Sunday, December 26, 2010

IOWA: A Special Gift

My time at home has been really sweet. I love my family. 
We get pretty silly...most of the time.
It is snowy and cold.

The kids are just adorable and I can't get enough of them. 
My mom gave me a sweet gift. She gave me a box that had scraps of papers from my dad's artwork. She said I could write on the backs of them whatever I wanted to. Scripture verses...memories...or whatever. I started looking through each picture and the smell overwhelmed me. It smelled like him and my eyes filled up with tears. The smell. Maybe I was the only one that could smell it and even so, it was for me. God brought back a sweet memory. 
I love gifts like these, cause it helps me remember him. I was 16 when he died. Old enough to remember a lot about him, but 13 years later I feel like I start to forget. These precious gifts are so special to me. Here are some of the papers:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sounds Like I'm Famous Folks

My sister posted this on my facebook wall this morning:
Will:"Someone famous is coming to Iowa tonight"
My sister: "Who's that?"
Will: Emily! everybody knows she's in a band.
My Sister: who's everybody?
Will: everybody at school.
My Sister: How do they all know that?
Will: mom....people use the internet.
Oh my heart. I need them now.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Can.Not.Wait.

I texted my sister Jill yesterday and told her that I needed her to take pics of the kids and send them to me. I just needed them and I couldn't wait.
I will be there tomorrow.
But I couldn't wait.
So this was the series of pics I received.
um...he didn't want to do it. 
But I couldn't wait. I need them now.

Then I got to skype with my other sister Laura and the kids. 
Cause I couldn't wait. 
The best part was talking with Lily Margaret, here was the best conversation: 

Me: So Lily, we should make a list of fun things to do when I get there.
Lily: Yeah! 
Me: So...what should we do when I get there?
Lily: (She gets real close to the camera): "Snuggle". 

OH my heart. done. 
Then she goes and posts these pics on facebook.


I can.not.wait. Between Max's dimples and Lily's lovliness my heart will be full!!

Side note: when I skyped with them yesterday I was wondering where my stocking was. 
I just got this text. 
"Ok...we are ready for you to come now."
Amazingly ghetto and I love it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Cutest Little Man

In two days I will be singing songs with this little man. He is one of my nephews and his name is Max. I can't even handle this video. I've probably watched it 243 times.

I cannot wait to spoil my nephews and my niece when I go to visit them in Iowa!! IN 2 DAYS!!! My sisters will hate me. But I'm pretty sure that is the job of an aunt who lives a million miles away and only sees them once or twice a year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Music Love: Sons & Daughters

You are gonna need to check out one of Integrity Music's new artists Sons & Daughters.  They have given me some GREAT new music. I love the rawness in their voices, their passion for Jesus really comes out in their songs.
This is one of their newest songs, "Come To Save Us":

One of my other favorite songs of theirs is called "All the Poor and Powerless":

Monday, December 13, 2010

Set Lists: 12/12/2010

Here are the set lists from Sunday December 12, 2010 at the Austin Stone Community Church:

Campus: Austin High School  Worship Leader: Aaron Ivey
Angels We Have Heard On High - traditional
O Come, O Come Emmanuel - traditional
All To Us - Chris Tomlin
O, Holy Night - traditional

Sermon: "Hallelujah What a Savior: The Promise Fulfilled" - Matt Carter

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - traditional
Hallelujah What a Savior - Aaron Ivey
With Everything - Hillsong United
Campus: St. John  Worship Leader: Andy Melvin
Joy To the World - traditional
O, Come All Ye Faithful - traditional
Everything Has Changed - Andy Melvin
Hallelujah What a Savior - Aaron Ivey

Sermon: "Hallelujah What a Savior: The Promise Fulfilled" - Matt Carter

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - traditional
Hosanna - Hillsong United

Friday, December 10, 2010

This Thing Called Family

Can I just say how proud I am of my mom and my two sisters?!?!

Here's the deal...
Connie, Jill and Laura have partnered with a nation-wide company called DEMDACO (best known for their Willow Tree Line) to produce a line of wall art and other decorative home decor that will be introduced in January of 2011!!!! The name of our line is called, "This Thing Called Family" - and it focuses on the theme of Family Values. So be looking for us in specialty and gift shops early next year!

