ONE DAY DREAMER EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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   Being that I know you and your family, it’s an honor and a privilege to interview you as your NEW album is released!

I became aware of this dream of yours a few years ago when I was asked to be a part of the music video for “In The End“. I was able to witness firsthand the God-given talents that you and your brother Joshua and the band possess! Truly was an honor.

 In The End was the first song that I heard because of the music video, and I loved it! As you released song by song, I watched and listened and was thrilled when you announced your debut album! This dream has come true!


* Where did the name of your band (One Day Dreamer) come from?

I am a dreamer’s dreamer. In the beginning of everything I start, I skip ahead to step 20 in my mind when I should be focused more on step 3 or 4. This helps me better envision the big picture. It’s also a drawback when step 3 or 4 really need to get their full attention.

In the beginning of One Day Dreamer, the hook was set pretty deep pretty early with the kind of stuff I wanted from this band. With every new conversation I would say things like,”What if ONE DAY this happened?” or “It would be pretty cool if ONE DAY we got to do that?” The problem came when I realized that there really was no “we” yet at that point.

So yeah, in the beginning it was very close to a solo project. I wanted the band to be bigger than just my name but I was by myself. I played with the dreamer idea because that’s who I am. So there was a possible One Daydreamer. And then the conversation kept on with “What if one day…” Eventually, it just settled into its own as One Day Dreamer.

* Would you tell us a little bit about the members of your band and yourself, and how long you all have been together?

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Musically, the backbone and heartbeat of One Day Dreamer is shared between Josh, Thomas, and I. I met Josh back in 2008. When I first moved up to the suburbs of Atlanta I met this young kid named Josh, and he was in a band that I had the chance to hear quite a bit. It was obvious to anyone with ears that the musical talent in that band sat on a drum throne. I took notice immediately and grew in my respect for his musical ability. About a year and a half later I got the itch to jump into a music project again, this eventually became One Day Dreamer. I began making demos and I would always run them past Josh to get his opinion, but we still never played together as One Day Dreamer until November of 2011.

So it’s been just the two of us and a bassist since the beginning. We’ve been through a few before landing on TJ Mercer. TJ and I have mutual friends from several different angles and he is actually the 1st cousin of my childhood girlfriend from South Georgia. That made for some interesting conversations in the beginning of me meeting him at age 27! Although TJ is “The New Guy”, he fit right in immediately to our weirdness. He was the missing puzzle piece for One Day Dreamer. The three of us all have very individual tastes in music but we all meet in the middle on our mutual appreciation for Classic Rock.

In our personal lives, we’re all juggling a lot. Josh has a toddler, TJ and I are navigating relatively new marriages, and TJ is a dad-to-be as of a few weeks ago. We have a lot going on musically and personally in these crazy times.

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* The artwork for the album cover, the photography, the design, is just amazing! It can be seen on the cover, your social media, the music videos. So much talent! Who is responsible for the artwork?

My brother and founding bassist of One Day Dreamer, Joshua Sims of Paper Rocket Picture Company, is responsible for most of the end design of all print and official pictures. He and I brainstorm almost everything exclusively. I keep coming to him with ideas and revisions of ideas until he stops calling them stupid. The working brothers paradigm really works to ensure that the quality control stays where it should.

I pretty much manage the bands social media. Fortunately, we’ve done enough cool things along the way that we can keep the posts coming and engaging for our friends and fans across our social media platforms.

* How long has this album been in the making?

Specifically, Dying Art & Lost Romances has been in the works since January 7th, 2013, the first night of tracking with this end product in mind. That night we tracked drums on the song called Brand New.

However, some of my original demos, which date back to August of 2009, contained individual tracks that made the final record. Specifically, the guitar intro, the organ, and the background “ooohhhs” in the repeat of the second chorus are circa 2009 for our song called Inverted. Those were good enough to recycle for the final album master.

* After listening to all 10 of the songs on the album (Dying Arts & Lost Romances), I have a few favorites. I’d like to know if you have any favorites and if so, which ones and why?

Well now I want to know what your favorites are! These songs are all directly out of my life experiences or the life experiences of those around me that I happened to be close enough to witness. With that, they are all special to me in one way or another. If I had to choose, based on the memories attached to them, Limelight and In The End would be my two favorites.

