What a wonderful, amazing God I serve! If I were to write down all the ways He has been with me throughout my life, it would fill many volumes, and with each day that passes, many more could be filled. An equivalent number of volumes could be written about the many times I have failed Him, transgressed against His commands, and did not give Him the love and praises He is worth; yet, He still remains with me, working to align my life with His Divine Will.
He gave me a home where I could find Him at a very young age; He gave me a mother whom I love very dearly, one who cared for me while I was growing up and supported me in the pursuit of my musical dreams and aspirations; He gave me a most amazing family to help guide me in my spiritual life; He gave me opportunities to experience the beauty of His nature, to learn of love and much forgiveness, and to share His love with the many people I have met throughout my life.
When I was experiencing struggles that tear many families apart, He was with us, comforting and protecting us with His mighty rod and staff, keeping us from what could have been a much worse situation. In the process I discovered what forgiveness was really all about, and how some mistakes may change your life in a very drastic and unintended way, you can still forgive and find peace in it all.
If I had to choose one thing God gave me that has helped me the most in my life and how I fashion it, it would be the people in my life and family who have made it through to the end, giving God their whole lives. I always think, in particular, to my great-grandfather Reynold Woodward. He passed on from this life when I was barely starting on my own journey, but he left a legacy of faithfulness, wisdom, and servitude that is well-documented in the memories of his family and friends, artwork, and the books he studied, which I have somehow come across.
God has given me so much, and it is all I can do to give up my own life for Him. To follow Christ with all I have; in music, in art, in life. Through to the end.
Though my childhood was filled with the pains of things beyond my control, I had a lot of fun growing up. I had the opportunity to grow up with two wonderful sisters, who I love so much. Melissa, my "older younger sister", and I were very close...annoyingly close, sometimes. It was somewhat inevitable that we'd go through times of strife while we grew up, but we moved past that and got to play many games and have lots of fun together. We were blessed to have another younger sister, Meggan, and the three of us (in my biased opinion) were somewhat inseparable. We had many talent shows, played countless games of "Sinbad, couch warrior", and found so many fun and interesting things to do no matter where we were.
Probably my most favourite thing that we did as kids was to make our own "Canadian Kids Idol" audio recording, which has since been terribly unfortunately misplaced. I had lots of fun making up new voices to use, like weasels and Swedes. That was somewhat a turning point for me: finding out that I could be completely real with my sisters, and others. And for me, that realness happened to have a little bit of crazy attached to it, and I must thank them for that.
My childhood would not be complete without my mother playing games with me, especially after I had surgeries for one thing or another. I have fond memories of her reading to me in the hospital, and I miss that. One day, I will read to her, and return to her some of the amazing love and caring she gave to me.
I won't say much about my music; I leave that for you to discover. I only hope that it will be real and helpful, and strive to make sure it is pleasing to God, not self-serving, and in accordance with my mission and vision for this ministry. I will say, though, that whatever musical abilities I have were the result of much practise and passion for improving. It has also been quite helpful to have musical parents and a most amazing piano teacher while growing up. The best piece of musical advice I was given? Learn to play every song in every key.
- If a song sticks with you for a few days, it's worth pursuing;
- Every musician of any instrument should learn how to sing;
- Not everyone is committed to music; you can try to fight against it, but you will lose your life;
- Admit your mistakes and fix them. It's the best way to improve.
Other helpful things:
I really like family. Strong families hold the world together. Spending time with family, and with other families, helps keep me going through the tougher times. I wouldn't give mine up for the world, but I am also blessed to be a part of different families and kinds of families in all the places I go!
I'm also a fan of genuine people, especially genuine Christians. I would rather someone be real with me than to go through my life and find out it was all a facade. If you believe something, live accordingly. If you don't believe in something, don't fake it. Not only is it often very easy to tell, but whatever lies or hypocrisies associated with it will fade away, either in this life, or the next.