When I was expecting my first precious child (see the big girl, above), my very best friend planned an extra special outing for me. After lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Rebecca took me to the Build-A-Bear Workshop and we…well…we built a BEAR! This bear was to be my daughter’s first stuffed animal friend and, like the bear my grandmother gave to me when I was a baby, it played Brahms’ Lullaby. Here is a recording of my bear’s song:
My bear is tattered and threadbare. For sure it has seen better days, but my stuffed animal friend was frequently dressed in baby clothes, spent most nights in my arms, and accompanied me to slumber parties, camps, and college.
My teddy bear is one of the few possessions left from my sojourning childhood. When your dad is military and you move regularly, things get lost, tossed, and given away. But not my bear.
My teddy bear is the only person or object that has made all the stops with me on this journey as both military kid and military wife. And my bear, along with a few books and a small piece of furniture, is one of the only keepsakes I have from any of my grandparents.
So, hearing that one song takes me back and reminds me of the love between me and my bear, and between me and my grandma too. The song choice when Rebecca and I built Gracie’s bear was easy—Brahms’ Lullaby. It was a measure of the love Rebecca and I shared as dear friends, and the promise of the love to come between me and my unborn child. The recorded music lived on in Gracie’s bear for many years…until eventually the song died out.
Last week, I took Gracie and her bear to the Build-A-Bear workshop to get a new (but familiar) song. Suddenly, I was teary-eyed remembering the thoughtfulness of sweet Rebecca. Suddenly I missed my grandma. Suddenly, I saw how much my girl has grown.
This process of restoring the song in Gracie’s bear also reminded me of what God does for us. He saves us and then He places a song in our hearts, a familiar song, one to reminds us of who we are, and whose we are. The song is meant to help us remember His love. And when we play it, we remember. When we sing it, others are reminded too.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD (Psalm 40:3).
Oh sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day (Psalm 96:1-2).
The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing (Zeph 3:17).