Sunday, August 13, 2017

what music means to me

Last Christmas I got bluetooth headphones for the first time. Haha, WOW. Who invented those? My phone can be on the opposite side of the room, and my little earphone thingamahjigs are still playing music. Genius. Most of my time spent at home I’m walking around with one earphone in and one earphone out. It drives my parents crazy when I have them both in and can’t hear a word anyone is saying. but sometimes I forget and I’m walking around with them both in annnnd . . .  haha. whoops.

Spotify is also genius. I have so much fun with my playlists. The friend feed is another fantastic part of that, because it’s so enjoyable to stalk check out what my friends are listening to. I can follow my favorite artists, get emails whenever new music is released, listen to my friends’ playlists . . . it’s great.

Music is amazing, guys. It means so much to me. I truly believe that it’s a gift from God, and I’m so so thankful for it. Music is one of the most impacting ways he speaks and reaches out to me. There’s some songs that hit me hard, out of nowhere, and I have to slow down for a minute and just think “whoa.” There are songs that cheer me up during a rough day. There are songs that remind me of how I’m never alone, songs that remind me of God’s presence and his incredible love for me. There are songs that motivate me when I’m exhausted. Songs that flood me with memories, make me take a step back as my mind scrolls through faces, places, moments, special times from so long ago I had almost forgotten about them. There are songs that make me smile. Songs that inspire me. Songs that make me really think. Songs that make me dance and sing along. just cuz I can’t sing definitely doesn’t mean I won’t sing (or dance, hahaha)

I’m guessing you can tell by now that I’m a big fan of meaningful music. I love music, but I’m picky about what I listen to. I believe that the message of a song is important. Music is extremely influential. Please, please be careful with what you listen to. Listen to music that glorifies God more than anything else, because that’s what matters the most. If music is a gift, shouldn’t we be giving him the credit for it? Worship music always impacts me the most, when I’m really listening. 

However, one thing I’ve learned is that music can be an idol. *GASP* I know, shocking. But truthfully? Anything can be an idol. A person, a hobby, an object, an idea, literally anything. Even a wonderfully good thing, like music. Sometimes I have to ask myself if maybe I should turn off the music and spend quality time in silence with God. I’m a very firm believer that worshipping God through music is important, and often he really speaks to me through music, but he also speaks in silence. When I’ve cleared my mind. When I’ve shut off everything. When I’m alone and it’s just me and him. When I take a moment to really breathe, because I have a huge problem with not doing that too often — just going and going and going and going and not spending time with my God. I need that time because it's my recharge time. And when I don’t get a recharge? Ha. Haha. Not good. I’ll pour out everything I have until I find myself empty and drained, literally dead inside, because I’m not spending that recharge time with God. Think about that, guys. Do you ever take some time to really slow down, clear your mind, and just talk to him? Open your bible? Really listen to him, in a completely silent environment? You CANNOT keep going and going and going without getting a recharge, because I promise you that you will eventually find yourself completely falling apart. No matter what you tell yourself, you are human. Even Jesus had to set aside time alone to speak with God. 

Below is my worship playlist. I love it. Maybe you can tell, because there’s 121 songs on it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It’s a special playlist. I have fallen in love with worship. 

It’s impossible for me to have an all-time favorite artist, but my favorite band is Twenty One Pilots. Their music is real (we need real music) and it’s full of truth. I love to dig deeper into some of their songs, especially because they use a lot of imagery and symbolism and it’s beautiful. It makes me think. Tyler Joseph’s mind is amazing (AND SO IS HIS VOICE AHHH). Check out these lyrics from Addict With a Pen:

   I try desperately to run through the sand 
   As I hold the water in the palm of my hand 
   'Cause it's all that I have and it's all that I need and 
   The waves of the water mean nothing to me 
   But I try my best and all that I can 
   To hold tightly onto what's left in my hand 
   But no matter how, how tightly I will strain 
   The sand will slow me down and the water will drain 
   I'm just being dramatic, in fact, I'm only at it again 
   As an addict with a pen, who's addicted to the wind 
   As it blows me back and forth, mindless, spineless, and pretend 
   Of course I'll be here again, see you tomorrow, but it's the end of today 
   End of my ways as a walking denial 
   My trial was filed as a crazy suicidal head case 
   But you specialize in dying, you hear me screaming "father” 
   And I'm lying here just crying, so wash me with your water

