My life in 10 (or more) songs

Getting my life in 10 songs (or more) gives you a glimpse of how diverse my music

tastes are. Music is an absolute passion of mine. And I enjoy a variety of genres.

Hip Hop. Rock. Broadway. Pop. Rap. Native American. Celtic. Country. 

Old style hymns and modern worship. Even some metal.

To narrow down a list that I would call the soundtrack of my life is not easy.

Concerts, musicals, oh my!

I think about all of the concerts I’ve taken in over the years.

Alabama. Clint Black. Garth Brooks. Sawyer Brown. Charlie Daniels.

New Kids on The Block. Vanilla Ice. 

TobyMac. Newsboys (with and without Peter Furler). Manifest. Skillet.

The musicals…Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserable, Hairspray.

By no means an exhaustive list. I could easily list two dozen more acts.

So you see my problem, right? How do I pick just a handful of songs to represent my soundtrack?

I thought about the artists as well as favorite songs that really feel like they define parts of me.

My life in 10 songs

My top 10 (or more) in no particular order…other than how I remembered them.

A portion of my life’s soundtrack.

I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt – country was my upbringing and this song always made me smile and dance.

Some Girls Do” by Sawyer Brown – My absolute favorite country band ever! So hard to choose only 1 of their songs, but this particular one was an anthem to my teenage years. I followed them from when they were on Star Search… have been to dozens of their concerts, and I was super excited when I found out that lead singer Mark Miller is the producer for one of my favorite Christian bands, Casting Crowns.

That’s My Job” by Conway Twitty – My father was a huge Conway Twitty fan and I cannot listen to the song without crying. I lost my father when I was just 25. And this song epitomizes the kind of man my Daddy was.

I Cross My Heart” by George Strait – My wedding song. In honor and memory of my brother-in-law who died by suicide the year I got married. The day before my birthday that year in fact. Sometimes I listen to this with fondness. Sometimes I just can’t.

Jesus Freak” by dcTalk – My introduction to Christian rap. And every 90s Christian kids’ battle cry. It felt a bit rebellious, and yet pointed straight to the Savior.

Gone”, “Made to Love”, “Burn for You”, “Till the Day I Die”, “Move (Keep Walkin’) – OK, I know this is more than one song for the century but I am a huge, HUGE TobyMac fan!! I love the rhythm of his music, the diversity both and has a band physically as well as in the instruments utilized, and most importantly the words. I’ve been to dozens of his shows, Jesus freak cruise, and have every CD he’s ever made. His heart for God makes his music come alive.

Phantom of the Opera” by Sarah Brightman & Michael Crawford – My favorite Broadway musical. My senior prom song. We were drama and chorus geeks, what can I say?

He’s Alive” by Dolly Parton – In my opinion one of the best worship songs ever written or sung. It absolutely gives me chills every single time. And every time I hear it I am reminded of the great sacrifice made and the love the Father has for me.

Monster” by Skillet – Skillet my favorite Christian rock band. This song resonates as I often struggle with keeping the ugliness of my humanity at bay when I feel hurt or wronged. It lets me know I’m not the only one and that helps me feel more normal.

Cry for You”, “Welcome to America”, “ Good, Bad, Ugly”, “Tell the World” – Okay, again I couldn’t narrow it to just one for this artist. Lecrae is a phenomenal rapper with a heart for the Lord and for marginalized people. And he isn’t afraid to talk (or sing) about it. He’s bold yet humble…like I hope to be.

So there you have it. Songs that resonate with who I am and seasons of my life that defined me.

What does your life sound like?

Letter to my 16 year old self

About Others

Letter to my 16 year old self. I sure wish I could tell you some things that would have made your high school years easier. You were so insecure, longing to belong, and had no idea just how beautiful and smart you really were.

I’d tell you that those sideways glances and whispered conversations going on around you…are not always about you. And that even if they are, you shouldn’t let it bother you.

Those people’s actions say way more about their character than it does about you.

I would tell you not to tell people that you thought were your friends about that date. In fact, I would tell you not to go on that date at all.

My 16 year old self

About Yourself

To my 16 year old self. You will wish you could take back some words that you say and things that you do. So don’t say them and don’t do them.

I would tell you it is better to be ridiculed for not doing the popular thing. And that being yourself, uniquely creative and bold, is the best way to be.

That those who cannot handle your uniqueness are not your people. Find a different circle where you are valued. Not used.

I would tell you not to be afraid of your gifts. To use your voice. To take that chance.

I would tell you to spend more time with your family. That in less than 10 years your precious Daddy would be gone and you would wish you had more time.

About God

Most of all, in this letter to my 16 year old self, I would tell you that you are so very loved. That no matter what you do or say there is a God that you speak of, yet don’t intimately know yet, that knows you very well. 

He loves you so much He died for you.

And if you will let Him in now, He will take all the burdens you carry away. You don’t need to be strong enough to bear it all. That’s His job.

And you can just be. Be a kid. Stop trying to grow up so fast. Relax. Love yourself.

You are going to be with you for a long time.

