Tag Archives: nashville

Spotlight on PJ Anderson and New Album RISE

27 Sep

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For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you probably know by now that I love sharing about people who are using their talents and living God’s will for their life. I also love meaningful music and catchy melodies. Today I get to combine these passions by sharing about Catholic artist, PJ Anderson!

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to PJ’s yet-to-be released fourth album, RISE. What I kept coming back to while listening to each track was that these songs come from such an authentic, truthful, and passionate place. It’s a combination that can be rare to find, even among Christian artists. I love how the album kicks off with the anthem title track, “Rise”. It really sets the tone for the rest of the songs to follow. I’m excited for PJ, because I think this album is going to launch him to another level in the music world!

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to get to know a little more about PJ and what inspires his music. He generously answered some questions for me, but, first of all, I must share that he’s a fellow midwestern native and Notre Dame fan! (GO IRISH!) He and his wife and two children also reside in Nashville, so I look forward to hopefully meeting them soon!

1. Your 4th album, RISE, will be released soon, so the fall is going to be a pretty busy time for you! What does the rest of 2014 have in store?

2013-2014 has been such a blessing! I started writing a song a week last year and that is where the songs for RISE and my last album, Let Your Light Shine have come. I played a mega-workshop at NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) in November where 25,000 come to grow in faith and spent the year traveling for concerts, youth conferences and retreats.

This past summer I lead worship and music at Catholic Heart Work Camp for 7 weeks. I’ve spent the last 6 summers working with CHWC leading music at mission trips across the country. This fall has been packed with logistics and promoting RISE. 1400 copies have pre-sold prior to the official release mainly through pre-sales at CHWC, an exclusive release with http://www.lovegoodmusic.com. The first single, “Beautiful Mess” debuted at #40 on iTunes Christian Charts.

The album releases October 7 and is currently on iTunes Pre-Order for special pricing of $7.99. The album release show will happen in Nashville at The Axis Church in Germantown (1423 2nd Avenue North) on October 10 with doors at 6p and show at 7p. Perfect opportunity for people to come listen and praise and then head over to Germantown’s Oktoberfest.

After the album officially releases, my year consists of traveling the country for youth conferences, concerts and retreats.

My wife, Rachel, and I also lead pilgrimages to Rome and Assisi for youth and adult church groups. I studied in Rome for a semester and returned for a year to work as a Resident Assistant at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center. Since then, my love for Rome has led us to take others and hopefully encourage a love for Rome in others. Here is a link to a video from our last trip! Spoiler alert, our two kiddos were kissed by Pope Francis!!!! It was AMAZING! Here’s the video.

We will return to Rome in April and then Catholic Heart Work Camp will start again in June.

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2. How did you experience God’s call for you to pursue music? Any significant obstacles or “God moments” on your journey so far?

God was laying seeds to write and pursue music, but I wasn’t always listening. I was actually the kid who got in trouble with my Mom for not singing at Mass! I started playing guitar when I was in 5th grade where I learned from a nun, Sister Charita. I played from 5-8 grade at school Masses but stopped playing in high school to pursue my dream of being in the NBA! I put all my eggs in the basket of playing basketball. I’m not exactly built for the NBA, but I thought I was! But, I picked the guitar back up in college and started writing songs then. Many of my first songs came while I was studying abroad in Rome. I didn’t start out exclusively writing worship music, but God was always a part of my music. I have now found a musical home in writing worship songs that lead the listener, the worshipper, into a close, personal space with our loving God. I am thankful for where God has led me. The path wasn’t always easy, but he equipped me with the faith, inspiration and relationships to create an album that will lead others to closer to Him.

I was a Youth Minister for 6 years near Chicago with my wife, Rachel. Long story short, but when we were expecting our first child, Rachel had some serious pregnancy issues and had to be rushed to the hospital and she was put on hospital bedrest for 3.5 weeks. Trey (Paul John III) was born 6 weeks early and was in the NICU for 2.5 weeks. It was a very difficult season filled with fear and joy at the same time. I also lost my job as a Youth Minister because I was not able to be in the office as I was staying in the hospital with my wife. As difficult as it was, God led us through the darkness of that season and opened up many doors in music, especially in Nashville. Phone calls started coming in from groups that I had met at CHWC mission trips and they started asking me to come to their parishes and youth groups for concerts and retreats. Relationships with producers, musicians and youth ministers started blooming and gave us the courage to make the big move to Nashville. God made it obvious that my time as a Youth Minister at one parish was done, but that He wanted me sharing music with many people across the country, if that makes sense. So, I now joke that I get to be like the uncle that comes in and riles up the kids before they go to bed. I’m now the traveling “Youth Minister” who comes in plays music, shares stories and talks and then I go home! No paperwork here! Ha!

