Whoa…

Amazing, everything that can happen in such a short amount of time. I sit back in wonder at the journey of these past couple of years.

I’m three years out and still, my bill of health says I’m clear of the cancer that started in my throat and made it’s way to my leg.

In the midst, I recorded a little demo called Purple Flowers with a few songs that helped me make it through all that. I’m hoping to finish it at some point. And I recorded a disc with my long time hero and now friend, Jan Krist.

I talk about it alot I know, but I’m still amazed at it. How long do we wonder, how long do we mark time waiting for something to happen, when all along, we’re just supposed to keep walking. When I wasn’t sure what to do, I could only put one step in front of the other.

Eventually, you make it further down the road than you ever expected. Jer 29:11-13, one of my life scriptures. We opened our service with that last week and it floored me.

“Keep walking, come with Me..don’t be afraid.” I hear that in my head all the time and I know it’s God.

It’s time to start booking shows to support this disc. And really, it’s time to start living, free from fear, without apology.

peace to you this day,
-a

Vacation..yay!

Hey guys!

We just got back from our vacation.  It was just amazing!  🙂  Spent the first few days in Bushnell, packing up some things and what not, made our way to Ohio for a wedding and then off to South Carolina to hit the beach!  I’ve been wanting to take Joshue to the ocean for a while and we finally did it!  The water wasn’t as clear as it is in the Gulf, but it was warm, wavy, salty and awesome!

Boogie boards, jellies, sunsets in all it’s glory.  What a gift to go  🙂  We stayed at Huntington Beach State Park so we got the ocean and a marsh…sharks and gators!  I can’t believe we stood maybe 7 feet away from a gator resting in the marsh.  He was ginormous and very dragon like!

At one point, Tim and Joshue had two baby hammerhead sharks swimming around them at the beach!  yikes!  I was kinda okay with that till one of the locals said, “Well you know their Mama is around here somewhere!”

Glad to be home and getting back into the rhythm of life here at JPUSA.

I’ll try to post some pics on FB, my nemesis.  😉

-a

 

Almost Done!

Hey guys…Alan is finishing up the final mixes for this new disc! We’ve finished a few of them and they sound great. It was such a gift to get to work with Jan Krist and her husband Alan. They are quite a team. 🙂 You can check out some of Jan’s work here, http://www.jankrist.net/

Soooo, it’s called “Let It Go” and is pretty symbolic of the changes going on in my life this past bit. Cancer changes you. It’s changed me.

I’ll be heading out to Redeemer Church at the end of the month and I’ll do a few of the songs on the disc. I’m hoping to get my son, Joshua to join me on banjo, but we’ll see…

Hope to see you out there!

Saturday!

Link

Hey guys,
Just wanted to touch base about the coffeehouse Saturday night. I’ve got a few friends playing with me. Colleen is still fighting that cold/flu thing that I just got over. 🙁 Scott Ingerson will be playing drums and Dave Coleman will be playing keys. It will be great fun and a journey musically of all the happenings of the past few years with cancer and all. The addy is on my calendar, check it out. The Coffeehouse at SOGF in South Holland, IL.

I’ll be playing some songs from my upcoming release, “Let It Go”, the project I’m producing with Jan Krist and Alan Finkbeiner. I’m so happy with it. Jan invited a friend of hers, Jim Bizer, who’s now my friend too 😉 to play guitar on some of the tracks…Wow, can he play guitar. The first track he finished, “Say Your Name” is fabulous. Hope you guys enjoy it too.

Going back to Saturday, the coolest thing of all is that our son, Joshua, will be opening for me with a short set!!! 🙂 🙂 He started playing Clawhammer Banjo this past fall and how blown my mind with how well he’s playing. Just a couple of weeks ago he asked me to show him a couple of chords on the guitar and now he’s learning songs on the radio! I’m really proud of him to just go for it!!! Thankfully, perhaps he’s learned something that has/is taking me like 44 years to figure out…each day is a gift, live it full on, and take every opportunity you get to love life and love God!

Have a great day, you guys. I just found out a couple of my friends are struggling with cancer again, please pray for strength and encouragement for the day for these guys, Kaddie and Tommy. It’s hard on them and just as hard on their spouses. Tim really went through it with me. He just wanted to make it better and take it away somehow. Please pray for mercy, this day.

peace,
-a

Happy New Year!

Hey guys…
Hope you had a great Christmas time and are filled with vision for the new year! 🙂

I’ll be joining Joe and the ministry of SOGF Coffeehouse in a couple of weeks for a concert. The doors open at 7:00 and we’ll start to play at 7:30. Admission is free and you can have your choice of tasty coffees, teas and snacks.
I’ll bring a few of my friends to fill out the sound a bit and my son may even play a few songs on his banjo before my set. Too cool!

I’ll head over to Jan’s after the concert for another session for the new project, “Let It Go” I got a rough mix back from Alan that had some of Jim Bizer’s guitar work on it…Wow guys, he has a way with that guitar. Can’t wait to get it out there.

