So it has been a crazily busy few days and it feels like I haven’t had a chance to stop! So it is nice to finally have a moment to stop and to curl up on the sofa listening to UCB radio and take a few minutes to unwind!
So this last week we had some more time in the studio. I had the privilege on Thursday of taking my friend Heather into the studio for her first time recording. I think it is fair to say she was rather nervous! But she soon got into it and did a fantastic job laying down some guitar for two of the tracks.
Bill who is one of the very talented recording engineers we are having the privilege of working with at Crown Lane and he has been brilliant at putting us all at our ease in the studio. His quiet confidence in the way that he works with the musicians has allowed them to be really comfortable and to perform at their best. It has been great to see!
Bill is also a very talented musician and recorded some fantastic guitar parts for two of the tracks. I am particularly excited about the electric guitar solo he recorded in the track ‘Journey on’.
For me to hear it come from just voice and piano to a big lively track with electric guitar, drums, keys and vocals has been really enjoyable. On Saturday we spent a full day at the studio laying down the key parts on all of the tracks. I am very blessed to be married to a very talented musician and it was great seeing Ali having great fun getting to use some different keyboard sounds and techniques as we layered some of the songs.
I will admit on Saturday there were moments that I wrestled with some feelings of frustration. I am going along to every session of recording to listen, comment, share the vision of the song and work out with the musicians what I want as the final sound. However I can’t lay down my vocals till all the other parts are down. So sitting there in the studio hearing it develop I was itching to get singing! To see the songs develop into the final finished version, and to do my part. I know we can’t rush it and I am loving the process but if we are all honest with ourselves aren’t there times in our lives that we sometimes wish we could have things we want immediately right then and there?! But as you know that is not how things work! And if something is worth doing then isn’t it worth doing well?!
As a Christian I feel that we can honour God when we do things to the best of our ability. When we say to him you have given me this gift and I want to use it to honour your name, and therefore I will take the time effort and care to do my best in this endeavour. I am reminding myself of this throughout the process especially when I get tired and it can feel tempting to rush things! I truly believe that God’s timing is perfect and know in my heart that is the right time and place for me to be taking the next step of my musical journey. I want to share with you a little bit of my journey to this place to encourage you that sometimes we have to wait for something we really long for, yet God’s timing is perfect!
Last year we went to Spring Harvest (I love SH). Although I had been involved with worship leading and singing at church and was still writing there didn’t seem to be anything on the horizon. To be honest I started to think that maybe my dream of recording was just a pipe dream and not something that God was leading me in. However there was still this desperate feeling within in me, this desire to use my voice, to sing and to write, to encourage people and to share with them the Grace of God, the Love of our Saviour and to remind them that we have a God who cares. It was after an evening session in the Big Top, I had really been putting my heart into worship and just crying out to him that a steward really encouraged me, and I felt God speaking to me through what he said. The steward said that he had been so encouraged and blessed by hearing me sing and really felt God had plans for me to use my voice.
This reignited a spark within me. I immediately felt this excitement rising up within my heart, and I immediately had idea after idea for songs coming to my mind. I remember taking a walk the next day along the beach front with my son in the pram. I couldn’t stop singing and praising. I kept having to pause to write down my ideas. It was like God had breathed fresh life into this dream.
Over the next few months I wrote some songs, went back over older songs and started to put together a possible album worth of material. However the timing just wasn’t quite right. I didn’t know quite know how to go forward, or which direction to take. I knew I wanted to record but I just didn’t know where. I remember around October getting very emotional with Ali – I had this really clear feeling in my heart that I needed to record – and soon. There was this utter frustration welling up inside me. I knew I had got to the point that I felt I needed to record that I had songs that would encourage people but wouldn’t do much staying within the four walls of my home. I kept thinking about the story of the talents, and was desperate not to be like the man who hid his talent in the ground afraid to do anything more with it.
During this time I had written a song called ‘I choose to worship’ which I wrote to encourage my church in worship. We sang it at church and several people said that they felt I should record it as they could see it encouraging other in their worship. After this several doors seemed to open. God led us to Crown Lane Studios, I was inspired to write more songs. And before we knew it we were recording an E.P – which turned into an album and had several brand new songs on that I had been inspired to write. I want to encourage you, yes waiting on God’s timing can be really hard and definitely needs a lot of patience and for us to have the willingness to grow. But it is so worth it! I truly believe that God gives us dreams and gifts for a reason. Don’t be discouraged! if you have a dream that you really feel God has laid on your heart but nothing seems to be happening don’t give up!
Keep praying, seeking God, pushing doors and be ready! So that when God shows you it is the right time you will be ready to move!