illuminate has just been booked to play for 4 starbucks locations in the north austin area!
what’s even more exciting is that we have a great new website debut: illuminatelive.com! a special shout-out to talented and actually pretty hot webmaster, rresu.me for the extra time and sweet design. pray with me that God does His thing through every one of our 15 songs…not just at the coffee shops, but at the county jail and possibly a hospice home.
like a month ago i was complaining to my husband (not a rarity) about how little i actually play my guitar. there it stands in the corner, propped up, black & shiny with old tired strings, just beckoning me. yet i ignore it. ricky told me to be honest with myself. if i really wanted to play more, i’d make the time. every one of us makes the time to accomplish what we value the most. the more value something has to us, the higher it is on our list of priorities. i sat there desperately wanting to defend my desire – my dream to be this “singer/song-writer/guitar player” (which i still have) but could say nothing. when he’s right, i say nothing. i say i still have the dream. but it used to be a goal. but once again, a dream. no determination, no timeline, no plan of discipline or action (ya, ya, fail to plan, plan to fail)…kind of like the dream of a 128 lb., size 6 – me.
he said as an outsider lookin in, it seems i’ve replaced it with other things like scrap booking (doesn’t happen at all anymore) & blogging…(doesn’t happen much) and to which i might add i’m working part time now, focusing on singing in a Christmas band and writing more…i seem to spend a lot of time keeping the puppy trained, quiet & away from angel, & then there’s laundry, cooking, cleaning, playing with my fam…and i can’t forget to mention this beth moore study that’s kicking my butt.
they may all sound like excuses, but they’re just what i find myself doing lately…and there’s no denying it ~ what i choose to do with my every 24-hrs, is what i value the most.
i look at my guitar every day in my rock-n-roll inspired living room & it salutes me ever so patiently. i know my potential is far greater than i can imagine. i promise i will play you more one day, my friend.
so tell me, based on how you allocate your time, what do you value the most right now?
what would you change?
what do you think you should promote from dream to goal & then to reality?
just a little social experiment i’m doing ~ i’m going to see how differently i prioritize / allocate my time this week without reading or writing posts. they say what you put the most time in is the best indicator of what you value most. if that’s true, then i need to channel every drop of my creative energy & time into my kids, espec. this week.
but when they’re down…(if i’m not) i’ll be one songwritin’, book readin’, guitar playin’, scrap bookin’ fooo!
ps ~ feel free to visit www.braylon.com during this next week for newer pics of our lil family! i’m learning how to create “lightroom” galleries, categorized by the month so i can take over updating the website & get us (and anyone viewing) totally current. yeah for me!!
i have this urge to write more songs, sing ’em, & learn chords to them on my black shiny 6-string. the urge to act on the art within won’t go away…not that i want it to. it fades from the front of my mind to the sides, & some days sinks to the bottom pleading with me all the while to let it out. what i struggle with is who i’m supposed to let it out to.
i’m writing, maybe posting it on my songs, poems or lyrics page. i’m singing it to my family (but usually to myself trying to perfect it in my mind – love those shower acoustics!). i may find chords to it, play it as best i can, & then wait. on what? i don’t know! i used to be able to bring a selection (cover or original) up to a song leader i knew & could collaborate with on it. i have no one like that here. i tried craigslist ads, but two ads that i responded to so far didn’t work out. i tried my church’s 2 bands, but one’s not open to recruiting & the other i’m meeting with in a few weeks…so we’ll see. i think they’re lookin’ to keep doing all covers w/the david crowder band pop worship theme & may need one more bgv (background vocalist).
my heart is open to whatever God wants. it really is. but it burns for outreach. i may try connecting w/other artists thru above grounds, but there are so many in austin, it can be overwhelming. it’s not that i need an audience. God has been my main audience for, goin’ on 3 yrs now. i just dont want to miss an opportunity to bless anyone he puts in my path…or to grow in my potential by working w/other talented artists.
for now… i’m waiting with as much patience as i can muster, i’m writng, i’m changing poopy diapers, i’m singing & dancing around the house, i’m doing dishes, i’m playing the same old chord progressions over & over while the laundry pile seems to reproduce before my eyes (ew, that was a strangely vulgar image), i’m making chicken spaghetti, i’m writing and singing lullabies. i’m running out of gas.
it makes my heart slow & my eyes fill when i think about it long. i so want to learn more, create more music & serve a lot more ~ with all i have. you’d think since he put ’em all in me, he’d show me how to get them out…these gifts he’s given. maybe someday soon.
i am on a small quest to let the Lord enlarge my territory by reaching out to those in need. he has given me too many hints in the last months or so, to ignore his voice. i am realizing that too much of my time is spent to better myself and my own family & not enough to bring encouragement, comfort & blessing to those whom we are all supposed to reach out…specifically the widows (or elderly), orphans (or at-risk youth), prisoners (or people in bondage), hungry & poor.
this week i’m focusing on prisoners. in matt. 25 Jesus said, ‘i was in prison & you didn’t visit me…when you refused to help the least of these…you were refusing to help me’. and hebrew 13:2 “Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you” (msg).
memories of the women ‘on the inside’ at coffee creek correctional facility in oregon keep coming back to me – their bright faces & eager spirits, as our little team visited them each month. how they looked forward to our coming. how they longed to share w/us what the Lord had done for them that month, what their plans were upon release, prayer requests for their children & their children’s caregivers. many didn’t quite get the idea that you don’t have to keep raising your hand to receive salvation over & over, each month. perhaps they thought their sins had brought them to a place where a once-&-for-all pardon was inconceivable. living out your punishment behind bars walls and wires, i can imagine, would make it tough to understand how God’s mercies really are new every morning…and how the blood of Jesus was all we have ever needed & will ever need for a clean record in His sight. yet in their circumstances, many would raise their hands with the faith of a little girl. some would sing super loud, some off-key; others would clap with no rhythm or speed up a worship song in anticipation of the next. none of that mattered. it was the heart.
they were just like me & you, but made a few more wrong choices & were caught. hearts pure & hopeful, & no less deserving of love and forgiveness than ours. i may not be able to visit them in person here in austin, tx, but i can sure write letters to one. if you’d like to join me in this endeavor, it would be so wonderful & God would surely bless it. i asked the director, beth if there were hundreds waiting for someone who cares, to write them, and Beth told me, no…thousands. in this nation’s prison system, thousands await (most for over 1 year) to connect with another in the free world. i urge to email beth & jesse michael, exec. directors of Christian Pen Pals at: firstname.lastname@example.org
take 6 min. to sign up via email, & you can make a ginormous difference in an inmate’s life (not to mention be blessed by them). ricky & i just started last night & can’t wait til we meet each of our new friends. lets make an impact & let God’s light shine in the darker places, together.
to my friend from p-town (sherwood, oregon actually) – nanc, you are inspiring me to write more & love it. well done, my friend!!
It’s official! My article is published in a full-glossy magazine (called
FullFill)!! You can’t reach the link online, but…if you’re interested in the magazine or ordering it for yourself, you can check out their web-site www.FullFill.org. I’m hoping this is just the beginning!
the word ‘dip’ has been on my brain this week. my daughter’s been really into dipping things, odd combinations like grahm crackers in ketchup or pretzels in yogurt. i’m callin’ her my ‘little dipper’.
this 35min. msg speaks of (& illustrates like an upside-down bell-curve) when we find ourselves in a ‘dip’ ~ a struggle, trial or source of pain that just seems unfair. craig groeschel tells us 3 things we need to do @ that low point, in faith. important. pls watch it & share it w/a friend in need