Tree Hill Collective in the Studio
Mia (vocals/songwriter) Adina (songwriter) Jeff McCullough (Music producer)
One of the things that I love about my music producer, Jeff McCullough, (he's the one with the Mohawk) is that he always tells me like it is. When I sound bad, he does not hesitate to let me know it. He asks me questions and guides me in searching every emotion and truth connected with each line that comes out of my mouth. "Don't sing it if you don't believe it" he says. And he covers our sessions, recording, mixing and mastering in prayer.
On this last project he said this to me. "Mia, you owe it to the writers and the audience to be totally honest in your interpretation of the song, stop listening to the voices in your head." Recording music is a ministry. It captures my heart and is forever out there for people to hear. So I don't take it lightly. There are tears shed in each recording project through the struggle over lines, notes and songs. I tend to think of Jeff as my therapist as well. Kudos for producers that have to deal with emotionally sensitive and sometimes unstable artists. They ROCK!!
THE BIG CHALLENGE HE GAVE:
My producer asked me the other week "If you could do a duet with ANYONE living or dead, who would it be?" I answered him and then he said "So what is stopping you." My reply was that I didn't ask. So I followeded through, dared to ask this person and he said, "Yes!" #CRAZY. So, now my prayer is this...whatever comes out of it, I pray that it shines a light on Christ. May it be excellent and praiseworthy...... May it be my best offering to the Lord #SoliDeoGlori.
What does someone need to challenge you to do today?
Go Nike it! #JustDoIt #SoliDeoGlori
(I don't know about you, but so much of what I do is because someone loved me enough to give me a swift kick in the butt and encourage to do it...Consider yourself kicked!!)
"You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions." James 4:2-3
PS, I am fully aware that my use of hash-tags means nothing in this blog...Can't help it!
My father would always find the positive in any situation and so I try and model that example in my life. Sometimes it is harder than at other times, but today this is what I gleaned from a week of struggling with depression. For those that don't know, I have struggled most of my life with depression, sometimes needing medication, but in the last decade it has been completely manageable without. The bouts are shorter and the lows (for this bi-polar chick) are not as great as in years past-Praise God!
Positive #1 I lost 5 pounds. Hey I'll take. I am not advocating depression as a form of weight loss, but simply stating the fact that I lost 5 pounds which I have been trying to do for the last month through healthy food choices and exercise with no luck. Now if you know me you will know that I say this while LOL with a smile.
The real joy that I saw is that, through this emotionally tough week that was filled with sadness, much weariness, trouble getting out of bed, more sleeping that normal and a great of amount of just being lethargic with many tears, is this, God is Good ALWAYS and in the midst of the struggle God still uses me to do His work, to glorify Him, to worship Him to give Him praise and to remind me that He is my only source for strength, hope, love and forgiveness.
My time in the Word was powerful, His ability to work through me in my writing, recording and ministering to others does not stop because I feel a certain way. This week I was finalizing some writings that I was working on and in it, I discussed how often times we feel disqualified. There was a time in my life where I would allow my depression to disqualify me from pressing on, praising Him and getting out of bed.
But today, through the brokenness, through sadness, through tears........ God's will be done. For that, I thank Him. He is my strength, my light, my hope. So today as I travel to go and minister to people through music, I know that even though there is a heaviness that I can't shake, my God is Good, My God is faithful, always present, close to the brokenhearted and so in love with me.
May God work through you in any season of your life and in any situation. May glory always be given to Him the lover and comforter of our soul.
Be blessed, friends.
This is what the heart of David sang during his trouble. May it bless you.
O Lord, Deliver My Life
1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Lord—how long?
4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?
6 I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
I love looking at before and after shots. Sometimes they are so drastic that I spend more time than is necessary trying to figure out if that really is the same person. You can see some similarities, but the transformation, most of the time through weight-loss, makes them look like a whole new person...on the outside.
As I was spending time in the Word of God today, I was struck by change. Jesus changed lives. When He touched them, they were never the same, sometimes on the outside, but mostly and most importantly on the inside. He cleansed the lepers, He drove out demons, he healed the sick, he raised the dead and HE FORGAVE SINS.
Through the past decade or so, I have gone though changes. I have lost weight drastically, but even though I looked really good, my heart was in a bad place. God changed my heart during that time, I gained weight back, but more importantly, I was brought back into a right relationship with Christ. He healed me.
Recently, I have put on a nice 40 pounds, which I am working to loose through balanced exercise and wise eating choices, but regardless I know where my heart and my trust lie.... In Christ Jesus.
I think about the times when I lacked discretion and I mad really poor decisions that almost destroyed my family, left me out on the street and separated me from fellowship with other believers.
I may have looked really good to some, but the reality is that I looked like this (see picture below) to my husband.
THE BEFORE & AFTER
Proverbs 11:22 "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion."
All those years ago, I lacked discretion, I made horrible choices, BUT GOD healed me. It is because of God's healing hand, redemption and forgiveness that I was able to begin to make wise choices, choices for life and not death, choices that allowed my husband to look at me and see the AFTER version of me in Christ.
Yes, drastic change. I am not who I was.
I am a child of God, an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven.
I am a child of the King!
Who are you?
Do you know the truth about your identity?
If not, ask me and let me tell you about my Lord, let me tell you about YOU!
This is the verse that continues to minister to my heart especially today, 2 Samuel 23:10
"He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the Lord brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain." NIV
The NIV version uses the words "frozen to the sword". I love both. The beauty and the reality of it blows me away.
In the battles of life we often grow weary, but it is what we cling to in the battle that brings about victory in our weariness. I am clinging to the Word of God. It is life to me. May I be frozen to it!
What are you clinging to today? Victory is here!
I love this quote I came across by Mandy at sheheard.org
"At the end of my life, I want it to be said that I fought with my hand frozen to the sword"
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.