What Real Love Is


Dear Indie Girl,

In my first year of college, I was a mess with questions about love. I’d never really been the dating type in high school. I didn’t really see the point to be honest. Both my siblings went away to college and found people who fit them perfectly, so that’s exactly what I intended to do.

It was my first experience with dating and my first heart break. I remember sitting down with a friend afterward and saying, “I need to learn what love is. If not now, then when?!”

It was in the middle of this season that Jesus met me in a dream that would haunt me for years and change my life.

I was dressed in a fancy old dress in a historical old theatre sitting on a bench talking to a very attractive man dressed in a black suit. His hair was long and brown, and even though he was dressed up as I was, he looked weathered, like a man who worked outside. I was telling him my life story, just pouring out my heart to him like we were best friends. The way he listened made me feel so loved. He cared about every detail I told him.

After some time, he got up and said, “I have to go away for a while.”

“Can I come too?”

“No,” he responded gently, “Not now.”

As he walked over to the exit, I followed him. Before he opened the door he picked me up and spun me around just like a scene from an old romance movie. Before he set me down again he kissed me just below my neck, like he was kissing my heart. As he was about to leave, he looked into my eyes and said, “I’m going to show you what real love is.” And he was gone. And that’s when I woke up.

As I opened my eyes, they were fixed already on a poster that hung in my room. It was a sketching of Jesus’ face. My eyes were locked on his eyes. All morning I was haunted by the man in my dream. I knew him, but who was he? A famous actor? A family friend? I thought for hours about this until I stared again at the poster on my wall. It was Jesus. Jesus had met me in my dream to tell me not to worry about finding love. That he’d show me what real love is. And he did. He faithfully showed me what love is. And what it is not. And he still does.

Thinking about this dream still brings me to tears. It is one of my most precious memories. If you’re questioning the idea of love, wondering how you know what it is, when you’ve found it, and when to hold on to it. If you’re afraid you’ve lost it, and it will never forgive you, or never find you again. Ask the one who embodies love. The God who is Love. Ask him to show you. And he will! I pray he’ll meet you in your dreams as he did me. And I pray it will haunt you until you put a name to the face of love.



Big Dreams


Dear Indie Girl,

Confession time.  I’m a freaker- outer.

Every year or two I come to a point of evaluation.  I take a good long look at my career path and say to myself, “what next?”.  This is not a bad question to ask yourself.  Sometimes it can lead to an intersection of sorts.  This is where I get stuck.  I hate traffic.

I’ve been reflecting (you may have noticed) over the last few weeks about my band, my brand etc…  Last week, I had a revelation that I shared with you.  I need to have more fun.

Well, this is an addendum.

I was thinking about how I tend to overstress myself.  I don’t really know how to not do this.  This is in fact what draws me to music and writing, because it’s a break from the stress.  It relieves stress.  It actually makes me a better critical thinker (I think).  So I was thinking about the different stages I’ve gone through since starting this music track when I was 15.

When I was in College as a music major, I think it was my first chance to be a “serious musician” (whatever that means).  So I took it seriously.  I worked my butt off.  And for the first year, I actually enjoyed it.  After that, the weight of the work began to completely overload me with anxiety.  I tried to work a part time job while being a music major and keeping up my grades.  I couldn’t do it.  I was a nervous wreck ALL THE TIME.  But I was determined.  I’m stubborn like that.  Once I choose something, I’m not gonna let go.  I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music after 5 years with a halfway decent GPA.

I’ve been a full-time musician for 2 years now (almost exactly 2 years).  I have really enjoyed learning about performing and growing a fan base and working on projects with other musicians.  But to be honest, I take myself way too seriously.  I’m working hard, but I can easily lose sight of the forest through the trees.  I love writing music.  I love singing.  I love sharing it with people.  And if that’s all this job was, I’d be the happiest person on earth.  But that’s not how this business goes anymore.  At least not for those of us on the ground.

It’s the booking, promoting, emailing, researching, social media-ing, scheduling and networking going on behind the scenes.  By the time I get to the show and up on that stage, my energy is spent.  I don’t want this to come across like I’m just complaining all the time.  I love what I do.  And I appreciate the opportunity to do it.  It’s just these tasks are the ones that drain my energy.  Writing and singing- those things give me energy.

The real eye opener was when I thought back to the season in my life when I most enjoyed music.  There have been many experiences in music I have enjoyed throughout College and in my last 2 years as a full time musician, but I’m talking about being really excited about what I’m doing.

It was when I was 15 years old.  I had no training as a songwriter, no voice lessons (only choir, the natural desire to sing, and hours of singing for fun), no clue how the music industry functioned.  I performed with my sister, we were known as Kelsey & Aubree.  We toured around the country (mostly Michigan since we were still in high school) with our manager, Ron Moore.  I was writing so much that by the time we recorded and released our first album, Aubree and I had already written enough songs to fill another album.  I didn’t understand anything about form or structure, or “rules” in writing songs.  I was just going off of sheer intuition.  I had big dreams.  And I wasn’t afraid of them.

As I grew and matured as a songwriter, I took that foundation for granted.  I was ashamed of that music for a while because it was not as good as the music I had learned to write.  I learned all the things I had been doing “wrong” as a writer, and I thought that meant that this experience was something not to be proud of.

Now I’m 27 (in a week) years old, and I’m looking back on that girl with big dreams, some of which have come true, and I’m dreaming of being more like her.  Just writing whatever my little brain can think up and let it be a chaotic, unedited, raggedy masterpiece.

Tell me how you keep from taking yourself too seriously, and I’ll try out your suggestions.  What do you do for fun? I’ll keep you posted.  I could really use your help.  We need to stick together.