Playlist 2021

This is one of the most fun posts I write all year. Ten to twelve songs that represent what I’ve been through and learned in the past twelve months plus a bonus track to wrap it up. The only arbitrary rules I follow on this Myspace throwback is that I always include one Superchic[k] song and one Demon Hunter song. Here’re the links to previous years: Playlist 2020, Playlist 2019, Playlist 2018, Playlist 2017, Playlist 2016, Playlist 2015. (My apologies the previous platform isn’t as easy to navigate.)

This year’s playlist is available on Spotify and YouTube, though I do recommend YouTube because the first track is for reasons unknown not available on Spotify. Two songs have expletives, and the P!nk music video has some pretty odd imagery, but here’s a quality, creative snapshot of my year.

1. Na Na by Superchic[k]

This was a no brainer for the Superchic[k] song of the year. (Since it’s not available on Spotify, I also included “High School” on both playlists as hidden track.) Most of my blog posts in the past year have been colored by an interaction that happened at the start of August 2020 where someone was hurtful and rude to me and I didn’t respond well. I made a lot of assumptions, and it was a mess I never managed to clean up. Again, that takes two people, and to the individual, I apologized for my mistakes back in October. To everyone else, I promise to continue to do better next time everyday moving forward. By the grace of God, I’ve had many watch me grow this past year and learn from my mistakes already. “Let’s start listening and see…”

2. Level of Concern by twenty one pilots

Remember what lockdown was? Remember how it never really ended in Germany? Most of my American and Kiwi friends are back to some normal face to face interactions that are beyond my comprehension. This year has been a stretch in learning how to be healthy mentally, emotionally, and socially through this strange season of adjusting regulations. My counselor says I’m thriving relative to the unprecedented situation I’m facing. I hold on to that and keep working to love people well in this weird time.

3. Games by Tessa Violet (rerelease with lovelytheband)

I love this song. The music video is ridiculous and will make any Twilight fan laugh extra hard, but I chose the rerelease because the duet layers the significance of the lyrics so well. I step into peace. This year has had a lot of prayer for people to “step into peace” while I’ve watched some students and peers embrace a life of following Jesus and others run away from the peace that passes understanding. I know that there’s something up, and I will continue to trust my gut as I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me in living well and loving others wherever that path leads me.

4. Open Your Eyes by Snow Patrol

I wrote about this one in my post about “Fantine” by Penny and Sparrow a few weeks ago and the Moana post a few weeks before that. I have been praying daily for someone to “open their eyes, step into the chacos of peace, and obey the Holy Spirit.” For vision, for freedom, for action. This specific prayer has helped me a lot in my own embrace of peace and obedience to the Holy Spirit in the past ten months. This song has beautiful lyrics of walking away from lies and living well while encouraging others to do the same.

5. Patience by Demon Hunter

Months ago, one of my students who has been faithfully praying for me messaged me that he felt the Lord telling him to pray for patience and perseverance for me. What a punk. He also felt the Lord told him to pray 1 Thessalonians 5:19 for the person I’m praying for regularly, so what a precious gem. The first verse of this song hits hard as Ryan Clark screams about wanting someone else to open their eyes before the chorus confesses his need to learn patience in the midst of struggles. I’m grateful for the journey the Lord has taken me on in learning patience and perseverance despite some of the hardships. It’s worth it. Jesus is always worth it.

6. Hollywood Ending from Anna and the Apocalypse

I used this song back on my last post of 2020 as I wrote about how much I loved this YA zombie Christmas musical. This song, however, fits the span of my whole year as my weird life unfolds in this crazy drama of an American working in Germany missing New Zealand and all the children in between. I still wouldn’t trade a thing. The movie has an unexpected non-Hollywood ending, and I love the twists that I didn’t see coming on my first viewing. I love the plot twists God is writing into my story, and I can’t wait to read my future biography written by Maggie. Who knows what this week will hold.

7. Something Big by Shawn Mendes

This week will have something big. What thing? Who knows. Grad is coming up this next Saturday, and I know I’ll have crazy wrap up details and goodbyes I don’t want to have as students and staff scatter the globe. I also know God is bringing good things into my life – like a life size cardboard cut out of Daveed Diggs (that story will be prominent on my next post, I promise… probably… eventually).

8. Promises by Maverick City Music

The line that strikes me most deeply in this song is “let my heart learn when you speak a word, it will come to pass.” I don’t know the future, but I know that God’s character is sure and faithful. I will keep loving and growing in faithfulness. A different student who’s been praying for me regularly sent me Hebrews 10:35-39 in the midst of some of my worst insomnia. Verse 35 is now hung on a canvas Chris wrote for me; in the NIV it reads, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

9. Use My Voice by Evanescence

I was an emo kid, and I can’t really hide that, so thanks, Amy Lee, for making more music. “Give me credit or not, I give a lot.” This year has had moments for me to grow in speaking out the truth in love. I have made peace with my role. Last year my pastor told me that I need to use my voice prophetically. This is my platform, and I have other places where I’m listened to (or not) where I need to speak intentionally and lovingly.

10. On by BTS

So the YouTube playlist has the epic NYC dance video as well as the translation lyric video. I love the “bring the pain on” vibe. I’m not running away from the difficulties that God has put in my life. Some of them I straight up can’t (nerve damage sucks, y’all), but the stuff that’s easy to hide from, I’m learning to step into with grace and dignity. “You have to go crazy if you don’t want to go crazy.” I’m known around Kandern as the village crazy lady; bring it on. Every step brings me closer to Jesus.

Bonus Track: All I Know So Far by P!nk

This story isn’t over. Honestly, who knows what happens after I click post on this entry. I’ve learned some stuff so far, and I’m sharing honestly with the internet and people listening to me in my life. I’m ready to learn more.

And when the storm’s out, you run in the rain

Put your sword down, dive right into the pain

Stay unfiltered and loud, you’ll be proud of that skin full of scars

That’s all I know so far.

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