It has been many months since I’ve written, dear friends. Not because I didn’t want to. My body was giving out. Because of several difficult medical issues hitting at once, my physical body was grey and there was not even enough strength to speak. I spent many weeks in a comfy recliner, my husband almost always at my side, and felt to be in a peaceful space that was- perhaps- a space between this world and the next.
Almost all the while, it was as if heavenly lullabies were filling my mind and my heart. A kind of healing. A sweet awareness that loved ones are nearby and tending. On both sides of the veil.
Not until months later – when I began the real physical healing process- did I realize how scary it must have been for those around me. It’s interesting how we often fail to realize how ill we are. Others see it. I suppose this applies in many ways….
Now I sit in my little home office, full of gratitude and wonder, quietly celebrating the Christmas season. Thankful to share it with family and friends. Happy to be teaching gospel doctrine class again. Delighted to have done a little decorating for the season, and to enjoy the beautiful songs and hymns of the season. Enchanted to watch my favorite Christmas shows (including Santa Claus is Coming to Town, I admit) and elated that the Hallmark Channel still cranks out a few movies that bring a tear to my eye along with that beautiful swelling of the heart.
Everything seems more musical. Not sure if that makes sense. But life seems to have a sweet underlying melody in the everyday-ness of things. Once again, I shake my head in humble gratitude for the Priesthood and for prayers, receiving the gift of remaining in this mortal sphere. Is it because of my months floating, so to speak, that I seem to hear the strains of divine music all around me?
I’ve determined that I need to grow my lullaby.
Through many years of writing and singing music, that strength of Holy Spirit is evident when music is shared. President Ezra Taft Benson once said, “Inspiring music may fill the soul with heavenly thoughts, move one to righteous action, or speak peace to the soul.” (Ensign, Nov. 1974, 67)
Surely music is a large part of the atmosphere in heaven. On so many occasions, we may feel that music – even subconsciously, or somewhere deep within the core of our being-
As it soothes, carries sweet peace, or moves us to participate in goodness. Perhaps we hear it within our heart and mind during a difficult mortal moment. What a kind way of offering a little portion of grace that would be, don’t you think?
In the sweet rhythm of heavenly connection and desire to make my mortal probation count in this next section of my appointed time, my song- my work- will focus on family history.
I was the first to join the Church. I did so as a teenager. There are so many family members who are among the best folks who ever graced this planet. Many of them have had their temple work done – by good people I don’t even know, who have completed their ordinances for them. There are many, many in my family tree yet to be connected. Perhaps a big part of my own little lullabye will be to complete that sacred work.
I know what it’s like to be unable to tend yourself. To get things done that you really would like to have done, yet you cannot. I still am a bit limited in my physical capacity. That can be frustrating. It can also grow a heavenly tune within, when family and friends are kind enough to do for me what I can’t do for myself. It’s a beautiful gift. A tender mercy.
Maybe as my mind and heart are drawn more greatly to the temple work, and as I do for my family what they are unable to do for themselves, that heavenly lullabye will grow within this heart of mine. I hope so. Life is a beautiful gift. I understand more about being in tune’ than ever. It brings a smile to my heart, and fills me with happy gratitude.
Vickey Pahnke Taylor is a wife, mom, and grandmother who joined the LDS Church as a teenager. She is a song writer, author, and public speaker. Her latest venture is www.goodnessmatters.com offering an online spot to share goodness and offer a bit of hope in simple, real ways. She studied musical theater for her undergraduate work, and has a Masters degree in communications.
She has taught Church youth & family programs for more than 25 years, has written books, hundreds of columns, & created hundreds of songs all with the intent of growing goodness and pointing people to Christ. She also writes for the website www.nauvootimes.com .
Vickey loves nature, going on drives with her hubby, laughter, brownies and tootsie rolls. She teaches Gospel Doctrine in her ward. Her husband, Dean, serves in the bishopric. They are the parents of eight children and have seven grandchildren.