We are so blessed with the life we have in Nashville and thankful that God led us here to continue to minister and lead others into relationship with Him. I mean, I get to write and sing songs, travel the country sharing those, take care of my kiddos during the week and call that work. It’s awesome!

3. What draws you to working with, and motivating, teenagers and young adults?

I love working with high schoolers and young adults! It’s the way God built me! He created me as an outgoing, extrovert that loves to interact, build relationships and laugh and love. Part of what draws me is the desperate need for hope amongst teenagers and young adults. There is a great sense of hopelessness at times in our world, especially at those ages. I was at a retreat where 3 witness talks in a row by 3 high school girls were all attempted suicide stories. That breaks my heart! That emptiness, that brokenness says there is no hope and that is the biggest lie of our generation. There is ALWAYS hope. And my goal and prayer is to make sure those that I minister with and to truly realize that. That “God loves you” isn’t some cheesy thing your youth minister says, but that it’s truth. He loves us so much that He has given and continues to give us everything. And we are called to give Him our everything. And that no matter how dark things get, how broken we are, God doesn’t love us any less. One of the songs from RISE called “Grace Is Hope” says, “No sin is more hopeless than my Savior has grace. My Savior is grace.” There is no sin, no brokenness, no pain that is too great for God to conquer. He is our grace. He is our hope. That is what draws me to working youth and young adults.

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4. Do you have any favorite songs, books, Bible verses, etc., that you find inspiring?

Ooooh! Tough one. Favorite songs right now are:

“Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher. This song is just a great reminder of our need for God, for the Lord. In a world that tells us that independence makes us strong, I think we forget that our dependence on God makes us even stronger.
“All The Poor and Powerless” by All Sons and Daughters. Oh man, this song! It’s been making me cry listening in the car! Ha! The need and calling for all of us to rise to God’s call to love and serve. That’s the theme of RISE and this song articulates that perfectly. “All will sing out hallelujah, We will cry out hallelujah” We serve and love the poor and powerless because that’s what Jesus did and calls us to do.
“Losing” by Tenth Avenue North – This song has helped me get through those dark seasons.
“Closer” by Bethel Music – Our desire and love Him more and to be closer to Him. That’s always my prayer. I stray from Him but want to be close.

Favorite bible verse is John 3:30. “He must increase. I must decrease.” This verse keeps my desire to serve the Lord close.This verse keeps me humble. This verse is how I try to live my life, not for myself, but for Him. Now, do I always do that? I fail everyday. That is why I need Him. That is why He must increase.

Thanks so much to PJ for answering some questions! I’m looking forward to attending his album release show in a couple weeks! Maybe I’ll see some fellow Nashvillians there, as well!

If you want to keep up with PJ’s music, check out his website and be sure follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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Music, Illness, and a Wedding! (7 Quick Takes #13)

6 Jun

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This has been a pretty full week, so much so that I have enough random stuff that I can actually link up with Jennifer and crew at Conversion Diary.

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My younger brother, Jeff, got married last weekend! He married someone whom readers of this blog may be familiar with – my very first Dreamer in the Spotlight, Abby! To most everyone’s surprise, she did not make her own wedding cake, but Jeni’s gourmet ice cream was served all afternoon! It was perfect for a hot day!

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I’ve let my Dreamer in the Spotlight series kind of go by the wayside for the past several months, but another person who I featured last year, Catholic musician Tori Harris, is releasing a new EP this summer. I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to it prior to it’s release this week. I love her sound! Pre-sale copies will be out on iTunes this Sunday! Be sure to check back in the next few weeks for an update post on what Tori’s been doing!

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After a busy wedding weekend, my oldest came down with a cough that turned into a sinus/throat infection complete with conjuctivitis. I’m praying that no one else gets sick since she has been pretty contagious the past few days. Thanks to my mom for taking care of her! Work has been so crazy busy this week that there was no way I could stay home. 😦

When I got home from work on Wednesday, after C was taken to the doctor, it was kind of a funny scene in my front yard. I was on the phone with my mom talking about what the doctor said,  juggling some groceries, calling for my dog that had escaped from the backyard, and walking up to the front door with only one shoe on because the other broke! Wow…

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It’s CMA Fest again in Nashville this week. Adam is the lead tech at LP Field where all the nightly concerts are being held. He had a little scare with the storm that came through Wednesday night, but the tarps held up and all the gear was dry! Hopefully everything runs smoothly the rest of the weekend! He just sent me this pic of Eric Church’s performance! I guess he crept out from behind backstage. It’s as close as I’m going to get to downtown right now! No thank you, crazy traffic!

