Monday, February 28, 2011

A Week-Full of HeartSong (or Like Worshipping the Sun)

Of this past week, 6 of the 7 days included something having to do with HeartSong (so brace yourself; it's going to be a long post!).  From the very beginning, through all the rough spots, I have LOVED being a part of HeartSong.  People have been asking me if I plan to do it again next year, and I tell them I can't picture myself as a college student NOT on HeartSong anymore.  A huge part of who I am now would be gone if I wasn't on HeartSong... After thinking this thought a couple of times, I began to get uneasy, almost fearing that this was true.  Is it wrong to love HeartSong as much as I do?  No, I don't think so.  The problem comes when I begin loving this gift more than I love the Giver.

Last Monday and Tuesday, the three HeartSong teams got to be a part of the Momentum Conference at Cedarville.  Of the four session times, each of us played one or two of them.  My team, plus Hayden from Blue Team, played the third session on Monday night, and for the fourth session on Tuesday I played with Grant, Joellyn, Dani and Tim from Blue Team, Zac from Orange Team, and Matt, our project and event manager.  Getting all dressed up and committing one and a half hours of my life to each of these sessions for rehearsing, sound-check, and the actual session time may sound annoying to some people, but I didn't mind, because I loved it.  If I'd been allowed, I would have played all the sessions!

On Wednesday I was having a little problem with pain in my wrists.  I was accompanying a flute recital on Friday and was doing some extra hard practicing to get the pieces up to tempo.  After about a hour or two of practicing in a day they would start to hurt, and I would always stop when they did, which kept them from really hurting.  Wednesday night I took it easy as all of the teams took inventory before four of the teams left for the weekend.  In the midst of our organizing, Erin from Blue Team found my Korg's volume pedal in her stuff, and I was also able to get a new direct box for my Yamaha!  Because I am so OCD, any kind of organizing makes me happy; I was even happier to do it with my HeartSong team.

Thursday night we had team dinner before our rehearsal, which was so much fun!  But in the middle of rehearsal, my wrists began to hurt really bad.  I always hate to be the person who complains about their voice or their hands hurting as an excuse to not rehearse, so I tried to push through it.  Eventually I was just playing the essential things instead of full chords, and soon after that I just stopped.  That was partly because Joellyn told me to stop and jumped behind the Korg to play the synth pad that started the next song. When rehearsal was over, Tommy gave me a ride back to my dorm because it was raining.  It was so encouraging to know that my team was praying for me and that they care about me so much.  Another reason I love being on HeartSong is because it is like having a family, sort of like how working at camp was; there's something about ministering together that brings you closer than just going to school together.

Friday, I played in the flute recital and it went really well; my wrists survived up until the very last page!  Thank You God for that!  Because I couldn't practice any more after that, I went to the library to work on a paper that was due Monday.  I finished all the research and had it in an outline and planned to take it with me over the weekend.  I went to the ALT night at Cedarville with my music major friends.  The 10 of us watched Tangled, played Buzz Word, and then a few of us went upstairs and watched the boys play Just Dance 2 on the Wii.  I had a great time with them; it was a nice break from school, and even a nice change of pace from HeartSong.  After that I came back to my room to finish the rest of Monday's homework, thin my hair with my new thinning shears, and pack for the weekend.  By God's grace I was able to get everything done before the weekend tour.

Saturday morning I got up early and went to eat breakfast at Chuck's (my dad was so proud!).  After a few texts to Rachel and Joellyn to make sure they were awake (and a visit to Jo's room because she didn't answer her phone), I finished getting ready, then Rachel picked us up and drove us to the DMC to pack the trailer and leave.  When we arrived at our first church four hours later in West Virginia, we set up, had a sound check, and ran through a few songs before it was time for us to head over to our evening event.  The church we played for was having a fundraiser for the school that they sponsor, and Grant, Rachel, Joellyn, and Tommy played an acoustic set at the banquet before the auction.  At the end of the evening, we went to our host homes.  The girls got to all be together again at the home of two Cedarville parents, whose son and daughter were still at school.  I took some Advil for my wrists and we all changed into comfortable clothes and came back downstairs, and the mom suggested that we play the Wii.  The four of us put in Just Dance 2, and we had so much fun!  We also played Mario Kart, which I was NOT good at, but it was fun anyway.  Yet another thing I love about HeartSong: every host home experience is so unique and so awesome; I love to spend time with my hosts and talk about each other's lives.  When we went back upstairs I used my thinning shears to thin Rachel's hair a little bit (Joellyn took pictures because some of the faces Rae was making were hilarious!).  Then Joellyn went to the daughter's room to sleep, and Rachel and I stayed up for a little while in the son's room doing homework.  We both finished our papers before we went to bed, and even then we stayed up talking for a while.

