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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Life Lessons from a James Taylor CD

It should come as little surprise that I love James Taylor's music. That fact is all over Ransomed Dreams. What might be a stretch to imagine is that my kids (9, 6, and 3) all know every word of the first five songs on James Taylor's Greatest Hits CD.

This amazing feat happened over the last week on the way to swim lessons. We had to rent a car because our blue van, lovingly dubbed "Bluesy" dropped a transmission. Our rental car has a CD player and I grabbed one of my favorite CD's on the way out the door thinking we might listen to it.

My kids quickly fell in love with JT's music because, "It's soothing and fun."

Little did I know the lyrics would open up some very interesting discussions on values and life lessons.

Case in point: the first song, Something In The Way She Moves, talks about a woman who encourages the singer in more ways than her appearance. It's in the way she looks at him and calls his name and how she says things just to calm him down. JT sings, "I feel fine all the time she's around me now and she's around me now almost all the time. If I'm well you can tell she's been with me now and she's been with me now quite a long, long time, yes and I feel fine."

Well, I sing the song saying "he" and was asked by my girls why. I explained I sing it about their daddy. That brought plenty of giggles and a daily request, "Can you sing this about Daddy?" from my littlest one.

Lesson learned? Singing a love song about their daddy helps my girls see and feel joy in knowing Mommy loves Daddy very much.

We also talked today about how we can be like the woman the song was written about: we can encourage all the people we love. We can help others feel at peace just because we're around by sharing the love of Jesus with them in many ways, sometimes without words.

Another song, Carolina In My Mind, has the line, "Say nice things about me when I'm gone." My youngest leaned over to my oldest and said, "You will say nice things about me."

True to form, my oldest hugged her sister and said a smiling, "Yes!"

Lesson learned? What we say has power. Because my kids are (for the most part) truly loving toward each other, they know the majority of words spoken to them will be kind.

Another lesson from the rest of the lyrics can be summed up this way: sometimes life is hard and we want to escape to good memories in our mind. But life is to be lived each day facing forward with God, not stuck in the past.

The third song, Fire And Rain, has a line, "I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend."

My girls boldly announced this song's lesson: "We will never not have a friend because we have Jesus." Childlike faith. What a simple truth.

We also talked about how in life we will see both fire and rain, bad and good. But Jesus is there with us through it all.

My girls may not understand all we talked over, but seeds were planted, God was present, and we bonded over an everyday item and the discussions that followed.

Here's the biggest lesson of all, a simple impression that God smoothed over my heart: My girls love this CD because it's one of my favorite. They want to be like me.

What an awesome honor and terrifying responsibility.

But it's not so terrifying when I listen to the Holy Spirit. He can take even the "questionable" stuff in CD's like this one or in circumstances of life and remind us of truth. Then we talk about what the Bible says is true and why we believe it.

Those are faith lessons.

Lessons I don't have to figure out and plan, but ones that come out of the everydayness of life, and God teaches them.

All we have to do is listen for Him and follow His lead.

God can take even a James Taylor CD and reveal His truth to those who have ears to hear His whispers through everyday things.

How about you all? In what everyday items have you caught a glimpse of the holy and learned or taught a faith lesson?

I love that Jesus took simple things like bread, water, and lending a helpful hand to a stranger to reveal God's character and glory. By the power of His Spirit within us we can do likewise. And the ones who follow in our footsteps and like what we like will remember the faith lessons learned.

Maybe even as they hum a special song from their childhood.


Laurel Wreath said...

A JT fan here also, my husband got me hooked in college and now we have every song practically on our IPOD =)

I love how you tied in lessons with each of these songs. And God does let us use the simplest things. I think teaching kids to see Jesus in the everyday is great!


Christa said...

Sweet baby James---you betcha---Great blog---thanks

Heather said...

Mmm...I have all of JT's stuff on my iPod. I think "Something in the way she moves" is one of the most romantic songs.

Miss you,

Amy Wallace said...

Laurel, Christa, and Heather,

How very cool you all are JT fans too! ;-) Thanks for your kind words and for hanging out here with me. It's very cool to come here and see your posts. ;-)

I miss you too, Heather. A lot! Praising God for your good news yesterday!!!

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