About 2 months ago I watched a special on byutv online about Janice Kapp Perry called, "A Life of Service and Song". I hadn't thought about her for so many years. I quit buying very much "Church" music after Rick and I got married and haven't spent much time with her music in particular since my high school days. Yet watching this special brought back many tender feelings.
As a teenager from the 80's, and loving to sing, I sang a lot of songs by Janice Kapp Perry and Michael McLean. Both of these songwriters did a lot to help my testimony grow and to teach me how to feel and recognize the Holy Ghost in my life. What I hadn't known before I watched this special on byutv.org was that Sister Perry didn't write her first song until she was 39! The fact that she broke her ankle playing basketball and had a broken tv they couldn't afford to fix was a blessing to more people than me, but what a blessing it was to me!
A week later, I found out that she was coming to Austin to speak to the BYU Managment Society - on my birthday, no less. So, we bought tickets to go see her. It was amazing! Absolutely amazing. She is FUNNY and tender and absolutely delightful; her husband is also. For example, she was teasing him at one point and he turned off her mic. Then, he turned it back on and she said, "He just likes to turn me on." Singing her songs with her and the rest of the people there brought back so many many memories:
1. Singing at the piano with my sisters singing for hours.
2. Singing with friends - at church, girls camp, etc.
3. Leading the stake YW in the song, "I Walk by Faith" when it was brand-new (yes, I am THAT old), when we released balloons with our testimonies in 1986.
4. Singing at our seminary graduation
5. Learning to play the piano well enough that I could sing her songs without having to rely on sisters and friends.
6. Having words from her music come to my mind in moments of trial, moments of happiness, moments of peace.
7. Singing to my children from babyhood on -- simple songs carrying the doctrines of the gospel and love of the Savior and our Heavenly Father.
8. Singing with my children (and occasionally my husband, too) songs Sister Perry wrote.
9. Hearing Primary children sing her music and ask to sing it in Primary.
There is a song Sister Perry wrote that has been a favorite for many years, "Thanks for the Music." Here is some of it:
Thanks for the music that's in me...
Is it a memory that birth could not erase?
Rising within me from another time and place?
Do I hear something that others do not hear?
Things that I sense I have heard before, but where?
Are these the sounds of heaven that bring me to my knees
saying, "thanks for the music in me."
Sister Perry spoke tonight about not being too old to develop new talents and to take risks. "Talents are to be used to serve," she said. She spoke of Camilla Kimball learning to paint in the months before her death. She spoke of family songs. She spoke of serving a mission with her husband and teaching the people in Argentina how to use music in their meetings (how incredible would THAT be?).
Since I just turned 39 today, I felt her speaking was a wake-up call. So much life to live -- where to start?
Right now, things are so uncertain in our little family's world. Yet, in the last year, I have felt so cradled and loved in the Lord's Hand. I know He is still mindful of us and will help us through. So...."just for here and now I walk by faith." At 17 I hardly knew what that really meant. At 39, I think I am beginning to -- how am I going to feel at 80?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Okay, I have been asked by a few people if I have abandoned my blog. Yes, actually, I have. :) No, really, I just haven't taken the time to do much. I will post again soon. I have some cute pictures from Spring Break, I know, a month ago, but they are cute. Well, the ones of Emma are cute. Caleb will hardly let me take pictures. As soon as the camera comes out, he hides or makes completely gross faces. Does anyone know the secret to getting 10 1/2-year-old boys to cooperate for the camera?