Friday, September 24, 2010

Tenth Avenue North

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"You say let it go, You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the ones who lose control
You say You will be, everything I need
You said if I lose my life it's then I'll find my soul
You say let it go...."

This morning I am attempting to jump start my day with an extra large cup of coffee because Robert and I didn't go to bed until almost 1 am after a late night at the Tenth Avenue North Concert. Mia woke up this morning giving me big hugs, then following it up with a string of questions: "Where were you? I missed you. Why couldn't I come?"

Robert's favorite band is Tenth Avenue North. Their songs have been particularly healing for him in his journey of faith. I wrote an email to the lead vocalists Mike's wife, Kelly, explaining that Robert had been really blessed by their songs, and I wanted to send a pair of shoes to their daughter, Eisley. Kelly and I ended up exchanging a few emails, and although the intention was to bless them with shoes for their daughter, it ended up being a blessing to me! Similar to my own vocational path, Mike never really aspired to be a musician. He was in a horrible car accident, broke his back, and his parents bought him a guitar for something to do while he was recovering. Gradually, God opened one door and then another for Mike, Kelly, and the band. She said there were many times, in the band's life of twelve years, that they considered quitting, but then God would lavish them with encouragement and they would carry on. This has been so similar to my own journey: never aspiring to have a business--certainly not one in shoes. Likewise, the journey of Joyfolie has been hard and there were numerous times I have wanted to quit. I'll pray and announce to God: "tomorrow is the last day!" Then tomorrow comes and something amazing happens, and I feel God speaking to my heart: carry on, let Me lead you, this is My will for you. And I'm dazzled and perplexed and overwhelmed and encouraged all at the same time.

Kelly was so sweet to give us tickets to Tenth Avenue North's Houston concert, and I got to meet her and their adorable little Eisley. Kelly is super cute, stylish and petite, and their baby is a doll! {Eisley looks just like Mike; right now they even have the same hair!} The concert venue was gorgeous and the brick archways and vine covered walls were spilling over with golden light when we arrived. I was wishing I would have asked Kelly if I could have photographed her and Eisley. (Maybe she would have thought that was weird?)
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The concert was a flood of light and heart-pumping sound. Mike runs around the stage with a kind of energy that would have taken me at least three Red Bulls to achieve. Addison Road opened, and Jenny shared a story about how they were going to a Holiday Inn after a concert. When they walked through the door, her 17-month old daughter said, "We're home!!!" Jenny described the mommy guilt that ensued, and how the lifestyle of her family didn't match what she pictured. So, too, I envisioned a cozy home that is thoughtfully decorated, baking my children their favorite cookies, and having lots of crafty, creative projects for them. Mike spoke about how God desires our companionship more than our comfort. So, I am learning that life won't always be how I pictured it, and that's okay... I'm trying to be open to God's leading, let go of my expectations, and reconcile myself to the fact that my children probably aren't suffering for eating Eggo waffles instead of homemade muffins.
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After the concert, we were supposed to meet up with Mike and Kelly. As it turned out, it was later than we thought, and I didn't prep my parents for a 2 am night of baby sitting. I'm a little bummed that we didn't get to meet up with them, but I'm thankful for the experience... the blessing of Robert and I worshiping side by side.

As for Photo Friday, I don't have anything prepped or picked out. So, it will be coming a little later than usual. Wishing you a happy Friday, and sending a special thanks to Kelly and Mike for a great night out!! Kelly, I appreciate the faithfulness and ministry of your family! I hope we keep in touch :)

13 comments:

Julie Fowler said...

This was an inspiring post! Thank you for sharing it! We saw tenth avenue north in last month at the Creation Fest Northwest. They were amazing. I too feel that God has laid something big on my heart, He is calling me to do something great and I envy that you have found the path He has lead you to. I also feel a business in baby shoes and apparel is in my future, but I struggle with knowing where to start. Thank you for your post.

Mrs Soup said...

What a beautiful story. Isn't it amazing how God touches our lives in ways we weren't expecting at times when we really need it? I love it.

Ashley Bronson said...

Thank you so much for this perspective on life! I, too, had different thoughts of how life was "supposed" to be- but let me tell you, it's very little of what I envisioned. But like you, I have been learning that it's not about comfort all of the time, it's about being obedient to what God has for us, and in the long run, it's that much sweeter and more wonderful than what we could have ever imagined. This post was just what I needed this morning as I was losing my mind with my two year old daughter- so thank you for this sweet reminder! Blessings to you!

Amy said...

Not really sure what is cooler...the awesome pictures or the RVCA tee! Yes, I am addicted to those tee, so comfy! ha. :) Glad you took your camera, what great photos. Sounds like you had a blast and sorry you didn't get to meet up! ;( xoxo

Laura said...

Oh, wow! I LOVE Tenth Avenue North!!!

Marley's Momma said...

Glad to hear that you had a fun evening out with your hubby! Those "dates" always seem to be few and far between, so the rough morning may have been worth it!

I was just thinking the other day (and talking with a friend) about all the things that "could have" happened and all the directions my life could have gone, and looking back, I am so blessed that God led me to where I am...because I know it's exactly where I was meant to be. Sometimes I think it is refreshing to realize that all the struggles we go through only make us have a greater appreciation for all that is beautiful in our lives! And you, Jessica, have been blessed with beautiful children, a loving family, and the gift of creativity! Happy Friday to you!

Jessica Haley said...

Thanks so much for your comments! I am glad that this topic resonates with some of you. Just to clarify, most days I love my life! Joyfolie continues to fill our life with excitement, energy, and possibility. For example, I just found out that one of my regular customers is the Senior Editor of People Magazine. (Hi, Julie!) How exciting is that!! It's just that there were some things I really want (like a slower/less stressful pace of life and consistency) that might not be in the cards for me right now...

Marley's Momma, I agree that "could haves"/regret is predominantly fruitless. Also, there were years when I was waiting table and in and out of seminary classes, feeling so... out of place. But God used that rambling road to lead me to today--which I am thankful for!

Marsha said...

very inspiring post and love the music! thanks for being a blessing to all those you serve...great pictures, too.

Jamie said...

This was such an amazing post! I really felt God talking directly to me. I've been struggling with feeling like a failure for my own children-- feeling like I'm not giving them all that I "imagined" so to read this really helps me understand that what I "imagine" is not always what God has planned for me.

I'm so glad you had a fun and amazing night!

Anonymous said...

Jess,
I almost cried reading this post, especially w/ the 2nd song playing in the background. I always wonder how you are doing when I see your posts and your beautiful creations. I hope things we have talked about in the past are looking brighter. So many blessings to you, my friend!
Lori VH :)

Mande said...

Such a beautiful post! What a wonderful night!! xo

jessica Lorren said...

That is so amazing that you got to meet Kelly & Eisley!!! Kelly's birthday is tomorrow (so is Mike's) and Eisley's is on Saturday. I just checked out the little Eisley shoe and I love it!! Wish I had a little girl of my own to wear them. Someday!!

Jessica Haley said...

Jessica, thanks for stopping by to say hi! I love the pic you took awhile ago with the bride dipping her toe in the water--priceless! :)

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