Today is special.  Today I am filled with gratitude and wonder at what God has done in my life, in particular in the past 13 months.

Some of you know the story…on July 2nd, 2016 God gave me a vision for what would become my album “Flourish”.  As I began to respond to this vision and write the songs, I felt Him tell me that I would write the entire album in the month of July.  I just continued writing away, working through a very emotional and healing creative process.  I didn’t think much about finishing the songs in July at first.  I had no deadline and didn’t have a plan.  God’s voice was just so clear and unmistakable about what I was supposed to do, and I just had to follow.  But as the end of July neared, I started to think about it more and more.

I remember that I had written 7 songs and intended to re-work one of them for a reprise at the end of the album.  This gave me 8 tracks in total.  I had tried a number of times to write a song about forgiveness and just could not get it to come out right.  The concept was clear in my mind but the lyrics came out sounding cheesy and cliched, the chords were predictable, the melody forced.  So I would give up and work on something else, only to come back to it a couple days later and have the same thing happen.  So I decided that the album could just be done.  That song didn’t need to be included.  It was too hard.

God disagreed.  We had words.  I am not always cooperative (shocking, right?).

At this point, it was down to the last couple days of July and I had started to feel almost stressed out about “finishing” in July.  I was completely drained in every way – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Maybe the writing process is really fun and cool for some people.  For me, it was difficult.  I had to wrestle every song out of myself.  It caused me actual physical discomfort.  I couldn’t relax, couldn’t rest, at times I couldn’t even eat if I was in the middle of writing a song.  Some songs took a few hours to write, and some took a few days.  I would wake up early in the morning, or sometimes in the middle of the night with lyrics in my mind that had to be written down, or melodies that I had to work through on the piano, right now or I would forget them.  I recorded scraps of this and that in my phone for safekeeping and would try to get back to sleep…usually unsuccessfully.

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Messy house, Bible open, papers everywhere…yup.  This was my process.

But I knew that I had to complete this song about forgiveness.  It is so funny, how writing a song about forgiveness so closely mirrored my journey to actual forgiveness and how I argued and tried to negotiate with God to get out of it.  He wouldn’t let me off the hook…so I begrudgingly got back to work.  I was not happy about it, and I made sure God knew it.  But He still helped me when I asked and I managed to finish the song!

I remember working on it late into the evening, recording it on my laptop, and realizing…it was done.  I knew in my spirit that I had written the whole thing, that I could relax now.  It was July 31st.  Finished in July…just like He told me.  Down to the wire, but still July.  : )

So…Happy sort-of Birthday, “Flourish”…you’ve profoundly changed me.  I can’t wait to see what God has planned for us next!!

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I usually sat on the floor (my Kindergarten teacher tendencies?) and usually had a feline “helper”.

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The songs!  That little rose notebook was where it all started. 


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