“How Long” by Pacific Gold

The title sort of says it all, doesn’t it?

First, it’s been awhile. Hello!

Second, I’ve been singing lots. In the classroom, to my boy at home, in the car, in the shower, and finally, in the basement where I can finally retreat to my ginormous electric set of keys and quietly tinker out what’s been in my head all these years. It feels good. Even if I haven’t finished any of the songs. Even if it’s really only been for two hours. Even if the only place I ever sing them out is in my own house… It feels really good. It feels like me.

A sister friend of mine recently challenged that cultivating this time and space for myself (which in theory feels selfish and is therefore, in my head, laced with guilt), that this is actually for everyone else. When I write/play/sing, I’m simply watering the seeds. It serves my husband, my baby, my students, my friends and family precisely because it’s what makes me able to escape, express, and return to them as myself when I’m through.

Gee, when she put it that way, it made total sense!

And in practice, it’s even better.

But to think about it, to plan it out and organize the time and the space, it makes no sense. How could spending even more quality time away from my sweet baby Johnny Boy (which is the whole point of my usual grumblings… how can I be home with him more?), how could that be what’s best for everyone?

But it is. I’m free when I sing. I have JOY. It’s what I do AND it’s who I am. It’s what I do because it’s who I am. Say what you will about that; it’s true.

And here’s another truth: I actually don’t have to sacrifice my time with Johnny to do this. It can be done while he’s sleeping. (And he’s actually pretty great at that, thank you, God!)

So, as it’s snowing on Spring Break and I sit here counting all the beautiful reminders to BEW in the face of my fears, I submit to all of you this unique little spin on an old classic hymn.  Let it remind you that the glory of God is man fully alive. Go do what makes you ALIVE!




To see the law by Christ fulfilled
To hear His pardoning voice 
Can change a slave into a child
And duty into choice

No strength of nature can suffice
To serve the Lord aright
And what she has she misapplies
For want of clearer light
How long, how long 
Beneath the law I lay
How long, how long
I struggled to obey
Then to abstain from outward sin 
Was more than I could do
Now if I feel its power within
I feel I hate it too 

Then all my servile works were done 
A righteousness to raise
Now, freely chosen in the Son 
I freely choose His ways 





  1. From the time you raced from the back of the little condo we rented to stand in front of the TV and listen to the theme song from Sesame Street to the times we heard the slam of your car door and heels clacking up the walk as you belted out whatever tune you’d been listening to in your car on the way home, we have always known that singing is what brings you joy! Daddy and I would just smile and shake our heads because you couldn’t/can’t help yourself and half the time didn’t realize you were doing it! While washing dishes, in the the shower, anywhere and everywhere. it’s how we knew you were home. Really home. And it brings not just happiness, but, joy to know your child is “home.”

    Liked by 1 person

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