For my media autobiography, I decided to do a combination of both music and literature. There’s not really any specific order to this, though I did try to organize each category (songs and books) in the order of life events it occurred with.
- “God Is All Around Us” by Twila Paris
Truthfully, the entire CD that this song is found on, has been instrumental in my life. Ever since I was diagnosed with narcolepsy and cataplexy at six years old, I have listened to this album during every rest/nap and at night. Because of the horrific nightmares that often come with narcolepsy, I was and sometimes still am, scared to go to sleep. Having this CD though, and specifically this song, gave me something to listen to that was completely centered around Jesus and His love.
2. “Blessings” by Laura Story
As stated above, I have an illness that is not curable. And this song, Blessings, really describes how I feel. It says, “We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering, all the while, You hear each spoken need, yet love us way too much to give us lesser things.” There have been so many times that I have prayed for God to just let me get a good rest. I mean, that’s not a huge request, right? But sometimes it doesn’t happen. He doesn’t answer or come through in the way I want Him to.
Another lyric that I relate to says, “What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near.” I can’t tell you how many times I have been awake during the night. Sometimes crying, sometimes scared, and this line really is true.
3. “Through All Of It” by Colton Dixon
Something I struggle with is doubt. Like most people with whatever they struggle with, I’ve had seasons where it’s stronger than others. During one of those, I was listening to Colton Dixon’s album and caught these lines, “When I was blinded by my fear, and I struggled to believe, but in those unclear moments, you were the one keeping me strong, this is how my story’s always gone.” I love that.
4. “Free To Be Me” by Francesca Battistelli
I’ve never met Francesca Battistelli, but if I did, I would ask her if she’s a perfectionist. The reason why, is several lyrics in this song seem to hint at that.
Try to fit the pieces together But perfection is my enemy
When I was just a girl I thought I had it figured out
Being a perfectionist myself, I relate to those lyrics.
5. “Oceans” by Hillsong United
I really love this song; it deals with a lot of different components: faith, fear, and trust. I’m someone who doesn’t trust very easily – even with God, I struggle with it, though I like to believe that I’ve grown in that.
6. “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
This is such an awesome song! It’s really empowering and inspirational. I love how it talks about to keep fighting even if everyone else is saying you can’t do it or if you feel like giving up.
7. “Mean” by Taylor Swift
I’m pretty sure every person on the planet can relate to this song. It talks about the mean people in our life, and how someday they won’t be able to treat us like that. I know I’ve had people who have ignored me and well, y’all girls know, all that girl drama lol. So yeah, this is another great, upbeat song.
8. “Love” by Jana Kramer
Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m a completely Hallmark-watching, sappy romantic. I adore a good love story. Put a romantic movie in or give me a love story, and you can be guaranteed that I’ll probably like it. Side note, that’s likely the reason why I’m such a shipper. Anyway, this song is definitely me.
9. Elsie’s Endless Wait by Martha Finley
Even though I absolutely love reading, there have been very few books that have really touched me beyond the fact that I think they’re wonderful. I remember reading the Life of Faith series for the first time, though, and being struck by Elsie’s character. She made me want to be a better person and Christian. Even in the midst of her circumstances, she was still honoring God and putting her faith first when it would have been easier not to.
10. Breaking Up With Perfect by Amy Carroll
Lastly, this is probably the most recent one on this list. I still haven’t finished the book yet, but what I have read so far is really good. It was written to help perfectionists (aka me) break free from their perfectionism. And being the perfectionist I am, I had to include it.
There you go! Those are my ten songs and books that would be my media autobiography. What ten songs, ten books, or ten songs and books would you choose as your media autobiography?
~ Southern Dreamer
In a way, this is a continuation of my post titled ‘Romantically Inclined’. I thought, after all, it might do well to give y’all a list of some good, clean romance books I have been fortunate enough to enjoy. Hopefully, some of these will spark your interest and take you on a marvelous journey within its pages!
- The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn.
This has to be one of my top favorite series’ that I’ve ever read. It follows the tale of a young teen, Christy Miller, through high school, college, and eventually marriage! Several topics that young people struggle with are addressed in a non-depressing way and by a Christian worldview. There is romance in this series (it wouldn’t be on my list if it lacked it) but it is clean while still satisfying your romantic taste. You can find these books at Lifeway or through CBD.
