Thursday, December 17, 2009

Then He Smiled at Me

Who isn’t busy driving around here and there, from store to store, parties, concerts and so much more? December is always busy for everyone, but since Sabrina was born in December 7 years ago, it has become even busier for us with the birthday party planning and extra gift buying. I have spent a lot of time in the car and have been so glad to hear listen to the stations that play Christmas music all day. I like the songs about home and family that remind me of my blessings, the songs from my childhood that bring many memories and the fun songs that put me in a good mood. But most of all, I have been so grateful to hear many songs about the birth of our Savior. It has brought peace and calm to my busy day and to my mind worried about circumstances at Robin’s business and about so many family and friends and their difficult situations. Those songs have also brought tears to my eyes even as I’m driving (not really a good thing to have blurry vision while driving).

One song that has been on my mind a lot this past couple of weeks is Little Drummer Boy. There are a couple of reasons that this song is one of the first I think of every year. The first is that I remember singing it in primary when I was 6 or 7. The music leader said it was a contest and she’d choose the best singer. My sister Sheri won and got to go up front. I should have been a good big sister and been happy for her, but I really wanted to win so I was just jealous. I doubt that she even won anything. Maybe just the chance to pick the next song, but I was very competitive. So I always think of Sheri when I hear that song.

The other reason that I like the song is the message. I was contemplating the words last week and wondering what my drum is. What can I give to Christ? I don’t have the beautiful gifts that others have to honor him. I don’t have a beautiful singing voice that brings the Spirit to all who listen. I don’t have the gift of creating art that warms the heart when viewed. I am not an eloquent speaker with a perfect knowledge of the scriptures. What is my drum?

I know that Heavenly Father gives each of us our own talents and our own unique mission in this life. Those are wonderful talents, but I don’t think that I need those to complete MY mission. I am grateful for the thought (that I think was inspiration and a tender mercy) that suddenly came to my mind. Speaking Spanish is one of my drums. For years while we attended English-speaking wards, I was called to be the visiting teacher to different Spanish-speaking sisters who didn’t know English. I often learned more from them than they did from me, but I was able to offer friendship and the chance for them to express themselves and their testimony in their own language.

And of course one of my drums is the most important part of my mission (and a pretty fun, pretty challenging part at that)…being a mother to 3 super-special children of God. I am not even close to a perfect mother. I am reminded of that many times a day! But I do make an effort and know that those efforts make my Savior happy. And I love the last part of the song where it says, “Then he smiled at me”. That’s all I want. To feel him smiling down at me, approving of my weak and imperfect drumming.

I used this song as a family home evening lesson this week and had the family write down their talents and then talked about how we can use those talents to honor the Lord. Robin never paid attention to the song before (in English or Spanish) and was really touched by it. He even decided to steal the idea for his combined RS/Priesthood lesson on Sunday and has me making little cards for everyone to write their talents on. So if you are in my ward and you're reading this, sorry you have to hear it again...although I'm sure it will be different from the Bishop's point of view.

So I’m sure you’ve all heard the song, but I have a video of it for you to listen to so you can feel the peace we should have at Christmas.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

I also have it in Spanish. I decided that I will sometimes write my posts (or parts of them) in Spanish in addition to English so that my in-laws in Ecuador can understand it, along with anyone else who happens to come upon it. Notice that the Spanish version only has one “pa rum pum pum pum” line per stanza. Interesting, huh?

El camino que lleva a Belén
baja hasta el valle que la nieve cubrió.
Los pastorcillos quieren ver a su Rey,
le traen regalos en su humilde zurrón
al Redentor, al Redentor.

Yo quisiera poner a tu pies
algún presente que te agrade Señor,
mas Tú ya sabes que soy pobre también,
y no poseo más que un viejo tambor.
(rom pom pom pom, rom pom pom pom)
¡En tu honor frente al portal tocaré
con mi tambor !

El camino que lleva a Belén
voy marcando con mi viejo tambor,
nada hay mejor que yo pueda ofrecer,
su ronco acento es un canto de amor
al Redentor, al Redentor.

Cuando Dios me vió tocando ante El me sonrió

What is your drum? I’d love to know! Leave me a comment and let me get to know you more.


  1. {{{tears}}}
    OMGosh! You have so touched my heart with that explanation of the Little Drummer Boy. I am so use to hearing my boys put there own beat box and guitar or keyboard laden spin on EVERY Christmas song that I never even thought of the song in that way. Thank you so much for that beautiful explanation when I need it.

    All day long, I have been attempting to bake stuff with my boys to pass out to ward members, and all day long sister after sister has dropped off plates of baked goodies. I thought to myself, "wow, we have the crappiest tasting cookies and brownines out of all of these women." You just made me realize that I have a gift of a big heart and for sure courage, because the majority of the sisters in my ward know I am not a baker by any means, but I do try anyways. I appreciate you reminding me about having gifts. I feel better now.


  2. The Little Drummer Boy is my mother's favorite Christmas song. She explained why it is like you talked about the song here. She always felt bad because she didn't have any talents one can see like, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, etc. but she does have a very kind and giving heart. She serves others unselfishly.

    I wish I knew Spanish. I should know Spanish...I am half Mexican afterall. I keep telling myself someday I will learn.

  3. I love the idea as a lesson. I am going to put it in my idea book for family home evening and achievement day for next year. In the mean time I better start looking for my drum. I don't want to meet Christ totally empty handed.

  4. You know the saying, "the only thing that is truly ours to offer our Savior is our will"?
    Its amazing how hard that is. Even though we know our lives would be so much lighter and happier if we could make our will his will. And yet, we insist on being stubborn and doing it all by ourselves. At least, I am. I'm still learning how to fully rely om him.
    That is the gift I am working on.

  5. Beautiful! I love that song. :)

  6. I've often been frustrated with my lack of "expressive" talents (music, art, dance, etc). I FEEL so much but I can never get it out there! I have some talents that I really value, but sometimes I wonder if they really qualify as "talents". It was so refreshing to read you say that you "wonder what [your] drum is" with such confidence that what you have is a drum - worthy to offer to the world (which you definatley do!). Hmm...does that make any sense? I tend to have difficulty expressing myself -lol! :-P


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