Tuesday, February 24, 2015

All of Me

I feel like I just ran a MARATHON...

Any marathon runners out there?

I can only imagine the feelings of joy and triumph, that must emanate from within, as you cross the finish line; having conquered 26.2 miles of blood, sweat, and tears. Those moments of persevering and pushing through, even when you wanted nothing more than to curl up in a little ball on the pavement and call it quits.

Yeah, writing this new song was kind of like that.

But...

I persevered, pushed through, and FINALLY crossed the finish line.

So to all you music lovers out there, I'd like to take this moment to introduce you to my brand new song...

All of Me.

(A fitting title, is it not?)

Each year, I can't WAIT to hear what the new LDS Mutual Theme is going to be. 

Why, you ask?! (I thought you'd never ask!)

1) The themes are always SO inspiring. SO relevant. And SO...exactly what we need.

(They don't just pull these themes out of thin air, ya know; some SERIOUS prayer, fasting, and pondering goes into them. I know those good brethren and sisters are guided in choosing the themes our youth will study and focus on each year.)

2) I LOVE the youth of the church. And LOVE writing music that will empower them, inspire them to become who they were sent here to be, and keep their testimonies burning bright.

The theme chosen for 2015 was from a scripture found in the Doctrine & Covenants, D&C 4:2...

"O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day."


LOVE this scripture and was so excited to jump in, set sail, and embark on a journey to write a song for this theme.

But the journey didn't go quite as expected. (Does it ever?)

My departure was delayed, the seas were rough, I got sea sick, equipment broke down, I got lost a time or two, and when I FINALLY reached my destination, there was no room at the inn at the dock.

True story.

Suffice it to say, writing this song was a STRU-GGLE.

Over the course of the journey, I wrote SEVERAL different versions of this song, but not one of them felt...right.

I can't tell you HOW many times I was tempted to throw my arms up in the air and abandon ship.

But each time I told myself I was DONE, I could feel the Spirit nudging me along, telling me to keep going.

After all, I had embarked in the serve God. And just because the waters were getting a little rough, I was ready to tear down the sails and abandon ship?

Why, yes. Yes I was. (Sheepish smile.)

I'm SO grateful God told me to STAY IN THE BOAT.

"Please keep your arms and legs (and heart) inside the ride the vessel at all times."

O. KAY.

So. I turned the captain's wheel over to the real captain and prayed HARD to understand what GOD wanted this song to be.

As always, I needed his help. (Because, hey, I don't just pull these songs out of thin air, ya know; some SERIOUS prayer, fasting, and pondering goes into them.)

And, as always...

SPOILER ALERT: His help always comes when we embark in his service.

His help came.

Here's where it led...

There will come a day, when each of us will be called to stand before the Lord. He will lovingly look us in the eye and ask us to report on what we've done for him; what we've given him.

As I contemplated what that moment would be like, I trembled. Imperfect, how would I feel standing before him? Awed, what would I say? Knowing PERFECTLY WELL, all that HE had done for ME, would I be able to lift my head, meet his gaze, and report that I had given him my all, in return?

Talk about your sobering thoughts.

Man, I'd give anything to be able to meet his eyes, in that moment, and stand blameless.

But in spite of my very best efforts to give him my all, I'm still so far from perfect; how can I stand blameless?

Here's the good news...

I LOVE how this scripture teaches that PERFECTION is NOT the prerequisite for standing blameless before God.

Nope.

The prerequisite for standing blameless, is simply to have given him our BEST; to have given him our ALL.

"...see that ye serve him with ALL your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day."

If we want to stand blameless before God, we'll need to have offered him ALL our heart. ALL our might. ALL our mind. And ALL our strength.

Halfway won't do.

Why our ALL?

Because that's what Christ did for US.

He gave us his all.

He gave us his best.

He put God, and us, before himself.

And that's what he asks of us in return.

Our best.

Our all.

And in that moment we're called to stand before him, our chance to place more on his altar will have passed.

The time to decide what our offering will be is NOW.

Everyday, we decide how much of us we're willing to place on his altar; what we'll give him; how much we'll serve him.

Are we giving him our BEST?

Are we giving him our ALL?

I love this quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley about pulling up to the pearly gates in a dirty station wagon...



“I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”

Amen, Marjorie. (How can you NOT love this woman?)

She gets it.

When I stand before the Lord, I want to stand before him with calloused hands.

I may not be perfect, but I CAN live my life in such a way that he knows me, because I have spent my life in his service; because I have been an instrument in his hands.

I don't want to stand before him with my head hanging low, WONDERING if I have done enough. WISHING I had done more.

No. When I stand before the Lord, I want to be ready. I want to know my offering is complete.

I, alone, shape what my offering will be.

Everyday, I decide how much of me I'm willing to place on his altar.

"O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day."

When I contemplate everything HE's done for ME, nothing less than my everything will be enough.

I'm giving him all of me.


Love,
Barbara

P.S. You can download this mp3 on my website, barbaradoylemusic.com. Instrumental track is also available. (Sheet music will be here, March 2015)

Firesides

It's been such a joy, this past year, traveling around, meeting so many of you, and getting the chance to share my testimony through music. Below are two firesides I'll be offering throughout 2015 (you can click each image for more information)! If you feel these messages are needed in your particular ward/stake, I'd love to come share them with you.



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