Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sing Out With Vigor and Vim

What is "vim" anyway? I suppose I could google it, but everyone is sleeping peacefully at my house right now, so I better not waste any more time. Let's just get down to the issue.

And the issue is music. Don't you just love music? I'm a little obsessed with it. I love music of almost all kinds. Music just has such an effect on my state of being. I added some of my favorite uplifting songs to the sidebar when I first started this blog. It's hard to fully describe the effect music has on me because it's deeper than words. I think music has a way of connecting with our souls and it's in a way that is more profound than any words can convey.

So, let me share an example.

About 6 weeks after Little M was born, I began a rapid decent down to rock bottom. Things got really really bad and I became very angry. With everyone. EVERYONE. There wasn't really a reason for me to be mad at anyone, but rational thinking doesn't reside well with depression. I even became very angry with God. I was just completely miserable.

This lasted for months. I tried different things to try and rise above it, but it never lasted long. Even if I broke free a little, it wasn't long before I was back to the bottom. And I pretty much gave up on ever getting out of there. The anger started to be replaced with numbness, but that really wasn't any better. I tried to fake it around others, but I really couldn't keep up that pretense at home with those that matter most. But I thought I was doomed to stay in that awful place forever.

Then I went to visit my little sister while she was home visiting my parents. My mom was working with the young women ages 12-18 at church at that time, so I usually went to her class when I joined them for church. But my sister encouraged me to join her in the class held for women (Relief Society). So, I went.

For our opening hymn we sang "More Holiness Give Me" (click here and search its title if you would like to hear it). I've been singing that song for as long as I can read. But it never touched me the way it did that day. And for some reason, that hymn touched me that day when nothing else had been able to reach me for so long. It was exactly what I needed to hear that day. To remind me of the faith I had, of God's love for me, of His plan for me, and of the need to let God and not my pride rule my life. I want to share the words with you.

More Holiness Give Me (LDS Hymn book #131)

More holiness give me
More strivings within
More patience in suff'ring
More sorrow for sin
More faith in my Savior
More sense of His care
More joy in His service
More purpose in prayer

More gratitude give me
More trust in the Lord
More pride in his glory
More hope in his word
More tears for his sorrows
More pain at his grief
More meekness in trial
More praise for relief

More purity give me
More strength to o'er come
More freedom from earthstains
More longing for home
More fit for the kingdom
More used would I be
More blessed and holy
More, Savior, like thee

This song did not fix the things that were broken in my life. But it's message fixed what was broken inside of me. And even though life was still hard, I could handle it. I was able to lose the numbness and the anger and find joy again. It took time, but singing this hymn with my sister that day was the definite turning point. I don't know if I ever thanked you for that, Little Sister, so "thanks".

And that is just one of many times in my life when a song has helped me to access the joy in my life. Sometimes songs come as answers to my prayers. Sometimes songs help me cope with hard times. And sometimes a great song on an already great day just makes the day that much better.

Do any of you feel the same way? What are some of your favorite songs?

Thanks for your kind words and support last week. To those who have called or emailed, I promise I will get back to you. We're just kind of really busy right now! But it means a lot. Thank you!


Ketchesons said...

I believe music moves my soul too. Music is something everyone in our little family of four holds on tight. The girls love music and now they are the ones that bring me back to life. Elena makes me feel like I live in a musical!
My favorite hymn is "Oh my father" funny enough your brother taught me that song on one of the hardest days during senior year in High School.As a new convert it made me feel the strength of being a daughter of God.
It is amazing how the lyrics of a song or the melody of it can transform your feelings. There is uplifting, happiness and hope that come through music. I recommend finding the ones that touch your heart, make it a play list and play it when needed :-)

Kristen said...

I love listening to music. Though I can tell a difference in the feelings of uplifting and not so uplifting music.

Becky said...

Music is really important and can definitely change moods, bring comfort and peace, and help us cope better. Just a couple of quick examples:

Years ago we started playing Sunday music in the family room all day Sunday. I didn't think too much of it until last fall when our stereo was zapped by lightning and stopped working. I missed that contribution to our Sabbaths. (Thankfully it was replaced for Christmas and we can enjoy it again.)

I play the piano for Primary, which we have after sacrament meeting. I usually go directly to the Primary room and play prelude, even though I don't expect the kids to really be listening. A couple of weeks ago I needed to talk to a few people and made it just in time for the opening song. I felt the difference not having prelude made when I walked into the room, and received comments from others who noticed as well.

And I love starting the day with "O What a Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma!

Christy said...

I totally agree! I have found that when I'm feeling down even just listening to some peppy tunes makes me want to get up and start moving. And it just helps me to be more peppy about life too! One of my favorites is Who Wouldn't Want To Be Me by Keith Urban. I love it because even though everything's not perfect, he's got a lot to be thankful for and he loves just being him!

Melissa said...

Music definetly effects my mood. When I am cleaning I put on peppy music, when I am depressed, just about anything lifts me up, when I am in a good mood sometimes I will sing along even though I have a horrible singing voice.
Music really is a gift from Heavenly all of us!

Amy said...

Well, I too love music. And I've noticed it's power to both uplift and depress. I've learned that I need to only have uplifting music on in my home, that my kids tap into the mood of the music even when I think their not listening. By uplifting, I just mean songs with positive messages, that aren't all sad and depressed (which cuts out a lot of country music choices for me). It's really made a difference in my life to have only music with positive messages playing in our home.

Cheryl said...

Yeah, I think my feelings about a good song are pretty universal.

Two new comments have been posted on "When Life Gives You Lemons".