First Listen

On one of my favorite movies, Elizabethtown, they discuss “last looks” and how memorable they are. But I challenge that idea. The most memorable sensation for me is the “first listen”. I’ll go out of my way to insure an album that is pre-determined to be important to me is listened to in a setting that I’ll pleasantly remember any time I hear those same songs in the future. There’s something about music that has the ability to draw us back into a single instant and change the entire path of our day, or sometimes longer. It’s terrifying and the most incredible feeling to be a part of that impact. To know that every day when I go to “work,” I am serving people that are subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) changing the world, two ears at a time. 

This morning, I set my alarm for 8:00 and woke up at 7:30 because I was so excited to begin my morning with a “first listen”. I traveled to my favorite coffee shop, purchased a cup of coffee and headed to the patio. The weather outside is perfect and this is one of my favorite places to sit and write so I was pretty certain it’d be a great place for a first listen.

Part of the challenge of first listens is that I don’t want them to overlap. I don’t want to have too many soundtrack memories in the same location. My theory is that if I get better at creating these memories in locations across the city that I live in, the city will become increasingly more enchanting. I always want music to make me happy. And sometimes that means creating your own means of reviving those passions. My way is by creating space that I can revisit and remember how it felt to hear these notes for the very first time. 

My challenge for you today:

Travel to a new location with a set of headphones and an album you’ve never heard before. Create a “first listen" that you can always turn back to for peace and happiness. 

One of the best things about being one of those people that looks like someone everyone knows is all of the stories people tell you about when they thought it was you & embarrassed themselves in front of a stranger. 

I know that life is busy and hard, and that there’s a crushing pressure to just settle down and get a real job and khaki pants and a haircut. But don’t. Please don’t. Please keep believing that life can be better, brighter, broader, because of the art that you make. Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen to paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym that going to the deepest places in your soul. Please keep making art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to-day world a little more bearable.

—Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist 

(Source: thedelightedpeople, via takecaretiredsouls)

when the time comes
to love yourself well
it takes a good solid month
to stop crying
about everything
you have to let go

—Andrea Gibson

(Source: likeloveadore, via takecaretiredsouls)

Bon Iver

—Heavenly Father


"i am free now
i know about it darling i been standing here
heavenly father
is all that he offers
a safety in the end”

(via awelltraveledwoman)

If we truly believe someone is wrong about their theology, then we should be on our knees praying in tears for them instead of feeling superiority. And ultimately, our traditions serve us and we do not serve them. We serve Jesus and each other.

My friend, Sarah Bovenzi, hand drew me this gorgeous card.

My friend, Sarah Bovenzi, hand drew me this gorgeous card.

My birthday was three weeks ago. But I was hundreds of miles away on tour so last night, my lovely friends had a birthday dinner for me at my favorite restaurant in Nashville. Twenty four of my favorite people showed up to celebrate life and living it together. And those are the nights you remember forever. 

So grateful for this community and all of the new family members I’ve established along the way. 

Thank you, Nashville. As much of a love/hate relationship we’ve got, you sure have surprised me with the amount of love and joy you have to offer.

I believe in a God of scandalous grace. If I believed terrorists were beyond redemption, I would need to rip out half of my New Testament Scriptures, for they were written by a converted terrorist.
I have pledged allegiance to a King who loved evildoers so much he died for them, teaching us that there is something worth dying for but nothing worth killing for. While terrorists were nailing him to the cross, my Jesus pleaded that they be shown mercy, for they knew not what they were doing. We are all wretched, and we are all beautiful. No one is beyond redemption. May we see in the hands of the oppressors our own hands, and in the faces of the oppressed our own faces. We are made of the same dust, and we cry the same salty tears.

—Shane Claiborne  (via yesdarlingido)

(via everydayforchrist)

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for. It doesn’t interest me how old you are, I want to know if you are willing to risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine. It doesn’t interest me where you live or how rich you are, I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and be sweet to the ones you love. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and truly like the company you keep in the empty moments of your life.

—Jon Blais. I will always reblog this! (via meditationsinwonderland)

(via c-e-salazar)

God has infinite attention… You’re as much alone with Him as if you were the only thing He’d ever created.

—C.S. Lewis (via worshipgifs)

(via hercrossroads)