Writing 101, Day Three: Commit to a Writing Practice

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?


This would be a brilliant post idea if we weren’t being encouraged to free write for 15 minutes instead of crafting it.  Oh well, here goes nothing!

I have given tlife.  his question a fair amount of thought.  There are so many songs from so many times in my life!

I decided the only way I could get it narrowed down to three was to think about these songs by categories. Those categories are my God, my Loved Ones and myself.

The songs about my relationship to and with God are many. I have been singing in church since I was very young and have been touched by more songs than I can remember. Starting from a young age singing songs off of the album I had from Psalty the singing Psalm Book, I fell in love with music about God and our relationship with Him. If I had to boil down my entire Christian walk to one song however, I would choose “Painting Pictures of Egypt” by Sara Groves. This song has always been the one I turn to when I find myself afraid of change. Some of the lyrics are as follows:

I don’t want to leave here, I don’t want to stay

It feels like pinching to me either way

And the places I long for the most are the places where I’ve been

They are calling out to me like a long lost friend…

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt, leaving out what it lacked

‘Cause the future feels so hard and I wanna go back

But the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I’ve learned

And those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned.

As you may understand, this song alludes to the Israelites as they leave Egypt for the promised land. The Israelites found themselves grumbling and wanting to return to the land of slavery because it was comfortable compared to the unknown. When we look back, we often see only the good memories and want to remain where we are stable and where we know what to expect. At least I know I am that way. When I feel called to do something new or go somewhere new, I find all of the reasons I have to be comfortable where I am, even if the new place is something so much greater.

Runners Up in this category include: Open the Eyes of my Heart, Shout to the Lord, You’re My Little Girl, O Holy Night and Holy, Holy, Holy.


The next category I chose for a song that is important to me is My Loved Ones. This thought encompasses so much; my parents and family, my husband and step children, my friends and co workers. Yet I know that aside from God, the eyes I most want to be seen through are those of my husband. I want him to see me as a precious jewel and a prize. I don’t say this because I believe I am already these things, but because I want to become the type of woman who is worthy of being looked at this way.

Quite some time ago, the movie Notting Hill came out. In the movie, a young American actress played by Julia Roberts meets a young bookish sort of British man played by Hugh Grant. In the end, they fall in love (as couples generally do in Romantic Comedies) and spend their lives together. In one of the last scenes, you see the two of them sitting on a park bench together. She is laying her head in his lap while he reads to her and their unborn child. The song that is playing over this scene is simply called “She.” I have had a hard time finding the song to download, but the lyrics always stick with me:

She May be the reason I survive The why and wherefore I’m alive The one I’ll care for through the rough and ready years Me I’ll take her laughter and her tears And make them all my souvenirs For where she goes I’ve got to be The meaning of my life is She

The song is so honest and true about the nature of women.  Another line I love from the lyrics is “She may not be what she may seem inside her shell.”  I think I’ve always wanted people to see the truth behind the brave mask I wear.

As I’m writing about this song, I realize it may be more about me than about my loved ones.  In that case, I think I will choose another song more outside myself.  Perhaps a better song about the ones I love would be “I’ll Stand by You,” by the Pretenders.  I’ll just let you listen:

Isn’t it wonderful?  Isn’t it exactly what we all want from those who love us?  Isn’t it exactly what we all want to be for those we love?

Songs that are Runners Up in the Loved Ones category include:  Eagle When She Flies (for my mother) and From the Moment On (for my husband)

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I can see myself revisiting this idea and developing one or more of these song choices more fully.




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