Thursday, December 4, 2014

10 reasons why you should take it easy on Mariah Carey

Let's face it, Mariah came onto the music scene and destroyed everything (besides Whitney) in sight. Not only as a power house vocalist, but as the actual songwriter of MOST of her #1 songs. COME ON PEOPLE! Let's just celebrate that for a quick second.

I've talked to a few people close to her and maybe an ex-boyfriend, who attributed her lack of vocal strength to her love of vino. I'll say that I definitely enjoy a glass of red and know that it can def dry out the old cords!

If you listen to the TMZ released isolated vocals from her performance last night, you will hear that her biggest struggle came when she tried to go into her falsetto:

I know first hand that when I had nodules at one point and ruptured my vocal cord at another point, my falsesetto range was the first to go. Nothing in the world is harder than being a singer that knows what your capable of yet your body does NOT want to be nice to you. Maybe cause you weren't nice to your body. It's a relationship that forces mutual reciprocation.

Before you cast a stone at our beloved diva, or in this case a large brick, take a minute to sip in a dose of kindness to better understand why she is struggling and why we should not give up on her!

10 reasons why you should take it easy on Mariah:

1: Listen to the Music Box record. It is ranked one of the best selling records of all time at 32 million sales.

2: There isn't a female Christmas record that came out after hers that doesn't channel one of her vocal runs. PERIOD. From Kelly to Christina, they rip off everything from the classic "Oh Holy Night" opening, to the Walter Afanasieff co-written HIT "All I want for Christmas is you".

3: A ton of hit songwriters aren't the worlds best vocalists. Take out the fact that Mariah has been a world class singer, she is a HIT songwriter!!!! She WROTE the now classic song "All I want for Christmas is you"! That alone is a reason to celebrate the artistic work of this woman. SHE. WROTE. IT.

4: Did you also know she wrote the song "Where are you Christmas" from the "Grinch who stole Christmas" movie? The song was performed not only in the movie by actress Taylor Momsen, but also Faith Hill.

5: You. Are. Still. Talking. About. Her. She has obviously remained relevant. We don't know if she is 44 or 45....but that is such a hard thing to maintain in this ever so fickle industry, relevancy.

6: "One Sweet Day" the longest running #1 in history. 16 weeks. Bye.

7:  She signed a 100 million dollar record contract with Virgin. Did you? As you are laughing at her from the backseat of your Aunt's mini-coop, take that in.

8: Because she gave timeless classics to us!!! We will forever sing along to "go back like babies and pacifiers" and " Always be my baby" because this woman contributed this amazingness to our lives.

9: She is a Mother and a middle aged woman that is HUMAN! Yes, HUMAN people!!! We are all so quick to point and judge but what have we done that's nearly close to this.

10: Because you want to be different. Because you don't want to hop on the train of judgement with the rest of America that destroys anyone and everyone that shows an ounce of imperfection. It's almost like we love it and wait for it.  We feed off of it and it makes us feel better. Well, STOP!
Take a second to pay tribute to one of the finest contributors of pop music in all of history.

When you bounce around Target to "Santa Claus is coming to town", give yourself a tiny hand slap for being so mean to this Pop Princess! Now go warm up some cocoa and put on the best Christmas album of all time!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014


As time goes by I see a new trend on the rise!  Women everywhere are clambering to swim multiple laps in the fountain of youth! The ever growing need to maintain a face of no wrinkles or any indication of a full life is making the cosmetic surgery community a wonderful choice for anyone seeking a lucrative career path.

The rise of middle-aged club goers is increasing. As well, the much despised, "Selfie Epidemic" is hitting our nation's Baby Boomers. They're even posting selfies that boast a 12 inch cleavage.

Now don't get me wrong, beauty covers all the ages! Go out into the world and work what your Daddy gave ya!

However, can we not do this while looking respectable and classy?

