Saturday, February 27, 2016

Finding Balance

I've had a lot on my mind lately, and the best way I've learned to organize my thoughts is to write them down. Sometimes that comes in the form of a song, and I can express that entire thought or feeling into a 3 minute song. Other times I make lists, of ideas and plans. And then sometimes, I ramble. ;)

A friend encouraged me the other day to blog. My response was "I do!", but she explained that she would like for me to expand on my perspective of young married life, living out in the country, baking, crafting and handling my singing career. She also said, "I wish I had it all together like you do." I assured her that I don't think any of us ever have it all together, and if we think we do then we're setting ourselves up for disappointment.

I'm just as guilty of comparing the simple and mundane parts of my day to the glamorous filtered view of someone else's Instagram feed. Those people inspire me and I love getting new ideas, but it should never be a game of who has it all together and whose life is an epic fail. I try to post about things that matter to me, and use social media to encourage others in their lives as well. Positivity and kindness goes a long way. I try to remember to ask myself why I'm posting it and have a good reason for what I choose to share. Once it's on the internet, it's out there. 

I've been trying to find balance between dreaming big, working hard, staying busy, and taking time to breathe and have flexibility. I believe there should be less pressure and stress from myself to always be doing something. There should be times for rest, and designated times to just chill, and to have an open mind to change. As a list maker, I cringe when I have to mark something out or white-out, but that is part of life, and change comes with the territory. I love being spontaneous within structure!

I've started something new this year. In January I got a new monthly calendar and switched things over from my weekly calendar. That has helped to see a month at a time, and be able to look at my whole year in perspective. I wanted to make sure to plan ahead and block off time to prepare and promoting the things coming up. So that has been helping me get ahead and constantly have a work in progress.

Since getting married back in June 2015, it's been fun getting into the new routine of married life. I want to make sure to have plenty of time with my husband, and thankfully he is very supportive of my music. I am still busy traveling and singing, and love getting to do something I love. I'm so grateful for my family and friends who help keep me on track and bring me back down to earth if needed. ;)

God has been teaching me new things and showing me more of himself since going through a study on the Holy Spirit, called "Remembering the Forgotten God" by Francis Chan. At the same time I just went through "Restless" by Jennie Allen, and I feel like they both came at a good time for me. I need to be reminded daily to listen to the Lord, and let His guidance define where I go, what I do, what I say, and who I am.

Currently I am booking music gigs for 2016 and writing songs for an album of Lullabies to be released later this year. I'm also in the process of expanding my Etsy store and learning new crafting skills.

More blogs coming soon!! 
What would you like to know about? What kind of topics are you interested in? Also, what things have helped you find balance in your life? 
Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Check out one of my latest videos on YouTube!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

How's Married Life? At 6 Months.

At our 5 month anniversary, we shared some sparkling 
white grape juice like we had at our wedding.

D i s c l a i m e r  :   S a p p y   P o s t !

We just celebrated 6 months of being married on December 13th. I get the question daily, "How's Married Life?", and my short answer is that is is awesome and we love it! There is so much I could brag on my husband for, and thought I'd type out my perspective from being six months into marriage.

David and I have talked about what we like most about being married. Of course, since we didn't kiss until our wedding, one of our favorite things is that we can kiss whenever we want! David says what he likes most is not having to say goodbye, and that we can be together every night and wake up together every morning. (I told you this post would be sappy!) We love each other so much, and it has been the best six months of our lives.

I've gotten more sleep since we got married, because I've adjusted to David's schedule. I used to be up till midnight every night researching music stuff on the computer and organizing bridal boards on Pinterest. Ha! These days, bedtime looks more like 9:00 PM. I have found that I'm more productive when I get enough sleep, and start the day early. 

Marriage has made me more domestic, for sure. I've taken up baking, as you can tell from my Instagram posts these days. My Mimi gave me some of her starter for sourdough bread, and I have made a batch about once a month since we've been married. David loves it, especially fresh out of the oven. It makes our whole house smell amazing!


