Archive for October, 2012

Article for Music News Nashville

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

A new article came out in several outlets today about the new video for “To Be Love” and the benefit concert for Remember Nhu which raised over $240,000. I’m pretty excited to be involved in such a worthwhile project with them, and to have them use my song. Any way we can help those kids makes me happy.

You can read the article here.

You can watch the new video here.


Video shoot for “Your Child”

Monday, October 29th, 2012

An overhead shot of me with Luiga on cello

My family (plus one friend) hanging out waiting for their scene to be lit

Shooting Samuel's scene

Reese checks out the footage from his scene

Megan's family gets ready for their final shot

Caroline discovers she loves air hockey!

A mom gets some hard news about her pregnancy (and yes, she was acting - praying for a safe and healthy pregnancy for her!)

This past weekend was exhausting and really fun. We shot the video for the new song “Your Child” which I wrote to honor the love of family, and specifically for special needs families.

Videos are hard because there is so much work to organize it all before you get to the shoot days, and then the days are very long and you have to really hope you haven’t forgotten anything. Before the weekend, we had to line up all the families and shoot locations, all the equipment and set out the timing, and then think through props and colors for outfits and backgrounds and take pictures of everything to send to the director so he could coordinate and think through his shots.

We used Jeff Kubach again to direct this video. I worked with him on “God Loved the World” and “Life Not Typical.” He’s a great guy, and he is wonderful at interpreting my ideas into the visual medium and telling the story beautifully. It’s just a pleasure to work with him. It was harder to figure out this video, though, because Jeff has moved to Miami to work on “Burn Notice” and between his schedule and mine, finding several days together that would work was pretty impossible. We found this weekend, though, and had to schedule our shoot days tightly because time was short, but we were able to get it all in.

I’m really proud of this video and can’t wait to see the early edits – the footage looked great. The best part of it for me, though, was working with the special needs families and others who volunteered their time to help make this happen. One of the families offered their home as a shoot location because they are set up for special needs kids, and we spent the day there with the families coming for different parts of the day to do their scenes. The hospitality of our host family (thank you so much, Romona and Gary!) and just the fun of working with so many amazing families all day really made my weekend. I’m just blessed to get to work with the kind of people I do – God’s family is awesome.

I can’t wait to share this with you! We’ve already had interest from so many groups such as Autism Speaks, the SPD Foundation, and Joni and Friends, and I am so excited to see how God will use this!

Remember Nhu in Portland

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Me with Nhu, the namesake for Remember Nhu

Thai dancers opening the benefit

Remember Nhu benefit event

Driving through Narnia

On Mount Hood

Multnomah Falls

Gorgeous view of the Columbia River Gorge from the falls

This weekend my husband and I had the privilege of going to Portland, Oregon where I was performing for the Remember Nhu benefit concert. Last spring, Nathan and I went to Thailand with Remember Nhu to see their work fighting child trafficking there (you can read more about that trip here). This weekend was especially fun for us because the other three couples we went to Thailand with were all from Portland, so we got to catch up with them at this event.

This fundraiser was in support of building a new boys’ home in Thailand, and for us that was also touching because we have been to the current boys home and have seen how very crowded it is already, and there are so many boys still waiting. One really fun moment for us was when we were looking at a new brochure for RNhu. We had gone to some of the interviews for children who were hoping for spots in one of the very poor villages while we were in Thailand. There was one boy in particular whom we were very concerned for, and there he was in the picture in the new brochure! It was so wonderful to know that they had found a spot for him and he was safe.

Remember Nhu is named after a young woman named Nhu who was the inspiration for the organization, and who now works for them. She is also simply a wonderful young lady with a very quick sense of humor and is a delight to be with. We had gotten to know her in Thailand, and she was in Portland to speak. Her testimony is amazing, and it is humbling to hear how Christ has transformed her life. It was also just so good to see her again!

The benefit itself was just beautiful. There were Thai dancers and Japanese Taiko drummers, myself, and then Nhu with Carl and Laurie, the founders, and some other very touching videos and testimonies. I had written a song for RNhu based on Micah 6:8 entitled “To Be Love” and we debuted the video that night (you can watch it here). The goal for the evening was to raise $125,000 which would have covered the new boys’ home. Praise God, they raised over $240,000!! What an amazing thing to watch God do more than we could ask or imagine!

Nathan and I had an extra day, so we went to see Mount Hood and Multnomah Falls and some of the other beautiful sites near Portland. Especially up on Mount Hood, the elevation was so high that it was snowing and it looked like we were driving through Narnia. Just magical. What a day to be thanking God for what He had done the day before while confronted with such beauty and creativity all around us – He is an awesome God!

New Review for Someday

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Had a new review come out today – just wanted to share it quickly. I loved how much she loved the worship music! You can read it here.

Trust is hard

Friday, October 12th, 2012

This has been a busy month for sure. The new album, Someday, has been released. I’ve taught two weekend-long women’s retreats in New York and Michigan and given a pre-release concert for the album which involved getting all the new songs ready for live performance. I shot a new music video for one of the songs and prepped another. Through all of this, though, God has been reminding me again and again that this is about Him and not me.

