He Left

This morning Carl left to go on tour. They are driving to St. Petersburg, FL for their first stop on the tour.

Carl and the band opening for Sum 41 at the Filmore in Charlotte, NC

Carl and the band opening for Sum 41 at the Filmore in Charlotte, NC

It’s weird to finally be here. It’s not at all what we thought it would be. But isn’t that always the case?

The very first night I met Carl I thought he already had a tour bus. Shows how much I knew about the music business. When we talked about goals and envisioned the next five years, we pictured record deals, tour buses, and a paycheck.

Reality is: Most of the time you don’t want a record deal. You end up not benefiting from your hard work, someone else does. A tour bus is a long way off. Most of the successful musicians we know are still driving themselves in their own SUVs from show to show. And paying to go on tour. That was news to us.

But the benefits we never imagined: our friends and family and fans and all their amazing support. The satisfaction of producing your own album. The amazing musicians you meet and the friends they become. The blessings that God has poured out to bring about His plan.

That was the other thing that was a surprise to me. When I first met Carl it was hard to see how a life of music would be God’s plan. Carl has known this all along, that’s why he took the leap of faith. But to me, it didn’t make sense. Now, I can’t look at the past 7 1/2 years of Carl’s career and not see God’s hand in everything.

Today is the beginning of a new chapter in Carl’s career. But it is just another step in obedience.

 

Help fund the tour and the next album! Have you pledge yet? Carl Dylan’s Kickstarter

Is Busy Bad?

I’m from Atlanta. Hustle and Bustle is in my blood.

On vacations I’m just like my dad, up early, and always asking what are we doing next?

Starbucks, one of my favorite places in the world, is constantly Busy.

At work, I’m always busy. Whenever someone asks me how work is, I say, “Busy, but it’s good.” Because th

at’s what I really think, being busy is good. It means I’m productive, things are happening, we are moving, I am relevant.

I'm too busy to tell people how busy I am.

I’m too busy to tell people how busy I am.

You can see there are some pros and cons to this. I’ve started to realize I place a lot of value, my value, on how full my agenda is. Isn’t that what we all do? “Let me show you my calendar” or translated: “I’m busier than you!” Why is this so important to us? Is it because that somehow means “I’m more important than you!”?

I am not against productive citizens of society, however, I’m sure you see the dangers. When you add too much to your plate, you miss out on other things: bubble baths (you’re actually too tired to find time to relax), a spontaneous call from an old friend (if your busy you’re hitting the Ignore button), and reading for pleasure. That’s the thing I miss the most. I love to read, and I am struggling to find the time.

I'd appreciate it if once in a while you took time from your busy schedule to call and find out that I am too busy to talk.

I’d appreciate it if once in a while you took time from your busy schedule to call and find out that I am too busy to talk.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy. I am not pulling my hair out. I would say I’m not stressed, because I don’t feel stressed, but I think I am putting stress on myself and my life. Most of my nights and weekends are full of to-dos, errands, and goals. I don’t really know how to avoid it, but I think a big thing that will help is cutting back on TV. It takes up time, and if it’s not my favorite shows, what’s the point?

What can you do to cut out some busyness or stress in your life?

No one wants to talk about it…

This isn’t the average post, but I feel like it needs to be said.

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year (my favorite, actually), filled with wonderful music, family, friends and beautiful decorations. But for some people it is a hard season. The subject of suicide has come up several times recently in the past few weeks and I think it’s a taboo topic that people want to avoid, but maybe the problem is, we’re not talking about it.

Here are some statistics on depression and suicide from the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44.3
  • Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.1, 2
  • While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5
  • Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men.6
  • The highest suicide rates in the U.S. are found in white men over age 85.9
  • Four times as many men as women die by suicide9; however, women attempt suicide two to three times as often as men.10

- Statistics from http://www.nimh.nih.gov

Carl and his band played for the Out of the Darkness walk to help raise awareness and support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

AFSP Walk to Raise Awareness

AFSP Walk to Raise Awareness

It was so moving to see friends and family share the lives of the ones they had lost.

In Romans 12:

10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; …

12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation,devoted to prayer, …

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

As the church we are called to support our brothers and sisters in times of need, and also reach out to those who my not know Christ. Please be sure to reach out and share your joy this season, and let your loved ones know that you care.

For more information on suicide prevention, visit: http://www.afsp.org

Do you care what I think?

political Facebook posts

Your relentless political Facebook posts finally turned me around to your way of thinking – Said nobody, ever.

Are you ever scared to post your thoughts in social media? Either you’re going to offend someone, you are going to hear the backlash of people who disagree with you (strongly), or worse, no one will care!

Social media is funny, because we are often bolder behind our computer screens than we are in person. We say things on Facebook and Twitter that we would never announce to a crowded room. Our views on politics, religion, and social etiquette are all loaded topics, which is why so often people avoid them in conversation, but give us a 140 characters and we’ll tell you how we feel!

 

“I think camping is stupid!”

I love not camping.

I love not camping.

- Living in North Georgia, odds are this comment will offend someone in my social network. Someone will disagree with this statement, and decide to tell me about how wrong I am, or everyone will dismiss my random outburst. None of these are my objective, but honestly, I probably had it coming. All I was doing was broadcasting my opinion, looking for a response, and I will get one, even if it’s not the desired result.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about it, I want social media to be an interaction, not a reaction. I want to exchange ideas with my network, not force mine on others! I want to share my life, not my judgements.

