It's unreal how quickly time passes. This has been a year packed with change. I don't know about you, but as my children grow, as my career takes shape, as my face ages in the mirror.... I realize I have little control over my life. I can't stop time, I can't change the past, and I can't see what tomorrow holds. What I can do.... is firm my stance. Settle my feet deep into the soil I have been given to tend and hold on tight.
So that's what I have done my best to do this year.
Releasing my book and album this year brought Adama's story to thousands. It wasn't easy... but it was an honor. It was an honor to carry her with me into every interview, to listen to others as they spoke her name... as though they knew her. The 4 year journey it took to write about that period of my life proved to be all it should have been. It bruised me... I bled... and then... I simply healed... because eventually all wounds do.
I've never been more at peace with the road I've traveled. For a long time the grief I carried was simply love with no place to go... well now it's traveled around the world via book... into the hands of so many... who just might see the world differently now... because of a beautiful soul named Adama... and for me that makes my heart beat differently now. In a good way.
As for family.... my kids are growing up. I find so much pride in the roads they've chosen, yet at the same time I wanna scream "NO. DON'T GO! NOT YET!"... What parent is ever ready for their children to grow up, leave the nest, and face this big world... all on their own? Not me. Yet here we are. I have three children who stepped out into the world this year. Jayda moved into her own house, Nash launched his soccer career and moved to Trevecca, and Jordan asked the love of his life to marry him. The house is quieter now. I feel like I'm getting to know my younger 3 kiddos more than ever before... I guess that's how it all works when you're raising so many at once... you can only be spread so thin. It's been nice... to see the others, and to begin to focus on what's coming for them too.
Jason and I have been through what I call an awakening of sorts this year. After years of toil, we've decided to quiet down our lives a bit... simplify all things... and breathe. We are selling our home in Nashville and moving to the beach. I can't wait to begin my next season of writing there. So much is spinning in my brain and I cannot wait to unpack it all.
As for the music. Well that journey is just beginning. I have the privilege of continuing to hole up in writing rooms with some of Nashville's finest.... I don't just mean talent... I mean the finest hearts and souls you'll ever meet. We begin the next season of writing soon, meaning more music is headed your way.... telling stories you have yet to hear. I can't wait to share it all with you... continuing to remind YOU... my listener and friend... that WE are not alone in this world.
As we inch towards 2020... I know some of you may be running.... doing everything you can to leave 2019 behind. Some may be fearful of what your next year will hold and you may wanna stop time where it is. Regardless, take pause. Reflect. Then firm your stance, dig your feet into the ground and tend to the ground you've been given... 2020 is coming. Be ready for it. And remember to find the beauty in the valley... don't spend all your time trying to escape the hard... embrace it. Wrestle with it... You'll come out different... a little broken... but whole... all at the same time. Live inside the roof of compassion. Not only for others, but for yourself. This is where joy, contentment, and hope lies...smack dab between now and your next breath. Take it... whole heartedly.