My biggest fear is that, by women running away from the new stages that life brings, we then lose powerful leaders for our next generation of women! Our society is already at an all time high of selfishness and vanity!  The most popular married people include Yeezus and Kim K, YIKES! Am I the only one a bit worried for the following generations?

I plan on aging gracefully to the best of my ability, but of course,  I'm only human!  I will most definitely do what I can to look my best. I'm not afraid of a little filler for my dark circles or a harsh chemical peel. I truly can't say in ten years that I won't try a little dabble.

Most importantly, I plan on NOT trying to relate to my daughter.  I do not want to relate to what my daughter is going through! I want to guide her and be a sounding board for her journey. How can we lead our young ladies if we are trying to be on the same level?

I think we need to stop glorifying this idea that, "A mother is most beautiful when she looks like a sister!"  We need to start acknowledging and praising the beauty of the wisdom and age.

I'm trying to raise a teenage daughter right now. It is probably the most difficult thing I've ever done. Nursing her in a Logan's Steakhouse bathroom stall at 18 is nothing compared to mothering a High School student! Lord be with me.

I am looking for WOMEN who can give advice and wisdom in my situation.

I am running far, far away from the moms who are trying to be cool, trying to wear the body fitting spandex of the early 90's and posting Insta pics of their "Big Night Out" at the clubs in Vegas. No! No! No!

Tell me how to raise a young woman who is virtuous! Tell me how to encourage my daughter to embrace and love who she is. Tell me how to instill self-confidence and self-acceptance to a teen who is smack dead in the middle of a self-seeking society.

Where are these women? This idea of a woman is what we should strive to be and not the opposite. I know they are out there and thank God we have some remaining. Lord knows we need them.

Instead of trying to hang on by a dangling thread to the youth that's left we should be walking with our heads held high. With that esteem and confidence we should walk into the next new beautiful season of our lives. We should gracefully give insight to those after us on how to have class and equip them to be examples to the generations after them.

More than anything we need women who will be women. If not, our girls will never know what a real woman is.

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Paper over Purses" 5 reasons I love Handwritten over Handbags

I live my life in the middle of the Entertainment Industry.  It's safe to say that I see it all: the good, the bad and the extremely ugly. I've been a permanent fixture of the Los Angeles community since 2007 and I can firmly say that I live in the greatest state in America! The weather is a constant reminder of the beauty of the West Coast. I was flipping through my friends pictures who are experiencing a light snow in Colorado and it's just SEPTEMBER?????!!! What???!!!! 

This town can immediately suck a girl in! I came here from Nashville and sported a short A-Line bob that would rival John & Kate plus 28... I was a huge fan of TJ-Maxx (still am) and never heard of Chanel or Loubutins 

Shortly after my arrival back to the West Coast I was sucked into the Music Industry again and on my way into a NEW life in the Hollywood scene.

My new writing and recording crew decided I needed a makeover. Sure, I did... However, I didn't realize what this would take and how much money it would cost. 

It started with my hair... Now I had a short bob to my chin so length was first on their list. I was brought into one of the best salons in Beverly Hills for hair extensions from Italy... That good ol' Italian hair.  I sat in the salon chair for 15 hours. NO JOKE. 15 hours while beautiful long hair was individually fused into my southern scalp. They brought in a color analyst to pick hair color best for my skin tone. I actually still splurge on this guy cause he does an incredible colorist. They even brought in a makeup artist that day to do a test on my face. This was so they could see how the whole look would come together. I walked in the back of the salon and they had my new 4 thousand dollar Chanel purse laying there with piles of clothes from the latest designers. I was in shock and really excited. 

There I was. I had been completely SUCKED IN. 

It became a thing for me. How can I keep up with this look every single day and not wear the wrong thing?! 

So many times I hear girls in this town about what a guy does, what he drives, how much he makes, and what they can do for them... AND it makes me sick inside my stomach. They're just waiting to be gifted the newest Louis Vuitton, Chanel Bag, Loubutin shoes or whatever makes them feel more valuable. 

