Friday, April 10, 2015

Making Music in Our Hearts

Speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, 
singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord.
—Ephesians 5:19 NCV

In my family, we sing.

No, not professionally--though the Haney clan does sing in church choirs and praise team, and my brother-in-law often leads worship from his guitar.

We just burst into random song throughout our days. It’s one of those weird things my family does. Growing up, I’d sing silly songs with Grannie while we fixed dinner (“Oh, I had a little chicken and he wouldn’t lay an egg…”) I’d sing the shaped notes in the faded red hymnal with Papa at his Men’s Bible Class (“Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight, flooding my soul with glory divine!”)

My mom would wake us for school with an excruciatingly cheerful “Good morning, good morning, good morning; it’s time to rise and shine!” (Or, worse, a muffle-the-clapping-with-your-pillow rendition of “Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!”)

We sang hymns and church songs and pop songs and I-can’t-remember-all-the-words-but-I-love-this-song-anyway songs. We picked out our favorite tunes on the piano. We sang while we set the table or cleaned house. While we got ready in the mornings. In the car.

Sometimes we’d hum. Or whistle. But mostly, we’d sing.

I didn’t think much of it. My parents always had a song in their hearts, and so did we. It was just who we were. 


In the whirlwind of marriage and ministry and raising babies, I lost a lot of myself… and I lost a lot of my songs. I did rock my babies to sleep while singing favorite hymns. (I was determined my kids would know hymns!) And I taught them a few of the songs of my youth. 

But for years, as my life submerged in the relentless stress of church planting and childrearing and breadwinning, without realizing it, I stopped singing.

Those years are far behind me now. Our house is once again filled with music. Our TV is almost always on Pandora. I regularly play from the Baptist hymnal on our piano. On any given day you can walk in to hear my little guy belting out opera-style songs in the shower, J.J. upstairs singing pop tunes while curling her hair, and Miss B practicing a worship song for praise team. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been editing in my study and suddenly realize there are three different songs going on simultaneously in our home. It makes me smile (and then put in my ear buds).

My favorites are the belly-laughs when when we realize one of the kids is singing the wrong words. (Sometimes I like their versions better: such as “like a ninja ready to explode” instead of “like an engine ready to explode”!)

But all the time, we sing.

Just last week, at our family's Easter gathering, we laughed-till-we-cried during lunch while recalling some silly songs, then that afternoon the kids variously played piano, clarinet, and flute while we hung out.

There is always a song or melody somewhere in a Haney house.


Which is why I was FLABBERGASTED at this conversation the other day…

We were out running errands. While chatting in the car Miss B said something that reminded me of a praise song, so I chimed in with “Ho-ho-ho hosanna, ha-ha-ha-lelujah, he-he-he He saved me, and I’ve got the joy of the Lord!”

The kids looked at me like I had grown another head.

“What? You don’t know that song?” I asked, incredulous.

Three heads slowly shaking no.

“Wait! What about this one?” I started singing all the kids’ Bible songs I could remember: Deep and Wide, The B-I-B-L-E, Do Lord, Rejoice in the Lord Always (again I say rejoice), Father Abraham, Praise Him All Ye Little Children, Give Me Oil in My Lamp, I Will Call upon the Lord, Zacchaeus, I’ve Got Peace Like a River (etc.)

My kids only knew about half of those. YIKES! I forgot my kids grew up in church plants, so they didn't learn the songs of my Sunday school upbringing. And for so many years when they were little, I had stopped singing around the house.

So now I’m on a mission: I’m going to teach my kiddos all the Bible songs I grew up with. After all, I don’t want to be the last generation on earth singing, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!”

What about you? 
What are the songs in your heart today? 
What songs do you want to pass down to your children?