We are so blessed to have awesome neighbors. My neighbor Myrna has become my buddy, and she has been sharing recipes and tips with me. I've made a few batches of her banana bread recipe that have been absolutely delicious. We like to swap homemade goodies, and it has been fun to learn from someone with more experience. I'm thankful to have several neighbors we know and are good friends with.

We've hosted some parties and had friends over, and that's something we really enjoy. Some of our friends with kids will come over, and David will bring out his big box of Legos, and they get wide-eyed with excitement. They love building things with "Mr. David". He is so good with kids, and we enjoy getting to know friends over a home cooked meal, and doing life together.

David's an avid deer hunter, and has gotten several does this year, but has been waiting for and wanting a big buck. The other day he got a 10 point buck, and was so excited! We're thankful to have meat in the freezer, and we eat it often in spaghetti sauce and tacos. The antlers of his buck are proudly mounted on the garage!

A few months ago I started an Etsy Store online, called "Home Sweet Athey". I'm selling some things that David has made, or I've repurposed, and some vintage items. I made some Peppermint Hot Cocoa in a Jar that's been flying off the shelves as people have been shopping for Christmas gifts. I'm hoping to expand our store in 2016. I enjoy the process and it's fun!

I love keeping house, and have tried to make a routine of cleaning a little as I go, in between traveling to sing and the commitments we have. I just wrapped up my annual Christmas tour, and it was a festive, caroling whirlwind, but it was a blast! I'm thankful for some rest during Christmas and New Years, to prepare for 2016. We will be spending Christmas with family in TN and Michigan, and looking forward to some quality time together. This past year has been amazing, and I can't wait to see what God has for us in the coming years.

Marriage is wonderful. I highly recommend it, when it's the right person. It's been a smooth transition, and feels like it's the way it's supposed to be. I am so glad we waited for each other, and that I found someone who loves me well, and loves the Lord. I'm pretty sure I got the best end of the deal. ;)

The next question of society is to ask when we're having babies! We get that one a lot. It's really nobody's business, but we're pretty open about wanting to have kids, and it will happen when the time comes. There are no announcements to be made at this point, but it will probably happen sooner than later!

So with that, we hope you have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Practical Tips for Touring and Booking

Practical Tips for Touring and Booking 

by Lydia Walker Athey

CSMI IMPACT Conference 2015, Gatlinburg, TN

Planning - Keep a calendar, map out your goal. When do you want to book? Where? Keep track of your mileage for tax deductions.


  • Make a list of venues or contacts

  • Write a short script of what you want to say.

  • Place the call or email. Sometimes calling can be terrifying, but keep your goal in mind.

  • Ask for the booking, ask about the payment, write down all the details.

  • If they say no, ask them to refer you to others or recommend someone else to call who might be a better fit.  Give them something to say yes to.

Confirm - Call back ahead of time, confirm details, ask any questions, send flyer or info to promote.

Promote! Make it your goal to be the first person to come to mind when they need a musician. Create Facebook event pages and invite your friends (send reminders with interesting content like videos or links to your music). Send out your schedule to your email list. Print flyers and put them up around town on community boards. Text individuals in area and personally invite them.

Prepare - practice songs, make setlist, send lyrics or videos for projection, plan what to say between songs, remember to mention merch. Spontaneity will flow out of your preparation, and will give you more confidence. Remember to make a plan for travel, food and rest!

Show Up! (On Time = Early) Sound check is important to assure a quality experience. Play the gig, do your best, give 100%. Be confident, smile, be kind. Be respectful. Even if you’re not the most talented musician, people will appreciate a good attitude.

Make contacts- meet people, give out business cards. Say, “Can I give you a card?” or “This is for you”. (If you have a blank back on your cards, you can use it to write extra information and even offer for others to write on the back of your card and keep it.) Encourage the ones who are excited to refer you to their business, friends, family or organization with your card. This is the time when ministry can happen when you can ask about their story.  They will remember you positively if the conversation is not all about you :)

Thank the host /contact /sound guy. Smile, make eye contact, say “thank you”. It’s important to let them know that they are appreciated.

