Songs of the Heart

Two and half miles into my afternoon walk, my playlist betrayed me. After several upbeat workout songs, the slow guitar strum and strike of a piano key indicated the beginning of “Hammer and a Stone” by Seven Mary Three. My eyes welled up. I had that instant lump in the throat…you know the one I’m talking about…the one that feels like 10,000 weights are lying on your chest or a wad of bubble gum is stuck halfway down your throat. To someone watching from afar, my stride broke and I became still. My exercise session interrupted by a song; by an emotion; by a memory.

There are other songs that make me react this way. More times that I can count, I’ve stood at the position of attention in uniform, willing the tears to not fall, while listening to the National Anthem. The lyrics of “Oceans” by Hillsong make me cry nearly every time I hear them. Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven”? Cry fest. “Who Am I?” by Casting Crowns…lyrics that start the water works.

How can a song impact us so completely? How can it transport us to another place? To a memory better left alone or one that should be routinely revisited? To a place of worship…a place of sadness…a place of contentment?

Song lyrics are an effective way for us to connect and explain emotions that are often inexplicable. Often a song is the journal of our heart. Sometimes they are the vaults of our memories. Occasionally, they are just fun songs that don’t have to have a specified memory, but rather mark a time in our lives.

What song do you remember from your first dance? What song was blaring from the radio when you were cruising by the beach? What was the song playing when your Grandmother took her last breath or your child their first?

It made me start wondering about God. How does He react to songs? Do songs make God cry? Does He experience similar reactions when we sing to Him? What does the Bible say about songs?

Some sources state that there are over 185 songs about God in the Bible. The book of Psalms is a book of songs for God. The Song of Solomon is one of the beautiful romance songs between a groom and his bride. The book of Lamentations is comprised of five songs of mourning over Jerusalem.

The Bible is filled with songs, but it’s also filled with countless examples of God’s people singing. Moses and Miriam sang. King David certainly sang, as did King Solomon. Imagine Samson singing! We see Deborah and Baruk singing songs of praise to God and victory. Even today, the Word of God is used in current songs.

If I have such an enormous reaction to a memory or emotion embedded into a song, imagine how God feels when He hears us sing a song to or about Him! I have a hard time imagining God with a lump in His throat, but I can very easily imagine Him looking down benevolently on those who sing His praise.

What songs are on your heart today?
~Emily

 

Hot Bread!

Ever had one of those jobs that require you to do something seemingly embarrassing for the sake of the company?  Maybe you have to be part of the singing crew for the rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to some screaming toddler.  You could be the dreaded dancing slice of pizza on the side of the road, spinning and raving to music only you can hear as cars wiz by.  We, at Boudin SF, are required to yell out “HOT BREAD!” after the baker pulls the pillowy loaves of fresh sourdough from the warm oven.

I’m not actually embarrassed by having to shout out this announcement of deliciousness.  In fact, if you’ve read my previous blog, you’ll know that I love my job and therefore try to make everything I do there awesome….like singing “HOT BREAD” as if I was Kelly Clarkson.  My impression is incredibly spot on, down to the hand strategically cupped over my ear as if I’m holding my headphone in place while recording my #1 hit.  It’s true brilliance, really.  No one knew I had it in me.  And judging by the laughter coming from my co-workers, I really don’t have it in me.

Today was no different.  John, our head baker, shouted those two delectable words from the bakery, and we all hollered the same in return.  But I got to thinking later in my shift about how I truly get excited to turn those seemingly two simple words into something delightful and wonderful for the co-workers and guests around me.  Do I do the same when I’m excited about how God is transforming my life?

Countless times in the past year, God has moved what felt like mountains for me.  He’s been incredibly clear in His direction for my life, and blessed me with gracious moments that only He can give a person seeking Christ.  I share those moments with those closest; Emily, my mom, dad, and bible study group (known as Table Eight).  Do the friends outside of that incredibly small community, however, see the excitement of the fruit of God’s labor in my life?

