tune my heart

it's six am and i just threw my covers off and "speed walked" down here to try to get this swirling thought out.
written down.
jake is in my bed since he had nightmares and ella will be down here asking questions and talking a mile a minute if she hears one peep.
so I'm quiet as a mouse.

i've been struggling with something for a while.
something about my pre-conceived notion of what worship is.
as much as i'd like to say i've understood it, since i was raised in a family of worship leaders and was one myself, i think i've never really gotten it.
i've thought of it as something that i can make happen.
i can start and stop.
i can decide to sing a song, and as a result, Jesus is praised.
but as i lay in bed this morning thinking about it, one of my favorite songs was circling.
tune my heart...
tune my heart...
tune my heart to sing thy praise
i sometimes want to think that's about singing.
after all, i know how to sing.
i sound pretty good.
that's a pretty nice offering.
but what it really means, to me, is that there is praise and worship and adoration always flowing up to the one...
the one who this is all about.
I am.
its always surrounding me, this thing called worship.
in love and sunsets and smiles from my innocent children and selfless giving and kindness and mercy from others, in colors and rain and christmas and families and art and the crashing ocean and the millions of different rocks and snowflakes and stars....
and i get to decide if i am going to tune my heart to that song. to that beauty that is happening.
its happening whether i tune in or not.
it's not "god in my living, god in my breathing"
it's, "do i want to join in with HIS living and breathing?"

my recent struggle has been trying to get rid of the idea that this tuning in has to involve music in some way.
or that worship is synonymous with music played for the purpose of God's people singing along.
i know, some of you may think it's crazy that i thought that.
but i did and still do sometimes.
i start to forget that although it is lovely and good to sing (or play) a song of praise it is only one tiny tiny teeny tiny way to give back to the Lord what he has given you.
what has he given me in particular?
what has he given you?
a eye for beauty?
a good relationship?
someone who loves you?
a child?
a voice?
a musical ear?
a husband?
a talent?
organizational skills?
a listening heart?
all these things are gifts and they may or may not be able to be summed up with some other person's idea of a beautiful song.
so when i go to church on sunday mornings lately, honestly, i'm a bit of a struggler.
a lot of times i sit there, feeling detached.
i know, i know all you worship leaders cringe and that "sitting girl".
i know, because I've seen that person too.
but here's my thing, i am not protesting worship music, i am just finally understanding that that 20 minutes is not even close to "it" for worshiping I AM.
and it disappoints me to think of how that sweet time of people, up on stage, sharing what God has given them is misinterpreted by me and maybe others too as "it" for us all.
as if, if we just leave all that's us behind we can participate in their special talent.
those people have, maybe, been led by God for a season of giving to Him their music by sharing on sunday morning.
that is lovely.
seeing someone obey and follow Him is lovely.
why is it that it sometimes seems that we only have that one way of worshiping Him at all our churches?
why aren't other forms of obedience displayed?
or, why i am i not noticing it?
why isn't someone sharing their non musical worship?
a painting
a photograph
a child
a relationship
a creation
a blog
a clean house
an obedience that was scary

i know that sharing other things is not the norm and that music and singing is the acceptable form of worship on a sunday morning...
but i just woke up thinking...why, again is that?

i guess the danger in this line of thinking is that i'd get annoyed with the very narrow idea of worship that i may have allowed myself to go with and push away all things and people related to it.
but instead of doing that, i just want to remember what "it" really is.
it's not what i sometimes allow myself to think.
His grace will be sung no matter what.
the real choice is whether or not i will tune in to the earth calling out for Him and choose to participate.
in my way.
with the gifts he's so generously given me.
so that i can sing his grace.
and i can dance and dodge and spin and circle around all the confusion and pain and temptation that my be thrown my way.
and i can tune in to seeing others trying to do the same.
they may be up on a stage.
 they may be helping me clean my house every other week.
they may want to share calico critters with me.
they may want to be given a simple chore to help.
they may help me sort out messes i've made.
they may inspire me to see things differently than i do.
 they may be searching for what exact gift they have to give back to the ONE.
and they are looking for worship.
struggling and sliding up to that note of perfect grace.
when we each realize our gifts and then return them to their giver, it's like a little taste of heaven.
there we will be perfectly tuned for all time.

