Everyone has a story. "Abba's Child" is mine.
Well, it's part of mine. I couldn't get my whole story on one album, but this is a story about the biggest part of me. It's the story of my faith. And it chronicles several events that tested that faith, and then eventually strengthened my faith. For those of you that know me, or have followed my musical journey, I'm sure you have seen an undercurrent of faith in my writing on my 4 previous records, but this is my first record that would fall into the "Faith-based/Christian" category. "Why now?", you might ask. Well, the answer to that question, honestly, is because of my disobedience. You see, God has been tapping on my shoulder for many years, whispering in my ear to make this record, but I have been arguing with Him. Yes, that's right, I've been arguing with God for about 10 years... LOL... and well, you KNOW how that usually works out! He's gonna win... eventually!
"Sing about Me", God said. He wanted me to make a record about Him, and I kept trying to tell Him why that was a bad idea. Funny, right? I had a long list of reasons why I was sure this wasn't a good idea, but God didn't seem to want to listen to my reasons and continued to tap on my shoulder.
"Sing about Me", God said again. "But I'm not a 'Christian artist'", I argued. "What am i going to do with a Christian record? I'm too old to start a career in a new genre!" He clearly didn't want to hear my reasons , basically blocking any attempts to make any other kind of record, and believe me, I tried several times to make another record, but my attempts always got thwarted for some reason or another.
"Sing about Me", God said again. This time I was on the mountain. Literally. I was in our beautiful place of respite that was given to us from my Father after he died (that story is told in the "Go to the mountain" story, coming later). It was a clear Sunday morning and I was having coffee and bible study on the porch of my Gatlinburg cabin, overlooking the beautiful Smokey Mountains, asking God for direction in my life. I had spent the last several years being a care-giver for my parents during their last years here on earth and now they were both gone and I felt lost. My sense of purpose was completely influx and I didn't know what to do now. I was reading Lysa Terkeurst's book, "The Best Yes" and a quote literally jumped off the pages and into my heart. "The one who obeys God's instruction for today will develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow."
"Sing about Me". Well, SHOOT. Here I am praying for direction, but not obeying God's clear instructions, so no wonder I'm not getting anywhere! I finally caved that morning. "Ok, God, I hear you,", I literally spoke out loud to him as I stared out at the majestic Mt. LeConte, (which is the 3rd highest peak in the Smokeys and pretty AWESOME and inspiring to look at. God's creations are just... well, you know, AMAZING.) "I get it. You want me to make a record about You. And You and me. And how much you love us all. But I don't have any songs. You're going to have to lift this creative block from me and give me some songs."
"The songs are there. You already have them. Just look." "Wh-at?? I already have the songs? But where are they?", I asked. "Look for them. You'll find them." "Ok. I'll start looking Lord. I hear you." And I prayed that morning for strength to follow His instruction. I prayed for the songs to show up. I prayed for the financing to come in place to do it, for the right musicians to come into my path, and for everything about this record to be used to glorify Him.
When we came home from that mountain trip, I started sifting through some old work tapes that had fallen through the cracks and LO AND BEHOLD, GUESS WHAT I FOUND! :-) Yep, the songs! Well, most of them anyway! I hadn't been writing a lot over these last 10 years, but apparently I had been writing for this record and didn't realize it. Some of the songs were several years old and as I was listening to them, it was almost as if I was listening to them for the first time. "Did I really write this?", I was asking myself. Digging through old lyric sheets, I saw my name as the writer and went, "Well yeah, I guess I DID!". COOL! LoL So the songs started showing up. One at a time, I uncovered the beginnings of "Abba's Child", then I made some writing appointments with close and trusted co-writers and we wrote a few new ones to add to the mix.... aaaaand, for the first time in my career, I recorded 3 songs that I did not write myself. These are truly special songs to me and I couldn't be more thrilled that I was given the opportunity to include them in this project, (you’ll hear more about those special songs later.)
Next up was securing financing, booking a studio, gathering the right musicians and diving in. It was amazing how smoothly the whole thing fell into place, and another clear indication that I was on the right track. After 10 years of struggling to make a record, after I stopped arguing with God and made the record He wanted me to make, it was all falling into place beautifully!
I am so incredibly proud of this project. Every single person that was involved brought their "A" game. The band, the writers, the engineers... all were AMAZING. And my husband, Mike Waldron produced the HECK out of it! He spent more time and put more love and energy into this record than I did. I feel like HIS name should be on the cover instead of mine. HA! It was definitely a co-venture and one I wouldn't have been able to do with anyone else. He ROCKS! I also have to say a very special thanks to John Albani, who spent extra hours on this project with us, guiding us as our main engineer... but he did OH SO MUCH MORE than that! This record would not be what it is without his loving care. He da man! :-)
SO... on June 16th, "Abba's Child" will be released on I-tunes. I'll be posting all the stories behind each one of the songs here on my website. I think you will all enjoy hearing how each one of these stories came to be told. Sadness and Joy. Heartbreak and Healing. Brokenness and Redemption. It's all here. It's messy, but it's beautiful. Join me on my journey, won't you?
Because everyone has a story to tell…..”Abba’s Child” is mine.