Valley Makers: Cain and Abel

Through a recent conversation with one of my most beloved friends, Julianna, I have rediscovered the incredible musician, Austin Crane. I stumbled upon his unique voice and lyrical stories during my year at North Greenville University, where new friends were opening me up to an endless world of fantastic music. Much of my taste and writing style for music now is the result of that year, so thanks you guys. I mean, who knew that allowing Randal Rainey to convince me into going to a Divide the Sea show would spawn my deep appreciation and love for heavier music and ultimately allow me to meet the man I’m married to today? I love it.

Anyways, the first time I saw him perform live was at Leopard Forest  in Travelers Rest, the place where I discovered chocolate covered espresso beans (how did I manage to grow up in Miami and still be so sheltered?)

He sat down in a chair in the front of the room and started playing his acoustic guitar, and then opened his mouth. The voice that came out astounded me, because at that point, most of the male voices I was accustomed to resembled that of Yellowcard, Five Iron Frenzy and Usher. Whew.

I immediately fell into the story that was his set list that night, and I was sold. I grabbed his cd and my friend Bethany and I listened to it for months.

Julianna saw him live some weeks back, and was telling me about his lyrical writings through Genesis. Here’s a portion of the lyrics from the Valley Maker’s song, Cain and Abel:

You don’t know why 
The hands do what they do 
Was it a split decision? 
Or was it laid out for you 
Within your composition 
Were you only true? 
You are a violent man 
Were you the first to choose? 
Are you forgiven? 
He put a mark on you 


This really resonates with me. So far, 2013 has been all about these questions, over and over spinning around in my head and heart. Not necessarily for Cain, but for myself and the people I love. I can appreciate a musician brave enough to write a song about the unwritten parts in between the lines of the stories that I, as a believer, say that I subscribe to. What were these stories of old really about? What, besides the most obvious of truths, is God trying to show me that I miss on a daily basis?

Here’s the song. Give it a listen, and feel free to share your thoughts (in a respectful manner, of course).

March Writing Challenge Day 21: ‘Course He Isn’t Safe.

I’ve felt the dry heat of hell

Nipping violently at my heals

On the darkest nights of my barely lived life

When my sin is no longer concealed

Disintegrating right off my brittle bones

Like the rust on an old automobile

Laid out prostrate and not a single tear left

Now the light can finally do a skin peel

Making its way through all the cracks and valleys

Breaking up habits congealed

Finding its way to the root of my mess

A feeling that’s almost unreal

Attacking my sludge-covered heart like an untamed lion

Squeezing that evil until it squeals

Bleeding the death right out of my tendons

The tomb I was in unsealed

Twisting and blending, what excruciating pain

As the lion devours His meal

Torn apart, massacred, and gracefully broken

I am ready and willing to heal.


“Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But He’s good. He’s the king, I tell you.”

March Writing Challenge Day 11: No One Remembers Last Year’s To-Do Lists

Everything seems fine. This morning we all woke up and enjoyed the early hours, ate breakfast, read a couple of books and went our separate ways for the day.

I had a great workout at the gym. Got real sweaty. I enjoyed a much needed food boost of two eggs and a piece of Ezekiel bread, the kind with the raisins and cinnamon. It was so delicious.

I washed myself off, cleaned our bedroom and started my work.

All is well, right?

I don’t know. For some reason, I feel sad; perhaps a little overwhelmed. Last week was kind of a disaster. Abe started the week off with a bad case of strep. He was out of commission for the whole week. Taking care of him was quite a pleasure, because we had many moments of cuddling. It was still exhausting, nonetheless. More so emotional than physical, but one affects the other. I also put quite a bit of anxiety and stress on myself last week, struggling with what people thought of me as a mom, as a part of a group, and as a person in general.

You know how one week it is so easy to believe in who you are as God’s child, and then the very next week that’s all dashed to pieces and you cannot make yourself, with all of your will, believe better?

That was last week. I’m better now, but my body feels faint. Self-inflicted anxiety really does a number on this girl.

Sometimes life calls for rest. It’s so difficult for me to answer that call when there are tasks and responsibilities piling up and people depending on me. The fear of judgement from others for  simply taking a nap is just TOO much to handle! Gosh, as if anyone even needs to know about me taking a nap. What a weirdo.

Maybe I’m afraid of the judgement I’ll place on myself.

But I know that this time next year, my to-do list for today won’t even be a distant memory, because it ultimately isn’t important in the grand scheme of life.

Do you ever think about that? Can you remember a to-do list from this day last year?

Of course not.

I’m feeling the weight of last week. I’m overwhelmed. I’m going to go lay down and rest.

And that is that.