I have been having a very different experience for me and it’s caused some anxiety. With so much to do to prep the new music and the teachings and concerts for the women’s retreats, I came down with a cold. That’s usually no big deal, and I thought I’d be over it in time for my performances. I’m usually able to sing even when my speaking voice isn’t clear, so I wasn’t too worried. But the first retreat was rainy and cold, and even though I had an amazing time there with all the women, I was getting sicker and by the time we left, I had lost my voice.

I decided to break out the big guns and go on total vocal rest. I had five days between retreats, and obviously a speaker/singer without a voice is a little like a marathoner with broken ankles. It was pretty hard to be silent while working and parenting three kids, but I was sure I would be fine. I haven’t lost my voice since I was 16! But my voice did not come back, and on the Thursday before the retreat I spent the entire day in prayer trying to figure out what to do. I was so looking forward to the weekend so it was personally disappointing, but even more so, I absolutely could not leave the camp stuck without a speaker! But I literally had no voice on Thursday – what if I just physically could not do it?

If I count back to when people first started hiring me to sing at their weddings and play their parties and accompany their Christmas plays, I’ve been a professional musician now for over 20 years. Since then I’ve performed probably thousands of times and I have never once had to cancel. I’ve had some wild stories and once after being stuck in traffic for hours in New York I literally skidded into the wings of a theater about thirty seconds before my entrance (causing the understudy to break out into sobs of relief), but I have always, always been able to do what I have promised to do.

This was really beyond my control. Interestingly, my topic for the weekend was God’s providence and over-arching plan for all of our lives. Everything I was planning to teach that weekend had immediate applications to my situation. God always has a plan. God’s plan is always better than our plan. We can’t always see God’s plan, but we can always trust God’s character. God’s plan is always for our good and He is always working. And the truth is, I totally believe all of those things. With my whole heart I believe them.

Why do I do this anyway? I speak because God has told me to speak. I sing because He wants me to sing. When He doesn’t want me to do this anymore, I will stop.

If there’s one thing God has taught me over the past years of my life dealing with my dad’s death and my son’s special needs and my own issues, it’s that God is trustworthy. God is a good God, and His character does not change. Trust is hard, and I love to be in control, but really, control is just an illusion. None of us is really in control of anything. Everything can and sometimes does change in the blink of an eye. Everything, that is, except for God.

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is faithful, and He has a plan. My plan seemed pretty good – I needed my voice to share with people about God. Why would He not want me to do that? And yet, I know there is always a plan. And even when I can’t see it, I can trust that God is working things out His way, for my good and for His glory.

I’m happy to say that I was able to do the retreat. I couldn’t sing, and that was sad, but it didn’t stop God from working. I croaked through my talks and He gave me just enough to teach what He wanted me to teach. I’m still not at 100%, but I am trusting God. I still don’t know the why, but maybe it was so I would write this for one of you. I don’t know, but I trust that God does.

Where could you be trusting God more today? Is there something causing anxiety in your life? First Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

God cares for you. That’s you personally in whatever situation you find yourself. He knows, and He cares. You can trust Him. And there is no One more trustworthy.

More press

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Couple more articles I wanted to put up here.

One review of the new album, Someday.

An article about the giveaway for special needs families at SPD University, and another one on Music News Nashville.

It’s pretty exciting to see the word getting out there!

Retreat in Michigan, release, and special needs giveaway!

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The beautiful lakefront at Grace Adventures Camp

Teaching in the main hall

Me with the worship team, Gina, Cherri, and Elissa - they were so sweet!

On the way home we discovered that Mater really lives in Michigan!

This past week has been another busy one. Last weekend mom and I headed up to Grace Adventures Camp in Silver Lake, Michigan to do their fall women’s retreat. What a gorgeous camp! It was such a fun weekend. The camp staff was just wonderful to work with, and they did an amazing job with the weekend.

Mom and I had so much fun getting to know the women there and also the worship team. This time I was teaching the main sessions and was supposed to give a concert on Friday night. I have been struggling with my voice ever since the last retreat and my illness, and really wasn’t sure whether I could give a concert at all. I was so grateful that there was a worship team so I didn’t need to do that too! After we got there, though, we realized the worship leader, Cherri, was also sick. I was so blessed by the response of everyone, though. It was simply, “God will provide, and we will be praying” and that is exactly what He did. I did a modified concert where I told more stories and showed some of my videos, etc., and God gave me enough voice to do the teaching for the weekend. Cherri was a trouper and her team was great and God got them through as well. I just know He meant that weekend to happen, and I feel so blessed that I got to be a part of it.

After coming home, the album released on October 2nd, and I had a few interviews and things I had to do, but somehow had enough voice. Still healing and feeling better every day, but I am grateful that I have a couple of weeks before my next event!

Also, I wanted to let everyone know that we are doing a giveaway of my new song “Your Child” to all special needs families for the month of October in honor of Sensory Awareness Month. My son, Toby, has had a long road with Sensory Processing Disorder, and God has done an absolute miracle in his life. Because of our family’s story, I meet so many special needs parents (there were so many at Grace Adventures last weekend!) and it inspires me. I wrote the song in honor of them and would love to have it be an encouragement.

Also, we’re going to shoot a video for that at the end of the month, so I would love to have any special needs families out there reading this send me a picture of your child or your family, and it may be included in the video! We’re going to celebrate the love of families. Send it to – we’d love to see your child in the video for “Your Child!”