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~

 

Embrace Me

This is the second song I wrote.  You see, I was a singer, not a songwriter in 2005, however through a sequence of events, God specifically asked me to write.  Because I was a singer and I never, ever ran out of things to say, I thought being a songwriter was exactly what I needed to do!  One thing I love about this song is that I was child-like and expressive with my lyrics and delivery.  You can listen/buy it on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beginnings/id438824578

 

Embrace Me

© 2005 Lara Marriott

Walking up the stairs, casting all the world’s cares

Upon my shoulders

Searching for a place to find a peaceful state of mind

to get away

I shut the darkest door to hide for awhile

I need You Lord to comfort me

I close my eyes and try to think about You

Oh Lord, what should I do?

Embrace me, taking

all of my fears, my worries, and my tears

I’m feeling inside

Embrace me, flowing down

the warmest of Your love

reflecting from above

Embrace me

Gazing at the sky nature’s calm I find

that You’re all around me

The sun glistening the trees, clouds are changing what I see

a place of wonder I’ll never leave

I find a shady place to stay for awhile

I know You Lord are here with me, yeah

I close my eyes and start to dream about You

Is this what heaven’s gonna be?

Embrace me, giving

all of Your joys, Your wonders, and Your glory

I need inside

Embrace me, shining down

the warmest of Your love

reflecting from above

Embrace me

Day or night, by Your side

You have revealed

You are real and I feel you inside

Day or night, by Your side

that’s where I’ll always be

You are real and I feel alive

Embrace me, shining all of Your love, Your love

Embrace me, fill me up with Your love, Your love, Oh how I love You

I Love You Jesus

Here is one of the first songs I had ever written.  I wanted to write a song that didn’t need accompaniment; just voices.  I was envisioning christian martyrs, prisoners, or slaves needing to sing a song that was easy to learn, that could remind them of Jesus’ love for them.  You can listen/buy it on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beginnings/id438824578

I Love You Jesus

© 2007 Lara Marriott

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

and I’m so thankful

thankful

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

I love You Jesus

and I’m so thankful

thankful

thankful

You chose to love me, undeserving

and to forgive upon a tree

Your grace is never, never-ending

and forever I will sing

 

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

 

 

New Song – Bring Me Home

 

Bring Me Home
c2012 Lara Marriott

Find me within self and surrendering
Drifting away from Your goodness
Find me amid the wars and real peace
Chasing eager dreams without Your lead

Find me within pride and humility
Striving to gain acceptance
Find me amid desire and necessity
Only what You supply will last

Bring me home
Bring me home
I am tired and alone
Bring me home
Where love’s unbroken
O God please bring me home

Find me within doubting and certainty
Questioning Your hidden silence
Find me amid deception and loyalty
You’re the safest place to be

Bring me home
Bring me home
When fears and tears are felt no more
Bring me home
Where love’s unbroken
O God please bring me home

You are my Father
You are my guide
You will not leave me behind

Bring me home
Bring me home
A place Your Holy Presence flows
Bring me home
Your love’s unbroken

O God please bring me home
O God please bring me home
You are my home

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes

Blogging My Devotion Today ~

Instead of sitting down and writing down all of my thoughts in my journal, I feel compelled to open up about a few things on my blog.

You see I am full of all sorts of emotions right now. There is this worship conference called “Christian Musician Summit” http://www.christianmusiciansummit.com that my husband Brian and I have been attending since 2005. That was the year a friend of my parents gave me a journal that she had bought in Guatemala. She said every time she walked by that vendor, she would sense God nudging her to buy me that journal and bring it back. She pushed the thought aside over and over again, until she was very annoyed and finally bought the organic journal made of pressed flowers and handmade paper. As she gave it to me during church service, she said I think God is trying to tell you to write. I looked at her as if she was speaking in a different language. I had only written two songs, one for my grandmother’s memorial service and another one called “Embrace Me” to try and set me apart as a Christian artist. But, I really wasn’t a true songwriter I was more of a vocalist who had a passion to sing for Jesus.

I wasn’t going to forget about this gift from God, I needed to act on it somehow. So Brian and I heard about this conference coming up at Overlake Church in Redmond close by. It sounded great. Brian was excited to see Lincoln Brewster and Paul Baloche. I was intrigued to learn more about songwriting. We signed up and away we went.

There were about 2000 people who attended. I was thrilled to be surrounded by other worship leaders and songwriters and just God worshippers! It was amazing to be led in worship by Paul Baloche himself!! We had sung his songs so many times in our own worship services. Brian and I were completely renewed and refreshed and ready to get back to our church and share all that we had experienced and learned. Well, that year when we got back our enthusiasm wasn’t matched. They didn’t understand where we were coming from. It was hard to convince our team to do things differently, plus we didn’t have the resources CMS had during the conference. But we did try to make steps in the right direction and made some great improvements to our worship service and to our musicianship. By the next year we were ready for another renewal conference, and I was excited to share a song I had written for the songwriter’s bootcamp.