In The End is a song that I waited on for about 5 years. I lived verse 2 with one of my closest friends in high school. Over the years I wrote that memory into several songs that will never see the light of day. I never felt comfortable with the previous iterations because I didn’t think that they were good enough to immortalize that memory for me. I woke up one morning in November of 2009 and the whole song hit me all at once. I couldn’t write fast enough that morning. I didn’t want to lose the inspiration. After trying and working for 5 years, I wrote what we now know as In The End one morning in my PJs in about 8 minutes.

Limelight is the reason I’m here now doing One Day Dreamer. In college, I was sucked into a “Hey! I can make you the next big Christian Band” kind of contest. Long story short, it was not what it claimed to be and we lost a lot of time and money trying to get to be that next big thing. Among a ton of other reasons why he said I wasn’t ready for a career in Christian music, I remember one of the judge’s critiques being,”You know, you don’t really need a ‘cool’ guitar part for every song…” I was devastated after leaving there. I quit for a good while. I wasn’t going to chase something like that again until it was the right thing for the right reason. I did a ton of soul searching and I decided that I want “the better side of the limelight” which is a lyric from that song. We’re going to play what we want to play on our terms, I’m going to write songs that matter to me and not try to be something that some contest is looking for. To this day, I don’t bill One Day Dreamer as a Christian Band because there’s more to it than that for me. I’d rather play music that can be beneficial to and be appreciated by all. I would much rather be known as a Christian for who I am and how I treat people outside of the context of that three and half minute song. If fame, fortune, or whatever comes from all of this, then we’ll just take it as it comes. I’m focused first on writing and playing music that is real and honest. As a side note, the irony for me is that the song Limelight contains what I believe to be the best guitar work on the whole album. Limelight has lots of “cool” parts! Not sure if that is a coincidence or some sort of poetic justice. Who knows?

* What is your vision in making music and art via music and then sharing it with the world?

My vision is pretty clear. I started a record label for the release of this new album, GLOW Records. Before there ever was a One Day Dreamer, there was GLOW. This is at the core of my life. GLOW is an acronym for Go Love Our World. For years I have owned and operated a production company called GlowCreativeStudio with the same namesake. I believe in telling stories that matter and also creating stories that matter. The studio has retained a clientele of about 90% church and non-profit clients that are doing wonderful things in their communities and the world.

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GLOW Records is my chance to create a narrative in which we make a lasting and valuable impact on our world. We have plans to obviously support our families and forge a career with this thing. With that, we also plan to use music to make a permanent as well as eternal change in people here and abroad. Specifically, using existing connections that we have in Central/South America and the Caribbean, we hope to take our music to these places and partner with local schools and churches on the ground there. We’re hoping to join what they are doing in their communities. We will use the impact that a band can make to spotlight what they are doing and try to elevate it with them to the next level.

I have countless stories of how in my travels around the world I have been able to transcend language barriers and social stigma just by holding a guitar. No matter where they live, people are people and music is something that all people have in common. Through something that we are currently calling “The GLOW Project”, we hope to start using our music, and music in general to open these doors in the days ahead.

* Is producing and releasing an album a dream that you’ve had for a long time? How long?

Absolutely it is. Ever since I wrote my first song that I could play from start to finish on my own instrument, I’ve had the itch. That was the year 2003 so I guess you could say it’s been a while. I have made recordings and demos along the way for class projects in college and little demo CDs for the merch table for other bands and music projects with which I’ve been involved. To me, they were never good enough and were never the real thing.

What happened last Tuesday on the 18th of August, was a major milestone for me. That was the first time I’ve released something knowing that it is good enough and that everything was done the right way. Dying Art & Lost Romances is something that I am proud of and it is something that I know can live beyond me. Those 37 minutes of that album have the ability to make my future unfold before me in a different way entirely, than if I had not made it. I have never created something before this that has that kind of power. This is significant for me.

* What have you learned through this process of pouring your heart and soul into making music and recording an album and all that goes into it?

