What an amazing night (will be last night by the time I post) – my first real concert with Mary. We went to Newsboys, Luminate, and Building 429 in Morgantown. For the last two years, Mary has gone to RUSH concerts with her dad because she 1. loves her dad, 2. loves concerts 3. loves going to concerts with her dad, and 4. loves loud rock music. I should also explain that when she is in the car with me, it is always her music we listen to, which is everything from Country to Broadway to Rock. I on the other hand, am a devoted listener to Christian Music – generally Contemporary Christian, but also love Southern Gospel, Hymns, etc… I listen to KLOVE and now The Message (on Sirus Radio). Mary generally dismissed my music because it wasn’t “hard enough” rock. Tonight, the concert turned a new leaf. When she heard and saw the artists, she was hooked.
The awesome thing about the groups is they were very diverse in appearance, music style different from each other, but the solid thing was their LOVE and passion for Christ. We sat in the 4th row from the stage, and let’s just say, it was LOUD. However, the beautiful thing was that is was loud for Mary – just how she loves it! It was awesome sitting behind her and three other youth getting engrossed and feeling the music. That was worth the loudness. Mary always says – “I was just listening to the music – not the words.” There is some music that Mary listens to that I have paused to hear the words and think (and say) – “it didn’t just say that!” So tonight, she discovered incredible music/bands with great drummers that said words that lifted your soul. Now when she listens to this music, the words can also sink in and lift her spirit. They are songs filled with HOPE in this crazy world that often pulls the rug out from underneath a teenage girl (everyone for that matter).
Tonight, they also talked about a Project they support – Compassion International. You sponsor a child monthly from another country (you can visit their website at www.Compassion.com). Well, thanks to awesome youth leaders at our church, Mary has a heart for missions. She looked at me and asked if we could sponsor a child, instead of receiving Christmas gifts. She has been saying this for several months that she wants things done for others because she has enough. As a parent, it is humbling to have a child who truly believes that. I told her that if she wanted to, as a family, we would definitely support a child, but she had to raise her hand to accept the envelope. Another boy from our youth also requested to support a child. Then the other two said, how about as a youth group, we support these two children. They are excited…
Tonight one of the groups talked about They will know we are Christians by our Love. They talked about how love is not just an emotion but a VERB which means action. It isn’t enough to say it – you have to live it and prove it. I am a Christian, but can my friends and family tell by my love to them… do I show love to others, to strangers, to co-workers, etc..? Can our children look at my life and say she shows love? There were a few instances this week that flashed through my mind (blog for later – still too raw emotions) where the words from my mouth did NOT show love to strangers! Sometimes as a mom and wife, I struggle (as tears flow from my eyes right now) – it isn’t that I don’t love my family, but times I get frustrated or overwhelmed or so busy multi-tasking that I am short with them. The craziness of life takes over and sucks up all my patience. I may not say a word, but silence can cut like a knife too! I know that there are/have been struggles with relationships and friendships because it is hard work to keep opening our hearts to get stomped on. But LOVE grows – when you have more than one child you still have enough for more. But, I know I struggle at times letting it grow. Feeling like I already gave you a “cup” of my love and didn’t get the “cup” back, so I am done! It is learning to keep letting the cup overflow even when there is nothing given back. It is a blessing when the action of LOVE flows both ways, but my only job is to be sure that I am giving and showing love with NO EXPECTATION of love in return.
So where am I going with this… tonight I believe was life changing for Mary and for me.
- A song is more than the music – it is the lyrics and even though you Mary said she only listened to it for the “music” the words can seep into your soul! They are little subliminal messages!
- Music is powerful – it can control the emotion of making you feel alone and down OR lift you up and fill you with hope. We talked about the songs and how they made her feel – they changed her! She made some resolutions and realizations that I could have never taught her otherwise! (because of course parents have NO idea)
- As a parent, I feel it is my job to provide the opportunity to have the heart filled with hope. I have to listen to what helps fulfill that in each child and make it happen. For Mary, music is her lifeline, and I am thankful that we went (when my body just wanted to stay home).
- There is nothing more powerful than hearing your child want to give – to show love to complete strangers! When we got our packets I asked if she wanted to change them with other packets and she said NO, these are the ones God gave us. Enough said,
- We are so blessed to have youth leaders that planted the first mission seed in our child’s heart! Now as a parent I must water that seed. I must give her the chance to show action!
So I guess it could be called prepare for the EXPERIENCE… because one experience can change a life! And when the life changed is your childs… no words could describe it!