Sunday morning was great; my wrists were feeling much better, and the weather was so nice we didn't even bring our coats to church!  After a great breakfast, we went to the church for a final rehearsal before the service. Our full program went really well; it was the first time we'd done a full church program in a while, and I was excited about how well it went. Afterwards I had a great talk with a church member who is a music major from Appalachian Bible College; we talked about our different programs and what we liked and didn't like about them.  Soon after we tore down, then went back to our host home for lunch and some relaxing time before we headed to our Sunday night church (we made all of the boys take a turn at Just Dance 2 before we left!).

After an hour drive we came to our next church.  As we were setting up, the pastor took orders for Chinese food that we would have after the service.  I was SO happy!  We played the same set, and even though the congregation was smaller this time, it went really well; Dane was especially happy with how it sounded in the house, even with the carpet-floors/cement-block-walls combination.  After some mingling with the people in the church, we ate our Chinese food and packed up to leave.  We had a great lightening storm coming back!  Well, great for me because I love watching lightening storms, plus I wasn't the one driving... way to go Grant and Will for keeping us safe! When we got back it had stopped raining; we unloaded in record time to make room for the other teams unloading.  Joellyn and I walked back to our dorm after our final team prayer like we always do, and I walked into my room and shortly after went to bed.  I did not want to wake up Monday morning; it is always really sad for me coming back from tour, back to real life.

These typical after-tour thoughts really make me wonder; if I'm so sad to leave, am I really serving God, or am I serving HeartSong?  I love to be able to get up on stage with my team and lead worship together; I love to talk about life and spiritual things with them, and I really miss it when I'm not spending time with them (this is why I love van rides so much; we are forced to spend time together, even if we're all asleep...).  It seems like when I'm away from this HeartSong setting, my passion for God dims a little bit.  Could I be worshipping HeartSong, the music and the people in it, instead of the One who gave me this gift in the first place?  It's like worshipping the sun, the creation, instead of the Creator.

Sometimes I get depressed when a rehearsal ends and Tommy says, "See you next week!" because it means that I might not see anyone from my team for a whole week!  Sometimes I get really excited when we run over in rehearsal because it means I'm spending more time with my team.  I'll spend more time than necessary going over music, rewriting chord charts, planning what to pack for the next weekend, or deciding what to write in my next encouragement cards to my team.  All of these things are good things; but if I'm using these things to find fulfillment, I'm doing them for the wrong reasons, and they just leave me feeling empty.  I should be doing these things because I'm already so full of God that His grace and power overflow in my life so that I can't help but write encouragement cards and make helpful chord charts and get my teammates transfer meals!  When God's love overflows in my life, I don't need to find fulfillment in anything but Him; I don't need HeartSong for my life to be full of joy.  I will worship my God, the One who chose me for HeartSong in the beginning, full of joy and wonder at the glories of the sun, in awe of its Creator.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The last time I was here, there were leaves on the ground. Now there's snow.

These were my thoughts last Wednesday night as I pulled into Calvary Alliance Church in Cincinnati. The last time I was there was for Fall Break tour last October, and there were leaves EVERYWHERE!! It was almost strange for me to see this place again with snow everywhere instead; after all the memories I had made the first time, it was nostalgic to see it all different. But I was SO excited to be back again! This time I came by myself, though, and for a completely different purpose. God gave me an amazing opportunity to share my story; he called me to be a part of His plan. Let me tell you about it!!