Above all I have learned patience. I have learned that I cannot force anything. Things are going to happen when they happen and I have to live with that. This sounds like a bad thing that I’ve had to endure. I see it as something else entirely. I am grateful for the length of time it has taken on this record. We initially expected a Summer 2013 release. With the extra two years, I have learned SOOOOO much about the music industry from the actual creation of records all the way to the marketing and backend potential.

This project has been gaining momentum because of that extra time. We’re poised for something special to happen now because of all of that extra time spent learning the business. I prefer it to be this way rather than having to retro-act this knowledge onto a second-rate album that we rush released two years ago had we pushed for the Summer ’13 deadline.

* What advice would you give to someone who may have a dream that’s inside of them and yet they are afraid to take that first or even second step to make it come true?

Make. Sure. You. Love. It.

If its big enough, it will be the hardest thing that you have ever done. Nobody will understand you or what you are doing at first. The burden will fall on you and you alone. If you are not driven, you aren’t going to make it. Take your heart off of your sleeve. Put it somewhere deep where it can’t be affected by anything at all and just work. If you aren’t sold on it, if you do not absolutely believe in what you are doing, you will quit.

Once you settle it in your soul that this is your dream, you have to hustle. You can’t get frustrated when people don’t get it. It’s not their dream, it’s your dream. Eventually, you’ll find people to join you. Until then, you have to wade through the initial disappointment that comes when the people that you think should care simply do not. It’s a fight all the way. Be prepared and dig in. “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” is more than just a colorful phrase. I have shed more than my fair share of all three on Dying Art & Lost Romances. Looking back, It’s totally worth every drop of all of them. Now that I am at this point it’s easier to say that. However, that was something that was settled in my soul long before I got to this point. You have to settle it on the front end of a project like this in order to even make it to the back end.

* Where can we purchase the One Day Dreamer/Dying Arts & Lost Romances album ?

It’s available in most digital distribution outlets. iTunes is the one that we are pushing. It’s also available on streaming services like Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, Rdio, and Google Play.

It is physically for sale out of the trunks of our cars until we get our Merch page set up on our website. Physical CDs will be available really soon at OneDayDreamer.com/Merch

* Any plans for future albums?

Absolutely yes! But not right now. The side effect of taking over two years to record an album is that you write more songs during that time. That’s one of the hard parts of a new band trying to break. The songs on Dying Art & Lost Romances are old to us at this point. At gigs I have said things from the stage like, “You guys want to hear a new one?” only to be reminded that every song that we’re playing is new to the audience. It has made for some weird times. But yes, we have some songs that are new to us that we think have a shot at album success. We’re going to focus for the time being on making the songs on Dying Art & Lost Romances come to life in front of fans in a live setting.

* As I listened to the songs (all 10), I noticed a story trying to be told… What is that story?

It’s a little like a journey through life and the struggles/benchmarks we hit along the way. The opening line is “Standing on the edge is wearing thin.” This pretty much sums up the thoughts that anyone feels as a catalyst for change in their life. For me, that is this project. Since I was 17 years old and played my first song, this is what I wanted. Ten years later in 2013, it was time to put up or shut up. I had to prove to myself that this is what I want in life. There comes a point when you just need to dive in and quit just staring at the water while talking about how good it could be to go swimming.

This journey really is a dying art. We live in a world where music is made up of producer tricks that have tested well in focus groups. These tricks include the trite whistle parts that happened in almost every song a few years ago, or the more recent use of old celebrity names like Michelle Pfeiffer that is currently making an appearance in 2 songs in the Top 40. Despite this musical landscape, we said what was on our hearts at the time from a sincere place, and we played our own instruments over the entire record.

I wanted to make something that was timeless. Only time will tell if I succeeded. I wanted to make something that would meet people where they are and matter to them. These songs are based on my life. There is no way that I’m alone in these thoughts that I happened to write down. That’s the story. In life, we’re all in this together. Let’s talk about it. Or sing in this case, sing!


Check them out on this mini documentary as well: https://vimeo.com/107494183

Find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/onedaydreamerband

Instagram: @1DAYDREAMERBAND http://instagram/1daydreamerband

Twitter: https://twitter.com/1daydreamerband

WEBSITE: https://onedaydreamer.com


 William,

Thank you for your transparency in this interview. I truly feel like I know you better and that the songs mean even more after “hearing” your heart and soul behind this dream. To answer your question about MY favorites on the album, my top 3 are Spiral, Limelight, and In The End.  

