Mother a Cold, Mother a Hymn

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 13th.  May I request your support of a Mother by this Friday, May 11th?

Meet Caroline Cobb Smith: a Christian, a wife, a stay-at-home mom, a songwriter, and the founder of The Scripture to Music Collective.  Caroline would probably describe herself in this order as well.  Maybe it’s the minivan in her near future, or the constant diaper changes, but she has no “rock star” illusions.  Even still, she and The Scripture to Music Collective just might be changing the way the Church interacts with the text of Scripture.

Last year, to kick off the Collective, she challenged herself  to write a song for every book of the Bible for her 30th birthday.  By 11/11/11 last year, she completed the project and performed an early 2012 Texas Tour, all while being pregnant with their second child, their first son. This tour was met with such a positive response that she decided to use Kickstarter to make an album that “tells the Story”.  Amazingly, she met her initial goal of half the cost of recording in just 5 days and now there are just a few hours left to be a part of this project.  Here’s a glimpse of her Christocentric, metanarratival ponderings on the Scriptures…

(1) Genesis – Garden (Genesis 1, 2, 3, 11)
(2) Deuteronomy – Hear, O Israel
(3) Isaiah 53 – Your Wounds
(4) Ezekiel – Dry Bones
(5) Zephaniah – The Place To Hide
(6) Mark – Gethsemane (Mark)
(7) Romans – From Him, To Him 
(8) 2 Peter – That Day
(9) Revelation – Heaven

But this post is not about Caroline, per-se, it’s about Christian Moms.  Caroline is merely an example of what the Lord can do with those that submit their lives to His will.

You see, the Scripture to Music Collective was started by Caroline a little over a year and a half ago and the community fostered since then has been growing in pockets throughout the country.  As the list grows of artists  in their support of the Collective, I noticed two unique trends.

The first – there were a whole host of couples making music together that seemed to be spurring one another on in creating song from the Scriptures.  Shane Barnard and Bethany Dillon, Drew and Ellie Holcomb, Jill Phillips and Andy Gullahorn, Jenny and Tyler, Bobby and Kristen Gilles, The Welcome Wagon, Watermark, and Shane and Shane, etc…

Hmm, wondering if you caught that last one (kidding!)…Much love boys!

The second – most of the material that was rending my heart was written by Mothers.  In fact, the majority of these women are “stay-at-home” Moms who take care of children most of their waking hours and then record/travel when able.  And they were writing the most Biblically honest, affectionate, Scriptural songs.  Some of the long line of amazing Mother Musicians on my regular playlist are Jill Phillips, Sandra McCracken, Bethany Dillon, Kristen Gilles, and Caroline.

Interesting, I thought to myself.  And then I saw this in downtown Dallas…

Now, most Moms that I know, initially reacted with scorn.  I get that.  The initial intention of the company was just to get people to go to the Doctor’s office.  Guessing that they caught much hell for this.  Oh well…

However, to flip the advert on it’s head.  Although the most seasoned medical professionals are medicinal acrobatic ninjas of diagnosis, determination of cure, and delivery of services, they still have not figured out the common cold.  Mothers are still the only solution and frontline to the most common of illnesses – the common cold.  In fact, the tender embrace, loving care, and kindness of a Mother is the only treatment that actually provides any soothing effect for little ones.  Moreover, even in the flu, mothers are still the only ones that have the love to hold a bucket for their children.  A medical professional never held a bucket for me.  And, have you ever tasted cold medicine?  Good night…

Snapshot.  Light Bulb.  Lens comes into focus.  Now, I understood…

You see, ladies and gentlemen, Mothers are  never off the clock.  They are there for us in the times and situations when all others depart.  They are the ones changing endless amounts of diapers, wiping runny noses, healing boo-booed knees and elbows with kisses, and planting the seeds of faith into their children second-by-second, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, month-by-month, year-by-year, decade upon decade, and for the rest of their lives.  Eyes glow when grandchildren are on the way and gentle reminders of its time to grow a family are often heard in their golden years.  As this Mother’s Day approaches, the weariness of motherhood gives way to the expansion of their hearts over the years.  We all know this love and we are all actively pursuing finding this love once again in our lives.

