Now Playing: Fallen Man

Friends, it’s finally here!  I hope you enjoy my new music video, Fallen Man.

 

The single can be purchased on most mainstream media platforms!  Have a wonderful day.

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Fallen Man

With only a few more days before I release my next video and single, I am filled with nervous excitement and joy.  Fallen Man came out of the blue.  It wasn’t planned.

I had actually planned to release an entirely different song.  However, after trying to record it over and over, without getting anywhere, I decided to just leave it alone for the moment.  That is something I’ve learned to do of late.  Rather than beating a dead horse, it’s better to just move forward and try something different.

Fallen Man began one night, several weeks ago, when I was wide-awake and not remotely close to falling asleep.  So, I wound up in my studio jotting down the first few lines, wondering as I wrote,

“Where is this going?”

Somewhere within the next day or so, I sat down and began to compose the music.  It was quick and spontaneous.  I recorded the entire song in less than an afternoon.  The best part was that I hadn’t even finished the lyrics.  I had no idea how the song was going to end.

Yes, I recorded my vocals without writing an ending, but I knew the ending by the time the track came to the end.  It hit me and I kept recording.  By the time I stopped the recording, I could barely see through my tears.  I understood where the song was going.

I mixed and mastered the track over the next couple days, but I was already beginning to cast people for the music video.  Crazy, right?  This song that had come when I least expected it was turning into a production.

For the last few weeks, I had the pleasure of working with some friends I’ve known since my teens, as well as some brand new ones I met over the summer.  Special thanks to all the beautiful people involved.

I am so excited to share the final product with you!  In the meantime, check out a promo and behind the scenes video!

 

Be Careful What You Say

It’s just about midnight and I’m wide awake writing. Rather than sleeping, my mind has been preoccupied with thoughts regarding the weight of our words and how each word we choose to speak has value. Whether they are deemed (by us) as neutral, negative or positive, the words we speak matter.

I’m trying to get more of a grasp on using my words with greater caution. I’m trying to think my thoughts through with a lot more precision and measure those thoughts with grace before they roll off my tongue.

I can think of more than a few occasions where I spoke too quickly and immediately saw the result of my lack of forethought and grace.

I can also think of more than a few occasions where someone spoke too quickly to me and left me standing there with their words playing over and over in my head.

We all have those words. The words we battle late into the night. The words we counter with prayer. The words that have affected the way we see and do, the way we ourselves speak.

Words cannot be erased and we need to remember that.

Sure, time heals wounds. But maybe life is too short for us to keep adding to the pre-existing wounds. Maybe we need to focus on healing the wounds that are already there.

Isn’t it interesting how quickly the positive words can fade, and all it takes is that one dagger of a word to find its way in and park itself right in front for years?

There’s no amount of “I’m sorry”s or “I didn’t mean it”s that can change the fact that words stick.  They stick easier than they peel off.

Which is why we need to be so careful. We don’t know what has already been said.

Be careful what you say
words are violent weapons
of love and
of war

Be careful how you say them
when you say them
they play over
and over
forever on repeat
a thousand apologies
cannot erase their sound
as they play round
and round
louder and more
distorted than before

Be careful what you say
because I have plenty of words
already playing
and I am unable
to erase their sound
as they play round
and round

To Go Up, We Must Go Down

After finishing ENOUGH, the spoken word short I released last month, I quickly embarked on a new project. I decided to create a music video for next month’s single, Down.

In the past, I’ve struggled heavily with being a people-pleaser. I’d go over the top to keep friends, boyfriends, and just about EVERYONE happy at the expense of my own well-being. The cost of letting them down and causing disappointed left me in a state of crippling fear, as if it were up to me to keep their world spinning.

After many years of unhealthy dependent relationships/friendships, I came to the conclusion that I could no longer carry the weight and burden of living in that way. A performer, a door-mat, I was dropping my own dreams to chase theirs. It nearly destroyed me. This mindset.

There were friends I had to walk away from for a season. It was awkward and uncomfortable. But I knew it was healthy for both parties to no longer live in that state of dependance. Maybe our paths would cross again, but for the moment…

I had to go down.

I had to go back to the beginning and find out who I was. Apart from anyone else. I had to find my identity entirely in God and in Him alone.

The only person I could take with me in that moment was myself. For so long, I tried hard to take others with me…but I realized I was doing all the work, which caused me to walk in circles.

If you want to be healthy and free, it has to be your choice. And if you are not free, you cannot begin to help others find freedom.

At first, it was lonely and awkward.  But then I began to grow. I began to dig my roots in deep, firmly into a solid foundation.  Some of the people, and things, I had to let go of for a season returned along the way, and many others never did.  It’s sad at times, but now I know that the level of freedom I walk in cannot be determined by where other people are at in their journey.

