I love when I get a glimpse of the tapestry God weaves through different life experiences with different people we encounter. Once I believed in coincidence, but the longer I live, I can’t deny seeing God links circumstances and people together like a Lego creation (oh wait…auto-correct..My son often reminds me that create is a word reserved for God…only He creates, we make).
Recently I had the opportunity to sing in a praise band setting with my sister who often leads worship with a team at her church. Three of my daughters and I were blessed to be part of an awesome group during a Praise BBQ she and her husband hosted. I loved being part of it, and especially singing again with my sister. We were able to blend our voices as we sang My adult daughter told me that at times when we were singing together, that me and my sister sounded like the same voice. What a great compliment that was. I’ve admired her for years in different areas and it was a treat to be back singing together.
While we practiced wih passion and intentionality, we also were able to joke, laugh and enjoy eachother. The day of the BBQ was as amazing as I expected it to be. But there was a suprise for me – a lesson God put together. He wove together what I learned from a book I recently read, called Kingdom Woman, with the words of a very unassuming beautiful young woman. As a wife of 22 years and mother for 21 years, my passion is to help strengthen families and see that girls have a good example of a Godly marriage. That said, I still need lessons and reminders on how to be the best Tracy I can be. Saturday, my lesson came from the sweet words of a mother of a preschool aged boy. She came to the BBQ prepared to sing a few worship songs while playing keyboard. She is blessed wih a pure voice that allowed me to lose myself in worship while listening. As she introduced one of her songs, she invited her young boy to come up and sing with her. Though I am paraphrasing, she made comment that she loves that he wants to sing with her and she wanted him involved. Further, she said, ‘What better way (for her or anyone) to ensure that our kids stay in church as they grow up.” I was moved by her sweet words, but also hit with conviction.
You see, I had my 6 year old sing with us. At one practice, we gave her a microphone to sing along, too. My motive was to appease her so I could focus on my own learning of a song; it was not on allowing her to worship. I confess that I even told my sister to turn her microphone down. Why? Partly so she woud not just talk loud and distract the musicians. But it was also so she didn’t derail me. My confidence was shaky and I wanted to do good in the eyes of those at the practice. My eyes were on me. Let that sink in. I lost sight of why we were singing in the first place. I lost that opportunity to encourage and lead my daughter. Yet, at the time, I did not even realize anything was lost.
The day of the BBQ, my 6 year old sang “No Longer Slaves,” with us, and I knelt down so she could reach and use my microphone. I’d told her she could sing that one with us ahead of time. Later, after hearing the words of the young mom, our group had a second set. I fought my fear – ironic since the song is about not being a slave to fear – of what others may think of my singing, or of having a kid run up and sing with us and I put my focus where it needed to be this time – on my family and my God. During “Break Every Chain” I got to sing with my sister, while standing beween my gifted adult songbird daughter and my pre-teen daughter whose voice is maturing and passionate, while I was bending down to my 6 year old to share a microphone aimed at her voice, not mine. At that moment the notes sang and the opinions of those watching did not matter nearly as much as the joy I had singing about the power of Jesus’ name alongside my kids. Afterall, THAT is what motherhood is all about.
My mothering goal is to raise my children to be successful adults who can not only survive but thrive in this world. Even more, I want them to love God and serve him. To do that takes intentional effort and my lessons need come not only in words, but mostly in my actions. Am I seeking man’s approval or God’s approval? Do I sing to please man or to please the awesome God who gave me a voice? I’ll leave you with these lyrics from “No Longer Slaves” – “…you rescued me so I could stand and SING, I am a child of God”.