September 10, 2009

The one who stills the water . . .

I love singing in the car. I don't sing well . . . but I still love it. When Jack was born, I had to take the volume down a notch, but I continued to listen to the same music that I always had. Baby Einstein made me want to cut my ears off so that I wouldn't have to listen to it anymore. Until . . . the day that Jack told me that "life sucks without you." Thank you, Kelly Clarkson. He also started repeating other phrases from songs that I didn't necessarily want my toddler repeating. Which begs the question . . . should I really be listening to it anyway? But that's not what this post is about, so I won't deal with that right now.

So, I began to limit what I listened to and (gasp!) entered into the world of children's music. We had a few CD's that came with his children's Bible (the CD's he refers to as his "Bible songs") and we downloaded the Veggie Tales Sunday Morning Songs from itunes. Neither of these are my first choice when it comes to music in the car, but I have to tell you . . . because of this, I discovered the incredible blessing that comes from hearing your child sing the name of Jesus and shout (literally shout) praises to God. There's something about hearing Jack proclaim, "There's nothing my God cannot do!" that makes me believe it even more than I already do.

From day 1, I sang choruses and hymns to Jack as I was rocking him to sleep . . . mainly because they were the song to which I knew all of the words. And now, he can sing you Amazing Grace, It is Well, Great Is Thy Faithfulness and a handful of others . . . totally off key, thanks to me, but at least he knows the words. We heard a more "modern" version of "It is Well" in the car last night, and listening to him sing, "It is well with my soul" over and over brought me to tears.

Don't get me wrong . . . I'm not saying that I don't occasionally listen to other kinds of music in the car. I have no problem with that. Jack occasionally requests some of "my" songs like "You Found Me" or "She's a Good Girl" (also known as "Free Falling"). I have just become MUCH more conscious of the lyrics.

I know it seems totally obvious, but our kids, whether they're verbal at age 2 or not, SOAK UP EVERYTHING! And because of these realizations about how songs can get stuck in their heads . . . for better or for worse . . . I've been so much more intentional about what we listen to in the car. And what I have on the television at home. He doesn't miss a thing. And what goes in, eventually comes out, right?

Ok, so where was I going with this? Oh, right . . . somewhere completely different from where I am right now . . .

During the summer, we have a speaker named Jerry Jacoby. Seriously, he's one of the best kids' entertainers out there. He does a lot of character education programs in the public schools, but his love for God is so evident that it comes out in everything that he does. I think my favorite thing about him is that when he's speaking at camp, he conveys the truth of the Bible in a way that kids can understand, but without watering it down. And he lives it out in front of the kids so that they can see that he's more than just "talk."

SO, he gave all of our staff one of his CD's for free and Jack has fallen in love with that CD. As much as I love Jerry Jacoby, I've started to grow tired of the songs because of how much we listen to them, so Jack and I take turns . . . one of his songs, one of my songs.

Ok, anyway . . . back on track. There's a song on there that says, "I know the One who stills the water." Jack sings along with that quite a bit and one day, Kyle asked him, "Jack . . . who's the one who stills the water." And Jack replied, "Jerry Jacoby." We explained to him that no, Jerry Jacoby isn't the one who stills the water, but that Jerry's singing about Jesus. That Jesus is the one who stills the water.

So a few days later, Jack's singing that song and after he sings, "I know the one who stills the water" he shouts, "NO JESUS! BRING THAT WATER BACK!"

Kyle and I were a little confused and asked Jack what he was talking about. And he said, "THAT'S MY WATER!"

After thinking for a few minutes, we realized that Jack thought he was singing, "I know the One who STEALS the water." While it occurred to us to explain to him that Jesus was the one who stills the water, it never occurred to us to explain what "stills the water" means.

So we did, and now when he sings that song, Jack inevitably asks if there's a storm coming. Hmmm . . .


Heather S. said...

It is amazing how much our kids are soaking up without us even realizing it!! We are very conscious of what the girls listen too. I am one who pretty strongly believes that there is no reason for little ones to listen to music that has lyrics intended for an older audience. I don't think it is just the not so nice words that make it inappropriate, but I think that the topics are often inappropriate or just not necessary. I think there is good music that is meant for children. I LOVE to hear my kids sing traditional Sunday School songs, Bible verses and hymns! Also, I guess I think that if little kids are allowed to listen to music intended for teens, then what will they listen to when they are teens? Are they really going to be content with the same music they have been listening too since birth? I also want my children to appreciate really great music and composers.

Sorry Sarah - you probably didn't intend on getting my opinion of this! Ha! Sorry!

Sarah said...

Okay, so first of all-Jack makes me laugh...out loud (still-steal...I tell ya, that Jesus!?!?!). And thanks to Jack...I have woken my sleeping baby (b/c of the laughing:))'s amazing how kids learn the words to our music...even when only heard in the car. I will never forget the little girl I nannied standing on top of the table at Hard Rock in London & belting out word for word the lyrics to um, I forget the words & title now, but a very angsty song when she was 3 years old. I mean, it was adorable b/c she was such a little performer, but the reality is that she was singing words I would never want my child knowing or comprehending the meaning of.

FYI, "Broadway Kids" is something I enjoy listening to in the car

Wendy said...

Oh, I am so with you on this. I have had to explain so many things from song lyrics. I can't stand whinny, annoying childrens music. I do enjoy the things I listened to as a kid though (bullfrogs and butterflies, music machine etc. Did you have those?) And the Gaithers for kids rock. You might also check into the Seeds CD's they are scripture set to cool music. We got Jerry's CD's too. The best (worst?) thing about them is I get them stuck in my head and can't quit singing them even when the music fades. I keep checking back cause I wanna know when that new baby comes. Best wishes.