As I grew, God began to teach me about healthy boundaries. He taught me how to use discernment with what types of influences I allowed in my inner circle. How to love people relentlessly, but also to not allow them to take advantage of my heart.

And that, in a nutshell, is what Down is all about.  I’m excited to share it with you early next month!  Check back soon.

“To go up, 
we must
go down,
we can’t plant
our seeds
in the clouds.”

ENOUGH: A True Story

It was October of last year, I had just lead a session of worship at a Women’s Conference.  As I left the piano and went to the back of the room to my seat, I was instantly hit with a thought.

I was going to write a spoken word about my battle with an eating disorder and addiction.

Wait…WHAT?!?!?

I felt the weight of the project hit me like a brick wall.  I knew in that moment if I only ever pushed myself to finish one project . . . it needed to be this.

I began to jot down the first few phrases on my phone.  They flowed so easily that I felt I had to stop and catch my breath.

I turned off my phone and waited.  And perhaps, I dragged my feet a little.

I dragged my feet because I knew that this project had no room for cutting corners.  It had no room for settling.  It would require me to push myself into vulnerable places and stretch my creativity beyond what I was accustomed to.  I also knew if it was going to be done right, I would need to find actors, as well as a special effects makeup artist.

A month or so later, I opened the same note on my phone and wrote the rest.  And then, I put it away until I knew it was the right time.

I didn’t even think about it until last month, when I woke up on my day off and knew it was time.  I got out of bed and recorded the spoken word narration in my Batman pj pants (just being real) and began to compose the score.

That week I started contacting those who would be acting out the scenes and poured myself into drawing out storyboards.  I visited thrift stores for props and what I couldn’t find I would borrow or make myself.

Let me just tell you how amazing my family and friends are.  I realized for the first shoot with a lovely young gal, I hadn’t even really told her what I was working on, yet she and my husband were blindly following me to do things that probably looked extremely odd and random—no questions asked.  They are the best.

Not cutting corners meant I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than what I saw in my head.  And that was amazing.  As I went into places I had never been before, God provided the means to make the vision manifest right before my eyes.

The entire experience was filled with growth, honest conversations and an even greater level of inner healing.  I am grateful to each person involved in this project.  Each one of you were vital in seeing this from start to finish.

I will be posting ENOUGH on Facebook, YouTube and my website tomorrow (8.8.17).  If you are touched by the video, I ask that you share the link and pass it around.  Every share counts.  Even if it only touches one person . . . it will all have been worth the time, effort and expense of this endeavor.

Thank you all for your continued love and support.  Check back tomorrow for the link!

Change

What is change but another word for opportunity 

To see the world through a different lens

It’s not the end, but if it is

Let’s keep on living

A couple weeks ago(ish), I woke up at 2am and began to write out some thoughts (under my covers, on my phone, in order to not wake my sleeping husband).  The thoughts turned to song a couple days later, and thus became “Change”.

My recording studio was packed in boxes, as I sat on the floor with my laptop and keyboard.  I didn’t even have a mic stand accessible or my pop filter (which, for those who do not know what I’m talking about, is basically a shield that eliminates plosive “p” and “b” sounds, and any other little pops while I’m singing.).  So, I covered my mic with a piece of felt fabric and sang away. 😉

Change.  Life is full of change, of course.  Just a few months ago, I married my best friend.  I know that sounds cliché, but I mean it with all of my heart.  Marriage has been a wonderful change, even on the awkward and hard days of carefully navigating through brand new territory together.

I have learned a lot about myself during this time.  For example, it has been a great opportunity for me to open my eyes to more than myself (being in a relationship can really showcase your true colors and level of selfishness).  That is a gift, as long as I give in and allow God to continue to bring me higher.

    Look up, look past

Maybe it’s your last breath

Breathe it in

Breathe it in

Until then we’re just beginning

So, here we are.  It’s been a week since we moved into our second place of residence together (in our three-ish months of marriage).  When we first found out we had to switch houses, you can probably imagine that we weren’t exactly jumping off the walls with excitement.  We had to be purposeful in staying focused on the positive aspects of the sudden change.  At the end of the day, we were thankful not to be homeless and choosing to trust that God is looking out for us in every area of our lives.  Even when we are both exhausted from work and all of the other changes.

Just a few weeks before the wedding, we were seriously considering a rather big opportunity that had been offered to us in another state.  We were flown out and interviewed for positions that included amazing benefits for both of us.  As we got closer to the transition, we started to feel God move us in a different direction.

