New Years Eve, Babe

After the release of her last album Flags with feel-good titles like “Something in the Water and “Coachella,” Brooke Fraser went into a creative incubator and didn’t come out until she was fully cooked in 2014.

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Brutal Romantic is chock full of mountains and valleys made out of leather and    glass. This is why I LOVE it. I’ve heard so many albums that are diving for rich, thick, woodsy scents or plush, grassy sounds that are sadly as synthetic as a silk “flower” from Hobby Lobby. Man-made production isn’t really something I’m looking for, but here it works. Masterfully.

Fraser pits her soothing vocals against digital textures to create mood, tension, and conflict. In novel writing we can learn something from her music. The beauty of what we want our story to portray by the end needs to be set against goals, motivation, and conflict to arrive at a resolution. BUT…back to the album…

The sounds Fraser has aimed for—and hit—have accentuated her poetic songwriting. “Psychosocial” is a pithy take on social media and the way our generation connects with one another. I always appreciate Fraser’s writing because it is soul-searching and provocative in the way it makes you think about life. Many times listening to this album I have been encouraged and challenged by the lyrics.

New Years Eve“, however, is the track that is most relevant for today. It’s calming and reflective. The lyric shows a desire for quiet (not always a bad thing), and to ring in the New Year alone. While I am an advocate for family and community, I also know that sometimes we need to take a step back, reevaluate, and clear our minds of replaying the past and worries of our future. Tonight, I will be with my family. Then I will take time to pause. To be alone for a moment—at least—and reload my arsenal. To take up courage again.

Cheers to a peaceful 2015!

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Tune Tuesdays – Come to Me

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This Tuesday’s Tune is “Come to Me” by Bethel Music and Jenn Johnson.  It has been recorded on The Loft Sessions as well, but  I am loving this live full-band version on the new You Make Me Brave album.

This song is a call from the Father to come and find rest and peace in Him.  So many times we will search for our peace and solace in anything but The Lord.  It is almost like we will bend over backwards to NOT need Him.  This song is such a beautiful reminder that God is present in our lives, beckoning us to spend time with  Him, to lean on Him.

Let’s get practical here: Number one, people think spending time with a personal God is ridiculous, or that He would be interested in our daily lives is ridiculous.  Number two, you may not know how to go about spending time with The Lord.  It doesn’t have to be spooky or weird, just a genuine “Lord, I don’t know what to do about my situation, but I am willing to listen and to keep my eyes on You.”

If you need some time to find peace and rest, I encourage you to take 7 minutes and 42 seconds to listen to this song. Breathe. Rest. Lean on Him.  He is strong enough to handle whatever you can chuck at Him! 🙂

 

 

Links in this post: “Come to Me,” The Loft Sessions, & You Make Me Brave

 

 

Tune Tuesday – Planting Trees

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Today’s Tune Tuesday is by one of my favorite artists, Andrew Peterson.  The first time I’d heard his music, he was touring with Steven Curtis Chapman.  During this time, I was just adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mom.  So much in my life changed after becoming a mother, and people who say that it’s all a field of daises, and yada, yada – well they are probably lying.  Now, don’t get me wrong…being a mother is one of the purest joys, but it is also a time of losing yourself.  You are losing your dreams to see the dreams of your little ones be fulfilled.  You are losing your time.  Your hope for sleep dwindles quickly.  You lose what you thought was the most important goals in life to the day-in and day-out sacrifice of parenting.  Your desires take a back seat to the needs and desires of the hearts you now hold in your hands.  It essentially means, if you were selfish before, you will (hopefully) become a quick study in selflessness.

I believe that this is such a design of the Lord.  It’s yet another way to submit our hearts and lives to Him.  To say “God, I don’t feel like ‘myself’ anymore, but who do you say that I am?”  I know that I learned more about the Father’s heart for me during this struggle of letting myself (my own desires) go.  I know I’m learning that the love of God is truly unconditional.  If, in my humanity, I can love my children with a fervent unconditional love, then why do I doubt God’s ability to do so?

