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).

Thomas Wynn Wednesday: Turn it Into Gold

So my friend Eb gets to play guitar/banjo for the Jailbirds this Friday night at the High Dive in Gainesville, and they are opening for Thomas Wynn and the Believers. I didn’t get to experience this band until last week when Eb showed me some videos. I mean, I was sold before the first song was over.

Watch this video. Enjoy. Research them and discover their story. If you are in North or Central Florida, join Daniel and I this Friday night in watching them live. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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Oh, Hey 2013… Didn’t see ya there.

Guys….. how ON EARTH are we already half way through January of 2013? Why is time being so rude and rushing me through the month?

So you see, my lack of posts is not my fault. Ha.

No, but seriously, 2013, am I right? I’m excited, but already exhausted, for this new year. I don’t honestly know how super bloggers, who also happen to be moms AND who also have passions they are pursuing, blog every day. I’ve tried the suggestions and organization tips and all. But here’s the thing- I refuse to over-work myself into frenzy, which inevitably leads me down a path of emotional, mental, physical and spiritual destruction. That’s not a pretty sight- usually it looks like me in a constant state of tears and suffering from some kind of crazy illness.

If there’s any kind of New Years Resolution for me this year, it will be to pace myself.

I made such a ridiculous list of NYR’s last year, because it was the first time I’d actually written one out. Looking back at that list, it dawned on me that those kinds of projects and goals take YEARS for people to achieve, and that’s if you are super driven. I haven’t always had the “go get ’em!” attitude, so I have no idea what I was thinking. BUT- I did accomplish one resolution on that list:

Have a successful blog.

Some of you, I’m sure very boisterously, just laughed out loud. You are thinking, “Megan… c’mon, girl. Have you seen a successful blog? You don’t even have one ad on your page. There are barely any comments on your posts. You posted like 2 times last month!”

Here’s what I said to myself last January.

“If one single person tells methat they benefited from something I wrote in a blog post, then I will consider my blog a success.”

Well, that happened. In fact, it happened all year. My most difficult and painful posts, the ones that were accompanied by anger and tears and lots of talking to God, were the ones that were followed by texts from friends and family that said they “really needed to read that, so thanks.” It was especially affirming to read the rare, encouraging comment from a complete stranger.

Don’t get me wrong, the posts about hair and soap and thrift store shopping are fun, and I love doing them. They are things that I enjoy, and will continue to share them. But after doing this for a year, I can look back and see what I need to focus in on when it comes to this blog.

As you’ve read over the last 12 months, I’m afraid of  many things. But I am not afraid to share. So I’m gonna keep doing that, and hopefully you will stick around to read.

So what should you expect to see from Jude and the Walrus in 2013?

Remember how I said that I was going to pace myself? It’s true. But that’s one of a few of my goals for this year.

1) Pace myself

2) Keep pursuing God’s love for me, and in turn love my family better

3) Record and finish my first album

4) Run

There ya go. All of my posts are probably going to be stemming from one or more of these goals. And YES! I have finally started recording my first solo album (technically solo- even though lots of my friends will be participating in the process). I’ll be posting tid bits, teasers and explanations behind lyrics and so forth.

I’m planning on running a 5k the first week in March. I’m on my second week of interval training, and so far so good. We all know my hatred for this particular exercise, but I want to do this so badly. Feel free to solicit any and all encouragement.

There will be a new Jude and the Walrus blog layout coming at the end of March, including a new logo! My good friend Angie will be illustrating it for me, which I am very excited about. You can check out the portrait she did of our family if you click here.

So what about you? What are you planning to do this year? Let’s keep each other to our goals, and allow for mistakes and failures. Because, if there’s anything that 2012 taught me, it was that failure is a necessary tool that focuses your vision, helping you see what you were made to do.