Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stirring and Lego Harmonies

I've made no secret that my house is noisy. And I know you are thinking its because of my boys and while yes, they are loud, they are not the primary givers of noise.

Tim is responsible for a load of the loud. If it's not my boys it is music. The piano, the banjo, the guitar, drums... being married to a musician=loud.

We spend the majority of our days listening to music. We scrutinize vocals, we evaluate bands, we listen to new songs, to drummers, etc. It comes with the job.

Worship music is our passion and our life. Recently I walked some very sad and dark moments. I have seen the valley and some of the evil inside it. And there are times it straight up plagues me. Images, thoughts, doubts, fears, they come sometimes without cease and without relent. So on days when the torment seems unbearable, I turn up the music to drown out the attacks.

And yes, I turn it up loud. Truth and scripture floods in and it brings relief.

So, often almost every waking moment, there is music happening in this house. The other night was no exception but my mind was not entirely aware of it. It was just business as usual.

My kids had each gotten a new Lego set and they were sitting at the table begging for assistance. With a groan and a fleshly curse of all-things-requiring-parental-guidance, I sat down and said, "five minutes".

I started helping and at first it went something like, "No, not that one. Stop. Hand that here. Pick it up. Good grief. Cora, touch ONE more of your brothers' Legos and I will banish you from this table forrreeeever...." 

But when a rhythm was established it grew quiet. Everyone working on their Legos. Only in that moment did I hear my boys singing. Without intention, without conscious thought they were singing to the song that was on the speakers.

The lines I heard whisper-sung from my sons' lips were,

"Lost are saved find their way at the sound of Your great name 
All condemned feel no shame, at the sound of Your great name 
Every fear has no place at the sound of Your great name 
The enemy he has to leave at the sound of Your great name 
Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us, 
Son of God and Man You are high and lifted up 
and all the world will praise Your great name 
All the weak find their strength at the sound of Your great name 
Hungry souls receive grace at the sound of Your great name 
The fatherless they find their rest at the sound of Your great name
Sick are healed and the dead are raised at the sound of Your great name" 

Now in this moment, I wanted to sing His praises as an overflow of my heart. It took no effort or thought, it was an exclamation that just flowed out in this rare and precious moment. My kids, singing songs of worship, doing mind challenging activities... people, we were witnessing a rare gift. Perhaps a miracle. 

There are times in life, like during Lego Harmonies, or let's be honest, in the midst of a bowl of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream when the praises pour out of my mouth and my heart swells. Praise is a natural outflow. 

But what I'm learning is that those moments aren't ever-present. There are long stretches of desert wanderings and if I'm not careful I forget the bread falling from heaven and start squalling with the "why me Lords?!?"

It's in the long wanderings that it takes intentional purposeful stirring of my affections for God. When I'm wiping rear ends, breaking up fights, cleaning vomit, or playing bus driver it's not normal for my heart to naturally overflow praises and thanksgiving.

One of the things I've been working on is identifying the things that stir my affections for the Lord. I want to know them, identify them and do them. 

What stirs your affections? Motivating your praise sometimes needs to be an intentional, deliberate act to bring focus and admiration. And sometimes those things that bring to mind all that God has done and His faithfulness or His character is what is needed to do battle.

For me, it's worship music. For some it's nature or maybe it's prayer, or just silence.  I want to encourage you to not wait for those rare moments of overflow but to lead your heart intentionally. Praise becomes a lot more every day when you purposefully and intentionally stir your affections for Him.

Here is one of our favorites (see lyrics above as proof). Even if you didn't set out to worship in this moment, I hope this song stirs your affections for Him as it does mine. If not, you have a heart of stone. I'm kidding. Sort of.  :) 


scootingranny said...

Another thought provoking and touching post. And yes challenging, too!

joy said...

How did u know that I needed to be reminded that fear has no place where Jesus is. Thank you dear sweet one.