Tag Archives: hope

Musicians Wanted

31 Jul

Alright, so yesterday was a little bit of a rough day.  Adam had his audition for NBC’s show “The Voice” yesterday, and did not get a callback.  Of course, getting on a television contest is a little bit like winning the lottery, but we were confident that he would at least get a callback to make it past the first round.  Adam was basically the 5,999th person out of 6,000 to try out in Nashville over the two-day tryout period.  He was in the last 10-person group of the day and he sang for just one person – a well-known vocal coach out of L.A.  He expressed enough interest in Adam to ask him to sing a second song, but then decided to only ask one young female to return for the second round.  Adam sang “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “Here Comes Goodbye.”  Adam said that when the group first came into the room, the coach told them that the Producers/Record Label were looking for individuals who were loyal to their genre of choice, whether that be country, R&B, pop, rock, etc.  Adam had about five various songs prepared to sing and they were from different decades and different genres, so he felt like the coach was talking to him.  This may be the reason that Adam did not get asked to come back for another round.

The Voice tryouts at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN

In Adam’s words, not getting a callback “stings the ego a little bit.”  Last night, we discussed what some next steps may be.  We both kind of feel like we are in a maze and we keep hitting dead ends.  We still are a little lost, but we will continue to pray and Adam plans to brainstorm various things he can do to keep pursuing his dream.  One thing that Adam feels strongly about is wanting to try to find other people to be in a group or band with.  Adam does not feel like he needs the spotlight to be on him.  Adam gets more enjoyment from sharing the stage with others.  The key to making something like this work, though, is finding like-minded people with similar motivations.  It made me think of writing a wanted ad!  Maybe something like this:

Talented singer/songwriter seeks musically gifted individuals who are seeking to follow God’s will for their life.  Must enjoy working with others and don’t mind sharing the spotlight.  Ability to sing harmony preferred.  Only those seriously interested in pursuing a career in music need apply.

More to come later about this crazy maze of a journey!  Have a good week, everyone!  My first post for my new “Dreamer in the Spotlight” series will be coming soon!

Planting Seeds

26 Jul

Last week, the wheels started turning in my head after my last blog post to start a new “series” within my blog about others who are pursuing their dreams, too.  I often get goosebumps when I hear about people’s personal stories of how God is speaking to them and working in their lives.  I get so excited and passionate about this that I thought it would be a great opportunity to hear more stories and share them for all of us to gain inspiration.  It is refreshing and motivating to be reminded that God truly cares and has a purpose for each one of us.

One thing that significantly influenced this idea was a CD that I listened to of a talk by a woman named Mary Vogrinc entitled, Saying Yes to God; One Mother’s Journey.  She shared some stories about caring for fifty-four foster children over the years and moments where she had to put her trust in God.  One thing that she said, in particular, made a big impression on me.  She talked about how God plants seeds in our soul for the future.  In her own life, she shared how she found an  18-month old baby abandoned in a car of a pharmacy parking lot when she was a teenager.  The baby survived a day in a hot car with no  food or water and was turned over to the Department of Children and Family Services.  Who knew that later she and her husband would be foster parents?!

If you are pursuing God’s calling for your life or know somebody who is following their dreams, please email me at adreamerswife@yahoo.com.  I look forward to hearing from you and can’t wait to see how God is working!  I will be sharing my first “Dreamer in the Spotlight” post very soon!

Update on Adam’s Musical Journey:  Adam will be auditioning for “The Voice” this weekend.  Do you think it is a coincidence that his gigs were cancelled this weekend and then found out today about the Nashville auditions?!  I guess we will find out… He is in the process of figuring out which songs that he wants to sing for the producers/judges.  Please pray for him on Saturday!