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I’ve been looking at ways to expand my skills and grow career-wise, so I’m kind of interested in pursuing grant writing. There are a couple workshops coming up later this year in Nashville that I’m considering attending. Anybody out there have experience with writing grants? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

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This weekend, I plan to figure out what project/craft the girls and I will be doing for Adam for Father’s Day. If you have any fun ideas, please share! Last year I posted about 5 free printables. I’m going to go back and check those out or maybe find something different… C said that she’s going to “make the best card that Daddy’s ever seen,” so we probably can’t top that!

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Maybe I spoke too soon about having seven things to talk about…. It’s getting late and my brain can’t think! TGIF! Have a good weekend everyone!

 

 

Be a Sheep

14 May

Shepherd with SheepSource

Last Tuesday, Adam excitedly called me about a Catholic Answers Live podcast episode he was in the middle of listening to. Host Patrick Coffin was interviewing Catholic country artist, Collin Raye, about his new book, A Voice Undefeated, and the state of the music industry in Nashville right now. It was so refreshing to hear him speak on a lot of the same things that Adam has expressed frustration about, like how hard it is to get any songs of substance cut right now!

To listen to this podcast with Collin Raye that originally aired May 12th, click here.

Later that night, after I had an opportunity to listen to it myself we talked on the phone about it and, again, about figuring out what steps God wants us to pursue… It’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking at the big picture and the work and time a music ministry would take, especially when we work opposite schedules and have two young children. Things seem impossible to even think about. We ended with the conclusion that we need to keep bringing our fears honestly before the Lord and continue to pray and be open to God’s will. We need to focus on one step at a time. Listening to this podcast, though, was definitely some sort of step on the journey.

Before I went to bed, I read the gospel reading (John 10:22-30) and meditation for the day in The Word Among Us. No surprise – it totally went along with what we had just been discussing. Here’s a little snippet of the meditation for May 13:

…he wants you to become more sheeplike: more single-minded in faith, more reliant on him, more “helpless.” He wants you to learn to rest in his salvation and trust him more fully…

Spend some time today thinking about being a sheep. Watch and listen for messages from the world and from your own heart that urge you to be independent, to take care of yourself. Are you listening to those messages more than to the messages that come from the Good Shepherd? He truly does love and care for you so let him make you more and more like one of his trusting, obedient sheep.

Often times, I think we feel like we need to do something- anything- to make our dreams happen. Yes, we need to put forth a lot of effort, but sometimes we are just spinning our wheels. Being busy makes us feel like we are making progress, but it is just wasted energy if we’re not following and trusting God’s path for us.

I love the image of being a sheep! It can be so hard to let go of the illusion of control, but there is so much peace and freedom in letting our Good Shepherd lead us! He wants what is best for us and will not lead us astray!

We are working on knowing when to wait for God’s hand and when it may be fear that is holding us back. I pray that the Lord will lead these two aspiring sheep to what he has called us to do and that we may follow! I also pray for any of you sheep who are reading this! I’m so inspired by the commitment and example of so many who are responding to God’s will for their lives! Thank you for your courage!

Adam Shick at Nashville Catholic Underground: Recap

1 May

20140501-210701.jpgAdam accompanied by Jon Conley (Guitarist for Kenny Chesney)

This past Saturday, Adam played a set at Saint Mary of the Seven Sorrows for the monthly Catholic Underground event in downtown Nashville! He hadn’t played a show for awhile and was a little concerned about whether or not his voice would last for an hour-long set, especially after doing an afternoon rehearsal with amazing guitar player, Jon Conley. (Adam played with him while on the road in Emma Jacob’s band a few years ago.) Fortunately, his voice was just fine! I’m certain the Holy Spirit was helping him out! 🙂

20140501-210722.jpgBustin’ out a note… and, yes, he got to sign the backdrop! 🙂

Adam sang mostly originals, but mixed in a Coldplay cover and a NEEDTOBREATHE cover. He wrapped up the night with a Lean on Me/This Little Light of Mine/You are My Sunshine Medley! Everybody was singing and clapping along, so it was a great way to end! Here’s the link to the video! Oh, and you have to hear what he did with the last note, because it totally caught me by surprise. Dude is awesome!

