06.30.19 Sunday Message

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I have asked several of you in meet and greets at Flamingo Las Vegas what you would like me to write about in my Sunday Messages. This was the number one topic: What do you do when life gets really tough? Well, you just keep hangin’ on because life’s tribulations are inevitable!

Harold B. Lee called [life’s tribulations], “the inevitable tragedies of life.”  We don’t like the sound of the word inevitable, but it is an accurate term. Mortal life is filled with challenges, trials, setbacks, disappointments, misfortune, tragedy, disaster, loss, pain, suffering and sorrow…

Neal A. Maxwell has said:

“God, as a loving Father, will stretch our souls at times. The soul is like a violin string: it makes music only when it is stretched… God will tutor us by trying us because He loves us, not because of indifference!”

My career has “stretched” over 5 decades with struggles and challenges every step of the way. When I was young I realized my brothers were very talented and I wondered where I would fit in the family.I was the only girl and wanted to sing too, but could I? My brothers had already made a name for themselves and I wondered if there was even room for me. At times it’s difficult to believe in ourselves, but there was someone who did believe in me and that was my Mother. She would say “Marie you have a very strong voice, don’t be like others, be you.”  And then one day I heard the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland. The words to that song went straight to my heart and it was as though Judy was singing right to me. So I pushed those negative feelings aside and sang! It’s funny after all these years I still fight feelings of inadequacy, but rather than give in to them, I remember my Mom believed in me. Mothers are so powerful and so are Dad’s – and I was blessed with the most dedicated of parents. They gave me confidence, a strong work ethic and the knowledge life is never easy because it wasn’t designed to be. Each time I challenge myself with something new it almost takes my breath away. I hear those negative thoughts just like you do... ”what makes you think you can do that?” Or “What are you thinking, this is impossible!”But as I let God lead me to new things, I find it is possible and for that faith I have been so grateful.

Someone recently asked me why after all the years of country, pop and broadway success I chose to sing Opera? Well, it is because my son Michael loved it. Michael’s passing left a hole in my heart that will never be filled until I see him again. When I sing his favorite genre and more specifically the song “Pie Jesu”, I can feel his presence and that brings me such joy! I went to his grave Friday when I arrived in Utah and I told him that Saturday’s Symphonic show was for him. 🥰

The photo was from last night where I performed with the Utah Symphony in Park City, Utah. I could not have been more excited to sing outdoors against the backdrop of the beautiful Utah mountains. As I sing “Climb Every Mountain” I remember the challenge being Maria in the Sound of Music was. As difficult as things can be I know the Lord will never give any of us more challenges than we can handle because that’s His promise to us!  So when you feel you’re at your breaking point, “when life gives you more than you can stand... kneel”. IT WORKS! I hope as you face the challenges and tests life will inevitably bring you will remember to lean on the Lord. I know He will be there to lift you up, He promised! Now that I have my new Symphonic show up and running, and my Symphony album (which will be out at Christmas) I am excited to be challenging myself to a new style of voice.  I will learn to sing a different style called, “The TALK!” 😂👍 Pray for me as I close one familiar door and open another. 😊🥰 #SundayMessage