November 2, 2018
The Songs We Sing
I sing to GOD, the Praise-Lofty, and find myself safe and saved (Psalm 18:3, MSG).
Friend to Friend
When my boys were young, I drove them up into the mountains for a long weekend of family camp. We were heading to the same Christian conference center where I grew up and grew in faith. Long before I was born, my grandparents had a cabin on that mountain, just down the road from the main camp. My dad would regularly drive us up the same winding roads we were now traversing. I also took our church’s big yellow bus for camp and went for long, wonderful weeks in the summertime. I spent so many happy days singing and hiking under blue skies and evergreen trees.
The boys were singing along with me as I played some of my favorite old CD’s. Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, and plenty of my favorite hymns. Each song reminded me of my younger years. Praise music makes me feel safe and saved.
As the boys and I climbed higher, I rolled the windows down. The astringent scent of pine and the cool mountain air stung my nostrils. My youngest son leaned out the window, up to his chest, raggedy hair blowing every which direction. When he flopped back down in his seat, I saw his reflection in my rearview mirror. Tears from the cold ran down flushed cheeks. That’s when he asked it, breathless:
“Mom,” he shouted over the music and the sound of the wind, “are the souls of our tires touching the exact same ground where the souls of Grandpa’s tires touched when you were my age?” I was taken back by the way he phrased his question and drove on, quietly thinking it through. So, he asked again. “Did the souls of your tires touch these same pieces of dirt?” I nodded yes, locking eyes with him in the mirror, and he smiled wide and sang along to the familiar music.
I loved the words he chose: “the souls of our tires” like the souls of one’s shoes. But more than that, I was reminded of the journey our souls take, and how our journey has the power to influence the journey other souls are on. My great hope, of course, is to lead my children down the same faith-road that I’m on. I turned down the music and said, “Yes, I bet these tires are rolling right over the same place where my dad’s tires drove 30 years ago!” All three of my sons looked forward in their car seats and then smiled.
Thirty minutes later, I took a right turn off the mountain road and drove slowly through the Christian conference center’s main camp. Without thinking, I continued down the familiar dirt road to my grandparent’s old cabin. Though our family didn’t own it anymore, the wooden A-frame remained, and a sign dangled from the eaves with our family name. I sat there for a few minutes in the quiet, since my boys had all just fallen asleep. From the driveway, I could see the front door, and used my imagination to step inside. I could see the kitchen to my left, and knew that if I opened the fridge I’d find a jar of milk (made from powdered milk) and a jar of mayonnaise that had a packet of ranch dressing mixed in. A couple of packs of sandwich meat and cheese and a loaf of sliced Wonder bread were all on the top shelf. In the pantry, I found Oreo cookies, Jiffy peanut butter, and instant oatmeal. One low drawer held my crayons and coloring books.
Beyond the kitchen was our family room, with the great fireplace, and Grandpa’s organ beside the dining room table. More memories came flooding in. I thought of the countless times I sat beside the fire with Grandpa playing the organ, his warbling old voice singing, “Great is Thy Faithfulness, Oh God my father. There is no shadow of turning with Thee…”
Perhaps you’ve heard me say it before, how hymns work like a harmony beside Scripture’s melody. And it’s one of the main ways my parents and grandparents influenced the bedrock foundation of my own faith journey. The songs they sang became the songs I sang, and today they are the songs I sing to my own children. Yes, I thought, I’m definitely driving my kids down the same faith-roads. I placed my forehead to the steering wheel and prayed a thankful prayer.
Dear Lord, Thank You for giving us such wonderful songs to sing to You! May the words we sing be received by You as a joyful noise, a lofty sacrifice of praise! And grant us courage, Lord, to sing our songs out loud, that the next generation might come to praise You too!
In Jesus’ lofty and praise-worthy Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
This isn’t just for the moms and grandmas out there. This is for all of us singing our songs of faith for the world to hear. Lift your voices, Sisters! May you find yourself safe and saved, as you shout to the Lord His faithfulness and goodness and saving power!
More from the Girlfriends
If you love the old songs of our faith as much as we do, sign up to receive free decorative prints from WendySpeake.com. Every season you’ll receive three beautiful, downloadable graphics to decorate your heart and home. Each series includes a lyric from one of Wendy’s favorite hymns, as well as a Scripture and a quote to encourage you in your journey of faith
Wendy Speake: As a trained actress and heartfelt Bible teacher, Wendy ministers to women’s hearts through storytelling and Biblical life application. During her career in Hollywood, on shows such as JAG, Melrose Place, and Star Trek Voyager, Wendy found herself longing to tell stories that edify and encourage women. Today she does just that, writing parenting books and performing dramatic Bible lessons for women’s groups, taking every opportunity to point audiences (as well as family and friends) to Jesus. Co-author of Triggers, Parenting Scripts, and Life Creative. Wendy resides in Southern California with her husband and their 3 ruddy boys. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram today.