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Music inspires gratitude
Carmen Rasmusen Herbert sings in St. George at the Jubilee of Trees this past weekend. - photo by Carmen Rasmusen Herbert
A few of my friends have taken on the gratitude challenge, posting on social media things that they are grateful for this November.

I have been so inspired by their sweet, sincere posts. The past few weeks have been hard for me. I have felt such heartache for the people of Paris and for the many refugees around the world fleeing from danger and conflict. With so much turmoil, its difficult to still find and believe in the good in the world.

But reading about the simple small things, such as beautiful weather to play outside in; enthusiasm and happiness that oozes from a child; hygiene items that we take for granted that keep us healthy and clean, and nap-time (amen!) things that we sometimes forget in the day-to-day craziness of life have made me pause and think about all Im grateful for, too.

One of the things my friend wrote about is music. Music is a piece of art that goes in the ears straight to the heart.

Tonight as I laid with our son in bed and played sweet Christmas music to help him fall asleep I felt so grateful for music and the power it has over our emotions and memories, she wrote. I love the peace and calmness music can bring into my home. I love how a good song will make you push yourself to work out harder or dance a little crazier. I love hearing a song and going back in time to the memory attached to it.

Over the past few weeks, Ive had the opportunity to sing, both at church and on stage. I downplayed the different events, telling my husband it wasnt a big deal if he came, that Id rather he stay home and watch the kids for my Saturday performance.

But as I sat in the audience waiting for my turn to perform, I suddenly ached for his support. I wanted my husband there. It was music that brought us together 11 years ago when he first saw me on stage performing at the Stadium of Fire. My husband sang Shes Got a Way when he proposed to me a year later. Music has both been a motivator to keep pursuing a career, and a gentle inspiration that it was time to focus on something else.

How Firm a Foundation became my firstborns theme song, as we could not drive anywhere without blasting it through our car speakers. It has let me share a part of who I am with close family and complete strangers. It really does have power to speak to the heart.

I grabbed my phone and texted my husband. Please come! I wrote. Dropping everything, he left the boys with Grandpa, hopped in the car and hurried to the convention center where I was performing. He made it just before I walked out on stage.

There have been times in my life when Ive sung and have been unhappy with the way Ive sounded and performed. But that night, seeing my sweetheart, mom, and little baby smiling up at me, I felt I sang from the depths of my soul. For the first time maybe ever I sang not to try to impress anyone, but I sang because I genuinely love to. I sang with gratitude. For the first time in years, I felt I found my voice.

So this Thanksgiving holiday, I echo my friends sentiments about being grateful for music. I am grateful for its ability to speak when words fail. Im grateful for its ability to heal when nothing else can. Im grateful for the opportunities Ive had to share a little about who I am and what I believe through song.

And I still believe there is so much good.