Sunday, April 13, 2014

My 1000th Blog Post!!!

You read that correctly - 1000 blog posts!

When I first started this blog, I had no idea where it would lead. It was 2005 and I was heading to Nashville for the first time to attend Ben Speer's Stamps Baxter School of Music. Gerald (my then-fiance) was watching Tech TV, and they started talking about blogging. "Perfect", I thought, "I can write on this blog thing, and then the family and everyone at church can keep up with my Nashville adventure."

So I started writing. Now even though, technically, I knew my blog was on the internet, it didn't even occur to me that anyone else would or, even could, read it. Halfway through the school, people started asking me for my blog link. "How bizarre," I thought. I then found out that other blogs were sharing my link! That's when the action started. Suddenly, my 'private' stories to friends and family became a public buffet. Musicians, songwriters, publishers, and lovers of Gospel music started to follow my Adventures, and many of them reached out to me. Friendships, support, and wonderful meetings followed...

Another amazing thing happened on that trip. 
On the final night of the school, after months of praying for direction, 
I had my calling into full-time music ministry. 

Through this blog, I've been able to capture and share my creative journey. I've written posts in hotel rooms, cyber cafes, libraries, and restaurants. I've always tried to be transparent and authentic in both the joys and challenges of this kind of life. I've also tried to share a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the art of music making and worship leading.

As I've changed, my blog as changed as well. In 2005, I was a newly-engaged, actor/musician who had just received this calling as a solo Gospel music artist. Now, Gerald and I have been married 8 years and we've lived in 2 countries and 5 different homes. We've gone from individual musicians to our shared passion of Infinitely More, a full-time, nationally touring ministry. We've written hundreds of songs, performed in all kinds of venues, and have been blessed to work with amazing musicians and songwriters. Our 4 CDs have garnered 5 national award nominations, and we start work on our next CD this summer. But more than any of that, I am now someone who has a greater knowledge and appreciation of what it is to follow God's calling on my life. I want to use all my talents and skills to draw people closer to God, so they can know His love and grace in their lives. I pray this is always reflected in my writing...

This weekend, my family is celebrating this 1000 post milestone, so I thought I'd bring the celebration online. In January, I was invited to share the story of my calling with the folks of All Saints Church. I recorded it, simply to share it with Mom and Dad. But in the spirit of this blog, and of all that has happened since my first post, I want to share that story with you today:

Thank you to each person who has joined in this Adventure so far, 
and to each of you who will join us in the steps ahead.

Here's to the next 1000...


Anonymous said...

Congratulations. Love the story, love the visual, love the message, love you. Fantastic milestone. Go for 2000.

Shawn Degenhart said...

I remember sitting next to you at the computers at the commons area of Trevecca when you were blogging! Congratulations!

Allison Lynn said...

Oh my goodness, Shawn! What a memory! I remember that too. I did a lot of late night blogging there - I'm surprised my posts even made sense :)