you can do this 2
I loved mixed tapes when they were a thing, and I’m happy to now create playlists in iTunes and on Spotify. I currently have playlists being regularly tweaked for when I’m running or at the gym, to write to, to sing along to (when I’m alone – you’re welcome, world), and to encourage me when I need it. I like to think of titles that I think fit, are possibly even witty (it’s a win if it makes my nephew roll his almost-19 year old eyes). As I mentioned here a few months ago, my encouragement playlist on Spotify is called ‘you can do this’. A good one, right? You may keep it to yourself if you think it’s lame, but there are times when this playlist is chosen daily. In fact, there were a few mornings where I wondered if I should rename it ‘songs that make me cry on the way to work’, but that seemed … awkward.
But the songs on that list, they do encourage me – be it gentle nudges of encouragement, or a firmer hand-up with a melodic ‘smarten up’. And yes, some leave me teary-eyed and wishing I could wear waterproof mascara. Below are some of the songs I regularly search out as of late:
1. Be Kind to Yourself by Andrew Peterson – There is a part just past the midway point of the song that talks about being at war against yourself and loving your enemies, too. It resonates with me, because too often I’ve treated myself as an enemy.
2. You’re Not Finished Yet (feat. Maggie Reed) by The Belonging Co. – I came across this song courtesy of one of Mike Foster’s guests on the Funtherapy podcast, and I’ve shared it with a few friends. It’s gentle and strengthening, and one of the ones that had me thinking I should reconsider renaming the playlist. (I’m not crying, you’re … no, no – it’s definitely me crying.)
3. 139/Dead of Night by Leeland – There is something about the construct of this song, the way it almost holds its breath at approximately the 1:27 mark and then begins, slowly, to build that gets to me pretty near every time I listen to it. Never mind how it begins with one calling out to God, and then … then God answers and it’s enough to put a lump in my throat thinking about it.
4. How He Loves by David Crowder*Band – We used to sing this song every so often at my church, and I remember one Sunday in particular where from the first note, it was stirring something in the congregation as we all sang, reminding ourselves of the love God has for us, regardless of the ways we get things right and get things wrong as we follow Him. It’s a humbling, awe-inspiring reminder of God’s mercy and grace.
I hope you have songs that encourage you. Feel free to share them if you do. And I hope you’ve found some to encourage you as they do me.