At our last session, Jan had started putting some backing vocals on “When the Time Comes” It was amazing! I’m excited to see what we put together next!

It’s super late and I should be in bed! Talk to you soon…

peace,
-a

Just Keep Going

Hey guys,
Our world has been shaken. Once more, we hear reports of terrible devastation and hurt. I cannot imagine the pain the folks in Connecticut are going through. I can only pray. Pray for God’s comfort and mercy to immerse these folks in relief from a a grief that won’t stop.

At times in my life when I wasn’t quite sure what to do, all I could do was the next thing. Sometimes, I’d wake up in pain that would just not go away, maybe the next thing to do were the dishes in the sink, or clearing off my table, or calling a friend.

My prayer for these folks is that they can find the strength to do the next thing.
-a

Cancer…

Well guys a lot of time has flown by. I’ve been finding my new normal with cancer. Sometimes I think I have a grip on it all and then it just kinda unravels, whether it’s physically, spiritually or emotionally. I’m realizing more and more that I really don’t have a grip on too much. I’m thinking that’s a good thing…I always hung on much too tightly to things before. It’s as if the past two years, God has been trying to pry my fingers loose from this death grip of perfectionism and being overly concerned with things that don’t really matter in the end.

Sooooo, I got to attend a conference on Thyroid cancer this past weekend and it stunned me a bit. It was interesting to see that I’m not alone in the unraveling I mentioned before. It’s pretty common in folks living with this cancer. Still, there are many things about my health I belittle, and part of what I need to learn is to take things a little more seriously. No fretting necessary, but I can’t walk around in an oblivious denial either. Anyhow, lots to learn, and there’s much room for growth! 🙂

I’m hoping to finish up “Let It Go”, the project I’m producing with Jan Krist and Alan Finkbeiner this next month. Getting some of the kinks worked out and I’ve been comparing manufacturing options. Super cool!

So this day is a gift, give it all you got!
-a

Update on New Project

Hey guys,
Well things have been moving on this end. I’m up for an ultrasound in a couple of weeks to see what’s going on in my neck. I had a few questionable things floating around in there at my last checkup. It’s funny though, the med staff actually needs some time to see if these little cells start growing. Even if they see something, if they’re unsure, they gotta wait. No fun for me 🙁

I’ve gotten pretty sluggish over the past couple months. A sore throat I can’t kick and some kind of bug or something..not so great. It really takes a toll on me physically.

But, in the midst of all that uncomfortable stuff, the Lord opened up a miraculous door for me.

I think I shared with you guys a bit back that Jan Krist has become my mentor and a dear friend over these past couple years. She was one of my heroes back in the day. I’m sure she’d cringe if she heard that..Anyway, I’ve finally grown up a bit and singing and songwriting are a gracious gift from God to be used for His glory, not mine. I’m responsible to develop these gifts and serve Him, and serve the work He’s put before me.

So I had this little cluster of songs that began as tools for womens’ ministries. We see a lot of broken women here at our shelter, Cornerstone Community Outreach. You can read more about them here: http://www.ccolife.org/

Abuse, addictions and despair are common stories with these ladies. So many of us can relate to addictions and bad relationships, whether or not we’ve ever set foot in a shelter though. So hopefully these songs can get people thinking and hoping for more than the things that we settle for so much of the time.

Anyhoo, she’s offered to help me record this cluster of songs. We had our first session a couple of weeks ago. I was able to do put down 6 guitar tracks and five vox! Yahoo! Though I’d planned on just getting an ep together, it looks like we’re gonna go for a full length project!!! 🙂 amazing…

A few years back a dear friend was trying to encourage me and he said, “You know, sometimes we face some pretty difficult things, but sometimes, God also gives us “a little sugar to help the medicine go down” 😉 It’s stuck with me for all these years, and it’s really resonating deep in my soul right now. God is merciful.

Have a great weekend. My honey and my son are gone for a guys weekend, so I’m having a retreat here at home. Lots of prayer and seeking God about a few things.

peace to you,
-Aracely

Cancellation

Hey guys..sorry to say, the event in Peoria this weekend was cancelled by the pastoral staff. I do ask your prayers for these guys, for peace, comfort and power of the Holy Spirit to bring restoration. God is sovereign and faithful, always.

peace to you today,
-Aracely

Hey Guys

Just lettin you know I”m still here 😉

Things have been going well. Had lunch with a dear friend I hadn’t seen in a while. It’s so amazing when you feel like you just pick up where you left off. Great food and great friends, what more can a person ask for? 😉

Got some more guitar work done on my project with Hilde today. It’s coming along nicely. I’ve got another couple leads to do on it..woo-hoo!

Thursday, I’ll finish up my last acoustic guitar track on the little solo thing I’m doing. Then it’s time to start the vocals.

I still get floored at all the doors that have opened since my diagnosis last year, yes…floored.

Anyway, we’re thinking of running a half marathon this summer as a family. We’d hoped to try for the marathon, but Joshue is too young, so we’ll go halfsies 😉

It’s late, gotta go..
peace to you,
-a