Wednesday, February 17, 2010

God gives a song

Emily over at The Learning Never Stops wrote about something new she started doing in her homeschool-- teaching songs from the Bible. Out of all the songs I have ever taught my children, there is ONE that stands out more than any other.

In the early weeks after Christian's passing from this world, God taught me so much. For the first time in my life, I learned what it meant to pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17) and the importance of turning my thoughts to those things that are true, noble, just, and of good report (Philippians 4:8).

But as time wore on, it became increasingly difficult to keep myself from sliding down into the dark depths of fear and self-pity and overwhelming sorrow.

I was SO weary.

Then God gave me a song, y'all!

It was this song from Nehemiah.

..for this day is holy unto our Lord: Neither be ye sorry;
for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
-Nehemiah 8:10 (emphasis mine)

I vaguely remember singing this catchy, repetetive song as a child.

So I ushered the kids to the piano, found the song and taught them the first verse...

"The joy of the Lord is my strength."

You pretty much just sing that line four times to a tune. It took a few tries before I could sing it without choking up. While other times I sang it without any strength and without any joy, just hoping that my heart would somehow follow the lead of my mouth.

Austin and Noah had no clue about my real intentions. They were just learning a song that they thought was easy and fun.

I was trusting God to bring that song to their lips and to my ears right when I needed it most.

It helped me more times than I can remember when they'd start singing it "out of the blue."

It is catchy like that and God is good like that! :)

In spite of being a slacker sometimes, I am thankful that God showed me the importance of being intentional. Intentional in parenting, intentional in our homeschool, and intentional in building up my spiritual arsenal. God gives us many tools and resources, we just have to USE them!

Has God ever used the seemingly smallest of things to make a difference in your heart or attitude? Has God ever brought a song to your lips or a verse to your mind that helped you when you least expected it?

I would love to hear your story.


SuperAngel said...

you are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing this... I really needed it right now.

Praying for you... I think about you all the time. love you! {hug}

Darcey K said...

So many have said it, but you truly are an inspiration. You (and your sweet sister coco) are such an inspiration to women, mothers, and fellow sisters in Christ. Thank you so much for your thoughts, words and the like. I am grateful.

Stacy said...

First, really, how ADORABLE is that picture?!?!?!??! Second, I pretty much ADORE you. A lot. xoxo

Christine said...

One thing that helps me is when I have weeks where I think about Christian more often than others, you always seem to post something on your blog about him and you always post something that I really need. It's so strange to me that God uses YOU to comfort ME when I get really sad and down because I miss Christian so much. Speaking of songs though, ever since Christian's funeral, I have sung "It Is Well With My Soul" to my kids every night, with the exception of when I was in NYC. Emily sings along with me and it makes my heart smile. I hope one day she truly knows what that song means. I love you a whole, whole, whole.......... bunch, Marshy!

Gottjoy! said...

Oh, how you are helping me on this journey...!!! Thank you for this post and your heart and your love for our Lord and Christian!

I am not very musical, but my children seem to be. And I have been trying to search from the depths of my memory (which is not very good with my age and all;) ) for the tune to the song you posted. I am sure I have heard of it, but can't think of it now.

I have learned to take captive every thought with scripture. The enemy is no gentleman and he wants to pull me down, but God's Living Word helps me to put my focus back on Him. Praise God we have His Word=).
We may try your idea, though. If the kids can endure my singing. I will remind them I sang to them when they were babies and they survived just fine.

Melissa said...

thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am new to your blog and I find inspiration and guidance in your words and messages. Blessings to you. I love the photo very sweet.

Sunset Learning Academy said...

Thank you for sharing. It touched me today.

Fiver said...

thank you so much for that sweet blog. there are many days when we all have to continue to remind ourselves of the positive that our Lord has done for us.

thank you for being such an inspiring Christian.


amy in peru said...

GOD is SO good. Praise Him for the simple awesomeness that He is! I know how those little things are SUCH an encouragement to carry on. I'm just so happy to hear another reason that our GOD is living and intimately involved with His loved ones! Seriously.


Janet said...

It is such a sweet thing that God chooses to comfort us and use small things and "coincidence" to do it too. He is so good to us even when it doesn't feel like it.

This doesn't compare at all to your pain, but when my husband and I lost our first child to miscarriage at 12 weeks, we were very grieved. One night, we went away to our favorite place (the church rooftop where he had proposed to me) and just cried out to God. We sat there in tears almost shouting our prayers to God. It felt so good to be honest with him and to feel his presence so close even though we were so angry. One of our favorite songs at that time was 'Blessed Be Your Name' and the words finally had more meaning to us. It was very difficult, but we sang out to him...

I will treasure that time always where we clutched each other and could barely choke out all the words due to our tears, but we worshiped anyway.

To this day, that song is hard to sing. I sing it with all my heart, meaning all the words though. God is good no matter what. "He gives and takes away." I think people think I'm weird in church when I cry during that song. It's rare that I can get through the song without crying, but it means a lot to me.

Debbie said...

I'm pretty sure I cannot get through It is Well with my Soul without choking up...but we have discussed this. I'm so glad we grew up singing hymns--even though when I was younger I didn't really think about what the words meant--because now they're ingrained in my memory and I can just sing a song when I want to or when I need to :) I love you so much, Marshy...and I feel like I never can quite articulate how I feel about you (and my other sisters :) Because it's more than love. But I think you know what I mean anyhow--at least I hope so! OK, comment over lest I really start to babble.

Dawn said...

Check out Seeds of Courage and Seeds of Faith. It's scripture set to music for kids, but I love it too and it sticks with ya!