“What’s everyone doing this weekend?”

How much better if we invite people to share! To be blunt, I want to see your wedding pictures, your baby, your weekends with family, just not the hateful outbursts.

But I guess all of this is just me broadcasting. What do you think the purpose of social media is?

I’m going to get hate mail for this one…

I don’t know why, but people have rules about Christmas music. Most people wait until Thanksgiving to start getting into the Christmas spirit, but I start to yearn for Bing Crosby’s White Christmas in July.

To those of you who are passionate about Christmas being confined to December, allow me to appeal to your Scrooge heart.

Christmas has the most beautiful, peaceful music, heart-warming decorations, and the best food! What’s not to love? I love peppermint mochas, decorating the tree, and the anticipation of Christmas Eve. But more than that:

“It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr. Suess

It is! It’s family, it’s friends, it’s a time to celebrate the year and begin a new one. It’s a time of wonder and miracles. It’s a spirit that brings with it life, joy, and hope. All across the world, people celebrate the birth of salvation. It’s a time of sharing the love that God blessed us with on that Christmas morning.

I think this is why in July, I have to watch Muppet Christmas Carol and remind myself of the spirit of Christmas.

I love the sentiment in Charles Dickens’ quote:

“I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.” – A Christmas Carol

I hope that you will as well.

How do you keep Christmas all the year?

My Summer: Instagram Style

The Highlights:

Image- Carl and his band opened for Dave Barnes and then the Beach Boys on 4th of July

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- We were in our friends (Jonathan and Candice’s wedding) – The bride and her maids!

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- Visited family in Franklin! Carl wrote a lullaby for Emmaline!

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- Megan started UGA! (Our last night together before she left)

- I now manage small groups at our church (The Highlands)

- My boss is on maternity leave, and I am filling in for her while she is home with her new baby!

Photo: September 5thImage

- We met Aiden Goins and Judah Scobie! Yay for little fingers and toes!

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- Maggie and I went to her first college football game! Go Dawgs!

- Carl will be on tour in December opening for Tyler Ward.

God has blessed us so much! We are so thankful for the wonderful friends and family that we have been surrounded with!

Share a photo of your summer!

“Twenty-somethings are worried”

“Twenty-somethings are worried. They’re anxious. They’re worried about whether life is going to work out for them. Whether it’s going to work out as well as they thought it would” – Meg Jay

I heard this on my way to church this Sunday morning on NPR. It was an interview with author/clinical psychologist, Meg Jay, about her book, The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now. You can read the rest of the article here.

The quote made me stop and think. I AM WORRIED!!!

I am worried that we aren’t saving enough for retirement. Especially when someone gets out that scary calculator that shows you how much a 21-year-old could save by the time they’re 60, and how much I’ve lost in just 4 short years.

I am worried that I don’t really quite know what I want to do with my life. I got my degree in psychology and I want to go back to school some day, but that’s a 5-7 commitment to go into research, not to mention a lot of money that will hurt the savings I don’t have. (See the point above to freak out again about finances). But I also love what I’m doing in the non-profit industry and have recently thought about a master’s in Non-Profit Management. And if I go back to school, when am I having kids?

Don’t get me started on how I am worried about when I need to have kids! Yes, I am only 25, but Carl is 31, I want three kids, with 2 years apart, so you start doing some math. Genetics aren’t in my favor, adoption can take 2-3 years for one child… But how do you know when you’re ready? And how do I know that I won’t end up with a crazy rebellious teenager just like me?

Should I go back to school, should I work to save, should I just have kids now? Should we never have kids and travel the world?

Of COURSE I am WORRIED! But the wonderful news is, after each spiral panic, I take a breath, say a prayer, and ask God to lead me. That’s it. If Carl and I had a baby now, we would be fine and ecstatic. If I never go back to school, it will be because I am doing something better, not because I missed my window. If we don’t end up with millions in savings that’s because we lived life and gave it away. I also know there will be hard days, and panic days ahead, but I know that I’m following a perfect plan.

If I eat flowers will my allergies go away?

I ate local honey all year. I have lived in Georgia my whole life. I never go outside. So why have my eyes been so itchy and watery for the past few days that I can’t even wear make-up?

My eyes itch. My nose runs. I have headaches. Do you know how frustrating a half sneeze is?!?!!

I think Mother Nature heard that I don’t like her and she is striking back.

I have tried eye drops, but I miss A LOT and so I just have fake tears all over my face. Then my eyes itch more. People keep asking me if I’ve been crying.

No, I do not want to use a teapot to pour into nose. I really don’t see how that is at all a good idea. I had plenty of water go up my nose as a kid and I do not want to recreate that sensation on purpose.

I also am in denial that I have allergies. I think that if I ignore it long enough I won’t have them, therefore I don’t need to take medication. Because if I bought it, that would be surrendering! I will not surrender to daisies!

I may be getting a little delirious.

Stupid spring. It’s not even warm. Where are the April showers! I’m packing up and moving to the desert. There’s like one plant. I think it’ll be great.