On this day last year, I had my squeaky little Hyundai packed to the brim and Dolly Parton’s “Blue Smoke” coming through the speakers as I backed out of my New Jersey driveway, and got on the road to Nashville not knowing what to expect.
I’m gonna start by saying that this has been the best, most meaningful, challenging, and fulfilling year of my life. God is good and full of surprises! Of course, music was a part of why I moved but it was not the only reason. I truly felt called to Nashville. That being said, here are some main points (musical and not musical) of my last 365 days:
- Leading Worship: It’s kind of a long story of how this came to be but… wow. Sometimes God gives us things we didn’t know we wanted, because we actually need them. For me, leading worship is one of those things. I’ve loved Jesus since I was little but I haven’t always lived for Him. God has done a looooot of work on me through leading worship in a pretty short amount of time. Praise is a weapon, folks! (Click here to visit The Refuge website)
- Daycare Dreamin: I work part-time at a daycare! Literally the last thing I ever thought I would do.. I was absolutely horrified of holding babies and uh, changing diapers and wiping boogers??? Seriously unknown territory.
However, after working there for 10ish months my stomach has not failed me yet and I have fallen
tooso in love with those kids. I’m super thankful for the job and the inspiring women that work there!
- Back to JerZ: After 8 months, I finally went home. It was soooo strange to actually see my mom’s face and hug her again! (She can’t Skype me without crying so we only do phone calls). For my whole visit I ran around seeing everyone I could and the Friday before I left I did a 2 hour show of ALL original music in my hometown.
I always appreciate a listening crowd. But a listening crowd for 2 hours!? It really meant a lot. If you were there, thank you thank you xo. It was my favorite gig (ever).
- Mercyland Songwriter Workshop: Certainly a highlight of my year. Thanks to Phil Madiera and Merrill Farnsworth, I got an opportunity to go to Hot Springs, NC to experience my first ever songwriting retreat!!! It was 3 full days of free writing, prompts, cowriting, and jamming. It was all about encouragement and growth. I (personally) think I wrote one of my best songs yet while I was there. Shout out to my buddy Joe Hardy ayyyy
- I SAW DOLLY AT THE RYMAN: This was awesome.
Anybody who knows me knows that I’ve been listening to Dolly since I was 5. My seat was up on the balcony but I was so much closer than I thought I was gonna be (this was my first time at the Ryman). AND she did some of my favorite songs that are pretty under the radar like “The Seeker” (seriously- my jam), “The Grass is Blue”, and part of “Light of a Clear Blue Morning”. Uggggghhh I was so happy and emotional. I cried only 4 times..
Well, there you have it! This has been a crazy year and I bet crazier things are to come. Stay tuned.
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.