I remember those days. I didn't grow up wanting those things but I ended up having them. My closet was full of shoes from Stella Mccartney, YSL and I boasted 30 some odd pairs of Loubutins. I had Marchesa, Prada, Gucci, YSL, Chanel, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta and Zac Posen dresses out the booty. You know what??? 

No amount of dresses or purses could fill the emptiness and loneliness within my heart. You think you want all of that, but at the end of the day, a general discontentment of the soul will remain empty even if your closet is full. 

I opened my drawer today... I don't put nice sunnies or expensive jewelry in my "Important Drawer" anymore. I find the most important things to protect are the words that give life to my heart and make everything else seem worthless. 

I look at my weathered shoes that made me slip a few million times and let's face it, Loubutins are the most uncomfortable shoes to wear on the daily. They don't last and they end up being SO LAST SEASON!! 

(I would say its great to buy a nice handbag though... lol. Those things last for years and are worth the investment and they hold their worth depending on the brand) 

So 5 reasons that hand written is way better than any hand bag..... 

1) When he writes to me, "You're my most beautiful treasure,"  I can put on my Dodger's cap and ripped up jeans only to feel more beautiful than any Vera Wang bridal gown.

2) When he says, "You are my one and only," I believe it more than I have ever believed in or trusted anyone else. You see, the men who rely on fancy extravagance to win over a woman's heart aren't always the ones you trust when you're laying your head down at night. His words give me a peace that things can't give. 

3) When he says, "I am so proud of the woman that you are," I know that I don't have to live up to some unrealistic standard of weight, size, build; or try to look like a VS model. He is speaking meaningful words that bring valuable security to my heart. I'm more secure in my love with him than wearing two Spanx under a short party dress. (Two Spanx really is amazing for the extra hormonal days) :) 

4) When he says, "You are God's gift to me," I have more joy in my heart than gazing across a shoe closet of shiny red bottoms. 

5) I promise you that when you are loved from the inside out and not the outside in you can completely disregard the overwhelming need for material things. If you are in constant need of a fix or a shiny new gift to feel joy in your life then I would venture to say you are not experiencing the fullness of authentic love. I would also argue that you need to dig deeper into your soul and connect to the missing pieces. I find that fulfillment in a relationship with God and through the words and commitment of my amazing man. 

Now when I want to feel valued and loved I don't walk into my closet to see how awesome and valuable my wardrobe is. I simply just open my drawer to find these handwritten words that give me more life and sense of value than anything I can put on.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Singer-SongWaiter......Dream Responsibly.

Are you a singer-songwriter?

Have you ever played to a crowd of 6 or 7 people?

Have you ever asked if gas money was included in your rate?

Have you sat in the back "green" room with 3 bottles of Albertson's spring water and a Turkey club smashed inside saran wrap?

Have you ever grabbed the side of your pants and squeezed super tight until the checkout register said "Approved" on your $36 worth of groceries for the week?

Well, I've answered yes to all of these.

If you've answered "Yes" to 4 or more of these.....than you've probably (like myself), made a home out of someones living room couch at some point in your musical journey.

I've heard it ALL....."You're insane"....."You're crazy"....."Be responsible"....."Get a REAL job"...."This is awesome but what are your long term goals"....

ummmm......hate to break it to ya cousin with the missing fingers.....but this IS my back up plan. My voice is my Stanford education.....I put in some crazy time to brush up on my techniques in the old vocal department....No is not an option. Failure is out of the question. Eat your green bean casserole with that disgusting chunky mushroom soup and mind your manners.

"Why did you leave a GREAT job with Carrie Underwood?....She's successful. She will stay successful".....

Ummmm.....OK Uncle with with the dollop of tarter sauce on your perv-stache.....I've had enough!!!!

To my dreamers and my music makers I tell you this........

Do not let people that are comfortable in the routines of predictability cast a shadow over your passion.

Doing what you love at the sake of personal extras and comfort is very brave. 

Always follow your heart.

Know that limitations do not exist. 

Having children does not mean giving up your dreams. 

