MUSIC | The March Playlist

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hi, friends! Is it just me, or does it seem as though March has flown by? The weather has been up and down, the weeks come and go! Major downer: I don't get a spring break. Major happy thought: it's SPRING, and I don't have to be off school to enjoy it!!! Clinicals are  h a r d.  School is  c r a z y. Life is  b u s y, but GOD IS  G O O D! Summer break is approaching, the fields are turning greener, and this is me on the inside (and sometimes outside, as well) :

 sound of music GIF

Despite the lateness of this post, NEVER FEAR! I have not forgotten about the playlist!!! :)

For your listening pleasure, I present: THE MARCH PLAYLIST

1. Ho Hey by The Lumineers - This song has been around for a while, but I just listened to it for the first time about 6 months ago. I was trying to pick a song for our adoption day video, and I googled "adoption songs" (original, right?). Several people included this song on the list. I loved how they tied the lyrics "So, show me family" and "I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart" to the wonderful never-ending work involved in adoption. I'm pretty positive it wasn't the artists' intent, but it's fun with that view. 

2. Coming Home by Rend Collective - I told you guys that Rend Collective was going to be on every playlist ;)

3. Barking at the Moon by Jenny Lewis - Home and family seem to be underlying themes to the beginning of this month's playlist...This song is my favorite thing about the Disney movie Bolt. And it was meant to be included on last month's playlist, but I here it is :D

4. All My Days by Alexi Murdoch - This song would make a great instrumental to take a nap's just so relaxing! Upon further inspection of the lyrics, I found that they can be viewed in different lights. I'm not sure the artist's intention, but as my King's daughter, they resonated with me as something that could be interpreted as the process of coming to Christ. It takes "all our days" to pursue a relationship with Him, and the "It's you I'm looking for" I view as my Jesus. Have a listen for yourself, and see what you think. 

5. Medhel an Gwyns performed by Elinor Tomlinson - another lullaby-like song! In case you're wondering, "medhel an gwyns" means "soft is the wind" in Cornish. I could probably listen to this on repeat and still think of it as one of the most beautiful melodies ever *sheepish grin*. 

6. Stranded by Sierra Hull - okay, Sierra Hull = mandolin goals for me. Sometimes (who am I kidding, most times) her lyrics are sad and confusing, so I picked one with *minimal* lyrics so that you could just enjoy with me the incredible melodies she produces. I am concerned about turning 22 now, though...hopefully she won't feel stranded for long!!! 

7. What Love Really Means by JJ Heller - an oldie, but a goodie! This gem was performed by an incredibly talented individual several years back, and I heard it again on the radio a few weeks paints such pictures of what lives are like without knowing God's love. 

8. Multiplied by NEEDTOBREATHE - hmm, NEEDTOBREATHE...need I say more? P.S. I love it when they put out truly worshipful songs, like this one. 

9. The Cause of Christ by Kari Jobe - my sweet parents...they continually bless me with good music! A few weeks ago, they gifted me with Kari Jobe's latest album "The Garden" and I. love. it. I can't wait to learn some for worship at church! This song is a great reminder of our calling as His children, and it reminds me to focus on the cause I live for daily. 

10. Power to Redeem by Lauren Daigle - I can't get enough of Lauren's music. God has truly blessed her. We just recently learned this one to sing during Sunday morning worship, and although I *always* mess up on my harmony part (sorry, Poppa!), it is such a joy to sing this reminder about God's powerful redemptive workings!!! 

11. I Have This Hope by Tenth Avenue North - the message this past Sunday reminded me of this song. "Through the flood or the fire, You're with me, and You won't let go." My friends, we have hope in the midst of trials!!! May we never forget!

12. Thrive by Casting Crowns - an upbeat and catchy ending to this month's playlist! I love lyric videos in general, but I *really* like the font used in this one and the tree backgrounds...not to mention the great encouragement to  t h r i v e  :) :) 

So what have you been listening to this month? What has your spring looked like so far? 

PERSONAL | Dear Michael

Monday, March 13, 2017
I'm glad it's your birthday,
Happy birthday to you.