Many didn’t understand when we turned it down.  According to the world’s standards, we could have been quite comfortable in the long run.  But…we can’t live by the world’s standards.  We both knew where we needed to be, so we had to make a decision that lead to more unexpected change.

Less than an hour after making the call and turning down the opportunity, I was presented with devastating news.  If we were to go the direction that God was calling us, it would mean that I would not be able to keep my beloved pup.  The news shattered my world.  Michael could barely talk when he came to me and told me that when we got married we would not be allowed to have Chad with us.

One of the biggest joys of the last two years has been this wonderful black lab.  I adopted him after getting out of a very dangerous relationship.  He was a comfort to me during a time when I was having horrible night terrors and anxiety.  The little bundle of fur quickly grew into an amazing friend.

We have been blessed with housing at our place of employment.  I can’t go into all of the details, and I don’t need to.  All I know is that Michael tried everything, even offering to give up his dog so I could keep mine.  But his dog is a small breed and the company only has new policies regarding larger breeds.

I cried for two days.  And honestly, if someone asks me about the situation, I can barely talk about it without tears.

There’s no reason to wait for the days to get better

Even if the sun’s not shining

Breathe it in

Breathe it in

 Only family and a few friends have known about this change.  Because, frankly, it has been a difficult and painful adjustment.  When I first heard the news, I thought I was going to lose him forever, but a dear friend was willing to offer him a home during this season.

Every day I go to see Chad and take him for a walk.  I cannot begin to express how thankful I am that I get to still have him in my life.  Still, this change has been exhausting on many levels.  Waking up at 5am for an early shift and then going immediately across town to walk my dog has been tiring.  But it’s worth it…and I know God is taking care of me and him.  He waits for me at the door every day and greets me with his waggly tail and kisses.

I don’t understand any of this, but I have a choice to not give into anger and bitterness.  I have to choose to see this as the beginning and not the end.

I’m not saying

Pretend you’re okay

When you’re not better

Breathe it in

Breathe it in

Today’s a gift that we’ve been given

 

 

 

 

 

Now Available: Hurricane

It was a rainy day, much like today, when I wrote Hurricane.  I had gone down to the Waterfront in Portland to busk (street perform).  Rain is quite a common occurrence in Oregon, but this particular rainy day I found myself completely alone and wet.  So, I packed up, walked back to my car, and sat for awhile to see if the rain would subside.

I had bills to pay, so I was feeling rather discouraged with my empty tip jar.  I was also in a rough patch in a relationship, which meant that the loneliness I was feeling wasn’t simply from being out on the Waterfront (in the rain) all by myself.  I was empty and afraid.  Angry.  Confused.  Lost.

 

“He was a summer day, with the rage of a hurricane.”

Anger.  I don’t talk about it much, but it’s a huge piece of my story.  I was angry to my core.  There were times when I felt so hurt and out of control that I would drive through the night and scream until I would lose my voice.

When I wrote hurricane, I’d play it with my acoustic guitar.  It was a catchy, fun, folk-sounding song.  But now, the meaning of the words go much deeper.

I am no longer angry, so now I can hear the words.

“It’s strange how small the world becomes.  When the masks, when the masks fall . . .”

How often do we accuse others of the exact issues we ourselves are dealing with?  How often do we try to cope by becoming dependent on other imperfect people?

As the anger made way for clarity, I no longer saw myself as the lonely victim.  We were both victims to our own rage, our own painful baggage.  They were fallen just like me.  Wearing masks to cover up their true colors.  Smiling in the day, screaming and hiding under the cloak of night.

“Sometimes love becomes a blindfold.”

 

Now Available: Moments

I remember the day Moments began to take shape.   It started with the first line,

“Time waits for no one…”

And then came the piano melody, which caused the next few lines to flow automatically onto the page of my legal pad.

 

Several people I knew had passed over the course of a few months, including the remainder of both sides of grandparents and a dear friend.  I was living in Portland at the time and working crazy hours at a super market to make ends meet, too broke and busy to make it home for the memorials.  I felt raw and numb, as I came face to face with the reality of the fragility of life once again.

People are more important than things, more important than even my own dreams.  My vision changed, and my priorities were rearranged, as I made it my mission to make sure those in my life knew their value and how much their presence meant to me.  Life it too short not to take risks and speak out.  To do all that you were created to do and be all that you were created to be.

The present is all we have to seize the day and make the most of the brief moment in history we have to not only chase after our own dreams, but to help others see their dreams become reality.  I realized that to reach my dreams alone would be cold and shallow.  Life only matters if you share it with the people you love.

“I cut holes in my pockets, symbolically so, you know I see no treasure like you…”

Moments is now available to purchase on iTunes, Amazon and all of your favorite music stores online.  Enjoy!