Thursday, March 28, 2013

Telling the Story--part 2

Our new album "Love & Family" is ordered in such a way as to tell a story about our life together as a family.  The next several blog posts will serve as a catalyst for telling that story so that you can see what is behind each song that we wrote.  Don't forget--you can order our album here:

"As Real as It is Strong"
(words and music by William Marshall)

-from William-
One thing that irks me a bit is the overuse of certain lines in songs about relationships (read 'love songs').  Particular genres of music (I'm looking at you, CMT) seem to struggle with this more than others, but across the board, it is common to hear lines about how far someone would walk or swim or climb to be with their significant other.  And I get it.  We use the language to symbolize how much we care.  My problem, aside from the overuse issue, is that the statements are not very realistic.  We just can't really walk that far or swim that much or climb that high.  And, even if we could, why would we ever need to actually do that?  It sounds good (and for the record I enjoy many songs that have used these tactics), but it's just not that real.

If marriage has taught me anything, it has taught me that love, true love between a man and a woman (there's my statement for the Supreme Court), is real.  It's not about thousand mile walks or ocean swims.  It's about getting up every day and loving your wife in real, practical ways.  It's about going to work and mowing the yard and trying to fix stuff (which I normally make worse).  It's about praying for her and asking for her forgiveness and trying to do better.  It's about listening and responding.  It's about learning how to love her better every day.  (Even as I write that, I am convicted about how much more I need to learn what I should probably already know.)

Trouble is, most love songs let me off the hook a little.  As long as I am willing to walk some unbelievable distance that I will never be asked to actually walk, I am fine.  I can talk a good game and never have to take a shot (had to work in my NCAA analogy, GO VOLS, at least next year).

So I wanted to write a song that celebrates the 'realness' of love.  I wanted to encourage myself to not take the easy way out, but to really work for and enjoy the every day blessings of marriage.   I may never be asked to lay down my life for my wife, but I am called to deny myself and take up my cross daily.  I am called to labor in fighting for her sanctification in the day to day battles of life.  I am called to treasure every day, every moment, as a gift.  These callings are way more difficult, and way more important and real, than climbing any mountains or swimming any seas.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Telling the Story: Part 1

Our new album "Love & Family" is ordered in such a way as to tell a story about our life together as a family.  The next several blog posts will serve as a catalyst for telling that story so that you can see what is behind each song that we wrote.  Don't forget--you can order our album here:

"Only He Will Be Enough"
(words & music by Glenna Marshall)

A couple of years ago, William and I had a fight.
Well.  Maybe I should say argument because it has to be pretty serious for me to call it a fight, and I don't remember this being anything like that.

But, like all of our arguments and fights, I don't really remember what it was about.  Which makes me think--why did we waste our time arguing over it?


I might not remember the contents of our fight, but I do remember walking away from it thinking, "No matter what I do, I can't be everything he needs.  And he can't be everything I need. He will always fall short, no matter my expectations.  Only Christ can do and be all that."

As I often do when working something out in my head, I sat down at the piano and pieced my thoughts together into a song.

I will never be enough.  
I will never measure up.
I know all the things you need are things I cannot be.

The revelation that comes after all our disagreements is that I am selfish.  Like....incredibly selfish.  Like....I live like my husband exists to serve me.
How ugly.

There are corners of my heart that are always selfish and dark.
They will never open up or be safe for you. 

And I would be embarrassed to share this except that I feel like this is probably true of most married folks.  Be honest.  If you were less selfish, you'd fight less with your spouse.  Right?  Can I get an "Amen"?
My selfishness shows me that I will always fall short of what my husband needs.  I can't be perfect, I can't make everything right for him, I can't be the "end all" in his life.
But you know what?  I wasn't meant to be.

But I was never meant to be enough.
I was only meant to hold you up.

Paul says this in Ephesians:
"Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." (5:22-24)

And our being together is to point to the bigger picture
Of the Church and her Redeemer
So that we can show:
Only He will be enough, only He will be enough.

My role as William's wife is to submit to him, support him, and to be a reflection of the Church's role in her relationship with Christ.   
People, marriage is intended to point to the Gospel.  And our marriages can give a multitude of messages about the Gospel, whether it's positive or negative.  I wasn't meant to be everything that William needs--only Christ can do that--but I AM called to submit to him as unto the Lord.  Our marriage together is meant to mirror the relationship between Christ and the Church.  And in all the big and small show the world the we are desperate for Jesus Christ.  
I think this is the common thread in our story throughout the entire "Love & Family" album.  We are desperate for a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ.  

