Sunday, November 10, 2013

Songs I love

I'm certain that the reason why I love to sing so much is because my mother sings... or she used to. She says that her voice isn't a good as it used to be. But for sentimentality's sake, I love to remember the way it was, so when she sings now, I still hear it the way it was. So I really don't always understand her when she says her voice has changed.

Whenever I hear these songs, I feel like a little girl again.

Every night she would pull from:

Puff, the Magic Dragon
Lord, You Are More Precious
I Love You Lord
Hush Little Baby
My Favorite Things
Stay Awake
(They Long to Be) Close to You
You Are My Sunshine
and Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's An Irish Lullaby)

I loved those songs as a little girl. I'm fairly certain I will never forget them as long as I live.

My dad wasn't nearly as good at singing. In fact, he's rather tone-deaf. But he did play the guitar and that was something my brother and I loved because, once a week, Mom would drive us down to the church so we could hear him play for the Youth Group. We were so proud that our dad played the guitar.

There was one night, when my mom was away at a women's retreat, that my brother and I were left all alone with Dad. The fact that my mom would sing to us and read, or tell a story every night before bed, proved to be a problem. If I recall, Dad had taken over story-telling duty at that point because he was reading the Chronicles of Narnia aloud to us, but he couldn't sing like mom.

So, when bedtime came around, I moved my pillow into my brother's room and climbed into the top bunk of the bunk bed my dad built for him. Dad dragged a kitchen chair into the room and pulled his guitar from its case. And though he cannot sing a note, he perched his guitar upon his knee and asked us what song we wanted to hear.

It was so long ago, I cannot tell you what songs we picked, but I remember our favorites.

God of Wonders
Open the Eyes of My Heart
The Heart of Worship
Let Everything That Has Breath
Rock of Ages
Here I Am to Worship
Come, Now Is the Time to Worship
Lord I Lift Your Name On High
and Every Move I Make

I'm sure there were more, but those were the ones I remember. My brother liked Every Move I Make, though he never actually could remember the name, and consequently, neither could I. Instead, we would call it the "Na Na Song" because in the middle of the song we'd sing, "Na na na na na na na..." Over and over again.

We loved music in our house. That much is engrained on my heart. We would sing all the time. I listed my mom's lullabies, but she would sing other songs too. We were always singing the theme songs from old TV shows and musical numbers from our favorite Disney movies. My dad would sing too, but he liked to change the lyrics to fit my name. Mom favored "The Sound of Music," "Mary Poppins," "Green Acres," "The Brady Bunch," and such. Dad was stuck in 80's Christian Rock and Winnie the Pooh.

More recently, my brother has become an amazing guitarist in his own right and has taken over playing worship for the church youth group. I simply sing for my own pleasure. But there's something about singing that just makes me happy. That's probably a God thing.

Psalm 96
Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Growing Up

College is an awkward stage of life. It's that place where you learn who you are separate from your family, as well as just how well you've really absorbed all that they have tried to teach you.

I have friends who leave home and try to get as far away as they possibly can. They crave something new and different. Deep down, we all know they just don't want to be told what to do anymore... or they don't want to face some of their friends or the decisions they've made any longer. It's really a rather simple desire. But once you're gone, it's odd... you begin to miss all that you tried to run from.

I don't think I ever really tried to run. Really, my parents almost pushed me out the door.

But then, just the other day, my dad called me. the moment I picked up, his first words were that he missed my voice. As I'm writing this, I feel tempted to cry - though that might partially be due to sleep deprivation. But REALLY. I missed his voice too.

Being so far from home, I tend to feel the difference most when I experience things that are a stark contrast to what is familiar to me.

Sitting in chapel, or at church, I find myself comparing each and every speaker to my dad and the way he teaches. Naturally, no one quite measures up. At least I can say I love listening to my dad's sermons!

"Whistle While You Work"
The funniest thing that I miss is Saturday chores. Who thought I would miss that? My family has chore sharing down pat! Every Saturday, we do a full cleaning of the house. Living on my own now, well, not really, I have roommates, but away from them, nevertheless, I wish I had the authority to help my roommates follow suit. It made things so easy. And I miss getting things done as a team, rather than alone. I'm sure you've heard me compare myself to Cinderella. Though my roommate tells me I'm much more akin to Snow White. I suppose she isn't too far off. I do like to sing. And quite honestly, I don't mind the work so much as it may sound. One of the things I really carried with me was the NEED to keep things clean. Not necessarily "pristine," but "clean." I'm more of a sanitary than an organized sort of cleaner.

But back to the real point... leaving home... you begin to miss the familiar. That's what most eighteen year olds don't expect when they fly the coop.

That desire makes me thankful. It means that my parents did something right. I know that I can dream of starting my own family with a good foundation, but I can know that until such a day, my home is a safe and wonderful place... beautiful and full of sentiment.

I'm  fairly certain my dad will read this eventually... I do love your voice, too. And I miss your sermons!