20140501-210711.jpgSitting on Grandpa’s lap, watching Daddy sing one of her favorite songs (with favorite stuffed animal “Monkey”)!

We let our almost-five-year-old stay up that night to watch her daddy perform! She loved it, although she was exhausted! We’re so excited that a good number of our family and friends could come out! Even one of our high school friends who was in town for a bachelor party stopped by!

As usual, we’re contemplating how God wants Adam to move forward with his music… first thing is to get his record done!!! At least we have the website up-and-going: adamshickmusic.com! It’s a start!

Woohoo! Almost TGIF! Have a great weekend, y’all!

 

Five Favorites (vol. 20)

25 Feb

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Day 2 of 7 Posts in 7 Days with Jennifer of Conversion Diary! I’m linking up with Hallie and ladies at Moxie Wife! Here are some of my recent, random faves!

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Okay, so this isn’t necessarily a favorite (yet), but I am excited about Private Lives of Nashville Wives on TNT! I’m mostly interested in following Bryan White and his wife. He is one of Adam’s musical idols! AND his How Lucky I Am CD was basically our dating soundtrack and we danced to “You’ll Always Be Loved By Me” for our first dance at our wedding reception! Plus, I’m always interested in anything that has to do with Music City!

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Have you checked out FOCUS’ 30 Catholics Under 30 List yet?

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Evernote

I just started using the Evernote app a few months ago, and I LOVE it! Why did I wait so long to try it out? It’s a list-maker’s dream!

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I’ve seen this movie so many times, but I haven’t watched it in awhile! I think I’m going to pull this one off the shelf soon! Cue Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”!

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Happy Birthday to the best dad in the world! 🙂

What the Heck Has Adam Been Doing in Nashville These Past 11 Years?

6 Sep

I found one of Adam’s recordings from 2006 in my car the other week. It made me reflect on all of the ups and downs in Adam’s Nashville journey thus far. Mid-July actually marked eleven years since Adam moved south from Elkhart, Indiana at the age of 19 to pursue his dream.

While listening to this CD, I also realized that for more than half of the duration that I have been blogging (I started in May 2011), Adam has been on hiatus from his music career. Like, he RARELY gets on Facebook or Twitter anymore. He’s practically fallen off the face of the earth!

Many of you who have started following A Dreamer’s Wife in the past several months are probably like, “So, her husband is this dreamer musician guy, but what has he even done?!” Or, if you knew Adam in high school, you’re probably wondering, “Where the heck is Shick?” So, I’ve decided to put together a very rough timeline of Adam’s musical history since being in Tennessee.

Adam Shick’s Nashville Timeline

Photo Credit: Tommy Gravelle

July 2002

Adam moves to Nashville and shares a house with three other guys. Adam gets a couple of long-term full-time temp gigs to pay rent and the bills. Adam attends Nashville State Tech (now Nashville State Community College) for music technology. He quits after one semester because he doesn’t have enough money to continue with classes.

My attempt at being a “professional” photographer – ha! (2002)

2003

Adam rents a bedroom from a chronic smoker. He stuffs t-shirts under his door to limit inhalation! He lives here for the next couple years.

May 2003

Adam gets a job at Soundcheck rehearsal facility doing cartage (delivering, setting up, and picking up gear for session musicians at recording studios). Long story short, Adam met the owner a couple of years before moving to Nashville, because the father of the owner’s wife took organ lessons from Adam’s dad. Adam decided to follow-up on this contact after a temp job at Dell ended. It just so happened that someone was just fired that day for being drunk on the job! I think this was more than a coincidence!

It is shortly after this time that Adam becomes good friends and songwriting buddies with co-worker, Mark Hull. For the next seven years, they write together regularly.

Due to having a small staff at this time, Adam often works an average of six nights per week for the next couple years. This doesn’t leave much time for getting in the Nashville scene.

June 2005
Adam and Stef wedding

Adam marries me. 🙂

Later in 2005?

Adam auditions for Nashville Star – makes it past the first two rounds.

He also writes Make Your Way Back.

A song that opens doors with some of the industry professionals named later in this post.

April 2006

Adam is welcomed into the Catholic Church!