I wish you the best. I also appreciate the advice that you shared, and believe that it will hit home for a lot of people. Your advice struck a chord (pun intended) with me and has inspired me to “quit staring at the water” as you put it. Thanks again. Shine on my friend. 

AND to those reading this post, go to iTunes and check out this album.AlbumCover-1600x1600

You won’t regret it. Especially after reading the background to the dream that has now come true. Just go check it out. Especially if you are a dreamer too…and if you are like me, you may have some dreams that you’ve stuck in a closet somewhere. 


Until Next Time,

SHINE ON!
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A LETTER TO MY DADDY

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Psalm 84:10a (NIV) ~ Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. 

It’s been one year since I’ve seen your face, your smile, and felt your hugs. One year since I have heard you say “I love you”, or been able to ask you for advice, or just sit with you and visit. The longest and shortest year of my life. Time is a funny thing. Seems like just yesterday and at the same time feels like forever.

One whole year that you’ve been in the presence of our Savior Jesus. One year of eternity for you and feels like 100 years for us. But, I rejoice in knowing that even if you could, you wouldn’t want to be on this earth again. Because heaven, it’s so much better. So today I will try to rejoice more than I mourn…I’ll try my hardest for you. Because I know that you lived while you were here. You really lived. Even through struggles and bad health, you lived life to the fullest. You lived fully and loved deeply.

So each day I will choose to honor your memory with living. Even when it is so very hard.

Because really, each day on this earth, we are either living or dying.

I choose joy. I choose life. That’s what you chose. When you suffered deep loss, you still chose to live fully and love deeply.

So as much as I do grieve and mourn and have mourned the loss of you…and watched everyone else mourn too…I hope that I can live the rest of my days the way that you lived yours. Living not Dying. And really, you are more alive now than you ever were here. You are with JESUS. And what better place to be. So while our feelings are real and our hurts are deep, I pray that I honor your life by living and bring glory to God in the process.

Each holiday or birthday or event that is a first without you…we dread those days..and really, I have found that it is the day after that it hits me the hardest. Except this big one. It hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. The anxiety rolled in on a huge wave yesterday morning, the day before. I didn’t choose joy immediately. I had to remind myself that God was enough at that very moment just as he has been every single moment throughout this journey of grief. And you know what got me through? Remembering that God is my strength. My ever-present help. My refuge. My rock. Thank you for bringing me up in church and modeling Jesus for me.

Psalm 46:1 (NIV) ~ God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

And I will see you again. Because heaven is my home and I am just passing through. This life is a gift and it can be beautiful and I choose joy. Just like you. Maybe not immediately, but I am trying. As you used to say when I asked you if you were having a good day : “Every day is a good day.” So while the ache is deep and always there, my hope and prayer is to live fully and love deeply and SHINE Jesus while I am here. Living like “Every day is a good day.”

Always ….

Love,

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Missed Blessings

That nudge I get, the one that I can’t ignore, that’s The Holy Spirit. My JESUS living in me. Convicting. Pushing. Nudging. HIS presence.

Every single time that I obey whatever it is that God lays on my heart, I am blessed.

Usually the obedience is preceded with an uncomfortable feeling of SELF fighting with The Holy Spirit.

I.E. : “you should really go say something.” “But they will think that I am weird.” “What if they reject me?” “I’m probably just imagining that God is telling me to go.” Combined with a nervous feeling in my stomach. Accompanied by my heart pounding.

Do I go? Do I ignore it?

Sometimes I respond in obedience. Sometimes I ignore the feeling.

All I know is this, when I don’t obey I miss a blessing.

Being Present In REAL LIFE
Being Present
In REAL LIFE

Here is an instance where I listened to the prompting from The Holy Spirit and received a blessing… Read this post for the story.

Just recently I felt God nudge me to go pray with someone { in front of other people}. I just couldn’t ignore that still small voice telling me to go pray with this person. Afterwards, she thanked me several times. She said that she had been praying about some physical pain that she had been experiencing. I had no clue what I was praying for when praying with her. She said that when I touched her shoulder and held her hand that she felt a rush of heat. I didn’t feel that. My hand felt very sweaty afterwards. If she hadn’t told me this I wouldn’t have known. It was ALL GOD. Not me. I tell you this as a testimony to how God uses us as his vessels if HE so chooses, when we are obedient to HIM.I told her that it was God who led me to pray with her. All glory to GOD. The same power that conquered the grave lives in you if you are a child of God, and HE lives in me.

