Sunday, March 1

"this one's my favorite!"

We had our annual Ladies' Retreat this weekend at Camp Tejas. My dear friend Kristie's sister, Kim, came up to do the music. Kim is a hard person to be around. Not because she's not awesome. She's too awesome! She has beautiful dark eyes, and lovely thick long dark hair, and she's got curves in all the right places, and she has this voice. Oh, does she have a voice. I positively despise her.

Well, except for the fact that I totally wish she was my little sister. And ... she's younger than I. So I wasn't the youngest person at the retreat, and that was a first.

Ok. I love Kim. I admit it. But all that is a digression. What I'm getting at is this. Kim did a wonderful job with the music. She and Kristie and our speaker coordinated on lovely songs with beautiful lyrics that dovetailed with the message. And Melissa, who was sitting beside me the whole time, could not stop laughing at me. Because every time Kristie or Kim announced the next song, I would just about start bouncing out of my chair, loudly whispering to Melissa, 'This one's my favorite!!'

But it's true. I cannot pick a favorite hymn, anymore than I can pick a favorite child. I love them all so much. I love the different styles of music. I love the lyrics. I love finding out who wrote each, and why and when it was written. I love old hymns (Martin Luther wrote 'A Mighty Fortress is Our God') and I love the new Maranatha hymns like 'Father, I Adore You.' (And, that last one is a round. And I loves me a good round.)

Today, our Communion hymn was 'What Wondrous Love Is This,' (that link is totally kid safe, btw) one that I've heard before, but I always forget how much I love it. I was sad for a second that Melissa didn't sit by me in church, because at this point John is immune to, 'Hey baby, guess what! This one's my favorite!!'

I'm not a great piano player, but with lots of practice, I can master a song. I take it measure by measure, over and over again, and I eventually get it. I can play the theme to Forrest Gump, and the opening lines of Moonlight Sonata. My hands are small (I can stretch to have an ovtice plus on reach), so Claire de Lune has been frustrating me for a while, but I'm slowly but surely getting there. Stupid crazy-ass Debussey chords. What was that man thinking? Mere mortals have a tough time when they have small hands. I need a mini-piano, that's what I need.

Sorry. I digress, yet again.

At the retreat, we sang 'Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,' one of my favorites. I can play that one from beginning to end and have all the words memorized. 'Be Thou My Vision,' another favorite. I'm learning this one. 'Open Our Eyes, Lord,' can't play is but I do love it.

My favorite Christmas hymns are ... all of them, except 'It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.' I just don't like that one.

We sang 'O Love That Will Not Let Me Go' a few weeks ago, and by Tuesday evening I could play it without completely butchering it, quite a feat for me. I can play 'There's Something About the Name of Jesus,' and 'In My Life, Lord.' I do seem to be drawn to the slightly slower and more melancholy songs, but maybe that's just because I know there's no hope that I have the talent to play the Hallelujah Chorus. After John's grandfather's funeral, I learned to play 'How Great Thou Art,' which I used to this was just ok, but it's also a favorite now.

But really, the music is secondary to the lyrics in my mind. I really didn't like 'O Love That Will Not Let Me Go' the first few times we sang it. But then one Sunday, the third verse really sank in.

'O joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my eyes to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.'

I think anyone who has gone through times of suffering or sorrow, and has turned to the Lord for comfort, can understand that stanza. The promise of a tearless morning ... the thought that joy actually seeks us, though we often try to hide from it in our pain and suffering ... it's a powerful thing, the love of God.

There are so many hymns I hear that take me back to my childhood. I grew up in a music lovin' alcohol shunnin' can I get an AMEN? goog ole' Southern Baptist church. And boy, did we love to sing. I'm still known to wander around our house singing 'This Is the Day (That the Lord has Made' in a rather loud voice, far too early n the morning.

What? Stop looking at me like that. I have to wake up my family somehow, don't I? Better than an alarm clock ...

Music just makes me happy. And not just hymns, though they seem to be ... well, my favorite. I love Led Zeppelin. I listen to the old classics of the Big Band Era. Hey, Benny Goodman! Glen Miller, how ya' doing? I love Metallica. I love love love bluegrass music. I'm a huge fan of punk, old school and new school alike. When I start feeling too much like a mom, and worry that I'm losing that crazy, wild side of me that I used to love and sometimes forget about, I always put on The Offspring or some Less Than Jake. Yay, ska!! Loves me some bubblegum pop, too. And let's not forget my extreme and embarrassing love for bad music. Oh, man. Me and bad music? We're, like, thisclose. Brea + bad music = BFF. One might even say, BF4E. Seriously!

So there you have it. The ramblings that have been running around in my head for the last few days. What about you? Do you have a favorite song? What about a favorite hymn, should you be so inclined? What kind of music makes you happy? What do you listen to when you're blue?

Which one is your favorite?

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