What are you grateful for?
For years I kept a gratitude list, writing down 3-5 things every day. Sometimes it was hard, but like exercising any muscle, it became easier the more I used it. I don’t write them down anymore, but I do still try to reflect daily on the things – large and small – for which I’m grateful.
One big thing I’m grateful for is music. I could write pages and pages about specific songs and musical encounters and what they have meant to me. Lately, there has been one particular experience that has been on my mind and heart – lullabies – specifically, the gift of lullabies sung by my mom and dad.
Probably one of my earliest memories is of my dad singing to me as he held me in his arms and twirled me around the room before setting me down in my crib. He had many songs in his repertoire, including “Goodnight Ladies” and one that became a favorite of mine, “Daddy’s Little Girl.”
When I was a little older I remember my mom sitting on the edge of my bed as she rubbed my back and gently sang some of her sorority songs, “Mommy’s Little Girl” and “Beautiful Savior.”
Although I’d heard “Beautiful Savior” in church (at Marble, we sing the similar “Fairest Lord Jesus”), it didn’t seem like a hymn to me. It was, and still is, a simple, gentle expression of love. I always think of my mom first when I hear it. I think God understands. And really, the bottom line is whether sung in church or at the bedside of a child, it is all about love.
I had so much fun, and a lot of tears, a little over a year ago when I walked down memory lane on iTunes and created a bedtime playlist on my iPod – including “Daddy’s Little Girl” by the Mills Brothers and “Beautiful Savior” by Deborah Liv Johnson. My dad died when I was 15 so it’s been a long time since I’ve heard his lullabies. It means a lot when I close my eyes as I listen to the Mills Brothers and imagine my dad lulling me to sleep.
This summer I had a special moment with my mom when we shared a hotel room at my cousin’s wedding. We were talking when we should have been sleeping and then all of sudden God gave me a wonderful nudge – “get your iPod.”
I sat on the edge of my mom’s bed and told her I had a surprise. I gave her one earphone and I used the other and started playing “Daddy’s Little Girl” and “Beautiful Savior”. We listened, got a little teary-eyed, sang along – and of course, she changed the words to “Mommy’s Little Girl.”
I’m thankful for these memories and the gift of love wrapped up in music. Whether you had a loved one singing you lullabies or not isn’t as important as knowing that God has lullabies and loving messages in all types of music just for you. That’s something to be grateful for.