After meeting Jake and Jackie last fall and hearing their love story, I was so encouraged to wait to pursue marriage until God's timing. I wrote about the two of them in my reaction paper to Song of Songs for Old Testament last fall, and decided to e-mail it to them and thank them again for their encouragement. Well, last Thursday I was talking to a friend of mine about the way God was calling me to be single and that I was wondering what he would have me do with this time. "Maybe He wants me to talk to younger singles about it and encourage them," I told her. Just ten minutes later, my mom called me and asked me if I wanted to speak to a Bible study of middle school girls that her friend was leading. We set it up for me to come visit them over my spring break. And LITERALLY ten more minutes after that, I got a Facebook message from Jackie, telling me that their youth group was going through a series on purity, and that she and Jake would like me to come share my story with the group the next Wednesday. I was ECSTATIC!!! I knew I had to say yes!!

But Satan started using reality to bring me down. How can I get down to Cincinnati? I don't have a car; can I borrow a car? But most of my friends' parents won't let others drive their cars; can I get a ride? But who would want to drive me all the way to Cinci and back? That is so much time, and oh my goodness I'm giving up so much practice time and homework time for this! Should I just tell them I can't make it and let them read my paper to the group instead? When we came back from tour on Sunday night, I was feeling very discouraged about a lot of things, and trying to find a ride for Wednesday was one of them. My roommate Rachel sat with me while I cried about these things and prayed for me, that God would give me peace and a good night's sleep. She also prayed that I would find a ride for Wednesday night, but at that point I was really thinking I wouldn't be able to make it. I thought, wouldn't it be so great if God answered this prayer with a yes?

Tuesday I got a reply e-mail from Jessie, my RA from last year, who said she got permission from her dad to lend me her car! And within the next 24 hours, I got two other car offers from some other friends! Who am I to turn my back on God's will? I knew last Thursday that I HAD to do this, but by Sunday I was so sure I couldn't, then a few days later God confirmed that this was His will; he was calling me again. I had to respond! I got the key from Jessie Wednesday morning and left right after my last class to get gas and head out to Cinci!

About an hour and a half later, I saw the church yard covered with snow. At Calvary on Wednesdays, they have dinner & fellowship time followed by song time, and then they break up by age, the youth group and the adult prayer group. By the time I got there everyone had finished dinner, but Jake had saved me a plate of food, and I ate during song time. Their pastor introduced me to everyone, calling me a "special guest speaker from HeartSong" who was here to speak to the youth group. I was so excited to be there and couldn't believe how excited everyone else was, too! After that I took my dessert with me to the youth room. There were about 8 kids there and 4 or 5 youth leaders, and Jake and Jackie taught about the difference between dating and courtship. I ended up having to alter my talk a little bit because they covered a lot of what I was going to say. The two of them talked about the mistakes they had made before they had committed not to date, and that once they met each other they pursued courtship instead of cultural dating. They encouraged the kids to pursue courtship and to learn from the mistakes the two of them had made. When they were done, they introduced me as someone who had committed to living a lifestyle free of dating, waiting until the right guy comes along and pursuing courtship at that point. I looked over Jake's shoulder and saw my Song of Songs reaction paper on his clipboard. He shared that I had been struggling with singleness and that Jackie had encouraged me last fall, and told the kids about my paper. He finished the introduction with: "The man who marries her will be a very special man and will be so blessed to have her." I was very close to tearing up when he gave me the floor to share my story.

Here is a little bit of what I shared:

When I was in 5th grade, I started to have an interest in boys. But I heard stories and advice from my mom and other great youth mentors and camp counselors about waiting to date until the right time and not dating too soon to avoid a broken heart. All the past relationships these women told me about were from high school and were full of regret. I decided I wasn't going to let that happen to me! The summer before the 7th grade, I told my dad that I had done a lot of thinking and had determined something. I promised that I would not date until I got to college, when I was the right age to pursue marriage; I also promised that I would not kiss until I was engaged and not have sex until my wedding night. He took me out to dinner and told me that he was very proud of me; that's when he gave me my purity ring. I was excited to be counter-cultural and wait until I was old enough for marriage to start dating. 
As I went through high school, I had a couple opportunities to go on dates, but I made it clear that I would not date at all.  Soon I began to regret my promise not to date; seeing so many of my friends in relationships and seeing so many couples at school made me want to be in a relationship, too.  By God's grace, I am a very stubborn person and was not going to break my purity ring promises.  There were good days and bad days; a bad day was when I got set up for the Homecoming dance, turned the boy down, and regretted it later, and a good day was when I realized that this boy wasn't my type and was involved in an ungodly relationship.  As I got to the end of my senior year, I realized that after seeing so much bad come out of the dating system in general, I did not want to be a part of it at all.  I wanted an alternative to dating that focused first on friendship, only seeking intimate romance when it was coupled with full, unconditional commitment.  That's when I read I Kissed Dating Goodbye for the first time and committed myself not to date at all, even when I graduated, and to wait until I meet the one I will marry before pursuing a dating relationship.  I was excited again to be counter-cultural, but I didn't realize how much harder it was going to be.
Seeing so many friends in good, God-honoring dating relationships that lead to engagements can be very difficult.  A system that in high school seemed so flawed and noncommittal was turning into a beautiful system that could help a person find The One.  But I still didn't want to be a part of it!  I didn't want to give parts of my heart to several different guys; I wanted to find The One.  But The One hasn't showed up yet.  I was struggling with how to live my life in this waiting stage, wondering how I was supposed to meet him and then find out that I was meant to be with him for the rest of my life.  As in high school, I had good days and bad days; a good day was when I talked to Jackie last fall and she encouraged me to stay single, and a bad day was during my freshman year when my unitmate told me she had a boyfriend. My best high point was at Freeze Out, when I realized that in my ministry, it is better if I am single.  I committed to stay single as long as my ministry needs me to be, and I know I will find The One as I am serving my God.  Until then, I am blessed to have no ties to anyone and a free and willing heart to serve God with everything that I am, and that includes going to youth groups and telling my story.  Committing to remain single until God says it's time for marriage is not always easy; there are always going to be times when it's really, really hard.  But I need to trust people like Jake and Jackie that this struggle will be worth it.  When I commit to serving God, everything will fall into place.

When I was done, I realized that I had talked for a lot longer than I thought and apologized for going over.  But Jackie told me it was okay, because it was worth it.  I handed out some HeartSong postcards and talked with some of the kids and youth leaders at the end.  Jake surprised me with a gas card to fill up Jessie's car and also gave me a "LivePure" bracelet that he would be giving to the kids in a couple weeks at the end of their purity series.  The other youth leaders thanked me for my story and Jake told me again that the man I marry will be so lucky and so blessed to have me because of the woman I am.  I'm pretty sure that I was blessed so much more that night than I could have blessed the youth group; Jake and Jackie are so encouraging and I love that I was able to keep in touch with them.  I caravan-ed back to I 71 with Jackie and called her to tell her I got home safe later that night.

What a story I have to share!  And what opportunities I have to share it!  But how can I take any credit?  By God's grace I was smart enough and stubborn enough in junior high to decide not to date at all, and by His wisdom I was able to promise again that I wouldn't pursue romantic intimacy without lifelong commitment.  This is a story I love to tell.  I want to share about my decision and include every single struggle I've had with it; I want to encourage the next generation that it IS worth it to wait, and it IS possible!  I want others who commit in this way to know that they are not alone.

Whether there are leaves on the ground or snow, whether the sun is out or it's storming, I know that God is in control of my life and that He has everything planned perfectly.  He knew HeartSong would bring me to Jake and Jackie; He knew that I would find a ride to go back there and share; He knew just what encouragement I needed both times I saw the two of them and put it in their hearts to encourage me.  When I am in the sun or in the storm, I will stay true to my promise and my service to my God and follow Him through the leaves and the snow.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Listening When It's Hard to Hear

It's almost Friday; another weekend is almost here.  Yes, I will finally admit that I'm getting behind in my blog.  It was bound to happen, I suppose.  But here I am now, ready to talk about last weekend, when our team went to Indianapolis.

As I said last time, Rachel was sick and couldn't come with us, so Candy from Orange Team came along.  First thing I found out about Candy: she's a van sleeper.  We left around noon on Friday, and she was asleep before we got to the highway!  And not long after that, most of the rest of our team was asleep as well.  I was riding shotgun with Will driving, which gave us some time to talk.  I was happy to get to know him a little better; we talked about life, music, church, God, and some other things.  It was good to just share our opinions with each other and listen to each other.

