Red – stop, green – go. Easier said than done for me as I patiently waited at the red light for almost a decade before God gave me the green light to explore songwriting. The red light decade was a busy and fulfilling one, to be sure, as I put my private music studio on hold to focus on my career as a domestic engineer. Staying home with my then two young children had its challenges, including the mental struggles that most musicians face when searching for purpose and direction with their art.
I desperately waited for answers to questions like, “Lord, why did I take 15 years of piano lessons and earn a master’s degree in Vocal Performance if I’m just going to be changing diapers and filling lunch bags? Why have you given me the skill and desire to sing and no outlet to do it?” Without divine access to God’s crystal ball, I couldn’t foresee my debut album, Red Light – Green Light, in God’s future plans, so I had no other choice but to trust him and wait for the answers.
God graciously provided enough part-time singing opportunities to keep me hopeful for a return to my full-time music career – such as leading worship at ministry retreats, maintaining a steady wedding music calendar and singing and playing keyboard as a volunteer on my church’s worship team. One of the most beautiful and influential tools that God provided for my artistic growth came in the form of 88 ivory keys that needed a temporary home. A fellow singer had inherited a grand piano but didn’t have enough square footage to house it, so she called me and asked me to temporarily store the instrument. Sitting in the lap of that majestic, melodic medium was just the inspiration that I needed to find my voice as a songwriter. Almost six years later, my singer friend called to say, “I now have the square footage”, to which I replied, “I now have an album.”
Not only was I busy writing songs during those six years, I was also working on my craft as a Christian performer. I gained a wealth of experience with an invitation from Matt and Sherry McPherson to join their CityPrayz worship band – a professionally produced monthly Christian concert ministry that drew in thousands of worshippers. ( www.cityprayz.com ) During that time period, I also created my solo worship program, The Life Of Christ: A Time Of Meditation Through Song And Scripture, which I toured with locally and presented over 25 times at various churches and ministry venues. ( http://youtu.be/EuHryFCYOEk) In 2012, I was invited to drive to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to be a presenter at LIFEST, one of the largest Christian Music Festivals in the nation (www.lifest.com ). In addition to leading a time of worship, I presented my workshop, Practical Tools for Worship Team Singers.
Having equipped me with a solid ministry toolbox through all of these experiences, in 2011, God called me to serve in my first long-term ministry position as a worship song leader at a church in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where I thrived for seven years. I’m still writing songs, but now they’re shelved under praise and worship music.
If you’ve never met me in person, you’ll feel like you have after listening to Red Light – Green Light. Throughout these 10 songs, I journal my day-to-day faith and use my lyrics to describe the tense realities of busyness, depression, fear, vanity, materialism, doubt, pride and – most importantly – the victory that I have experienced over these struggles through my relationship with Christ.