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"

Friday, May 30, 2014

To my supporters, fans and friends...

I am so thankful to those who have supported me and my music ministry from the beginning and throughout my career so far. It means the world to know that friends have my back, and believe in what I'm doing. Thank you all for being there for me and being a part of what God is doing through this music. It would not be possible by myself. This is a team effort of supporting and encouraging each other on the journey to becoming who we were made to be. As a musician, it means so much when you support in simple ways. Many people ask how they can help. Here are a few things that my supporters have done that make such a difference.

Attend a Performance (Bring a friend, bonus points!)
Buy a CD (or buy one of everything off the merch table = super fan! <3)
Book me for an event / Recommend me to a friend.
Share a post on Facebook of your favorite music video or LYRICS! from your fave song.
Talk to me in person about your story and which song touched you.

Prayers are essential, and it almost goes without saying that prayer drives the whole ministry. Please put me on your list and pray for me to have guidance for the places God would have me go. I want to glorify Him above everything else, and have peace about His calling on my life.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support of my music. To those who have paid it forward, and poured into my life, you will never know how grateful I am for you. God bless you!


P.S. Fun fact! This random video I posted of my first song on ukulele has gained over 25,000 views with little to no promotion. Check out my version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". Enjoy! Love ya'll!

Find more music at!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Supporting / Partnering with Missions

There are many organizations and ministries to choose from to make an impact for good in the world. I wanted to share about my experience giving and some of the people that I support. A little effort can make a big difference. A few people united for one cause can change the course of history.

I'm a 22 year old full time musician, and I believe that I should give to people who are doing Kingdom work. God has provided for my needs through people who are willing to partner with me and who believe in my ministry. I believe that giving is a revolving door of sharing what God has given each of us. If I can do something like this, anyone can! We all can make a difference.

I've been so blessed by supporting several missionaries. I love hearing their stories of building relationships, sharing the gospel, and going wherever the Lord calls them. I know them each personally and I have seen their dedication to their faith. Most of them have been interviewed on my radio show to share their testimony with my listeners. I also support a 10 year old boy named Jason through Compassion. I have not regretted it! It's important to know what you're giving to. Let me share with you about people that I support, to inspire you and give you some examples of how you can give:

Jason, a child from Nicaragua sponsored through Compassion International
Sponsor a child here:

Lydia Grider, Every Nation, Youth Leader at Bethel Community Church
Go to, select "give to individual" and find Lydia's name

Heather Theilacker, Every Nation, Ministry to Students at Austin Peay
Go to, select "give to individual" and find Heather's name

Gregory Hayes, Long term mission trip to Africa through Operation Mobilization
Type in Greg's name to sponsor him: 

Maggie Norfleet, Missionary to Central Asia
Partner with Maggie - Enter code 44073 at

Gathering In Oz - Missionaries to Australia
Donate to the Chapmans:
Donate to the Tarrants:

Those are a few examples of ways to give towards building the Kingdom of God. Each person has a story and a specific calling. I'd like to give you an opportunity to have the blessing of giving to any of these missionaries, and also to share an opportunity to partner with me this year.

In 2014, I have the opportunity to go on several trips. The first is a mission trip with Community Life Church to Puerto Rico in June. We will be prayer walking in the areas where other groups will be leading Vacation Bible Schools during the following weeks. Some of us are musicians and will be singing and playing worship music in the different areas, and promoting the Bible Schools.  The cost of the trip is $300, with the rest being covered by the church. If you would like to partner with me and sponsor part of the cost of the trip, please send me a message.  I believe this is a great opportunity and I'm thankful for the chance to go. UPDATE! The trip has been completely paid for! PTL! Please be in prayer for us as we prepare. We will be in Puerto Rico June 11-16.

In October, I have the chance to go to the Hillsong Worship Conference in New York City ( I was sent last year and absolutely loved it. I got to spend time with friends there who are leaders in Gallery Church, and had great conversations with several people that attended the conference.  As a worship leader, I was refreshed by participating and learning from such great leaders. It was a breakthrough moment for me spiritually and I still am inspired by what I experienced there. As my friends and I are preparing for the trip, I've created a cost breakdown to estimate my expenses:

Registration - $179
Airfare - $250
Hotel - $200
Meals - $150

Total Budget: $779

If you feel led to give towards my trip, please send me an email at
If you choose to partner with me, I will give you updates on my trip and bring you a souvenir from New York! Thank you for your love and support! I'm excited about how God has provided for each opportunity so far, and I'm grateful for this season in my life to be able to go. God is good, and He gets all of the glory!

Here's a video of me singing in Central Park for a busker (street performer) named Bert.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Confessions of a 21 Year Old

In my last hours as a 21 year old, I want to encourage you to not underestimate youth. You might be young and think you have plenty of time to live your life or you might wish you could go back to your younger days and change things. I've come to realize that our culture has low expectations of the impact we can have while we are young. Once we finally realize how much the decisions we make now will end up affecting us later, it's too late to go back. 

I've heard so many people talk about their teenage or college years as a "phase" they went through, and using that to rationalize rebellious behavior in the younger generation. "I was crazy when I was 21 too. Let them experience the real world and live a little. They'll grow out of it eventually." That type of thinking has been fed to us and we don't even realize the damage we're doing by not expecting more than the status quo.

These years should not be wasted. They are a gift. My perspective is that I want to use this precious time that I am given and use it for good. Youth shouldn't just be thrown away, but we should embrace these years as a time to be intentional and purposeful. I think it's important for me to speak out about this as a young person, to show that there are people out there ready to take up the torch and be a change for good in the world.

I am so thankful for people in my life, in my family and in my church, who saw potential in me at an early age, and encouraged me with opportunities to grow in my gifts. I have a strong example of leadership and my parents have supported me and my dreams. I know that not everyone has that strong family background, so I am grateful for their legacy. I have heard many stories of young people defeating the odds and making a difference in their community, by stepping out and being a voice in a dark and hurting world.

This can be an encouragement no matter what age you are. Age is just a number, and it does not determine your level of maturity or responsibility. God can use each of us in the specific situations we are placed in, to bring Himself glory. We each have opportunities that we can choose to use for selfish gain or to benefit someone else.

The problem with freedom without accountability is that we all have an innate sin nature. In and of ourselves, we cannot be good. Without the love of Jesus and the grace he has given me, I would not be who I am today. I may not be partying or sleeping around, but I struggle every day with selfishness, negative attitudes or negative self talk. I am so far from being good, but I believe that He can use me for good with His power. When I try to control things or do something in my own power, it fails miserably. I can tell the difference when I'm not trusting God in a certain situation. When I remember that He does not require perfection from me, I am overwhelmed by his grace and his peace. God loves me in spite of my mess, and He can use me in spite of myself.

I've learned a lot about expectations this past year. I've learned that I'm not as patient as I thought I was, and that my plans don't have to work out. I've found out the hard way that I should set realistic expectations on my time and my energy, and not expect to get everything done in one day. I've also learned not to underestimate God, because He has a bigger purpose planned that will blow your mind.

This year, I hope to face each day expecting God to do great things. I don't want to be held back by my age, or my own limitations. I want to continue the prayer I prayed when I was 7 years old and accepted Jesus... "God, I can't do this on my own. Take my life and use me however you want to." That's a powerful prayer, and I encourage you to ask him the same thing, and see what He does!

Remember that our youth is not a phase where there are no consequences. We are responsible for our actions and should be held accountable. In a world where everyone goes with the flow, we have an opportunity now to make an impact for good.

Our decisions now affect the future. Pass the torch.