(this is a little risky to share.
i hope you understand me.
i hope you know i love music.
i hope you are loving me through this growing that my little tiny heart is doing.
i hope you can have grace for me if anything came out wrong and seemed judgmental.
i am sorting.
i am learning.
i have a ways to go....
thanks for listening.)



  1. shauna. i loved every last drop of this entry. you are so honest and THAT is what i so appreciate reading. i couldn't agree more with what you wrote. you are wonderful and so wise. wish we were closer. xo

  2. I love that this is such an honest post, so much honest feelings you choose to share on here. Yet it makes me dizzy. The hugeness of it all. Of all the grace of yours, of all the beautiful ways we can worship Him, of all the possibilities and the thoughts of yours. He gives us so much and I would love to see where the gifts he gave me will lead me, and what I can do with them. But still, I am afraid I might as well misinterpret them. And I totally agree - it is not God we have to put into our living and breathing, and it's not our life that is surrounding Him, it's our life which lies in Him.
    Love Jay

  3. I totally hear your heart.
    And I have been that sitting girl lately.
    Eye closed. Giving God all I've got in just being there...and feeling a little inadequate, I might add. Thanks so much for blessing me with this post today, Shauna.

  4. No judgement.
    this post was amazing and honest. i just love it when GOD works on our hearts and we come to realizations within ourselves of what it means to love HIM.

  5. I couldn't agree more, friend. I grew up singing in the church with my mama and from day 1 it was all about performing, for me. So much so that I still can't sing in front of the church without focusing more on myself than the Person I'm singing about. That's not worshipful! I think it brings more glory to God when I sit in my pew and sing quietly (or just listen and meditate on the words) than it does when I use my gift and talent for singing in front of everyone. Because true worship begins in your heart, just like you said.
    I think it was A.W. Tozer who said that worshipping God doesn't happen on Sundays (solely). It happens every single day in between church services. It happens in the mundane, day-to-day tasks. It happens in our hearts, minds, attitudes, etc.
    Good, good stuff. Thanks for sharing your heart, Shauna.

  6. There's no way you could have possibly known this exact same thought process has been working it's way through my brain. This conversation has come up in my world so many times in the last few months. All with different people but always the same. They've all said they can't attend a certain church, no matter how sound and biblical the teaching, if the church doesn't have "great worship". Those 15 or 20 minutes can make or break an entire church. It's so frustrating to me that the idea of worship has come to be about the worshiper and and not the One who is being worshiped. It's not about us! If it's not possible to worship without drums or the latest chorus then I don't think the problem is with the music. I think the problem is with the heart. It's sad that worship has been restricted to the few minutes before a sermon. Romans 12:1 tells us to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice and that that is true and proper worship.
    See? I told you it's been on my mind a lot lately! I could go on & on but I'll just end by saying thank you for sharing your heart!

  7. amen. absolutely beautiful. as a singer & worship leader (who's taking some time off right now) I've actually allowed myself lately to feel like I'm not as significant in the kingdom if I'm not worshipping *through song* or sharing that gift every single week on the stage. I know that's not true and gosh this just covers me with grace and perspective and a "new song" that isn't even a song. thank you so much for "speed walking" down to write it :) sometimes God just has a word and it has to be shared and it can't wait.