Retailers interested in carrying our line can visit the DEMDACO showroom in Chicago, Atlanta, or Dallas or contact their local DEMDACO rep for details.
CRAZY!!! I'm so excited for can see what to expect at the Things With Wings blog.
Here are just a few of my favorites: (they are more pics on the blog)

SO exciting!! Isn't it?!

Breakaway // LIVE

I have been truly blessed to be part of an amazing ministry in College Station, TX at the campus of A&M University called Breakaway.
Aaron, the guys & I are on a rotation to lead worship for this event on Tuesday nights. It is such an honor to be part of this team of people who love Jesus and desire HIS name to be made GREAT! The weeks we are not there the Jeff Johnson band & Jourdan lead or Jeremy McCasland and Donna Stuart lead. All of these bands are AMAZING!
We had the privilege to release a LIVE album to capture the worship that we get to experience on Tuesday nights. For students to be able to take home with them something that they can worship with outside of Tuesday nights.
This last Tuesday night we had our release party and worship night! It was GREAT!
All the bands were there and we each did a set and then all sang together at the end.
SO fun!!
Here is a video of behind the scenes:

We actually made it to the #2 slot of the Christian/Gospel section on iTunes!!!
If you want to get the CD:

Breakaway Ministries

Here are the songs:
1. The Name -- Aaron Ivey Band
2. Beauty of the Cross -- Jeff Johnson Band
3. Ruin Me -- Jeff Johnson Band
4. Be Thou My Vision -- Donna Stuart, Emily Ward
5. How Great Thou Art -- Aaron Ivey Band
6. Hallelujah What A Savior -- Aaron Ivey Band
7. Jesus Savior // Doxology -- Jeremy McCasland, Jeff Johnson
8. Radiate -- Donna Stuart, Jourdan Johnson
9. Solid Rock -- Jeff & Jourdan Johnson
10. Found -- Aaron Ivey Band


Monday, December 6, 2010

Set Lists

I'm going to start posting the setlists from church. Many people have asked what songs we do and where they can get them. So I will be posting the songs with links of where you can download them so that you can listen to them and worship at home!!

Austin Stone Community Church Sunday December 5, 2010

Campus: Austin High School  Worship Leader: Aaron Ivey
Joy To the World - traditional
O, Come All Ye Faithful - traditional
How Marvelous - traditional
You Are Worthy [of Your Glory] - Jon Shirley

Sermon: "Hallelujah What a Savior" - Matt Carter

Hallelujah What a Savior (Christmas Version) - Aaron Ivey
O, Holy Night - traditional
7:00 service only: (cause it got a little silly)
My Soul Sings - Delirious
How Great Thou Art - traditional

Campus: St. John  Worship Leader: Jimmy McNeal
O, Come All Ye Faithful - traditional
Glory In The Highest - Chris Tomlin
Your Great Name - Natalie Grant (written by Michael Neale & Krissy Nordhoff)
Hallelujah What a Savior (Christmas Version) - Aaron Ivey

Sermon: "Hallelujah What a Savior" - Matt Carter

You Are Worthy [of Your Glory] - Jon Shirley
How Marvelous - traditional

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

History of Redemption

This last Sunday our church did a sermon called History of Redemption. Which is a series of scriptures from Genesis to Revelation that were put together to tell the story of Jesus. Ronnie Smith preached this sermon to start of the advent season. It was SO powerful. He had it completely memorized (I started memorizing this awhile back as well...but I am not finished with it yet!) The Stone has also put together an illustrated book with all of the scriptures put with beautiful pictures. The book also comes with a CD of the scriptures being read and a memorization plan so that you can memorize it as well!!
You can order the book online as well as different sized prints...
Here are a few of my favorites:

**All of the proceeds go to the 100 people network which is an organization that sends people overseas to unreached people groups who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.**
You can listen to the sermon on the Stone's Website here. People were standing, clapping, cheering, was awesome! God's word is alive and active!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music Love: Do You See What I See - Todd Agnew

My friend Todd Agnew has a Christmas album at Amazon for $5. You should get it.
It's called Do You See What I See? Download it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Love Me Some Sunsets

I don't know why I love sunsets so much.
I always get all giddy when I see the beautiful sky and I usually pull out my phone to try and capture it in photographs. It usually doesn't compare to seeing it's beauty in real life. But here are a few pics I took the other night...

