Sunday, September 27, 2015

say the word.

Happy Sunday friends :)

Thank you for being patient while I (try to) settle back into a routine after moving back from the absolute best three months of my life in Hawaii. I would need way more than one blog post to really dig into and discuss everything I learned but I'm going to hone in on a few topics that really changed my heart.

First off, thank you to EVERY single person that prayed for me while I was there. I could definitely feel them and they worked!! The Lord is so good and He is so faithful. I'll never be able to say thank you enough for everything everyone did for me to be able to go experience this summer.

I'm going to be honest. I didn't have a high expectation of Hawaii when I left. Sure, I was definitely going to serve and because I wanted my relationship with God to be strengthened but I wasn't sent there to overcome an addiction or because I was in trouble like some people were. I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 5--and I never looked back. I've never smoked or got drunk or attended raging parties. I was always at church, I led Bible studies and I was even teased and left friendless my senior year because I didn't want to participate in the promiscuity that some of my "friends" were participating in. I had a similar experience in college with clashing of beliefs and was left at square one again. My entire life, though, I just always ran to Jesus instead of other worldly things. And that's basically my testimony. I never needed the worldly stuff. I had Jesus. And, yes, I loved Him and I prayed and studied my Bible. What I realized in Hawaii though is that we allow ourselves to get close to God on different levels and I was barely scratching the surface.

The number one thing I took away from my time in Hawaii was learning to trust God. And when I mean trust God, I mean pulling back 19 more layers of myself and really being vulnerable with God and letting Him really work on me. I've never TRULY had to trust the Lord a lot in my life. I've always had an easy life. My parents are the most Godly individuals I will ever meet and they've provided above and beyond what any child would ever need in life. I am SO thankful for that but I learned that I was a little selfish in that aspect because I've never had to trust God. I was in such a bubble that I thought I was doing enough for the Lord--but I wasn't.

See, I thought 'wow ok I'm a good girl. I'm a good Christian. I don't really NEED Jesus." That's straight from the enemy. Even if I'm a good person, I will always NEED Jesus. In all reality I don't need anything but Jesus.

I also learned to really take TIME to be with the Lord. I never felt an overwhelming response from the Lord when I prayed. I always pray for Him to reveal His plan for my life, to forgive me of my sins, and for XYZ to happen in my life. I was almost praying that the plan I wanted for my life to somehow magically be what the Lord wanted to be the plan for my life. And, honestly, I was tired of praying because He wasn't answering. But, oh goodness He WAS answering my prayers. Looking back now He always protected me from making hasty and dumb decisions. He closed the doors at just the right time. He allowed opportunities to pass by me and He also allowed opportunities for me to grab hold of. I was sitting in on a class one day with a discipleship training school called awaken and the speaker said something that gave me chill bumps (which is like extremely hard because no where in Hawaii was there AC and I mean, you sweat a LOT, haha).

He said, "The Lord never wastes time."

And there I was sitting in a tent, 5,000 miles away from home to live in Hawaii for a summer wondering why the Nashville dream or the nursing dream or all these other dreams hadn't come true. And that sentence echoed in my head all day. But, Katelyn, the Lord NEVER wastes time. The Lord had protected me from all those dreams coming true because there was, there IS, a true calling on my life. I was praying one night and I don't know why but I couldn't fall asleep that night. Like not even for 5 minutes. I kept getting woken up by different things. The next night I was reading in a book and for whatever reason, "Awaken" was in the back of my mind. It's not an uncommon word. I've heard it many times. I knew that there was a school there called Awaken but I hadn't ever considered moving back to Hawaii to partake in the school. I was headstrong on the path to be the Nashville missionary. And, not that there is anything wrong with wanting to go to Nashville to work in music and be a light there. There's nothing sinful about that. But, it's not where the Lord has called me for this season--maybe He never will. I'm still working on that part of all this. I told God, ok say the word. If being a full time missionary or coming back here in three months is what you want, please open every door and please say the word. Tell me that's what you want. And He did.

I met so many amazing people in Hawaii. All of the missionaries there do not make a penny to be there. They rely on support from family and friends. They live in small dorm like houses and they have no AC and a lot of them don't have a lot of material possessions, either. And, they are the happiest and the most joyful people I've ever met. And, that's it. You can gain the entire world and all the money you can imagine and if you don't have a relationship with God, if you aren't pursuing God--you're still going to be miserable.

