Thursday, January 29, 2009

There's Within My Heart A Melody!

It's Wednesday night (okay, technically it's the wee-hours of Thursday morning...but to me it's Wednesday night --until daylight on Thursday). Bex and I got home from choir practice a bit after 9 pm tonight. Choir? Yes, choir. (More about that later.) When we got home, I changed clothes, ate the last bowl of homemade soup, chatted a few minutes with Mr. Fix-It, fussed at Bex to get off the computer and go to bed, then went to bed myself.

Not sure what woke me up, it must have been the rain. Or it could have been dumb Boomer barking at the wind blowing. Nevertheless, I'm awake now because this crazy blog post was floating around in my head and I couldn't go back to sleep. So, I figured I'd just as well get up and type it out so that I could go back to sleep.

As I was laying there, I realized "church" is not something I've really talked about here. Sure, I've given my testimony, mentioned a connection with Women's Ministry, but I haven't said much about our church. I started to put "the church we attend"...but then I realized its not JUST the church we attend...its OUR church! We're a part of it, however small. We're a part of all the people in our church. They're our family...even the weird ones...and they KNOW who they are! (Just kidding. They probably don't know who they are! LOL!)

Anywho (that's for Kelley), since the purpose of my meanderings on this blog is for my future grandchildren's history lesson, I thought I should tell you a little about our church and some of our activities there because it is a big part of our life. Being mindful of the fact that a few folks (like Ms. Naggy) from our church occasionally drop by The Pine, I still want to be a bit transparent and hope it doesn't come back and bite me somewhere in the nether regions.

We've been members of our church since 2000. It's the biggest church I've ever been a member of. In size, it's probably in the top 10 of all churches here in Tallytown. We didn't set out to join a big church. Being a small town girl who grew up in a small church --in a Youth group of 2-- BIG, wasn't really on my radar. I'll leave out the essay about how we came about joining this wonderful fellowship of believers (Careful, I can hear the Hallelujahs!), but there is no doubt in my mind that God put us where we are for His purposes.

We have three services each Sunday morning and two full Sunday Schools. "Our" service is the earliest at 8:15 AM. I know you're rolling your eyes thinking there is absolutely no way on earth that Meggy-girl is in church barely after sunrise each Lord's Day, but I promise...it IS THE TRUTH! Blame it on Mr. Fix-It and him being an old man who likes to get up early in the morning even though his wife and daughter are NOT morning people.

All of this to tell you about the choir. Since long before we joined, our church has been known for its fabulous music program. This was an important part of what drew us to the church in the first place. The tradition has continued and our choir is fantastic! Our church is so blessed with amazingly talented musicians and vocalists.

I love to sing. After my dad got saved when I was about 8, he was quite zealous. So we had a little family group that sang in church. My mom would play the piano and Dad, me and my three brothers would sing. I'll never forget:

Life is like a mountain railway,
With an engineer that's brave;
We must make the run successful,
From the cradle to the grave;
Watch the curves, the fills, the tunnels;
Never falter, never quail;
Keep your hands upon the throttle,
And your eyes upon the rail.

The "group" didn't last long, because my mom didn't like to play the piano in public. Later, when we moved to Bronson, my grandmother was the choir director at our tiny church and nobody could sing bad enough not to be enlisted in the choir! Singing was a HUGE part of my teen years in high school; I sang as a choir member or soloist at 4-H events, churches, and civic events. I actually sang a song as part of my Valedictory address at my high school graduation. Believe it, I have it on video!!!

Before Bex was born, I sang to her. When she was tiny, tiny, the only thing that would soothe her croupy crying was singing "Jesus Loves Me." When I get to Heaven, I'm planning to ask God how many verses I've sung of that song, surely its close to a million...most of it within three months with terribly loooooonnnnnng nights! When Bex was a toddler we sang ALLLLLLLL the time, I (and she) loved it.

Even now, we sing all the time. But since I'm only a passable singer, over the past 10 years or so, I haven't been part of the choir or any organized group for a variety of reasons. I did sing in the choir for a few months after joining our church, but God made it pretty clear to me that this wasn't His plan for me.

