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And all the people said, “Amen.”

One of my biggest inspirations is music. Ever since I was a little kid, my life revolved around music. My dad was in the record business from Warner Bros to Virgin Records and receiving boxes of records and CDs, going to concerts, receiving backstage passes was all a normal part of my early childhood. My dad would put a set of huge head phones on my small ears and play a single, before it hit the radio, just to hear my thoughts. My parents were Michiganders living in Texas, so there was no country music being played in our home growing up…we would groove to Marvin Gaye, Lenny Kravitz, Janet Jackson, U2, Van Halen, Rolling Stones or jazz music.

Musical lyrics felt almost like a script of my life throughout different chapters. When I travelled to France one summer in college I clung to Coldplay and Jack Johnson. Later, Evan introduced me to country music, and much to my surprise (and my parents), I fell for it pretty quickly. The lyrics, the soul poured in, I felt like it was relatable. Christian music was always near and dear to my heart because it made me feel worthy. My dad worked the records for dcTalk and Newsboys when I was younger, and I had the honor of meeting both the bands and saw them play in concert. They were awesome guys and to this day, I love my dcTalk Pandora station, the lyrics are so meaningful and uplifting.

Music was the heart of our wedding, I was so thrilled to pick out every single music selection from the music playing when guests arrived to the bridal procession to the dance music. We were very particular about what song played when. Our song is "Have A Little Faith in Me" by John Hiatt, every time I hear our song it gives me a rush to my heart. Then later, each time our daughters were in my belly, I would get attached to a particular song, singing it over and over (and usually getting quite emotional) always clinging to the lyrics. For Halen I loved, "Compass" by Lady Antebellum. For Henley I loved "Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland.

Nowadays we sing and dance all the time at home. Evan and I seemed to always love different genres, everything from Frank Sinatra, to Van Halen, to Van Morrison, to George Strait, to Chris Stapleton, to Chris Tomlin. We love it all, I always convince Evan to dance with me at random times in random spots in our home...especially the kitchen. I am that hopeless romantic, that envisions us dancing there to the same songs when we are old and grey.

When we had kids I always knew I wanted to be the mom with sensible music playing in the car, naturally this became country or Christian as our go-tos (or Raffi). Now our precious three-year-old sings the lyrics to incredibly empowering songs versus the top 40. When I hear Halen sing, “And all the people said Amen, whoa!” I get goose bumps and smile because she’s already learning how to impact someone’s day for the better. She’s learning how important Jesus is and praying is and being positive is. She also gets down and boogies to her namesake, Van Halen, and of course, the Disney pandora station. Now our littlest is learning to get her groove on and it is adorable! So wonderful how dancing can make you feel so free.

There are incredible bands that continually come out with songs which inspire, uplift, empower, restore, encourage me along this road I am on. From Chris Tomlin, to Big Daddy Weave, to Needtobreathe, to Jeremy Camp, to Zack Williams, to MercyMe, to Mandisa (she sings the Overcome song that played during my head shaving). Every time I turn on my car radio these songs truly speak straight to my soul, and they fill me with hope with each carefully crafted verse.

“And all the people said, ‘Amen!’ whoa, and all the people said, ‘Amen!’ Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends. And all the people said, ‘Amen!’”

***My dad, Chase and I with the Stray Cats circa 1990 by their tour bus.

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