Out of the entirety of the population, stay-at-home Moms never cease to love, or grapple with loving the most unlovable of creatures that came from their own selves.  They see us at our best and they see us at our absolute worst.  In short, no one has a more robust understanding of the depravity of the human soul as Mothers grappling to love fallen bundles of joy.

They see it all.  In society, they are the most adept at diagnosing Truth, giving grace, pouring love, and calling us to account.  They are the frontline of what makes society coalesce.  And, they are currently, to the detriment of our nation, under attack.  May the below be a loving salvo to our Mothers!

Allow me to lay a Biblical foundation for how God may have created Mothers in order that His love for His Bride might be fully known and understood.  Let’s start in the Fall, but not stay there.

Genesis 3:16, ESV

“To the woman (Eve), ‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.'”

Yet, the apostle John captured how Jesus seized upon the consequences of the Fall in order to give comfort to His children in their hour of distress in the revelation of His impending departure at the Cross.

John 16:19-22, ESV

“So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”

Jesus continues to give solace by praying for Jerusalem, desiring to embrace her like a mother hen.

Matthew 23:37, ESV

“O Jerusalem,Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”

Women and stay-at-home Mothers were even critical to the national defense of Israel in Psalm 68.

Psalm 68:11-14, ESV

“The Lord gives the Word;
the women who announce the news are a great host:
“The kings of the armies – they flee, they flee!”
The women at home divide the spoil,
though the men lie among the sheepfolds,
the wings of a dove covered with silver,
its pinions with shimmering gold,
When the Almighty scatters kings there,
let snow fall on Zalmon.”

So, who best to song write?  Who best ‘to announce the news’?  Who best to produce?  Who best to record? I submit Moms make the best musicians.  Yes, Andy Gullahorn, your thesis is correct.  Moms make the best records!

May we mine the hearts of our mothers well.  Encourage a Mom to write and sing this Mother’s Day.  The Church and our nation will be better for it.  Consider it your sole act of national defense on Sunday.  May they not just Mother our Colds, but they Mother our Hymns and Spiritual Songs (Col 3:16) as well.  May they provide the affectionate, Scriptural balm to cover our hearts in song…

Just in time for Mother’s Day, there are exactly 36 hours remaining for you to partner withCaroline Cobb Smith in the Scripture to Music Collective: Volume 1 Kickstarter.  As founder of the Scripture to Music Collective, her writing is some of the most thoughtful, heart rending, and Biblically honest material that I have heard in recent years.  Her metanarratival Scripture to Music Collective: Vol 1 album deserves your support.  I pray that your patronage of Caroline’s first Collective album would start a life long patronage of the Scripture to Music Collective.

Although the goal of Caroline’s initial Kickstarter has already been met (in a week, mind you), may I implore you to still join in the community to watch what the Lord can do.  At this point, Caroline is trying to cover the entire expense of the album ($17,500), but more importantly inviting others into the community of putting the Scriptures to song.

As you can imagine at this point, I’m all in.  The Collective is the community of artists that I regularly pull from in order to put together Biblical Counseling Through Song resources.

Caroline, sing on, may an overwhelming chorus of Mothers, Fathers, and Children join in tune.

Only a Mother could write the below:

“Children” – by Jill Phillips, The Good Things (2008) 

I know you better than anyone
I know that look in your eyes
The one where they say you are just like me
And that comes as little surprise
Cause you’re taking in everything I do
While I second-guess all I thought I knew

Oh, I love you so much
So how great is His love
That we should be called
We should be called
We should be called His children

I want to keep you from crying
I want to save you from pain
I’d lay down my life for your life to go on
But couldn’t let you do the same
So what kind of love would give selflessly
And take such joy in giving you to me

Oh, I love you so much
So how great is His love
That we should be called
We should be called
We should be called His children

I know I’m not enough for you
And you know this at your young age
Even though my love will fail you
The love that He has will not change

Oh, I love you so much
So how great is His love
That we should be called
We should be called
We should be called His children

 

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