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

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?

My Mom’s Pentecost Sunday

I love this story! I too, have had a similar, yet very personal experience with the Holy Spirit. I wanted to share this example of what being “filled’ with the Holy Spirit can be like. Blessings ~

 

Lara ~

http://www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Keeping It Real: The Leilani Life

My mom Aloha got married to my stepfather, Celes, in a Hawaiian-style ceremony. My mom Aloha got married to my stepfather, Celes, in a Hawaiian-style ceremony. My mom was filled with the Holy Spirit while reading the Bible in her living room. That experience changed the destiny of our family.

“Lani, I got filled with the Holy Spirit,” my mom said over the phone.

“What? How did it happen?” I was skeptical but wanted to experiencing this myself. I had just started attending Hawaii Kai Baptist Church and wanted to know more about the Holy
Spirit.

“I was reading the second chapter of Acts where the Holy Spirit was poured out in the upper room and I wanted that to happen to me. It’s called Pentecost,” she explained.

“Then what happend?” I had read that same passage myself but it was a mystery to me. I had asked about the Holy Spirit at the Bible studies that I attended but no one could…

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Mount Hermon ~

My husband Brian and I recently got back from leading worship at a Couple’s Retreat in Mount Hermon. Previously, I attended their Worship Retreat that was Monday through Thursday. So it was a fulfilling week of worshiping God. Why am I blogging about my experience? Well, because I came to realize something really important in my life I wanted to document.

Before Brian and I were married, around 1996, I found myself traveling around the world, singing at different events, staying in 5 star hotels, flying first class and meeting lots of amazing people…..all by myself. I was 19 and experienced so many amazing things. When I got into my hotel room in Thailand, I started jumping on my King size bed so excited about the adventure I was having, but stopped, feeling a deep sadness. I had no one to share this experience with. It was then I prayed and told God if this was going to be my kind of life, I didn’t want to experience it anymore without a husband to share it with. I looked out the window to the canals and market below, feeling very alone.

Fast forward a bit, I met and married the love of my life, Brian. He was a professional commercial and residential painter, but transitioned pretty quickly to a worship pastor in training position. We had two children and my life became all about them.

A few more years past, we moved again to where we are now in Pleasanton, where Brian became the worship pastor at Centerpointe Presbyterian Church and I started my solo worship leader/singer/songwriter career with my worship album, “I Will Follow,” that was released last year. I’ve been moving in that direction, but have been feeling something was missing and not very excited about going down that path without Brian by my side.

Then came an opportunity to lead worship for Mount Hermon’s Couple’s Retreat and I have to say that my heart was full being able to lead alongside my husband. I loved watching him share scripture, shepherd the other couples through worship and have the chance to sing with him. It felt like an answer to my prayer all of those years ago in Thailand. I got to share the Mount Hermon experience with my best friend. We mountain biked, ate ice cream, took long walks and enjoyed being together. We got to do what we love best; lead others to a deeper place with God. It was such a special gift.

I don’t have any idea where God is going to take my album or what door He is going to open next. All I know is that I hope there will be many more opportunities where I can lead worship with my husband Brian. He completes me. I love, love, love sharing life with my family.

This blog won’t let me upload any pictures of our time, but you can see them on my Facebook Page: href=”https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lara-Marriott/164511546916176?ref=hl” title=”Facebook Page” target=”_blank”>

God bless,

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Great Evening ~

Brian and I had a little date night tonight. We were able to hang out at the mall; before kids style! = ) It was very strange. There were a couple of times when we looked at each other with “deer in the headlights” expressions, not knowing what to do or where to go next. I found it to be pretty funny.

We had time to talk about many things without the interruptions and fighting for attention we are use to from our children. I asked him what he thought my next steps should be now that the album is released and all. Should I start scheduling places to go sing? Should I market myself? What should I do?

My husband, Brian is one of the wisest men I know. One of his spiritual gifts, I believe, is wisdom. (hope you are not embarrassed right now babe) lol. He said, “what is your purpose?” I said, ‘to minister to the church and lead them to a deeper place of worship.’ He said, “yah, that is probably your mission statement and something that is not unique to you, but what is your purpose?” Well, uh, hmmm…

He got me. Before, it had been to sing to the greater church globally, bringing encouragement and specific messages God desired to communicate to His people. I wanted to be part of a spiritual revival in the church and believed it was coming. That still is what drives me deep down, but the vision and passion comes with an unrealistic view of how I should achieve that (notice the “I” and not including God’s guidance?) Brian, explained that in his life God moved him from one step, to the next, to the next without skipping steps. He said I was looking too far ahead and to probably achieve the step right in front of me first and be open to whatever God has planned for the next step to follow.

So I am contemplating what my purpose is that God wants to reveal to me. I really need to be in prayer on this. Why am I blogging about this topic? Because I know there are other artists and songwriters and people going through the same thing I am going through. They are also asking, “What is my purpose?” If that is you, I want to encourage you by letting you know you are not alone in this. It is a tough. We could just follow our feelings and do what we want or what society is telling us we should do, BUT, if we do, we might miss what God is really wanting us to do next.

I will keep you posted on what God reveals to me….hmmm things that make you go hmmmm…..Remember that song? = )

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes