It was about ten years ago. I was out of college and working a good job [that had nothing to do with my degree] in Milwaukee. My roommate and I lived in a cute 2-bedroom apartment with wood floors, I wore chic clothes from Ann Taylor, got my hair dyed ever 6 weeks, and ate out way too much. I had a close group of girlfriends from church, and we met weekly for Bible study at Lisa’s house. Sometimes we would eat together, ending with peanut butter trifle or strawberry margarita squares. We shared our hearts with each other – ranging from wanting to find a husband, to the pain of infertility and miscarriage. I didn’t know at the time that I was building into relationships and stories that would still bolster me years later when I dealt with miscarriage myself. It was a rich time in my life with meaningful relationships, a lot of soul-searching and a ton of learning.
My good friend Becky and I took some seminary courses together – Theology I and II. To say I loved it is an understatement. I thrived in this season – the excuse to buy these books I wouldn’t otherwise, digging deep into the knowledge of God, the late nights reading chapter after chapter… We spent countless hours in Alterra coffee shop eating avocado BLTs and drinking mochas… Studying into the wee hours in the golden light of the waxy shaded table lamps. I’ve never been able to study or work while listening to music. I get too involved and want to sing along or replay the movie scene in my head. Except for the soundtrack to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. So I had that on repeat on my – get this – portable CD player.
Yes folks, this was before everyone had mp3 players. In fact, I couldn’t understand why someone would want one.
Anyway, this was a season of music for me. I distinctly remember purchasing Ginny Owens’ album Beautiful, unwrapping it in a booth at the Panera in the mall, and crying as I ate my broccoli cheddar soup and I listened to these words:
I’ve been waiting
For a hero who’s brave and strong-
Someone to love me,
Someone to tell me I belong,
So I pretend I’m satisfied,
And I stand watching on the sidelines,
Till You pull me into the light
And say, “It’s Your turn now,
Welcome to your life!”
Because they were just for me.
There was a lot of Andrew Peterson and Jill Phillips during that time. All I have to do is turn on those albums and I am transported back to those years when I was single, wanting to be married, wondering if I ever would be… Taking classes, singing at church, volunteering in youth group…
And then, I heard someone talking about how you shouldn’t listen to music all the time. You should let there be silence. I couldn’t even tell you who it was or where I heard it… Whoever it was I felt they were pretty spiritual and I would be spiritual if I took their advice – or something like that. So I stopped listening to music.
Fast forward seven years – I’m married, have three kids, and I’m realizing music is just a part of me… A neglected part of me. Music is an expression of who I am and it’s one of the main ways I worship the Lord.
Thankfully, to counter that one voice years ago telling me to shut the music off, I’ve been reminded by Beth Moore, Ann Voskamp, Edie Wadsworth, going through the Restless study, worship at IF: Gathering, and… the Bible, that music is powerful. It’s powerful to cheer our hearts, lift our spirits, change the mood, speak truth, and proclaim the glory of the Lord.
Last year for my birthday, my husband got me a Spotify subscription. Now, I have to say that Spotify is another one of those things, like an mp3 player – I totally didn’t get it until three years after everyone else had discovered it. Spotify is a database of music that you can search and add albums and songs to your playlists. I’m sure someone else has a more eloquent description, but that’s the best I can do. [and this is not a paid advertisement :)]
Did you know you can find just about anything on Spotify? We’re talking vintage BeBe and CeCe Winans that I listened to as a kid on road trips, acapella Christmas music from Glad, and Hide ’em In Your Heart albums for my kids by Steve Green. Everything.
It has been like rediscovering long lost friends. And finding some new ones – like Seeds Family Worship. Every song on the Seeds albums is straight scripture, and the music is fabulous. There are seven Seeds albums, each with 10-13 songs on each album. That’s over seventy songs. (I’m good at math.)
I’ve mostly played Seeds of Praise, Seeds of Courage and Seeds of Character. And when I play them they’re playing in the background – I’m not sitting down listening. Do you know those songs play back in my head? I wake up with the words rolling around in my head. I know the words to these pieces of scripture. And my kids are hearing them. So, we’re inadvertently memorizing scripture. I still remember scripture I memorized to song as a child. Every time I say the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) the G.T. and the Halo Express song plays in my head. I hope these scripture songs will stick in my kids’ heads too.
You know what else? Two times now, during one of those moments when everyone is crabby and fighting with each other, I’ve purposefully put Seeds on – straight scripture – and the mood has shifted. Everyone has calmed down, and changed attitudes. It’s not magic – the Bible says the Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12.) It makes a difference in our homes.
I’m so glad music is back in my life… Not only for learning God’s word, but also for the dance parties in the kitchen. 🙂
To read all the posts in this series, check out the series page as I post the link for every day! And don’t miss a post – subscribe via email by signing up using the form in the sidebar!
This post is part of 31 Days – “an online writing challenge started by home blogger, Myquillyn Smith (The Nester) where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in October.”