2006

Adam records some demos for Dean Sams of Lonestar. Dean introduces Adam to Glen Mitchell, a guitar player and aspiring artist. They hit it off and write a little bit, and Dean draws up contracts for him to produce them as a duo project. Nothing was signed by either party as this was a kind of manufactured arrangement and wasn’t really destined to work out.

Also, a session musician (who will remain nameless) who Adam met through Soundcheck takes an interest in producing Adam. He tries to get Adam and Jason Aldean’s three original band members together for a project. There is some mild interest, but Jason’s career takes off and the rest is history!

Fall 2007

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Adam gets a guitar gig with a young, aspiring country singer, Emma Jacob, through a referral by a Soundcheck client.

This gig lasted through 2011. During that time, Adam became production manager and band leader. He got to travel all over the country, do radio tours, and open for acts like Charlie Daniels and Jason Aldean.

Adam, Mark, my cousin Tommy, Mark’s childhood friend Mike, a guitar player, and a keyboard player create DoubleTake, an awesome 80’s cover band! Adam and Mark were both lead singers and guitar players who would each sing a song by whatever 80’s bands or artists they had on their set list. For example, Adam sang Bryan Adam’s Run To You and Mark sang Cuts Like a Knife or Adam would sing Foreigner’s Double Vision and Mark would sing Jukebox Hero.

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Here’s their promo video. (Thanks, Adam, for re-uploading it!) The plan was to do corporate parties, but this fizzled out for some reason and instead they pursued an original band so they wouldn’t have to worry about paying a keyboard player at downtown gigs anymore when nobody else was making any money!

2008

Adam quits working full-time at Soundcheck.

Longshot Rocket

Photo by Rick Malkin

Longshot Rocket is formed. It consists of some of the same members of DoubleTake. Adam and Mark alternate lead vocals and guitar. Brent Rowan (produced Joe Nichols, Julie Roberts, and Blake Shelton) becomes interested in Adam and Mark’s songs and their project. He questions the stability and longevity of the band. Thus…

The duo, 2AM, is born. Adam and Mark play acoustic sets around town, but yet again this project dies, too, when Mark chooses not to come out on the road to play some dates on the Nashville To You 2010 summer tour. Brent Rowan becomes busy with other projects and his interest fades when an attorney gets involved and tries to encourage 2AM to negotiate different percentages on publishing and what not. (Adam majorly regrets this, as he really wanted to work with Brent!)

Adam makes the decision to try to pursue a solo career.

Adam Shick

May 2009
Holding Daddy's finger

Oldest daughter, C, is born.

Summers of 2010 and 2011

Adam on tour

Adam plays and sings for Emma and also performs as a solo artist on the Nashville To You Campground and NASCAR Tours. On this tour he gets to know THE LiNE (on The Voice in 2012) and Jenn Bostic (April’s Dreamer in the Spotlight).

Here’s a video of Adam singing his original song, Liar, with THE LiNE on the tour.

Spring 2011

Little A Coming Home

Little A is born.

Adam is still a road musician at this time and supplements by working at a relative’s gold-buying store until the tour begins.

Adam gets a wake up call about his motivation as an artist when talking to an acquaintance in the music industry. He asks Adam, “What do you want to do with your music?” Adam responds, “Make money.” He’s pretty embarrassed by the answer, but at the time, we just had our second daughter and he was thinking about supporting his family, but this was a turning point in discovering his true motivation for pursuing music.

Fall 2011

Adam starts rehearsing new material with my cousin, Tommy, and his friend, Ed. They play a couple of shows, but due to lack of time and Adam’s continued struggle with finding his right purpose, he withdraws from trying to “make it” in the music industry.

Adam, Ed, and Tommy 2012
2012

Adam begins working full-time at Soundcheck again as an engineer for rehearsing acts. He decides to spend more time focusing on his own career, rather than go out on the road with another artist. He also wants to be home as much as possible with our family.

2013

Adam continues to write songs, mostly by himself. (He feels that not a lot of other musicians are on the same page spiritually and priority-wise.) This new material is hopeful, positive, and truthful.

Adam also sings demos and jingles for extra income. His voice is on the radio somewhere in the country singing about eye banks in South Dakota. Yes, eye banks! True Story!

Adam is focusing on raising our young daughters while working a full-time job. He has dreams of playing/speaking at men’s conferences and championing fatherhood. He feels the time is getting close to jump back into music, but he isn’t quite there yet! Adam truly enjoys and loves our family and I’m so thankful to have this man as my husband!