I know you're asking why that is... I'm not sure why, probably because my heart wasn't right...or I needed instruction elsewhere...I'll get a clear answer on that one day, too, but for now, I'm content to know that He wanted my heart in Women's Ministry,which is where I've served for quite some time. But now, He's released me back to the choir for a time along WITH my work in WM.

Our Minister of Music, Jason, is a young, whipper-snapper kid from Daytona Beach. He's not even 30, for goodness sake!!! (He's also an anonymous blog stalker that stops by The Pine on occasion, but never leaves a comment, so I have to tread carefully here....) When our search committee first met and interviewed him, their glowing report back to the church was that he was very, very young...BUT! Well, I'm happy to say there's an immeasurable bunch of love for the Lord and love of music contained in that BUT. We are so blessed to have him lead us in worship each Sunday and Wednesday.

Now back to choir. Jason has been bugging me and Bex to sing with the choir for over a year (they'll take anybody! LOL!!). Even though his sweet wife thinks nobody can say "No" to him, I did! I said no for over a year and I had good reasons...I'm a Sunday School teacher and a WM leader, a homeschool mom, a volleyball team mom and Mr. Fix-It's secretary and bookkeeper. Oh, wait! I'm also supposed to be a WIFE!!! somewhere in there, too! Mr. Fix-It has only so much patience with my extra-curricular activities. But this year, with all the changes in our lives and Bex in college, God seemed to call me back to music ministry. In Henry Blackaby's book, Experiencing God, he says that God speaks to us through prayer, His Word AND other people. Of course, having 10 people every Sunday morning harass me about joining the choir had absolutely NOTHING to do with it! So, after talking it over with Mr. Fix-It, Bex and I joined the choir at the beginning of January so we could sing with the choir at 8:15.

It's been a great experience so far. Even though Jason is just a kid (sorry, Jason...its true!) he still picks a wonderful variety of great music for us to sing (with the exception of a few we won't talk about here...can you say Handel?). He also does a terrific job of running choir practice. He keeps things moving and orderly so you don't feel like you're wasting your time sitting there while Miss Suzie (made up name...) chatters away. He also keeps things fun. His enthusiasm is quite contagious! Now, as we work on Easter music, Jason always shares the scripture behind the words...makes it even more meaningful as we sing.

Our choir special last Sunday was "Bow The Knee," one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. God sent a fabulous soloist from Atlanta to us to make it even more wonderful! It was such a joy to be a part of the presentation.

Bex is really enjoying it, too! She got a great start in her elementary years singing several years with the WaterOak Children's Ensemble. The director for WaterOak was very good at training children's voices and teaching them proper enunciation and breathing. She has a much more beautiful voice than her mom, so it makes my heart sing when I listen to her.

With my homeschooling days pretty much behind me, I'm thankful God has given us a chance to share our love of singing together. So, look out! Here comes another season of my life...

Stay tuned.


6 Click here to Comment!:

Laura said...

That sounds so fun! I really enjoyed singing in choir growing up and I love to sing. So glad you were encouraged to join the crowd singing to the Lord.

allhisblessings said...

I LOoOove to siIIing!! And I do love it when the choir sings at our church too. It always blesses me. So, YOU are blessing others with your gift :)

.jason_pamblanco. said...

Oh, I still stop by "the Pine" and I appreciate your very kind words about "the kid..." haha! You and Becky are a blessing, and I'm so glad you followed the LORD'S prompting to join choir and not mine. In his time! :) Have a great weekend, see you Sunday! Oh, and I KNOW the choir can handel the harder songs! Get it, HANDEL? I know, groan. Seeya

Debbie at Cheaper By the Bakers Dozen said...

Your post was almost as long some of mine! That's what you get for writing in the middle of the night when you don't have any reason to hurry!

I would love to hear you sing sometime :)

And You Betcha....I do want to know about the polka dot pillow!!!!!

Mama Weso said...

As I was reading this post I thought to myself, "This is one of the longest blog posts I've EVER read!" But I must say it kept my attention and it almost makes me want to visit your rather large church, if for no other reason than to see the young minister of music direct you and Becky singing! I've heard you before and you have a beautiful voice. I'd be happy if I could keep a tune.

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