This is a week I am definitely feeling grateful…and extremely excited! My brand new CD, “King of Kings,” will be officially released at my concert at the Sioux City Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, November 28th. I’m very proud of this project and anxious to share the new music with all of you! If you live in the Sioux City area, you HAVE to try and come! My producer, Jimmy Nichols, is coming up from Nashville to perform in the show with us, and it’s going to be my best Christmas show EVER!
As I reflect on the making of this project, however, I can’t help but think about all the setbacks we had and all the trials we went through to get it completed. To be honest, it’s probably the most stressful project I’ve ever worked on. But I think I’m learning something along the way. It seems to me that the most stressful things in our lives often lead us to the most exciting things as well. The key for me is having the right attitude, one of gratitude.
I read a great line in the book Jesus Calling this morning. It said, “Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity.” Paul instructs us in Ephesians 5:19-20 to “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The key word in that verse, the one that jumps out at me, is to give thanks for everything! Not just the blessings, but the hardships as well.
The reading went on to say that we are to give thanks, regardless of how we feel, and somehow God will give us joy in the midst of our situation. Giving thanks in the midst of hardship is a tall order and totally counterintuitive to our nature. However, it is truly an act of obedience to have a thankful heart in every situation, and that gratitude is a way we can live out total reliance and trust in our Heavenly Father.
The cool thing is when we have a heart of gratitude, even when we feel overwhelmed, somehow God’s presence makes whatever situation we are facing seem much less insurmountable. He may not change anything that we are going through, the outcome may stay exactly the same, but knowing God is with us, feeling His peace, and seeing the ways He has blessed us truly can make all the difference.
As I reflect on the roadblocks that I encountered on the journey to this CD getting completed, I am reminded that God blessed me and anointed this project in so many ways. The “God moments” are too numerous to mention, and I sit here with a smile on my face as I remember the sweet times I was able to muster up the courage to trust and be thankful in the midst of adversity.
I remember the morning we headed to the studio to sing vocals and I was already having huge vocal issues, trying tons of home remedies to try and get me through, and hadn’t slept at all (or very little) the night before. My first instinct was to panic a bit because sleep is so important to vocal wellness, but I kept hearing God say, “trust me.” Somehow I did, and I started to focus on how blessed I was to be able to record at such an amazing studio with such a great producer and how wonderful the songs were. There were a million things to be grateful for, and you know what, things ended up working out beautifully. I sang the best vocals of my life even when everything in my being said I would fail. Thankfulness did take the sting out of adversity!
So as we approach Thanksgiving, a day when we focus on gratitude and give thanks for all that we have, I pray that we can foster that attitude of gratitude throughout the year. I pray we can learn to be grateful even in the hard times and be amazed at how a thankful heart will open our hearts to the presence of God!
Heavenly Father, we give thanks for who you are and for all the ways you bless each and every one of us. As we gather with family and friends, we pray that our hearts will be full of many things to be grateful for. We pray that an attitude of gratitude would grow and thrive in us throughout the year. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Below is the last video in my video series detailing the making of my new CD at the beautiful Starstruck Studios. Just click on the picture and you can see some really fun footage from the recording of the title track, “King of Kings!”