Breakaway//LIVE Record Releases December 7th!

I'm so excited about this... the college ministry at TX A&M that Aaron's band and I lead worship for is going to be releasing a LIVE album!!! It will be released on December 7th. If you are in the area we will be having a worship night/CD Release at Breakaway on December 7th 9:00pm at Reed Arena in College Station. Make the won't want to miss it! 
I have been so blessed and humbled to be part of Breakaway over the last year and even more so being a part of this album. The Jeff Johnson Band is also on this album and they sound GREAT! Check out the website to listen to some clips of the songs and check out this video...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Music Love: Winter Song

I am going to be starting a series called "Music Love" where I will highlight a musician or a song that I love and share it with you.

The first one is a song called "Winter Song" written by Ingrid Michaelson & Sara Bareilles It is off of the album called "Hotel Cafe presents...Winter Songs" which is an album of various artists. You can get it now on Amazon for $5
Here is a video of "Winter Song":

Saturday, November 20, 2010

7in7: the 8th Day

And on the 8th day we gathered together to play a song and celebrate with a party.
It was a beautiful thing to see all these people come together, friends and some new friends.  Some who came from across town and some who drove a few hours.  It was awesome.
But...I DID NOT want to go. Everything in me wanted to stay home, but after talking with a few people who said they would be mad at me if I didn't go...I went. All the while battling lies of feeling like a failure for showing up to this party with no song to sing.
Here's the deal. I battle with my thoughts. I battle with my feelings. I can easily let the enemy of this world get me down. I was disappointed.
But I felt a peace at the same time of knowing that God is over everything and that for some reason he kept songs from me these 7 days (except for some lyrics). He wanted to give me something else instead.
Peace in Him.
Confidence in Him and what He thinks of me.
Trust in Him.
Not saying that I still don't struggle with this stuff...cause it's a constant battle...but I'm thankful for what He is teaching me.
It's hard.
But it's good.
I'm pretty sure that now that this is all over, some songs will come out of this.
I hope!
Thanks for y'all who have read all of my posts and all my rants about this process. It was good for me to journal through it and I hope that somehow it encouraged at least one of you!
Thanks for those who have encouraged me through this too. I appreciate that more than anything. More than ever it has reassured me of how important community is. Truly thankful.
Here are a couple of pics:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

7in7: Day 7

Looking over my journal at the pages marked Day 1, Day 2, Day 3....
There are lots of words and lots of scribbles.
It seems I can't make any sense of it.
Different topics, different words, different themes.
They all sort of run together but make no sense.
I get to a certain point where my mind goes blank...I can see it each day that I wrote. I would get a few lines or a verse and the rest of the page would be blank...or be filled with scribbles. 
Then the next day...same thing...a few lines or a chorus and then nothing.
UGH. frustrating.
I've wanted to give up.
I've wanted to bail on the 8th day party. (where everyone gets together to share some of their songs)
I've beat myself up.
I've been completely negative.
I've compared myself.
I've been living in funky town.
I've worried. I've panicked. I've cried.
I talked with several friends today and was reminded of how important community is.
My people keep me standing.
My people speak truth to me.
My people pray for me.
My people kick me in the booty (in a good way).
My people encourage me to not give up.
My people remind me that my worth is not in people's opinions of me.
My people remind me that to fail at something is not the end of the world...but that it means that you tried instead of doing the same comfortable thing over and over again.
My people remind me that the process of learning is hard.
My people remind me that there is purpose in all of this...even showing up to the 8th day party with no songs.
So will I go to the 8th day party tomorrow night?
Do I want to go?
um...not really.
Do I have any songs to sing?
Am I scared of feeling like a failure?
Am I a complete failure?
absolutely not.
Will I have to remind myself of this every minute?
absolutely yes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