It’s poetry, but it’s put to music. And it’s so meaningful. It makes me think. Kind of points back to how I was talking about needing a recharge. Also, can we talk about Josh Dun for a minute and HIS AWESOME DRUM SKILLZ? And we can talk more about Tyler Joseph and his ukulele skillz and his incredible poetry and his faith and ahhhhhhh okay, I’ll stop before this post gets way too long and you all start faceplanting. if you haven’t already started faceplanting. you probably have. that’s alright. ;) 

Some of my favorite music artists: Hillsong. for KING & COUNTRY. Abandon. NEEDTOBREATHE. NF. Lecrae. Skillet. Crowder. Owl City. Ashes Remain. Tauren Wells. Thousand Foot Krutch. Lauren Daigle. Britt Nicole. Tenth Avenue North. Hollyn. Red. Andy Mineo. WHEW that was a mouthful. Or a typeful? *ponders*

What are your thoughts on this rant of a post? What’s your favorite music to listen to? Favorite artists? Favorite songs? Thanks for reading, my frens. :)
Thursday, August 10, 2017

be the moon

     It’s 11:11pm and you have your face pressed against the window like a child. You’re holding your breath, soaking in the combined silence of your bedroom and beauty of the outdoors. You cling to the stars, and to the aspect of light burning away patches of the night. In the darkness, you shift your gaze down to your hands and whisper to yourself that you’re gonna be a star. That you’re gonna burn away patches of the night. That you’re gonna keep shining, despite the darkness closing in around you.
     It only takes a second for everything to change. Your breath quickens. Anxiety pulses through you, tightens your chest and plagues you to the core with unsettling feelings of discontentment. A voice in your mind begins to read through the list of everything you did wrong today. All the ways you screwed up. All the mistakes you keep making over and over again. With each regret, your heart pounds faster. You stumble away from the window, choking back the negative feelings rising in the back of your throat. Something in you wants to cry, but there are no tears. Only the sinking emptiness in your chest.
    Pacing back and forth, you glance yourself in the mirror and see the panic and confusion in your own eyes. How did you get here? Why do you keep messing up? You fire questions at the person in the mirror, but there are no answers. The trembling begins, uncontrollable shaking that grips your body and sends you crashing to your bed. Curled up in the fetal position beneath the blankets. White-knuckled fists knotted in the sheets. You return your gaze to the window, and you find a star.
    There you are. Yes, even now. Despite your imperfections, despite the fact that you mess up every day, you were created for light. I know how you question yourself, dig within your soul and join the worldwide search for purpose. But don’t you know? Don’t you know that you are a masterpiece of the Creator of the universe? Don’t you know that you were molded in his image, crafted by his hands and carefully designed to be exactly the way you are? Don’t you know of the incredible value and worth and purpose bursting and overflowing from inside of you? Don’t you know of the King who payed your debt? Child, don’t you know of the unfathomable depths of the love poured out for you?
    In the dead of the night, he loves you. When your fire has faded to embers, he loves you. When you’re doubting and confused and internally screaming that you have nothing left, he loves you. He has uncontainable joy at your disposal, peace you can hold inside your heart for when the storms rage.
He loves you.
He loves you.
He loves you.
    Keep your chin up, little dreamer. When you look at the stars, be reminded of the hands that cradle them. Be reminded of what those same hands did for you. Be reminded of all that love you can’t even imagine. 
    You gaze out the window and you find the moon. Your objective changes when you decide to shoot a little higher. Be the moon. Reflect the Son. Keep shining. You’re beautiful. The trembling ceases and your body relaxes. Deep breaths. Peace floods your soul. 
He loves you.