We are fortunate to live in a country where we are allowed to make choices. Like this election.
But this post isn’t going to be about politics it’s about choices.
Everyday you wake up you have a choice. What you wear, what you eat, how you spend your time. We each make a lot of tiny decisions everyday and they may seem insignificant but these little choices shape our character and our future.
No one makes good choices all the time… No one is perfect.
What would happen if we let God intervene in our lives in every choice? The big decision and the little ones like sharing a smile with someone who looks down. What if we started started giving others the benefit of the doubt. What if our choice were fueled by the love that Jesus came to earth to show us? What if we chose to learn…
Don’t let your life slip away. Be mindful of the decisions you make everyday and how they affect others. We are human, we screw so much up. We don’t communicate well, we make bad decisions and we hurt each other. We are selfish to the core.
Choose to talk it out.
Choose to love.
Choose to care.
Choose to forgive and actually forget.
Choose to not let your life slip away and to make a difference in whatever way you can. One small choice at a time. I ask all these questions to myself, that is why they have even made it to this screen.
No one is perfect but we can choose to be better.
We have hit the half way point (roughly speaking) of the tracking process of the record.
I gotta admit, it’s hard to spend SOOOO much time writing and rewriting and just killing yourself over these songs and to have almost half of them nearly tracked in 2 weeks in jarring. It’s high time though.
Everyday I try to conjure up enough of my soul to put into each vocal take, the right balance of vocal perfection (I’m such a singing technique snob..don’t even get me started) and emotion while communicating everything I have been wanting to say. This CD is forever, eek! So I try not to think about it and try not to be too incredibly hard on myself..haha, yeah that won’t happen.
A little 2 day break at home has been much appreciated. Mostly for Mister Kitty who has separation anxiety issues when I’m away. But I’m ready to get back tomorrow to Nashville and get to it. The pressure is enormous, the time frame frightening and the gravity of what we are actually doing unbelievable…but why not do at something extraordinary, if even once, in our too-short lifetimes? Why not give everything you can possibly give? Isn’t it worth it? I don’t want to live my life on half effort…ever!
At the end of the day, whether I nail every take 120% or every drum fill rules or guitar riff is unreal..whatever…even if it’s not perfect, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will have His way with this music because He brought us here in the first place.
I’m just so grateful to be along for this crazy ride He put me on.
I only seem to blog when I’m feeling extra contemplative…I swear I’m not this serious and introverted all the time. Someday I am going to have to post trivial, silly and useless material just to prove it to myself. (:
I am sitting by myself for probably the last time in several weeks. I look around, I’ve cleaned my whole house, packed my bags, and tomorrow morning I will leave my house and my cat to fend for itself for a few weeks. It’s really not that bad. It’s just all this “at home” time and small trips to Nashville makes me feel unprepared for a longer one when I used to be so good at coming and going.
I know I will step back into my stride in no time. I always do.
I try to envision what the next few weeks will hold and I can’t, but I try nonetheless. Hot Nashville summer, endless hours in a sunless studio, my brain working overtime and lots of Ramen noodles. I know that sounds lame but within all that…piece by piece the songs we have written will begin to grow out of their child-like state into full-fledged masterpieces just waiting to be shared with the world. That’s what is awesome about recording. Not sleeping on air mattress or futons, not eating the cheapest food you can find or working all hours of the day indoors…it’s creating and witnessing a song come to life.
That’s worth it all.
Writing an album is hard.
Writing a book is daunting
Being in a band, quitting your job to travel and do what you love is scary.
Standing in front of thousands of people and boldly declaring what I believe is not for the faint of heart.
Marrying your high school sweetheart and supporting yourself is terrifying.
Here’s to taking risks and doing the things that other people only dream about because they are too afraid of life.
Here’s to taking on the things that people told me I could never do or would ever achieve.
I have to remember these things from time to time when I start to get intimidated by all the mountains in front me that I have yet to climb but are on my path. There is no getting away from it. I was born for this. I have purpose. So on the days I get down and discouraged I have to stare into the face of those mountains and say, “I can make you move and I will”. Just you wait.
One step at a time, but the journey is worth every step.
I will never truly understand why God put me where He did and why this is my life. I trust it’s all a part of something bigger that I cannot see at this spot on the road.
I am not complaining in the least. There are more days that I wake up unbelievably grateful and in disbelief that I can call this life mine. God is just so big. He is just so big and so are His purposes. I cannot fully grasp it.
At first it was hard for me to accept the road I was given but I quickly learned how much better God’s plan was and is. He knew where I needed to be. Where I would be needed and where I would grow. He sees the big picture and we don’t. That doesn’t scare me. I’m not afraid of the future. He has led me every step of the way and he will not turn away.