Now that I got that out I must also say this; It is not someone Else's responsibility to fund or support your dream.

Working a "Regular" job while your aspiring to reach your goals is exactly what you should do. 

You have not failed as a writer/musician if your life is not fully sustained by your arts.


Our industry has shifted greatly. Money is no longer flying out in bundles for us. In order to make a living in the arts we must do a many number of things. Now, it is totally possible to do many things and have a wonderful life/lucrative career, you just have to be wise and willing to step out of your comfort zone. 

Financially in my life, I'm at the best point I've ever been in... but I am NOT doing what I set out to do. I am not traveling and playing for the masses. I am not doing my own artist shows.....I am not a known name. 

If you asked me 10 years ago if I thought I wasn't going to be making my money from a "record label" I would've laughed. 

You see, by chasing the typical mold that was totally accelerated in the 80's 90's by big named Label presidents who were celebrities in their own right, we started this one way to glory mindset.  "The record deal"......

Simply Put. If you tell me you just signed a big recording contract I really couldn't congratulate you. It means nothing these days.....the same as being put on national TV in a singing competition show will sell you NO records. 

A few years back Warner bros paid me a lot of money to be signed to them in my Group "Nikki & Rich".....boy did they spend a lot. lol. 200,000 dollar music video??? Huh? A recording advance unheard of in these times....Huge shows that cost 40k to put on. Wow....You would think that they would've held on to us as a group just because they dropped a MILLION dollars into us. After having our Debut on the Ellen show and the Tonight show....selling out shows in NY and LA etc.....How could they decide to not release an album and drop us before anything came out?

well, they did. 

Haha.....To this day it baffles me. Why didn't they just release an album to at least try and see if any profits could be recouped? AND to top it off....I have the worlds most amazing lawyer and they had to PAY ME TO LEAVE. Talk about amazing contract. 

What am I saying here? I'm saying that in this business there are NO absolutes. None. You can be dropped in a hot second for any reason without any explanation. 

The Amazing idol winner of this last season has the most ridiculous voice. One of the best I've ever heard. I had the honor of co-writing a song for her album that just came out. It had the lowest sales in idol history.....So unfortunate cause I loved my song. ha

Again, not only is a huge record deal NOT the answer, but 5 millions viewers won't help you either. 

Music is different now. And. I love it. 

We have to be more creative, Think harder, Be smarter and tap into other talents we possess to excel in this business. 

we are in charge. the labels are not. 

The potential of  growth through social media is ridiculous. Our opportunities for recognition have actually expanded due to the accessibility of the Internet. There are actually easier ways for people to expand and have a shot at this than ever before. I find it inspiring. 

I want aspiring musicians and artists to know the truth and be smart. Hold on to your work and know that there is no magic moment or exact formula. 

It's a great song. It's being driven. Staying smart and building something yourself.....from the ground up. 

This may require you to be taking orders or sitting behind a desk for a while but that's a beautiful thing. 

I remember working at Buca de Beppo in Franklin TN......This was after I lost my first record deal and already had number 1 songs in Christian Radio....etc. I had to serve real immigrant southern Italian food to people that I once employed on the road....Talk about HUMBLING. Ultimately....people respected me for it. My daughter wasn't going to eat carpet hair for dinner. 

I'm touching on a million subjects that all could take up their own blog page....I just want to encourage people to dream responsibly. There is a way to be a passionate artist that is still thriving and achieving your goals while paying your rent and keeping food in your fridge. 

Don't stop dreaming. Please. Never do that. 

No amount of children, failures, disappointments and setbacks should ever keep you from what you love. 

Do all things and do them well. Plan some things out and never give up.

Ever. Ever. Ever. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

The cage of injustice & being the topic of gossip.

Some of the most painful moments in life are not caused by the moment or the choice in itself but what people say and think about you. When facing a divorce or getting alienated by a group of people, it's easy for some to want to pick a side and believe the words spoken from the most convincing/theatrical party.

