It has been fun to watch (or hear) Ethan’s repertoire of worship songs develop over the last 13 months.
At Annual Conference in 2009, I happened to be holding (then two-year-old) Ethan at the beginning of an evening service (giving him break from all-day childcare) as the band opened with “Trading My Sorrows,” a modern worship song. The song stuck and has been a staple in Ethan’s repertoire ever since! Ethan can often be heard singing, “Yes, Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes, Lord! / Yes, Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes, Lord! / Yes, Lord, yes, yes, Lord, Amen!”
Funny thing, though, it’s only been very recently that he’s gotten one of the verses right. Instead of “I’m trading my sorrows / I’m trading my shame / I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord,” he’d sing, “I’m trading for our sorrows” (not quite the message we were going for!). 🙂
A few months later, Ethan said in a somewhat panicked voice, “Oh no!” So I taught him the chorus of Matt Redman’s worship song, “You Never Let Go” …
Oh no, you never let go / through the calm and through the storm / oh no, you never let go / in every high and every low / oh no, you never let go / Lord, you never let go of me!
And again, ever since, he’s been singing the chorus of this song (it was the song we used in the music video we made for Ethan when we went to Korea to get Sarah last October). In the last few months, Ethan has started singing other parts of the song. Once during a meal recently, Ethan surprised me with a line from the song: “I can see a light / that is coming / for the heart that holds on!”
One other time (nearly a year ago?), Ethan sang part of another song that we’re not sure where he heard it (we didn’t have the song and hardly knew it ourselves). I finally tracked down the song a few months ago and it’s now one of Ethan’s favorites: “My Savior Lives” (the video of the song, recorded live, that we downloaded can be viewed here on YouTube).
When Ethan came home from Sunday school a couple weeks ago, he had a sticker on his shirt that said, “I know I can say kind things” (or something like that). I asked him what it said and he said, “I know … that my Redeemer lives” (words from “My Savior Lives”).
A couple days ago, while on vacation in West Virginia, we were in a playroom at the hotel. At first it was just the four of us. But soon another group of adults and children entered the room. Moments later, Ethan, who was working on a puzzle, started singing, “I know that my Redeemer lives / now I can stand on what he did / my Savior, my Savior lives!” and “Jesus, you are the only way!”
While traveling on vacation, Ethan has asked several times, “Can you get ‘My Savior Lives’?” Yesterday, while on the road, we went through the Ethan’s songs (a playlist on my iPod), which now includes eight songs, twice (apparently, it wasn’t good napping music, though).
Since Ethan seems to be good at learning song lyrics, we’re starting to memorize scriptures, verses from My First Read And Learn Favorite Bible Verses, which we’ve been reading with Ethan (and now Sarah) for almost as long as we’ve had Ethan.
We believe that we are formed by our practices and we hope that learning worship songs and Bible verses, as well as devotional practices, will shape both Ethan and Sarah (and us, too) into the people God desires us to be!
This is something we’re fairly intentional about. But it’s not something we *always* do well and I’m sure we could do better.
What practices are forming you? If you have children, what practices are forming your kids?