Check out the recent interview I gave to Josh Taylor at Unchartered Streams about my career in music, songwriting, leading worship, my creative process and being an indie artist. I was very happy to give the interview and hope people find my answers entertaining, insightful and enlightening.
Last week I made the very hard decision to go back on medication for depression. This was not an easy thing for me to do, because I so detest the side-effects of antidepressants. But, the time had come to either do something or to go to bed and never get back out of it.
Since we cannot afford for me to have a stint in the hospital or for me just to go to bed (we can’t afford for my husband to stay home from work to take the kids to/from school, or to come home from work every single time I have a breakdown and am crying hysterically down the phone), it was necessary to do something.
So, yesterday, I bit the bullet and went to the doctor. I was officially diagnosed with severe depresion (scoring a 24 out of a possible 27 – the higher the score the more severely depressed you are) and was given the prescription.
My attitude to it is this: I know how I am supposed to think, I know what and how I am supposed to think, but my brain will not work that way; it needs some serious help. This is the first step to getting better; this will open the door for me to be able to make myself think the way I should think. This is the first step – on a journey – to better days.
Yesterday morning, in my quiet time before getting out of bed, I felt God give me this verse of scripture:
Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.- Zechariah 9:12 NLT
I am a prisoner of depression. But, I still have hope, and I have God’s Word; His promise of blessing.
No, I’m not happy that I’m on an antidepressant that I know, while it’s helping, will affect me in ways I do NOT want to be affected. But, I have hope of deliverance, from both the depression and, eventually, the crappy side-effects of the medication I have to take in order for me to cope with my every day life.
Hope is not synonymous with wishing. Real hope is not the same thing as wishful thinking. The difference between hope and wishing is as much as the difference between a dream and a fantasy: the former is inherant with power and possiblility while the latter is just smoke and sandcastles.
I still have hope. And, I have a promise which keeps that hope breathing.
I saw this posted on Twitter today.
Oh, I would certainly use number 5 on a regular basis.
It has to be my biggest social media pet-peeve (after poor grammar and bad spelling, that is): women talking about how much weight they have to lose and those gym/exercise nuts (in their asinine attempts to disguise their vanity and insistence to conform to media’s and society’s standards by calling it “fitness” or a “health kick”) who post (brag) about every run and every single workout as if it’s some blinkin’ virtue.
Poo of the bull! You are are full of it.
You are fishing for attention and it’s no more about health than it is about an elephant. Get real. Stop deceiving yourself and everyone else (well, you’re obviously not fooling me) and admit it.
Then, after you’ve done us all (including you) a favour (called it what it is and have stopped bombarding the rest of us with it), go on and “enjoy” that legs, bums and tums class, if you want to. Just keep the bovine excrement (about health and fitness) out of your statuses and remember that no one but you (and, perhaps, your personal trainer) care about a blow by blow report of each and every time you exercise!
Rant over…well, for the moment anyway.
This afternoon I sat down at the piano and played and sung some of my songs, for myself.
Not rehearsing. Not working on new arrangements. Just enjoying the music, the lyrics and – yes, I’ll say it – the sound of my own voice.
Now, performing for a crowd is one of the biggest delights in my existence. When I’m not doing it on a regular basis, it isn’t long before I feel a piece is missing; I appreciate every opportunity I am given to do what I love doing. It’s more than “entertaining”. While I believe that the songs I write and I sing in my shows are good and that my voice is unique, powerful and moving, I don’t know if, honestly, “entertaining” is the right word. I kind of think if I’ve merely entertained an audience, I haven’t succeeded in what I’ve come to do. Not that there is anything wrong with entertainment…it’s just that music is soooo much MORE than that. Or, it can be so much more than that (because music is spiritual in nature). However, if someone has come for nothing more than to be entertained – and that is all they receive – so be it; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed (at least, I hope not), but I always endeavour there to be more there…to touch deeper, to go further, to leave fingerprints on the fabric of the soul which is beyond the ability of entertainment alone. And, when I listen to music or go to a concert, I am always personally disappointed if all that happened was that I was entertained.
So, today, it wasn’t about a little distraction (escape) from the relentless frustration of my (crappy) day, to come aside and amuse myself for a bit. It might have started that way, but it ended with feeding my soul and lifting it above the muck and mire (that’s the real power of music). These are songs with substance. Some are sad. Some are hopeful and comforting and encouraging. Some are prayer. All are honest expression. And, as I sat and played out the sorrows of the day, I was both performer and audience – and it was nothing so small as entertainment: this was important; this was therapy.
I saw this today on Twitter.
Tweet like nobody's following or reading or judging.—
TED (@Laughbook) May 07, 2013
I immediately “favourited” and retweeted it.
And, I think it applies to blogging, too.
If I start to water me down just so I can get a few more followers, then shame on me! When I begin to care more about the statistics of my blog and tailoring it to reach a certain demographic or making it palatable to a wider audience, it is no longer an expression of myself…which is, generally, what this blog is about.
So, my advice to new bloggers? Take a page out of mine and @Laughbook’s book and be true to yourself. Blog like nobody’s watching, reading or judging. Just blog!