When my son was little, we sang to him every night. We had a song book and picked songs each night. He liked to request his favorites like Blackbird and Baby Beluga. It is possible we sang Baby Beluga 5,000 times. Well, at least 1,000! We enjoyed Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Dirty Old Town.
We stopped singing him to sleep when he grew older, but we kept the daily singing habit. Now we sing spontaneously about doing the laundry, watering the plants or making coffee. We are enthusiastic, determined and throaty but not what you would call “good singers.”
I believe singing—even (or especially!) amateur attempts like ours—is natural and holy.
I’m grateful we started the tradition of singing because it makes our home cheery. Even a little hum helps grow happiness. Try it right now! Hmmmmmm
In church on Sunday, I sat in front of a professionally trained singer named Kathy. With a voice as clear as meditation, she found the notes for us. She made it easier to join the harmony and our pew sounded better than usual. She clarified our muddy sounds on the strength of her ability alone.
It’s important to surround yourself with strong people. If you are around watered-down people, you will find dilution normal. Find people who are seeking what you are seeking so you can travel together. Befriend people who use their voices. They can help you find your song.
I love list-making, planning and SMART goal setting. Most years, I relish the opportunity to make resolutions. But not this year. After prayer, I recognized that if I focus on Spirit and the joy of living, everything else will fall in place. Rather than set goals, I need to relax and let God work.
Instead of a resolution for 2014, I have decided to pick a theme song. My song for this year will be Simple Gifts. I plan to sing or hear it every day. I will let the lyrics speak to me and guide my life.
I hope we sing our whole lives, even when we are frail and our legs stop working. I hope we’ll sing about that.
And then when we lose our voices, I hope we’ll sing with our eyes.
all the earth hums your frequency of union.
Our lives overlap like a musical round.
May we sing your name so it rings out
Help us shed our self-absorption.
Keep our focus on you.
Like the little drummer boy,
may we offer you all we have with pure hearts.
Bless us with reasons to sing and
voices to make a joyful sound!
Is there a part of your life that needs healing or adjustment? What music soothes your soul? Who makes you sing better? What will your song be for 2014? I’d love to hear from you!