Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just keep singing!

Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God and I will praise Him, my father's God and I wil exalt Him. I've been singing for most of my life. I was only seven when my mom noticed the "singer" in me. My mom would bring us to the local nursing home when we were younger, and we would sing church hymns, and bits and pieces of musicals to the elderly there. Being that there were so many of us, (eight when all together) we were basically a family choir. We could have definitely given the Partridge family a run for their money. Singing became my life. It was my outlet and my way to connect with God. It was me and God's love language. It was (is) how we rolled. It was how I talked to Him, how I cried to Him, and even how I heard Him. Praise and worship became a part of who I was... a part of who He was making me. Something miraculous would happen when I would sing...not only did I connect with my Savior, but my lisp would disappear. It would just go away. I had been in speech classes since the first grade due to my speech impediment, and nothing seemed to help it. I hated it and it caused many insecurities within me. Except, when I would sing. Something changed in me. My lisp could not be heard and it gave me confidence that I never knew. Wonderful how God uses His worship to set us free and heal so many parts of us! (smiley face) One thing I never received...was music lessons. I was in different choirs or choruses growing up and even in my adult life, but I never learned how to read music or how to even recognize notes. I just sang. I sang by ear. I mimiced what I heard. Sort of like a singing chameleon. Which leads me to a struggle I was dealing with ... I attend a magnificent church. It is amazing! My family and I began attending a couple of years ago and it has been a blessing to all of us. It is definitely where God wants us right now. The church that I attended before, was a much smaller church with a smaller congregation. I was the lead vocalist for the choir there. The thing is, (or so I thought) being the lead vocalist, you can get away with not knowing notes and harmonies and such. You just sing the way you sing and everyone else just backs you up. (Yeh... ok) I would belt out my notes, and wait for everyone else to catch up. Easy Peasy. (At least that is how we did it there.) If you made mistakes, you just kept going. You just keep singing. That's what I did...and I loved it. I loved lifting my voice in praise to God. I loved being used by Him to bring worship to Him. I haven't gotten involved with the music ministry of our new church, probably from a fear of the large crowd and all. I even spoke to the music leader once, then chickened out and never called back. I have sang in front of hundreds of people before, at weddings or funerals, but this...this is a whole new ballgame. The music and worship leaders at my church are musical geniuses!! Oh my gracious what awesome talent!! What great gifts!! A few months ago, a local music production company decided to put together a mass choir, and combine several churches to create one united voice of praise. They did it last year and it was such a great success, they chose to do it again. It seemed simple, so I figured I should give it a go. Go for the gusto! I was really excited, and a friend of mine decided to join with me. I was ecstatic! The first practice went well, we were getting familiar with the songs and what not. I was nervous, because it seemed a little more difficult than I expected. Last night was our second practice. I have to admit...it didn't go as well as I had hoped for. I'm learning that what I "thought" I knew about music...was only a tenth of it. This whole choir thing is like musical algebra! It's hard and I seriously questioned what the heck I was even doing there. I don't even know if I know what range I sing in. Am I an Alto? Soprano? Tenner? ( I don't even know if I spelled that correctly...) Huh? Beats me... There is even an Alto 1 and an Alto 2. What?... Seriously? You could have fooled me. I. Had. No. Idea. None. And there is low harmony and high harmony.

They said the word "contrairto"... something or other...what's that? (Please don't quote me, I'm clueless on it) I don't even know how to spell it or pronounce it, and I felt too stupid to even ask what it was.

They said words that I never even heard of.

The perfectionist in me was revealing it's monsterous head. I was getting agitated and frustrated with myself. I was slowly getting super stressed. I began to sweat profusely, which I know that my friend noticed standing next to me, but she was really nice not to mention it. My heart began to beat fast and I felt like I was going to crack. The enemy and his trifling self, began to whisper lies of disbelief and discouragement into my ear. "You can't do this. What makes you think you are qualified for this?" I wondered, "Maybe I shouldn't even be here." My heart began to sink... I closed my eyes and prayed as I sang, "Oh God, help me Lord. How can I not get this? This is what I do. This is all I know and all I have ever done. Please help me Jesus." When all of a sudden...the choir leader stopped the singing. As the pianist played softly in the background, she began to pray out loud... "Lord we thank You for allowing us here today to sing worship to You. Help us to remember that this is not about parts or singing perfectly God, or even hitting all the right notes, it's all about praising You in unison. It's about worshiping You God. Worshiping You from our hearts." His presence filled the room. As she prayed, tears began to swell up in my eyes. I knew God was seeing me struggle through it. I knew He had just heard my cry for help and needed to remind me that it was all about Him, not about all the details, not about me and what I could or couldn't do...just Him. Only Him. You know when you have those tears and you are just about to lose it, then someone touches you or wraps their arms around you...causing you to just lose it completely. You lose all sense of "keeping it together". Well...I lost it. Big time! My sweet friend saw me struggling and she wrapped her arm gently around me. The floodgates opened wide and I began to cry. Causing my Vicotria's Secrets Long Lash mascara to leak down my cheeks right there in the middle of the choir room. It wasn't pretty. But...it was what I needed. He was breaking me of myself, my disbelief, and my pride. He was reminding me that it was all about Him. After we prayed, we began to sing again. Peace enveloped me. I closed my eyes, silently thanking Him for giving me yet another reason to sing His praise! Yet another reason to worship Him! worship- to love unquestioningly, show devotion, a feeling of profound love and admiration.

Our music leader went on to say, that when we worship Him with our singing, it causes Him to stop, to listen...taking our praise into His heart.

What an awesome thing...that our worship causes the Host of the Heavenlys, The Creator of All, The Lord of our heart to stop and take notice of us. He is awed by our worship!

There is a song that goes: "Nothing will stop me from my worship, because that is what I was created for." Not to sing perfectly. Not to hit all the notes. Not to know all there is to know. Just to worship. Just worship.

So many times, we get caught up in trying to be THE best at something, that it prevents us from just giving OUR best.

I am at MY best...when I worship Him.

Can't wait for choir rehearsal next week! (big smiley face)

Just keep singing!

Psalm 103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 142:3 When my spirit grows faint within me, it is You who knows my way.

2 comments:

  1. Wow! I am impressed. You own Victoria's Secret Long Lash mascara! Who would've thunk it?

    Just kidding! ROFLAM~ rolling on (the) floor laughing at myself~ I invented that just now all by my self!

    It's funny because my friend was asking me last night (after me singing with Aubree) if I had singing lessons or if I just practiced a lot because she thinks that I can sing "good". I was like- you're so dumb (used as a term of endearment here, of course), but, thank you for the compliment. But, it's like you said, even though WE don't think we sing very well it really doesn't matter as long as we are praising God! He thinks it's the most beautiful sound EVER! Just like when our kids sing a song to us about how much they love us- we melt! Hey, maybe Imma go make God melt right now! ;~)

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  2. You are precious. All of your writings this week, you keep giving me chills. :) I'm so glad for you, for that sweet moment with him last night. His eye is on his baby girl. He's very fond of you. :) And so am I. :) xo

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