My Christmas Playlist

Welcome to Music Mondays!

I love Christmas music. I don’t love when stores start playing it before Thanksgiving, but I have nothing against you playing it at home all year round!

And because it’s the first Music Monday of December, I thought I’d share some songs on my Christmas Playlist.

(NOTE: If you’re reading this in an email/reader format, PLEASE CLICK HERE to listen in and to see my new header!)

Here are 10 of my favorite Christmas songs in no particular order:

1. “You’re Here” ~ Francesca Battistelli

2. “Christmas Offering” ~ Casting Crowns

If you are not singing this song in church, I suggest you send your worship leader an email With THIS LINK (click to listen).

3. “Carol of the Bells” ~ BarlowGirl

This is one of my favorite songs. Normally, I prefer instrumental renditions, but I have to admit, Barlow Girl gets it. The timing, the crescendos, the articulations, the harmonies, the modulations, they’re all right on. Makes my heart flutter when I hear it.

4.”O Holy Night” ~ David Phelps

Let’s be honest. This song is HARD to sing. But oh, I love it so. And friends, David Phelps can sing, but it’s his passion that gets me every time and has made it my favorite version of this song. THIS LINK HERE shows him singing it live on the Gaither Vocal Band stage. Gives me goosebumps every time I watch it! (This is the best clip I could find. NOTE: The song begins around the 1:25 mark, but the testimonial is great before!)

5. “How Many Kings” ~ Downhere

This is a beautiful song for reflection. You can listen and read the lyrics by CLICKING HERE.
♪♫ How many greats have become the least for me?
♪♫ How many fathers have gave up their sons for me? Only one has done that for me. All for you. All for me.  ♪♫

6. “Mary and Joseph” ~ Dave Barnes

I’ve recently discovered Dave Barnes and really enjoy this entire Christmas album — especially this song:

7. “Hallelujah (Light Has Come)” ~ Barlowgirl

I really enjoy this entire album (Barlowgirl Home For Christmas). CLICK HERE to watch the official video of this great song.

8. “Be Born in Me (Mary’s Song)” ~ Francesca Battistelli from Music Inspired by “The Story”

Love. This. Song. (love the variety of this album, too)
Here is a sampling of the lyrics. Click on any of them to listen and see all the words to this beautiful song.

 ♪♫ I’ll hold you in the beginning
You’ll hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle
make my heart your Bethlehem
Be born in me
I am not brave I’ll never be
the only thing my heart can offer is vacancy
I’m just a girl
Nothing more
but I am willing
I am yours
Be born in me
 ♪♫

9. “Breath of Heaven” ~ Amy Grant

Yet another Mary’s Song I love. And let’s face it, no one sings it better than Amy Grant. CLICK HERE to refresh your memory.

10. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” ~ Casting Crowns

This is one of my favorite Christmas Hymns. I was so excited to see it on Casting Crowns’ fabulous Christmas album and was completely shocked to discover it was a fabulous instrumental interpretation. Still love it.

That’s a beautiful note to end on this week!

How about you? What are your favorite Christmas Songs? I’d love to hear as we’ll continue talking about them on Mondays for a few more weeks!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Linking this up to:

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Beautiful God ~ Music Mondays

My three-year old son was chatting the morning away. It’s a common occurrence and I must admit I was struggling with staying attentive. He enjoys telling stories. Some I’m told are dreams. Some he claims he just thought of. All are full of brilliant imagination. Today was no different, except when his tone changed.

“Mom, I wish you could have seen it. It’s called ____ (a word I didn’t understand and am certain is not in the English dictionary).”
“Oh, I wish I could have seen it, too, bud. What was the name again? (sorry, didn’t get it) Can you try to tell me what it looked like?”

I was still unsure what we were talking about, but he now had my full attention. He was clearly enthralled as his hands began adding to the conversation; his lips curling towards the direction he’s now pointing: our ceiling.

“I know that’s white, mom, but it was nothing like that. Except it was. But it wasn’t. It was a color I have never seen! You would like it.”
“Oh, I’m sure I would like it. What was the name again? (still didn’t get it) Can you let me know if you ever see it again?”

“Mom, it’s nothing I can show you. You’ll just have to try to see it. Try again, mom. Try again.”

That moment touched me so. I’m not sure if it was because of how occupied I’ve been trying to visualize my Jehovah (remember this post) or because I felt a glimmer of heaven through his eyes. His imagination envisioned a new color and that naturally drew me upwards. For I’m sure God has more beauty in store for our eternity. More colors than my son or I have ever imagined. Oh, but I love trying.

Yes, that’s what I loved most. “Try again, mom. Try again.”

Have you ever tried to visualize how awesome our Creator truly is? When I’m focusing on imagining Him, this song always comes to mind: “Beautiful” by Shawn McDonald.

Shawn McDonald captures how I feel. He encapsulates how insignificant one can feel in the grand scheme of grace. When I am standing in awe of some magnificent scenery, I can’t help but think: the hand that created that made you. Made me. And He is proud of His creation. All of it. Who am I that I might have a personal relationship with the King of Kings…

This thought process is mirrored in the song, and is why “Beautiful” will always be one of my forever favorites.

I’d like to share this song with you.

The audible version of this song is posted below the lyrics if you’d care to enjoy. (If you’re reading this in a reader format, please click here to listen in.)