2. The Life of Faith series by Martha Finley
I have been reading these books since the time I was in middle school and continue to love them.
This is an older series, written decades ago, but is nevertheless a wonderful read. One of my favorite things about this series is one of the heroine’s – Elsie Dinsmore. Her Christian character and virtue challenged me to step up my own. It is set during the 1800’s and there are several series within the overall series (the Elsie Dinsmore one being an example). It does contain romance in its most old-fashioned, elegant form. You can find these books at Lifeway or through CBD.
3. The Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke.
This series is set in a historical time period during the mid 1800s and follows the tale of a young woman named Marty who has just lost her husband in a tragic accident. Through a marriage of convenience, she slowly falls in love with Clark Davis and he with her. The ups and downs during their own lives and those of their children make an enjoyable read and give the reader a greater understanding of how people lived their lives centuries ago. You can find these books at Lifeway or through CBD.
I hope one of the three series’ I listed has intrigued your interest enough to look into reading! All of these books contain clean romance and are written from a Christian perspective. So tell me readers, do you have a favorite romance book or series that is without the common vulgar images and language common in today’s literature? Tell me in the comments!
Until next time,
~ Southern Dreamer
As I sat reading through a romantic book one warm, summer day, I began to wonder…what is it about these stories that causes us to love them so? It could not be the plot…for a plot in itself does not serve to penetrate your soul. Though characters quickly become memorable, they could not be the single reason either – for standing alone the most they can do is amuse our mind and heart.
Perhaps it’s the setting. But then again, a setting’s purpose is to accentuate…not only to be read as a place. Similar to spices, description and detail are tools a writer can use to give their story that final pizzazz. There are many building blocks in a well-written tale that one could argue are the bottom, corner-stone of why so many people enjoy romance novels. I would wager, however, that the true reason is much deeper than that.
I believe, in every woman’s heart, there is a great desire to be adored, loved, and sought after. I think so many, if not all, of us long to be treated as a treasure – one which has an immeasurable amount of value. And it saddens me readers, truly it does, how far the world has gone to completely disintegrate this picture and the value that is a human being. The majority of movies that flood out of Hollywood and other massive, secular companies scream the components of lowly conduct and behavior…and neglect to follow up with the consequences of such actions. They muddle together the belief that women are strong and equal, by pairing it with sexual scenes and conduct. How much lower can your value go, than when you are so desperate for appreciation and affection, you are willing to be an object of use rather than what was meant to be a beautiful act? It has warped this until so many no longer question it.
Women are strong and on equal standing with men…yet, I feel sometimes in our world today there is an extremists view of this. They do not seem to believe that it is acceptable for a woman to be protected or sought after. Why has the storyline of the prince rescuing the princess commonly turned into one that is not ‘modern’ or ‘equal’. Where is the wrong in someone loving you so much that they will do anything and everything to get you back? I do not understand where the view has come from that this is weakness. It is anything but. I do not see it as the man thinking he is better, I see it as a person who is so totally in love with his girl that he will scale any walls, fight off dragons, or even take the brunt of the spear because he values her life to that degree.
This is not to say that women cannot defend themselves, but I find it purely rubbish when people take it to the extreme. If they do not have a problem with a woman rescuing a man, then please enlighten me why they have an issue with a man rescuing a woman? Quite ironic, apparently.
And I believe that the Lord has put in our hearts, a desire to be chased after and adored. He is, after all, the most profound example of action determined by love. He has said,
“For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” ~ Deuteronomy 20:4
“I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
“Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep water and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!” ~ Isaiah 43:1-2
Above all, He gave his own life for us, knowing that he would be rejected and despised. If that is not love, then I don’t know what is.
I believe, we read romance novels and books then, because the imagery of someone truly, completely loving us – faults and all, so appeals to our hearts that we are desperate to have more. We feel the need to have that hope, that there really are knights in shining armor and princes in disguise. That true, committed love is still alive amidst all of the turmoil that comes with separated families, divorce, and cheating. We need to know that and so we read continually of the love between two broken souls and how they come together as man and wife.
And the truth of the matter is, there is someone who has perfect, unfailing love. The kind that doesn’t shy away when trials or hardships come (thank heaven!). I mentioned Him earlier – Jesus, and it is completely remarkable that He loves such beings as us.
~ Southern Dreamer