Hello, Regret

Hello, Regret took me a couple years to write.  It was a journey I had to walk through to finally finish the lyrics.  Sometimes songs are like that.  As I’ve grown in my songwriting, I’ve learned that some come quickly and others come after you’ve struggled through to the other side of them.

“To regret is much too high a price…”

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life—I’m sure you have too.  I’ve made the wrong choices, walked down the wrong paths, spoke when I should have kept quiet, kept quiet when I should have let my voice be heard.

We all have things in life we would do differently, if given a second chance.

Regret.

It’s a part of life, but it doesn’t have to define the way you live the rest of your life.

I’ve lived with regret in two ways.

1.) I let regret overtake me and drown me in a never-ending sea of remorse.

A few years ago, I found myself in a very dark place.  This was well after I had received healing from addictions and so forth (My Testimony).  I had been living on my own in Oregon for a bit and I was burned out.

I had made choices that had put me in a place that brought difficult consequences and mental turmoil.   The world felt  dark and out of control.

My health was poor and I felt remorseful and angry at myself for the decisions I made in my teens.  Those years when I didn’t take care of myself.

I lost sight of who I was.

Regret makes you forget who you are, if you let it take hold of your hope.

2.) I chose to forget and cover up my feelings.

There’s danger that follows this way of living.  When you choose to forget, you open a door that may lead you to fall into the same mistakes of your past.

So, I had to find a balance.

Regret has become very important in my walk.  A healthy amount.  No longer living in a dark state of constant remorse, but choosing to learn from the mistakes so that I can grow and make better decisions as I go.

Covering up feelings is never a good idea.  They eventually come out.  The longer they are bottled up, the uglier the impending explosion.

As painful as it is, I’ve been trying to get into the habit of facing my fears as they come and letting the regret take its course immediately.

Again, the idea is not to stay in a state of remorse and allow the regret to take over.  It is, however, vital to face the facts.  Forgive others, forgive yourself.  Don’t hold onto things that are only going to weigh you down.  Let go.  Give it up.  Move forward.

Your regret, your past, does not define you.  God defines you.  He can make you new and whole again.  He will guide you through lingering consequences and be there when you grieve and battle through to the other side.

Grief is healthy.  Cry.  Talk to someone.  Pray.

Just don’t stay there.

Stop for a moment.  Allow yourself to feel so you can move on.

“There’s a joy that I am running to.  A love that makes a way.”

My new single and lyric video arrived today, and you can now stream/watch/download it to your heart’s content.  Enjoy!

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Dreamer

“Speak to me your greatest fear and I will show you a love that is stronger . . .”

This Friday, my new single and music video will be out.  The production of Dreamer has been a delight and I am bouncing-off-the-walls-excited and sighing deep sighs of relief because it is all done and ready to be released.

I wrote Dreamer in two parts.  The first part came spontaneously and I shared it online back in June: Spontaneous Song: Dreamer – Stephanie Baker

The second part came just as spontaneously later that month.  The verses came so easily that I barely had time to write them down before the next line came rushing out.

“As I open my eyes and observe my generation, I see a trending obsession to know who we are . . . ”

So, I recorded a draft of the entire song.  And up until a month ago, I thought it was my finished product and planned on releasing it this month.  That said, I wound up dumping that version entirely and starting over.

The idea for the music video storyline came to life when I saw a friend post a photo of his INCREDIBLE space/aqua suit that he was working on—yes, he made his costume.  It was so perfect and the exact sort of whimsy I had envisioned for his character.

Matt is exceptionally talented and so is his daughter, Fiona.  You can see Matt make an appearance in Fallen Man, and Fiona playing a young me in Enough.  I was blessed to have them act side-by-side in Dreamer.  Their father-daughter chemistry is absolutely adorable.

Also making it’s debut appearance is the chess set my father built when he was fourteen years old in wood working class.  Fun fact.  We didn’t lose a single piece to the lake.

Dreamer is the ninth in a series of ten songs I’ve been releasing every month since March.  If you missed the others, you can buy or stream them on any of your favorite music distribution platforms online, including Spotify.

The video will be posted Friday afternoon, so be sure to check back!  If you like the video, please share it with your friends and help me spread it around.  Thank you all for your continued love and support!

 

 

 

Being You

How do you be yourself in a world that is screaming at you to do the opposite?

I don’t know.  I’m still trying to figure it out.  Actually, let me say that differently . . .

I know how, but I’m still trying to figure out how to completely let go of the words that come against me regarding . . . well, being me.

You probably know what I mean.

It’s easier to just fly under the radar.  It’s easier to not go against the grain.  It’s easier to avoid conflicts by not discussing particular topics and to dance around the deafening questions and silent assumptions of others.

It’s easier.

I know that being you is uncomfortable at times.  I know that being you can bring moments of walking alone when others don’t understand.

And even if we have found our identity in God, it is very easy to backtrack and worry a little too much about what others are thinking or speaking about us.

The bottom line is . . .

Life is too short for us to not be who we were created to be.

Plain and simple.

And yes, I’m ranting a little.  This is something really personal and present in my life right now.  I just know this is something we all deal with along the way, and maybe you need to hear these words too.

I changed a lot of things this year.  I changed my name, when I got married.  I changed the frequency of when and how I release music.  I branched out into more experimental electronic music (which has been my vision all along).  I also changed my hair color.

It would have been easier for me to just continue to produce what I knew would sell.  Worship music sells easier, but that (for me) is not a good reason to release a worship song.

My closest friends know, I am a worshipper to the core.  This has only increased since I started to make the decision to trust God and release the stories of what He has been teaching me throughout this journey.

The vision is to start conversations.  To stir up imagination and creativity.  To live more boldly and help others do so as well.  This is the me I’ve known I needed to be for a long time, but it took years of performing and pretending and being too afraid to stop the cycle to bring me to this place.

Life is too short to stay comfortable.

Life it too short to try to keep everyone happy.

The way I see it is this.  If there is only one person (per song or video I release) who is truly impacted by this vision, it will all have been worth the time and energy.  It will have been worth it all.

Because there are people in my life who went out on a limb to trust God by being themselves.

If they hadn’t, I know I would not be alive.

Life is too short for us to not be who we were created to be.

Be brave.

It will be worth it all in the end.

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!