Hello, hello (sung to the Beatles' tune)
Welcome to the new website! This has been a long time coming. Now you will be able to navigate through the pages, listen to music, purchase songs, and watch videos with ease.
Right now I'm sitting in one of the most beautiful homes, in St. Charles, Illinois. David and I are getting ready to head back home to Michigan after a weekend of music, meeting new people, and sharing our faith.
We spent the last few days in Cleveland, Ohio for the "Jesus Street" high school retreat with St. Charles Borromeo parish. They made it easy for me with the music. I simply showed up and played along with the praise and worship leader, with time to play some "entertainment" as well (think radio covers: Taylor Swift, Katy Perry...and yes, even Backstreet Boys.) I definitely had fun. It was encouraging how the 70 teens came with an open attitude, ready to engage and participate. It still amazes me how God can work in someone's heart through some simple songs, stories, and skits... He takes our feable attempts and creates something truly glorious. After a full weekend, we drove west to Illinois to support our good friends at Outside Da Box.
Eric Groth is the director of a fantastic video/media company, "Outside Da Box." He and his team create short films to help teens know, love, and serve Christ. Eric produced my newest music video and has become a great friend. He and his board of directors hosted a fundraiser with well-renowned speaker Matthew Kelly last night. David and I originally planned to attend as supporters. During our drive, Eric called with the unexpected news that the musical guest for the evening could not make it. I was thrilled to help out by playing piano and singing a few songs to begin and end the event. The talk by Matthew was fantastic. Afterward, I was pleasantly surprised that many people inquired about my CD's, even though I only sang a few pieces. We were able to stay the night with Eric's mother and father-in-law in this gorgeous house. Even more impressive than the gorgeous home they designed is their warm and sincere hospitality. What is more beautiful than generosity flowing from the heart?
A couple of closing thoughts:
1. I miss our baby son! Jamal is 13 months now, and so very fun and sweet. This has been our first trip away from him for an extended time - 5 days! It will be so great to go scoop him up from my parents' house later!
2. I am really excited for the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis this weekend. Outside Da Box is sponsoring my participation, so I am able to give a warm-up concert for one of the "Mega Sessions" this Friday.
Along with all of our other fun adventures, I got to hear some Beatles' songs, courtesy of Kevin, one of the seminarians on retreat this weekend. What a great life.