To be a woman of God and not the world…

I’ve been thinking a lot about God’s blessings to us and how, at least for me, I have taken many for granted lately.
It reminds me of James 3:10 – “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing”. (
Just as the Bible says, this should not be so…yet it happens. Every day. Every week. We get angry, we get offended, we get upset…and in anger and haste, words pour forth in a torrent. And we apologize. But are we forgiven? And do we truly forgive others when we are so attacked? I dare say we often do not…or we take our time about it.
It is often easy to find fault in what someone has done to us in the heat of the moment, yet if we stop, can we truly say we have always been good to them? Have we always been kind? Loving? Generous?
If you are struggling like me, will you stand with me and say so?

Suffering does NOT mean you have done wrong…

“Suffering doesn’t always mean you’ve done something wrong. Sometimes it means you’ve done something right” – Dr. Tony Evans, Urban Alternative

#CarryYourCross pin post

I really really love this! When we are going through trials and tribulations it is so tempting from a human perspective to figure out the why? The what have I done wrong question is oftentimes not the right question when it comes to what God allows us to be taken through.

In whatever season you are in, whether it be job loss, loss of a family member or other loved one, illness or injury remember this…God loves you. You can say that is trite, that it is just some kind of comment meant to make people feel better, but what it really is, is the truth.

Some people wrongly think that if bad things are happening to them they must have done something bad. 

I think the perfect example of this being untrue is the life of Job.  Here was a man who had a heart for God, did all the prescribed things he was to do under the law (remember his story was before the cross, before grace) and yet he lost everything.  He nearly lost his life. 

Not because God did not love him mind you.  But because God allowed Job to be tested…to show that Job’s faith would not fail.  Now it wavered!  It wavered mightily as he lost his family, his livelihood and his home.  However, in the end, Job declared the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Just as parents want the best for their children, so our heavenly father wants the best for us. And sometimes just like you have to let your children go through hard things to learn the lessons they need to learn or to be an example to others, so does God allow things in our lives to help us grow, strengthen our faith in Him, deepen our relationship with others, and ultimately draw others to Him. 

I can tell you from my own personal experiences that it has been in the hard times that I have learned best how to trust God.  It is when nothing else is making sense that I can run to the shelter of His wings and take refuge and know that all is going to be alright. If you are His you know that all things work together for the glory of Him.  That is peace.  That is joy beyond comprehension.

Some verses to ponder:
Romans 5:8 [Full Chapter]

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:28 [Full Chapter]
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

If you do not know this love yet, you can friend!  Just ask God to forgive your sin and enter your heart to live as your savior.  He will answer your prayer and will begin to walk with you through every part of your life.  It is a sweet journey! 

*all scripture references taken from Bible Gateway; NIV and KJV

Mother’s Day – a celebration for all kinds of moms…

This weekend mothers everywhere will be celebrated and loved on…gifts will be given, special meals prepared, phone calls across the miles and photos taken to capture this time.  Moms today come in a lot of different forms…not all are birth moms.  Some may be aunts, grandmothers or sisters who have acted as a mom in someone’s life.  There may be stepmoms or even just close family friends who have acted in this capacity as well.

Motherhood Defined

One Webster definition of mother uses it as a verb:  “bring up a child with care and affection”.  As someone who cannot have children from my own womb, this is most certainly the definition I like best!

Mommies and memories

There are many in my life who I have mothered over the years…my sister, cousins, my nieces and nephew, friends’ children, neighborhood kids…my furbabies.

Exodus 20:12 describes how we are to treat our mothers…with kindness and respect all the days of our lives.  This may not be easy for some of us.  While I pray most reading this had a wonderful childhood full of pleasant memories, I realize that is not the case for everyone.

Some of you may have had very troublesome childhoods.  Maybe you did not grow up with a mother at all…maybe you do not remember your mother because she died when you were young.  Maybe your mother did not know how to be a kind mother.  Maybe she was harsh, always scolding, always yelling…always hitting.

You are not your mother

so do not let that baggage define how you mother others.  Whether you are a birth  mother, an adopted mother, a friend mother, an aunt mother does not matter.  You have the opportunity to pour into the lives of the children in your sphere of influence.

So pour love and laughter into them.  Pour caring and courage into them.  Pour harmony and hope into them.  Everything you wish your mother had poured into you, pour into others.

In doing so, you bring light and joy into the world of your own children…or maybe even to others who are struggling in their home life as you did in yours.

It is my hope that you have found a Godly woman to come alongside you and mentor you in your walk…that you have Godly sisters and friends who you can rely on in periods of gleefulness as well as periods of gloom.  I bid you a Happy Mother’s Day – God bless you and yours!

I thought of my mother today and the memories flowed in my head,
How I miss her when apart, though at times she can make me so mad.
What?  Mad, you say…whatever for?  Do you think she did not get mad?
What about when you broke her favorite candy dish?
Spilled nail polish on the carpet…she told you not to have that in the living room!
Mad…ah yes, but so happy too, so much love.
Bedtime stories, sing songs, swing sets, Barbie dolls and legos,
Beauty shop, “Let’s pretend mommy”, coloring, hold me!
“But all the other kids are doing it!”, “You don’t understand”,
Mad…ah yes, but she was protecting you, love so deep.
By your side at your wedding, by your side at your first child’s birth,
You understand more now do you not?  You see why she did what she did.
I thought of my mother today and tears flowed down my face,
Hit by the love she had for me, by the love she still provides.
Grown I am still her baby.