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Whew! This post took a lot more time than I had anticipated!

Thanks for hanging in with us! I hope you enjoyed this time traveling down memory lane!

While browsing YouTube vids, I ran across this impromptu throwback of Adam doing a cover of Stormy Monday at a hotel room while on the road. I’ll let this close out the post!

Have a good weekend!

Tori Harris: Music Missionary {August’s Dreamer in the Spotlight}

30 Aug

tori harrisI am really excited to feature this month’s Dreamer in the Spotlight – Catholic musician, Tori Harris! This “music missionary for a new generation of faithful” is definitely using her gifts for God and inspiring others to do the same!

Over the weekend, Tori found time to answer some questions in the midst of speaking and singing at Immaculee Ilibagiza’s “Treasures of our Faith” retreat. (Side note: If you haven’t read Immaculee’s book, Left to Tell, about her experience during the Rwanda genocide, please do. It is a life-altering read!)

1. You released your beautiful EP, Adoremus, earlier this year. What does the rest of 2013 have in store for you and your music? 
Thank you so much! This year has been such a whirlwind of blessings and surprises. It seems that everything is moving so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. I’ve got a few big media events happening in the Fall. National Worship Leader Magazine is featuring my song, “Face to Face” on their songDISCovery disk, I’ll be interviewed on Catholic TV at least 3 times, and there is a bunch of radio lining up. This summer I took a leap of faith and began playing music full-time, so, by the grace of God I’ll continue to stay on the road with a heavy tour schedule and this Fall, the hope is to take a few weeks off to go back into the studio and start putting together the next project. Over the past 2 years I’ve had the honor of writing with some INCREDIBLE songwriters and I can’t wait to give these songs some legs and watch how they do on a CD. But ultimately, providence determines what I’m doing and where the music is going. So, the hope is to do these things, but the reality is that, at all times, God is in control and I can only do that which He permits. 
2. Since beginning your journey of pursuing Christian music for the New Evangelization, do you have a favorite “God-moment” that stands out? 
That’s a hard question because there have been so many. One that really continues to teach and speak to me was this Easter. At the time I was really struggling to financially stay afloat and still do music, but I had a bunch of shows lined up and my only opportunity to earn money would be through CD and merchandise sales. I didn’t have any money for merchandise, so we charged the credit card. All in all, the expenses totaled about $2000. I had no plan for how I was going to pay off the debt, I was just confident that this was an investment I needed to make. A week later, just as I finish praying with my mom on the phone about where the money is going to come from, I met some friends for lunch. When I walked into the restaurant, there was a check for $2000 sitting on my plate. The wife of the couple looked at me and said, “Now what you see before you isn’t a gift from me, but from the Holy Spirit. I don’t know why you need this money, but I’m certain you need it. Jesus wants you to have it.” I held my composure through the lunch, but as soon as I got back to my car I wept for about 30 minutes. To be loved so lavishly by Christ touches one of the deepest longings of the human heart – and my God loves each of His creatures that much and more. 
Tori Harris/Courtesy of toriestories.com
3. I love your guest post on Ryan Eggenberger.com where you shared your story of facing fear and discovering God’s purpose for you. Please elaborate on how you use fear and insecurity to guide you. 
When I talk to young people I find myself repeating, “the battlefield for the soul is fought in the mind.” Extraordinary circumstances aside, the devil most often attacks us through our thoughts, especially the thoughts and stories we tell ourselves. Scripture is very clear that the emotions of fear, doubt, insecurity and anxiety are birthed in Hell and thus NOT from Heaven. When you apply this knowledge to the fact that the devil attacks that which is most Holy and most good – you quickly realize that if you are feeling doubt, fear, anxiety or insecurity, that you are likely in thought or action, doing something very good and very holy. You see, our God is SO good. He desires to pour into us the deepest desires of our heart. He has organized the universe very intentionally and very exactly so that He can present to us our hearts deepest desire. The devil knows this and can’t stop it. He can’t change the universe… but he can cloud our thoughts with lies. Lies of fear, insecurity, anxiety and doubt. When the devil does this, it isn’t the universe that ceases to move, but us. We cease to move. And when we cease to act, we cease to have faith, because what is faith but our RESPONSE to love. I’m learning again and again, that fear is affirmation that I’m doing something right, that I MUST keep moving. And every time I recognize it and walk forward, stepping into the fear, I watch as God’s perfect love casts it out, and another part of my soul heals, and I am able to know love just a little more intimately. 
4. I read on your website that you give a 40-minute talk titled “Discerning God’s Call in Your Life.” What advice do you have for those of us who are searching for our passion and purpose?
I’ll give you discernment cliff notes: 
1. Make a list of all the things you’re insecure about, all the things you’re afraid of. (I’ll never be thin enough, No one will ever marry me and I’ll end up alone, the ladies at church judge me and don’t want to spend any time with me) 
2. Make a list of your hearts deepest desires. (This is the most difficult of all the steps. If you feel stupid, dumb, afraid and hope no one ever sees this list, then you’re doing it right) 
3. Go through the second list, your heart’s deepest desires, and ask yourself “do any of these desires violate God’s law?” If it violates God’s law scratch it off the list. 
4. Compare the two lists. If you see any parallels (For example, I am insecure about my singing voice and my deepest desire to stand on stage at Church and cantor) then prioritize those desires first
5. Act. Face your fear, step into your insecurity, and act. Follow the desire. Just do it. 
6. Marvel at what God does next. Because what He will do will change your heart and life forever. 
 
