All grandmas love to tell stories of their grandkids, and I'm no exception. And so I do have a number of my blogs tagged as grandson stories. (But now I do need to broaden the category to "grandchildren" because of our darling Claire Elizabeth.) But I have always had a rule for myself: I only share on A Branch in the Vine what God teaches me through their little lives. And so this post is no exception.
We are spending a lovely week at our daughter & son-in-law's new home. Of course, we have been excited to see their new house and neighborhood, to experience their little suburban mid-western town, to worship at their new church, to visit the kids' schools, and to enjoy band and football practices and game. But if you are a grandparent (or even a parent), you know we are mainly here to love on our babies and enjoy the realities of their everyday lives.
One of these precious "babies" is our William. William is our bouncy, amazingly verbal, just turned two-year-old little comedian. He hits the ground running in the morning and keeps it going till dropping into bed at night (except for a decent nap in the afternoon, thank God, for mama especially).
Well, remember I said that part of what I love is experiencing the reality of everyday life with our loved ones who have always lived far away (military family)? Well, this morning as I was barely awake in the guest area, I heard sweet little singing coming down the stairs into our room. It was William singing and singing. No one else was up in the household ... just our little William, greeting the day with song. Apparently, he does this most mornings, and his repertoire includes "Mr. Golden Sun," "You are My Sunshine," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," with a smattering of "Tomorrow" and other songs added in. (My bubble was recently burst when he woke up singing the "John Cena Wrestling song" Oh well!)
According to his dad, this is William's favorite video of one of the songs:
Isn't that CUTE! Such a delight, a joy, bringing a smile, a little laugh, and even a tear.
It made me wonder about how I greet my day: now often in prayer as the Holy Spirit grabs hold of my mind and heart (see The Stabilizing Focus of a Morning Prayer). But I thought how cool it would be to greet my day in song, at least a song in my heart. How deserving of God to receive my joyful, praise-filled gratitude along with my loving surrender. Actually, what a winning combination that would be -- real worship!
So I decided to go to the Bible's songbook and see what I could "beg, borrow, or steal" from the inspired singers of the faith. And Psalms 100 and 103 are what I gravitated toward. Notice how the psalmist exhorts his soul as well as all the earth (including "Mr. Golden Sun") to shout with joy and bless the Lord in worship.
So first a familiar song of worship based on Psalm 103 and then Psalm 100 in text and song. Why not sing them along with me ... and Mr Golden Sun ... really, any time of the day!
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7 He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!
19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.
20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
everything in all his kingdom.
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.