Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Finding My Voice

I love to sing. 
So, so, so much. Music can take you on a journey - it's so freeing. It's kind of like painting - I can get lost in it. I hate driving long distances but the best part about my 30 minute commute to work is jammin' out at the top of my lungs.

I was in choir all through elementary school and junior high.... then for some reason - singing in a choir just fell off my list of activities... for no particular reason, other than I was doing other things. I still loved music and had always had knack for learning the lyrics to every song on the radio. A couple of my friends parents growing up even called me "Singing Natalie"
I used to blare the stereo after school with my best friend and jam out to Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Micheal Jackson. Singing our favorites on repeat for hours.

I wish I would have stuck with it.
I have felt this tug on my heart to sing again... for over a year.

At the church I go to they have a team that sings up in front... I've kind of thought wouldn't it be awesome if I was good enough to sing with them?

I have been out of practice for so long though... 
It's scary and a long shot!
What will my family and friends think?
Now all the sudden I want to sing? 
Do I really want to make that commitment?
How do I even approach that? 
What if I'm not good enough?
Do I love it enough?
These questions have been swimming around in my head for over a year, paralyzing me.
It was way too out of my comfort zone to start singing again.

One day my wedding photographer who I had no idea was a singer - posted this video on his website about how he found the courage to sing again after he had  given it up. He actually released an album! He encouraged everyone to GO DO THAT SCARY THING that we've been thinking about...just have the COURAGE TO GO FOR IT!

Oddly enough mine "scary thing" was singing too...

Now... don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to release an album any time soon.
I just want to sing.

As soon as the video ended I reached into my purse and found the little piece of paper I had grabbed at church the week before. It said
"Would you like to join the Music team at Journey? Contact.... so and so."
So I emailed "so and so" and set an appointment to meet him and talk to him about singing at my church.

He just started his position at my church and is the lead singer in the band at the alternative service. It's a laid back kind of service geared towards a more nontraditional approach.

When I went to meet him to talk about the possibility of singing somewhere (maybe at the nontraditional service) at my church, I quickly blurted out... "I'm not very good... I haven't done this in so long... I'm not ready to just join, I need to practice."

"Let's Jam" he said, as he pulls out his guitar...



My voice was quivering.
I was was so nervous.
What am I doing?! 
(I thought)

I went and "Jammed out" with a total stranger at my church.
It's not skydiving but I was soooooooooooo nervous!!

After doing it... I kind of felt like


I did it.

Sounds simple, sounds like no big deal.

But it was a leap of courage for me.

I'm not sure where I'll go with this adventure but I'm on my way to finding my voice.
And it feels pretty awesome.

So just like my Wedding Photographer... I want to encourage you.

Go get em'.

This life is so short.

If not now... then when?!

You are never too old to start doing anything!

Who knows what's next for me? Dance, Guitar?

I won't limit myself. I won't be defined by what I think I can or can't do.
And you shouldn't either.



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Eye Candy!

I think I'll take these AMAZING fall COLORS... to the canvas!
These were snapped last weekend before the temp dropped and the wind started howling today!

Lots of love and inspiration!
Have a beautiful weekend,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In Memory of Jacob

Today was Jacob's funeral. It was such a beautiful fall day. The sun was shining and leaves falling. I took note of the birds, the clouds, the grass.... 
feeling gratitude for all the little things on this earth that I see everyday.

As I approached the open casket I noticed noticed pieces of paper propped up inside the casket. They were drawings his little son had drawn. They looked like drawings of their family, stick figures drawn in markers.

My heart just broke.

I wonder if his son will be an artist like his dad?

As artists we create things with our hands. When I paint - I pour my heart, my spirit, my soul out onto the canvas. It's raw... it's sometimes scary to put that out into this world and I think that's why so many are afraid to say they are an "artist." People say oh it's JUST a hobby, I'm not really good at it or whatever. 

But these snip-its of our soul... whatever they may be - paintings, photographs, quilts, sculptures, journals, scrapbooks or whatever it is you create are left for those to remember you by. 
Although I know that when we leave this earth all of our earthly possession are gone. 

What matters is who you touched on this planet.
Did you make a difference? 
Did you follow your dream? 
Did you do what you love? 
Did you sing, and you laugh, did you dance? Did you live in the moment? 

Somehow though....the art that Jacob created, all his sculptures that are left...
Can bring back memories, can make his friends and family (or admires or strangers) smile and hopefully inspire them and bring them joy. 
His high school in Iowa wants to make a memorial garden for him with some of the sculptures.

How cool is that?

I love hearing that! I hope his art touches and inspires generations to come.
I never really thought about leaving this planet and leaving behind art.
You would hope it would be when you are kids are grown and you have grandchildren.
Because Jacob was taken so abruptly in such a senseless act, I feel like the sculptures are something they can cling to, pieces to his heart, his soul and spirit. 
From what I knew of Jacob in only the short time I knew him...
I could tell he was very passionate about his work... and like most artists
he poured his heart, soul and spirit into each and every piece he created.

Recently I asked my grandma about my her mom, my great-grandma. 
I was wondering if she had any journals, or old letters.
Some sort of light that I could shine onto my past, a piece of her, a story, something more that pictures and what little memories I have of her.
She died when I was just a little kid, but I feel strong a connection to her even now.
She has given me signs but I'd love to know the stories of her heart.

The funeral actually inspired me to create. 
I left thinking... Why has it been over a week since I picked up a paint brush? 
I need to keep doing what I love.
Because I believe that when I do what I love I might give someone else the courage to follow their passion and do what they love.

Let's make this world shine!