We got to our first church in Lafayette, IN for a youth group event and got ready to unload...when we saw THE STAIRS!  A HeartSong team's worst fear; we had to pick up everything on wheels and lift it up about 8 stairs, which took a lot of teamwork.  All of a sudden in the middle of it all I turn around and see all the guys lifting Oscar (our nickname for our largest equipment crate), going right up stairs like it was nothing.  I was thoroughly impressed, until I saw the smaller crate of cords sitting on the floor that they had taken out before lifting it.  I was less impressed but more proud of my boys for their intelligence.  ;)

After we set up and ran sound check, we started to go through a few songs. But with everything we did, we were going soooo slooooooow!  Maybe we were tired, maybe we had gotten used to the click track in the studio, I don't know.  I was so frustrated, but after awhile I had to just stop talking and let it be what it was.  I prayed that I would still be able to worship, even if it was hard to listen to.  I couldn't blame anyone for it; we were all doing it.  I just wanted to focus on my ministry and my God.  It was difficult to listen to our tempo getting slower and slower and not say anything, but I kept praying that God would give me a heart for worship and that I would focus my heart on Him.

We had some pizza and mingled with the kids and families before we played. The concert went really well, even though there were still some slow spots. One thing I noticed was that Grant is getting more and more comfortable as our worship leader.  I'm sure it must be hard for him to lead our team musically as a freshman, but he has improved a ton since the beginning! After the concert, I got to talk with some of the girls in the youth group about Cedarville before we tore down.  Dane and I had a bonding moment trying to fit everything into Oscar; it's like playing Tetris sometimes with that thing. Anyway, after that we all went to B-Dubs (first time for me, apparently I needed to be initiated) before heading to our host home with a recent Cedarville grad, who had the cutest apartment in the whole world.  The four of us talked for like an hour about Cedarville and HeartSong.  It was so fun to hear stories from Candy about her experience on HeartSong, and it got me really excited for the summer!  We all got ready for bed before settling in to fall asleep to a movie.

The next day we all slept in like we planned, and when we woke up we heard that the guys had already loaded up the trailer and it was time to go to the youth pastor's house for brunch.  After a great meal and fellowship with the youth pastor and his family, we were off to the next church and got there about a half hour later.  Our contact at this church was DJ, former HeartSong team leader who had worked with our team at the Brownsburg retreat.  Set-up went a little differently because we didn't need to set up speakers; we plugged in to the church's system.  We rehearsed for most of the afternoon with Jim (and now our team has a new inside joke about me that I will NOT include in this blog!), but most of rehearsal was directed toward Dane. Plugging into a church's system creates a whole new set of issues for a sound man; Ed, the church's tech guy, had a lot of experience and was very helpful. Despite the frustration that Dane must have felt and how hard it must have been to listen to Jim, he took criticism with grace and learned so much from that rehearsal.  He's another person on our team who has improved so much and is getting more comfortable with his job, and I am so excited for him.

After rehearsal, we went to a restaurant in Crawfordsville, IN called Little Mexico.  Will's birthday had been the day before, but most of us didn't remember it until it was over.  So Tommy and DJ set it up with the waiter to celebrate his birthday that night.  Once we finished eating, the waiter came out and plopped a sombrero on Will's head and held out a bowl of fried ice cream with a ton of whipped cream and a cherry on top.  He told Will to grab the cherry with his teeth, and when Will went for it, the waiter shoved the ice cream into his face, and he got whipped cream all over himself!!  Tommy had "borrowed" Will's phone and was taking pictures, and this one's worth a thousand words, for sure:

The boys dropped us off at our host home, a HUGE house with a guest suite in the basement where we stayed.  We talked with our hostess for a while about our families, and she told us about herself, her family, and her husband, who was in Israel with the other church pastors.  After awhile we decided to all put on our pajamas and watch a movie.  I'm tempted to say "deja vu" from the night before, but the place where we were staying was SO different that I can hardly say it (plus we all stayed awake for the whole thing this time).

