"Always Prepared" (article in 'Quarterly' magazine - winter 2015)

When I was young, I'd sing into my curling iron pretending it was a microphone, dreaming of one day recording my songs and singing for a career.  I began creating music at age 12.  Correction.  GOD began creating music in me!  That was decades ago, and it has been a wonderful partnership since.  His Spirit plants ideas and fragments of melodies; I pray, walk while I sing, dabble on the piano;  He weaves and spins phrases in my mind and through my fingertips;  I work and re-work the notes and lyrics until a song is complete.  

We have created dozens of songs together. Some came from places of hope, joy and triumph. Others were born from struggle, pain or fear.  The music tells the story.  The music expresses feelings, faith, and invokes emotion in those who listen - at least I hope it does.  The music speaks in ways that words alone cannot.  Above all, the music is for Jesus' honor.  'For in Him I live and move and have my being'. (Acts 17:28) 

Besides being a daughter, wife, and mother, I am a writer, a recording artist, a worship leader, and a teacher who mentors future Christian musicians.  These are both my job and my passion.  I choose to serve primarily in the Church, and it has been a tremendous blessing.   Sharing original music, the great traditional hymns, and contemporary songs, while guest leading in worship services, concerts, weddings and even composing special pieces as gifts.  Seeing various parts of the U.S. in travel has been an added perk, and I'm still hoping to sing in all 50 states! 

Some of the most beautiful and memorable moments I believe God used me were bedsides of sick and dying friends.  No stage or lights or microphones - just my voice and our hearts joined together singing hymns and spiritual songs of the Lord's great love.  Scripture was read.  Prayers were lifted for His peace as the sweet melodies danced around the room.  Through joyful tears we talked of how the music in Heaven will be even sweeter. 

There have also been many spiritual conversations with strangers - using my guitar case as a segue - on planes, in airports, gas stations, restrooms and even a hot tub!   Occasionally, I've been privileged to impact a larger number of people at once in a public place.  Grateful for the freedoms here that allow such things.  

I strive to 'always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that I have' (I Peter 3:15)  Recognizing the Lord as the One who brings any favor or invitation that comes my way, I see each one as an opportunity to brag of His goodness.  Every day I remain thankful for these lips to encourage others to live their faith boldly, and I am most grateful for a tongue to sing my great Redeemer's praise!

**Published in Women's Quarterly magazine "Then Sings my Soul" Winter 2015 edition  

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