Friday, February 26, 2010

My Undoing

"Music is the companion of joy, balm for sorrow."

These words are a translation of the Latin text that Johannes Vermeer included in his painting, "The Music Lesson."  I have certainly found music to play those dual roles, and I've been reminding myself to sing more this week to comfort my weary soul.

After we had finished singing "Jesus Loves Me," my two-and-a-half year old barked out: 

"No, Bible tells me so, not you."  

Definitely cheeky in tone, his point was also instructive.  My assessments of how well I am doing should not affect my thoughts and motivation as much as they do.  Instead, the truth of what the Bible tells me should be my guide.

Though my husband and I both disdain country music as a rule, we recently discovered the soundtrack for the movie Crazy HeartThese particular songs won us over, and I have had them running through my head since the first listen.  And then came another song, streaming from the radio in the kitchen yesterday--"Undo," by Rush of Fools.  It was the perfect answer to "Somebody Else," the lyrics of which mirror my thoughts lately, but lack the hope of redemption that undergirds "Undo."

As I look for renewal and seek transformation, I've been confronted with my performance-based notions of self worth.  Basing my life instead on God's amazing grace would be far more fruitful.   When I fall short of the standards for success that I or others set, I should listen less to the voice that condemns, and more to the words of God.  He never offers reproof without hope.  

In the midst of all this inner turmoil, Rachel's bookshelf challenge this week forced me to take a long look at our shelves.  They are slovenly by anyone's account.  It's tempting just to resign myself to their condition and continue trying to ignore them, but maybe I won't.  I think they reflect something of the state of my heart as well.

The first bookcase is the best of the lot.  It goes downhill after that.  Also, anything you see that has remained orderly is my husband's doing.  

Hallway bookshelf

 Living room shelves

 Shelves downstairs
(I should hang those wedding portraits too, while I'm at it.)

Will I be able to tackle them all this weekend? I hope so.  Turning on some upbeat music should help me while I'm at it.  I would like to post the "after" pictures next week.  Yet whether I succeed or fail in this project, I'll strive to think on (and sing about) God's changeless love. 

So what songs have been a companion or balm for you this week?


Ashley said...

Good luck with all those bookshelves! I know I did some "organzing" earlier in the week and found some pictures that needed to be hung - so fun to walk in the room and see them on the wall (rather than hiding in the mess)!

bashtree said...

Girl, we are book shelf sisters! I've been toying with the fun idea of arranging by COLOR. I don't know how my husband will react to that - it may take some convincing. Don't worry - you'll get the books done. And even if you don't, that's ok!!

This week I've been listening to all kinds of music - it's been a 'shuffle' kind of week.

Jhona O. said...

You can do it!!! I love books too. I have had to condense because of moving and have learned to hold on to only my favorites. I recently donated an over-flowing laundry basket full of children's books to my friends kindergarten class. I am looking forward to seeing the finished results:) I have had a lot of old hymns running through my mind. I find the words so comforting. I've been humming them and singing them. Lance said he liked to hear me humming. Thank you for encouraging us to join you in song:)

dawn said...

Go bookshelves! Even if you only do one or two--consider that a victory.

I've started looking at VBS stuff for the summer and one of the songs we'll sing is an old hymn, but a favorite of mine. O the deep deep love of Jesus.

If it kills me by jason Mraz might fit my week better though... :)

Cathy said...

Wow, you're going to be busy with all those shelves. I've got a whole wall of shelves in our sun room...honestly I ignored that one :/ It was just too overwhelming.
I've been listening to great praise music lately. He is so good and worthy of all our praise!

Anonymous said...

I think I need to get some wedding portraits printed. haha Somehow life gets in the way of things sometimes. =p I hope you were able to get some of the shelves tidied up.