It's not easy to feel like you're in the middle of a field with stones being thrown straight at your noggin.

I've had my share of this for many years. I only recently had it out to the top of my highlights with being the brunt of vicious gossip and I lost my cool....badly.  Publicly.

Did I grab a bat, wreck a car and shave my head?.....Not that day.... Did I return the gossip with gossip?....nope....Did I use my vocabulary in a way I regret? Ummmm....yeah. Am I going to beat myself up forever for having a true reaction of hurt....No. I can't.

We are not stepford wives or robotic beings that aren't allowed momentary lapses of judgment. As a child of the more legalistic side of Christianity, I still find myself warped with thoughts of guilt. How crazy that I've allowed people who have treated me so terribly back into my life with open and loving arms yet I choose to not allow grace for myself?  It's a horrible cycle.

It's hard to be an encourager when you're not on the other side of victory. I am still stuck in the middle of battles in my life. Terrible injustices, huge life transformations and continually under the scrutiny of false perceptions and negative words.

So, I  am trying my best to keep looking to God for hope.... I am in constant pursuit of guidance in how to maintain a life that isn't lived with anger and hate in my heart for all the wrong that has been done.

I remind myself of these things that have always been true in all my circumstances...

* What is in the dark will be brought into the light.

* People have a habit of repeating negative patterns. Those who have turned on you will eventually see this for themselves, so let time vindicate you.

* We will face our own consequences, as will they.  Find the peace in your own actions.

* Don't just go through it, grow through it. Joel Osteen-

* If we knew better we would have done better. Maya Angelou-

With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape. Proverbs 11:9 NIV 

I have seen miracles in my life. I have seen the hearts of people so terribly lost in darkness be totally transformed. I know what is possible. 

How can people lie about people? How can people lie under oath? How can people maliciously attack you for no reason when all you have done is show love? I have NO idea except there is a loss of personal accountability to God and themselves. The rest is just a bunch of dark stuff. 

I know that anger and unforgiveness eats at our own souls! So even when it's hard to forgive and let go, I remind myself of what further damage it does to me in my heart and my own life to harbor the ugliness that comes with anger.  I just won't allow that to tear into me. 

Then there is the supernatural. The unexplainable peace that passes all of our understanding that often times gets overlooked. It's easy to see the final outcome as the ultimate victory and simply not acknowledge the underlying strength that keeps our threading from being unstitched. 

I want more than anything to be done with my court battles for my son. I know that terrible lies have been spoken and I know that my heart is wrecked when I'm not waking up to see my precious son smiling. I can't say with certainty what the years to come will look like. I can say with certainty that God is faithful to his promises. That "No one can be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted". Proverbs 12- 

There are mornings I feel like a truck rolled over me a million times..... I have mornings where tears are inevitable and answers seem out of sight. The age old questions of why good things happen to bad people and vice versa....well.... I don't have all the answers. I know God does though. I'm learning more than ever to trust in this. I've been on the brink of bankruptcy and have been negative in my bank account more times than I've been positive.... but there would always be a last minute miracle. 

Despite my human shortcomings there is grace and forgiveness that I don't understand. I must also remember that this grace is available for my enemies and I can only pray that they also have an encounter of acceptance for their actions and experience a transformation in their own lives. Wouldn't it be amazing to live in a world where more and more people are moving into the light? 

I'm not religious...this is just what I know. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

She is....

She was the most unplanned surprise of my life. 
She was my biggest fear.
She was the unknown.
She changed me. 
She was perfect. 
She held no record of my wrongs but only knew how to love.
She loved me in my search.
She grew as I grew.
She broke down my walls..... and when everyone else was gone....she was there. 
She kept me accountable to do good by simply existing. 
She was easy to forgive for what I didn't know. 
She showed me grace when I was learning how to raise her. 
She is kind to everyone around her. 
She is not bitter. 
She is full. 
She is joy.
She dances anywhere.
She is not afraid to be who she is even if she looks crazy.
She is witty. 
She is hysterical. 
She has never once complained. 
She has never asked me for anything. 
She always said I was more than enough for her. 
She believed that I could do it on my own. 
She is love.
She is grace. 
She is adored by her brother. 
She is my greatest choice. 

