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Friday, December 25, 2009

Praying for the Gift of Fingers

As we all know, mom always wanted a piano player. She was proud of us and each of our unique talents, but was DETERMINED to have a piano player. By the time I rolled around she was getting pretty nervous that it might not ever happen. So year after year, I went to piano lessons. I hated it... yes... I remember mom and Charise saying "We don't say 'hate'- that means that you want its GUTS squished all over the ground!" I remember thinking, "oh my goodness! I don't hate anything!" but than later that week when practicing scales on the piano I thought, "I hate piano... i really DO! I would not mind if its guts were squished all over the floor!". Whenever I would practice I would think, "this sounds TERRIBLE!" and about that time mom would walk through straightening up the house saying, "You're sounding WONderful!" or sometimes "I promise, someday you will thank me!" although I highly doubted that deep inside at that time.

Since mom did not respond with any hints or suggestions for her service I was left to wander in thought on my own. I thought and I thought and I thought and could not come up with anything. There were little things here and there but none of them felt right.

A few weeks ago I was giving my Sunday lesson to my group of Laurels. The lesson was on developing your talents. I was explaining to the girls how important it was for the girls to discover new talents AND continue polishing the talents they did have. I told them the story of my loathe for piano playing but how grateful I was when I got called 3 times on my mission to be the pianist that I knew how to play. I had not played for 4 years during college thus my skills had weakened quite a bit. So every night as a pianist/missionary, I would pray for what I called "the gift of fingers". Sure enough, although they weren't always perfect, the music came out beautifully! As I completed the story to my Laurels it hit me what I needed to do.

In the couple weeks leading up to this, our law buddy that is the ward music chairman had expressed that he enjoyed his calling but is finding it difficult to keep finding people in our small rural ward that are willing/able to share a musical number. Also within the past couple weeks, my good friend and walking buddy who is pregnant with her second and just quit her job was worried about feeling useless and bored with her time. I remembered that she had told me she used to be a violinist but now it just sits in the closet. All at once I realized what my gift to mom was, once again I would have to resort to Praying for the Gift of Fingers.

I'm sorry to say my gift is not yet complete. Instead it is the gift that will keep on giving this year. I will be accompanying 2 musical numbers during 2010- helping our ward music chairman have a couple more options (instead of the same faces each week), encouraging my friend to remember individual worth through revitalizing her talents, and giving our mother a chance to say she has a pianist (Tiff- two is better than one right :).

This might sound like a simple one to some, but for me, I can promise it will be hours of practice leading up to it.

It might start out like this...

But hopefully it ends up like this...

I love you Mom! Merry Christmas! Love, Lani


  1. Another great and uplifting gift of service that made us laugh. I can just picture the inner conflict of the angel child not wanting to "hate" anything but also wanting the piano to get run over by a bulldozer.

    Lani and Mike get the award for most creative in finding a way to incorporate pictures into their post.

    Lani might also get the award for biggest commitment to the service gift.

  2. Funny, I can totally hear your Mom saying, "You're sounding WONderful!". And I look forward to Mitzi being inspired by this and taking up the cause as well.

  3. Hilarious before and after pictures. I love the "We don't say 'hate'- that means that you want its GUTS squished all over the ground!"

  4. I have already told Mike that when we settle down and buy a house that I want a piano and lessons.

  5. I'm glad you know how to play the piano and I feel very lucky to have a front row seat for all of your upcoming performances.

  6. I am so schocked that my little angel would HATE playing the piano.
    You must have picked up that mucic talent frome your dad.I can rember in jr.hi. that I hated music, then when I went to the University I was told that I had to take a music appreciation class, yes folkes I hated that also.But I am so proud of any of you that do develop that talent.

  7. First of all... so funny what Mike McBride said above! Totally true! Second, how cute is hock's comment! 3rd... doesn't lani look like a cartoon character in her singing picture? And 4th... who is just loving all of dad's cute comments?!?!?

    Lani, I can't wait to hear all about your musical numbers! Good luck! Accompaning (sp?) is a hard thing to do! But I know you will be great!

  8. Those pictures make me so happy!

  9. Lani--I LOVE this blog! I'm getting a little choked up reading all of these things you guys did. What a fantastic idea! You guys are such a great family. And might I say that you are looking THIN!! I didn't even know you played piano but I think it's awesome that you're going to use your talents this way. I'm so impressed with all of you.