It is very embarrassing to admit I did this, but it is part of my journey so I don’t mind. I had been writing a bit now, and Brian and I worked on a song together (I can’t even remember the name)I think it was called, “Surrounded By Your Glory”. We sang it live, and I was excited to send in the live version to prove people connected with it. Because God had commissioned me to write I new this was probably going to be my big break. They would recognize the potential in me and someone in the industry would want to work with my talents. (oh brother). Well, a top worship leader, who was very well known, critiqued my song, inside I was super excited and ready to be mentored by him. lol However, he said the beginning was good, but he was tired of hearing another “praise” song. There were enough “praise” songs out there and my song was typical and not memorable. My balloon popped! What! I thought God had a plan. I thought He wanted me to write. Oh no no no no, this couldn’t have been happening. After that day, as I sifted my way through the crowds who gathered for the conference I saw myself, not as separated and honored, but as just another fish in the sea of worship artists/songwriters. I felt like mush. God couldn’t use me as a songwriter oh no. I guess I am just going to be a mom and wife and my friend was wrong about the journal. (sometimes these things have to happen to us in order to make us stronger or to test us)

The next year Brian and I had moved to Oregon to take a worship pastor job there, and I was writing a lot! I purchased Master Writer, a computer writers database, and I used that thing so much. By the time the next CMS conference rolled around, I had written over 100 songs. I got connected online with other Christian songwriters, God spoke again to me through a friend to continue writing, and another songwriter friend gave me a gift to have two of my songs produced and recorded in a studio. Wow, God really wants me to write? Why? I didn’t know, but that was super cool.

I decided to enter one of those songs in to have critiqued at the songwriter’s bootcamp. This time it was professionally done, people were connecting with it. I wanted to put my best foot forward. Deep down I was thinking maybe this was the time I would be recognized.

Another top, famous, worship leader listened to my song in front of about 15-20 people. After we listened to it. Either he or the other professional said, “Now, this is a great example of a great singer singing a mediocre song.” Ouch! Did I really hear that? They asked whose song that was, I sheepishly raised my hand. And after a pause they asked if that was me who sang it? I nodded my head yes. Then the back peddling began. This artist said the bookends were really good, but the meat of the song was weak. I was the last one before the break. As I was walking to the restroom, he came up and found me and asked if I was doing okay. I said yes, I was fine and thanked him for his great critique. I was still in shock. When I finally had some alone time, I got so hurt and angry with God. I was being hammered as a songwriter. Why was I putting myself in so much pain? Couldn’t I just be a singer and call it a day. Obviously, God was wrong about me. I could never write a great song.

Well, I really felt far from God, but even then, He met me during another breakout session. Something amazing happened, and He spoke through the presenter straight to me in the most personal way. If any of you are interested in hearing that story, write me. I’ll share it with you. I was completely broken and hit rock bottom, but I allowed my heart to pour everything out onto paper. Was I an amazing songwriter? No, but I really was a songwriter because it was in my blood to write. There was healing, deep healing that went on that year at CMS. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. Even though I wasn’t noticed by the professionals, God noticed everything and was walking me through it.

The next few years, we moved again to our current church. I met a songwriter bud from an online site at that church. He had no idea we were going to be their worship leaders. I finally gave the reigns up to God. My purpose had changed from striving to get noticed by the industry to learning how to serve and minister in my own sphere of influence. It was wonderful! I felt great fulfillment. I sang some of my songs for our church, and they embraced them. There was purpose for me here. Little by little, God grew me and healed me from the inside out. I started to understand who I was in His eyes. I felt very loved and accepted by him. Again, He spoke directly to me through some other events that took place. I knew God had a plan, but released it to Him because He hadn’t revealed what it was yet. I also had a fasting time with Him that reminded me what was most important finding peace in His Presence in all the seasons of my life and how to be disciplined in that. (I still fail, but try to pick myself up and dust myself off to try again).

This year, God provided the funding to have my first worship album released. What a journey this has been as a songwriter, during motherhood, early marriage, learning how to be a worship leader,etc… The journey hasn’t stopped. But it is not about the end game really. It’s not about being recognized anymore, even though I have had some of those reoccurring emotions bubble up since we’ve registered to go back to CMS, it is about the journey itself and being ready for anything as I follow Jesus. It is about His work and joining in on where He needs me.

I am excited to go to the 10 year anniversary of the Christian Musician Summit. It has been the catalyst of growth, of healing, of inspiration, of renewal, of so many things for me in my life’s journey. I am praying that I will get out of the way, that the fear of what others might think will fade, and I will be surrounded by God’s amazing Presence during that time. I pray I will learn more about songwriting, get inspired more and serve more while I’m there. I hope I can see my friends that I’ve made and last but definitely not least enjoy being with my wonderful husband as we experience this time together like when our journey of worship leading first began.

Here is what my journal “Jesus Calling” says for today “Try to stay conscious of Me as you go step by step through this day. My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection. My final statement just before I ascended into heaven was: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception. The promise of My Presence is a powerful protection. As you journey through your life, there are numerous pitfalls along the way. Many voices clamor for your attention, enticing you to go their way. A few steps away from your true path are pits of self-pity and despair, plateaus of pride and self-will. If you take your eyes off Me and follow another’s way, you are in great danger. Even well-meaning friends can lead you astray if you let them usurp My place in your life. The way to stay on the path of Life is to keep your focus on Me. Awareness of My Presence is your best protection.”

Matthew 28:20 “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the righ thand of the throne of God.”

God bless ~

Lara~

www.laramarriott.com & itunes