Friday, December 4, 2009

this is a test... see if anyone still checks my blog. i don't know if i should even bother updating, but i at least want to provide a little musical update for those interested...

i have been playing for awhile with my girl Amy Stroup, who has had her song "Hold Onto Hope Love" on ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" and "Private Practice" recently. she is a lovely lady putting out great songs like crazy.

it's been a huge joy to play and travel with Cindy Morgan over the last year, and i'm getting ready to head out on the Gloria Christmas Tour for the second year with her, Travis Cottrell and Shaun Groves. i could not be more excited to be out on the road with such wonderful people for an even more wonderful cause.

in february i will hit the road with Michael Gungor, who you must check out if you have not yet. then, sometime in the spring/summer next year, plans are in the works for a tour with St. Lola in the Fields, whom you must also check out!

so... lots of wonderful things taking place in my life these days. my God has worked a wonder in my life recently, and i am walking with a full and hopeful heart for these awesome opportunities he's placed in front of me. thanks for tuning into my wonderful adventure.

Friday, October 10, 2008

is anyone out there...

...well if so, i apologize for the much-overdue-ness of this post. the past couple months have flown as i have gotten "back on my feet" ... literally and figuratively. i am very near to finally walking without a limp, which is huge. i could never have imagined how long and hard this road would be. but it's been good for me... humbling, quiet, sobering.

i can't explain how much i love autumn... the past few years it has been a painful time of life, where the Lord would strip away thing near to my heart just as the leaves are stripped from the trees. but this year is quite the opposite, and i am just reveling in it. i am overwhelmed daily by the awesome intimacy my Jesus offers to me... He calls out to me in mercy each morning, and reminds me through the day of how He is carrying me... and sits with me at night until i sleep. i never, ever have to earn His love and affection... i don't have to do anything to prove myself, i don't have to bolster up my pride and have it all together... in my most broken and exposed moments He just loves. perfectly loves.

He is giving me some great opportunities with music... i have had some fun sessions recently, and i get to go on a Christmas tour with Cindy Morgan, Travis Cottrell and Shaun Groves in december. i can't wait! my life is just filled with blessings right now...

so what else can i say? my prayer right now is that the truths that i see and experience in this time of plenty, will be remembered and held onto when He chooses again to take me to the desert. even in desert times He woos us...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jesus in unexpected places...

it's been a week since i got home from Ethiopia... and i've spent the whole week simply wishing i could still be there. my team and i spent 10 days on the ground there, mostly spending time with orphaned children.

i can't explain the mysterious connection that i experienced with those kids... breaking through the language barrier, cultural differences, and age gap; there is something deep in their eyes that breaks my heart, yet fills it with hope in the same moment. they live a reality that i could never imagine, or - even if i tried - experience. they have no mother, no father, very few earthly possessions... only Jesus. and because of that, they radiate His love in a way i don't witness in americans. they know what it means to love Jesus regardless of social status, possessions and image... it is true, sober, unashamed love. i want that.

there is a lot i could say about my time in ethiopia, but this is the prevalent thought that has run through my mind all week as i have tried to process it all. i wonder what it would be like to be completely undistracted... nothing else to claim my affections, nothing lying to me, telling me that i must have it to be complete... only Christ. i'm afraid that i've been so steeped in a worldview that doesn't view Christ aside from wealth that i may never begin to understand it. but i really do long for it.

i can't wait to get back there... i could see myself living there, at least for a while. for now, i have to get those pesky loans paid off... but may i not forget where i met Jesus, in the eyes of children with nothing... and may i not forget what matters.

Monday, July 7, 2008

didn't learn the first time...

so i find it slightly ironic that my last post was called "time to think"... and it was written before i broke my foot.

i was up in ohio, enjoying a little college reunion with 8 of my best girlfriends, and i fell while attempting to go down some stairs (actually missed the stairs altogether) and badly broke my right foot. to make a long story short, i made it back to tennessee by the amazing kindness of my roommate, where i have spent 2 of my doctor's-ordered 6 weeks off my foot at home doing a whole lot of nothing. i have discovered a lot of things that i'm capable of on crutches during this time. today i even swept the floor! people keep telling me that i get a six-week vacation... but if this is "vacation" i don't want it.

when i threw my back out a couple weeks before this happened and spent a couple days at home, someone told me then that God has a way of making us rest in Him when we haven't been... and she encouraged me to spend that time with the Lord, seeking Him and resting in Him. well it is evident now that i didn't take that time... so He decided to knock me off my feet, literally... and say "no seriously, cara, rest." even though most days i literally have nothing to do, it is still a discipline to make myself sit and meet with Him. but when i have, wow it is sweet... He speaks so clearly in the silence, when everything else is absent.