I applied to the Awaken Discipleship Training Sch0ol and was accepted. It's a 6 month intense training program. I will live in Kona again for three months for lecture phase and then I will move to an outreach location (such as Nepal, Brazil, Korea, etc.) for three more months. It's an incredible opportunity that the Lord has placed on my heart and I am SO excited to move back and be a part of University of the Nations. I've learned to really listen to the voice of God. I've learned to pray for Him to reveal HIS plan for my life. I want every day of my life to be a continual journey with Him. I don't want to be complacent in my life. If that means I'll spend the rest of my life in different countries telling people about Him--that is great! I'm done just trying to be a good person. I want my relationship with the Lord to shine so much brighter than anything else in my life. I want to love God so radically that when people look at me all they see is Jesus.

I think sometimes we play small because we think that there's no way that God would chose us. That's an insult to God to believe that, friends, because He died for us. He died so we can have a relationship with Him and spend eternity with Him. That's the greatest news you could ever hear.

We have to get rid of the idols in our life. We have to get sensitive about where we go, what we are listening to, who we are friends with, etc. You cannot half way live for Jesus. He didn't half way die for us. I never want to be the Christian that says one thing and does another. When you are truly in love with the Lord this whole concept is a lot easier to understand because when you are in love with someone, you don't want to hurt them. It's the same way with God. He's enough. He's always going to be enough. He's always been enough.

Life is fun. There is so many things and people and places that makes us happy. But, don't confuse joy and happiness. There is SO much more fulfillment when you experience the joy of God. The DTS I'm attending in January is expensive. And it's SIX months away from my family. It's scary. It's not easy. But, I have so much trust that the Lord will provide. I've got so much joy because I know that is what He is calling me to do. I don't want to play small anymore. I don't want to be safe in my relationship with the Lord. I want to be consistently pursuing Him. I want Him to trust me with sharing His love with others.

So, a few things. If you need prayer (as always!!) please email me!! I always pray for every single request I get from y'all. And second, will you pray for me? I need lots of peace about this new and exciting venture I'm about to go on. I will need to work SO much in the next few months and fundraise like crazy to be able to attend the school and outreach. And, lastly, it's my prayer that you will experience TRUE trust and joy in the Lord and that you will continually pursue Him and His heart for you. It's an honor and a joy to lay my life down for the Lord and I'm so so very excited for the next journey of life. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Interview || Jacob Davis

