Monday, July 27, 2015

When song lyrics bring something beautiful

“In your ocean I'm ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin' on my feet
It's like I know where I need to be
But I can't figure out, yeah I can't figure out
Just how much air I’m will need to breathe
When you tide rushes over me …”

{From “Something Beautiful” by Needtobreathe}

After day of riding amusement park rides in the July heat in St. Louis, we took our kids to their first real concert. Four hours of music, courtesy Colony House, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Switchfoot, and Needtobreathe.

We were sweaty and dirty when we plopped down in the lawn of the amphitheater. The sun was still high. My kids were tired. And then my wise husband realized the other side of the lawn was already shaded. So we moved – and found relief and a better view.

Greg brought the kids some pizza during Switchfoot. As Jon Foreman roamed the crowd and sang from his heart, Cate and I recognized more songs than we thought we would. And now I want to watch “Fading West,” because, really, who knew Switchfoot had made a surfing movie? Y’all I have no desire to surf, but, goodness, Greg and I have soft spot for inspiration surf movies.

And then the Needtobreathe took the stage and my heart rejoiced. Their music is so good for my soul. And the fact Greg loves the songs like I do makes the whole thing even better. We saw NTB together in Nashville last fall. The band’s song “Brother” inspired the name for our new lake house.

A Needtobreathe concert isn’t billed as a worship service, but with the band’s lyrics and heart, that’s what it became for me. Scripture is sprinkled throughout the songs along with questions we’ve all asked in our faith journey.

We had been standing, clapping and singing. And then during “Keep Your Eyes Open,” I ended up sitting down because I still had a view of the stage and needed to process life.

“… Just past the circumstance
The first light, a second chance
No child could ever dance the way you do
Tear down the prison walls
Don’t start the curtain call
Your chains will never fall until you do

Cause if you never leave home, never let go
You’ll never make it to the great unknown till you
Keep your eyes open, my love
So show me your fire, show me your heart
You know I’ll never let you fall apart if you
Keep your eyes open, my love …”

{From “Keep Your Eyes Open” by Needtobreathe}

Of course, Ben had to use the bathroom just as the song started, so Greg took him. Cate sat down close to me and I told her how the song is linked to Guatemala for me. I’ve loved that song for a while, but lately it’s been reminding me of Guatemala and how I don’t want to unsee what we experienced there. {I even used it as the song to go with my pictures in a video I’ve shared with people who supported our trip.}

I reflected on what God had done in our lives and hearts since we boarded a plane for Guatemala early on Independence Day. There was something ironic about leaving the country on such a patriotic day, but I quickly learned God wanted to use stepping out of my comfort zone to free my heart more.

I sat there in St. Louis on Saturday night with my favorite people by my side as one of my favorite bands played. In some sense, so much has changed this month. Yet I knew I was exactly where God wanted me.

Other songs stirred gratefulness in my heart. Some melodies reminded me of moments I’ve shared with my family and friends. Needtobreathe is part of the playlist of my life.

Ben had been restless in his tiredness. During “Something Beautiful,” he sat on my lap, stretched out his legs, leaned his head back … and gave into rest. The boy is always going and moving and doing.

In all honesty, parenting him has been hard since I’ve been home from Guatemala. Like any relationship, it takes two – so some of the parenting struggle has been all me. Life is filtered differently the past few weeks. It’s not Ben’s fault he hasn’t experienced what I did. Plus he’s only 5 and I can’t expect him to fully grasp what God is doing,

Even so, I believe we’ll move past this hard part and be better people for it. Those moments of having him cuddled in were sweet. Something beautiful, indeed. I felt his body give into sleep and was reminded how many times I push against God, knowing full well he knows best.

And then I wanted to stand up again. So I laid down Ben gently on the ground and he slept for the last half of the Needtobreathe concert while I let God continue his work in my heart.

“God of mercy sweet love of mine
I have surrendered to your design
May this offering stretch across the skies
And these hallelujahs be multiplied”

{From “Multiplied” by Needtobreathe}

I'm linking up with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Gathering

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