Writing songs for me is like getting a buzz from too much coffee. After I wrote “Let’s Get a Latte” I was so amped up that I had to keep the caffeinated lyrics flowing! Hence, “Too Much Caffeine.”
Being a person who loves learning the behind-the- scenes information, here is a little behind-the-scenes tid bit for you.
For some reason when I perform this song I feel like I am singing on stage in a Broadway musical.
Ever since I was in the musical Annie in 6th grade I have had a desire to bring a little drama into my music once in awhile.
I even have these hand gestures and dance moves that are acted out in my head. Due to the guitar in my hands it is a bit difficult to act them out. Instead I express my drama through my face and pregnant pauses in my guitar playing.
Anyway, speaking of drama, this song reminds me of how serious some people are about their morning coffee.
Not quite a year after moving to Boise I attended a women’s convention with a bunch of church ladies I was getting to know. We had a delightful time together.
On the final morning of the event we all gathered in the conference room at the hotel for breakfast. We had all just received our breakfast when I heard some grumbling sounds across the room. I looked up and saw that this older lady had just discovered that we had already run out of coffee. Up to this point I had not realized how important it is for some people to have their morning cup of joe. It’s like coffee is the key to opening the door to their “smile”. No coffee. No smile.
Since I had never really witnessed this before, I almost started laughing at her behavior. But luckily I stopped myself from letting loose a giggle. The look on this ladies face told me that this was no laughing matter. Eeesh!
I had to work hard not to laugh. Don’t you hate that! It’s seems the harder I try not to laugh the funnier the situation is to me and it just gets harder to keep it under control. Hee hee!
Caffeine To Go, Please
Stressing over a small cup of coffee seemed silly to me. However, I have my own moments when I take things too seriously, also. How well I played my guitar, sang a song, shared my thoughts with the audience…yep, I get pretty serious about those things. Countless other things, too. But, when I take things too seriously I just suck all the joy right out of it.
Now back to our story. I am happy to announce that the hotel did had more coffee and peace reigned on earth once again.
What are some things that you stress about in life? Is it necessary? Anything you get just a little too serious about? How do you deal?
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Hosting the Hope-Filled Hearts Concert was a huge endeavor. I wanted to 1) provide everyone with a great experience from the moment they walked in the door, 2) inspire people to try new things and make room for hope to grow in their hearts, 3) touch someone deeply so they would know they are not alone in their trials, and 4) impact our local community positively by gathering food for the Idaho Food Bank and the Idaho Humane Society.
This meant a lot of details needed to be taken into account and many volunteers would be required to reach my vision. After much time, concentration, and a couple hours out of my sleep time, I came up with a long list of jobs.
The two most amazing things about working on this project were:
I always knew there were at least a few people who had my back from the start. They planned on filling in anywhere and everywhere they might be needed. Not feeling alone in the situation, I was really able to hunker down and work hard. Many phone calls, announcements, articles, and requests were written asking for volunteer-help during the final two weeks before the event.
As each day went by I had this little fire of hope growing inside. It wasn’t because I had crowds of folks wanting to help. It was but because those who volunteered really wanted to be there and help out. They said “Yes!” with enthusiasm and often added, “what else can I do for you?” It was clear these people had planned on coming to the concert anyway, so I was truly touched. Their joy and enthusiasm to help me out just fed my own little fire of hope! Even when little speed bumps came along the way I just held on to the hope that I had been given by others.
The help of others was what really kept my hope-filled heart burning so I could shine some hope back into their lives! It is good to be hopeful, isn’t it?
What are ways you can help others discover hope for their lives? Who can you help by feeding their flame of hope?
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Ever since I was about 8, I have felt compelled to share music with people. It’s been like I was on this mission to help people feel good and feel God. Hopeful.
Over the past dozen years or so, I have had an even stronger nudge to write, record, and share music, like this was what I was called to do.
So, in spite of having no idea what I would do with my music I found myself happily following through with this odd nudge. At times I have stopped to see if I might get some clarification on the plan. Every time I ask God to shed some light on the future, my writing and recording just gets slowed down.
So, since I have not been blessed with a holy light bulb from the Big Guy, I have just continued on making music. It’s actually a lot of fun to be clueless. It’s hard to get nervous when you have no clue what to get nervous about!
My hope is to shine a little light in this world. Ultimately, that’s my goal.
In my own life, I have found that the light of hope is a very important element. If I let my chronic pain rule my world I lose hope, I get depressed, and self centered. Thinking beyond the needs of myself gets difficult. That’s when depression impacts your kids and your spouse. That is not where you want to go. So, I make myself think about my family’s needs. This compels me to get up.
Because I’ve been there I felt compelled to name my first major concert event the Hope-Filled Hearts Concert. I wanted to shine a little light into my circle of influence.
There are people out there who need to know they aren’t the only people on the planet with their struggles.
Music and storytelling is one way I can communicate this.
Through humor and honesty my hope is to make people feel welcome, cared for, and inspired to live their lives with gumption!
My goal with the Hope-Filled Hearts concert was to share a little bit of my story and, more importantly, have two creative friends help me to help others discover new ways to experience hope especially during difficult times.
Lisa (a painter) and Angela (a potter) worked on either side of me throughout the concert, taking lyrics from my songs and fused them into their own work.
At the end of the concert we invited everyone to come up front and try out playing instruments, painting, and working with clay. People of all ages came up and participated.
My friends and I brought a little hope into many lives that evening. We were able to make a difference by using our art, engaging our passion to create and leaning into our calling.
Add to the conversation. How does hope work in your life? What do you find helpful during difficult times? What do you do to help others find hope? Let us know your thoughts and feelings. We’ll be glad you did. And we’re hopeful you will!