- The Beatles -

Dear Michael,

Once upon a time, 2,922 days ago, you were born.

I wasn't there to hear your first cry. I didn't get to stroke your soft, fuzzy little head and sing you a lullaby.

We didn't pass you around while gasping at the wonder of your tiny frame, nor did we gaze into those gorgeous dark brown eyes and whisper "you are loved" into your precious baby ears. 

I didn't get to (or perhaps, have to?) change any of your diapers *sigh of regret mixed with relief :)*

I didn't get to watch you crawl across the floor and I didn't get to catch you as you toddled into my open arms. 

All the things a big sister longs to do for her newly-born brother, I didn't get a chance to do, except one -- I got to pray for you. I wanted so much for you to exist. Even though I didn't expect you to be born in a hospital several hundred miles away to someone other than our Momma, I longed for you to enter the world. Michael, God answered my prayers and you came into being.

After that, all that was left to do was to pray that God would bring you to us.

474 days ago today, you hopped out of the back seat of a Missouri State-issued car and said "Nice to meet you!" and my heart was thoroughly melted. 

We took you in the house, and your next remark was, "Do you guys have any LEGOS?" and my heart-melting turned into a chuckle. "This kid and I are going to be friends."

We spent the next few weeks getting acquainted, and one day it sunk in that you were here for keeps. 171 days ago, you officially became my brother forever. And I was glad :)

So many times the Lord has used you to bless me. When you color me pictures and write "I love my big sister" on random scraps of paper, I feel all swollen up with joy. A few days ago, you brought me a math worksheet with multiplication on it, and I felt like I was going to bust with pride because you are s-m-a-r-t! I can't help but laugh at your giggling when Barney does something funny on the Andy Griffith Show. And whenever I sit by you during Sunday worship and you ask questions about the sermon, or when you recite your scripture verses for your Bible class, I'm overwhelmed by God's Work in you and I'm thrilled that you're learning about what truly matters. 

You stuck by my side through last year's gardening failure, you say "How was school?" every day as I drag myself back through the doorway, you're my workout buddy, cookie-tester, and movie-pal. You are Michael, and that's just the only way to sum you up justly. 

Are you a perfect young man? Ha, no. Sometimes, my sweet brother, you aggravate me to my core. Sometimes, you seem to know exactly what to say to set off my ticking time bomb. Sometimes, I feel like I do a face-palm every five minutes over something Michael-related.

But, oh, how I love you. 
And so does Jesus.

Being your big sister is one of the greatest things in my life, and I will always cherish you as one of my best friends besides. I regret that I often don't reflect Jesus to you as I should, and I make bucket loads of mistakes every day regarding my attitude towards you. But if there's one thing (or maybe two things?) I hope and pray that you learn from having me as a big sister, is that Jesus saves (the chief of sinners-- she sits with you at the dinner table!) and that the burden of our failings can be abandoned at the foot of the cross, never more to be a part of our identity. 

Little brother, I'm glad you're here.
Buddy, thanks for all you mean to me.
Sweet friend, happy 8th birthday.

Michael Joshua, you are loved. 

For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you will perfect it 
until the day of Jesus Christ. 

- Philippians 1:6 -

The End

MUSIC | The February Playlist

Sunday, February 12, 2017

So I think it's pretty obvious now that consistent blogging is not my strong suit. As much as I'd like to have something up every week (actually, it'd be a miracle for there to be something every month!), I lack inspiration for post ideas and a general enthusiasm for writing ;P 

But hey, I actually came up with an idea and I *think* I'm going to stick to it!! *uncorking cream soda bottles and throwing confetti and shouting 'hallelujah, Izzy has thought of something'*

Would you be interested in knowing what kind of music I've been listening to lately? You would! Good, because that is what I'm going to blog about today!!! What a great idea, right?!  

My new idea is to share with you what kinds of tunes I've been listening to every month! I used to only listen to the same music all the time (wait, who am I kidding...I still do that!) but since I've been commuting to school, I've been able to hear new music all the time on the radio (thanks JoyFM!) and from Pandora and YouTube while working on homework. 