Hope Wins

19 Jul

So I’m finally able to get to the computer after a couple days of wanting to get on here and blog about a few different things that came together in my head about having faith and pursuing our dreams.  Things can get frustrating sometimes and it can be easy to feel discouraged.  It is a continuous battle to try to remain positive and hopeful about the future.  One song that popped in my head when thinking about this was “The Impossible” by Joe Nichols.  Here is the chorus:

Unsinkable ships sink.
Unbreakable walls break.
Sometimes the things you think would never happen,
Happen just like that.
Unbendable steel bends.
If the fury of the wind is unstoppable,
I’ve learned to never underestimate,
The impossible.

This song is just a great reminder that even when we can’t see what will happen and we don’t know what steps to take next, we should not give up hope.  “With God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 26)

I mentioned in my first blog post in the middle of May that Adam had recently had some revelations about the direction of his music career.  That same weekend, my dad was driving to visit my grandparents in Northern Indiana and while listening to Adam’s recent songs, he saw the sign “Hope Wins” outside a church.  He decided to turn around a take a picture of it to send to a friend who was going through a situation and had expressed that she was losing hope.  Little did my dad know that this would turn out to actually be a significant message for Adam.  About the same time that this picture was taken was when Adam was being questioned about what his vision is for his music.  Adam had been very discouraged before this and a light bulb went off in Adam and his passion and motivation was reborn!

The picture that my dad took on his phone 🙂

I’ve come across some inspirational quotes, recently, that I also thought would be motivating and appropriate to share.

“Take care of yourself and continue to persevere.  Do not allow doubt to creep across your goals.”  -Gary Caplan

“Each of us has been given a destiny and a light to shine.” -Marie Jones

“I believe 100% when your heart and  your mind are in the right place and there is no pretense, great things will come.  It’s that simple.” -Jimmy Wayne

“God does not discipline us to subdue us, but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness.” -Billy Graham

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)

“Be patient.  God knows what He’s doing.  God knows what is best for you.  He can see the end result.  You can’t.  All those problems, heartaches, difficulties and delays–all the things that make you ask “why”–one day will all be clear in the light of God’s love.” -Rick Warren

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” -Robert Louis Stevenson

I’d like to wrap up with a prayer from a book that I just started reading on my Amazon Kindle called, I Do… Every Day: Words of Wisdom for Newlyweds and Not So Newlyweds by Cynthia Bond Hopson and Roger Hopson.

Lord, with you we know that anything and all things are possible.  We claim and believe that you have plans for us–plans to nurture us and give us a future.  Direct our paths to the right people, places, and things to help make our dreams come true.  Help us be patient, prepared, and purposeful.  Amen.

God has plans for each one of us.  How wonderful this world would be if we all would strive to seek His will and pursue our gifts!  Anybody have any dreams of their own that they are following?

9 Years of Dreaming

7 Jul

This month will be 9 years since Adam packed up everything and moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue his dream career in music!  He has often said that he would give himself 10 years to make it, and we are approaching that mark pretty quickly.  This time limit doesn’t really mean anything, though, because we are not going anywhere and Adam is not giving up on his musical aspirations.  Adam would not be “Adam” without his musical talents.  He does not have a back-up college degree.  This is what he was born to do.

Adam Lee singing with The Players in 2006

While thinking about this today, I recalled what Matthew Kelly writes in the beginning of The Rhythm of Life (pgs. 9-11):

If you don’t know what you want from life, everything will appear either as an obstacle or as a burden.  But one of the great lessons of history is that the whole world gets out of the way for people who know what they want or where they are going.  Be assured, if you don’t know where you are going, you are lost.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do not say, “I am too old.”                                                            

Do not say, “I’m too young.”

Tiger Woods was three years old when he shot 48 for nine holes on his hometown golf course in Cypress, California.

Julie Andrews was eight years old when she mastered an astounding four-octave singing range.

Mozart was eight years old when he wrote his first symphony. […]

Bill Gates was nineteen years old when he co-founded Microsoft. […]

Thomas Jefferson was thirty-three years old when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. […]

Oscar Hammerstein II was sixty-four years old when he wrote the lyrics for The Sound of Music. […]

Nelson Mandela was seventy-one years old when he was released from a South African prison.  Four years later he was elected president of South Africa.

