We usually publish Rachel Jones on Wednesday, but we’re mixing it up this week to make room for a series. Fall can be hectic for families. Real people have real struggles honoring the commandment to rest. This Thursday, Friday and Saturday we’ll hear from three different authors (two new to us!) reflecting on God’s call for sabbath time. – Ed.
Last week was kind of crazy. Again. I feel like lately every time I’ve sat down to write to you, there’s been some mess or nightmare or hurricane or earthquake or meanness to try and talk about. I want you to know I’m praying for you, you precious parents and caregivers and grandparents and godparents.
You have a beautiful, life-giving job to do raising your small people. It’s also a really hard job, and the world compounds the difficulty when the hits just keep on coming. I think about you every day, and ask God’s blessings on your work in raising children. Thank you for saying “yes” to this calling.
While I’ve been reading through your love letters to our friends who are recovering from storms and earthquakes and wildfires, I’ve been struck by how you’ve responded to our friends and the call for love letters. You guys—we’ve got literally thousands of notecards to send to folks in need of encouragement. YOU DID THIS. And it is beautiful. If I could bake you cupcakes and give you hugs, I would do it. You’ve made me smile and cry and thank God for the goodness and love you’ve shown to so many people.
I want to invite you to do one more thing—something for the people you live with and around. I want you and your people to make a play-list together. Use whatever music service you like—you can even go old-school and pull out your cd’s and records.
Sit with your people and talk about the music you like, the songs you listen to in the car, or listened to when you were falling in love or delivering babies or newspapers or whatever. Pick out ten songs that bind you together—songs you can sing along with at the top of your lungs, songs that remind you of happy times and sunshine and laughter and the good things you and your people do together.
On days when you feel cranky, when the clouds make it hard to remember that the sun is still shining, when things feel prickly and gross, take your playlist out and run through your songs. Sing along, and you’ll feel God giving your heart a squeeze, speaking words of peace into your heart, and a smile sneaking into the corners of your mouth.
God is growing something inside of us, day by day, and music is one of the ways God waters and feeds that new, beautiful thing.
Here’s one of the songs on my list, a cover of one of my favorite artists by one of my other favorite artists:
What song keeps you grounded in challenging times?