Repeat business - they will call you back if you do a good job, communicate well, and show up on time. They will also refer you to others. Feel free to ask them to keep you in mind for future events, and to refer you to others who are booking music. You can also ask people for a review or reference that you can use on your website, press kit, etc. 

After the gig,-report to fans how it went. Post highlight photos or video to social media. Use it to expand your audience and start promoting the next gig.

Resources: - Disc Manufacturing and Digital Distribution - Email lists made simple and easy - Venues and Booking Contacts organized by location and genre

Find more about Lydia at

Her new worship album, Communion, is now available for download on iTunes!

Monday, October 12, 2015

What's Next? How you can help.


I hope you are having a wonderful day! I wanted to check in with you since it's been about a month since the new cd, "Communion", released to the public!

Many of you have listened to the CD and given me some feedback on what your favorite songs are. I would love to have your help to let other people know what you think of the music.

Would you consider rating and reviewing "Communion" on iTunes? It only takes a few minutes. Here's how!

1. Go to the album on iTunes here:

2. Click "View in iTunes"

3. Click "Ratings & Reviews"

4. Select "Write a Review" and Rate the Album (5 Stars!)

Thank you so much! Your support is so important and valued. I appreciate you!


Friday, September 25, 2015

New Worship Album + Videos

I'm excited to announce that my new worship album, "Communion", just released on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby on September 10, 2015. The goal of the album is to be a resource for a personal worship time. It includes upbeat praise songs, reflective worship songs, scripture reading and prayer. I would love for you to download a copy and hear the new music!

Watch my latest music video, "I Lift My Eyes", filmed at Dunbar Cave State Park in Clarksville, TN. Featuring a shofar call of worship, and Native American flute. 
Based on Psalm 121. 

Also, here is a live version of my song, "Come and Fill This Place", also on the "COMMUNION" album. This song is about welcoming the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for watching!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Are you Married or Happy?

I recently got married, on June 13th, 2015, to a wonderful man named David. I love being a Mrs! Even though we are still new at this, marriage has been fun so far! I have felt so peaceful and stress free during this first month. It was a relief to not be planning a wedding anymore! That stuff is no joke. I tried my best to enjoy the process, and made a point to stop and treasure different moments along the way. I prayed a lot during that time of preparation for God to allow me to be gracious in all the dealings, and not get caught up in the details.

The wedding was beautiful, and things came together the way they were meant to. We kept things under budget to make sure that the most important things were taken care of without breaking the bank. Many family and friends pitched in with their cooking or decorating skills, and were so helpful in making the day a success! Our pastor got sick the day before and we weren't sure if he would be up to officiating the ceremony, so we had my uncle prepared to be a stand in, just in case. Thankfully, our pastor was still able to officiate and did a wonderful job.

We decided to honeymoon in the Gatlinburg, TN area and it was the perfect choice. We both love the mountains and it was nice to get away and focus on being together. We had saved our first kiss for our wedding day, and choosing abstinence before marriage is an important part of our story. We were so happy to finally be married and be able to kiss whenever we want! Being married is awesome! It was so worth it to both of us, and we wouldn't change that. After dating 4 years, it is so good to be able to fully express our love for each other, the way God intended it, between a man and woman in a marriage covenant.

During our time in Gatlinburg, we walked down the main street downtown, and passed a man selling tickets. He said, "Are you two married or happy?" and we laughed as we kept walking. When we walked back, he asked again and we realized it was his opening line to start a conversation with potential customers. This time David said, "Both!"

Everyone likes to give advice. I think we have heard enough marriage advice to last a lifetime. Most of it unsolicited from strangers who find out someone's getting married, and they give WAY too much information about their personal life. We have gotten healthy spiritual advice from several couples that we look up to. One card we received encouraged us to read the bible and pray together, to build a strong spiritual foundation for our marriage. We have already begun to do that, and it does make a difference. We are thankful for the good advice we have received. The rest, we will take with a grain of salt.

