I’ve thought about doing a monthly review post for the last few months but never managed to fit it in before. This month I’ve finally made it!
At the beginning of August, as I sat down to make some plans, one thing I decided to do for the first time was to make up a playlist for the month. I am forever being introduced to new songs, which I love but feel I never get the chance to know properly, so I selected five songs to listen to throughout the month. The full playlist is at the bottom of the post.
Looking back, I see that God has a great sense of humour. At the start of the month, one thing I was not planning on doing was writing this post, and switching to blogging under my real name. So it’s interesting that one of the songs on the playlist was “He Knows My Name” by Francesca Battistelli!
In August I learned just how wonderful the people in this blogging community are. I knew you were amazing, but it was reinforced so much by the support and encouragement you have offered me this month. I also learned that people like a Scottish accent. 😉
Other things I discovered this month:
- how much I enjoy fiction books- I have always enjoyed them in the past but this year I have struggled to get into any for some reason. This month I discovered “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes and devoured the whole thing in less than a week. This was swiftly followed by the sequel “After You”. I’d definitely recommend both of these books- just make sure you have a good supply of tissues to hand!
- the value of working with a group of children over several years and how encouraging it is when you see them growing in faith and stepping out to share that with others.
Another song on my playlist for August, and probably the one that has spoken to me the most throughout the month is “I Can Just Be Me” by Laura Story.
I think I’m learning to accept myself for who I am– to realise that I don’t need to try to be someone I’m not, that I don’t need to be the same as other people. I can just be me- and that’s okay. God has a unique path for each one of us.
Self-acceptance is also about letting God be God- looking to him for strength, for wisdom, for guidance, for peace, realising that it’s okay to be weak because he is strong, it’s okay to be human and imperfect because he is God.
This is definitely a lesson in progress, but I think it’s an important one, and it is so freeing even to begin to grasp that.
So here is the complete August playlist: (Click on the links to listen.)
- Jesus- Chris Tomlin
- I Can Just Be Me- Laura Story
- Sparrows- Jason Gray
- He Knows My Name- Francesca Battistelli
- King Of My Heart- Love and the Outcome
On the subject of music, I am planning a series for Write 31 Days in October, looking at how God speaks through songs and uses them to build our faith. I attended a church service a few years ago which was made up of several people each sharing testimonies of a song that had meant something special to them, and of how God had used it to speak to them, comfort them or encourage them in a particular situation. Once they had spoken, we all sang the song together.
It was one of the most uplifting, faith-building services I have ever attended, so I was thinking it would be great to attempt a version of this here.
Over the 31 days, I am planning to share some of my own stories of songs that have impacted me, and also to share some of the background stories to songs being written, but I would love to share some of your stories too.
If you have a song or hymn that has meant something special to you and you would like to share your story here, I would love to invite you to write a guest post for this series. If you are interested, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 11th September letting me know which song you’d like to write about, and I will send you more details. (You don’t have to have the post written by then, but I will be looking for them to be completed by the last week in September so that I can work out the best order for the series.)