Michaelangelo was seventy-two years old when he designed the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. […]

Dimitrion Yordanidis was ninety-eight years old when he ran a marathon in seven hours and thirty-three minutes, in Athens, Greece.

Ichijirou Araya was one hundred years old when he climbed Mount Fuji.

Whether you are sixteen or sixty, the rest of your life is ahead of you.  You cannot change one moment of your past, but you can change your whole future.  Now is your time.

I love what Matthew Kelly writes about here.  I think we often give up on our dreams too soon because we don’t value our gifts enough and truly believe that God can do anything at anytime.  In Adam’s case, he often feels like his weight is holding him back.  He has struggled with this for a long time and it prevents him from thinking he deserves his chance to be successful yet.  Even though he writes amazing songs, has an outstanding voice, plays several instruments, and is very knowledgeable about different aspects of music and performing, he still lets this one thing hold such a significant place in his mind.

People are capable of amazing things with God’s grace.  He wants us to use the talents that he has given us.  Our dreams are what make us unique and give us purpose.  We just need to learn to have faith in God’s timing and have confidence that he will lead us to where we are meant to be.  This, of course, is easier said than done, but Adam and I are not going to lose hope!

Idealistic Visions – A Good Laugh!

8 Jun

Today, I was thinking about how naive and idealistic I have been in the past about some things in regards to Adam’s music career and my life as a mommy…

I was fortunate enough to have a mother who was able to stay at home with me since the time I was born.  So for most of my life, I pictured myself as a stay-at-home mom, as well.  When I graduated college and got married, I figured I’d work for a couple of years and then be able to stay home whenever our first child was born.  I thought,  “Of course, Adam will make it by then and be able to support us on all the money he will be getting from his record deal!”  Then, after our first daughter was born, I thought, “Well, by the time God decides we’re ready for a second child, Adam will probably be successful enough that I won’t have to work outside the home then!”  Here I am, two children later, and I still have a full-time job!  (I do enjoy my job as a supervisor at a community mental health agency, though.)  Sometimes I get discouraged, but I feel so strongly that God has given Adam his musical gifts for a reason, that I continue to have faith that we will both be able to pursue the dreams that we have for our lives.  I feel very blessed that God has provided a way for my daughters to be taken care of by my husband and parents when I am working.  Adam usually has a flexible schedule during the week, since he is gone several months out of the year on the weekends.  It is nearly a miracle that my parents live close to us.  My dad retired unexpectedly early and my parents moved down to Tennessee only four months after our two-year-old was born!

Another instance that makes me shake my head, is in regards to an interesting story about Rascal Flatts.  When I was in high school, several of us loved this group that was up-and-coming at the time.  Adam, a friend, and I found out that they were going to be playing at a 21-and-over club close by on the night of my 18th birthday.  My friend’s mom and one of her friends decided to go to the show, so we recorded a video for them to give to Rascal Flatts about how much we loved their music.  Adam sang an original song and we all wrote our phone numbers and addresses on the VHS tape, as if they would contact one of us immediately and get Adam a record deal!  Ha!  I think it is absolutely hilarious that we thought a new group would actually be able to/want to pull strings for a 19-year-old guy in Indiana based on our videotape!  Like they didn’t have enough to worry about with getting their own career started!

Anyway, to finish the story, the VHS tape was delivered to them that night and I received a birthday card signed by all three of the group members!  About a month later, we drove to a nearby state to see them do an acoustic performance/interview.  We stood in line so we could meet them after the show.  We asked them about the video and they said that they had watched it!  Later that year, after Adam had moved to Nashville, he actually ran into Joe Don Rooney at a music store.  They talked for a little bit and he told Adam that we were lucky he watched our video tape.  He also said that he remembered his voice.   Kinda cool, huh?!