7in7: Day 6

Is it normal to have the feeling of wanting to give up non-stop.
Surely that can't be good.
I don't know what it is but everything in me is going crazy and I can't sort through any of it. This whole 7in7 thing has pretty much messed me up.
I fear that at the end of this thing I will have nothing. No songs. Just a lot of random lyrics that are pieced together all messy like. That might happen. At this's looking pretty good.
How have I gone from being excited and inspired to feeling completely thinking, "ok...maybe this isn't bad." right back to feeling completely hopeless. I feel like the "ok...maybe this isn't bad." part was just a false hope. Now being back in this hopeless stage feels even more hopeless.
Drama. sorry!
Just being real. Because for the past 6 days I've tried, I've pushed through, I've cried, I've thrown the towel, I've kicked myself in the booty, I've encouraged myself, I've beat myself down, I've slept, I've not slept, I've read, I've listened, I've written, I've watched, I've spoken truth to myself.
But I still find myself tonight just heavy with this pressure I've put on myself that is just ridiculous.
Some may read this and think...this girl is crazy. Or...she has crossed the line of being overly dramatic. Or...she needs to be on medication.
Whatever you are probably true.
What I have to keep coming back to is truth. Bringing it back to simple and the fact that I'm making a bigger deal about this and about me...than I need to.
I'm messed up and I'm seeing this more and more. I'm seeing my need for Jesus more and more. I'm seeing how incapable I am of living apart from Him.
It all comes down to the fact that I need more of Him. He is all I need, just Him. No one else. Nothing else. No song. No lyrics. No melodies. Just HIM.

I would also like to point out that I have gone from Day 1 looking cute to Day 6 looking NOT so cute with my sweats and sweater and my blue balled slippers.
The end.

7in7: Day 5

This is all I have to say about today.
Is this over yet?

Monday, November 15, 2010

7in7: Day 4

Day 4 was Sunday & I led worship for 4 services, 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening.
Sundays are both amazing and really hard. I never realized how much energy it takes to lead 4 services until I started doing it every Sunday.
Yesterday was a hard day. I was already exhausted and was not feeling well...and also just emotionally tired. I felt like my mind and my heart were all over the place.  So it was a hard day to lead. BUT...I love when God gives me these days because all the more do I realize my need for Him. How dependent I have to be on Him and how He doesn't need me. No matter what state I'm in...He still does His thing...He's still God. He still uses me my imperfectness.
I did not write a song Day 4...but I did write. I prayed. This is some of what I wrote in my journal...I'm getting you go...
God...take my heart today. I'm restless. I don't feel good. I'm tired. My heart is not settled in You.  Help me to set everything aside and worship You fully.  Forgive me for not worshiping you in the Spirit. Forgive me for my distracted mind and my scattered heart.  Your glory is not dependent on the condition of my heart. Your glory remains the same. You are still God and You deserve all worship. You know every part of me. Help me. Help me to humble myself before You. Help me worship You in the Spirit. Help me be like You. Help me proclaim Your name before mine and before anything else. I just want You. Just You.
He is still God even if I don't finish 7 songs.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

7in7: Day 3

I am considering today an accomplishment.
I finished a song...lyrically. Now I just need to figure out the music...which is the most intimidating part. This is when I just want someone to come in and do the music for me.
But I will put it down for a bit and come back to it.
Sooo...Here are the lyrics: (deep breath)

I'm looking all around me
Fighting constantly
Unsettled with this skin I'm in
Uncertain of this life I live

Waiting to be...someone else
Just wanting to be you
Anybody else but me just someone else like...

The girl with the long flowing hair
The guy with the songs & the cold dark stare
The girl with the tiny frame
The guy with the wall of shame

Still believing lies about me
Fighting constantly
Not willing to remain the same
How about another name?

Waiting til that day...for something new
Just wanting to be you
Anybody else but me just someone else like...

The girl with the long flowing hair
The guy with the songs and the cold dark stare
The girl with the tiny frame
The guy with the wall of shame

This fight, this fight
Trying to be someone
But all I need is You...

