1. You are a singer/songwriter/full-time mom of two—you wear so many hats! What does a typical day look like for you and your family?
Typical for us is hard to nail down-haha! Currently, we are in the middle of our tour, so a typical day is composed of several hours in the car keeping our 3 and 5 year old content (I don’t know how mamas did it before electronics!), several stops at rest areas and Chick-Fil-A playgrounds, and then several hours at whatever venue we are playing followed by unpacking for our usually less than 12 hour stay in either a hotel or with a host family. Then, we start it all over again the next day! Thankfully, our schedule allows us a few days at home every week or so to retain a bit of normalcy.
2. A lot of your creativity is done collaboratively with your husband, Chris. What does that look like? Do you feel like you take turns leading on the creative front, or is it always a project done in tandem?
Chris and I are always on complete opposite ends of any personality test you can take, as well as with our giftings. It used to cause huge issues early on in our marriage, but praise the Lord we have learned in the last few years of our marriage what a gift our differences can be, especially when it comes to running a business together. As a couple who does music full-time, we split our responsibilities basically right down the middle. Quite a bit of what we do is done together such as songwriting and managing social media, but there are definitely areas where he excels and takes the lead and vice-versa. With songwriting for example, I prefer playing around with melodies and big picture ideas of what we want to say, whereas Chris is incredibly talented at creating beautiful music beds and laboring over each and every word of our songs to convey exactly the right sentiment.
3. In your most full or challenging seasons, how have you still managed to create? What have those seasons looked like? Do you feel like you’re in one of those seasons now?
We are in one of those seasons now, and boy, is it tough some days! Especially with so much of our time spent on the road, it is tough to want to take the time and space to work creatively when all I want to do when we’re home is stay in my pjs and catch up on everything that’s fighting for my attention. The best advice we have been given is to just show up. If we’re only home for three days before we head out again, it might look like blocking out two hours once the kids are in bed to write. It’s really important to give ourselves grace as well; sometimes, we need a full three days to refresh and just love on our babies.
4. How are you seeing the fruit of your creative work blooming now from seeds that you planted long ago?
The foundation of most everything we do creatively comes from our faith and from our story of how God restored our marriage after divorce, so the most affirming and life-giving thing for us is when we get to hear about how our music or story has impacted people. Over the past couple of months on the road, we’ve heard stories of how our music has soothed a mother’s child with special needs as she went into another of many surgeries and of a husband who heard our story of redemption that stirred his heart to do the work to come back to his wife and four kids after three years apart. Those are the stories that make it all worth it.
5. What inspires you: as a wife, mom, and artist?
It’s a weird thing for an introvert to say, but it’s people. It has been such an unexpected gift to get to meet so many different types of people across the country, all with their own unique stories. Even after an exhausting day of travel and performing, we have had so many life-giving conversations late into the night with people. Another thing that has been such an inspiration creatively has been traveling. Chris and I both have loved seeing so many new corners of the US that we’ve never seen before over the last three years of touring, and I feel like my grasp of beauty has continued to widen as we are able to see and experience more than just our limited field of view back in Tennessee.
6. What or who do you read (or listen to) to help inspire your work? What other resources do you recommend to fellow creatives?
It takes so much intentionality to take the time to read or listen to anything for myself when the majority of my time is spent with our kids and their personally-curated Spotify playlist that jumps from Disney songs to worship anthems to The Greatest Showman soundtrack-ha! I do enjoy a variety of fiction reading; it’s a fun escape for me and allows me to enter worlds that I feel I could have never created on my own. Music is also always on in our home; most any genre is fair game and sparks a creative idea for our own music. There are also so many incredible podcasts out there now; DIY Musician has been a really helpful one for us in the past. We also totally nerd out on anything Enneagram related, and although it’s not something you may immediately tie to creative work, we have learned SO much about ourselves and what motivates our feelings and actions which has had such a positive impact on our work. The Road Back to You and Typology podcasts are great ones.
7. Do you have a scripture, word, or mantra that guides your work?
Something our pastor said years ago has always stuck with us as we have pursued music and ministry: God will always equip you with what you need to do what He’s called you to do. The path we have chosen is not an easy one; it’s full of uncertainty and no guarantees. BUT we know God has called us to it, and we’re going to keep going until we feel Him tell us to stop.
8. How do motherhood and creative work complement one another?
Motherhood and creative work (vocationally) actually begin for me at almost the exact same time, funny enough. As much stress and weariness as it can cause, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was someone who always imagined I’d get married, have kids, and be a stay-at-home mom. And there’s so much beauty in that! For me though, I feel as though my pull to create gives me an outlet to pursue something I love that isn’t ruled by keeping two small humans alive, and this mama’s heart needs that in the day to day grind of raising young children. I think it makes me a better mother, too, plus I love that our creative work allows us to expose our children to so much of the beauty in the world through new experiences and travel that they wouldn’t otherwise get.
9. What is something you have learned in the past year that you are taking in to the next year with a new perspective?
Chris and I have felt a desire this year to really lean into the life of Jesus and his calling on us as believers. We have been constantly reminded of the crazy concept He talks about of laying down our lives for others and the countercultural idea that this is what brings us life. It is a constant battle in our selfish hearts, but we try to let that serve as a compass for us as we pursue this path of making music to bring a message of hope to a hurting world.
10. If you could tell moms who long to create as they raise little ones a word of advice, what would it be?
As a self-proclaimed over-thinker, don’t overthink it! If there is something you love to do creatively, don’t try to figure it all out; just take a step and see what happens. Talk to others who are doing it, find things that inspire you, and although it can seem impossible some days (and 100% IS impossible some days!), find a few quiet moments throughout your week for yourself to just show up. Sometimes for me, that can mean nap time, half an hour early in the morning before kids wake up, or even when I put on a show for them to watch (gasp!) because it is the only time I can get. I wouldn’t trade the craziness for anything, though, and couldn’t imagine a more fulfilling way to go through life.