Obviously, after living in Nashville for awhile, we have found out how things really work in this town.  If someone “makes it” soon after moving here, he or she is extremely blessed.  Adam has found that many people like his voice and think that he is talented, but they have not taken any further steps to help him get his career moving.  I think a lot of people who aren’t familiar with the music business in Nashville wonder why Adam still hasn’t “made it” after almost 9 years of being down here.  Adam has spent the last several years trying to find his way.  He has pursued different projects that did not develop into anything and he has improved his songwriting skills.  Just recently, he has learned to trust his talent for coming up with catchy melodies and writing good songs.  I feel that God has been molding Adam and teaching him different things to get him ready for a certain path.  Adam has admitted that he doesn’t know what direction to go and is putting total faith in God.  He is committed to working hard to better himself physically and prepare mentally and spiritually for this journey ahead.  I know that God will bring the right people along to fulfill whatever plan he has for Adam.  It’s all in God ‘s time.  Stay tuned…

Small Steps

4 Jun

I’ve talked with Adam on the phone a few times this weekend while he has been in North Carolina and he told me about some things that he wants to start doing.  One of the things he is considering being a part of is, the volunteer organization, Musicians On Call.  They have a Bedside Performance Program where artists play songs to uplift the spirits of hospital patients.  To learn more about this neat organization, go to www.musiciansoncall.org. I hope that he decides to do it.  I think it would be a very rewarding experience and people would love to hear his music!

Another thing that Adam wants to pursue to promote his music, is to release a cover song weekly on YouTube.  Adam feels that since he does not fit into the Nashville mold, he has to try to “think outside this town” to bring awareness to his music and his voice.  Adam also tried out for Simon Cowell’s upcoming reality show, “The X-Factor,” over a month ago via a studio audition.  Since so many people tried out using this method and they extended the days that people could audition, it has taken awhile for the producers to evaluate all of the videos.  Hopefully, he will be hearing back soon! And if not, we know that God has another plan…

Adam was able to get some good video of some of his performances from this weekend.  Hopefully I will be able to post some soon!

Changing the subject, but staying with the theme of “small steps,” our 2 year old learned to go on the potty today – 4 times!  Don’t worry, I do not plan to make bathroom talk a fixture in my blog!  I’m just a proud mommy right now!

Enjoy the weekend!

Making an Impact

2 Jun

Lately, I’ve been paying attention to successful artists who seem to have the same goal that Adam is pursuing.  One artist who I’ve listened to since his first single, “Stay Gone,” came out awhile back, Jimmy Wayne, has many positive and meaningful songs.  I have been rocking out to his latest CD in the car for the past several months.  He has a great voice and some catchy melodies.  Jimmy has also used his fame to bring attention to a good cause.  Last year, he walked across the country to bring awareness to foster children who are aging out of the system.  Jimmy was in the foster care system himself when he was younger.  I think it is amazing to see someone sacrifice and give back like that!  Check out http://meetmehalfway.jimmywayne.com to read more about his story and his project.

An artist who recently caught my attention, when I was reading an article about this month’s local celebrity parent in June’s Nashville Parent magazine, is Matthew West.  He is a Christian artist who is married with two daughters.  I checked out his latest album, The Story of Your Life, on iTunes and all the songs were written about the life experiences that he read about in over 15,000 letters.  I sampled a few and was very impressed.  It’s refreshing to hear acknowledgment of real pain and difficulties, as well as hope.  His website is www.matthewwest.com.

Update:  Adam survived his first two full days with the girls – all went well!  I also survived my first couple days in the office.  It’s always a little interesting when you come back to work to find that you have double the responsibility, but I’ve worked in the field of social work long enough to know how to go with the flow… Thankful for the job!

