The Sun'll Come Out...

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'll be releasing new music for the first time in over 5 years! On one hand, I am SO excited about letting these songs live a life outside of the walls of my own home. But, on the other hand, I'm a little nervous about it. Writing music is such a personal and healing thing for me. It kinda feels like sending your child to school for the first time (shoutout to all my mama friends who have been doing that these past couple weeks!) You hope you've done everything you can to prepare them for the world. And you really hope the world loves them as much as you do.

One question that many people have asked me lately is, "How long have you been working on this album?" While the actual recording part was done rather quickly - we spent a weekend laying all the parts down and a couple weeks on mixing and mastering - there are years of prayers and preparation that have gone before it.

To give a little back story, four years ago (right after my son, Micah, was born), I had this vision of making an album that centered around the theme of hope. My family has not been void of the pain and trials that this life can bring. As I'm sure yours hasn't either. There is no scale or measure for the weight of what makes a heavy burden. If it's heavy to you, then it's heavy. And it needs to be laid at the feet of Jesus. Writing songs has been a tangible way for me to lay my burdens down. 

At one point, I really did start to question why it seemed like one thing after another would plague our family. Whether it was divorce, addictions, death of a loved one, infertility, cancer... we've been through it. And I most likely have written a song about it. Only four songs made it onto this EP... but these four sum up perfectly the faithful, everlasting love of God that I so desperately crave more of each and every day. These are the songs I want to sing over myself, just as much as I want to sing them over you. 

So four years ago I had this vision but, as I know too well, every good thing is worth the wait. I've been so blessed to have spent the last four years pouring all of my time and energy into raising babies and serving in ministry. Still, the dream to record Storms never went away. 

My husband and I would go out on dates and talk about our dreams, our goals and ways we believed God was calling us to live out the purpose He has put us on earth for - to make the gospel known to the world. I am so thankful I married a man like this. One who never sees "settling" as the goal. And not only believes in the calling that God has for him, but also the calling that God has for me too. It was on one of our dates when he told me that I just needed to do it (he's a real "putting-feet-to-your-words" kinda guy), so for Christmas, Valentine's Day and my birthday he would put money aside and say, "This is for your album." 

Once we had saved up enough money earlier this year, I began preparing for this project. And let me tell you, trying to plan and prepare to record with two toddlers running around the house is NO JOKE. I almost quit before I started. Practice time was limited, between naps and snacks, but I was determined to get it done. Because more than ever, I believe what the world desperately needs is the hope of Jesus.

Once we moved to Jacksonville, things fell into place fairly quickly. After a random encounter with Eddy Foye in Bold Bean coffee the first week we moved, I contacted him about recording and he was more than happy to work with me! Within two weeks of moving to Jacksonville, I had found an engineer and musicians for the album. Everything seemed to be going smoothly... 

And then the storms hit. 

Once you've been through it a few times, you start to recognize the pattern of spiritual warfare. There was road block after road block trying to stop this EP from happening. Circumstances that were too random and too coincidental not to question the source.

The devil isn't to blame for everything. And I'm nobody that important. But you can recognize spiritual warfare by one crucial thing - timing. Satan tempted Jesus when he was fasting in the wilderness for 40 days - a time when he knew Jesus would be at his weakest, physically. He is clever and crafty, but painfully predictable. 

The joke amongst our family right now is, "What did you expect when you named an album, Storms?" 

And I guess that's the truth.

I share all that, to let you know that it hasn't been an easy journey for me to press publish on this post. But these songs have come alive and ministered to my heart in my current season, just as much as they did in the season I wrote them.

If you are reading this, I really hope you listen to the music tomorrow. But even if you don't and you never hear a song of mine, I pray that you close this page knowing that you are not alone in your struggles. That this life we have been created to live is rich with pain and suffering. And there is a reason for that - our world is broken. 

But there is a Healer that I have found comfort in every time

The one who restores and mends.
The one who brings dead minds, bodies, and souls to life
And the one I will spend the rest of my days singing and writing about. 

Tomorrow. It's only a day away.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
— Hebrews 4:15-16

Storms EP update

Recording another album has been on my heart for awhile now. With two young babies at home, it takes a little more planning and preparation to actually schedule time to do it. :) In January of this year I found an engineer and we were just in the beginning stages of working on the project, when my husband got the call from Chets Creek Church about the possibility of moving to help launch a new campus. I realized that I needed to either expedite the recording process and quick, without letting them know why or delay it even longer until after the move. As I was praying through it, my prayers were answered when I got a message from the engineer telling me that he was moving and wouldn't be able to finish the project. 

Bummer. But ok Lord, waiting it is.

image.jpg

It seems fitting that the process of recording this album has been almost like a storm in itself. Ups and downs. Setbacks. Feeling overwhelmed. Wanting to give up. 

But what keeps me hanging on is, honestly, the truth written in these songs. 

He is faithful.

When I write a song, I don't immediately jump to wanting to record it. I usually like to let it sit for awhile. Gaining perspective and overall vision for how I desire the song to be conveyed. 

During this process, sometimes a song will lose its allure for me. And that's how I usually know, that while it was still an act of worship for me to write it, it's probably not one that I should bother recording. 

