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Mothers and Songs

“But his mother treasured all these things in her heart…” (Lk. 2:51)

This month at Southside, we are focusing on singing and the hope that comes from praising God in song. This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a special day of honoring and remembering our mothers. There is much crossover between mothers and singing. For many of us, we grew up hearing our mothers sing to us. Many of the first songs that we learned were probably through our mothers. Our first teachers of singing are often our mothers. Maybe the reason why is that mothers often treasure songs in their heart as they and their children grow.

I have a frame in my office given to me by my mother. In it is a copy of an important song to her, “To Christ be Loyal and be True.” She sang that song as a child for her music class at school. She has treasured that song in her heart ever since and she wanted to pass it along to me. Mothers do that. They teach us songs and pass songs of faith along to us.

Steve Fields shared with me that “Trust and Obey” is an important song to his mother. She has a memory of her children singing that song growing up and she has treasured that song in her heart. She told Steve that she wanted that song sung at her funeral. Often when I have sat with a family in preparing for a funeral – particularly if it is for a mother, the children will share with me two or three songs that their mother treasured and passed on to them.

Often mothering, children, and memories are bound in a song. Songs can capture and crystallize key moments in our growing up. Singing songs has a way of bringing back memories of times long ago – whether happy or sad. So, for mothers, certain songs carry great meaning because of that. Joe Mahaffey told me last week that “When Peace Like a River” is his mother-in- law’s, Pat Barton, favorite song. It’s “her song” as he put it. He meant that it is a song that she treasures in her heart.

Yes, mothers and songs go together. Mothers love us and teach us, but songs are often the vehicle of that love and teaching. I would encourage you as you reach out to your mother this weekend, ask her this question, “What is your favorite song?” I think the answer will come with a story and you find more of what your mom treasures in her heart. May God bless you this week!

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