Friday, January 29, 2010

Hear No Evil Blog Tour

I was thirteen when my first copy of CCM Magazine came in the mail, crisp and shiny, reeking of the pungent ink-and-paper smell. I read it cover to cover, soaking in the articles, and running my fingers over the glossy press shots of Avalon, Plus One, and Point of Grace. I was sure I was their biggest, most devoted fan. I announced to my mom that I was going to write for CCM someday. Matthew Paul Turner was the reason I wanted to write for CCM. (He doesn’t believe me, but I always read his column first, during his stint as editor at the magazine). I was a star-struck thirteen year old, with big dreams, and the surety that I was going to change the industry singlehandedly…sure that my “making it” into the pages of CCM was the holy grail of my career. (I was wrong; more on that later…) Today, Matthew has become a friend; the one not afraid to tell me when an article is terrible, the one I can count on to humble my flighty ego.

When Matthew told me he was going to write a book about the music industry, I thought, “Here we go!” I knew it was a book he needed to write. See, the Christian music industry is a funny thing; it’s a volatile mix of injustice and community. It’s these kinds of things you will find hidden in the pages of “Hear No Evil”. It’s typical Turner humor, with biting wit alongside moments that will move you to tears. You will meet people in this book, much like his last work, “Churched”. It’s really about finding the stories. You’ll meet Tina, a young woman trying to “make it” as a singer, and you will weep as you watch her story unfold. You’ll laugh through the anecdotes that Turner shares about growing up in a Baptist church where worldly music was like dancing…not even an option. You’ll meet James, whose jaded view of the industry causes him to walk away. I found one more story in the middle of this incredible book. I found me. See, I got my dream job. I held the holy grail. For two years, it was my name in print at CCM. My byline alongside those glossy press shots and album reviews. It feels good at the top. It feels great to be respected and part of the “industry”. There is wonderful community to be found in the CCM circles. But it’s not all there is. When CCM made budget cuts, I watched my “dream career” slip away. I think I grieved a little. But there were parts of it I don’t miss. I don’t miss the industry of it, to be honest. I still work as a publicist, working to give some independent artists the guidance and expertise they need to navigate the waters and still come out unscathed, with integrity. But I don’t miss the censorship, the extra time certain artists get in the spotlight, the airbrushing. I work for a website committed to social justice now. I spent my last weekend writing articles about Haiti. It was freeing.

Turner’s humor mingles with brutal honesty and its refreshing. I read the entirety of “Hear No Evil”, front to back, in the middle of the airport on a two hours. i couldn't put it down. I think my legs were numb from sitting so long, but I couldn’t put it down. I sent Matthew an email, after nearly crying through his book, and said thank you.

Read this book. It will change anyone involved with Christian music. From the twenty something packing for Nashville to the publicist in New York City…it will open your eyes and your heart.

So thank you, friend.


visit to find out how to purchase the book.

where we've been and where we're going...

my friend informed me today that drew and my initials are, in fact, the dolce and gabbana logo. i googled it and voila. she was right.

in good news, we have a wedding date! pretty exciting, since we have been engaged since july 8th, but we found a date! we will become mr and mrs on july 17th, 2010! 7.17.10 sounds pretty good to us! 168 days to go...and we are starting to see we have a lot to get done before then :) my friend matt reminded me yesterday to just breathe, and so far that advice has been helpful with the stress of school, work, writing nearly full time, and drew still being in montgomery.

nursing school is going quite well! i was placed at ashland middle school with the wonderful kids there, doing some therapy and being a school nurse there as my internship. i love it so far. they are amazing, wonderful kids with broken homes but big hearts. i'm managing (by a large miracle, i am sure) to have pulled straight A's so far. our first large exam is on tuesday, but i have been acing every paper, lab, sim, and assignment. i'm pretty happy about it, since im working almost 40 hours a week between my two jobs. my job at sou keeps me nice and busy, with about 26-30 hours a week; writing press releases, blogging professionally, and attending various events with my boss. it's a relatively low stress job, and my boss is the best, so its quite flexible with my schedule. i can even work from home some days. i'm working doing some writing off and on, mostly for halogen, a wonderful site that i have quickly fallen in love with. its a site dedicated to social justice issues, and i was honored to write several pieces on haiti after the earthquake, and it was incredible to see a Community arise amidst the horror that is still going on. sorting through the pictures and the research was heartbreaking. alot of the money i made from my writing went to relief efforts. halogen has allowed me to spread my wings creatively, and im grateful. my first published works as far as a book will be published in 2011! i was selected to be part of a team contributing to an anthology called "Great Lives in African American History". i have never written for a book before, so i am quite thrilled. deadline is march 2010, and i will be published the following year...with my married name! i am not sure which part i was more excited about...the book or the married pen name part...