Who knows the number of each hair
Who gives me His songs with His sweet love stare
Who made & formed my frame
Who takes away my shame

7in7 Day 2

I'm a mess.
I've cried every day of 7in7 and it' 2.
This is hard. I put entirely way too much pressure on myself and it's ridiculous.
Yesterday I got a verse and part of a chorus. No music or melodies...every time I tried I would get so frustrated.
I realized that I wasn't letting myself write a bad song. I wanted it to be perfect and amazing.  I put these standards on myself that are completely ridiculous...I expect way too much and I just need to give myself grace.
So I'm gonna try and shake it off...let God teach me what He wants through this process...because I'm pretty sure that is what is going to be the biggest accomplishment, more than coming up with some songs, it will be how He is teaching me how to a lot. He's showing me my heart and to be honest, it's ugly.
I've believed lies about myself, I've completely disregarded how God has created me and I've wanted to give up about 777 times.
Today I spent most of the day in College Station with Aaron and the guys for Donna Stuart's CD Release Concert/Worship night. Both Aaron and Donna said things that I needed to hear tonight. So thankful for them.
So I'm going to choose to not give up. I'm going to give myself grace. I'm going to write some really bad songs. I'm going to start over tomorrow.
I'm also going to get some inspiration from the fact that Christmas has overtaken our house. Surely a Christmas song will come out of this.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

7in7 Day 1

So I've agreed to do this 7in7 thing.
It's where you write 7 songs in 7 days.
Today is day 1 and I'm wearing a cute outfit. I've somehow convinced myself that by wearing a cute will help.
So far...I've managed to get nothing down...but I look cute. 
Point proven that looking cute will not get me 7 songs in 7 days.
I started reading through some blogs to get some inspiration and came across this blog of a couple who has documented their life after losing their son right after he was born. I was drawn into this story and found myself filled with all kinds of emotions and feel compelled to write about it. So...we'll see what comes out.
I'm praying. I don't want these 7 days to be about me and what I can do and how I can write a song. But I want to be led and I want these songs to not be from me.
Oh pray with me!
I may or may not be posting songs on here. We'll see how vulnerable I feel!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Love My Hair

So a friend told me about this video and she said..."For some reason I can't stop thinking of you when I saw this..."
This is my new theme song:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

History of Redemption pt 1

I'm memorizing 7 pages of scripture. I'm insane.
I have down 1/2 of a page. 6 1/2 more to go! insane.
I'm surprised that I'm actually getting it. It's hard. But God is revealing Himself so much in this process and I love it. I actually love it. I love having His word in my mind constantly.
So here is what I have memorized so far:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)

Then God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good.  And God separated the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3-4)

And then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.  And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.  And God saw everything that He had made and behold - it was very good.  And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.  The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 1:26-27, 31; Genesis 2:22,25)

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."  But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate. (Genesis 2:16-17; Genesis 3:4-6)
His word is so good. Why don't I memorize scripture ALL the time?! It's powerful.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Scattered Heart

"The stars are brighter when the night is darker
Your grace is deeper when the lies are stronger
The lower I am, the higher You are
Come save me & heal my scattered heart"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Shout Hallelujah, You God-Worshipers

I read this today from the message version of the bible. Take it in...I love it. LOVE it.

Psalm 22:22-31
Here's the story I'll tell my friends when they come to worship, and punctuate it with hallelujahs:
Shout hallelujah, you God-worshipers
Give glory, you sons of Jacob; adore him you daughters of Israel.
He has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around.  He has never wandered off to do his own thing; he has been right there, listening.
Here in this great gathering for worship I have discovered this praise-life.
And I'll do what I promised right here in front of the God-worshipers.
Down-and-outers sit at God's table and eat their fill.
Everyone on the hunt for God is here praising him. 
"Live it up, from head to toe. Don't ever quit!"
From the four corners of the earth people are coming to their senses, 
Are running back to God.
Long-lost families are falling on their faces before him.
God has taken charge; from now on he has the last word.
All the power-mongers are before him
All the poor and powerless, too
Along with those who never got it together
Our children and their children will get in on this
As the word is passed along from parent to child
Babies not yet conceived
Will hear the good news --
That God does what he says.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

Lake House Getaways:
 Time away to rest, write, worship, be.

Swinging in them. Sleeping in them. Reading in them.

 Overlooking the lake, with guitar in hand, worshiping a beautiful Creator.

Marveling at its obedience to bring light to the dark.
Still a little unsure of how I feel about this guy. 

 Funky Mailboxes:
 So I thought they were cute.

Small Town Texas Restaurants:
Full of stuffed wildlife & waiters giving out phone numbers.