i see this as a time to re-evaluate. i have lived in nashville for almost a year, and the Lord has showered some serious blessings in this year... serious hardships, and serious blessings. this is a great time for me to reflect, look ahead, and re-focus on what was on my heart when i first came here. when my undying passion was to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ through all i do here. pray that when i am basically stranded and doing very little of what i really would like to be doing, that i won't miss the point... the point being, Christ. He has made me be still, to see Him, know Him, and then proclaim Him.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

time to think...

so nothing much has been going on recently. the heat has driven me inside... and time inside has driven me to think. having spent the last 8 or so years of my life running from one thing to the next, i often get frustrated with so much free time because i don't know what to do with myself. but i see the Lord using even my free time...

i know there is a lot of discussion among Christians about what it truly means and looks like to be a Christ-follower. i meet more and more people that are developing real passion for issues of "social justice"... as i have been faced with a lot of decisions regarding my finances, living situation, etc. lately, i have had to put my "passions" into action.

for a long time now, i have known that i'm not called to live a comfortable, easy life... i don't necessarily think i will end up across the world, dying as a martyr... but i beg God often that He will keep me from being sucked into the convenient, consumerist life that i see all around me... i fear that i will not truly understand my Humble Savior or live like Him if i "buy into" it all.

i really struggle with what my role is as a Westerner, an American... when i look at the immense poverty of the world... from third world countries to the family just down the street from me (literally). i simply cannot ignore God's words to "learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause." i cannot forget for a second that He is a God consumed with "[letting] the oppressed go free, and [breaking] every yoke."

my spirit, my soul are weighed down as i sit in my wonderful apartment, or as i go buy whatever i need at the store, or as a send a "small" amount to my friend in haiti each month... wondering if i'm really doing what i can to seek justice, relieve oppression. i know God's grace and work in my life are not contingent on what i do, but if i am truly in Christ, how do i neglect what i know the heart of Christ beats and breaks for?

just the thoughts that plague me...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

just another day in nashvegas...

so this morning i had one of those moments, that seem to come every couple weeks or so... just driving down the road and thinking over the past 8 months... and i was overwhelmed by how crazy and amazing this ride has already been, and how wonderful it is that i have survived. and come out as a stronger person. i am settled here... this is home. and i love it.

things have been pretty chill around here lately... springtime in nashville is absolutely amazing. this is the first time i have seen nashville green, because i moved here at the end of last summer when every living thing was so parched that it was dead and brown and ugly. so springtime is wonderful.

i have all of my money in for my trip to Ethiopia in july, and i am stoked. the last part of my support came in from my home church in kansas city, which was the most amazing thing... God totally provided, and i love that He used the people that have raised me and helped fuel the fire for mission in my heart.

i am enjoying a lot of free time outside of work, as music is moving slowly... but God continues to work in amazing ways in my heart. i am constantly challenged by the people around me and their faith walk, and i am ever dreaming of what big things God may choose to do in and through me... here in nashville and hopefully around the world someday.

so yeah. sorry if anyone was hoping for some big name-dropping here as far as my "music career" goes. i'm just enjoying God in the stillness and sunshine... waiting on Him... in peace and quiet.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

looking up...

i might have said this on here before, but i really believe my life mirrors the seasons. at least that has been the case over the last couple of years. autumn always starts out beautiful, full of changes... but then at some point everything is stripped away and i'm left bare, exposed to the elements... things get cold. but in the midst of the gray, there is a hope of spring... and then it comes. what had died is now revived, renewed, and seems to be more beautiful than ever, simply because we had to wait so much for it. spring has come in nashville, and in my heart.

i got the awesome opportunity to record with nicole c. mullen last week for her new album... i did a small cello part and some background vocals for one song... i got to work with a couple amazing and experienced producers, and i learned so much, just in that one session. they passed on a lot of wisdom about how to get into the industry carefully and with integrity... i will be sure to let you know when the album comes out. watch for it in july. :-D

i'm also gonna be blessed to get three or four of my own songs produced soon... hopefully it won't be too long, and you'll see them up on my myspace.

i have just been sitting in awe lately... i by no means am ready to quit starbucks and do music full-time, but the connections i have made and the way some things have fallen into place blows me away... and takes the credit completely away from me... it has so clearly been the hand of my Lord working these things for me, and i cannot praise Him enough!