So back to this not being my plan. To be in a rock band… Sounds so cool but I never wanted to be in a position of such vulnerability and criticism. Living in a boy’s world and many times feeling out of place and feeling the need to prove my right to be on stage. But it ha been the most beautiful growing experience of my life. And it could all end tomorrow and I would smile because it’s been worth it.
It’s been worth it cause for the first time in my young life I worked my hardest and not solely for my own gain.
Because the goal isn’t fame or money or even respect. It’s not about glamor or lights, appeal or well rehearsed shows. It’s about my heart learning to reach out and touch another with God’s love. Which, in the end, means its not even about me at all.
“You are mine, I am Yours
YOU are my great reward”
Sorry for my blogging absence. I don’t really have a good excuse but lookee here I am! I’m back!
I have been home quite a bit lately, which is odd for me but I am learning to adjust. I am this crazy season of….quiet. At first I was going mad but now I am seeing the value in being still that I never did before.
When I first entered this season of “down time” I viewed it as my time to catch up all the projects, ideas, books, friends…whatever, everything I couldn’t squeeze in before. Not. the. case. I tried this at first and God was like “Hey! Cut it out - I brought you here to be with me.” And I love that but the problem with spending time alone with God is that you inevitably end up spending a lot time with yourself.
“The closer you get to God the more you keep bumping in yourself”
I didn’t know how to be by myself, not in a self-sufficient way but to strip away all the accomplishments, opinions, and expectations and just be purely human. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like me. I much prefer me with all the sashes, ribbons, awards. I liked my little trophies more than I liked myself. What do you think God likes more? He could care less about my little showcase of achievements, He loves me. I didn’t know how to be alone without feeling like I was going crazy. Try it sometime - try to be alone and not do anything but think about you as a person and about your relationship with God. Don’t think about your plans for the weekend, or what you are going to eat for dinner or anything like that. That stuff is not WHO we are. Honestly, I hated being alone but through these last months now I have learned to treasure that time. God needed to work on me before I go back out into the world. I am in the sanctuary but soon I will be in the middle of a raging battlefield. I know that what is coming I am being prepared for right now. It doesn’t feel like much is happening but in my heart I am being re-made. Not only did I learn to be okay with myself when I am stripped away of all my earthly praise but I am learning to love myself as Christ loves me. I am learning how to confront my pain with His love and not with my own resolve. It’s a healing process but I am walking in the right direction and I know when this season is over I will be ten times more effective, and a way brighter light in the world.
Just being honest.
God is a God of more than enough. He is not skimpy but extravagant.
Some of us are poor. Poor in our wallets, poor in our spirits, poor in our expectations of what God can do in our lives.
Some of us are rich. Rich in material things, rich with friends and family, rich in the Holy Spirit and our faith in God.
Some of us are both and we don’t even realize it.
Why are so many of us poor when God intends for us to be rich? And don’t mistaken this for money or wealth - I mean our spirits. We let our spirits dry up and we starve ourselves from fellowship with the Holy Spirit. We are lonely, plagued by sadness and confusion about the future. We spend our time formulating our own plans for happiness only to find none. We are like un-watered plants, reaching for the sun but insist on setting in the shade. We want to hear God’s voice but don’t even give Him the time of day. God wants us to be rich, not even full but overflowing! Overflowing with what? Peace, love, content, goodness and all the fruit of a life that is close to God. Overflowing with joy and a sense of purpose. Wouldn’t you like to be rich?
Are you rich? Are you poor?
We like to ask God for stuff.
We like to ask God for selfish things and noble things, for ourselves and for other people. This isn’t really surprising though since we are human and flawed. In my quiet time with God, as I draw close to Him, He is showing me how much in my life needs to leave. And in my mind I’m pretty alright person but now I see there is such a long way to go.
Ask God for the ability to love more, ask Him to open your heart and He will break it with the things of this world that break His.
Ask God to help you trust Him better. He will take away the man-made securities you relied on to force you to lean on Him.
Ask God to allow you to be more patience (who hasn’t prayed this one) and He will give you situations that stretch you.
Ask God to show you His will for Your life - and He may shut the doors that you worked so hard in vain to open for yourself.
You cannot ask for any of these things without asking FOR GOD. God is love, trust, patience and the one who holds all of the world in His hands. Though all of these things sound harsh we cannot forget that BECAUSE God is love, He acts out of love and He loves us so much - more than we will ever comprehend. We are His glorious creations and He sees potential and promise no one else can. He knows we can handle it by relying on Him - He knows we will be better because of it.
I think one of my late and beloved Grandma’s favorite songs explains it best…
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
”Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto
If we really knew what we were asking for when we prayed…maybe we would stop asking God for so much. But that isn’t the answer. We need to cry out to God to change us and lean on His promises that He will see us through with the peace that passes all understanding. The real problem is thinking that we don’t need Him to change us in the first place.