Monday, October 24, 2016

Yesterday, Shawn's first album, Justified, was released! Cue the angel choir! This project has been a labor of love (and also a lot of fun), and we're elated to finally hold it in our hands.

Our church's pastoral team commissioned Shawn to write these songs and to create a project that would encourage our church body. He's done that and so much more, and I honestly think this is an album that anyone would enjoy. For me, it's been even more special because my dad served as producer, my mom as vocal producer, and I had the privilege of singing background vocals and being the photographer. But mostly, I've enjoyed having a front row seat to the writing of these songs, the wrestling through arrangements, and now enjoying the final product.

I wanted to give a little snapshot of each song from my perspective, in case you're interested...

1// You Call Me Justified - This is where it all started: a congregational song Shawn wrote that has become one of our church's favorites to sing on Sunday morning. Rich lyrics, singable melody. It'll be stuck in your head (in the best way).

2// Behold, Your King Is Come - Hands down, my kids' favorite song on the CD. Has an Irish jig kind of feel to it. We blast it in the living room and have a dance party. :)

3// The Fight - For most who have heard the album, this one is their favorite. My favorite line: "When mountains of failure are all that I see, remind me to think of the mountain you climbed for me."

4// One Hope For the World - Shawn wrote this for our church's missions conference a couple years ago, but it's an anthem that's more appropriate than ever in our very divided and divisive world. As believers, we can sing together, "There is one faith, one Savior, one Hope for the world."

5// Only You Know Why - This might be my personal favorite. I get to sing background vocals, and I love the sound of the guitars, the duet style, the truth behind it. Shawn wrote it as he struggled to grasp the sovereignty of God.

6// The Lord Is On My Side - "The Lord is on my side. He will not hold back or hide. I won't be moved, I will not be moved." Yes!

7// Shield About Me - The chorus is taken straight from Psalm 3. I love hearing Liam sing the lyrics to this one in the backseat: "You, oh Lord, are a shield about me. My glory and the lifter of my head. I need not fear for my enemies around me. I lay my head in peace upon my bed."

8// Your Spirit Moved - In last night's concert, this was a powerful moment: just Shawn, his guitar, and gospel-saturated lyrics. Yes.

9// Mysterious Wonder - A gorgeous Christmas song with the most exquisite strings arrangement (by my own dad!).

10// Jesus Is Coming Again - A celebration song because He's coming back! This will make you want to dance.

11// There Is A Fountain - Since Liam was born, this hymn has been on my lips as I've sung it to both babies many nights before bed. When we thought about incorporating a hymn onto the album, I was thrilled when Shawn decided for it to be this one. The words hold such a special place in my heart, and it has a very Appalachian feel. Delightful.

12// Faithful To Me - I tear up listening to this one and making it personal: He's been so faithful to me, to you, to us. This one focuses on several precious attributes of God.

I say this with complete honesty: I would love this album even if I wasn't married to the artist. I'd play it in my car, listen to it with my kids, put it in my ear buds as I walked into a busy day at work. But knowing the heart behind these songs makes it even sweeter, and I know you who have read my blog for years will find it so special as you "know" us in a way. We hope and pray these songs are a true blessing to your soul and that through them, you experience Christ in a fresh way.

You can purchase the album on iTunes!
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