The Lip-Ring/ Ministry Conundrum...

I'm currently sitting on the couch at the house where I am staying with my family for a couple days of fun in the sun relaxation before heading back home and finishing what has seemed like the epic, never ending recording process on my new record. I've written about my worries and need for prayer for this record before in a blog called "Penguins...".

As I sit here, I keep thinking about the clock behind me on the wall. tick tock tick tock TICK TOCK TICK TOCK...This clock is abnormally loud and it is starting to make an impact. "Ok ok," I am thinking to myself. I get it. I need to get this record done. I have too many songs. I have over thought the record. I have re-recorded many of the songs multiple times(one in particular I have re-recorded the vocals on it so often I should just start using a fake voice like Mickey Mouse or a man voice or something just to change things up a bit). I can't seem to help it though.

Attaching the word "ministry" to anything I do seems to always put this kind of pressure on me. In the past, a song I wrote for my husband that speaks of true love and a real relationship always got shelved because I worried that someone might not think it was part of my "ministry" since it was a love song. I worried, on my last record, about putting on a song called "Sunshine" because I ended up recording it with some background vocals, that my mom likened to chanting Native Americans, and a wonderfully long drum and guitar solo. I have wondered about sharing too much from stage because I don't want to be a distraction. I have even found myself this very morning looking in the mirror at my crazy curly mohawk and lip and nose rings wondering if they come between me and my "ministry."

It's in this moment listening to the tick-ing and tock-ing that I am reminded that there is a flaw in my thinking. MY. I keep thinking and typing the word MY. MY ministry. Ugh. This thought hits me like a ton of bricks and I can tell that even my usually quiet demeanor has been noticeably quieter today due to my internal thoughts wrestling over this.

I quickly take a quick time warp/flashback to when I was 18 years old and just getting the courage up to write my first song. There was so much pressure. My own pressure. I grew up in a family of musicians and singers. My older brother Josh was an amazing singer/songwriter/guitarist/coolness oozer and I never thought I should even attempt to write a song, in his shadow, in case it somehow made it out into the light of day and was laughed at for years and years at any and every family function (much in the same way as my childhood crush on Carman has been laughed at and brought up time and time again). It was a day like any other that I found myself reading Psalm 139 and then...Wham!...verse 14.

14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

It changed my life then, as an insecure gangly girl, and it refreshes me now. I am His and He made me fearfully and wonderfully.

I am His.

I am His work.

Not I am doing His work.

I am His work.

Each and every thing that makes me quirky is His workmanship. When I open my mouth in worship and out pops this strange(yet admit it...kinda grows on you) Native American chant-y "Ha-nah-yu-nuh-nuh's" in the song "Sunshine," or someone says let's dress up nice for church and as I walk in wearing my "nicest" outfit, quickly realizing that mine is so much different than everyone else's(mine never fails so be so much more colorful and patterned), or I can't help doing the weird head shake-y/foot stomp-y/hand flutter-y thing when I sing, or even find myself in tears over the sound of my daughter singing "How He Loves" to herself in the other room; I am being the fearfully and wonderfully crafted piece of workmanship that He made. I am being what He made how He made me to be.

So back to this record. It will be something for Him. It will be a ladder to walk people straight to Him. It will not be MY "ministry" but my story that talks about Him to anyone who will listen to me marvel, glory, crumple, wonder, be held, revel, retreat, and bask in. You'll just have to hear it coming out of a girl wearing combat boots, leopard print tights, a frilly skirt(in the color of the day), a button down shirt, with a curly mohawk and a lip ring. :)