Sunday, January 25, 2009

Keeping On!

Well, my Friends! Where has January gone? I am so sorry that it has been so long since my last blog . . . some of you have begun calling or e-mailing wondering where I am and am I alright. Alright? Very alright, friends!

Do you remember back at the very beginning of January when I said that I was going out on a date? Well, one date turned to two and two to three and so on! The Lord has been kind and gracious and brought a very wonderful man into my life. I am not sure that I am ready to really go into ‘all’ of what this is and ‘all’ of the emotions that are wrapped up in it . . . but let me just say, for now, that there is a smile returning deep within my heart . . . life returning deep within me . . . and it feels VERY good!

There is much to be done on the music front right now . . . “The Long October Road” is beginning to wind down. Paul (my producer) is beginning to mix and master the album (terms for the final touches ‘technically.’) I am so thrilled with this project as a whole. I truly cannot tell you the depth of satisfaction that I feel when I listen to the songs. First of all – to have such deeply emotional songs that I was able to co-write and then watch as they came to life for the whole world to hear! Wow! What an incredible process. Then, musically and vocally, this project is deep and rich and EXACTLY what I have longed to put my heart into! I am so proud of what this album is and I truly look forward to watching God move. I pray that His rich anointing will be ALL over the songs and that they will minister to thousands of hurting people! He is just SO, SO good!

There are many details that still need to be thought of and ironed out . . . designs and artwork, pre-release and release dates, bookings (would love to sing in your area . . . please contact me for booking information.) I just lost my booking agent . . . so that is an area of desperate need and prayer. On top of all of that – my goal in the next week or so is to get the book outline done! So, there is MUCH to be done . . . but I am truly so thankful for the leading of the Sweet Lord in my life . . . thankful for the opportunity to do any of it! I can’t wait to minister and teach and offer hope and encouragement to those in need.

I know this is not very ‘deep.’ I will write ‘deep’ soon! But, I did want to get an update out to you so that you know that all is well – just a TON to be done.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Make Love Emotionally

Good Day Friends!

I have been in Nashville all week - unable to figure out how to get my computer online so that I could blog. Sorry for the delay in blogs!

It has been an amazing week. I arrived Monday and actually got to shop a little and enjoy some much needed R&R. Tuesday we hit it hard in the studio - laying my vocals on the final songs. Tuesday was very tough - we recorded the three most emotional songs of the entire album - songs that rip my heart out of my chest and lay it bare for the entire world to see. Songs that dig so deep into the pain and agony of my journey through grief that they leave me a bit exasperated . . . so, three of them back to back was tough. Then, one of them disappeared into cyberspace and we had to re-record it yesterday (we lost four hours of my singing work!) It is o.k. though - in the end the re-do was WAY better than the first take. God DOES work all things together for good.

In the end - I know that those three songs that were the toughest, emotionally, will forever be my favorites! Why, you may ask? Because I will not sugar coat this journey that I have been on! I will not pretend that it is or has been anything other than it is. I believe that the "church" needs to get back to authenticity and stop pretending that God is a magic eraser to the struggles of this world.

At some point last summer I had a neighbor of mine look at me and tell me that she doesn't think there is such a thing as suffering . . . chew on that for a moment . . . (I furrow my brow as I think of our conversation.) A seventy-something woman who has never lost a child or husband and who regularly vacations in the Caribbean and who has a condo up north, etc . . . looking at a 34 year-old widow with three young children and saying there is no such thing as suffering. HUH???? What in the world? Truly!

I looked at her and said, "you know, the bible says that 'to live is Christ and to die is gain.' Christ suffered, how can you say we shouldn't suffer?' Her only reply was that she didn't think that was the right interpretation of that scripture.

Well, friends, I pray that your life is so great that you agree with my dear neighbor. However, my life has been riddled with suffering. My daddy left me when I was eleven. I know the pain of miscarriage. I know the angst of drawn out marriage troubles (yes, we had a WONDERFUL marriage - but we had truly had our struggles along the way.) I have and still do taste the bitter tears of grief . . .

It is from these places of darkness in my life that I can stand before you today and tell you that if you are facing dark days - there is a way through. There IS hope! There is a constant Who longs to hold you and be your strength and shield. That DOES NOT mean that the pain and sorrow in your life will disappear . . . it means that there is a hiding place in the midst of this sinful world!

There is a key in all of this . . . Philippians 4:11 says that "I have learned the secret to being content . . . " Paul continues and says, " I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need."

Today - if you are walking through high waters - please turn to Christ. Please focus your eyes on Him and all that HE is and all that HE wants to be to you. How? How do you do this? Well, for me it has been through my being authentic with Christ. It has reminded me of those times after Chad and I had been intimate with one another . . . totally open and raw and intimate . . . two people becoming one . . . hiding nothing. Then, in the moments to follow, there was perfect peace . . . a total calming as we rested in the afterglow.

Throughout this past year, the moments of sweetest communion with God have come after I have been the most open and transparent with Him - when I wasn't afraid to shake my fists at Him and yell at Him and tell Him what I truly thought and felt. Then, like that calm, that peace of the afterglow . . . the Spirit of God would come over me and envelope me and God would pull me in just as Chad did and He whispered to me "Be Still, my sweet Sarah! Be still and know that I am God!" Ah . . . the rest.

Hide nothing from God, my friends! Bare it all . . .and in that transparency, in the being real with God, in you being you and no one else . . .that is where God can meet you at the deepest places of who you are and enter in and heal. That doesn't mean 'magic' . . . it means peace. What more can we really ask for?