Devotional 3/24/2020

Living with a three year old and a twenty month old means your life is always an adventure.  There is no tense moment they can't change with a sweet gesture and there is no happy meal that they cant ruin with a well placed fit.  

It also leads to some new sayings in our house.  We have been trying to encourage Amanda to speak more and so we are often saying "Say the word, baby."  I suppose if Amanda has a nickname it is baby because we call her that often.  The problem in our house is that when you ask Amanda to say something, Belle shouts it for her.  "Say cup, Amanda."  Belle yells "Cup"  "Say Papi, baby" and Belle calls "Papi".  A note of humor in our house is that Amanda refers to her father not by Papi or Dad but Kai.  Which is the dog's name! 

Anyhow, we spend a lot of time trying to get Amanda to pick up more language.  And so we keep saying 'Say the word, baby." Which Belle has picked up. Only Belle has changed it a bit.  What Belle tells her sister is "Sing the word, baby." 

And it has not stopped there.  All the sudden Belle is often saying to me "Sing the words, Mommy." And she expects me to sing!  Our house is basically the worst Disney musical ever right now.  I am told and do sing about cooking, laundry, whatever Belle is doing and wants to be narrated.  Even using the bathroom involves the command and obedience of "Sing the words."  

Let us also be real.  This is not an amazing melodic feature.  I get huge points for creativity but zero for skill.  Upon joining the Kilbourne choir, I walked into the room and I said I need to sit by the nicest alto.  They responded Elaine was the strongest.  I said no, I need to sit by the nicest because when I am singing horribly I need them to still like me.  God bless the choir, they seriously thought about it and decided Elaine was also the nicest.   And that is how my choir spot was picked.  I should also note that they must have been right because I have been singing wrong notes in her ears for three years now and she still speaks to me!  

So this command of singing the words is not really beautiful. But do you know what?  It is really fun.  Trying to figure out how to sing about all these things is a blast.  We all laugh and sing even more.  Music touches a part of our soul that is otherwise locked tight.  It brings back powerful memories, changes our moods, sculpts our attitudes and more. 

As Methodists music has always been part of our heritage.  Charles Wesley wrote over 6500 hymns.  John Wesley even has directions for singing- no one who knows how meticulous Wesley was is surprised by this.  The last of his directions is to 'above all sing spiritually.  Have an eye to God in every word you sing.  Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature." (From the UMC Hymnal, page vii).  Music both feeds our souls and praises God.  

Scripture supports this idea.  Singing to the Lord is a long time tradition.  Take the time today to read Psalm 96.  Read it with joy and celebration.  I find it a powerful activity to play a Christian song in the background while reading it.  (I love "Shout to the Lord" by Hlllsong Worship but use anyone you like).  

I know that many of you miss Sunday worship and the music.  Today I invite all of us to spend 30 minutes soaking in Christian music or music where you hear God's voice.  Put on your favorite CD, record, cassette.  Pull out the 8-track if you got it!  Or just open up youtube and look up amazing Christian music and see what new songs you find.  However you do it, fill the air with the songs praising God and reminding us who God is. Sing along or just listen in quiet.  Dance with it if you dare!  But take the time to touch this part of your soul today.  Scripture says "Sing to the Lord, all the earth" (Psalm 96:1b).  Let us do this today!  Sing to the Lord! 


With a song in my heart,