  Or, would you rather the stories told about you and the memories shared end up pointing other to Jesus?

What legacy are you leaving?

Planning & Strategizing as an ENFP ~

This blog title is cracking me up right now because if you know anything about ENFPs, we are not planners or strategizers by nature.  However, we do need to step back from life at times and recenter ourselves to make sure we are moving in the right direction.  What does this look like for me?  Well, I am in casual clothes, surrounded by mess, with my planner open. I have resolved not to move from this spot until I have come up with a plan and a focus!

I love being an ENFP.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The only down side is that as an ENFP I have many different interests and ping-pong from one to next; often.  This is unfortunate because I never really feel like I am an achiever.  Remember that phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none?”  That’s how I feel right now.  For some of you making goals and plans comes effortlessly.  You actually thrive making lists and check boxes, but for me, that gives me a headache which makes me want to lie down and go to sleep.

If you saw me right now you would probably think I was being extremely unproductive and lazy. There are so many things to get done around the house, how could I be so selfish with my time.  At least this is what I think you would perceive.  I am feeling the guilt, but this is the only way for me to make any headway when it comes to thriving as an ENFP.

You see, I am a homeschool mom who is with my kids almost 24/7.  I spend a lot of my time with them doing our own thing that I forget to change it up and get out, meeting new people, experiencing new things. My kids are the exact opposite than me.  So they would rather stick with a routine, maybe even stay home.  There are many projects around our house that are on my mental “to do” list that seem to keep me to myself and are endless weekly tasks.   It’s like a rat race in my own home.  I am also a songwriter.  This has the tendency to become an introverted profession since it requires a lot of quiet, focused time to develop and refine a song.

So I have many things in my life where I am not thriving as an ENFP.  I need to balance those things with activities that bring me a lot of fulfillment and joy.   Hence, I will stay here, picketing my cause, until I can come up with a plan that will help me continue to be the person God has created me to be.  I don’t want to apologize for being who I am.  I want to use everything I have to bless others and to feel God’s pleasure.

Psalm139

Lara~

RESET

For the past couple of weeks I have been in a funk.  There are so many things in my life to be thankful for; however, I am finding myself melancholy most of the time.  It amazes me how our emotions can really take control of our minds and paralyze us.  Have you ever felt this way?  Instead of being proactive about my life’s situations, I have wanted to crawl back in bed and sleep.

I know this is not a healthy behavior and so I am wanting to get to the bottom of it!  Here are a few things I have been pondering lately that I wanted to share with you.

  1. I’ve allowed myself to get into unhealthy daily routines.  Instead of working out in the morning and taking a shower, I have instead scratched the working out part completely and waited until the middle of the day to get ready.  I have told myself and my husband that I am too tired in the mornings to work out and that our kids need me in the morning, hence I take care of their needs before my own.  This routined behavior has not been for my benefit or the benefit of my family.
  2. I’ve forgotten how I used to have fun before having kids.  This sounds awful I know, but it’s true.  I am 38 and my life has been consumed with meeting the needs of those around me instead of figuring out what I enjoy doing as well.  There was a day recently when I took my daughter out to have our nails manicured.  I NEVER do this!  It’s too much money. I could be using this money to buy clothes for the kids, etc.  But I have to tell you, it was a really nice experience.  We also took my husband out to go zip-lining for his birthday.  He asked me to go on it with him and the kids, but I chickened out and became the picture taking, items holding momma that watched from the sidelines, wishing I would have said yes.  I need to be more intentional about scheduling fun into my life.
  3. Water & Vitamins!  I didn’t realize how amazing water was until I found myself in the backseat of my car dizzy and dehydrated because I drank a huge cup of coffee and barely any water that day.  That one “little” episode cost my husband to come back to the church to drive me home, which put me in bed lethargic for three days!  That behavior cost me and my family a lot! I also had forgotten the importance of taking vitamins everyday.  Hey, I’m a busy homeschool mom, I don’t have time to remember everything on my “To Do” list!  Not a good enough answer!  When I was younger I didn’t need to think about taking vitamins.  The bouncing back rate was extremely high.  Now, I need to have a reality check. I am getting older.  My body is changing and it needs to be replenished with water and vitamins daily in order to function properly.
  4. Sleep.  Oh sleep, how I’ve longed to be in your arms all night long!  This has been a great struggle for me this past year.  Our sleeping environment is not the greatest right now.  Plus, again I’m not who I once was when I was in my 20s.  The biggest culprit for my sleep deprivation has been my cell phone.  If I can’t sleep, it’s like my phone is whispering into my ear, “Come check me out.  You can listen to podcasts, you can read the Bible, you can go on Facebook. I don’t care what you do as long as you look into my screen and wake up your brain!”  This bad habit has got to stop immediately!
  5. Spending more quality and quiet time with the Lord.  I do have times throughout the day when I am worshipping Him, reading His word, and praying, but I can do more.  I need to schedule alone times with God daily that are not on Periscope 😉  He is my Rock!  He is the manna I need in order to be nourished and refreshed.
  6. Lastly, trusting God COMPLETELY with EVERY detail of my life.  Ever time I do this, I feel His peace that surpasses all understanding.  Fear is a daily struggle for me that loves to come and torment my emotions, but trusting in God dispels ALL fear!

I knew I needed to write a new blog post, but I was stuck until I decided to be completely honest and transparent with where I am finding myself right now.  Today is a new day!  I made myself workout (I hated every minute of it), take a shower, had lots of water, and took my vitamins.  I do have a bag of caramel popcorn right beside me that I have been chomping on (baby steps), but I feel better moving a few steps forward in the right direction.

No matter where we are in life, there are times when we will somehow get into a rut like I have, not knowing how we got there or how to get out.  Thankfully, our lives are made up of seasons and marathons, not snow storms and sprints.  God is so gracious to give us do-overs every 24 hours to start again.  I am committed to moving myself in the right direction. Please hold me accountable.  If you are going through the same thing right now, you are not alone.  Please let me know and I will be praying for you, encouraging you to keep moving forward towards joy, peace, hope and love.

God Bless,

Lara