Friday, May 27, 2011

A True Gentleman

Ok, so I’m two days late and a dollar short, but Scotty McCreery is the new American Idol!  What an exciting finale it was – jam-packed with superstars such as Beyonce, TLC, Bono, Jack Black, Tony Bennett and many more.  It was one of the best Idol finales that I can remember, and every performance just seemed to get better and better.  The last performance – Scotty singing his new song, "Love You This Big", after he was announced the winner – was definitely my favorite performance of the night.  I loved it not because he sang it perfectly, but because while he was singing, we went to hug his family members, his fellow Idol contestants, and the judges.  I don't recall seeing another winner do that on a finale show, and it was such a touching moment to witness.  Check it out here.

While watching this, all I could think was, “Wow, this guy is only 17 years old and he’s already a true gentleman.  I really wish I could talk with his parents so I could find out how they raised such a wonderfully humble young man.  I hope and pray that everything that I’m teaching my two-year-old son now will help him to grow up to be man of good character and a man who treats others with love, kindness, gentleness and respect.  Here’s a picture of me with my little man... a future gentleman!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Live Like We're Dying

In 2008, I auditioned for Season 8 of American Idol.  I traveled all the way to Kansas City, Missouri, with my loving and supportive husband right by my side, just to see if I could be the... next…American…Idol!    

Well, to make a long story super short, I did not make it past the first round of auditions.  That left a little scar on my heart, and my ego, if I’m being honest about it.  After that experience, I was pretty bitter towards American Idol.  I was bitter not just because I didn’t make it, but because I heard so many other incredible singers that I just knew for sure would make it to the next round, but I was completely shocked when I found out they didn’t.  Then, I’ll never forget seeing these two girls dressed as cheerleaders – they didn’t even sing, they just did a cheer in front of the judges table, and voila!  They got a yellow ticket which secured their spot in the next round of auditions.  It just didn’t make any sense to me.

Later on, after the whole audition process was over, I came to the conclusion that this was not just a simple show about finding people who can sing, but this was a show that was only on the lookout for certain types of people that they believed would make American Idol successful.  I can't really blame them for that, but there was one thing that I could do....boycott!  As part of my boycott of American Idol, I chose not to watch the show that year.  I’m aware that me not watching the show for one season really didn’t hurt American Idol in any way, but I had to do it for me – part of my healing, I guess.  After that season ended, I felt free to start watching American Idol again, and I haven’t missed an episode since.   

(By the way, not long after I got back from the American Idol auditions, I discovered that I was 12 weeks pregnant.  So, I guess it worked out that I didn't make it any further in the competition because I probably would have had to drop out anyways!)

Season 8 is when Kris Allen won American Idol.  Even though I didn't witness his musical rise to success on the show, I remember hearing his song, "Live Like We're Dying", which he released not long after he was declared the winner of the show.  Just the title of this song is pure inspiration to me.  It means exactly what it says – you gotta live like you're dying.  Looking back, that’s actually what I was doing when I decided to audition for the show.  I knew that the chances of me making it were very slim – considering there truly are thousands of talented singers out there – but I had to give it a shot, and I’m so glad that I did.  Enjoy this song.  Peace!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jesus Take the Wheel

As I mentioned in my last blog, American Idol is my favorite TV show, and I'm so sad that this season will be over on Wednesday.  Either Lauren Alaina or Scotty McCreery will be crowned the next American Idol - what an exciting moment that must be for them.  In honor of this being the last week of the show (until next year, anyways), I wanted to take a look back at some of my favorite songs from past American Idol winners.

As you know, I love country music and I really love Season 4 Winner of American Idol, Carrie Underwood.  One of my favorite songs by her is "Jesus Take the Wheel".  It's an amazing song with an amazing message.  This song also has an extra special place in my heart because I had the opportunity to sing it at Lakewood Church back in March 2007 when I was a part of the worship team there.  I was pretty nervous to sing by myself in front of thousands of people, which I had never ever done before, but it was an incredible blessing.  Here is the official video of "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood.  Enjoy the song!

  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stronger

On my way home from work today, I was feeling a little down.  It had been a long day, I had a pounding headache, and crazy thoughts were running through my head.  "Where is my life going?  Am I going to be working at this same job and doing the same thing forever?  Am I ever going to see my dreams come to pass?"  All I wanted to do was go home and take a nap.  In an effort to distract my mind from my own thoughts, I turned on the radio to 89.3 FM.  Not even a minute later, this song started.  It was an upbeat and uplifting song by a familiar voice, Mandisa (does everyone remember Mandisa from Season 5 of American Idol!?).  The song says that when things in life get tough and it seems like it's never going to get better, just hold on and know that it is only making you stronger.  As the words of this song poured over me, I felt an incredible peace, and I was able to start replacing those negative thoughts with thoughts of hope and faith.  I believe that God used that song to remind me that He is there for me and He will never leave me (Deuteronomy 31:8).  Everything I go through in life - if I can just hold on - will only make me stronger.  Here is Mandisa singing her new song, "Stronger".  Be encouraged!





Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Anyway

I truly love all types of music, but I have to admit that one of my absolute favorites is country music.  I was in the 7th grade when I was first introduced to country music.  At that time, one of my good friends listened only to country music, so as I result, I became interested in seeing what this kind of music was all about.  That summer, I spent every day at home watching the Country Music Television channel.  I remember sitting on my bed in my room just crying my eyes out as I began to really listen to the words of some of those songs.  It was incredibly fascinating to me that every country song I heard, whether fast or slow, seemed to tell a unique and touching story.  That is what I loved most about country music back then, and that is what I love about it still today.

Last week on American Idol (which, by the way, happens to be my favorite TV show!), one of the contestants, Lauren Alaina, performed an amazing country song called "Anyway".  This song was orginally released by Martina McBride in 2006.  I had not heard this song in a very long time, but the moment I heard Lauren sing it, I instantly remembered just how much I love the song and how inspiring it is.  Hearing this song again is a great reminder to me to keep moving forward in pursuit of my dreams, no matter what.  So, if you feel like you need a little encouragement today, check out this song - I promise you will be smiling after you hear it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I Will Overcome

Hi everyone, and welcome to the first post on my music blog!  I created this blog because I love music - I love listening to music and I love to sing and write my own songs.  My desire is to share the songs that inspire me each and every single day.  And one day soon, I plan to post some of my own original songs.  I am really looking forward to that day because it will be an especially exciting one for me.  You see, when it comes to singing and songwriting, although it truly is my passion, it is not easy for me to just get out there and sing and share the songs that I have written.  I struggle with incredible nerves, fear, doubt and unbelief.  With every note that I sing, I fear that it sounds horrible; with every song that I write, I worry that when I share it with someone that they won't like it.  Well, this past weekend at church, I heard the most encouraging worship song that filled my heart with hope.  The lyrics were, "We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.  Everyone overcome."  This song is a great reminder to me that it won't be by my own power or strength that I overcome my doubts and fears, but it will truly be by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelations 12:11).  I can and will overcome.  The song is called "Overcome" and it's by the Desperation Band.  It's a powerful song, and I pray you too are encouraged when you hear it.