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Don't let the Thunder Scare you Away from your Dream.

So, the last few blog posts have been analogy's of "Walking Toward the Rain", then "Standing in the Rain", meaning walking toward the dream God has for me & Standing in the middle of the dream happening! (If you haven't already, go back & read those posts!)

Well, it's not all butterflies & roses doing your dream. I had a moment of "Wow!! I can't believe everything is happening and I actually get to do this dream that's been in my heart for over a year!" Then, The thunder rolled in the midst of the rain & the tone changed to fear & I thought "How am I going to do this?!?! Am I good enough?? How can I do this with kids?!" I had a panic moment that almost scared me away from what I was supposed to be doing. Most of it wrapped up in insecurity of "what are people going to think of me?" Or "who am I to think I can do something like this with 2 kids & do it well?" Especially in a season with a cranky toddler who is getting her 2 year old molars and testing me more than ever! 

I'm telling you that voice of fear or the thunder can send you running, but you have to stand your ground in the midst of fear & DO IT AFRAID.

You see I'm not new to this concept of doing things Afraid. In fact, most of my music "career" has been BIG opportunities that I said yes to even though I was afraid & felt small & insignificant, but you know what? I did them! I didn't let my fear stop me!! Courage isn't the absence of fear, it's doing it in spite of being afraid!! 

It's not easy though. The process can be grueling. For this I am constantly in prayer, surrendering my fears to the one that brings the rainbow 🌈 in the midst of the rain. God is true to His word & I have to TRUST His promises are true. That "He'll never leave or forsake me." That "He knows the plans He has for me.." Also, remembering the words that He's spoken over me & holding tight to them.

I had the most incredible experience at church on Sunday that is like a crazy full circle moment. Hang with me as I describe this crazy/cool God Story!

Me & my hubby Brett were at our Church Jesus Culture Sacramento & worshipping & all of a sudden Brett leaned over to me & started praying for me. He told me he saw a picture of my music being like a Joshua Tree in the Desert. Cool & Unique, like how people come from all over to just take pictures of these unique trees. They also THRIVE even in the desert because their root system is very extensive... Remember my desert picture of me walking through the desert toward the rain?! I resonated with that picture so well! 

Also, When we in SoCal visiting friends a year ago, we pulled over to the side of the road to take pictures of the Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert! They were so cool & we were just captivated by them & kept looking up facts about them.  At the time, I was reading my pastors book "ROOTED" & he talks about thriving no matter what season you're in because you are rooted in Jesus. That rooted people have extensive Root Systems with Jesus. 

Get Banning's Book "Rooted" here πŸ‘‡πŸ»

http://jesusculture.com/rootedbook/

All of that came back to my memory as Brett shared this picture with me!! 

As Dean, one of our pastors got up to share the message, he told his story about dealing with disappointment in his life in ministry & his dreams. Me and Brett resonated with everything he was saying! He shared a verse out of PSALM 107:4 that leapt off the page at me..  IT WAS TALKING ABOUT THE DESERT. 

"Some of you wandered for years in the desert,
    looking but not finding a good place to live,
Half-starved and parched with thirst,
    staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion.
*THIS PART THOUGH 😭* --> Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God.
    He got you out in the nick of time;
He put your feet on a wonderful road
    that took you straight to a good place to live.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
He poured great draughts of water down parched throats;
    the starved and hungry got plenty to eat."

Listen to the message here πŸ‘‡πŸ»

https://jesusculture.com/sacramento/podcast/?listen=freedom-from-disappointment

Me and Brett went up to Dean to talk to him after the message & encourage him about how much his message spoke to us. We shared our story of disappointment of how we both gave up our dreams but how God has been giving us NEW dreams even in a desert season.

Not even a second later, I turn to leave & a woman is standing in front of me & she says "Hi! You don't know me, but I felt like God gave me a word for you!" Shocked, I said "ok.." she went on and said "I feel like God has placed a music & creative gifting in you & he wants to bless & use it!" -- I immediately broke down in tears! I told her, "thank you so much, you don't even know what that means to me! I'm a singer/songwriter & just started recording an EP & I've been really scared & that just means so much!!" 

Can we all just say, "WOW." 

I've never seen something spoken a year ago, come so full circle! I mean, I'm such a doubter, but now I don't know if I can doubt anymore! πŸ˜† 

I think that's the thing you have to cling on to in the midst of fear. Not your insignificance & how small you feel, but HOW BIG God is! 

But also, I think we don't really step into our power because WE DON'T KNOW WHO we are & WHOSE we are.

Gideon in the Old Testament was instructed to defeat an army of over 100,000 with 300 men. 😳 He was freaked out (as anyone would be!). But God let Gideon peek into the enemy camp to listen in on what they were saying about Gideon's army. And guess what?!?! The enemy was terrified because GOD was on their side!! That encouraged Gideon to know it was going to be ok! And guess what?!?! Gideon's army won & they didn't even have to fight! The Enemy army ended up turning on itself!

What if we realized WHO we are and WHOSE we are? What if we realized the enemy is scared to death of us walking out in our dreams because he knows how powerful we are? The thunder is just a scare tactic, but we can't let it scare us away from our dream!! 

We have to remember God is on our side! That He is our strength when we are weak & faithful to His promises! 

So, Dream Afraid. Conquer fear. Know WHO you are and WHOSE you are! You are more powerful than you know!!

----

Update!!

