Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Sweet Release of Praise

Music has been a big part of my life since before I was born.  My mom is from a very musical family.  My mother was very musical.  She sang, played piano, autoharp, accordion, organ and the list goes on.  She sang to us while we were in her womb.  She sang solos in church and in nursing homes.  As soon as we could sing she had us going places and singing with her, my mom, my older sister and myself.  I have some very fond memories of those days.

My mother bought new church music books often and combed thru them for songs she thought we could perform somewhere.  When I was young my mom would call to me as she sat at the piano and would teach me new songs she had learned from them.   When I grew up and moved out I always visited frequently.   My visits often were partially spent at the piano singing with my mother.   The music would flow, the harmonizing so wonderful and we would end up just singing and praising God.

When I became a music director at a church she became my pianist.

When my family moved onto my mom and dads farm, she called often to have me walk down and sing with her.  It brought great enjoyment to us both. 

When we did jail ministry together, a large part of it was praise and worship.  When we went to the nursing homes we would sing old hymns.  When we did hospital Chaplaining together, we would sing acapella for some patients. 

I sang with my mother as a toddler, as a child, as a teen, as a young woman.  I sang with her and to her while she was sick and in the hospital.  I sang to her the day before she passed away.

My mom has been gone for 10 years next month and all these years I have not had much music around in our home.  
My moms piano is in my living room and no one plays it.
We used to listen to praise and worship music in the vehicles everywhere we went, oftentimes very loud.  I used to have music playing on the radio sometimes. 

All these years music has been painful to me.  We home church but if we got invited to visit a church to hear my nephews sing at their church as soon as the music started to play or it was time to sing hymns, tears would just start to flow. I could not stop it if I tried.   If I tried to sing the words they would get caught in my throat or I would cry uncontrollably.  The kind of cry that you heave and can’t catch your breath. 

I know I need praise music in my life and in my children’s lives.  I know that praise is a thing they need to see and experience.  We all need it and God deserves it. 

Yesterday was a hard bad day.  We had five appointments for the day, four of them were people showing up at our home for them, so the day should not have been bad.   The one we had to leave the property to go to, was one we had to be at first thing in the morning.   Baby “K” had a swallow study at our local hospital.  We all worked hard to get up and around for the day and I took Carolyn and Elizabeth with me to push the toddlers strollers.  The baby was not allowed to eat anything after 8 am.  We got their early for our 10:30 appointment.  The hospital could not find the orders…they could not get “K”s insurance number…one missing thing after another…on and on time ticked away.  Our little toddlers have come so far in their behavior but their limit to sit is about an hour and I am out of tricks to keep them happy.  Time ticked by.  It was 12:00 noon by the time the hospital had everything in order to let us back to have the study done.  The toddlers were so tired and starting to get hungry.  The baby was beyond hungry.  They moved us to a waiting room and I have never in my life been so happy for Sponge Bob Square Pants…yes you read me right.  The family that does not have piped in TV and won’t even let my kids watch it was so happy to have it playing in that waiting room.  The toddlers zoned out in front of substandard cartoons and the hospital staff came and took the baby back for her study.  We did not get out of there till 1:00 p.m..  I had a headache felt myself having some low blood sugar issues from missing lunch and was so frustrated.  It was not the children’s fault, they did brilliant considering the circumstances.  To be honest I felt like acting the way they did!  The rest of the day was just harder because the beginning started out so badly.  Needless to say I fell into bed last night to tired to even pray for everything I usually pray about. 

This morning was therapy day.  We had to get up early this morning and get a lot done fast to get all the children to therapy by 8:00.  Tim and I drove in separate vehicles because Tim was secretly going to take the older children to see the new Planes Movie after therapy at the theater.   We rarely go so it was a big deal.
They had a friend "J" go with them today as well!
Tim drove the big van and I drove Tim’s mini-van as I was going to use it to bring the baby and the youngest toddler home for the afternoon. 

As we left for therapy and I got into Tim’s vehicle, I started it up and as usual his praise music came on.  Usually I quick flip it off.  This time I could not turn it off.  The tears just flowed.  Song after familiar song singing praise to the God of heaven and earth and all that is there in.  The God of me and the children.  Our God.  I sang and sang.  It was such a sweet pent up release.  Not just because I had one really hard day but a release from almost a decade of running from the pain of hearing this music.  Sadly, praise music for our God.  It was such a washing, a cleaning I cannot explain.  It was a lesson and I don’t know why it took me so long to just go thru it and get past it all.

I feel better.  So much better.  I know I need to bring music back into our home and give the sacrifice of praise to our God…He deserves all our praise.  It is for us as much as it is for Him.

Psalm 92:1  It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:

Deuteronomy 10:21  He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.



  1. Music is a very powerful thing. You shouldn't deny you or the kids any longer. If nothing else it will keep them from singing annoying songs from Spongebob! ;-)

    1. Yes, you are so right Julie. I have known this for a long time and am planning on making some changes. God is so good. Yes!!! Sponge bob was very annoying but it sure helped me with the kids that day!

  2. Oh Susan ((((((((((((REALLY BIG HUG)))))))))))))))))))) I wept with you through this post. You see my first born, my daughter Angel died 10 years ago this July. I gave away all of the praise music we sang together. We are not a musical family, I sing semi out of tune and Angel sang perfectly out of tune! Only recently did I re-purchase some of the music to sing again. I felt every bit of your pain as you wrote. After my Angel died I wanted time to stand still. My older kids never sang Hymns with me. Angel sang a lot of Worship music. My younger kids and I sing a lot of Hymns every day since we too home Church. My youngest 4 know many more Hymns than my oldest kids!
    The Lord saw my pain yesterday. He prompted the head of her 1994 Graduation Class (at the High School my daughter graduated from) to send Tom and I a bouquet of flowers telling us that they were remembering our precious daughter as they celebrated!
    Can you imagine the JOY the Lord brought us through that precious young woman acting on God's calling and sending us flowers! Of course I knew already this would have been her 20th reunion, And the very big class of 1994 remembered our daughter- again only God could prompt them and Bless us this way! PRAISE GOD!!
    Don't you LOVE how He uses us to help each other!
    (sorry I've written a post here as a comment! LOL!)
    Beautiful Beautiful post! Oh how I wish we lived closer!

    1. Hugs back to you my friend. It is painful to loose those we love so much and the ripples of the loss reach far beyond the day or month or year that they passed. What a wonderful way God used the head of your daughters graduation class to bless you and sooth your heart in sending flowers! Wow! Wow! Wow! A very kind gesture prompted by God. He knows. He cares. He really is our comforter. Life is so hard. So very, very hard. So much loss. So much struggle and strife just to try to do and be like Christ. So much criticism. But oh the blessings from God. Our children. Seeing His hand of provision daily. God is so good! May God be with you always!