Summer is a great time to reflect and check if you're on the right course or not. My husband and I will be spending some time in prayer and planning this summer so that when we go back to work we are prioritising the right things. As I was doing that I got some inspiration to write a bit for you.
Today I am going to encourage you out of being stuck. It's a chapter from my upcoming book (TOO) about how I learned to stop making excuses when I felt I was in the wrong place. I hope it will encourage you to make some moves to make your life better. I would really appreciate some feedback on this chapter which is called "Too Stuck?" and help you get "unstucked".
But first I'd love to share a picture from our vacation. We were out droning around the Swedish countryside and taking pictures all over the place so we can bring some awesome music videos to you this next coming year.. Here is one of from a little harbour in Sweden on the West coast. We could have stayed at home and been bored but we chose to take a road trip, camp and find new exciting places to see.
The choice is always yours to change your situation. For most of my life I made excuses why I didn't like the situation I was in. But as time went on I learned that I need to take action and stop making excuses. I was my best worst enemy until I started changing my attitudes and even my
(from the book I'm writing, Too Young, Too Old, Too Ugly)
"Have you ever felt like a fish out of the water in a group of people - as if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time? I have. For years I would just let life roll by and “accept my fate” taking what I could get of belonging and acceptance. I am here to tell you, you don’t need to stay where you are not accepted. You don’t have to stay where you are planted if you are not blooming. Your life is in your hands and you can change the course of things by taking the necessary steps to remove yourself out of stagnant and/or harmful situations. When you seem to be stuck in the wrong crowd because you are different, or your gifts don’t seem to be needed, maybe it is high time to change the crowd you’re hanging out with.
If what you do well doesn’t seem to be important to those around you in your place of work or worship, odds are that you are in the wrong place and that need to move on in order to grow and bloom as God has intended you to. Your unique gifts require special soil, adequate water and lots of sunshine.
I’ve seen a friend’s garden where they didn’t get many strawberries because the plants were tucked in under a shady bush. Deprived of sunlight, the plants grew tall and skinny looking for sunlight and the berries were few and small. Our garden, however has many plants in sunny place and by patiently watering and gleaning the patch from weeds, it has produced many berries. Are you in the right garden?
Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a situation where the gifts you have don’t seem prioritised because they differ from what people around you need. Don’t just stay where you are and get down and out! Find a place where you can grow!
Now that you have checked your self image, (chapter 7), take a look around you and see where your gifts could be wanted, appreciated and desired. Move you and your stuff closer to that.
In my life I found that the churches attended through the years didn’t seem to want my music. Don’t get me wrong - I love the people there and the music was always good, but churches didn’t seem to want to listen to my music. For years I was sad about this but accepted it. I felt frustrated but put up with that - something that mede me unfruitful,
The problem with my music was that I was sharing my songs in the wrong place. The worship leaders of these various churches were stuck in a bind, having to choose a limited amount of songs for each service, with a particular purpose in mind and in a predetermined program. They knew that the pastor and church goers preferred songs that they already knew or were recent hits. The band leader most often chose popular (others’) songs that were going to work within the church program because they were proven to work well in other churches. They chose the safe way out, using the latest hits from Hillsong and Bethel, songs that their own denomination’s worship leaders had written, popular videos and hymns. There was no room for testing s local songwriter’s songs even if the songs were biblical, worship songs of high quality.
Through the years, I’ve spoken to various songwriting friends who have experienced the same difficulty getting their songs heard within their churches as I have. This, apparently, is a common problem for Christian songwriters - you write songs but they don’t easily get into the church to edify them there.
I remember asking a world renowned inspirational songwriter and worship leader, when he was here on tour in Sweden, about this. He said, “Just record your songs and give them to your worship leader on a cassette to listen to”, (that was way back in the 80s). So, I did. I recorded 10 songs and gave the cassette to my worship leader. A year later he gave it back to me and said. “Here’s your cassette. I haven’t had time to listen to it, but it is better that you get it back now…I am so busy”. O.k., I understand and there are no hard feelings - the man has 6 kids, a full time job and was busy leading music at church on Sundays. I get it that he didn’t have time. But still…?
In another church I did manage to get one of my Swedish songs (I Dig Är Jag Stark - a latino pulse song about healing), sung once in a church service and then. strangely, it was never used again.
What I didn’t understand at the time was that I needed to put my music in another place than in the hands of any worships leader. The church system has its limitations and the folks that might like my music could get it on the Internet instead. So that’s what I have done.
As soon as I began to put my music up on Reverbnation, Youtube and other sites people who liked my music started contacting me. I was invited to Nashville to audition for a tour and I started networking with other musicians and songwriters - I was in the right garden and the sunshine began pouring down. So I began to grow!
I started to understand that I didn’t fit into the church as a songwriter, (although I do as a bass player, guitarist and monkey box banger). So, when I dropped the Change My Mind album in 2020 I knew that it didn’t contain worship music and the songs wouldn’t be candidates for use in my local church. But it didn’t matter to me anymore. I wasn’t angry or sad about that because I knew that the songs on the album were not worship music and would not fit into the church program.
Although I do write and release worship music and their videos (ex.: I’m Leaning on You), I know that I am not a worship leader and I don’t expect any church to play my songs. (If they will in the future that’s cool.) But whether they do or not dosen't phase me because I know that people are listening outside of the church. I can see it in my stats. People are being inspired and encouraged all over the globe and that means I am in the right place now. My focus, my place, is now where I can inspire people on the Internet not in a building, And, I am free to mix worship songs, political statements and songs about life in any genre my heart desires. I am free to be me as I work from my studio here at Featherhead Media and place them with love on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and YouTube.
So, if you feel that you are stuck in the wrong place and feel that your gifts are not being appreciated where you are, move on. Find another forum, a better environment or a more encouraging group to be in where you are needed and appreciated and where you can be you with your uniqueness and gifts. The only thing stopping you from being stuck is you."
Until next time!