Jaslyn, Jazz, Jaslynton, JT, Jazzers, Jazzy BooBoo, Special Jazz.....

You are loved, adored and cherished. 

Happy 14th Birthday! I love you Sweet Girl. 


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

If you wanna be my Lover....You gotta get with my kids

If you are a single Mom in the awful world of dating, you know about the "Mom Bomb".

Well, that's what my daughter calls it. I don't like to give it such a negative catch phrase....BUT she is the one who came up with it.

When I would come home from a date she would ask me "So, did you drop the Mom Bomb"? Most of the time I would say "absolutely"!  Well, a few times. Let's get it straight, I didn't go on many dates. I've pretty much dated my job for the last number of years.

When you've had any taste of being in the public eye you pretty much know that someone can google you at any moment and they will know your favorite color, your dating history, your awful party pics with a lazy eye and a red bull....nothing is sacred. I was never directly in the public eye....just in the peripherals....HOWEVER my incredibly inaccurate wiki page has been a breeding ground for information including dating/marital history.

I kind of just wanted to be googled before a date....this way once they found out about the Mom Bomb I would know just how interested they were.

I made a huge mistake though.

A HUGE mistake.

I let perceptions, stigmas, stereo types, insecurities and judgement be the lens I saw myself and potential relationships through.

I would often say how shallow men were. I would always carry around an umbrella of doubt that would cover me when it wasn't even raining.

One time I had a friend call me out. He said...."I heard you talk about your job, your life, your ambitions, your faith but not about your family..."

I had heard so many opinions on this. Some would say to wait a couple dates in, that way they could get to know YOU first .....then you can share that you have kids.

I'm sure this is a method that works for some. I do know guys that say "I WILL NEVER DATE A WOMAN WITH KIDS".....then they meet someone, fall and love, then their hearts expand in ways they didn't realize.

There are a million ways to go about this. Some are wrong and some are right.

I will say this....

Most people have been through something. These days the rate of divorce/broken at an unfortunate all time high.

"Out of 12.2 million single parent families in 2012, more than 80% were headed by single mothersAbout 4 out 10 children were born to unwed mothers. Nearly two-thirds are born to mothers under the age of 30." 

I've talked to SOOOOO many women who think that they will not find an amazing man who would be accepting of a rocky past and children.

The truth is.....there are people who WILL view you through their own set of negative lenses. FOR SURE! At one point I dated someone who said he needed "quite some time to accept it"....WOW. That should have been a HUGE sign for me that he wasn't future step-dad material.

You see.....there are stigmas people absolutely have. They have this from the way they were raised or their own lack of wisdom on the subject. They embroider it together like a girl scout badge and hand it to you to sew on your life sash! We actually take these badges and we WEAR THEM!  In fact, we even sew them on OURSELVES! We put them next to our divorce badge...some have an ex-addict badge, high-school drop out badge....there are too many things to list.

The truth is, there is absolutely no reason to wear the poor choices of our past around our chest. You are NOT collecting badges for your sash.

Whether or not we walked into something blindly and married a phony....or walked into something with the full knowledge that it was a bad decision.....we have this amazing God given ability to remap the entire future of our lives.

Every time I'm at the grocery store I get sucked into an US weekly magazine to pass time and more often than not there is the "Who wore it better" section at the front of the magazine. Both girls are wearing the same exact dress but the magazine readers vote on the celebrity who "rocks" the look better. Sometimes it's the girl with longer legs who wins.....for sure.....BUT I will say most of the time it's the girl with the beautiful smile whose shoulders stand proudly and wear the dress without the dress wearing them.