I just got some DEMO'S that my producer Jeffrey Kunde is working on & I'm SO Excited you guys!!! It had my parents crying within seconds of hearing & just really moving in general. This is going to be big & hit hearts, I just know it! πŸ’“πŸŽΆπŸŽ‰πŸ‘πŸ˜­πŸ’•βœ¨

Standing in the Rain: The Life EP

This is an exciting follow up from my last blog post "Walking Toward the Rain"! It's a really cool story of FAITH. If you aren't into that sort of thing, just hang in there with me! You won't believe how this all plays out! πŸ™Œ

I have had a blast playing local shows & have had a really great response to my music which has been super encouraging. I've felt a stirring in my heart for a while that "Now is the time" to sort of pursue some of my dreams with my music, but it's hard & Scary to step out, you know?

To sort of set the stage I've gotta take you back a few months. 

I had the amazing privilege to attend the Jesus Culture conference in Sacramento with one of my friends in Ohio & God spoke SO MUCH through the speakers & the worship. They kept singing songs like "Fresh Outpouring" & "Let it rain" & I just opened up my hands to receive it! He gave me that picture of walking toward the rain (read last Blog) & I was ready to soak it up and stand in it!! I felt God sort of calling me out & giving me a fresh vision. Random People at the conference would come up to me and say things like "I feel like God is opening doors for your music" or "there is POWER on your music". I also felt like God was asking me "what do you want?" I sort of wrote out what I wanted to do with music & that I wanted my music to be heard, not on Christian Radio but everywhere. That He'd open doors for me to be able to encourage other artists & use my music to help people who are hurting & use my story to make an impact. I also got a verse in Isaiah 6 where God touches a coal on Isaiah's lips to anoint him to speak to the people God called him to. I felt like He was speaking that over me too! <---- This stuff seems so crazy right?! Who am I to dream this big or do this stuff?!?! Keep reading..

Fast forward a few months later, April 4th to be exact. Me and My husband went over to our friends house for a worship and prayer night & just as we were headed out the door, one of the guys there stoped the us in our tracks and says to everyone "hey everyone, this lady has an amazing gift for worship!!" Before I know it everyone is surrounding me and praying over me. Some really specific words were spoken over me that had to do with using my story to help others, restoring dreams I had when I was young pertaining to music & also that doors were opening & that people of influence would hear my music & that something big was going to happen in the next 60 days. So much more was spoken over me that was exactly what I had been hearing from the Lord & what I was about but they HAD NO CLUE. They didn't know me at all! That's how you know God is really speaking. <----- again though, I was thinking who am I that God would use me? I'm 30, I'm a stay at home mom, I don't know anyone here.. we'll see if all this really happens.. but a fire had lit in my heart. Hope was rising up!

I'm blessed to be in an amazing community of people who have encouraged me in this process! They have encouraged me to play music, invited me to lead worship at our city Group & prayed for me & championed me to not give up on my dreams! One of my good friends even took some promo photos for me to use for my music & I ended up writing a song for her project she is working on!! They called out things in me I didn't even know were in me! It gave me courage to try. 

I started dreaming again about a Project called The Life EP. It'd be all songs about my current stage of life, motherhood & marriage! I wrote out my concept, the songs I'd have on it & my dreams for it & started to get really excited, but I didn't really know any one who recorded here!

Well, I decided to just take a leap of faith & contact the ONLY recording studio that I knew of because a bunch of amazing artists at my church, Jesus Culture Sacramento record there. I got a reply back and found out it would be $50 an hour to record in the smaller studio (much more for the bigger one) & I got a little discouraged. I had maybe $150 in my music fund jar, and that would get me maybe a guitar track! Haha! BUT I remembered what God spoke to me & prayed as I was on a little walk with my family. My pastor Banning Liebscher gave a really good message one Sunday about asking God for specifics pertaining to what you need, so I asked. I laid out the amount I'd need & how I felt discouraged & didn't know what to do, but said I Trust you in the process & need your help. 

I came home & told my parents about the email & my prayer & they reminded me about some money that was coming in that was the exact amount I'd need to record the EP! I had an answered prayer that VERY NIGHT. 

I messaged the studio back & let them know I was good to go & they were so awesome working with me & with my budget! 

So, I am recording an EP. It's a miracle EP really. I can't even believe it's happening! Just as one of my friends said it's all happened within 60 days almost to the T!!

Jeffrey Kunde (amazingly talented guitarist for Jesus Culture)  is helping me with Preproduction & Jeremy Edwardson (pro producer/musician extraordinaire) is helping me record all the final vocals & instruments for a day up in Redding at Sound House Studios! & get this. I can record all the preproduction tracks in the comfort of my own home & won't have to worry about the kids!!  I was really worried about that as a stay at home mom! Every detail is just so perfect!
 
My dream for this EP is to get some of the songs licensed for TV & Film like I've done in the past with songs on MTV & Noggin! I'm also going to have it be sort of an introduction to the media & venues here in Sacramento to get to know me, since I'm new here. I'm also going to make a really fun/funny music video for my song "Mom Life" that I'm going to send to mom bloggers, mom conventions, mom YouTube folks & podcasters! Moms need so much encouragement, & I know the message will spread.

So here's to dreaming BIG & stepping out in faith! When it's God who is calling you, nothing will stop you! Seek out HIS will & don't be afraid when He calls you out! He wants you to use your specific story & gift to change the world. I want to be really vulnerable in this process, because none of us have it figured out! We need to know hey, if Heather can do it, we'll, maybe I can do it too! 😊