Every year I look forward to going to the Spirit Song music festival at Kings Island. It’s three days of spending time with friends, riding roller coasters, and going to concerts. I love all of these things by themselves, but when you put them together it’s even more fun!
The music festival is held in an outdoor amphitheater and goes on rain or shine. In past years, I remember singing with friends in the pouring rain. This year, we didn’t have rain, but we had lots of sun (and heat). You know you love music when you’re willing to stand in the pouring rain or in 90 degree heat to see your favorite bands.
This year’s lineup included: Jordan Feliz, Andy Mineo, Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, Hollyn, Rend Collective, For King & Country, Toby Mac, Stars Go Dim, Red, Crowder, and Kari Jobe.
One of the things I love about Spirit Song is the wide variety of music. You can be at a rock concert with Red, and then soon after that, you're singing worship songs with Kari Jobe. For someone with eclectic taste in music, this is great.
To recap this year’s Spirit Song, I thought I would give a few awards. Unfortunately, I don’t have any fancy statues/trophies to pass out, so instead I will honor them with a shout-out on my blog. Let the awards ceremony begin…
Most Memorable Moment: David Crowder (Click here to see why)
Favorite Artist: Rend Collective (An extremely talented group from Ireland. Watch their video below. I bet you’ll be singing along by the end.)
Artist Who Surprised Me the Most: Hollyn (She’s young, but so talented. I've been listening to a lot of her songs the past few days. Check out a video below.)
Breakout Artist: Jordan Feliz (Jordan sounds just as good live as he does on the radio. Check out his video below. His song, "The River," has been stuck in my head for weeks.)
Most Fun To Watch: Toby Mac (A little bit of hip-hop, rap, and pop music all mixed together.)
Favorite Worship Set: Kari Jobe (Beautiful voice!)
That concludes our awards ceremony. Spirit Song 2016 was amazing! I'm already looking forward to next year!
Bravery doesn’t always involve risking your life for someone else. Sometimes it is taking a risk for yourself – a risk that could result in experiencing a better life. It’s stepping outside your comfort zone. I recently met some incredibly brave women. We only spent a weekend together, but we will forever be connected.
Who are these brave women? They are the participants of our first Motherless Daughters Journey Retreat. These women, all different ages and from different backgrounds, chose to spend the weekend with a group of women they never met. Some of them even traveled great distances. They all chose to share their stories and were vulnerable about the heartache that comes with mother loss. Instead of hiding their grief, they honestly expressed it. They trusted their pain with someone else. That is bravery.
These women quickly bonded with each other. They not only cried together, but laughed, supported, and encouraged one another. It was incredible to see the healing that took place.
It was such an honor and privilege to be one of the facilitators at the Journey Retreat. It’s humbling to think that God would allow me to be a part of His plan - that He would allow me to walk alongside and support these women. I honestly had doubts and questioned God about facilitating. I questioned my abilities, which ironically was the exact reason I knew I was supposed to facilitate – I couldn’t do it on my own, but I needed to rely on God to equip me and help me.
A lot of planning went into the retreat, but so did a lot of prayer. Our group of volunteers prayed for these women before we met them. As a facilitator, I prayed that they would feel loved, supported, and encouraged, and that God would give them peace, comfort, and hope in the midst of their grief. I also prayed for healing.
I expected God to answer those prayers, and He did. What I didn’t expect was for Him to use these women to do all of those things for me. They provided me with love, support, comfort, and encouragement. I felt such peace in their presence, and they gave me hope.
God used them to remind me that even though I will have to experience several major life events without my mom, He will put other women in my life to help me through those experiences. It may be hard to face them without my mom, but I won’t have to go through them alone. I saw this lived out in the stories of the women at the retreat, and it was such an encouragement to me.
Even though all of our stories are different, mother loss binds us together. There are certain things that only other motherless daughters understand. It’s a group that I never wanted to be a part of, but I’m so thankful for the women I have met along the way. I’m especially thankful for the brave women that I met at the Journey Retreat.
I'm an ordinary introvert who loves an extraordinary God.