By Kim Longden
Several years ago, my husband came home with a Bluetooth speaker and set it on the kitchen counter. Looking back now, I can trace back to this being a first small step in our day-to-day life becoming more focused on Christ. At natural transitions throughout the day I turned on worship songs of all genres and began to notice the power that this music had to change the tone of our day. A rough morning was transformed into a time of dancing and singing as we made lunch. My weariness melted away as the words touched my soul.
As they went about their day, the kids would sing these songs under their breath, and I realized that words of life were being buried in their hearts. All without special effort or memorization techniques—we were just living together listening, dancing and singing as we went about our days.
In the mornings, as I quietly got breakfast ready, I started to listen to classic hymns to help tune my heart properly for the day ahead. As the kids gravitated toward the kitchen, they heard these words from throughout the ages which also started burrowing into their hearts.
When we would sing these hymns at church I could see their eyes light up with recognition as they joined in. It was then I realized that this connection with music went beyond our four walls and linked us to the legacy of faith that was being passed on in our church as we sang together hymns that my parents and grand-parents and great-grand-parents had sang before us. Once again, without any kind of memorization drills or tests—but simply by incorporating them into our daily life.
When a friend showed me the When from Death I’m Free hymn journal I felt compelled to order it because I had grown to love hymns—there was no real plan at that point—it was just a next step.
When the hymn journal came in the mail, I flipped to the first devotion meditating on the hymn “What Wondrous Love is This?” and it struck me that this was one of the hymns we listened to every morning. It was then that the idea of incorporating this into our family devotion time during Lent started to formulate in my mind.
I was excited with the thought of how this resource would give another layer of meaning and connection with these treasured hymns. The next day while we listened to “What Wondrous Love is This?” the kids and I colored the visual faith artwork as my husband read the scripture and devotion. So simple, but yet so impactful—another small step.
I love how God opens doors for us, step by step—in the hectic ever-changing nature of life I don’t often have time to plan things out as well as I wish I could, but I’ve learned that just taking the next step is all I need to do—God seems to reveal things one step at a time, so I can let go of trying to figure it all out at once.
So, what’s a good first step for you? In these days and weeks ahead of being home more than usual, maybe try turning on some worship music in a centralized part of your house during different parts of the day. Music is such a powerful and effective tool to connect us to our Lord.
Try something, anything, look for Jesus, and see what happens!
At Next Step Press, we create resources that help you take a next step. We invite you to see what’s happening in the Facebook pop up group, an online community of support gathered around our recent hymn journal.
Or check out the music and devotions on our Next Step podcast.
You can also learn more about hymn journaling in general, or more about When from Death I’m Free: A Hymn Journal for Holy Week.