You may not believe me. Trust me, even I was skeptical at first. Then I remembered the verse below.. WHY SHOULD I DOUBT MY GOD AND HIS ABILITY ?! 

 

Ephesians 3:20 (NLT) ~ Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Being obedient just feels right. The blessing of joy and peace follows.

I’m sure you have your own stories of how obedience led to a blessing for you or someone you know. Share them. By sharing your testimonies you point to GOD and bring glory to God. Share them here in the comments or wherever…but share them.

{This is Day 13 of the 31 Days of Writing challenge. If you would like to see the other posts in the series, click here.}

Until Next Time,

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Wishing Our Lives Away

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“I can’t wait until summer.”

“I wish it was the weekend already.”

“I am so ready for spring.”

“Can’t wait until next year.”

Wishing our lives away.

Not living in the here and now. Focusing on the future. The future that we aren’t even guaranteed. Instead of living where we are right now.

As I was thinking about what I was going to share on the blog today, my Daddy’s words came to my mind.

I can see myself sitting on the sofa in their family room. Talking about some future plans. Can’t remember just what. Other than saying: “I can’t wait until….” To which Daddy replied with something like: “I don’t want to hurry time up..my days seem to fly by..time is just flying by for me.” He was so right.

He knew how precious time was. He knew how fast life here on earth could be over. He lived life to the fullest. He loved with everything he had and he taught me to really live and really love.

I learned from the best. To not wish my life away. To enjoy each moment. To not rush time.

I am learning to be really present, not distracted by technology or tv or even good things and people who may take my focus off of who I am with at the time.

The little things in life really are the big things. Especially when the memories are all that you have left. The simple things. The times that you were all there and not distracted. Those moments are precious.

What are you learning during this 31 Days of Being Present? Share in the comments. Would love to hear from you. 

If you are new here or have missed any of the 31 day posts, you can find them all on the Intro post to 31 Days here. Thanks for stopping by.

 

Until Next Time,

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Always Daddy's Girl
Always Daddy’s Girl

Better Is One Day In His Presence

copyright 2014 heatherdawkins.com
copyright 2014 heatherdawkins.com

 

I’ve loved the Psalms ever since I can remember.

As a young girl in Sunday School class, I remember an assignment from our teacher. Come back next week and tell what our favorite book of the Bible was. Mine was Psalms.

I remember well, going to vacation bible school with my cousin out of town. We memorized Psalm 23.

I imagine that reciting a Psalm back to God is a beautiful way of praying to Him. His words, God-breathed, right back to Him.

Psalms are so beautiful aren’t they?

So applicable in our everyday lives. They are timeless. Beautiful.

Some mornings while sitting at my kitchen table, I will flip my Bible open, and read wherever I feel led to read.

Today it was Psalm 84.

Absolutely beautiful. These words. They are deep and my heart overflows with warmth after soaking in these words.

Rest a moment. Be Present. Soak in these scriptures.

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How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God! What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer. Listen, O God of Jacob. O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield! Show favor to the one you have anointed. A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.

I long..yes, I faint with longing…to be in the presence of my LORD.

Better is one day in HIS presence..

What joy! What joy…for those who can live in HIS presence.

Nothing better. Nothing more important. Than being in the presence of God.

Father God, 

Please forgive me for the times that I don’t seek your presence first. I long to be in your presence. All day long. I need your presence. You never leave or forsake me. You are faithful and just and good and always present. There is nothing more important than being aware of your presence each day, and all day. Help me to be obedient in seeking you first. 

Love, Me

Do you know HIM? Is HIS presence most important to you? Are you intentional about BEING PRESENT with GOD? He loves you. 