Simple music. Wordy words.
I was driving to Auburn, Alabama on Thursday afternoon when a Spotify interview with Kacey Musgraves came on and that is how she described her music. The phrase caught my attention and I thought about it for the next hour or so while I drove. I've been a fan of music forever--specifically country music and even more specifically GOOD, QUALITY  country music.
I'm not a music expert. I'm not sitting in a recording studi0 5 days a week and I'm not on any executive board of a Nashville record label. But, I love music. I love connecting with the songs and the people I get to meet along this amazing journey of life through music. I LOVE stories. I love history and philosophy and figuring out why people think the way they do. So, naturally, I gravitate towards musicians who can tell a story through their music so vividly that I can picture myself in those songs. Very, very few artists have caught my attention in that regard but I'm so excited to introduce y'all to one of those artists-- Jacob Davis. Think  Kings of Leon meets Dierks Bentley. Several of you have already heard of him but I had the opportunity to talk to him and his guys before their show on Thursday night.
Jacob Davis is one of the very few artists in country (or any genre for that matter) that can tell what could be a 15 chapter novel in a wordy 3-4 minute song--and make it work.
Jacob Davis is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana and went to college at LSU. It was while he was attending college that he started experimenting with music. He was surrounded by musical influences growing up with his father writing songs and his mother playing the piano. When he was a senior in college, he performed at an open mic night in downtown Baton Rouge. He received a warm response to the song he performed and after realizing that people could and were connecting with what he was saying in his music, he hit the ground running.
He continued playing music over the next several months. After graduation, jobs were hard to come by (he majored in geology) so he played music all over Louisiana. He got a job at an oil and gas company and realized once he started working there that Nashville was still calling him. So, he worked for a while, saved money and moved to Nashville. He scored a publishing deal several months after moving to Nashville and hasn't slowed down since.
1. What was your plan once you got to Nashville? Did you want to specifically hone in on the songwriting aspect of being an artist or did you want to write and perform?
"It started out with the artist side of it. I knew that performing on stage in front of a crowd was the end game. I felt like I knew enough about the business to know that I was going to have to write my own songs. I knew when I moved to Nashville it wasn't going to be an automatic hit the stage and get in a van and start traveling type of gig.I needed to have a product to sell. It went hand in hand, though. I knew I wanted to both write and perform the songs."
2. What is your song writing process like?
"My process is--initially--finding a good idea or hook or title and going into a writing session. When we aren't on the road, I'm writing 3 to 4 days a week right now. I definitely don't take years to write a song. I don't take months to write a song--sometimes I do but that isn't often. Over the past few years, I've become a faster writer, which can be a good thing or a bad thing at times. I'll spend a week or so. You can easily go in and throw a song down in two hours but the chances of that song being a smash aren't very good. I feel it's like learning how to tell a great story. You know? You cannot change a true story. Once it's out, it's out.
3. Do any of your band members co-write with you?
"We are starting that process. So far, it's been a lot of melody ideas with the band. Things will sometimes come up in rehearsal where Caleb can start playing drums and then Rabbit can start a lick and Teddy can feel in that groove on the bass. Those are the best ones when they happen organically like that. We spend so much time together on the road and in hotel rooms that they can say something and one of us can say something and  make a mental note of 'oh that's a good title, that's a good hook.'  My phone is full of ideas. I love these guys so much because they're not afraid to hurt feelings. No one ever intentionally TRIES to but songwriters are sensitive people so that makes us vulnerable. But, if I ask an opinion and they tell me they don't like it or that it's a little too pop or rock or country, I'm definitely taking all of that in. You develop a chemistry with the guys you're with. We've got each others backs."
4. Your first single, "Something to Remember You By" hits XM radio on Saturday. Do you have plans for a full length album in the works already?
"Absolutely. I don't have a record deal yet. It's such a different time in the music world than it was in the early 2000's. You got a record deal and then you made a record. There's a lot of people making albums now and the labels aren't making the same level of noise they were back then. It's just a different industry. I think that a record deal is definitely the end goal but there are unsigned artists who are still making extremely good music. My publishing company has been great to me so far. Forrest Whitehead (Black River, produced Kelsea Ballerini's album) and I are buddies and we've been writing together for about 3 years now. We are starting to do some more work together. So, to answer the question about the album--yes, it's coming. The recording process is more of a month to month process but yes, it's coming."
5. If you could share a stage with any artist of any genre, who would it be?
"Kings of Leon would be a good one. As far as a pop stage goes, Justin Timberlake. We wouldn't have to do anything on stage with Justin, just be there and hang out with him."
6. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far as an artist?
"There has been several moments so far but the initial and greatest one so far would be getting the publishing deal. It happened quick. I had been in Nashville for about 7 months and when it happened my parents didn't even believe me. They were like 'are you sure about this?' That's the biggest one so far."
7. Where do you see yourself one year from today?
"I want a record out and to be playing arenas and stadiums with these guys. We need to be playing for a lot of people. I think a lot of that is visualizing it all and we have that vision. If you see something, and that's what you want, you go get it. It doesn't matter if it's for 200 people in Alabama or 10,000 people in Florida. That's the goal--to play for a lot of people."
8. As a newer artist, you already have a good following on social media with people backing your music. What does that mean to you?
"I think it's amazing. It came out of us just working really hard and being at the right place at the right time and being nice to people. We are very fortunate to have the backing on social media with the fan groups and all. If they are going to get any of this, I cannot thank that team of people enough. It's really cool that people want to hear your story."
9. What's your favorite song you've ever written?
"The one that I'm most proud of would be 'Someone Else's Girl.' I think that I'm very proud of that song because I know it's good. 'Something to Remember You By' is right there with that one as well, though. I remember the day we wrote that one that we knew it was special."
10. Who do you look up to as an artist?
"Garth Brooks. He was one of my biggest idols growing up. He was a super hero in the 90's. His reputation around town was always good. He was the guy who would meet someone and then 2 years later see them again and he still knew their name. That's a job and he took it that seriously. I've got a ton but at the top it's definitely Garth."
11. Why did you choose "Something to Remember You By" as your first single?
"The initial feeling of writing that song is why we chose that one. I remember the day well. I remember the first guitar lick. It's a song that people have been resonating with and that makes us feel good. It's one of the most relatable songs that I've written. I can go back to that Spring Break and lots of memories come back to my mind as well. I think that's really cool when other people can connect with one of my songs on that level."
Jacob Davis and his entire band were without a doubt the most pleasant and kind guys from Nashville that I've had the pleasure of working with in a while. If you ever have the chance to see them interact on stage, I can promise they have just as much chemistry as people off stage. They aren't turning on a switch and performing something they don't believe in. They believe in their music and they're transparent. I don't take to many artists easily but I definitely feel like Jacob and his team aren't going away anytime soon. Do yourself a favor and check his tour schedule and make it out to a show.
Make sure you're following Jacob on all his social media accounts as well.