we had another health scare this past week, with my left eye. it swelled up on monday, and by monday night, i was in excruciating pain. i missed all my classes this week, but my teachers have been gracious to help me make up the missed time. by tuesday, i was on vicodin and getting scary ctscans and specialist visits. i was rushed around to three different practitioners. currently, they still have no answers, and i'm waiting for referral to a neurologist. i am functioning in a haze of painkillers, which is frustrating for me, since i hate to be on any kind of medication. it seems like we have been given the run-around with doctors, and its certainly been a test of my attitude and patience. i was convicted this morning by this proverb:
Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.
let's hope i can remember that. today, the eye dr called to inform me that i had "missed yesterday's appointment at 3:15". i calmly reminded them that i had called to make the said appointment at 4:00 yesterday, so i could not have preemptively missed an appointment. thankfully i kept my cool :p

as we wait for answers to a scary eye issue (my left eye is already much worse than my right. they can no longer bring me to 20/20 in it anymore), we are reminded of God's merciful kindness through all of it.

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears!" ps.34.4

Saturday, January 23, 2010


i have been doing crosspoint church's 30 days of proverbs. i have realized i love the proverbs! they are so practical. i loved yesterdays:

A generous man will himself be blessed,
for he shares his food with the poor. -Prov. 22:5

my roommate and i were thinking about this yesterday, when two little girls came to the door raising money for Haiti through their school program. we realized how faithful the Lord is to us, and how little we have to complain about. i was thinking about it in reference to yesterday's blog, i have been trying to be better with my budget, and it dawned on me WHY. this month, i was able to give above ten percent of my income to haiti, through world vision and samaritan's purse. i realized thepurpose of saving and spending wisely, is that i have the ability to give freely. what a revelation that was. and how freeing to see how being a wise steward lets me a be a generous giver. and what a Faithful God, who is patient when i am so dense to learn this simple truths!

Exodus 34:6

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Friday, January 22, 2010

saving and i cut back

my sweet fiance is great with money. my parents are great with money, my siblings are great with money, whereas i, not. i always think i'm doing well at the beginning of the month, when my beautiful paycheck comes in and my bank balances are well above the red.
but before i know it, the starbucks runs, the once a month tanning, the rebuying of broken items, the expensive makeup, the shoes i dont all adds up to a dismal balance by the end of the month. getting paid once monthly also means i have to strictly budget to make it to the end!

i realized recently that all my money was disappearing to small, multiple purchases.

for example, drew bought himself a nice car charger for his iPhone a while back. he has used it for several months and keeps it safely in his car. i think it cost him 20 or so dollars.
i, on the other hand, have been through: THREE CAR CHARGERS, THREE CAR KITS, AND FIVE PAIRS OF HEADPHONES. while they were much cheaper, they also broke, or i broke them (i ran a few over, believe it or not. with the car.) i added up my debit amounts and realized i have paid a whopping 100.00 on iPhone equipment in just under five months.
just one more way small purchases can add up fast! i realized i had to cut back quick. and i did!

heres a look at how i have cut back:

-coffee. starbucks sure LOOKS yummy, and that 3.40 doesnt sound like much, but one month i spent seventy dollars on coffee! now i have a twelve ounce mocha on bargain days, or an 8 oz starbucks twice a week. the other days i drink brewed coffee with 0.99 cent chocolate creamer.
tea is 1.80 if i must have starbucks, and its equally warm and sweet. average savings a month: 50.00

-eating out. i eat out once a week now. and nothing fancy. i pack a lunch 4/5 days of the week, only eating out for days with a full length lab at school. if i ate out every day, i would cost me an average of 30.00 a week! thats 120.00 a month, and my TOTAL FOOD BILL for this month (i share with my roomates) was just 42.00 this month! i saved 78.00. we also like to go to yogurt hut, a pay by the ounce ice cream shop. we went so many times, that i realized i dropped twelve dollars in a few weeks! no more yogurt hut.

-gas. i plan trips with my roomates and limit trips to medford to twice weekly. i only have to fill up twice a month! thats 80/month versus 240.00/month i was paying! thats a savings of...160.00.