I see women who let life wear them and it makes all the difference as to how someone views you. At the end of the day it is simply choosing to go into any and all situations with your shoulders back, a big smile and a pride in how you've overcome the challenges of life. Some people wear it better than others and Some people allow it to swallow them whole to where they just don't know how to live in it.

Mother's Day is coming this week and I'm not saying to go out and find yourself a single Mom today! It actually just doesn't fit for some people.....AND that is FINE!

It's just not about other people.

It's about accepting where YOU are in life, where YOU'VE been and who YOU'VE  become.

It's about walking into any situation with the mindset that you are a gift and your past is a beautiful chapter in your journey. It can be used to understand and show grace for others and most importantly grace for yourself.

Who wore it better??

Well....hopefully....all of us! :)

When you live out joy in your situation and wear it with pride, it really doesn't matter what it says on your paper trail. People won't be able to read it through the aura of pride and freedom you exude.

So, my giant detour is leading me back to the Mom Bombbbb!

Single parents.....your family is a gift and the right person will see it that way.

Shout it from the rooftops and don't be afraid of it. As much as your extra-curricular activities, faith and job can give a potential dater the insight as to who you are....your kids are at the front of that. I simply don't feel like that should ever be held back.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The broken family can break the bank

"I'm every woman.....It's only me"....

not exactly- 

I'm more like "Every Man"....

or at least the 85% that pay child support in America. After the dissolution of marriage only 15% of child support paying check writers are women.


I'm the 15%. 

Yes. I feel for the men in America. 

Years ago when my fight for custody began, I was judged for my profession. They found music to be self seeking and unstable. 

Some people spend years and years in college developing their craft so they can go out and make a difference for their future.

I guess you would say honing in and developing my vocalist skills were my Harvard days. Music was all I knew growing up. I was never asked where I wanted to go to college or what I wanted to major in, I had no idea what that meant till I was in my 20's. My questions were "how do you want God to use your talents and gifts"?

Had you told me in my teens that the court system views this choice of profession as unstable and you may be minimized to partial custody of your son with Summer and Christmas time, I would've probably studied hard. I simply had no idea.  

I return in September to fight in hopes to regain primary residential custody of my boy. I will not get into details but the court proved wrong in their decision as he has had to face a scary and unstable environment. A few years ago I knew that the touring life would hurt my chances of getting my son back, so I got off the road completely and threw in the towel when it came to dreaming of touring again. A decision I was so happy to make. I established a life as a session singer and songwriter. These things are now the most satisfying work decisions I've made in my life. 

Y'all, I want to be so bitter sometimes. My human self wants to ask God why injustice is allowed and why evil can prevail? Why honesty doesn't always win and why I'm not tucking in my boy every single night??? 

I had quite the morning. I wanted to scream! 

Why do I pay for round trip tickets to Florida every single month for a 48 hour trip to see my boy? Not to exclude airfare, rental cars, child care or a plane ticket for my daughter, parking or an uber to the airport in L.A., food, activities....etc

Why do I pay for 2 lawyers and court therapist? 


Well, marriage is a BIG deal. When you're 21 and running from a rocky past it's easy to fall into a situation that could in any way mask or divert your attention from the brokenness! 

Our decisions can and will follow us. As much as my upbringing and my unfortunate events are a major culprit in my poor choices, I STILL made them. 

WE make them. 

I was watching Joel Osteen this week and he said that we can receive signs from God when things aren't right. We don't hear the loud booming audible voice but he speaks to us in peace, confirmation, feelings and urges.  His voice is often quiet. To hear him you need to get closer.....that is how you hear a whisper. 

You see I want God to float down and give me a giant ass wink and nod and Say "Yo Nikki, I see your pain and it'll be done soon....hold tight".....YEAH!! However, I often overlook the strength and peace he has given me to endure this situation and focus on a BIG ol' sign. 

Well, Not only has he given me the ability to stand and make it through, BUT he has provided every penny to get through this. Every penny. Nothing has been charged on credit and all has been taken care of. Every flight....every cent. 

