Up. . . .that is! :-)
As I write this morning, I am sitting next to a marble fireplace in the Marriot Hotel in Williamsburg, Virginia. I am here to speak, sing, and help lead worship at a huge women’s retreat called Discover the Joy. They have over 500 women registered, who will all begin arriving today. My dear friends in ministry, Paula Stitt (who wrote many of the songs on my Gratitude CD) and Lisa Beals, are here with me. We did this same conference a few years ago. The keynote speaker is Evelyn Husband. Evelyn’s husband was the captain of the shuttle that disintegrated upon reentry into our atmosphere. Little could I have known when we first met Evelyn as a new widow, that soon her story would be mine, as well. It is amazing what time reveals, isn’t it?
I am so excited to share with you ALL that is happening on the music front! The Long October Road album is very near completion! We will release the first song, called “Run,” to radio in just a couple of weeks. My radio promoter, Wendell Gafford, of Creative Promotions, fully expects “Run” to chart in the top ten on the national Christian charts . . . will you be bold with me and ask God to put “Run” at number one!!!!!???????
We will “Officially Release” the album on May 29th at Christian Celebration Center in Midland, Michigan. That is my home church. The concert will be sponsored by Family Life Radio and will be free to the public. I really want to ‘give’ this concert to my home community as a thank you for all of their love and support over the past 17 months. If you live anywhere nearby – PLEASE plan to attend! It will be a wonderful celebration of God’s faithfulness . . . plus, there might just be some GREAT music!!!!!
May I be blunt? This new album, The Long October Road, is amazing! The people in the ‘know’ in the music industry are blown away by it. They are amazed by the transparency of it. The songs are deep and true to what I have been through – yet the album as a whole has an uplifting feel. Wendell said he has not heard an album this good in YEARS (and he is NOT one to ‘fluff’ a !!!!! I am truly, truly SO thankful to the Lord for His faithfulness in this. My goal as we started writing the album last August was to accurately portray - and remain true to the transparency of our grief journey – but not end up with a depressing album. I wanted to have songs that radio would ‘eat up,’ but also have songs that remain true to who I am as an artist. This album is a beautiful blend of the two – and for that I am SO thankful.
The month of May will be a HUGE month. I think I have about seven appearances (concerts and/or speaking) scheduled – one of which is in Colorado – and all building up to the release on the 29th. As you can see, my schedule is filling up quickly. If you are interested in a concert, or in having me speak, please contact me through my website, www.sarahschieber.com and I will forward your info to my booking agent.
One thing that I am WILDLY excited about is that I have been invited to speak and sing in San Diego, California in July, for the 1st Annual National Conference on Widowhood! Wow! I am so excited. They are expecting 2,000 widows from all across the world, gathering to support, uplift, and love one another. This isn’t an event marked by grieving. The goal of the conference is to give hope and encouragement to widows in every stage of their widow’s walk. I can already tell that this is going to be a wonderful weekend. If you are a widow, or know one, please pass this information along. I will soon have a link up on my website to their site with all of the info about the conference!
Also, I have just been invited to speak and sing in Texas in September . . . at Chuck Swindoll’s church! Holy moly!!!!!!! Chuck Swindoll! It is for a Mom2mom women’s event. I hope to be able to plan a ‘Texas Tour’ around that booking – so if you are reading this and live in Texas – I would love to come sing at your church – please get in touch with me.
So, what has been, for years, a local ministry, is now becoming national. It is very exciting to sit back and watch God at work. It is very exciting to sit back and watch it grow.
There is no end to the work involved right now. My mind never stops ‘noodle-ing’ all of this (a term Chad and I penned after reading the book, “Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti.”) We are launching a whole new, fully comprehensive website very soon. It will still be the same web address – just a whole new look. We are working on a promo video that will be available to watch through my website that will tell people all about my ministry. We continue to work on the design (please pray for my graphic designer, Michael Buckingham of Holy Cow Creative) of the CD cover and layout of the inside of the CD. AND – I continue to write the book. It both blesses me AND stresses me . . . but I really believe that STRESS IS HIGHLY OVERRATED (right Marni?) . . . .so, I choose to live in the blessing of writing the book!
Wendell Gafford, my radio promoter, has come on board as my manager and ministry consultant! This is absolutely wonderful and amazing! His specialty is in marketing and he is deeply steeped in the music industry. His contacts and knowledge of the industry are such a blessing to me and my ministry. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Wendell.
Two of my very best friends, Collette and Marni, have also come on board to tag team my booking and to work together to keep me moving forward. You have to know that I am COMPLETELY the flighty musician! I am very good at being on stage and all of the ‘artistic’ work of writing and singing. I am TERRIBLE, however, at the business end. Just tell me where to go and what I need to do. In fact, to be quite honest, I had NO idea where I was going this weekend until my sister-in-law told me on Wednesday, the day before I left, that I was going to Williamsburg. I knew I was going to Virginia – and that was good enough for me. I had NO idea where in Virginia! Isn’t that funny? That is just how I am wired. All of the business details and the details of maintaining the technical end of this ministry (MySpace, Facebook, blogging, etc . . . ) absolutely make me want to go curl up in my bed in the fetal position!
So, I am very thankful to have a wonderful team of people surrounding me who keep me moving forward AND to help me cast vision for the future. One thing is clear, my friends, the future of Sarah Schieber, Inc. is very bright. I am very excited about the doors that God is opening. Perhaps sometime next week I will talk to you all about what my message is. I feel that I have a very strong and distinct message to tell the world! I would love to share it with you!
And, in ending this blog, just let me tell you that Practice is wonderful. Practice gets better and better every day. I am truly in awe of God. I had the very best for 15 years of my life. I never thought I would have it again, and now, here is Practice. The very best . . . again. God must really love me, and for that I am grateful beyond words!
Blessings All! Thanks for reading my blog!