In January 2021, it began as whispers into the night—a hushed conversation between Peter and me. Maybe we could spend this year making art and leaning into forgotten loves? Why would God bless our hands with the ability to paint and write and play if He didn’t want those gifts to be shared?
To be honest, I wanted Peter to have another stream of income outside of ministry, and painting watercolor seemed like a great first step. I wanted to write more consistently, and a blog seemed like a great place to start. We set up our one-stop-creative shop believing it would be the hub for our words and paintings.
Later that month, God gave me a different form of writing, though. Our nation raged under the weight of calamity and division, and my heart clung to Lamentations.
“Restore us to Yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days of old…” Lamentations 5:21
Like Israel, our sin got us where we are—broken, divided, and angry—and I was desperate for God to change our hearts… to give us better than “the glory days,” but those promised us through His Son, Jesus.
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4
These are the glory days I long for, and the ones I know are coming. And this is what makes me sing.
When I showed my meager song-writing offerings to Peter, he turned to me and said we had an album—an album telling the story of God. You have to know this about Peter, but he sees potential. When he hears a chord on the piano, he also hears the symphony rising to a crescendo beneath it. When he meets someone new, he quickly grasps what makes them tick and sees the capacity they have within them to grow. When he gets a pile of legos, he sees what they will become. As his wife, this is both equal parts invigorating and infuriating. Friction arises particularly when he knows the capacity we have to love one another well, but is met with sharp disappointment when our character hasn’t caught up to that capacity.
But in this instance, upon hearing the early makings of Restore, this superpower within Peter was invigorating. His passion became the fuel that literally kept us running for over a year. And his enthusiasm inspired me. I gained a confidence in myself and the work God has for me beyond anything I’ve had before.
In the months between recording in Nashville and sharing The Story with all of you, I’ve felt twinges of fear. Fears of disappointing others with what we had to offer, or that my creativity had run out. Thankfully, I didn’t have much time to sit with those fears because there was much to do and what felt like too little time to do it all.
God has been so faithful. For every fear I had about pieces being missing or broken, God met us with provision time and time again. The masters came through. The CDs shipped early. The Devotionals made it to print. We had a phenomenal rehearsal with our band. Our voices recovered after covid (though I was convinced they wouldn’t be). Our church family covered every base at the concert we physically could not. A year of dreaming, writing, painting, planning, recording and promoting all culminated in a beautiful day of worship and celebration. And we cannot thank you enough.
Thank you for partnering with us through the Kickstarter.
Thank you for countless encouraging conversations.
Thank you for your patience with our (incessant) posting.
Thank you for listening, sharing and purchasing.
Thank you for cheering us on!
Thank you, HOL church family, for serving at the Live concert.
Thank you, Britney & Storyformed Press, for editing and honing the devotional.
Thank you, band-members, for practicing and playing our music so beautifully!
March 12, 2022, will go down in my heart and mind as a very good day.
We have some ideas for next steps, and we will share more about that in the days ahead. But until then, thank you for your partnership this year in making poems of grace and The Story thrive. You have filled our hearts along with it. We have appreciated every message, text, and GIF you’ve sent and shared along the way. We love knowing this work has been as meaningful to you as it has been for us. Thank you!