It often takes a good amount of time to turn a situation entirely around. The weight of our decisions can last for a bit. I believe in miracles and I believe in radical transformations, but the most amazing and sustaining changes are the ones you take time to walk through. Those are the changes that reconstruct an unstable house from it's foundation. Had I been handed everything I desired, I may not have been able to see the weight of a decision and have the wisdom it takes to step into my future with clarity of what it truly means to make a wise choice. 

Through all the money lost in this fight, I can say that I gained things that are far more valuable. 

I'm fine with breaking my bank because I'm not breaking. I am full. God keeps giving me these giant transfers when my soul is almost bankrupt. How about that for money analogies?? ha 

I will leave you with this...

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Toilet Paper & Jesus Dancing

One more thing...

The Opinionated Christian

As a former member of the visible Christian music community I have a few thousand Facebook friends who are very Christian....and by "Very Christian" I mean pictures of Lions with scripture references and massive opinions on every single thing that a conservative believer with a hand sewn bible cover would want to shout in CAPS from their status update.

I'm going to cut so fast to the chase here. I'm so incredibly exhausted with the finger pointing gate keepers of the heaven's. It's absolutely insane to me that people feel so turbo charged about their self given hierarchy within some sort of faith royalty.  It's as if they feel they are draped underneath an invisibility cloak that was created by this religious mindset to empower them to determine someones eternal destiny and standing with God.

When does this end????

My boyfriend said it so simply yesterday when we were discussing the outpouring of opinions that have been thrown with Chick-Fil-A nuggets straight at Dan Hastletine's Face.... He said "Why isn't love at the forefront"? Simple enough.

I was a product of the typical minsters family. You know, the parents who are "called" to save the souls within the four walls of their chosen place of worship. They read up on weekly devotions and craft emotionally compelling words of wisdom that would send a sinner straight up the aisle of redemption.  They would judge other believers with sayings like....

* Luke Warm Christian

* Seeker Sensitive Churches

* Baby Food eaters not getting "the meat" of the word

* Playing the fence

* not "sold out"

I could go on and on......

Ohhhhh.... if you can recite the words to "Father Abraham" and "Take back what he stole" from you, then you have definitely heard all of this.

We all have strong opinions these days. As a non farm-raised corn fed Christian who was brought up with very specific beliefs from the time my hands could go "deep and wide",  you quickly reach a point of confusion as to what it is "YOU" truly believe.

All of this to say, to the finger pointers, the sermon creators, the banner wavers, the youth directors, the counselors, the protesters and the gate keepers, are you loving your family? Your Church and home family? Are your children being given as much time and energy as you have put into judging the hearts of those around you? In my unfortunate history, the answer has been a big fat King James, NO!

Instead of judging others, why not go hug someone? Instead of making the Gay community feel like you are throwing Duraflame logs into a lake of fire that awaits them, why not show massive amounts of love??

Why hasn't love been at the forefront?????

Years ago I received a phone call that ALL the Lifeway Bookstores had taken my CD's off the shelves because I was pregnant out of wedlock with my ridiculously beautiful daughter Jaslyn. Instead of being happy for my choice at life.....or sending me a much needed care package of additional diapers or help books on how to raise a child in your teens, I was simply discarded as a disappointment to the community. Had love been at the forefront of all the Christians who surrounded me, I may have not run as far away from Christianity as I did. It is love that brings people in and gets them through. Rejection and judgment will continue to make Christianity a joke and a dying breed.

I'm hitting many different areas here. I know.

I will try and wrap it with a few key points.....

* Your ministry is to put your family first.

* Keep buying "Jars of Clay" albums and make yourself feel better with a Chik-fil-a Sandwich.

* Think of ways to love people and bring them in without shutting them out.

There was an old song that I grew up hearing that was played with an E minor along with "Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord".....;

It said-

Love. Love. Love. Love.

Christians this is your call.

Love thy neighbor as thyself for God loves all.

Get back to the basics.

P.S.... I'll post a lion pic outta sheer love for my FB Fam... :)