That said, I don't need to expect my husband to be my Savior.  He will always fall short of the trumped up, illogical expectations I have in my head.  He can never meet this delusional standard we have set up for our spouses. I think marriages fail sometimes because one spouse feels the other one has failed to be what they wanted them to be.  (And maybe both feel this way.)

You will always come up short when it comes to expectations.
You will never fill my heart like they say you should.
The world says your soul mate should fill your heart should find all your satisfaction in them.  Don't get me wrong.  I am totally and completely satisfied with my husband.  I could not EVER ask for a better man.  I thank the Lord daily for the gift He has given me in William as my husband.  What we have in our marriage is such a precious gift.  
But it doesn't cover up or hide our need for Christ to sanctify us.  If anything, it highlights that need.

Even though we're satisfied, well, this love we have, it does not hide 
Our desperate need to be sanctified by the love of Christ.

Paul says to William and all husbands:
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,  because we are members of his body.  'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." (Eph. 5:25-33)

You were never meant to be enough.
You were only meant to lead and love.

This is William's charge: to love me like Christ loves His Church and gave Himself up for her.   So even though he takes the role of Christ here (and wow, what a serious, weighty charge this is!), he isn't Christ.  He is a husband who is following Christ's orders.  And I have to brag on him here...he does a fantastic job.  He, I believe, takes this charge seriously.  He fights for my sanctifcation, even if it hurts.  He is more concerned about my holiness and my becoming like Christ than he is about me getting all my "wants" met.  He also loves the Lord way more than he loves me.  That's so backwards in our culture, but it is the thing that enables him to be the kind of husband I need him to be.  Loving and obeying Christ more helps him to love me in this selfless, giving-himself-up-for-me, Ephesians 5 kind of way.  I praise God for this gift.  Because ultimately, this is what points to Jesus' selfless, life-laying-down, Gospel love for His Church.

And our being together is to point to the bigger picture
Of the Church and her Redeemer
So that we can show:
Only He will be enough, only He will be enough.

So the purpose of this song is twofold:
1. To remind myself that William is just a man, and that I am just a woman.  Sinful, selfish sinners who are striving to love and submit like Christ and the Church.  We were never meant to be perfection for each other. Only Christ meets the standard.  He is the standard.  But we all fall short. Extend grace to one another in your marriages.  As often as you extend it, you will also need it. 
2. Our marriages are intended to say something about the Gospel.  Who you are as husband and wife says something about Christ and His Bride.  Don't think your marriage is just about you. 

One last thing.
The beautiful by-product of being married for the purpose of the Gospel?
Married love that can be beautiful and refining.  It's a blessing that God included us in His plan.  He sure didn't have to.  

And this does not nullify that I love you more than my life.
We are blessed because we get to play a part of a beautiful mystery, 
Beautiful mystery. 

William Marshall, you are the sweetest of gifts to me.  I'm sorry we argued, but I'm thankful the Lord uses our feeble attempts for His glory and for our good.  He is faithful and good in His gifts to us.
I love you more than my life.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

::CD release::

After TWO YEARS of work (we're a little slow), our CD is finally FOR SALE!

We wrote and recorded 12 songs about our marriage, our longing for children, the Lord's goodness to us, and the blessing of the adoption of our son.

The sale of this CD will help fund our adoptions.

Please visit our BandCamp page to order.
Digital Downloads are $12.
Compact Discs (with a digital download) are $15.

We will also accept donations above the listed price as this is a fundraising endeavor.

We hope you enjoy our music!
 We are happy to share this part of our life with you.

There is a one song--track 4 "Baby, It's Not Time"--that is specific to infertility, so I wanted to draw your attention to that song and hope that it is encouraging to you.  Tracks 5 and 6 are also in response to infertility though it is not specifically mentioned.   Just FYI to my IF readers.  :)

Special thanks to those who donated their time and talents to this project:
*Brandon Blankenship (lead guitar, mandolin, banjo)
*Lacy Bennet (cello)
*Josh Govier (bass)
*Brett Gibson (recording assistance)
*Lauren Athalia (photography, cover art, graphic design)