What Tune Do You Live By?

What's your theme song?

One of the greatest things about people is the ability to be creative.

Except when it’s a four year old creatively pretending to play a CD she made (out of cardboard). In your minivan’s CD player.


Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking of the music I’m not listening to. The favorites – the songs I resonate with. The kind of music that pulls my soul to the surface and gives me permission to feel things beyond my usual daily experience.

My favorite songs are like my life’s theme music because of their message and the joy that comes from listening. And anything that brings joy is a welcome gift in life raising three kids with high needs and developmental delays.

Songs like “Blessed Be Your Name” (Matt Redmond, 2002) because it captures the longing of my heart to take life by the horns, the good and the bad, and lift it with all my might to heaven, and to thrive. Redmond sings:

“Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name”

Of course, on a bad day (like, perhaps, today, when my oldest came home with moods off-kilter, asked for something I couldn’t give her, and when I said no, proceeded to bang her head in to the wall until she dented it and broke a light switch). Well, on a day like that, my theme song might be more along the lines of R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” or Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic.”

Just like in my car (when the CD player is actually functioning…) I can choose what stations I listen to, in my own mind I have that choice too.

I can choose to have a posture of gratitude and desire to bless His name, even on the “road marked with suffering,” or “when I’m found in a desert place.” Or I can choose to freak out and list in dizzying chaoticness all the things that are going wrong like R.E.M. in their song. According to a study last year, that choice will not only effect how I feel, but how I perceive others around me to feel and act as well.

For a few minutes earlier today, I chose R.E.M.’s version. And the music in my spirit sapped me of all my strength and joy. Then I changed my mental radio station (and took a short walk outside!) and voila! It’s like being that cute actress in a movie who has her own great theme song whenever she enters the scene.

What music do you choose for your life? If you had a theme song, what would it be?

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