Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Willie says it best!

Yep...one of our favorite songs sung by the red headed stranger...On the road again! Just can't wait to get on the road again!

This was our first weekend back on the road in 2012 and we had such an amazing time! Michelle, Gabriella, and I headed up to Oklahoma and played in 3 towns in 2 days. Yeah it was fast and furious, but it was so much fun! There were multiple times that all three of us mentioned how fun it was to be back on the road. On the drive home we were trying to figure out what it was about being on the road that we all loved so much. We came up with a few different ideas as to what it is we love best about road life.

Is is the family time? We spend hours and hours in the truck together singing and playing and talking. We get to see and experience new places together making memories and growing our relationships.

Is it just being away from home? There is so much excitement about taking a road trip! You never know what you will come across along the way!

How about being with old friends? Because we travel so much we have formed some great relationships across the country. It is so much fun to see old friends, catch up on life, laugh, talk and and just hang out. In our opinion that is where a lot of ministry happens, in those one on one times over a nice juicy hamburger or hot cup of coffee. Some of our favorite memories are the times we get to just sit and talk and share stories about ministry.

Is it because we are always making new friends? It doesn't matter whether we are at a church or camp or just at a restaurant along the way, when you have someone as cute and friendly as our sweet Gabi new friends are made very easily!

Is it the fact that we get see so much of the country? Whenever we plan a trip we try to make it a learning experience for all of us. We look up and see what there is along the way that would be fun to visit. We have seen some great history, and experienced some very exciting things along the way!

Is it the fact that we get to stay in hotels? If it were up to Michelle we would live in a hotel. That is her dream. It is so much fun to stay in a fresh clean place and have breakfast waiting for you every morning when you wake up!

What we have discovered is that overwhelmingly the answer is D...all of the above! We are so excited to be on the road and and can not believe that God has called us to this incredible life!

We love our life on the road! Thank you God for continuing to bless us with new places and friends along the way!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back in the saddle again!

This week we are preparing to get back on the road! We head to Oklahoma this weekend for the first road trip of the year. We are so excited to visit old friends and make new ones along our journey! The holidays have been a nice break for us, being home, relaxing, re-grouping, preparing for another exciting year, but we miss being on the road.
I can say with absolute certainty that this is what we were created to do! It is so exciting to know that God has called us to this life of traveling and leading worship, and that He continues to bring us new opportunities and encourage us along the way! Sure there are times that it is hard. We have countless stories of the crazy things that have happened to us while on the road, but through it all, God has been right there with us!
It is amazing to look back at the past 10 years and see where we started and where God has brought us. We have made 7 full length CD's, traveled to 16 different states and 2 countries, played at countless churches, camps and retreats, and we are still going strong! God continues to bring us fresh ideas, new songs, and provide us with new places to play and new people to meet! It is so exciting!
Michelle and I have often sat down and wondered how in the world this all works. We know that we are nothing special. We have no magical powers or secret weapon, we just have faith that God will put us right where He wants us when He wants us there. He continues to bring people into our life that encourage, help, and motivate us to keep pressing on.
So I am excited about this new year! I am looking forward to loading up Truck Norris (yep that is our trucks name) and heading up I-35 this weekend! When you see us driving by, be sure to wave! We will be looking for you!
Look out Oklahoma, here we come!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Resolution or Revolution?

Happy New Year! Can you believe another year has past? I remember when I was a kid and it seemed that it took forever for summer to arrive then it was like a million years until Christmas! The days, weeks, months dragged by like molasses on a cold day, and now they fly by like a leaf caught in a tornado!

As we have now enjoyed a little more than a full week of 2012 I have looked back on 2011 and thought about what went well and what I think I could improve for this new year. Now, I am not one for making new years resolutions. I have a hard time with telling myself I will or won't do something, because I know that I will always let myself down. I can't tell you how many times I have said "This year I will..." only to forget about it a few weeks later. I know that works for some, and to those people I say "Get on wit yo bad self!" I think instead of making a Resolution what I need is a Revolution. I don't need to make more rules for myself, I need a total mind and heart reset.

I don't know if you have seen the list of 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters, but I have run across it recently and it has started my mind racing. In his blog (lifetoheryears.com), Michael gives little tips, hints and rules for dads with little girls and how to make the most out of your relationship with her. If you read it, you will cry, trust me! It made me realize how precious and special each day is with my sweet Gabriella, and how I want to invest and participate in her life and not just exist in it.

One of the things I have realized about myself is the fact that I don't live in the moment. Michelle and I have talked about this so many times. There are times that life is happening around me and I am oblivious to it. I am not soaking in the sights and sounds and feelings...I am just existing. What I am learning is that each day we have here on earth is a gift, and if we don't use it to its full potential we are wasting it. I want to revolutionize my thinking, I want to be present and aware of the world around me! I want to be passionate about my wife, daughter, and the calling on my life. I don't want to let the days blow by me so quickly that I turn around one day and wonder where they have gone. I want to soak in all of Gods glory and goodness, especially in the little things, so that I can be a better husband, father and leader.

I am calling for a Revolution in my life, not a Resolution.

I would love to hear your thoughts! You can post them on our Facebook fan page www.facebook.com/justingravesband