Until Next Time,

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31 Days of Being Present

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Day 1 of Being Present

Day 2 Seeing Those Around You 

Day 3 

Day 4 When Memories Are All You Have Left

Day 5 Memories Made By Being Present

Day 6 Joining In This Challenge

Day 7 Better is One Day in His Presence

Day 8 Wishing Our Lives Away

Day 9 A Great Reminder

Day 10 Spending Time Alone

Day 11 My Place of Solace

Day 12 Memories in Pictures

Day 13 Missed Blessings

Day 14 Tea Leaves AND Time

Day 15 Making The Most Of Today

Day 16 Streams Of Living Water

Day 17 {NO post. Was being present..traveling.}

Day 18 When The Memories Hurt

Guess you noticed that I changed my topic for this 31 Days challenge that I am linking up with. I just wasn’t feeling the “Favorites” topic and couldn’t put my finger on why. Until this morning.

Three years ago, my husband and I were able to attend Catalyst in Atlanta, Georgia. The topic of that weekend was…. You guessed it, BE PRESENT. ( highlighted  to the left is the link to the post that I wrote 3 years ago). When I looked at Facebook this morning, a friend shared a link to a video and I knew then that my topic for 31 days was going to be about Being Present, In real life.

I could sure use the daily reminders, and maybe you will find them helpful as well.

I will be writing a short post daily. For 31 days straight. I will link each post back to this original post to make it easier to see them all..in one place.

There will be posts about how I am present in real life, posts about what you miss by not being present, posts about the value of real life interaction, and posts about limiting the use of social media, and who knows what else may pop up in between. My hope is to be real. Be Transparent. Be changed by the end of this 31 days.

I hope you’ll join me. If you are not a subscriber, you can subscribe now. Or, you can like my FB page and see the posts there as well. Tomorrow is the day.

See you then!

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The Harvest IS Plentiful

I don’t know about you, but for me, normally when I can’t stand the place I am visiting, I don’t ever want to go back.

Like ever.

For those who don’t know, my family went on a mission trip to New Orleans this summer. People warned me of the smells, and even the fluids that were commonly found on the sidewalks. They warned me of the darkness that seemed to hang over you like a cloud. They hinted at the free-spirited living. The smells didn’t bother me as much as I thought. And I have a sensitive smeller. No, it was the sights that broke my heart.

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From the countless homeless people to the small children roaming the streets, things were different just a few hours away from home sweet home. It didn’t take going thousands of miles away or even crossing oceans to do mission work. I didn’t even have to learn another language. Well, maybe I did. Maybe the new language was to See The Unseen with different eyes. Hearing their stories. Taking time to care. Hold a hand. Say a prayer. Give out a water bottle and a snack. Maybe that is a language. A love language.

Matthew 25:35 (NIV) ~ For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.

Matthew 25:40 (NIV) ~ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

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Our team worked together so well. It was a God thing. He definitely put us together. It was a beautiful experience. One that forever changed me. The person that doesn’t need people around. The person that tends to be a loner. The introvert. I learned that community is so very vital. When one falls down…the other helps him up. You know that verse. It is so true.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NLT) ~ If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

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They say that once you go on a mission trip that you get the fever to keep going back. After a solid week of staying in a room with our team of girls and then a whole lot of girls that we did not know, and sharing 2 showers with them and their hair, I was ready to get home. I know that sounds spoiled. Remember my sensitive nose? Smells? Let’s just say Praise Jesus that my buddy had one of those laundry detergent pods. I slept with it on the middle bunk one night. Somebody above me from the other group drank too much water or something before bed, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that. Praise Jesus for detergent pods and smell good thingamajiggers.

I was so blessed by every single experience that God allowed on the NOLA recon team UNSEEN trip. Yes, even the yucky ones taught me something. Come on, if Jesus traveled from place to place and slept wherever he had to, so could I for one single week. At least we had a bed. Some of the UNSEEN slept on the concrete. Every single night. When I was tempted to complain, I quickly reminded myself of this. So spoiled and so blessed. I don’t deserve anything I have. That woman, that mother, she could very easily be me.

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Then there was Bourbon Street. The Midnight Outreach through The Dream Center reaches out to the women who work in the strip clubs, and the owners and bouncers as well. Whew. Only a few of us went on this mission. Let me clarify that our team stayed out of the clubs, but what we saw on the street was plenty. I only lasted through the orientation and about 30 minutes on the street. At first I felt like a quitter. But then, I accepted that I was obedient to go and I was obedient to bow out when God led me to leave.

