The Call of Love

I picked up a book this morning that I haven’t read in a bit. In fact, I finally unpacked my box of books a week ago for the first time since we moved last summer.

It’s called, “Come Away My Beloved” by Frances J. Roberts. My mother gave me the devotional for Christmas nearly a decade ago.   It is written in old English. So, bare with me if you are not as big a nerd as myself—I am, after all, the girl who decided to read all the works of Shakespeare one summer in high school (for fun).

I turned to the first section:

The Call of Love

I read it a few times, underlining a particular paragraph that I felt led to share with you today:

“Tarry not for an opportunity to have more time to be alone with Me. Take it, though ye leave the tasks at hand. Nothing will suffer. Things are of less importance than ye think. Our time together is like a garden full of flowers, whereas the time ye give to things is as a field full of stubble.”

I made a huge change recently. That change was unplugging from the internet more than 80% of the day. I used to multitask to the point where it was becoming detrimental to my routine.

When I left my day job to make Awake to Dream Studios my full time job, I had to eliminate everything that would keep me from staying focused.

It probably sounds odd.

I mean, everything I do is internet based and requires access to social media. But I learned the value of pouring all of my brainpower into the tasks at hand. I began to plan out my posts and online strategies well in advance. I scheduled my updates to post automatically, which freed up my hands to work elsewhere.

In the end, I didn’t need my phone pinging every time I had a message or notification. I found out I could be much more productive by checking my profiles and email at a specific time in the day, and then moving on with my projects.

What did I end up with?

Quality time in my studio and more finished projects.

Also, my prayer life has greatly increased without the added distractions. That, to me, is way more important than any of my other endeavors. If that area suffers, so does every other part of my life.

Enlight32

So, I pondered that paragraph, waited on the Lord for a moment and turned to Proverbs.

I laughed as I read the title of the chapter in my bible:

The Call of Wisdom

“Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:

“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? 

If you turn at my reproof, behold I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.”

—Proverbs 1:20-23

“Tarry not.”

All that we are longing for can be made fulfilled in His presence. Whatever we need, He already has supplied.

This is a call to a higher standard of living. He has already reached out, and is waiting, to meet with us.

The present is all we have, as we watch time melt away without delay.

These temporal things that capture our attention are nothing in comparison to the love and the wisdom that calls out to each one of us.

There is no promise of tomorrow. There is only today.

“Nothing will suffer. Things are of less importance than ye think.”

Dreaming Big in 2018

Epiphany is a very special project, to me.  Over the years, I’ve released a lot of music.

Dream Awake wide angle guitar

This album is different.

I usually only distribute my music online.  It’s a lot more cost effective for an independent artist.  However, I am dreaming bigger this year.

With your help, I will be able to see Epiphany in its physical form.

This is the vision.

This year, I am ministering at several women’s retreats.  How awesome would it be for me to be able to bring physical copies of the album to those events?

Dream Awake Guitar
It would be epic!

Please keep me in your prayers, as I embark on this new adventure into new territory.  I am excited and believing that God is going to use this album to bring light into dark places.

Also, please share this link!  Everything helps.

Thank you, in advance!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  To anyone, and everyone, who is able to partner with me in this dream.

Help Fund Stephanie Baker’s Album!

 

In the Studio: Epiphany

I woke up at 4am and began to toss and turn.  I couldn’t fall back asleep, so I decided to get up and pray.  I prayed for a little while and went back to bed.

The moment I nearly fell asleep, six notes began to play over and over in my head.  They kept playing on repeat and I found myself wide awake once again.

I had a feeling the notes weren’t going to stop playing until I went and recorded them.

So, that’s what I did.

I felt strangely awake and alert, as I went into my studio.  The sound of everything turning on seemed extremely loud in our quiet home, but I couldn’t get past the feeling that I needed to get the song down right away.

It came quickly and easily.  Within an hour, the song was mixed and finished.

I still feel the excitement I felt in that moment.  The melody stopped repeating in my head and I could now hear it playing audibly in my headphones.

When I first got the spark to start recording Epiphany, I seriously thought it was only going to be a few songs.  A few songs turned into eight.

I don’t usually record all of my songs in order, but that is what I’ve been doing for this album.  I’ve been in suspense the whole way on this wild ride.  One song after the other, in order, like chapters in a story.

Songs, spoken word and instrumentals.

All of which are being written and recorded in the moment with spontaneous wonder.

It’s a call to go higher and dream bigger.  To let go of what holds us down and hold out for greater things.

The official release date will probably be somewhere around late February, but that is still to be determined.  It might even be sooner than later.  I’ll let you know as soon as it’s set.

In the meantime, check out track three: Rain Makes the Flowers Grow. 

Rain Makes the Flowers Grow

I have been on the edge of my seat, waiting to announce that I have been working nonstop on the production of a brand new album titled Epiphany.  It’s been so hard keeping it a secret for the past couple months, so I am extremely happy that I finally get to share a piece of what’s coming next.

Today, I released a single off the upcoming album.

Rain Makes the Flowers Grow

You can stream and download it on all of your favorite media platforms.

Hey, that’s me. 😉

And you can also watch the official music video I released with the single!

 

You’ll be hearing a lot more from me in the days ahead.  There will be an official promo for Epiphany coming soon, an album artwork reveal, as well as more sneak peaks and so forth.

Here’s the first promo for Epiphany:

Happy New Year, friends!

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!

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!

 

 

 

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

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!