-groceries. no more running to the store to purchase random items. i realized i was spending about 30 a month on random purchases like magazines, shampoo, and snacks. now we all purchase bulk items at costco and make portions ourselves. it saves about 25.00 a month.

-shampoo and makeup: value sizes at walmart and buying mac makeup once every three months rather than every two saves me about 30.00 every three months. i also went through all my makeup and tossed outdated and expired makeup as it can cause eye infections. i buy all my shampoo at wal mart and somehow have six containers. dont ask me why i thought i needed six different kinds. now i should have enough for three months.

-investing in better items and taking care of them. i bought one nice charger, and drew bought me a new car kit. i roll them up and tuck them in my car cup-holder every time i use them, and so far they are clean and unbroken! i carry all my electronics (camera, macbook, iPhone, large camera) in cases with shields and protectors.

-online shopping: i went through my closet and found about three boxes of brand name clothes that i do not wear, and will not wear! i took them all to a consignment store where i will get cash every month for what sells. i sell things on craigslist if they are nicer, and it gives me extra spending money if i must buy a piece of clothing. i divided my closet by season and color and realized i had three black cardigans. i only need one. i also have about 67 dresses, all of which i assured drew i would "save if there was a fire", but i know deep down i only need about 10 of them. so no more online shopping for me! i limit myself to just scrubs and clinical clothes, since i cant wear fun clothes 4/7 days of the week anyways.

-coupons: yes, i clip coupons. it saves me money on mascara, snacks, and necessities. i also use, a tip from my friend jessica turner. it gives you points for searching (like google) and you can trade them in for giftcards. its awesome!

-greeting cards: this hidden money-eater was costing me more than i thought. i LOVE cards and send drew many, many cards. little did i realize i was spending about 15 dollars a month in cards for birthdays and other occasions. now i buy them at the dollar store, where they are 2 for a dollar and i can stock up. it saves about 10.00 a month.

see how much i saved?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

do i know the poor?

(photo via Mark Driscoll,

tonight, a little girl will sleep on the streets of india as an outcast.

tonight, a little boy will fall asleep an orphan in haiti.

tonight, a child in uganda will die of hunger.

"I asked participants who claimed to be "strong followers of Jesus" whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question, I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time with the poor, and less than 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson:

We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what he did.

We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things.

We can adore his cross without taking up ours.

I had come to see that the great tragedy of the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor." -shane claiborne

i can't honestly think of one single person in poverty in my life.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


as i write this, two american young women struggle to survive in Haiti. the beautiful woman in the photo above is one of them. Jamie and Ali. After the collapse of an orphanage, they now are responsible for 150 babies and small children. with

no food.

no water.

no supplies.

they are living in the front yard of the orphanage. american planes have offered to come retrieve the women, but they refuse to leave these children. the american government is furiously working to waive citizenship and visa laws for these children so all 152 of them can get on a plane and leave the rubble. problem is...the government can only work so fast.

thing is....these children are adoptees.

they have families waiting for them to come home. they have already been placed in forever-homes.

and even if they can get paperwork...time is running out. with no supplies, the children will die.

they need a miracle. would you pray with me?

learn more at

Friday, January 8, 2010


i put my Love onto a plane on tuesday night, after a tear filled dinner date (on my part, not his, since he holds it together much better than me when one of us leave, i bawl through dinner, its like "*sob* yes ill have the steak *gulp* and a soda *sob*. im sure our waitress thinks he was breaking up with me.). its back to adjustments again. adjusting to grocery shopping alone, and lunch breaks alone, and tuesday night video chats instead of date night. its really hard adjusting when we are back apart on other sides of the country. i forget the little things its nice to have him here. i like having someone to go to the movies with, and to fill my car up and to help me balance my budget. i love holding his hand, and going to dinner, and getting dressed up just because we get to go out together. its hard becoming independent all over again, because i like depending on him. he's dependable. responsible. hard working, patient, and oh-so-sweet.

truth is, i love him. and i miss my best friend.

made me think about how dependent i am on the Lord. i forgot the Lord is here to do the things that Drew can't do when he isn't here. I forget the Lord is my provider and my protector. Drew fights for me and loves me and sacrifices for me...the Lord did all those things first, before He gave me my almost-husband. i forget sometimes. Drew remembers. He entrusts me to Jesus whenever he leaves, knowing fullwell that the Lord will carry me when he can't be here to hold my hand. but sometimes, i forget.

i'm still adjusting.