I feel strongly that as a believer, Christ’s light shines through you.  The closer of a relationship you have with Him, the brighter the light becomes.  I feel as part of that shining light, I should be sharing the joyful celebrations of miracles and answers to prayer to those same people, as well.  Some may think I’m weird when I do, and of course I’m not advocating doing something crazy or inappropriate at your workplace or as you’re walking down the aisle at your grocery store.  What I’m encouraging myself and others to do is not be afraid to share your witness of answered prayer or direction with those folks around you.  You never know how your testimony may encourage someone to seek a personal and deeper relationship with our Savior.  And that’s what it’s all about—sharing God’s love with others.

The bible says in Mark 16:15 (KJV) “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  Part of that “GO” and “PREACH” is your testimony, and your testimony is not only your personal story of redemption, but how God has transformed, molded and shaped, and answered prayer for you, as well!

So, go!  Don’t be afraid to share!  Shout out your good news from the rooftops!  And if you want to add a little flair to it, do it!  A little Kelly Clarkson rendition never hurt anyone.

Is there any good news you want to share?  Comment below, and let us share in your excitement!

~Erin

My Hobby Job

Click, click, tab.  Enter, enter.  Tab, tab, tab.  Click, click.  Enter, enter, enter.  If you ask Emily what my job entails, that’s what she’ll say I do.  You do actually hear those noises if you’re on the phone with me when I’m working.  I work full time from my home office in California for my hospital in Wyoming where I’m from.  I was fortunate enough to have continued employment even though I moved.

And yet.  I’m a talker.  Some might say I would talk to a wall if it would answer back.  I would say that I’d probably talk to a wall even if it DIDN’T answer back.  Talking to my dogs during the day in a Californian city I wasn’t very familiar with wasn’t cutting it for me anymore.  So, I went on a long and tedious journey of finding me a part-time job that would allow me to get in front of human beings.  And by long and tedious, I mean that I drove down the street on a 45-second car ride to a local restaurant, Boudin SF, who’s “Hiring” sign peaked my interest.  (They had people AND fresh baked bread….how could I go wrong?!)

This job is what I call my “hobby job.”  I don’t need it financially, but I need it mentally and emotionally.  I love it!  I have the most amazing co-workers and management team.  Work is fun to go to.  I get excited when I see a regular guest walk in the door and can greet them by name to ask how their day is!

One of my favorite things to do while I’m working is singing.  I will literally sing the menu while I’m pouring out soup with our guests watching!  “Claaaaam chowder is where it’s at!  Giiiivvvveee meeeee the bread bowl to eat it wiiiith! Don’t forget the butter!”  I’ll also sing to the cooks through the large open concept kitchen window while they’re preparing the food.  Here are some of my better creations…

Kevin, your ‘maters are cut great!
The turkey avocado will be perfect for their date!”

And, “I think, Kate, that the grilled cheese,
Should come with havarti, pretty please.

This usually ends with Kevin offering to pay me to stop singing.  Of course I don’t!

Erin, get to the point, you might be thinking.  One of the things my co-workers always say about me, is that I’m happy.  Every day is a “fabulous” day, and I’m always smiling.

I hope this doesn’t sound boastful.  It isn’t meant to sound like I’m praising myself.  I have a choice to walk through the doors and be excited for what’s coming or dreading the potential disasters I may face.  I have to pray every morning that I have a positive attitude and my light from Jesus will shine through me and impact others around me.

It doesn’t work every time, either.  I’m still human.  I still get irritated or frustrated when it gets busy and I’m pulled in four directions.  When that happens, I take a quick second to regroup, silently pray for Him to redirect my thoughts, then take a deep breath and start over!

My encouragement to you, today, is that whether your job is a click-click-tab job or a “how can I help you” job, the light of Jesus will live and shine out of you.  Pray for ways to shine that light on others.  Maybe, just maybe, what they need is a little song.

~Erin