click here to listen to this playlist
A few weeks back we got ready and headed off to church to serve in the little one’s nursery, something Andrew and I do from time to time to help our church’s growing community out. Having three kids that attend Sunday school makes us appreciate this kind of service even more, and it’s honestly refreshing to be on the other side for a change. On this particular morning, it had been several weeks since we had been to church with the hustle and bustle of end of school year events, and I remember thinking I wished we were still at home in the comfort of our pajamas instead of in our Sunday best. It’s always hard getting places these days, but usually once we are I am most thankful. Some time went by in the nursery and the attendance ended up being a bit low, and because we were overstaffed Andrew suggested I go upstairs to listen to the sermon, something he sensed I was craving. I love that he knows me better than I know myself. I think when you grow up with your best friend and you end up marrying that special person, they become a part of your spirit. Something in me jumped at this opportunity for time alone to pray and worship, so I scooted in the other room nearby to fill up my coffee mug and grab a pen from the lobby before heading up to grab a seat. I am rarely without a notebook on hand, especially when attending church.
I was grateful the worship team was still playing, because music always touches my soul in such profound and goosebumpy ways. I am not a musician, but it speaks to the core of who I am and can peel back layers that other art forms simply cannot touch. A song was finishing up as I found a place, and it wasn’t soon after they started playing “Come Thou Fount”. The poetic lyrics began to roll across the screen overhead against a backdrop of wheat fields, and it was as if my ears were opening up for the first time that morning to let the Good News in. It’s funny how you think you’re listening, only come to find out that you just got good at pretending to. The gal next to me, someone I didn’t know, was singing her heart out, and as were the people both in front and back of where I was swaying. It was really beautiful. The final words stood still on the screen for what felt like a whole minute but was probably more like a few seconds, and I felt a big golfball growing in my throat. My whole body was overcome with gratitude for having that moment alone in worship, yet connected with others through song.
“Prone to wander Lord I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.”
Prone to wander. Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here is my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for the courts above. I have also heard the last line be interpreted as “seal it with thy heavenly love” in the past. I love both renditions, as they each speak to me in a gentle way that comforts and holds tight. So much of what we are surrounded with tells us the opposite is true. It feels like social media, news media, advertising, just everything everywhere is pointing in the other direction these days, trying with all its might to steer us away from the light like a broken compass into places where fear, doubt, worry, anger, comparison, exhaustion, and competition can creep in and make a home. I try and remember this as I go about my day, but so many times I forget. So many times I let those approval-seeking woes and my own self-concerned thoughts supersede God’s boundless love for me, feeding into the lie that we alone call the shots, and therefore we alone are our own saviors. Thank God that’s not the case.
I have been saying these four lines over and over in my head throughout the past few weeks and they’re still as meaningful as ever. In light of the beauty and wonder that worship songs can give us and our days, I made a playlist for you all to enjoy at home, work, or wherever it is that you like to be lifted up in prayerful song. We like listening to this playlist in the morning time to set us off on a grateful path. It’s a bit folksy with a hint of country charm, and I think you’ll really dig it. And if you have any other recommendations that you think would be a good fit with what I’ve put together, let me know below!
To listen to past playlists, head to the read & Listen Series!
Ashton - Amanda, I love this post so much. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart here. It’s so true—I often can feel pulled and tugged in so many distracting directions as well. I am so so grateful that Christ seeks us out. That when we wander He comes to look for us.
Emily Christine - Thank you for sharing, Amanda. Music is one of my love languages as well. It’s a gift to find kindred spirits like you, even if it’s through the internet!
Based on your picks, you might also check out:
Lifted Away / Joseph
Entrance / Liz Vice
Farther Along / Josh Garrels
How Can I Keep from Singing / Audrey Assad
Angelina Mueller - This is such a lovely post. I used to attend a church when I lived in Chicago that had the most beautiful worship songs that just reached my soul. I now attend a Catholic church in Michigan, and although the songs are beautiful, they just don’t hit me the same way. This playlist will definitely bring me back. I love listening to Lauren Daigle. Her voice is amazing.