The next morning our hostess fixed us some delicious pancakes before we left for the church.  We led worship for the two morning services and got to hear DJ preach "his first real sermon."  We got a huge response!  During the second service, when DJ introduced us, he asked the congregation to do the hand motions with us, which we had left out for the first service.  There were people in their 40s waving their hands in the air during "Rise and Sing," and after both services, we sold so many CDs and T-shirts and even some Cedarville Silly-Bandz!  It was so cool to share with people about our music and Cedarville and see them respond.

After we tore down and Dane and I played another game of Tetris with Oscar, we had pizza before hitting the road. On the ride back, Candy pulled out her Christian Worldview Integration homework (a class that's part of the Bible minor), which was a list of difficult questions about things like divorce, gay marriage, animal rights, abortion, nudity in art, you name it.  I found out that the class is basically discussion based on these questions.  With Tommy driving and Will in the seat behind him, the two of them started going at it! They would find a place where they disagreed and pull out Bible verses and quotes from professors and Greek words and cultural references and whatever else they could think of to prove their point!  Who needs the Super Bowl when you've got two Bible majors trapped in a van with a list of controversial questions for entertainment!!  Finally we pulled into a gas station, and before getting out Tommy said, "I love you, man," and Will said, "Love you, too."  Yes, there's a lot of love on our team, even when we have to sit and listen to each other argue.  When we got back (to no roll-in song because we had no CD player), we unloaded super fast, and by the time I got back to my dorm I was anticipating our next weekend out.

If I had to choose a theme for this weekend, it would probably be patience. From songs that are too slow to unfamiliar sound systems to heated discussions, there were a lot of times over the weekend that the 8 of us just had to take a deep breath and listen to each other.  Being a servant of others can mean just letting them talk or letting them take on their own responsibilities without trying to correct them or get a word in edgewise. Even though sometimes things are hard to hear and hard to bear, we should still listen to each other and learn from each other, cultivating patience with each other and with our situations.  I think this weekend we all discovered how important it is for us as a team to have patience and take time to listen to each other, to take criticism with grace and to see things from each others' perspectives.  On any kind of team, and as the body of Christ, we can become more united if we make a commitment to listening when it's hard to hear.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Several ideas come to mind at the word.  "I need to get to studio class." "Someday I hope to open my own piano studio."  "I went to the studio today to record."  Such is the life of a piano pedagogy major on HeartSong.  And last Thursday, instead of going to studio class like normal, I went to the recording studio with HeartSong.

Now, I have done some recording before, in my neighbor's basement.  We had an interesting relationship, and for some reason I was never really comfortable in that environment, especially if I hadn't done a lot of practicing of what I wanted to record.  So a few days before we left, I sat down in the practice room and went over what I would play for each song.  In "Better Than," Taylor gave me an idea for a piano part from a song by The Almost, and in rehearsal the week before I was copying it.  I decided it was probably either plagiarism or just plain cheating to use it exactly, though, so as I worked through it I changed most of the notes while keeping the same rhythm (I watched the chords and used color tones like the 7th or 9th in the right hand octaves while playing the straight chord in the left hand, and I made the intervals 3rds instead of 2nds; let the music major understand :).  I knew that if I didn't have a plan of some sort, things would end up not going well in the studio.  I was still nervous that Jim or Heath (our producer) wouldn't like it.

We did "Rise and Sing" first, starting with a scratch track.  When we went back to rerecord our own parts individually, Heath told me I was done because I nailed it the first time.  That was wonderful; it gave me time to work on my paper and I got it mostly finished.  Then we came to "Better Than," and it started a bit rocky.  Because we had just figured out the arrangement the week before, all of us were still unsure where our instruments would fit in the song.  And P.S., recording w/ a Yamaha keyboard is NOT the same as performing with a Steinway piano.  It took a few run-throughs and some adjustments to finally find a balance that worked.  I ended up taking out the left hand bass notes I was playing, and instead of comping the chords, I just played whole notes, and the simple quarter-note octaves with the right hand.  And as it was all coming together, everyone was raving about the amazing piano part!  I kept saying that it wasn't original; it was Taylor's idea, but Taylor said, "You're the one playing it!"  Regardless, I was extremely happy that everyone loved it because I was afraid Heath or Jim would try to change it.  Later, after dinner, when we listened back to it and I heard the whole thing together, I realized why everyone was raving about it.  Not gonna lie, it's pretty awesome.  Hooray for The Almost and music theory knowledge!!

