Friday, June 17, 2011

Still a Daddy's Girl

This is the fourth Father's Day I've spent away from my dad.  Holidays and special occasions have always been a big deal in our family so it's always hard to miss important days such as this.  My dad is one of the most special people in my life.  He's had a big hand in shaping me into who I am.  He has been my number one supporter my entire life right there with my mom. 

Growing up I remember my dad was at every big event and even the small ones.  Unless he was traveling for business, he was at every volleyball and basketball game from the time I started playing in the 5th grade.  In sixth grade he even came to watch my track meets.  He still gives me a hard time for not even making it to the sand on the long jump!  That's probably why I only did track for one year.  I knew better than to stick with that.  I will say in my defense, I did tie for female athlete that year with Nikki Fortinberry so I couldn't have been all that bad.  :)

To my knowledge, he never missed me sing growing up.  I did my first solo at age 2 and that's when it all began.  I would sing in church musicals, probably because my mom was the director, and in school musicals as well.  He was at every performance.  There are a few moments that I remember like they were yesterday.  My first time singing the National Anthem at a Fort Worth Cats game is one of them.  It was fourth of July weekend and I remember dad bought me a new outfit for it.  Blue capris pants and a red polo shirt.  He also bought me shoes to match.  He did the same thing the first Christmas Eve service I sang in at Wedgwood.  It was a pair of cream colored Ralph Lauren pants and a red sweater set with pearl buttons.  He was always doing things like that every time I got a chance to sing.  He was so proud of his baby girl and wanted me to look my best.  And I love the fact that even though he's heard me sing a million times, he still cries at every performance.  I hope it stays that way because I love to make him proud and that's how I know I've done a good job.  :) 

I also remember singing for the senior recognition at church and I couldn't make it past the second line in the song, "...kissing momma's face goodnight and holding daddy's hand."  That line still gets me.  It is such a true statement because even to this day I know my daddy is always there.  When he held me back in November through one of the darkest things I've ever walked through I just knew Jesus was there in our presence.  I felt so loved and safe and protected.  I was at peace in my daddy's arms.  There were no words spoken just tears.  I will never forget that day.  I know it was no accident the Lord brought me home to be with my dad that weekend.  He knew I needed him to make it through the storm. 

Thank you for your unwavering faith and support dad. Words cannot convey what you mean to me.  I know that we live in different states and only get to see one another a few times a year but I want you to know how much I love you and I'm proud to call you Daddy.  You are undoubtedly one of the greatest men I have ever known.  I am so blessed to have you.  I cannot wait for the day I have children and you get to love them and teach them the things you've taught me.  I love you dad and I hope you have a Happy Father's Day.  Here's a song that just sums it all up!

Always Be Your Baby
by Natalie Grant

You were my first love, always there for me
You taught me how to walk and how to dream
God gave me your eyes
But it was you who taught me how to see
Now I can stand on my own
But I know that you'll never let go

I'll always be your baby
No matter how the years fly by
The way you love me made me
Who I am in this world
I'm a woman now, not a little girl
Wherever this life takes me
I'll always be your baby

You are my hero and that will never change
You still can dry my tears with just a smile
The one I've leaned on
From my first steps to walking down the aisle
Now there's another man in my life
But I know by the look in your eyes

I'll always be your baby
No matter how the years fly by
The way you love me made me
Who I am in this world
I'm a woman now, Not a little girl
Wherever this life takes me
I'll always be your baby

Your faith, your love
And all that you believe
Have come to be the strongest part of me
And I will always be your baby

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Lord Knows...Feeling Inspired Again

It's been a long time since I've felt inspired with writing music and just the overall feeling of striving to do it for a living and not just here and there.  For me, it's hard not to let life get in the way of my writing.  So many things have happened in the last year and a half that really threw me for a loop and music went out the window.  Other things became more important.  There's no need to go into the details but let's just say life left me feeling uninspired for a while.  However, last week was simply amazing and hopefully a glimpse of what is yet to come in my songwriting.  Let's start with Tuesday...

My friend Danielle and I went to see the classic Broadway hit, Les Miserables.  It was the most breathtakingly beautiful musical I've ever seen.  I can definitely see why it has been around for 25 years and probably will be for another.  At least it should be as far as I'm concerned.  The storyline is so moving.  It involves sacrifice, love, and a beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption.  Every character has a story of redemption whether good or bad.  The music in it is simply amazing.  It moved me to tears.  The Christian theme shined throughout the whole musical.  They didn't leave that out.  The book it's based on is heavily themed with Christianity so I appreciated that they left that in there.  Two of my favorite songs are prayers to the Lord.  I cannot say enough about this musical and could talk about it for hours but I'll spare you all the details and just tell you if you have a chance to go see this musical, do not hesitate in buying tickets.  It's on DVD as well so go rent it if it's not playing near you.  Here's a video clip of one of my favorite songs. 