Discerning God’s will

29 May

Overall, I guess my blog deals with the question of God’s purpose for my life and my family.  Today at mass the readings dealt with this specific topic, so I think it is the perfect time to discuss this a little more…

Adam and I have been focused on God’s will a lot lately, especially in regards to his career path.  He is starting to make decisions based on using his musical talents to bring others closer to God.  Adam wants to be a positive artist who writes/sings about the real life day-to-day struggles that we all have as human beings and show that there is hope even when things may be tough.  So I was definitely thinking about this when 1 Peter 3: 15-18 was read today, which says, “But in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your  conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.  For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than for doing wrong.  For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”

I’m usually not one to throw Bible verses around, but I feel that this really shows where Adam and I are at right now.  In Adam’s case, he is finally aligning his “artist image” with his “real life image.”  I feel excited about what God has in store for us, knowing that we are trying to keep our priorities in check and we are striving to be better individuals.

One author who talks a lot about being “the best version of ourselves” is Matthew Kelly.  A book that he has written, The Rhythm of Life, is focused on this topic and encourages us to have dreams and discover our talents.  Adam is currently listening to it, since he is not much of a reader.  I’d been encouraging him to read it for the past couple years and finally I broke down and got the audiobook.  It’s all in God’s timing! Matthew Kelly is a great motivator! He also encourages parents to frequently ask their children, “What do you think God is calling you to do with your life?”  In his book, Building Better Families, he states that as a society, we often ask kids, “What do you want to do when you get older?”  Many of us grow up to be unhappy with what we are doing.  Maybe asking a different question will bring more fulfillment and purpose.

For more about Matthew Kelly, you can check out his website:  www.matthewkelly.org.

Good night!  This mommy needs her sleep!

Let’s start at the beginning…

17 May

I am the wife of a dreamer – a musician.

I believed in my husband, Adam, before I even met him.  I saw him perform in our junior high school talent show.  He sang “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton and I, along with the rest of the audience, thought that he had an amazing voice.  He continued to stand out during high school musical concerts and as a drummer/singer with his parents’ band.   After he graduated high school he stayed around town for a year to earn money to move to Nashville, Tennessee.  During this time, we began dating and I always knew that music was what Adam was born to do.  In addition, to my belief in his voice, we also shared a strong faith in God.  In 2002, he moved to Nashville to pursue his music career and I headed off to a small college in the middle of a cornfield in Indiana.  We had a long distance relationship for three years.  I definitely didn’t have the typical college experience.  Most of my nights were spent talking on the phone and doing school work.  I took  extra courses most semesters and went to summer school.  I graduated early so that we could get married and I could follow him south.  I never once hesitated about leaving my supportive family and moving to a new life, since I believed in Adam and his God-given abilities so much.

Now here we are, nearly 6  years, a house, and two beautiful daughters later.  It has been a long, winding road so far in regards to Adam achieving his dream.  He has written numerous songs, pursued an 80’s cover band, a band project, and a duo project.  He has been playing guitar and singing backgrounds for a young female country artist.  He is a professional demo singer. Last year, he began a new path as a solo artist and has reached a new level with songs that truly fit his voice.  In some ways he has come so far and in other ways, he is only just beginning.

As I said before, I have always believed in Adam.  I have always trusted that God has a plan for him, since he is so musically gifted in so many ways and gets along so well with other people.  I have been praying that God will show him the steps that He wants Adam to take.  Recently, my prayers were answered.  Adam had been struggling with what to do with his music and was losing hope.  Due to some conversations with a couple of guys on the same day, he discovered that he had lost his purpose.  After some soul searching and some other God “coincidences” around the same time, he renewed his goal of wanting to speak the truth and bring God to a secular audience.  He has his passion and excitement back and I am very excited to see what God has in store for our lives.

We have already been blessed in countless ways, but when trying to make a dream a reality there are always sacrifices  and obstacles.  This blog will capture these times, as well as the positive, hopeful moments.  I feel that a big part of my mission in life is to support Adam in his career and to be the best mother that I can be.   I’m excited to be on this journey with the family that God has given me and to share these experiences with you!