I fell in love with music at an early age. At night after we were tucked in bed in our prospective bedrooms, my sister and I would have song wars; we'd sing at the top of our lungs in an attempt to drown each other out. We also sang along with every commercial and sitcom theme from the time we could remotely talk. We sang at the dinner table until our parents made us be quiet. Our growing up was fully immersed in music.
She started playing the violin in grade school and I started piano lessons at the age of seven, when we moved my grandmother's antique upright from her house to our dining room. I first played by ear and spent hours imitating songs I heard on the radio. I clearly remember the day I got my first cassette player. My first tape was of Olivia Newton John. I really wanted to be her someday. I used to put the cassette player in the basket of my green bike with the sparkly banana seat and ride down the hill to my elementary school--there was an echoey tunnel type area where I could be alone and sing along to "I Honestly Love You" at the top of my pre-teen lungs. Then I went to see Evie at the Portland Memorial Coliseum and almost cried--after that I wanted to be her someday. The list grew longer over the years: Amy Grant, Sandi Patty, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston; I spent much of my youthful energy playing, singing, writing and accompanying anyone who asked, secretly hoping I'd be someone someday.
I met Jesus at the age of 12, and He took the passion for music He had put in my soul and gave it a purpose. It was the most amazing thing. For years I have worked this out in various forms: solo ministry, worship leading, church music ministry, touring, studio session work, background singing, piano solo and accompanying work, event singing, teaching and coaching. I've loved it all, and still do. The love of music is indelibly written on every part of me.
I've written music since I was a young girl (my first song was titled "Sam's Song," an aptly named and very cheesy rhyming song for a boy I thought I loved), but only recently began finishing the songs I've started. People used to ask me when I was going to do something with my music. That was an interesting question because I thought I had been doing something with my music. At least I have tried to. I think what they meant was that anyone who was a real musician would make a CD--like that would really be doing something important. One of these days maybe I will finish a few of the many recordings I have begun through the years so I can pass my musical thoughts down to future generations, with the hope they can be encouraged in their walk with the Lord. But in the meantime I will be faithful with what's in front of me: loving my family and those who cross my path, the leading of worship and the pouring into my students. As a good friend often reminds me, "Just do the next right thing." I think that is what matters most, our faithfulness to use our gifts for God's glory in the every day, right where we are.