First of all, I wasn’t able to upload just the music to these songs, so I had to link them to YouTube videos. Most of the videos are really cheesy, though I tried really hard to pick ones that were not in any way objectionable. For some of them I’ve just linked back to blog posts with the lyrics…this is because I couldn’t find any videos that I felt comfortable sharing on my blog.
Second of all, yes, the photography is mine.
Third of all, the layout of this assignment may need a little explaining. I chose to describe myself in terms of music rather than literature. The first five songs represent some of my passions, such as music and writing. The last five songs do not necessarily symbolize me so much as express some of my deepest beliefs, struggles and prayers. This is myself in song.
Poem of Your Life ~ Michael Card
I love music. I always have. God expresses His beauty and creativity in many ways, but the joy of melody particularly inspires me to give Him glory. This song by Michael Card uses music as a metaphor for our lives: “life is a song we must sing with our days, a poem with meaning more than words can say.” Perhaps rather than representing me directly, this beautiful piece expresses how my music symbolizes my life in relation to my Savior.
Lord of the Dance ~ Steven Curtis Chapman
Along with my passion for music is my love for Scottish country social dancing. Something in the fluid motion and grace particularly appeals to me, as does the vibrant Celtic music. Yet, as Chapman sings, “we were made for more than rhythm with no reason.” Dancing in itself contains no purpose other than passing pleasure unless I dance to glorify God. Whether I eat, drink, dance, sing, play, I must do it to His glory or it has no lasting worth.
Where I Come From * ~ Alan Jackson
I may live in a town in California, but I’m a country girl at heart – cornbread, fried chicken, cowboy boots and all! Even though we’ve only visited Texas once, I almost feel like that is “where I come from…” We have family in Texas. I’m sure that counts.
The Color Green ~ Rich Mullins
Perhaps because of my early memories of camping, hiking and backpacking, I always feel so free yet so awed in the outdoors. The sky particularly reminds me of my insignificance compared with God’s might. It is truly as though all of nature serves as the most beautiful cathedral ever built!
Give Me Words to Speak ~ Aaron Shust
Writing has always been one of my favorite outlets for creativity. I can remember scribbling down scraps of poetry from a very young age and I still love searching for the perfect words to express my thoughts and emotions. This song expresses my feelings about the art of writing – because I can’t think of anything worth saying on my own.
Wedding Dress ~ Derek Webb
Disclaimer/explanation: I debated as to whether I should include this song in my list because it contains two words which are often used wrongly, and are thus considered “bad” words. Here they are used in context, and I feel that they add to the power of the other words. Not wanting to cause offense to any of my readers, however, I will only include the lyrics and replace those words with others in brackets.
One of my favorite images in Scripture is that of the wedding of Christ and His bride, the Church. Derek Webb’s song Wedding Dress illustrates this metaphor beautifully by describing Christ as the wedding dress that we put on before running down the aisle to meet Him. The snowy whiteness of a bride’s wedding gown symbolizes her virginity when she marries. I, a sinner, have no purity to represent, but He covers my scarlet letter like a white wedding dress, making me worthy before Him. I find this symbolism particularly poignant because both my first and middle names mean pure, yet I know how far from that I am apart from Him.
Give it All Away ~ Aaron Shust
I’ll be frank – I struggle with clinging to my hopes and plans too tightly. I want to hold the reins, to control the situations of life. Surrender doesn’t come naturally to me. By His grace I continue to grow in this area as I learn to submit everything to Him. A long, slow process, but both an amazing and exhilarating experience.
How Many Times ~ Third Day
I often wonder how many times I can learn the same lesson and still not know it. Every time I think, “Ok, God, I got it now. We can move on,” and every time I’m reminded of how frail my flesh remains. Sometimes I cannot even see past my own pain. Praise God that at these times He takes my life from me, even when I cannot give it away to Him.
Blessed Be Your Name ~ Matt Redman
A few years ago my family got in a car crash – a nearly head-on collision which almost totaled our Suburban. While there were no serious injuries except for my mom’s whiplash, this time was very difficult for our family. Looking back, I can see God’s grace working in amazing ways during that incident and its aftermath. This song always reminds me to praise Him even during trials, knowing that His plan is greater than anything we can imagine. Though I cannot always see His hand, He holds all things. Meanwhile, I can say, “Blessed be Your name.”
Be Thou My Vision ~ Performed by Michael Card
Quite simply, this song is my heart’s cry. I feel that it aptly sums up all that I wish to express: I am nothing. He is everything. Period.
*The theology of this song isn’t great (“workin’ hard to git to heaven”). I believe that nothing we can do will get us to heaven other than God-given faith in what He has done.