Sallie - Thanks for sharing this post. I’m a former teacher too, now home with our 18 month old daughter in Vancouver, BC. I find so much inspiration for cultivating a thoughtful and peaceful home on your blog. As quiet prayer time is hard to come by in the morning with an early riser, worship music has been a great way to start our days. Thanks for sharing this playlist!
Are you familiar with Bifrost Arts? All albums are good but be sure to check out these songs: Psalm 126 and How long? I echo the Liz Vice recommendation too. She’s great!
Claire - Such a gem of a post! thankyou!!
Grace - Have really enjoyed listening to this! My two favorites right now are
Bifrost’s Arts’ Jesus Savior Pilot Me
Keith and Kristyn Getty’s My Worth Is Not in What I Own
Thank you for putting this together!
Ang - Thank you for your authenticity and heart. Loved this post, and LOVE all things MamaWatters!
Bergen - Amanda, I love your playlists! You are becoming my #1 source for new music (and for all things lovely!) 😊👍🏻 so thank you for taking the time to put these together and share them!
I was just putting together a similar worship playlist and there was not much music in that vein, so I love what you included!
I found a few folksy worship songs that you might also enjoy:
-Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Johnny Cash (hymns by Johnny Cash)
-How Great Thou Art, Huckleberry Flint
-Leaning In the Everlating Arms, The Stanley Brothers or David Crowder Band
Catherine - Thank you for this post! I love the playlist you have created. I really enjoy reading your blog, your thoughtful reflections inspire me. Thank you, and keep going with it, please!
Melissa - Love this post. I’ve been feeling so distracted and caught up in the things that don’t feed my soul. The Lower Lights seem like a great addition for the playlist. Folksy worship in the best of ways and you can find them on spotify.
Stefanie - Resonating especially with this post, Amanda. I really appreciate your carefully crafted sentences, worded just so to communicate your heart’s intention. This once spoke volumes to me, and I know I will hear it over and over in my head this week; “So many times I let those approval-seeking woes and my own self-concerned thoughts supersede God’s boundless love for me, feeding into the lie that we alone call the shots, and therefore we alone are our own saviors.”
When I was younger, I used to feel as though, when singing together with the community of believers, my soul would rise up out of my chest towards the rafters to worship with angels and be close to our God. Have you ever felt similarly? I ask because I feel like you may have.
Stefanie - once was supposed to be *one 🙂
Megan - Thank you for doing this, Amanda! Can’t wait to listen through the entire playlist. Some of my current favorites are Josh Garrels (Home album), All Sons and Daughters (Great Are You Lord), Jon Guerra (I Will Follow), Rivers and Robots (To The Highest Place), and Phil Wickham (Secret Place), Paul McClure-Bethel (Jesus We Love You- Live). Although the list in my mind grows larger by the moment. 🙂
Jennie - Hey Amanda, I was just wondering when you made the jump to being more religious? I remember earlier in your blog (back on Little Things) you said you weren’t quite sure of your beliefs. I’m kind of in the same spot right now and would love some advice from someone who now seems really strong and rooted in their faith.
admin - Jennie, I feel like this is could be a post in and of itself, but in keeping it short here goes… I grew up Catholic and attended Catholic school from K-12, so I have always been sort of involved religiously per se, but when Andrew and I moved to KC we did not end up finding a church that we both felt a good connection to. I chose to drift away from my faith in college to seek answers to questions I had been having, but deep inside hoped eventually, that I would find a faith-filled community that felt more like home in the future. Through friendships we’ve made here, we found a community that was a fit for us and our family, and that’s where my involvement grew and continues to grow, and also where I started devoting more time to learning about my faith, as opposed to the years I spent trying to suppress it. Faith in general used to intimidate me, in almost a shaming way, and I always felt like I wasn’t good enough or Catholic enough to be a faith-filled person. I know now that is far from the truth, and that grace gives me hope! This is the short version, but hopefully that gives you a bit of perspective on my story. x Amanda