God Bless America

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God Bless America
By Irving Berlin

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America,
My home sweet home.

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The remedy

A few weeks ago, I decided to check out the new Zac Brown Band album online. One song on the album made me hit repeat. Then repeat again. Then repeat again. Then go buy the album just so I could have this song with me absolutely any time and anywhere I go.

“Remedy”
(Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette, Niko Moon, Kevin R Moore)

I’ve been looking for a sound
That makes my heart sing
Been looking for a melody
That makes the church bells ring
Not looking for the fame
Or the fortune it might bring
In love, in music, in life

Jesus preached the golden rule
Buddha taught it too
Gandhi said eye for an eye
Makes the whole world go blind
With a little understanding
We can break these chains that we’ve been handed
I’ve got the medication
Love is the remedy

Pray to be stronger and wiser
Know you get what you give
Love one another
Amen, amen

I’ve been thinking about the mark
That I’ll be leaving
Been looking for a truth
I can believe in
I got everything I need
Let this heart be my guide
In love, in music, in life

I’m not saying I’m a wise man
Heaven knows there’s much that I’m still finding
Making my way down this winding road
Holding on to what I love
Yeah, and leaving the rest behind
For love, for music, for life

Pray to be stronger and wiser
Know you get what you give
Love one another

We’re all in this world together
Life’s a gift that we have to treasure
Happiness, now that is the measure
Love is the remedy

Everyone can be forgiven
One love and one religion
Open up your heart and listen
Love is the remedy

Pray to be stronger and wiser
And know you get what you give
God is love one another
Amen, amen, amen

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This last week I’ve purposely kept quiet about all the many social issues going on, and I will continue to do so here. Why? Because I don’t feel like I need to input any opinion on something I don’t feel knowledgeable enough about to back up said opinion in a social realm. So, I do the whole, “Better to keep quiet and thought an idiot than to open your mouth and prove it.”

Here’s what I DO know, though. I know that my heart has ached a lot this week, because on every single side of every single issue I’ve seen intolerance and anger. I’ve quietly felt attacked reading other’s words, even when I’ve agreed with them.  I’ve quietly felt bullied in a world of, “Either you agree with me or are against me!” even when I’ve agreed silently.

Frankly, as we fight a world of hate, we’ve come to fight it with hate. And that’s most certainly NOT the answer.

I said from the beginning of the year that my motto for 2015 is, “So much love.” Love makes me happy. Love makes the world a better place. LOVE IS THE REMEDY.

God knows I can be cynical and quite snarky at times. I live in Nashville and have ties into the music industry. Consider cynacism and snark a negative side effect of this life. But I challenge everyone this weekend to step back. Hold that snark back for a second. And choose love instead. God said to love your enemies. You don’t have to love what someone does. You don’t have to love what someone says. You don’t even have to love what they stand for. But take a moment and realize everyone deserves love. And God knows that right now we need love in general more than ever.

Dear friends, let us love one another,
for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves
has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7 NIV

Total Daddy’s Girl

Surely I’m not the only person who can’t get out of the Father’s Day card aisle with dry eyes, right? Because going through all those cards for dad’s sure got blurry on me, and it wasn’t allergies!

No, I am a tried and true Daddy’s Girl, and I’m very proud to say that.

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See, my dad is the best. I keep writing and rewriting what to say next, because I just don’t know where to start!

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My dad loves me unconditionally. Both of my parents do, and for that fact I am forever and ever thankful. It gives me this wonderful base to grow from, lean on and feel confident in at all times. I know they accept me and love me no matter what.

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I know that if I fall down, I don’t have to look far for a hug and a hand up. I know if I fail they will be there to catch me and support me and help me learn from that mistake and failure. Do you know how very comforting that is to know?

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Dad has taught me so much about life, and with those lessons I feel confident in my ability to be successful. He’s taught me about business. He’s taught me about people. He’s taught me how to treat others. He’s taught me how to expect others to treat me.

IMG_20150621_140523709-01He’s taught me to keep an eye on those gauges in my truck. He’s taught me to check my tires. He taught me to drive like everyone else is an idiot (and they usually ARE.) He’s taught me the importance of having a reliable vehicle in general.

He taught me how to be self-sufficient, even in those “guy jobs” I often don’t have to do (but could if I had to.)

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He has shown me the importance of faith and God. A huge lesson I got is that God comes first, and it’s a lesson that has stuck with me to this day. Even as I admittedly fall down in executing that, letting work and other tasks keep me from making it to church as often as I should.

IMG_20150621_135549146-01My dad is also my friend. I can’t begin to describe how much I cherish and remember our times talking over coffee back when I was in college (or there abouts.) I learned so much family history and heard so many stories as we sat and talked. I hope he knows how much I loved those chances that we had, and I do hope we get to do it again some time.

Mattox_0074My dad taught me what to expect from a man, and he taught me not to settle. He showed me that real men cook and do dishes. He showed me real men don’t think of jobs in the male/female sense, and that you should just do what needs to be done. He showed me how to put your family first while never giving up on your dreams.

Mattox_0204He gave my now-husband a stern talking-to when my husband asked my Dad for permission to marry me. And I love the great lengths he and my Mom went to hide the fact that a proposal was on the way.

Mattox_1000But more than all of this, I love my Dad and he loves me and all of our family. And I absolutely know how very, very blessed I am.

Daddy’s girl? Oh yes. And I so wish I was spending this day with him…

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!

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I would be sorely remiss not to send a special Happy Father’s Day shout out to my big brother… he blows me away every single day by how much he loves his family and cares for them. He is without a doubt an amazing, amazing Dad. And I couldn’t be prouder of him.

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The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…

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