All that to say, when I heard this song’s meaning, and then the lyrics, my eyes filled with tears.  I’m a part of the Lord “Planting Trees” of righteousness.  I want my children to be sturdily planted in the Lord.  This song is such a blessing to my heart.  It is a reminder that God sees my sacrifice, and he rewards it.  So, whether you are a parent, or not, or a pastor, leader, friend, family member…let’s remember to plant trees.  Encourage others to become who God says they are.

Worship Wednesdays – Grace So Glorious

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So, “Worship Wednesdays” are my safety net for missing “Tune Tuesdays.”  Our four-person Walker clan has been massively busy (along with THE best pastors and church folk around) on the opening of our new Grace Church location.  Daddy has been working hard, and we have been essentially staying out of his way, so that he can work hard.

This time is so exciting for us as we get ready to embark on a new adventure for our church family.  I have been praying and worshiping over this time, and have been so blessed by the song “Grace So Glorious” by Elevation Worship.  It was recommended to me by my cousin-in-law, Ryan Alldaffer, and I’m grateful that he brought it to my attention.  It’s just so stinkin’ uplifting. 🙂

It is a wonderful song that sings praise to the glory of God’s grace, and pays tribute to the beauty of the cross.  Check it out!

 

Tune Tuesdays – Forever

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This week’s Tune Tuesday is a #happyalbumbirthday to Kari Jobe.  In light of missing last week’s Tune Tuesday due to “Oops! I forgot syndrome,” I’m not only recommending the song “Forever,” but also her new album, Majestic that is sure to be a blessing to your heart.

Kari Jobe, is a worship leader that is such a genuine blessing to the church. I first saw her lead worship on a DVD produced by CFNI called Glorious. At the time I was close to graduating high school, and my heart was being gently tugged on by the Lord to be a worship leader. Her worship has inspired me since, and has always brought the presence of the Lord to my car, my home, my heart, and our church.  I’ve never met Kari Jobe, but there has been such an honest and pure heart connected to all of her music that attracts people to meet with God. I admire her positive attitude via social media, her modesty, and realness.

“Forever” is a perfect song for this Easter season.  It is full of proclamations of hope, that Jesus is alive!  The lyrics paint such a beautiful picture of what Christ did for us on the cross, and its melodic power is celebratory of what Jesus accomplished in raising three days later.  This is a good one folks!  Be sure to check it out.

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Tune Tuesdays – For the Cross

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Today’s tune is “For the Cross” by Bethel Music.  The Tides album blessed my heart, but Tides Live is even better.  This song is perfect for the season we are in.  It is currently Lent – a time of preparation and reflection on what Jesus did for us.  While not all Christian churches practice this fasting period, it is still a beautiful time to remind ourselves that WE were the joy set before Jesus as he endured the cross.  Woah.  He saw me and said “yes” to the weight of sin.  He saw me and said “It’s worth it.”

So, while my two little boys are enduring croup, fever, ear infections, and late nights without sleep.  While my husband and I are fretting over the price of humidifiers, medicine dosage, breathing treatments, doctors appointments, vomit duty, and fueling up on coffee instead of sleep, I will say to you…The Cross is enough.  Jesus is enough.  So, I am looking at the spring that is coming.  Life is blooming, the sun is shining, and things are being resurrected.  Hope is being breathed into dead dreams.  Healing is for NOW for my family.  So, I encourage you to listen to this song, and remind yourself that YOU were worth dying for!

Tune Tuesdays – 139

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Hello Everyone!  I almost forgot Tune Tuesdays, a new weekly post about worship that is currently blessing my heart, and why.

This particular song is called “139”  from the album Forever Yours by Gateway Worship.  It is such a simplistically beautiful song about the extent to which God will go for us, how He knows us, and how much He loves us.  I find sometimes that I am battling feeling forgotten or lonely, but this song brings encouragement through lyrical beauty and truthful words.  You can click here to check it out on iTunes.  Enjoy!