I love your blog. I'm a cyberfriend of Christine's from our boys' babycenter days. :)


Beckypdj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beckypdj said...

God loves us so much and gives us wisdom even when we don't know it. What you did was wise. It helped arm you against the fiery darts of the evil one.

Keep singing and keep those precious boys singing too.


grace said...

I think often about putting songs in my littles hearts. they sing whatever they hear...what a better thing to sing about then words straight from the bible?!

I remember when I was little I would sing this song "I cast all my cares upon you...I lay all of my burdens down at your feet" I sang that song all the time when I was younger. That song, that was a simple verse and idea brought me so much comfort when I was scared of the dark, scared to walk home, scared to spend the night--you know all the things kids are scared of--and I may or may not have that song still come to mind at times when I need to cast all my cares on Him. ^_^

RaD said...

That made me think of this song by God Rocks:

Sorry I don't know how to link it in the comments. If you've never heard of God Rocks I think you would love it! They basically sing Bible verses.

I can't tell you specifically one time when a song popped to mind when I needed it but there have been many times the Attitude song by God Rocks (which is basically, Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus sung over and over again) has popped into my head when I have a wrong attitude. Hope you enjoy the song!

Rosie B. said...

Thank you so much! There was a time when I used to play a cd by Michael W. Smith the one with, "Our God is an Awesome God" in the background while we were getting ready for our school day. I don't know why we quit.. but thanks (you got me in tears) for reminding me that those days were happier and more enjoyable days!

Tasha said...

hey Marsha! I had just finished reading Traveling Light by Max Lucado(book about the 23rd Psalm; GREAT BOOK btw!) days before I got the call that my dad was in the hospital. I don't know if I've told you, but he went into cardiac arrest, was revived 10 minutes later by a co-worker, hospitalized and pronounced brain dead, awaiting my sister's and my arrival to give the word to discontinue life-preserving measures (phew! mouthful, I know). I hadn't spoken to my dad in 9 years. Through the gut-wrenching 2 weeks that followed, the 23rd Psalm provided all of the strength I had; I know it was not my own. That book came to me at the critical moment. I bought it on a whim from a Dollar General bookshelf for 3 bucks. God's timing was perfect! Much of my memory of that time is walking the halls of the hospital trying to breathe and reciting Psalm 23. I'm thankful.

Robyn | Add a Pinch said...

You inspire me with you words from the heart.

God sent me a butterfly. When my father passed away a few years ago, I just didn't know how I could finish that day without him. Of course, I prayed for God to be with me and get me through. To lift me and carry me through this heartache. I opened my eyes and the brightest yellow butterfly was in my face! Just fluttering and not moving.

God sends us plenty of signs as long as we are willing to open our hearts so our eyes can see them.

Love you!

Becca~CapturingSimpleJoys said...

I love scripture set to song and grew up singing many songs~I don't remember them all but I know in the recesses of my mind they are there.
One of my favorite things that came with the Sonlight curriculum I got several years ago was a CD of all scripture songs.

The old hymn His Eye Is On The Sparrow was played at my grandmother's funeral, I was pregnant with Colton when she passed and her loss was sudden and unexpected. I had a ticket home the following week for a visit~I missed seeing her by only one week. We had to arrange to have the ticket changed to get us there in time for the funeral. That song often played in my mind in the weeks and months following, bringing much comfort.

Sam said...

I have just stumbled upon you from another blog, and have spent the last 30 minutes reading your beautiful posts and crying for your loss. I cannot imagine losing a child. I guess no one can until it happens. You are an inspiration! My prayers for your continued strength.

The Happy Housewife said...

First of all, I think that was the first song I could even sing as a child. I still remember my mom singing it to me.
I love how God is a God of details, how He uses such small things in our lives to remind us of how good He is....

Deedee said...

God seems to reach through my foggy, and dark times through songs more than any other way. The song that reached through to me after my miscarriages was Matt Redmans' 'Blessed by your name' - though it took me months to sing it without sobbing. Often I only mouthed the words as the tears flowed, because I couldn't find my voice through the tears but my heart wanted to sing it. In our church, the worship leader didn't know about this song or the dates of my losses and yet this whole last year he sang this on the Sunday nearest to each of my five babies birthdays into Heaven! What a God thing is that?!?!?!

Another song that is special and full of promise at the moment is Casting Crowns 'Voice of Truth' and again someone seems to play it whenever I am feeling that the things we are trying to do and hoping for are impossible - you know, when I'm listening to the voice of the storm and the giant instead of the Voice of Truth? That song feels like God wrapping His arms around me and saying 'There, there. I'm still here. You're not alone. I promised it would be OK and it will. Just trust in ME. Just listen to MY voice and shut out those other voices. You CAN do this - with MY strength.'

Music is sooooo powerful! Oh! And I need to teach that song to my boys - I don't think they have ever heard it! :o)

Debra said...


After we found out that Samuel would not live, and while I was still pregnant I would lay in bed in the mornings and not want to get up, not want to get out of bed at all to face the day.

At that same time, my son was taking guitar lessons and he would practice a lot. The song he played over and over and over and over and over again, sometimes waking me up with the song was "Blessed be your name"

Blessed be Your name
in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow, Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name when I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness, Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name when the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be, blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name, on the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be Your name

You give and take away,
you give and take away
My heart will choose to say Lord blessed be Your name.

I would hear him singing that song all the time. My other kids would sing it, my 4 year old daughter would get 'stuck' on the line "Oh you give and take give and take heart will choose to say...blessed be your name.

I knew it was no accident.