Friday, October 26, 2007

My Rocky Relationship with Christian Music

So, prior to starting college, my knowledge of Christian music consisted of Sandi Patti, Twilla Paris and Amy Grant. At the time, I was into Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Tori Amos. Thus, my assessment of Christian music was... G.A.Y. A lot of things changed in my life that first semester of college... I quit smoking and drinking and got a bit more serious about my then stagnant relationship with God. I have to give a big shout out to Kate, Shannon, Megan, and my roommates at the time for a lot of this transformation. Thanks guys! That aside, I CLUNG to my music. I went to see Smashing Pumpkins and Tori Amos that semester. Both totally rockin' amazing shows. Loved it. But as I eased into a new life, I started to hear some Christian music that wasn't so G.A.Y. First, enter Over the Rhine. I played basketball that year and missed the concert, but my roommate came back with the CD, "Good Dog, Bad Dog," which she proceeded to play on repeat for several weeks straight. Which, believe it or not, did not become annoying. It's THAT GOOD. But you don't necessarily categorize OTR as "Christian." They are Christians, but their music is good music without the evangelism or worship bent. At least most songs. But it was a start in that direction. I can't really recall the order that came after that, but I was shortly thereafter enjoying Third Day, Caedmon's Call, DC Talk, the Waiting, Sixpence None the Richer, among others... and let's not exclude a little band called Opus Dei.
At any rate, while I invited a whole new genre of music into my life, I never really lost my love of the old stuff, the "secular" stuff. And I never really felt a "conviction" that it was wrong. I didn't break any CD's or take them all into to a used CD store. They sat somewhat dormat for a little while, but they didn't die. And as I left college, many of them found their way back into my repetoire. At some point, I went on a Christian music funk again. Everything just started sounding the same. I've never been a big fan of listening to "worship" music for fun. To me, it rather cheapens it. I only stayed in touch with OTR and Third Day. I breathe OTR and Third Day satisfies the Eddie Vedder lover in me. I wonder if Mac cares? And that's were I've been since 2000.
Recently, my husband insisted we get Sirius for his old car, since it didn't have a CD player. But then he got a new car. The new car isn't equipped to handle the Sirius situation, so guess what? I am the not so proud new owner of a Sirius radio thingy. Sirius 66 is the Christian music channel that I've spent some time listening to lately. It has piqued my interest back into Christian music. There are some new (to me) artists that I like... Casting Crowns, for one.
They're kind of rocky and the guy has a nice deep raspy kind of voice. And there's lots of the old favorites. Surprisingly, though, they play A LOT of songs from when I was in college. Lots of songs that were new then and are, apparently, still popular? They play lots from DC Talk's "Jesus Freak," lots of familiar Caedmon's Call, Third Day, etc. And I'm just curious... has Christian music been stagnant for the last 7 years? Why? Has the trend been to go the "worship" music route? It's sort of like when I turn on the local "alternative" rock station in Pittsburgh and all they play is mid '90's Pearl Jam, Nirvana, STP and Smashing Pumpkins... I'm right at home. Same here. Aside from occasional new songs, frequently from the same artists, it's so much stuff that I'm familiar with from 8 years ago... What gives?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Eighteen Months

My little girl is getting so big. Her 18 month "birthday" was a couple weeks ago, and so, of course, we had a photo shoot. This was one of my favorites (though both grandmothers did not like it...). She is a very active toddler. A very physical child. While she definitely has her "girly" moments - she loves shoes and wants to play with my make up and get her hair brushed - she seems to me to be very boyish in many of her activities. She loves to wrestle with Moe, including playing tug of war with his sticks, she jumps and rolls all over me, she runs strollers into people, never cries when she gets hurt, climbs on everything, frequently tries to remover her shirt and is just ... rough. And I love it. While I have accepted more and more "girlness" in myself in my most recent years (I will now wear pink!), I spent a lot of my life being a tomboy. Playing sports, being outside, understanding football. One of my fears in having a girl was that I'd somehow end up with a really prissy "girly-girl." And who knows, N. could still go that route, and I hope I'll be able to deal with it if it happens. But for now I'm more than happy to be mothering a pretty "rough and tough" girl!
Other developmental notes: She still isn't talking. And even the few words that she used to say before, she stopped. But she can obviously understand me. I can give her pretty complicated directions and, if she's in the mood, she can follow them completely. She can walk down pretty big steps by herself, eats like a horse, loves meat, eats more fruit that seems possible (though she also has plenty of poopy diapers), seems to be starting to understand what the potty is and that she needs her diaper changed, still sleeps with us, but that's a long story, wears 2T clothes and size 6 1/2 shoes. I really don't even know how many teeth she has and I don't even know how many teeth toddlers get. But she's got tons and has for a long time. She likes to brush her teeth too. She's doing a lot of mimicing and just recently started getting really jealous if M. is home and we're together a distance away. If we're hugging or something, she gets mad and wants to get me away from him. Not sure what that's about... So, there's an update on my beautiful girl!