Music – Hidden Art Chapter 3


As I thought about music and my encounters and associations with music, I discovered that I associate music with people and seasons of life. In chapter 3, Edith discusses music as a means of enjoyment and giving among a family or a group of people. In Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together, he speaks of the community of believers coming together in a united song of worship to God. The idea of family, community and music all integrated together in worship is a theme that is resonating loudly in my heart.

My earliest memories of music are the songs of praise that my mom used to listen to while I was a child. Some of my fondest childhood memories are coming in from playing outside and finding her cleaning, listening to praise music and drinking sweet tea. She had a sun dress that she liked to wear on hot summer days and sometimes she would clip her hair up while she worked.  In these impressions, and I call them impressions because I’m not positive the iced tea drinking, vacuuming, worship music episodes actually happened at once at any given time, they are just an impression in my mind and what I think of when I think of childhood.  In these impressions, my mother taught me that my daily work, my daily living, could be turned into times of peace and worship of God by singing to Him while working.  My mother does not have a good voice, but she sang to God and she taught me to do the same.

My dad enjoys music and I learned to love Jazz music from him, when I was in junior high. The other night at an Art Walk – wasn’t that very artsy of me to go to an Art Walk? Yes, I am proud to say I did. I followed it up the next day with a craft boutique. Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen, the hidden art is coming forth! At the art walk, we passed a Jazz cafe that I hope to take my Dad to someday. I can attribute much of my music appreciation to his love of all kinds of music.

In college, I took a piano class and it was the hammer that shattered any musical ambition I might possibly have had.  I was in Piano 2 and on the first day the teacher told me to go back and retake Piano 1 and told me that I didn’t have any rhythm.  After a couple class periods of being sequestered to a piano room to clap out beats, I eventually dropped that class. I have never touched a musical instrument to play since that experience and I don’t attempt to clap and sing at the same time.

College wasn’t a total bust as far as musical experience though, I took a Music Appreciation class that I loved very much.  Appreciating music is far easier than playing music and I was happy to discover that Edith said appreciating music was a suitable form of musical enjoyment. Just as another blogger pointed out, taking time to enjoy art is a creative act.

These days, I spend time listening to music alone and with my family. We began a time of Family Worship a while back and the songs on the minds of my children and that I hear them singing throughout the day come from our times of worship together in the morning. This enjoyment of music and worship before God first thing in the morning is a special kind of fellowship and community in our family and one I think would fit the criteria for art. Somehow, I ended up with a child that enjoys breakdancing and another musically talented child. I enjoy watching them express themselves through this talent, both as a hobby and as an expression of worship.

Edith Shaeffer closes the chapter by quoting scripture that speaks of making a joyful noise unto the Lord. Spirit filled worship, a reflection of what we’ll spend eternity doing.  Times of worship among a body of believers is my favorite and most cherished expression of music.  My walk with God; from the earliest stirrings, to jr high and high school when God called to me and spoke to my heart through song, times with my church family – old and new and quiet moments alone or with my husband sitting before the King, has been stirred, moved along and deepened by worshiping Him.

Music is an art and I’ve learned that I can change or set the mood and tone of my home by what music I play. Music can play an influential part in The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

[I am blogging through the book The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Shaeffer with others at Ordo Amoris]



The Family Worship Experiment


It is certainly trendy in the crowds I run in to do all sorts of “old” things.  In my homeschool circles I am taught that older books, written from a first person perspective, are better for children than text books written by professionals with an agenda to fulfill. In the church we are looking back to old things like catechism and creeds. Old is in. At least in my crowds.

One thing that keeps popping up in blogs I read and catalogs I peruse is this idea of Family Worship.  Is “Family Worship” just family devotions with an old name? hmm. I don’t know. But what I do know is that sometimes God moves me through books and sometimes I read something and it just pierces me and makes sense and I can’t wait to do it.  This happened with Elisabeth Elliot and morning prayer. After reading that she woke up at 4am every morning with a blanket and a journal and just prayed, I HAD to do it.  I have been successful at this off and on since I read that, but by far, some of my sweetest times with God have been in the morning hours of 5 and 6am in this Elisabeth Elliot inspired prayer.

Enter Family Worship.  I’ve been mulling over it for a while, Tony and I often tell people in premarital counseling that we DON’T do family devotions. We think they CAN be good, but we have preferred a more natural approach and flow of life where we pray as things come up and speak of God’s word often and it is natural and normal for all involved. And that is true.

But then I started reading Life Together by Bonhoeffer and the section on Family Worship just struck me. I MUST DO THIS!

“For Christians the beginning of the day should not be burdened and haunted by the various kinds of concerns they face during the working day. The Lord stands above the new day, for God has made it. All the darkness and confusion of the night with its dreams gives way to the clear light of Jesus Christ and his awakening Word. All restlessness, all impurity, all worry and anxiety flee before him. Therefore, in the early morning hours of the day may our many thoughts and our many idle words be silent, and may the first thought and the first word belong to the one to whom our whole life belongs. [38]“ Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Eph. 5: 14).”Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

“Scripture reading, song, and prayer should be part of daily morning worship together. Daily morning worship will take as many different forms as there are communities. That is the way it is bound to be. When a community living together includes children, it needs a different sort of daily worship than a community of seminarians. 15 It is by no means healthy when one becomes like the other, when, for example, a brotherhood of seminarians is content with a form of family daily worship for children. However, the word of Scripture, the hymns of the church, and the prayer of the community should form a part of every daily worship that they share together.” Bonhoeffer, Dietrich

I read a blog that said do 10 minutes of family worship everyday instead of 45 minutes on Monday and none on Tuesday.

So we tried it today.  We called all the kids into our room, they piled on our bed and we read Psalm 1. We sang a song and we prayed for our day.  It was that simple and the kids didn’t sing, but they didn’t leave either. 🙂

I thought about waiting to see if this was going to stick, if it was going to be a habit before telling you about it… But that wouldn’t be real, that wouldn’t be sharing what God is stirring in my heart and our household. So, today we did Family Worship. It must have a place in the schedule if it is going to happen around here and so it has taken the 7:15 slot. We will do family worship and then the kids will dress and be ready for breakfast at 8 as usual.

I’ll tell you how it goes tomorrow. 🙂

Articles I skimmed:

Leading Family Worship (Desiring God)

The What, When and How of Family Worship (TGC)

A Simple Guide to Family Worship