I can’t believe it’s already mid-January! Time is going faster than I realize. I was hoping to have this posted (with a couple more posts) before the New Year – but such is life with little ones, holidays and traveling. So – here it is a bit late… reflections on the past year through the lens of music for our family.
I love music… especially music that lends to deep thought or special moments and memories. I believe music is very powerful. I could go on forever about how much I love music – but I won’t do that. I’ll spare everyone my analysis of and love for music.
But something I wish I had done every year up to this point was make a list of the music of our year (as a family). A little soundtrack, if you will, for our lives. I can think back to previous years and recall what albums/artists were significant for me or us as a family. Thinking of the music that was important to us reminds me of all the deeper movements of our lives and hearts. It instantly takes me back to something we were going through, a significant conversation, or a special memory.
So, without going into too much detail of those deeper moments and movements of our family for the past year – I thought it would be much more fun to list out the significant sounds that lent to those times. While it would be tedious for me to remember every song that was important, I would like to at least recall some of the artists that capture memories, moments and/or emotions for our little family this past year.
And I haven’t been able to share this tid-bit about Braddock yet – but he loves music just as much as we do. He can pick out and repeat just about every word to any song (something I can not do). And within a few seconds of hearing The Lumineers, Jose Gonzalez, MGMT, David Crowder, Mumford, Johnny Cash or Andrew Peterson – he can name the artist… and sometimes the song.
Starting off the year was this lovely little song Braddock spotted on Pandora: ‘Flowers in Your Hair’. He began repeating the lyrics one day early 2013 that caused me to notice this wonderful band…
The Lumineers – I can’t count how many times Braddock and I watched this live set video… we had so many free spirited moments dancing, playing drums and tambourines, stomping our feet and singing as loud as we possibly could. Just play the video and see if you can resist stomping your feet and belting the lyrics. This kind of music always brings back so many memories of my mom and my childhood. I love it.
Jose Gonzalez (specifically Veneer and In Our Nature albums) – Oh the peaceful sounds of Jose – I love his voice, his lyrics and the way he plays guitar. For our home, it instantly produces a relaxing and reflective mood (perfect for snowy days or evenings by the fire). So naturally, these were the sounds of our snowy spring and later, our summer nights by the fire-pit.
We had a beautifully snowy spring. It snowed weekly up until May. Jose (and Andrew Peterson) will always remind me of the slow steady fall of the snow outside with such peaceful days inside. Favorite songs: they’re all great but to narrow it down… Hints; Deadweight on Veveteen; Teardrop; Down the line; How Low; Heartbeats
Trevor Hall, Mumford and Sons, John Butler (along with the above artists and a few others) – these were the sounds of our summer evenings by the fire-pit in the backyard… so many conversations about family, life, work, adoption, old testament readings and our small lives amidst God’s grand story…
Andrew Peterson – Specifically this album: Light for the Lost Boy. In one word this album reminds me of: Braddock. This was Braddock’s birthday gift from us. There’s more to say about this album but instead of going on and on, I’ll leave it with this memory: Braddock’s 3rd birthday celebration in our backyard with dear friends. This album (along with some of B’s favorite Jose and Lumineers’ songs) was the playlist for the evening.
There is, of course, so many more artists and songs – like Johnny Cash, Wagon Wheel and Simple Man (for Braddock); Olafur Arnalds and Ludovico Einaudi (for me); Miana & Me and You’re the Best Song (for Mianna); and these absolutely beautiful truth-soaked worship songs: The Glory Of It All and All Is For Your Glory.
I could share something about each, but for sake of time, I’ll cut it short and end with the greatest artist/album of the year for our family…
David Crowder – The sounds of our fall and winter. I love almost all of Crowder’s music – but lately this album (supposedly their final) has been playing constantly in our home for the past several months. This album is usually on repeat during the day because of the spontaneous worship it inspires. Crowder’s name is linked with praising God in our home because that’s what happens when we listen to his music. That’s why this conversation was so sweet to me.
Braddock knows most of the songs. I will find him singing the songs to himself. This song (Oh my God) used to be a necessity for starting our day.
Another reason I am loving this album is because of the bluegrass influence on some songs (I’m a sucker for anything with a banjo) and old hymns like these… Because He Lives; I am a Seed; Jesus, Lead me to Your Healing Waters; ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus and *Leaning on the Everlasting Arms (sung at my mother’s funeral).
These old hymns and folk-style worship have such deep roots for me. Oh how they remind me soo much of the stark contrast of my childhood…. singing with my grandmother, papaw and sister in a tiny old Baptist church while earlier in the weekend listening to my uncle and mom with whiskey and cigarette in hand sing some of the same songs amongst their friends. I can’t help but be reminded of Jesus’ parable…
And yet one more reason I am loving this album is because of the way God uses it to uplift my soul. From time to time I can struggle with what seems to be bouts of depression. But Crowder reminded me of what I once read in a beloved book – that the key to defeating Satan is praise.
I’ll share one more song we fell in love with – the first song off the album we found (actually early in 2013 or late 2012):
It has been a wonderful way to end the year – with such beautiful truth and praise ringing in our hearts.