Another thing I learned through this process, is that weddings bring out the best and worst in people. I was determined not to become bridezilla. Wedding planning was fun and sometimes overwhelming. I had a few breakdowns, but they weren't really about wedding details. I was surprised by the friends and family, and even a few acquaintances who were so kind and went above and beyond in helping to make the wedding come together. There were people who came early, stayed late, asked how they could help and allowed us to borrow things so we wouldn't have to buy or rent them. You never know what a small gesture of kindness can mean to someone.

We registered at Walmart, Target and Amazon. I was surprised at how many people shopped from our Target gift registry. Almost everyone went to Target. I put way more items on the Walmart registry thinking that would be many people's first choice, and ended up having one or two items from that one. After the honeymoon, we went shopping with our Target gift cards and stocked up on some supplies for the house and some camping gear!

I've written a lot of thank you cards. Like a boss. That was a huge priority to me, and I stocked up on thank you cards and stamps ahead of time, and wrote cards for both showers and sent them before the wedding. I kept some more on hand for gifts at the wedding and items we are still receiving in person or in the mail. We have been extremely blessed by all the lovely cards, gifts and well wishes we have received from family and friends. We are very thankful for their support and encouragement. It helps to know that so many people have our back and are cheering us on as we adventure into marriage!

Getting settled at home these last few weeks has been nice. I love our house, and David has been gracious to make room for me and my stuff, invading his space. We've adjusted well to living together and he is such a sweetheart. Bless him, I got the good end of this deal! He spoils me, and treats me so well. I guess it gets harder from here, but we are committed to getting through the good days and bad days together, and to raise a family with Godly principles in this chaotic world.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mourning with Joy (Celebrating Life through Seasons of Loss)

Learning from Loss - The past week has been a roller-coaster of emotions, spanning the life cycles from beginning to end. It has placed things into a new perspective for me, hitting close to home and also making me more aware of the cycles of life in the grand scheme of things. Earlier in the week, my good friend gave birth to a miracle baby who is beating the odds and discovering the world for the first time. Later this week, another good friend is marrying the man she has been waiting for, who God brought into her life at the perfect time, to show his glory through their relationship. I celebrate with them in the same week that I mourn personal loss. My heart is feeling very raw. Within the last few days I have experienced the loss of my dearly loved great-grandaddy. During the funeral and burial, I cried a bucket of tears and used who knows how many tissues and shirt sleeves. I was flooded with emotions of sadness and also shed happy tears, remembering all the good times and fun memories we had together. The death of a loved one reminds us how precious life is, and makes us cherish the moments we have.

Life is full of moments. You don't always realize it when you're in the situation, but you can look back on particular moments that changed your course, influenced your choices, made you who you are. Each of us has a unique outlook on life, built by our experiences and point of view. It amazes me to think about how two people can look at the same painting and draw completely different conclusions to it's meaning. Life is like a painting that we view through colored lenses, from different angles. I remind myself that others don't think the same way I do, so I need to be intentional in explaining my point of view in a way that makes sense to someone walking in another pair of shoes.

It's the little things. A smile, a touch, a card, a phone call... It doesn't take much to let someone know that you care. Sometimes we think we have to go over the top to show someone that they are loved, when really they just want to know that you're there. Everyone needs to know that they are not alone, and that they don't have to go through life's challenges on their own. In small acts of kindness and subtle affirmations, we can love with our actions when our words fail. It has been a long time since I've lost someone in my family. Since Grandaddy's passing, there have been many friends who have called, sent messages, hugged me in the grocery store or parking lot, who want to know if there is anything they can do. After hearing that phrase over and over, I felt it was an odd thing to say, since I couldn't think of anything specific that people could help with. What they were trying to convey, however, was that they were there for my family. I'm so thankful for everyone who attended the funeral, and those who shared special memories they had of my Grandaddy. I'm thankful for those friends and strangers who handed me tissues when I was too optimistic about how many I needed. Just knowing that there were people who understood and cared, meant so much. Being fully present is a gift in itself. Don't underestimate the value of simply being. If you were one of those people and are reading this...

Thank you, so much.

"Where words fail, music speaks..."

In Loving Memory of Bill Edlin - Click to hear him sing - "Treasures that Money Can't Buy"