Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Make a Joyful Noise

Today’s Better Homes and Garden idea is to grab a few friends and go caroling or just sing merrily alone in your house. They cite a study that the “forceful exhalations that come with singing help protect the upper respiratory system from infection.” Plus, it just feels good to sing in joy.

A group of my neighbors and their children go caroling door-to-door each year. I always find out what night they plan to come around so we’ll be sure to be home. My husband and I prepare hot cocoa or wassail for them along with cookies as our thank you for their gift of song.

Click to make larger and print.

I have a story to share about this singing thing and why I do not join the carolers. Once upon a time many years ago, our church program called for us to sing “Onward Christian Soldiers.” One of my favorites, I was singing along and feeling happy and everything. A woman in the pew in front of me turned around and told me to shut up. I was stunned but guess I wasn’t making a joyful noise for others.

I’ve not sung a note in public since if I can get out of it. Instead, I kind of mouth the words and just sing in my heart.

This is our German angel orchestra standing on the Heavenly Steps—all handmade from wood. Although you can’t see her very well, in the the back is an angel playing the piano. The backdrop is a tri-fold backdrop of Bethlehem made for a nativity scene that I re-purposed for my orchestra.

I bought the angel orchestra when I lived in West Berlin during the 1970s—they actually came from the East Berlin side. I had to go through Checkpoint Charlie for my little shopping expeditions and other adventures. All this was before the infamous Berlin Wall was torn down.

So my countdown task will be fulfilled today as directed by Better Homes and Gardens by putting on Christmas carols and singing joyfully while I pretend my angel orchestra is playing for me. I’m pretty positive they won’t tell me to shut up.


Rosie's Whimsy said...

That was an awful thing for that woman to do. I am glad you sing in your heart but don't let someone take away your "joyful noise" :-) God thinks it sounds beautiful!

Carol said...

The nerve!
I wish I could bring you along with us on Saturday night to our friends' annual party. It's a fabulous party with another friend at the piano all evening. Guess who leads the Carols? Me and a few of my other tone deaf buddies...we sound terrible but we definitely get people singing.
My point is, singing is for everyone and pooey to that mean woman!
June, Thanks for your kind words to me this week :)

meg said...

Our church is filled with what seems to me an inordinately large group of musically talented people. I am not among their ranks, so I generally find myself singing very quietly and very off-key. (Must the key always be so high??) But I'm working on remembering that I'm not singing for their entertainment anyway. Sing out, June -- belt it right out to the heavens!! ;) Hey, and if anyone ever shushes you again, look them dead in the face and give them the "turn around" hand gesture (which is more polite than other gestures which come to mind.)

Yummers! said...

Joyful Junie Moon,

We lived in Germany in 1970... in the Southern part of the country about an hour south of Stuttgart. My husband was drafted and I was able to get a teaching job. My oldest was born there. I loved our German Christmas. But the paint has peeled off most of the ornaments I brought back.

That was so rude of that woman to say that to you. You just continue to sing out knowing God loves it! If God had a refrigerator, he'd have Junie Moon's picture on it!!!

Jan said...

This post really brought a smile to my face because no one could be more tone deaf than I am. Isn't it funny that all these crafty gals can't carry a tune? But hey, let's not be rude about it. I love what Yummers said about God having your picture on His refrigerator. I'd have to agree.

Jennifer said...

Love hearing the history behind your beautiful piece! Have fun belting out all your favorite Christmas carols in the comfort of your home!

Kristie said...

That's a damn shame, June. I knew you didn't sing, but I didn't know why. What a horrible thing to do to anyone, let alone a child. In church, no less. Somehow, that woman wasn't getting the point of her being there.

Sunny Kristi said...

Here is how I relate people singing to God who perhaps aren't professionally trained and don't have a lot of natural ability... If your child was to draw a picture and it wasn't very good but you knew the effort was there and especially was done with love, you'd hang it on your fridge and just adore it whenever you looked at it. So I feel the same about our singing, if it isn't perfect, but a lot of effort and mainly love is put into it, God feels the same way about his children.

I am constantly letting people "change" me by their reactions to things about me that are really not theirs to judge and I need to stop. Please consider singing in public again Junie!

Sunny Kristi said...

P.S. Love seeing your German decorations. Most of my background is English, but one grandma was half German. So anything German brings back memories of her and very warm feelings. I was in Northwest Germany for a month when I was 18. I thought I was in a fairytale land. Never been anywhere else in Europe besides Ireland, but people in Germany seemed very trustworthy. I hear in some other countries it is common to get your pocket picked. In Germany you could leave your purse out on a bench in the middle of town and everyone would let it be.

Sunny Kristi said...

Oh, and I was in Berlin when I was 2 (1972) to visit my aunt and uncle, but I don't remember much other than being told I couldn't drink the water at the airport and I was dying of thirst.

rohanknitter said...

I think that lady must have had something wrong with her, to say smething like that, especially in church!!
I can't sing either. But sing a joyful noise unto the Lord anyway- he doesn't care about our muscial talents ! (or lack thereof)
Your angel orchestra is precious!

Storybook Woods said...

Oh I will have to make some wassail. Hubby brews his own ale. Clarice

African Kelli said...

Wow! You lived in Germany? I didn't know that. So cool!
And yay for singing along. Woo hoo!

Gumbo Lily said...

Junie, you just sing till your heart's content and be joyful! God loves the praises of His people, and He's the one I'd rather sing for anyway!

Bless you,

lillinda said...

Well, she was showing you just what being a Christian was all about, wasn't she,Bless her heart !
Don't let ANYONE take away your joy! And if you just can't find it in yourself to sing in public, then sing out loud and proud at home ! Turn up the car radio and belt it out! God made you and your voice.
Shine on!

ps I love those wooden German figures!

a pink-bee said...

How horrible -that the lady did that ! I hope you will sing again ! It's all about the heart and yours is so wonderful :)
crystal xo :)
Good thing I wasn't singing with the group and the lady heard my singing it is soooo off :)

Rosa said...

I have a set of angels orchestrating also. Hmmmm, I put it away earlier this year, now where did I put it? Golly gee. Love all your decorations. What a fun time to decorate.