But then some songs... some songs continue to speak truth and encouragement to my heart, growing more and more inspirational over time. These are the songs I become desperate to record. So desperate, that I will even begin to speak the lyrics over people who I know need to hear them (I did this the other day to a sweet, new friend and watched as tears began to fill her eyes). 

Confirmation. Ok Lord, I gotta do this. 

I've narrowed the songs down to four that I would absolutely love to record. Four songs that I wrote over 3-4 years ago. Ironically, during the transition when we moved from Dothan, Alabama to (my hometown) Ocala, Florida. And now here I am in another transition and finding these songs are still so healing to my heart. 

Faithful One
Storms
Show Me How To Love
Love Everlasting

The title track, Storms, pretty much conveys the entire message of the record in that simple word. These are songs written for the broken, the hurting, the wounded, the searching, the one who lacks understanding, the one who is longing, the one who finds themselves in the middle of a season of waiting, or a season of just plain despair. The one who is drenched in the storms of life. 

I don't know about you, but I have grown weary of just doing the motions or saying the words I know I am "supposed to say" or even praying the words I know I am "supposed to pray." And I am desperate to cry out to God with honesty, brokenness and humility. 

That is what these songs are to me. And prayerfully, what I hope they can be for you.

Right now, I have found a new engineer (yay!) and I am aiming for a summer recording date. If you feel at all led to donate to this project, you can do so by clicking on the donate button below. 

But more than anything else, we truly covet your prayers and support for us during this season. It means a lot that you would just take the time to read this post, sincerely. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. And may You find rest and shelter from the storm, in Him. Psalm 91:1. 

 

Donate

Day 18: A Little Self-Promotion

I've never been a fan of self-promotion. In fact, I cringe every time I have to do it. But I've learned in working myself silly doing freelance jobs (singing, web design, guitar lessons, recording) that it comes with the territory. The only way to actually make an income doing this type of work is to build a network.

I'm a stay at home mom, but a lot of people don't realize that I do a lot of this stuff on the side.

Currently I'm teaching guitar two days a week, and have some talented students ranging from 4th-8th grade. I feel like I'm training up our future student worship band! I'm also working on a website for a friend's company. I'd share the link, but it's not finished yet and they might not approve. But I did this one and this one for our church.

All of these "jobs," have come by word-of-mouth (aka. my husband's). I'm thankful I married such a supportive man who believes I am close to superwoman and can do just about anything... haha, not really. But he is definitely my biggest promoter and encourager.

Lately, he has been encouraging me to promote my music more. And when I say "encouraging"... I mean, he just bribed me to write this blog post.

He's right though, I talk about music and write about music and even record little videos and share my music for free. But I haven't spent much time trying to build on my platform or really make an income from it. I guess it goes back to the self-promotion thing, and the fact that I'm pretty discontent about the music that I do have available.

Not that I think it's bad, I don't. I love it and the songs are very representative of a certain time of my lifeMost of the songs on my album, "New Day" were written during college and my first year of marriage... five years ago. 

albumart
albumart

I even look like a baby there, right?

But since then, I've written so many new songs that have been healing to my heart during this season of my life.

This season of marriage. And motherhood. And answered prayers.

I already have five I can name off-hand, that I would so love to record and share with you all. I've already shared a few on my youtube channel. But as cute as my little boy Micah is, I would love to offer quality recordings without his adorable cooing in the background. ;)

Like I mentioned in this post, I don't believe I'm the best singer/songwriter out there. I don't think you should be emptying your wallets for copies of my music. But I do believe I am called to do what I do.

And if you believe that too, I ask for your support.

My goal is to record a stripped down, acoustic album before the end of this year. Yes, in two months.

My hopes is that this music will bless your hearts and ears. I also pray that it will be a blessing to my family as we sort through paying for medical bills that have accumulated over this past year.

If you would like to help encourage this process, you can do so by one of the following three ways:

1) Purchasing my "New Day" EP on iTunes. Or order a hard copy here.

2) You can get a head start on Christmas and go download my acoustic "iChristmas" EP. (You'll also have the option of donating whatever amount you would like that way.)

3) And if you really love me, you've probably already supported me in both of those projects. :) In that case, I've provided a donation button below for those of you who feel led to contribute to my next acoustic album. You will be sure to get a copy of it for free as soon as it is finished!

newdayalbum
newdayalbum
ichristmasalbum
ichristmasalbum

Whew, thanks for bearing with me through that!

I was once told by a music professional in the recording industry that I needed to "get over" my disdain for self-promotion. That I needed to "believe I was great and go out and sell myself to the public!"

I am still working on that. I don't know if I'll ever get to the point where it is a comfortable thing for me to do. But at the same time, I do believe in God's call on my life. And I believe HE is great enough to provide for all of our needs. This is one area of my life that I am continually seeking daily contentment in. The balance between taking action and just believing God will provide. I'm beginning to think both are necessary. 

This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October entitled “31 Days of Being Content.”  See all other posts in this series by clicking hereOr enter your email address in the sidebar on the right to subscribe to this blog and receive posts straight to your inbox!