Without further ado, here is THE FEBRUARY PLAYLIST!

1. Geronimo by Sheppard - I had the pleasure of taking a trip to St. Louis with some dear friends this past weekend for a little fellowship and shopping, and this unique song happened to be playing at IKEA. It was so catchy and upbeat, that I've had it in my head ever since then, and I knew it was going to be on the list :) Even if it wasn't the artists' meaning, it reminds me of jumping off the side of my grandparent's pool and yelling "GERONIMO!!!" as a little kid!

2. Brother by NEEDTOBREATHE - this song seems to be everywhere! I first heard it on Pandora, then on NEEDTOBREATHE's album "Live From the Woods at Fontanel" (which was an awesome birthday present from my folks!), then on the radio...I like the sound of it and the message of siblings sticking together through the tough times. 

3. Free as a Bird by Rend Collective - ah, Rend Collective! Their campfire songs are just the greatest, and I have a feeling that they'll be featured every month - they're always on my playlist! Such wonderfully fun and worship-filled fellowship they seem to have; I hope we can one day organize times of worship and comradery like that with our friends :)

4. Ring of Fire by Home Free (Johnny Cash Cover) - okay, so I actually just now realized that I put two Johnny Cash covers back-to-back; but do I regret that? No ;) My brother introduced me to Home Free, because he likes A Capella bands and is an aspiring bass singer (he is actually super duper good, but he mostly just sings at home), and now we all just love this cover :) :) I think Home Free is amazing, but Avi Kaplan's deep voice really makes this song awesome. 

5. Quarter Chicken Dark by Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Stuart Duncan, and Edgar Meyer - when I first bought my mandolin in the summer of 2015, I was desperately searching for some inspiration, and I came across Chris Thile. Then, I saw that he had released an album with some other *amazing* musician-gentlemen titled "The Goat Rodeo Sessions". Um. "Goat Rodeo"? I have goats. I like rodeos. I also like Chris Thile and those other guys. I wonder what that music sounds like? And that, my friends, is when I first heard this song (odd title, I know, but the style is so unique and mesmerizing and *awesome* that it just had to be on the list!)

6. Storyteller by Morgan Harper Nichols - I think any Christian girl who entered her early teen years in the 2011-2013 time frame knows who Jamie Grace is, and subsequently now has "God Girl" stuck in her head (Grace, I'm referencing you now, dear *wink, wink*!), but not very many people have heard of her equally-talented sister, Morgan. I think her voice is just splendid, and this song is just the sweetest thing, and I listen to it nearly every day, so, yeah. :)

7. Count on Me by Bruno Mars - I always associate the name "Bruno Mars" with that annoying bird on Rio 2, so I never listen to his music, but when I was looking for a best-friend song as a gift to Grace last month, (lol, that's the third time I've mentioned her in this post!) I came across this gem, and my little siblings and I have been humming it all this month. It's just such a sweet message, and the counting reminds me of Sesame Street :)

8. Josephine by Joey+Rory - I've been daydreaming about this year's Battle of Pilot Knob Reenactment already (yes, I know it's not until September!), and this song is such a heart-wrenching reminder of all that the soldiers during the Civil War went through. It might be strange to have such a sad song on my shuffle, but I think we all-too-often forget the sacrifices that the men on both sides made for their beliefs, and I appreciate the reminder that this song brings. 

9. Life is Beautiful by The Afters - sometimes when I exercise in the mornings, I watch portions of movies to keep my mind off the pain and exhaustion (you not-in-shape people know what I mean!), and this month I was watching October Baby. That movie is such an eye-opener! People need reminded that life is beautiful and precious. The background score for the film is so lovely, but this end-credit song really drives the message home. 

10. No Longer Slaves by I Am They - this band is just so good about presenting God-glorifying songs to His children, so I never miss out on an opportunity to listen to their music! They cover this Bethel Music classic so well :) :) What a thrilling notion to know that we are no longer slaves to fear because of Christ's redeeming love and grace!!!  

So there you have it folks: the first installment of monthly playlists! 

What kind of music have you been listening to this month?