The beautiful/disgusting thing about recording with a keyboard is that if you make a mistake, Heath can just go in and change it for you.  There were only a couple of places he needed to do that for me; I take a Dr. Mortensen approach and try to get it right live so I only need one take.  Then it was 8:30, and we left!  Another wonderful thing; when I got back, I finished my paper and packed for the weekend.

As we were leaving, Rachel was feeling really sick; she had an infection on her lung and was taking a ton of meds for it, and Jim knew she wouldn't be able to tour with us that weekend.  We found out that Candy from Orange Team would be coming with us on tour.  I was interested to see how the weekend would go with her, and it ended up being a great time.  More on that in my next blog.  :)

Recording Studio, Studio Class; yes, the word can take on different meanings. This is the life of a ped major on HeartSong: where reality can be warped and is dependent upon each individual situation.  But that's a philosophy discussion we don't need to get into now.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Jehovah Jireh! The Lord Provides!

Today I slept in until 9:30, and now it's about 11:30 and I'm sitting in my room having just uploaded a bunch of pictures to Facebook.  Normally this what a Saturday morning would look like.  This is also what a snow day looks like.

Today I had a paper due, and I had writer's block and failed to choose a topic until about 4:30 yesterday, a half hour before the library closed early for an ice storm.  Today I had a listening quiz, and because I have the wrong edition of the textbook, I wasn't sure what songs to study until Monday afternoon. Today is Wednesday, which means that I have class at 8, then class straight from 10 to 5 with no time for lunch, which also means I lose out on practice time at 9 because I need to go to Chuck's and pack a lunch.  And yesterday night, sitting in the Hive trying to get some work done, I was wondering how today was going to work.

But Jehovah jireh!  More than an inside joke from camp last summer, my Lord did provide for me today.  Last night I was so excited to get THE CALL that every Cedarville student was waiting for last night: all classes are canceled Wednesday, February 2nd.  How relieving to know that I have an entire day to catch up on practicing, to finish this paper, to study for our postponed listening quiz, to read my Bible, and maybe even to do some pleasure reading or watch Inception with my roomie.  How relieving to know that I can eat a real lunch today, catch up on sleep, and enjoy a Tuesday evening yesterday with some friends drinking Chai and watching Leverage. How amazing to know that God heard my cry, that He provided a day of rest and catch-up for me when I wasn't sure if I would make it.

What makes this blessing even more wonderful is that starting tomorrow, most of my free time goes away.  My HeartSong team is leaving campus at 1pm tomorrow to go to the studio to record, and we probably won't be back until around 1am.  Then, after a Friday morning of classes, we leave again at noon for a weekend of tour (but we'll be back on Sunday in time for the Super Bowl, which Tommy is particularly excited about).  What a blessing to have a snow day the day before another crazy weekend begins!  I am in awe of the way my God provides for me.

Speaking of recording, and to change the subject, I am super excited to be able to record one of my favorite songs for the HeartSong album.  It's called "Better Than," and Rachel Lee wrote it a couple years ago and has been performing it with her acoustic when we've been out on tour.  Last Thursday, our team took 2 1/2 hours of rehearsal to write a band arrangement of it. After some frustration with trying to find the right chords (whoever wrote the chord chart was way off) and writing, rewriting, trying, retrying, retrying-again-because-someone-did-it-wrong, "I don't like that," "We could try that" (with-a-skeptical-attitude), "That sounds AWESOME," and finally a "Let's-try-it-one-more-time-to-make-sure-we-got-it,"  we once again recreated an entire song and made it our own.  "Better Than," along with "Rise and Sing," are the two songs our team will be recording (I say that because I know certain people like my mom would want to know which songs I play on).

It looks like today's blog will be a relatively short one; it's about time for me to get going on this paper.  I am so thankful for all the ways my God has provided for me this year, and I'm really excited to watch Him work again and again throughout this year.  Until next week!

Jehovah jireh!!!