In the words of St. Teresa of Avila, “if you become only what God intended you to be, then you will set the world on fire” – I think it’s about time we had more souls setting the world on fire. 
Photo by Joy Williams/Courtesy of toriestories.com
5. Do you have any favorite songs, verses, books, or movies that inspire and motivate you?
Good art and culture always inspire. The book that changed my life was “Abandonment to Divine Providence” by Jean Pierre de Caussade. I read and re-read that book and every time, the truth it contains etches itself more intimately upon my heart. If you’re afraid of making a radical change in your life, this is the book that will give you the courage to leave everything you know, take up your cross and follow Christ. 
Thanks, Tori, for taking the time to share your journey and your wisdom with us! Great stuff!
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 Adoremus - EP, Tori Harris
For more, be sure to…
Checkout Tori’s website.
Download her music on iTunes.
Follow Tori on Twitter.
Like her Facebook page.
Watch the Face to Face music video on YouTube.

{7 Quick Takes #11}

15 Aug

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 228)

So it has been quite awhile since I have joined Jen and the 7 Quick Takes crew! I have so much randomness to share about what’s been going on in the Shick household so far this month that I thought breaking it down 7 Quick Takes-style would be good!

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house

Our house is officially on the market! It’s exciting and highly stressful at the same time! Someone is coming later today to take video for a virtual tour thing and my house is going to have to be even more meticulously organized and spotless than it already is! Yikes! AND two showings are scheduled for this evening!

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C started preschool earlier this week! She’ll be going two days per week. I felt like I climbed another step on the mom ladder when I made her lunch and packed it in her own cute brown and pink lunch box!

{3}

33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It- Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration

Last week, I started the 33 Days to Morning Glory retreat with several other Cathsorority ladies via Facebook. My mom had given me the book for Mother’s Day, but I hadn’t gotten around to checking it out yet, so it worked out perfectly to start this with a group! It’s going great so far!

{4}

With all of this crazy house stuff going on, I have gotten really behind with my coupon cutting – like at least 6 weeks worth of inserts piled up on me! I’ve been slowly tackling them this past week and now my least favorite part, filing them in my binder, awaits me! Fun times ahead for the weekend! 🙂

{5}

The beginning of August, Adam was gone as a tech at Lollapalooza in Chicago for nearly a week. It was the first time the girls had been away from him for such a long time! Daddy made some funny videos for the girls, which made it easier on me at bedtime! So, yeah, I kind of don’t miss the days of Adam being out on the road for 3-4 days at a time every weekend!

{6}

Changing the subject, I have a rare rant that I have to get off my chest! This week alone, I’ve been behind three different drivers who have tossed cigarette butts out their windows. I don’t know about anybody else, but anytime someone does that I feel like it is a personal “screw you!” I’m no environmental activist, but I feel it is so disrespectful to, like, the whole rest of the human population to litter. It’s not that hard to wait 10 minutes to throw your trash away or empty an ashtray!

I guess this is just a symptom of where our society is right now – selfish, no respect for life, etc…

Okay, rant over. Deep breath! Moving on…

{7}

On a happy note, I have to brag on my friend Abby of Creative Crumbs for a second! (You may remember that I featured her as my Dreamer in the Spotlight earlier this year.) She recently was invited to participate in Nashville’s first The NotWedding event at The Cannery Ballroom last month. Her delicious cake was called the “shining star of the reception” by one columnist!

