A Debt of Gratitude

When I prayerfully decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign, I did not anticipate how it would affect me.  Blame it on naivety, but I guess I just wasn’t spiritually prepared for how my faith would be challenged and stretched, and didn’t realize that I would essentially be learning all new lessons in trust and generosity.

The concept of generosity is not foreign to me at all. I grew up in a home having THE most generous person I know as a father.  My whole life I have witnessed my dad give out of the overflow of his heart to churches, charities, missionaries, military families, strangers, & family members, all the while never asking for anything in return. He is one of THE most selfless people I know and I am so blessed to have had his example growing up. Because of my earthly dad & my relationship with the epitome of generosity, my Heavenly Father, generosity is something I’ve always had a heart for. I learned at a very young age to value people over money & possessions and, because of that, I love to give. My favorite way to show people love is to either buy them a gift, volunteer my time or talents, or just give some sort of act of service. Now, doing this Kickstarter, the roles have been reversed and, really, for the first time in my life I’ve been in the very vulnerable position of asking others for help. And, I’ve gotta say, it’s made me kind of uncomfortable :)

For those if you who know me well, you know that I am a Type-A, independent person. Admitting that I really CAN’T do this on my own and reaching out and asking for help has really turned my temperament upside down. It has stretched me beyond measure to, not only rely on my Heavenly Father, but also the body of Christ. It’s been enough of a spiritual battle for me over the years to relinquish control & surrender my life into the hands of my Maker, but now, to also step out in faith and, in a lot of ways, put the fate of this project in the hands of others has been truly humbling.

Along with this stretching of my faith I have been inspired.

When I began this journey of writing a worship album now two years ago, the work that The Lord was doing in my heart was proof enough alone that I was doing EXACTLY what He specifically called and designed me to do. However, as most of us know, the Adversary loves nothing more than to take these precious moments of sure-fire faith from The Lord and plant seeds of doubt. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of obstacles and opposition I faced or this blog would turn into a novel (as my writings have a history of doing), but I CAN tell you that the biggest obstacle I faced was fear.  One of Satan’s biggest weapons is simply repeating our own fears and insecurities back to us.

But fear is the absence of trust.

Thankfully, we serve a God who makes people from dirt, beauty from ashes, and “[i]in all things…works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

How great is it to know that we serve a God who uses what is “ intended to harm” us & “intends it all for good.” And I am so humbled to know that “[ii]He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

You see…He took my fears and turned them into a new opportunity for me to grow in my faith.

Not only has God renewed my faith and trust in Him, my friends and church family have…which is really the whole reason for this post. Everyone who has contributed to my Kickstarter, the single, and the single release concert have inspired me and touched my heart. Seeing this type of generosity displayed on such a large scale, has been a real live reenactment of Luke 21:1-4 and has blessed me in the profoundest of ways.

So, no matter the outcome. No matter the end result on December 16th, from the bottom of my heart…thank you.

This is my debt of gratitude.

I have only been able to accomplish what I have thus far with the help of the following people:

John Bretzlaff, for recording, mixing, producing, and cheering me on as what started as guitar lessons turned into writing my first worship album.

The musicians who played on the single, “at Your feet”:

John Bretzlaff - guitar

Katie Bern - violin

Miki Ivezic – drums

Jay Curatolo – bass

Daniel Sikkema – cello

Single Artwork:

Brookelyn Anhalt – Lovely Life Photography

Holley Maher – H. Maher Creative Design

Jessica McKane – Jessica McKane Makeup

Kelli Mitchell – hair =)

Melissa Knieriem – wardrobe =)

Videos:

Scott Josephs, Scott Josephs, and Scott Josephs =)

Seth Tower Hurd, for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and share my story with…the world wide web. Oh boy. =)

Even more Photography:

Holly Metesh – Holly Metesh Fotography

The musicians who played for the Single Release Concert:

Heather Follett – keys, bgvs

Ryan West – guitar

Kevin Goodwin – guitar

Jonathan Sisk – bass

Tim Michuda – violin

Joe Goetschel - drums

Concert Tech Peeps:

Bri Deuerling – lights

Trevor Rigsby – tech

Aaron Powell – sound

Scot Fritzsche – sound

Scott Gruca, Brian Hunt, Kevin West, and Parkview Christian Church Lockport for hosting the concert

Ashley Black for the Single Release Concert poster design

A huge thank you to all those who were in attendance and showed your love and support simply by your presence

And last, but most certainly not least, those who have contributed to my Kickstarter to date.  Your acts of generosity will never, ever be forgotten.

Julie Kolosta, Karen Enyart, Bill Peters, Deborah Ide, Ron Lyngen, Stephen Simpson, John Nelson, Bob & Amy Jackson, Christina Peasley, Kristen Magnusson, Nancy Olivo, J Payne, Jana Witulski, Amy Rendziak, Sue Pollow, Katie Smith, Lisa Smith, Josh D’Aubin, Carrie, Patrick & Molly Lockwood, Megan Helm, Jonathan Sisk, Allison, Elliott Michael, Mark & Brenda Michuda, Kelli Elzer, Kathleen McConnell, Naomi Chinavong, Alaina Wood, Dan Callan, Carey Ferry, Nic Higgins, Steve & Sue Lecas, John & Jenny Synal, Jorgi Calombaris, Janis Bautz, Susan Fischer, Anette Krapil, Thomas Krieger, Jodee Molitor, Mary Margaret Combs, Ann Whitcomb, Dan Shelby, Pat Mueller, Mary Wall, Marianne Bannos, Jeannie Zatarski, Kim Voss, Aaron Cantrall, Dan Johnston, Connie Carroll, Jim Gram, Val & Bob Williams, Ginette Soper, Wendi & Mark O’Brien, Melissa & Dan Knieriem, Neil Greenhaw, Connie Osburn, Bruce & Jane Arduser, Sherry Orseno, Donald Bila, Korrie Gorman & Robin Hough, Kathy & Gerald Oliver, Fiona & Mossie Walsh, Lisa Nooner, Makena Koszela, Jeanne Layden, Dan Van Slett, Dawn Drake, Cindy Calombaris, Kathy Foster, Joan & Mike San Filippo, Jonathan & Emily Martin, Dan & Rachel Metesh, Mark De Vito, Cassie West, Kayla Johnson, Amy Tillman, Tina Basinger, Chip & Robin Gardner, Jennifer Truesdale, & Charlie Parchem


[i] Romans 8:28 (New International Version)

[ii] Genesis 50:20 (New Living Translation)