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I saw what he wanted me to see. No more. No less. I saw women who had to get all drugged up and drunk to even be able to work. I saw families walking through the street with small children. Children exposed to nudity, sexual innuendo, alcohol, and all of the people who support it. I saw a young boy playing a drum on the sidewalk..on BOURBON Street. Where was his momma? Maybe across the street working in one of the clubs. Maybe standing half naked in the window as if she were for sale. Wait, she was. There were the men working the doors and trying to entice people to come in to their business. There was the man coming out of the strip club and the dancer coming out after him, clearly completely strung out. She would have to be I’m sure of it. She’s a person. With feelings.

Forever changed.

My eyes were opened. I saw the teenage girls talking to the bouncer and then walking in to the strip club. Were they runaways? Were they looking for a job? Did they know that they were about to be forever changed by their choices?

I’m not a crier by nature. I tend to hold it in. Cry in private. Act tough in public.

My tears came like floodwaters escaping through a breached dam. I couldn’t contain the emotions welling up within me. I can only explain it like this: The Holy Spirit within was broken…Jesus in me..I felt what HE must feel when seeing sin. Complete and utter grief. I know what grief feels like. I recently lost my Daddy. These were tears of grief. Heartache for those girls and women. Heartache for the people who treated other people like merchandise. MERCHANDISE! It shouldn’t be so.

Story after story I could share with you. God blessed me so much by allowing me to be a part of that trip. As much as I was ready to get home to Georgia, and even though I told my husband and friends that I had no desire to ever and I mean EVER go back to NOLA, guess what I miss? I miss NOLA. I miss being on that mission trip. Even though I had to wear flip flops in the shower and sleep with a smell good thingy, I miss it.

I don’t know where God will call my family to serve next. We are going to be obedient though. Obedience truly leads to blessing. I can’t wait to serve wherever HE leads us to serve.

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The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few… I promise you, the HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL. Every act of service is important. Don’t think that you can’t do anything because of age or a handicap or even because of finances. Can you pray? That is mission work too!

Matthew 9:37 (NIV) ~ Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”

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The mission field is not just overseas. The mission field is in your home, your work, your school, your neighborhood. If you can’t go out of town, don’t use that as an excuse to not serve. Everyone who is a child of God, an authentic believer and follower of CHRIST, is called to serve. I pray that I never forget those whom I met and the stories that I heard while on the New Orleans trip. Even though the stories aren’t always beautiful, there is beauty in remembering the stories.

I leave you with a few questions:

1~ Is there something that I am ignoring and that I need to be obedient to God and respond about in regards to serving?

2~ Is there sin in my life that I need to come clean about? Do I have a relationship with Jesus?

3~ Am I being faithful to God with the gifts that HE has blessed me with? Am I hoarding my talents instead of using them to SHINE Jesus?

4~ Am I expecting everyone else to serve while I sit on the sidelines and cheer?

{If I can pray for you about any of the above questions, please feel free to respond. I would love to pray for you and help you or guide you to someone who can help you.}

Until Next Time,

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Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Need THE Doctor

~ Short And Sweet Simple Truths~

Sometimes, I’m not so “nice”.

Sometimes, I am grumpy.

Sometimes, I am easily angered.

Sometimes, I am judgemental.

Sometimes, I am impatient and selfish.

Sometimes, I’m a basket-case. Sometimes, I am insecure and sometimes, I am repetitive.

Sometimes I’m not the type of wife, mother, or friend that I need to be.

I’m definitely far from perfect..as you can see.

God chooses to use the weak to show HIS strength. I’m thankful for that.
Because no matter how strong I may seem or pretend to be.. I’m pretty weak on my own.

HE is pretty awesome that way…He has a record of using the ordinary folk..the misfits.

I’ve found that sometimes I am strong because I realize that HE is my strength.

Sometimes I am actually patient and kind…when I let HIM shine through me.

When I am weak, HE is strong.

My flesh may fail, but GOD never will.

God sent JESUS to heal the sick…and face it, WE are ALL in need of THE doctor.

When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Matthew 9:12, 13 NLT)

Blessings my friends!

Heather 🙂

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