Photo: All set for The Not Wedding!        This beautiful cake is decorated with handmade sugar flowers and chopped pistachios.  #nashvilleweddings #weddingcake

Photo courtesy of Creative Crumbs Nashville

Nashville peeps, be sure to vote for Creative Crumbs in Nashville Scene’s Best of Nashville 2013 survey as the Best Local Cake Baker!!

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Have a great weekend, everyone!

Five Favorites: Tennessee-Style (vol. 8)

4 Jun

five-favorites-moxie-wife-1

It’s been three weeks since my last Five Favorites post, so I’m excited to be joining up again with Hallie and several other ladies! Inspired by my recent getaway to Gatlinburg, I decided to do a special Tennessee-themed post! It was hard to pick just five!

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The Smoky Mountains

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It’s so nice to live only a 4-hour drive from these beautiful mountains! It had been six years since our last vacation to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, so it was nice to finally get back! Waking up to a gorgeous mountain view every morning was so peaceful, and much needed. I think we’re going to try to go annually from now on… we’ll see!

{2}

Nashville Skyline

Nashville Skyline photo: Nashville Skyline nashville.jpg

I never get tired of driving downtown, because I love the view, especially at night! The “Batman building” is iconic!

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Sweet Tea

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Source

Of course sweet tea isn’t just a Tennessee thing, but there’s not a place you’ll go where you can’t order sweet tea down here! Being from northern Indiana, sweet tea was not something I grew up drinking! I’ve recently started making it myself instead of just buying it from the store.

I came across a great tip the other day! Add a pinch of baking soda to the boiling water and it will cut the bitterness of the tea and erase the cloudiness from adding sugar! YUM!

{4}

Nashville

 

Although Nashville is a little soap opera-y (entertaining for sure, though!), I have enjoyed watching the first season because it’s so fun to see all of the places around town that they feature. As I’ve mentioned before, Adam works at Soundcheck where they filmed a lot of scenes. The logo can be found in many episodes, too!

{5}

Crucifix at St. Joseph Church

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St. Joseph Church in Madison, TN is the parish that I attend. As you can see in the above picture, we have a gigantic crucifix behind the altar. It is so beautiful and awe-inspiring! This photo doesn’t do it justice!

Interestingly enough, when my family and I visited Nashville on vacation when I was in eighth grade, this was the church that we went to for Mass. Little did I know that I would move down here and attend this parish about seven years later!

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I hope everyone is having a great week! Thanks for stopping by today!

Five Favorites vol. 7

14 May

Five Favorites, hosted at MoxieWife.com

Another Tuesday is here, which means it’s time for another Five Favorites link-up with Hallie! If you haven’t joined yet, you should!

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Catholic Underground is an event geared towards young adults that is active in some other big cities in the U.S. and even Europe! If you haven’t heard of it before, click here to read more about it!

Adam and I first heard about Nashville Catholic Underground through a friend who suggested Adam should play a show. Fortunately, we were able to go check it out this past Saturday! The evening began with Eucharistic adoration and ended with a concert in the basement of St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows, which is the oldest church still standing in Nashville! Adam is going to play a show when the new season starts up after the summer!

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Buy the EP now!

Another cool part about making it out to Catholic Underground the other night, was that I met up with a fellow Nashvillian and Catholic musician, Tori Harris.  I ran across her blog last fall and recently saw that she released her EP at the beginning of this year. I saw this awesome article on EntreCatholic.com last week and mentioned it on Twitter, which led to a conversation about when we should meet-up. How convenient that Catholic Underground was the very next day?! Has to be a Godincidence, right?!

Be sure to check out Tori’s EP, Adoremus, which is available on iTunes! I got chills a couple times while listening in the car the other morning!

{3}

I love this eyebrow kit from Bare Escentuals! I never realized how much filled-in brows can really enhance your make-up look until I started using this powder a few years ago. It looks natural and very little product needs to be applied, which makes one jar last a very long time (like, years)!

{4}

Could this homemade scrub be any easier?! I made some as a gift for Mother’s Day. My hands felt very smooth after using it!

{5}

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quote

 I absolutely love these words by Bonhoeffer! I used to just try to “be good.” Now, I’m really trying to listen to what God wants me to do. I’m continously growing every day and I live life with much more energy and purpose! For more of my favorite inspirational words of wisdom, click here!

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Have a great rest of the week, everyone!