Beautiful by Shawn McDonald

 ♪♫ As I look into the stars. Pondering how far away they are.
How you hold them in Your hands and still you know this (wo)man.
You know my inner most being. Even better than I know, than I know myself.

What a beautiful God. What a beautiful God.

And what am I. That I might be called Your child.
What am I? What am I that You might know me, my King!

What am I, what am I, what am I… ♪♫

~~~

♪♫ As I look off into the distance. Watching the sun roll on by.
Beautiful colors all around me, painted all over the sky.
The same hands that created all of this, they created you and I!

What a beautiful God. What a beautiful God!

And what am I, that I might be called Your child
What am I, what am I that You might know me, my King?!

What am I, what am I that You might die that I might live.

What am I, what am I……what am I ♪♫

How about you? What song comes to mind when contemplating how beautiful our God is? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

I’ve linked this post up to:

Forever Favorites (10 Christian Songs I Never Grow Tired of)

Some songs I don’t ever want to get out of my head. They’re my forever favorites. Most hold a special memory for me. If I happen to hear them on the radio, I will wait until the song is finished before leaving the room or getting out of the vehicle. They mean that much to me.

I would like to share them with you. My forever favorites a few at a time. We’ll start with some songs you probably all know. But not too recent as I need time to ensure they will be forever favorites!

(If you’re reading this in a reader format, you might want to click HERE to listen in)

In no particular order, here are 10 Christian songs I never grow tired of:

1. “Rescue” by Desperation Band

♪♫ I need you, Jesus, to come to my rescue. ♪♫

♪♫ No one else will do. ♪♫

♪♫ Capture me with grace…This world has nothing for me. ♪♫

Love this song! No one else will do. Wish we sang this more in church.

2. “Never Let Go” by Matt Redman

♪♫ I can see a Light that is coming for the heart that holds on and there will be an end to these troubles, but until that day comes, still I will praise You! ♪♫

To be fair, I also like David Crowder’s song of the same name. Make no mistake, they are different songs entirely. I can’t sit still when hearing this one and I LOVE when he adds ♪♫ You keep on loving and You never let go! ♪♫ during one of the choruses (around 2:30). Makes the whole song for me.

You can listen while reading the lyrics to it HERE.

3. “How He Loves Us” by David Crowder Band

♪♫ And I realize just how beautiful You are and how Your affections are for me. ♪♫

Like most songs over-played on the radio, I really fought this one. My sister blessed me with a cd after I delivered my son stillborn and this was on it (along with both Never Let Go songs). I would play this on repeat over and over and was able to find some comfort as you cannot deny any of these lyrics. This song was there when I needed it most and will always have a special place in my heart as a result.

On a side note: I LOVED seeing the YouTube video of the child in the car belting out this tune. (especially around 1:02 if you take a peek) The artist on that video is John Mark McMillon who I believe originated this masterpiece.

4. “Peace With You” by Ten Sheckel Shirt

This song speaks for itself. And was released when I was finally able to proclaim the same:

♪♫ It’s nice to be at peace with You. ♪♫

Peace With You

So bummed I couldn’t find an audio to link to this one! It’s a great song. Feel free to download it here. Song 7.

5. “My Desire” by Jeremy Camp

There are a few songs on this album I enjoy, but this one gets my hands in the air every time.

♪♫ This is my desire to be used by You…So I give my hands to be used by You ♪♫

 You can listen to it by clicking HERE.

6. “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me

Now, who would I be if I didn’t include this classic. We all know it and I still love it. Can YOU imagine what it will be like?!?

Think about it while you listen HERE.

7. “Worlds Apart” by Jars of Clay

Love.This.Song. It speaks for itself. Have you ever sat down and read the lyrics? Please do.

Especially the ones around the 4 min mark here.

8. “Faithful to Me (Reprise)” by Jennifer Knapp

When this album was released it quickly became my favorite cd. Nearly 14 years later, I can still sit down and listen to it in its entirety.

I may not be too happy about her current lifestyle choices, but two things are certain: God is Faithful

and I still sing this song in the shower.

9. “While I’m Waiting” by Jon Waller

♪♫ I’ll be taking every step in obedience. And while I’m waiting I will serve you….worship…run the race. ♪♫

This song is really helping me get through some dry seasons lately. I haven’t seen the movie this song is in “Fireproof.” Have you? I’m worried it will take away the place this song brings me to when I hear it.

Have a listen HERE. Please worship while you’re at it!

10. Last but not at all least: “If You Want Me To” by Ginny Owens

I always have a song running through my head. And 7 times out of 10, it’s this song. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Ginny adds another verse which brings me to my knees every time.

♪♫ So when I cross over Jordan I’m gonna sing and I’m gonna shout ♪♫

I’m gonna look into your eyes and say

♪♫ ‘You never let me down.’ ♪♫

♪♫ So take me on the pathway that leads me HOME to You

and I will walk through the valley if You want me to. ♪♫

I sing this song All.The.Time.

So much so that when my oldest started to speak more clearly, we discovered he was able to sing this song in its entirety. I pray he knows I always want to do what God wants me to do. Even when it hurts.

What are some of your forever favorites? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

This post is linked up to Ohamanda’s Top Ten Tuesdays