Sunday, November 2, 2008
November 2nd –
Good Sunday all! I started typing this about 7:30 this morning – it is now Sunday evening. Did you all remember to turn your clocks back last night? I can remember last year when the clocks were turned back. My journal from that day reads:
“November 4,2007 – Well, my life feels very lonely right now . . . I just miss my honey! Last night we turned the clocks back – the LAST thing I want right now is an extra hour in my day! Ug! Time just drags by! It has been four weeks today.”
The pain during those very dark days was suffocating. I am so thankful that today, the pain is so much less. It is still there. In fact, I will tell you of a very sweet, yet tearful, moment I had on the way home from Nashville. Yes, the pain will always be there, I suspect. But, now there is so much hope. I am very excited to tell you all about our trip to Nashville last week. I will get to the teary part in a bit. . .it will be worth the wait . . . I promise!
First, I would like to thank you all for reading my blog. I am shocked at the number of you who have stopped me on the street to tell me that you are reading it. Thank you, thank you! Please tell everyone you know about it . . . and please, comment. I read them all and they make me smile. It is so wonderful to keep in touch this way! You all bless me! Many of you tell me that you are still praying for the kids and I and I truly cannot tell you how much that means to me! I know that those prayers help walk us through our days! Also, I want to let you know that I now have Christmas In Heaven in hand and ready to sell. They will be available on my website soon – but until then you can just e-mail me at email@example.com to order them. They are $5 each, or a bundle pack of 5 for $20. That price includes shipping. They will make wonderful teacher/boss gifts, stocking stuffers, etc. Please spread the news!
Now, on to our amazing week! My friends, IT is happening. What, you may ask, is IT? You can interpret it for yourself – I will just fill you in on the details, you can figure IT out J. God is just so good. Isn’t He? As many of you know, my brother, Kraig, his 16-year-old son, Malachi, and I left for Nashville last Sunday. We arrived Monday evening and had my photo shoot on Tuesday. Then, Wednesday morning we began ‘laying tracks’ at the Quad Studio on music row in downtown Nashville. ‘Laying tracks’ means that we went into a larger studio with the musicians – acoustic/electric guitar player, drummer, bass guitar player, and pianist. No vocals are recorded at this point (we will do those in a smaller, much less expensive studio.) The musicians hear a demo of each song and then go play it. Now, let me qualify this – these are the BEST musicians in Nashville and therefore some of the best musicians, period! The guitar player, his name is Dave Cleveland, has played for some of the biggest names in Christian music and recently played for Miley Cyrus! Now – THAT is big time! The drummer, Scott Williamson, has produced Point of Grace. I’m tellin’ ya – these guys are the best. Can you believe that they are playing on MY CD? Wow! I am so grateful! These men were humble, kind, servants of the Lord!
So, we had a wonderful day on Wednesday. The guys knocked out one song after another. We got seven done that day. Then Paul, Kraig, Malachi, and I went to a great little Italian restaurant called Demo’s.
It was a pretty late night – but well worth it. Of note – one of the highlights for Malachi was that Dave, the guitarist, let him sit right in the sound booth with him and watch him play. Mal is a budding guitarist, and to be able to sit and watch greatness at work was a wonderful experience! Thank you, Dave!
Now on to Thursday ~ it was one of the most memorable days I have ever had. It was magical! The Holy Spirit was all over Thursday – not that He wasn’t all over the other days – but this day was special. We only had three songs left to record on Thursday. It started out normal, we got the first song out of the way. As we were getting started, a man showed up at the studio. His name is Bruce, and he said that he wanted to come down to the studio to meet me. Bruce works for a company called Lifeway. Lifeway publishes music, has bookstores all across the country, and is who Paul writes music for. The songs that Paul and I have co-written for this CD are all owned by Lifeway. Bruce had heard some of what we have written and wanted to come be a part of what we were doing. Every person whom I have met or spoken with from Lifeway are people who are in this business to serve the Lord. You don’t always find that in the music industry. These people really seem to have a focus and love for the Lord. It was great to meet Bruce.
Our second song that morning was the title track to the album, ‘The Long October Road.’ This song is obviously birthed out of grief. It is based on the idea that October will last forever in our lives. It is poignant and beautiful! The guys listened to the demo and prepared to record. As they began playing, it was clear that the glory (power) of God had just fallen on that studio in a tangible way. They nailed the song the first time through. . . but beyond that, it left us all speechless. Eyes were filled with tears. Each of the musicians walked away from their instruments with a stunned look. No one knew what to say. I looked at Paul, and his eyes were moist with tears. You know, these guys play song after song, day after day – it is what they do. But THIS song was different. The anointing fell in an amazing way. It was very special. I am so humbled. I am so grateful! Lord, I thank You!
We finished up the last song – again, with a powerful move of the Lord on it. It is a wonderful worship song called “I Am Open.” I believe it will minister to many. After that, Bruce asked if he could take us to lunch. We went to a very nice restaurant and were able to meet another of the Lifeway employees named Craig. I am very thankful to these men for their guidance and for thinking big on my behalf.
I am most grateful, however, for the sweet presence of the Lord. This is all very amazing. These are lifelong dreams coming true. It is all WAY over my head. But, never once have I felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of it. Psalm 139 tells me that nothing I do, and nowhere that I go, am I ever far from God. Nothing is a surprise to him – not Chad dying, not the recording of any of these songs, not any of the doors that are now opening. God is in ALL of it. The peace that I feel is the only thing that IS overwhelming. I am just so thankful!
Now to the teary part. What does October mean to you? Perhaps it is simply 31 days sandwiched between September and November. Perhaps in your life it represents a birth, or a wedding, or maybe even like me – grief. We had a very nice drive home from Nashville. The last hour-and-a-half I was all alone. In those moments of quiet, alone with my new tracks to my new album, in the wee small hours of Friday morning, once again the presence of the Lord was enormous. His sweetness and His Spirit enveloped me as I drove and listened to the anointed music of The Long October Road. His peace held me as I sensed October. You see, what October means to me is that my beloved is gone. What October means in my life is that all the good and wonderful and exciting things that are happening in our life right now are seasoned with pain. Seasoned with the knowledge that while I know Chad sees and knows all that is happening, he is not here. His arms are not here to hold me. His sweet lips will never sweep softly across mine again. My heart can not bear the ‘missing.’ I never knew it could be bruised within my chest. October, my friends, will forever season our lives. It will forever be a part of who we are.