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to go to a Lifeway songwriters meeting.  They have these meetings once a month when all the staff writers come together and pray with eachother and share music they've been working on.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.  The devotion was just what I needed to hear and everyone shared what the Lord was doing in their lives.  How could they have known I needed to hear that?  They didn't but the Lord did.  Oh I love Him so.  They prayed for me and it was exactly what I needed.  I'm so grateful to have been a part of that even if I never get to go to another meeting.  However, I am hoping that I get to go to more. :)  It was encouraging and inspiring being in a room of writers.  To listen to what they are writing inspires me to write more and get better at my craft so I can one day share songs with them.  I pray it's a taste of what is yet to come. 

Thursday was one of the coolest experiences I've gotten to be a part of since living in Nashville.  I had the opportunity to be a part of Keith and Kristyn Getty's live recording.  They are the most humbling couple.  They truly live out what they sing and write.  Keith is hilarious and should seriously think of some sort of comedy thing.  He had us laughing the whole time.  What a time of worship it was.  Can't wait to get a copy of the DVD.

Friday I was priveleged to be part of a worship leader conference.  Worship leaders from all over the country come together and learn from folks in the industry and get to participate in classes about all sorts of topics.  The ones I went to were on finding inspirations for songs and a class on co-writing.  The first was taught by Joel Lindsey (Orphans of God) and the second was taught by Jason Ingram (writes for Hillsong and Passion).  Both were very engaging and gave such good advice on writing.  I plan to use lots of methods they spoke on.  For the first time in a long time I felt like I could write again.  I've never really felt like a writer.  I've felt more like a singer.  I'm learning though that I do have a gift and I need to tap into it more.  I also had one of my songs critiqued by an industry professional and he had so many encouraging things to say about it and actually kept the CD and said he wanted to be able to say he had the original copy before it became big. :)  What a sweet thing to say.  He had no idea I needed that kind of encouragement at this point in my life.  The Lord did. 

The ending to this whirlwind of a week was watching my baby sister graduate college.  She's not a baby anymore, I'm aware of this.  To me though, she's still the little girl I hid in the hallway with when we were supposed to be in bed so we could watch tv.  The little girl who looked up to me and watched every move I made.  The little girl who needed her big sister around.  This little girl is now one of my best friends and has grown to not need me so much anymore.  This is the way things go.  We used to fight all the time growing up.  So much that one time I threatened to go live with my grandparents.  I'm so glad I didn't.  I would've missed out on helping her get ready for all her school dances and watching her play the lead in the school musical and the countless volleyball games throughout her high school career.  She was the reason I didn't move to Nashville when I was 19.  I didn't want to miss those precious last years of her growing up to be the woman she is today.  I wouldn't have traded anything for those years, not even the chance to write songs.  She means much more to me than any song I could write.  Watching her walk across that stage last weekend was one of the proudest moments.  Now she's on her own with a grown up job, her own apartment, paying her own bills and everything else that comes along with being an adult.  The tables have turned from her looking up to me to me looking up to her.  She teaches me so much and I think she's more of the big sister than the little sister.  Watching her accomplish her goals has made me want to accomplish mine even more.  She doesn't know this but she has inspired me to continue writing.  Everything else last week was awesome but her graduating college was the icing on my inspiration cake.  I want her to be just as proud of me as I am of her so I will continue to write.  I will continue to seek the Lord and what He wants for my life.  Thanks for the music sister. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

What's This World Coming To?

Welcome to my blog!  I'm coming out with a bang in this post.  Feel free to comment and discuss your opinions on this as well.  I promise not all my blogs will be this way but this subject really got me.  Here goes...

I'm sure you have heard or seen the news article concerning the pageant mom that gives her daughter Botox injections and waxed her legs.  I was completely appalled at this!  I could not believe what I was seeing.  What kind of world do we live in?  I mean, I know things are not what they were when I was growing up but come on?  Botox and leg waxing at age 8?  What is this accomplishing except for giving your child a complex that will be with her for life?  What's gonna happen when she is a teenager?  Where does giving your child what they want stop?  I for one am relieved that this is being investigated.  Even if the daughter asked her mom for it because other girls were getting it done the mom should never have allowed it.  When you become a parent, BE a parent.  Kids don't know what's best for them.  That's your job as parent to guide them in the right direction and protect them for goodness sake!  I know I'm getting on a soap box here, but this really disturbed me.  Parents are supposed to want to protect their children from things like this.  You better believe I would never allow my child to talk me into something like that.  I know I'm not a parent yet but I would like to think I would not be one to let my children dictate what they're going to do at such a young age.   I pray this little girl doesn't grow up with a complex about who she is because of this.  That would be a tragedy.