music, New Year's

New Year’s Resolutions

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I’m not typically one to make resolutions. I think that’s mostly because I’ve learned (through failure) over the years that I’m not one to stick with big, long-term goals. I’m the procrastinator who can rock some last-minute projects. So, in light of this, I have sketched out one or two goals for each month for this new year. That definitely seems less overwhelming (to me at least). So what are you doing differently this year?

I love JJ Heller’s brand new song, “This Year,” that will inspire you whether you made resolutions or not.

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faith, music

A Thanksgiving Song– Especially for Moms

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I’ve been listening to the song “Planting Trees” several times today just thinking about my parents– my mother in particular– and all those who have poured into me and invested in my life– some for a season, others throughout my life. I’m truly thankful for all of them today!

The story behind this song is that Andrew Peterson was at a retreat with his wife in a breakout group where the question was asked, “How are you shedding light in the darkness in a practical way in your life?” Andrew is a gifted songwriter and novelist, so his answer came easily. I want “…to tell the truth in the most beautiful way that I can think to tell it,” he said. Andrew admitted to worrying about his wife Jamie’s answer. When it became Jamie’s turn, she said, “I’m shedding light in the darkness by raising these three children in the Lord.” Andrew said it helped those in the breakout group to “…realize that the only real work that matters in the world is the love of Christ that you pour into other people…that is the surest defense against the darkness.” Listen to Andrew’s full story behind this song here.

“Planting Trees” lyrics:

We chose the spot
We dug the hole
We laid the maples in the ground
To have and hold

As autumn falls
To winter’s sleep
We pray that somehow in the spring
The roots grow deep

And many years from now
Long after we are gone
These trees will spread their branches out
And bless the dawn

He took a plane
To Africa
He gathered up into his arms
An orphan son

So many years from now
Long after we are gone
This tree will spread its branches out
And bless the dawn

So sit down and write that letter
Sign up and join the fight
Sink in to all that matters
Step out into the light

Let go of all that’s passing
Lift up the least of these
Lean into something lasting
Planting trees, hmm, yeah

She rises up
As morning breaks
She moves among these rooms alone
Before we wake

And her heart is so full
It overflows
She waters us with love
And the children grow

So many years from now
Long after we are gone
These trees will spread their branches out
And bless the dawn

These trees will spread their branches out
And bless someone

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faith, music

On Suffering: “Though You Slay Me”

“Though He slay me, I will hope in Him; yet I will argue my ways to His face.” -Job 13:15

“… The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” – Job 1:21


I’ll never forget hearing David Platt preach for the first time ever at a conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center back in 2005. At one point, he was talking about the sudden death of his father and he said these words with such emotion and certainty that I can still hear him speaking them in my head, ” The Lord takes away, but NEVER does He stop giving.”

Shane and Shane have written a beautiful song with a Biblical perspective on suffering.

Listen to Shane Barnard’s story behind the song here.

Check back tomorrow for more thoughts on how to walk through seasons of suffering.

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#write31days, faith, music

Day 31: “Add to the Beauty”

This is it– the last post in the 31 day series, Stories and Songs. There’s no better song that I could think of to end this series other than “Add to the Beauty” by Sara Groves. I feel like this song sums up why I was inspired to start this blog and do the 31 day writing challenge. I want to be a small part of telling THE story and adding to the beauty.

I have enjoyed having this little outlet in “blogland” for this series. I’ve enjoyed it so much so that I want to continue to write here– just not everyday! In many ways, it was good for me to only have 2-3 hours to come up with a blog post, but I feel like my writing process generally takes much longer than a few hours. So, I do plan to continue writing on this blog, but it won’t be everyday. It’ll probably be more like once or twice a week. Hopefully, that will give me more time to really chase down some of the big ideas and songs that I want to communicate (and hopefully add pictures to the posts). Anyway, I really hope you’ll stick around to check out what is to come. I will continue posting the same type of content from this series– songs and encouragement to help you and I take that next step in faith toward God. I still have many, many more original songs that I hope to share with you. I hope you’ll stick around!

Continuing to write on this blog will be my attempt to “add to the beauty.” What will be yours? Can’t wait to hear about it!

p.s. Check out this cool blog post I saw today about ways for the modern Christian woman to indulge in Scripture.

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#write31days, faith, music

Day 28: “No Man Is an Island”

This post is a part of a 31 day series called Stories & Songs.


I heard this song on the radio today and it just totally clicked with what I’ve been learning lately. We’re all made for community. This is exactly how we put selfless love into practice– in community. Here’s the story behind the song “No Man Is an Island” by Tenth Avenue North:

Check out this live recording of the song.

Check back tomorrow for thoughts on the sometimes sticky and sometimes painful process of loving others in community.

“No Man Is an Island” lyrics:

I won’t run, I will stay
I’m not leaving you
I know there’s friction here
but the struggle makes us new

I wish you never thought you had to go
Wish you never thought you had to leave
Together we can lift each other up
We can build a shelter for the weak

No man is an island, we can be found
No man is an island, let your guard down
You don’t have to fight me, I am for you
We’re not meant to live this life alone

I see fear in your eyes
like there’s no safety here
Oh, my friend, let me in
I will share your tears

I wish you never thought you had to go
I wish you never thought you had to leave
We can always lift each other up
We can build a shelter for the weak, come on

No man is an island, we can be found
No man is an island, let your guard down
Please don’t try to fight me, I am for you
We’re not meant to live this life alone

Through trouble, rain, or fire
Let’s reach out to something higher
Ain’t no life outside each other
We are not alone
Through trouble, rain, or fire
Let’s reach out to something higher
Eyes open to one another
We are not alone

No man is alone
Why you try to fight me
We don’t have to do it alone
We don’t have to do it alone
We don’t have to do it alone

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#write31days, faith, music

Day 26: “Love Alone Is Worth the Fight”

“… and you’re asking yourself questions like “Why am I here? What’s worth living for?” And for me I’ve come to the conclusion that the Creator that has given us all of this is One who loves us dearly and that out of that love– that when my identity is rooted in that love that I am able to love other people in spite of my own fears.” –Jon Foreman

You can also watch their official music video here that showcases beautiful scenes from their documentary, Fading West.

Check back tomorrow for the story to go with this song.

“Love Alone is Worth the Fight” lyrics:

I’m trying to find where my place is
I’m looking for my own oasis
So close I can taste this
The fear that love alone erases

So I’m back to the basics
I figure it’s time I face this
Time to take my own advice

Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight

And I never thought it’d come to this
But it seems like I’m finally feeling numb to this
The funny thing about a name is
You forget what the reason you were playing the game is

And it’s all an illusion
A 21st century institution
So I’m headed down the open road unknown

And we find what we’re made of
Through the open door
Is it fear you’re afraid of?
What are you waiting for?

Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight

We’re only here for a season
I’m looking for the rhyme and reason
Why you’re born, why you’re leaving
What you fear and what you believe in

Why you’re living and breathing
Why you’re fighting it and getting it even
Let’s go headed down the open road unknown

And we find what we’re made of
Through the open door
Is it fear you’re afraid of?
What are you waiting for?

Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight

Here we are, here we go
Where the road is our own
Hear it calling you home
Here we are, here we go!

Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight


This post is a part of a 31 day series called Stories & Songs.

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