  8. wow... great, great post.
    i think this is so poignant.
    there have been many times that i'm sitting in church, listening to the beautiful music around me... hoping that it just stirs something, anything in my soul.
    and when, by chance, it doesn't, i'm left feeling sorta empty.
    how sad and pathetic is that?
    that i've gone to church to be served by my God...
    "hey God... can you please stir in my heart thru the music today..."
    "do this for me... do that for me"
    yup, i say that i struggle with that.
    and i'm a music person too.
    however, like you, i've been feeling disjointed with those thoughts as of late.
    i'm not going to church to feel moved by the spirit (by music or what have you)...
    i should be going to church to see where i can serve.
    where i can lay down my selfish ways and open my arms way out wide...
    where i can tell God, use me for YOUR glory.
    not to make me feel good... but to be an instrument, and not just music but so many other amazing ways.
    anyhow, i'm totally rambling here.
    i just wanted to say kudos to you for sharing this.
    helps me to remember that i need much tuning in this little heart.
    always in need of the master to mold me into what HE wants me to be.

    thanks shauna!

  9. I heart your heart, amen to what you said, I'm gonna re read it a few times to let it all soak in,Thankyou for sharing yourself precious lady.have a very merry Christmas.

  10. perfect. good job listening and obeying as God was working this all out in your heart. i also got a glimpse of the "jubilee" message in your words. it's just the same God saying the same thing in different ways to different hearts, isn't it? swing and turn, live and learn. loves.

  11. Shauna. I just started reading your blog. I don't know you, but I wanted to tell you thank you for sharing your heart today. I genuinely believe that the greatest of all revelations take place in our own hearts. In the words that the Spirit speaks to us personally. Thank you for sharing the things that the Lord is teaching you. I too believe that the greatest form of worship is in sharing yourself. In whatever form that is. That we can worship God in every act of everyday. Asking him "what would you have me do today?" and then doing it. Looking for his guiding hand and making each day a tribute to him through our obedience and gratitude. You seem to be such a beautiful person. Thank you for sharing your love for the Lord.

  12. amen, shauna!
    thank you so much for the encouragement to participate in worshipping our great God without ceasing, through the joyful times and the sorrowful ones.
    in singing, prayer, time, talents, treasures...so much more.
    i want to participate.
    all. the. time.

  13. i need to OPEN MY EYES!!
    i forget.
    i go on doing my own thing.
    i just don't see.
    i want to.
    especially at christmas!
    love your heart shauna.

  14. I totally get what you are saying.
    We aren't church goers at ALL, I have a hard time with it. Most times at church all I see are the judgemental point their finger gossipers. I never meet the "real" down to earth helpful nice people so it discourages us from going. My girls go every other week to their GEMS (girls everywhere meeting the savior) program, but as a family we never go. It doesn't mean I don't love Jesus. I DO! We pray, I read the Bible (though not enough, but LOTS more since I found the You Bible Version App for my iphone) and we believe with all our hearts, we just haven't found the right church. Therefore, I totally get that you don't HAVE TO listen to music to worship or even go to church...you should be thinking about, praying to and worshiping God all day long, in my opinion, which is what I strive for (but fail at daily). I totally get what you are saying! I think. ha ha!
    have a wonderful day!

  15. i love this. I really, really do. i've thought about this a lot. once I went to a conference and they stopped singing and playing in the middle of a song and called us to worship God in our own way. with our voices lifted, or on our knees. you could tell everyone got uncomfortable for awhile but I LOVED IT. it felt so real, so raw, so genuine with nothing loud to hide behind and no words to recite. the words had to come from the heart. worship should always be like that. an offering. wherever we are and whatever our hands are doing. thanks for inspiring me!

  16. shauna, i love this post!
    i've been so busy these last couple of weeks that I've let my quiet time slip on by. instead, I listen to my worship music and tell myself that it's my quiet time with the Lord.. when in reality its not, and yet I fool myself into believing it.
    thank you for making more aware..

  17. thank you. loved and needed this.

    merry christmas!

  18. Thanks for sharing how you are growing in/expanding spiritually Shauna; what you have to share really resonates with me...and others too! 8-)

  19. Well said. Worship music is so big for me also... I wanted to teach myself that worship is more than a song but daily living in the midst of this chaotic blessed life.
    Beautifully written right from your heart. Keep talkin' girl.