Friday, March 2, 2018

SOL 2/31 & Spiritual Journey First Thursday: Music

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each day in March
and for nurturing our writing lives.
Karen Eastland is guest host for the round up
over at Live Your Poem where her topic
for the day is"Face the Music."

Once a month, I join with a group of friends to focus on our spiritual journeys usually related to a chosen theme. I delayed writing this post yesterday because I felt compelled for the first day of our Slice of Life Challenge to reach out to bloggers who might feel discouraged by those who were prepped and ready to roll. So I shared my thinking in an acrostic I wrote, "Room at the Table."

I'm posting my Spiritual Journey First Thursday post a day late on Friday. Our theme for March's SJFT is music. I've recently been reading Isaiah and love these words from Isaiah, chapter 12 (the blue highlighting is my own): 
2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

I can't think of music without thinking of my mom and the ways she sang songs of praise throughout her day and throughout the challenges life brought her way. Join me as we catch a glimpse of my mother's day and the way that hymns permeated her daily life. I've chosen five hymns that I remember her singing frequently. 

You might wake to hear my mother bustling in the kitchen humming "Shall We Gather at the River" (Robert Lowry, 1864) and then she might sing out the words to the chorus. It was a beautiful way to wake up and certainly made all of us ready to gather to her kitchen for a favorite breakfast of biscuits and gravy. 

And then she might be in our small laundry room located two steps down from the kitchen in a converted garage space, singing "Are You Washed in the Blood?" (Elisha A. Hoffman, 1878) with gusto. The "white as snow" garments she sang about were not products of detergent or bleach, but the results of a life lived relying on the Savior and his cleansing power.

In the afternoon, her singing of "Come to the Church in the Wildwood" (William S. Pitts, 1857) might be accompanied by the hum of her sewing machine, as she lovingly sewed clothing for our family and items for our home. 

After dinner, she might be sweeping the kitchen floor to the words of "The Old Rugged Cross," (George Bennard, 1913) as she pondered clinging to the cross and exchanging it some day for a crown.

As she struggled with cancer during the final months of her life, these same hymns brought comfort and solace to her heart. I still remember one afternoon when she had been rather uncomfortable for some time. Instead of the groans associated with her pain, I heard the words of "Softly and Tenderly" (Will L. Thompson, 1880) coming from her bedroom. I crept quietly down the hall listening to my mother softly singing, "Come home! come home! Ye who are weary, come home!" while pleading in my heart that she not be called home quite yet. 
Link to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Softly and Tenderly:
My brother, his wife, my aunt, and myself were by her side a few weeks later singing hymns as she departed this life and answered the call to come home into the arms of her Savior.

It's been twenty-six years since I last heard my mother physically sing these songs. But the words linger in my heart and when I listen carefully, it's as if I can still hear her sweet voice testifying that the Lord Jehovah is her strength and her song. I am blessed indeed! 


  1. Ramona, this is a beautiful post. You definitely were blessed by your mom's gift of song. And I was blessed by your post today! I choked up reading it. I especially love the picture of your mom singing "Softly and Tenderly" to ease her pain as she made her way home. Thank you!

  2. Appreciation for sharing about song, your dear Mother's journey & your family's love. So beautiful to read this Ramona.

  3. What a heritage! One that is much like mine, only it was my father's voice and hymns on the radio that my mother hummed with. Every one of the hymns you remembered today sing in my heart, their words have sustained me through the years. And I can hear my father reading Isaiah 12. May your weekend be blessed.

  4. Lovely- I also had a mother who sang hymns. She directed the children's choir for years. This brought back so many memories for me. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  5. I recall an impromtu verse or two of "Old Rugged Cross" when she was in the nursing home. It lifted all our spirits. We never know what will become "unforgettable moments", do we?

  6. I love this musical remembrance of your mother -- she is singing through YOU, Ramona. xo
    p.s. please sign up for Progressive Poem! You're an old pro by now!

  7. Ramona, the thought of your family congregating and singing to lead your mother home is so touching. I was not with my mother as she said her last words but the family was there hours before. We prayed but no singing (unfortunately, we are not singers). Thank you for sharing your songs and how music centered your mother throughout the day. .