Wow... What a month it's been! I've meant to blog several times, but then kept delaying it, and now I feel that a lot of what I experienced won't be adequately conveyed. I waited too long! Hence, here I will do the "in a nutshell" recap of May 2013.
Already told you about the first show, which was great! Marijke, Eric and I also did a "songwriters in the round" gig at Gypsy Den in Santa Ana on Saturday the 25th and that was SO much fun. Oh my gosh, I can't even tell you what a thrill it is to share the stage with those two! We were a little bit more practiced up on each other's songs this time, too, so we were able to sing backup, play along a bit. And Marijke stole the night with the N'Sync cover "Bye Bye Bye". Twas awesome.
And I turned another year older on May 19th, which involved a lot of celebrating, and my first time singing and playing guitar with the worship team at Mariners church in Irvine! It was the most high tech worship experience I've ever had, which was a bit discombobulating until I got the hang of all the gear and where to put it (mic packs and in-ear monitors and lights and cameras everywhere). Ultimately, it was a blast and a great learning experience and I look forward to singing and playing there more in the coming months.
However, by far the highight of this fifth month of the year, was the experience of meeting the amazing people of Moses Lake 1st Presbyterian church. It began with a 3 hour adventure in my rental car from Seattle to this small town located in the high desert of Washington state. (Who knew there was high desert in Washington?) I got my rental car around 2pm and found myself in Moses Lake near 5. I love driving to new places, and watching the terrain change (towering green trees, snowy mountains, then lakes and desert) was really cool. When I arrived at the hotel, an awesome woman named Wendi fetched me for dinner at a really delicious lakeside restaurant - it was 90 degrees, though, so we got a little sweaty! Then we went to church to practice with the band at around 7pm - Wendi sang backup, her husband on drums, and a great bass player whose name I can't remember - and I finally met Pastor Eric Frye in person after several weeks of phone and email correspondence. He helped with sound during our practice, and then we discussed the sermon schedule for the following day. I was very impressed with Eric. He's an incredible man, and an absolute joy to work with. He was very down to earth, open, funny, kind and engaging with everyone, in love with Jesus and his congregation... Just an incredible pastor and person. Then back to the hotel at around 10pm to sleep for a few hours, then up at 5am to pack and get myself ready for the 7am practice at church. Then 3 different services beginning at 8:30am. I did 5 worship songs with the band and 2 original songs for each service. And it was an absolute blast! I'm so thankful for the experience, and for the heart of Jesus that was demonstrated by the beautiful families at this church. It reminded me of what church should ideally be, though so rarely found: Christ-followers loving one another sincerely and actively. I was humbled and overwhelmed by the love that was shown to me here, and I was blessed by witnessing their care for one another. They also blessed me with their generosity, which absolutely overflows. I had quite a bit of time to reflect as I got back in my rental car around 1pm and drove the 3 hours back to Seattle, and boarded my plane back to Cali. A beautiful, fun, whirlwind experience that I will never forget. I am actually teary-eyed writing about it now. The church has a permanent place in my heart now.
And now, I forge ahead into June, as we all must! I'm very excited for my first band show in over a year at The Coach House on June 8th. Please visit the "Vanessa's Shows" page for more detais if you're interested in coming out. And, hopefully soon (please, Lord!) I'll have secured funds to deliver my two *almost* finished recording projects into your precious and very patient hands. Oh, and, um, if any of you is independently wealthy or you know of someone who is and you'd like to "invest" in me... Let's talk. ;-)
Thanks for reading!