Granted, both Josh and I are pretty liberal in our "songification" of things - completely uninhibited in lyricizing the most mundane of activities. Doing the dishes could be a new rap parody, folding laundry becomes a nursery rhyme, or making dinner turns into a pop classic. What can I say? We're the Pardys, and we bring the beat.
So, it's no wonder that my girls (who are particularly verbose to begin with) tend to songify any and all activities they may encounter. I adore their ability to create the most silly and random mixes, and I hope that they always feel freedom in this home to keep those creative juices flowing, even with the weirdest of compilations (Okay, a new song about Apple Jack from My Little Pony learning to fly and cook scrambled eggs with Jesus and taking a walk with rainbows. Sure, okay, this makes sense. Good job, honey.)
But, nothing stirs my heart like hearing my girls sing praise and worship. Sure, they know the words to Jesus Loves Me or The B-I-B-L-E. These simple, beautiful classics are embedded into Christian childhoods as a staple, and I'm grateful for them (and a bit nostalgic!)
But, recently, I've begun to embrace the power that these songs have, infiltrating my children's minds at such a young age, hoping that they stay in their hearts for years and years to come. So, I've started to really intentionally look and listen for bigger songs, harder songs, and not turn away from wordy, complex songs that I might have originally labeled "too difficult" for their little brains to absorb.
A few Sundays ago, we sang one of these powerful songs. I'd never heard it before, and the words just STUCK with me. I just love those moments in church where you feel like you're learning something familiar all over again like it's new, taken aback in awe of the simplicity of GOD'S LOVE FOR ME and how incredibly divine it is. The song was "Christ Be in my Waking" and maybe you've heard of it before, but if not, here is the Stuart Townsend version of it that I would encourage you to watch below.
So, now, after my girls have seen that video multiple times a day for the last couple weeks, they are learning the words. I am too! I'll admit there are a lot of words in that song (each one with purpose, no doubt). My girls will be in the middle of playing ponies or dress up and burst into chorus "Jeeesus! This is my der-no-vo-tion!..." Stumbling through the lyrics, but wholeheartedly praising and worshipping, and most of all - letting the truths of Christ affect them from the inside out.
I love praise and worship, especially old hymns (this, coming from the girl who grew up in a small church where my Grammy played the organ in the sanctuary on Sundays!) The sentiments of the old hymns carry beautiful memories for me, along with their ancient truths.
Power in the Blood, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Come Thou Fount, In the Garden, and Be Thou My Vision are just some of my favorites. In Christ Alone is another "new classic" that is a modern song with an older feel that I simply cannot sing without shedding a tear. It just might be the next song I choose to introduce to my girls.
What about you? What are some of your favorite praise and worship songs? I think it would be awesome to compile a good list and check them off week by week to teach my girls. There's a little library in that brain of theirs, full of ideas and thoughts and sounds that take up space the more they sense the things around them. I hope and pray that the words carried over the generations in these beautiful melodies are filling the shelves of their minds so they can always recall the truths they hold.