Julia: More than 13 years ago I delivered my first child, Evie. I was in my early 20s and felt totally unqualified for the job of mom. Human babies come out so completely incapable of protecting or fending for themselves and so INCREDIBLY needy. I remember being completely shocked that babies got up during the night more than once, like every two hours!
Today I’m standing eye to eye with my daughter, and she’s borrowing my shoes. How my insecurities have changed! She is more than halfway through her adolescent life and what have I taught her? Is there enough time in the world to teach all she will need to know to be safe and successful in this life? Now I’m freaking out. I look back at all those wasted moments where I wasn’t holding her face to mine, explaining how to create lasting friendships or her investment portfolio. Even now, the topics are infinite. How do you prepare someone when you don’t know what life will throw at them?
Evie: While my mom panics over a quart of Rocky Road, here’s a couple things I appreciate about her. My mom is not afraid to talk to me, and I’m not afraid to talk to her. The thing I love most about my mom is that all the respect that I give her, she returns just as much. She doesn’t treat me like a stupid little kid. She respects me as a maturing “young woman.” I can’t imagine her treating me any differently when I grow up. She helps with all the problems I can’t solve on my own. She always finds a way to make me laugh. She comforts me and lets me be weird around her. My mom isn’t always 100% on my side, but that’s a good thing. She lets me learn from my mistakes and from hers, teaching me to take responsibility for my actions. When I mess up, she takes me back as if it never happened. She’s not perfect. No one is. But my mom is sitting right by God, shaping me into a great person.
Julia: This must be exactly what my mom was experiencing when she said the day before I got married, “I haven’t taught you anything.” My response was, “Mom, you taught me all I need to know to get through today. Tomorrow will take care of itself, and I have faith you will be there to help the rest of the way.” Maybe I should listen to the wisdom of my 23-year-old self and have faith that for as long as God allows, I will be there for Evie whenever she needs me. But ultimately He is the answer to all a mother’s prayers.
Driving home from work, you suddenly realize that one more stressor will put you right over the edge. It might be a terrible day at work or a stressful time with your kids but you feel the tightness in your neck and chest and rest seems so far away. So, what do you do in that instance? Well, Jonny Diaz would suggest that you breathe. Jonny faced fatherhood during a 40-city tour and the managing of his and his wife’s gym in Nashville. “We didn’t even have the baby yet, and I just felt so overwhelmed with everything life was throwing at me,” Jonny admits. Oh, and he had a quickly approaching deadline to turn in a new record but songwriting was stressing him out even more! What if he took the time, wrote a song and then it never made it on to the record?
“In some ways when I had to co-write, it was stressful, because I was like, ‘Man, I have to commit this entire day to writing a song, and I don’t even know if I’m going to use the song,’” Johnny recalls, looking back at the process. When he met with his fellow co-writers who asked what he had going on in his life that he could write about, Jonny admits that he downloaded on them. Realizing that he was not the only one who felt that way, they all put their heads together and wrote “Breathe”.
Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor
It’s off to the races everybody out the door
I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life
“If I’m honest, I was just busy,” Jonny explains, “We had a new baby at home and so many things changing in our lives. But it was in that moment that I realized that I just needed to breath.”
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say just
Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need is to just breathe
“It’s not about just serving God,” Jonny reveals, “It’s more about knowing God.” He admits to being more of a Martha from Luke 10:38-42 and that sometimes he just needs to be a Mary and just sit at Jesus’ feet. “Knowing God needs to be at the pinnacle, the most important thing,” Johnny admits, “He’s not part of my life, He is my life.” Know that you can rest in Him and He has it all under control, no matter what you are going through.
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to take it in fill your lungs
The peace of God that overcomes
So let your spirit rest
Lay down what’s good and find what’s best
“We took some really big, scary steps to kind of make this happen,” is how Mike Grayson of Grayson Reed described the process where he and his wife, Molly Reed, decided to make their marriage a priority, even in their careers. He continued, “Molly and I, when we met, we were in our separate groups. I was with Mike’s Chair and she was with City Harbor, and we were kind of ships in the night for the most part, kind of going majorly different directions around the country. We just knew that that wasn’t going to sustain us.” So they decided to make their marriage a priority in both of their lives, including their careers and parenting. Molly and Mike have a one-and-a-half-year-old baby girl at home that has opened their eyes to how important fighting for your family can be. “It is the hardest thing ever I will say that first,” Molly explains, “those first couple weeks when you’re like I thought I knew how to live without sleep, but she’s now one-and-a-half, and she is – she’s incredible. She’s such a sweet silly little girl, and being a mother has taught me honestly how much God loves me. That perspective everyone says when you’re a parent you’ll view God’s love in such a different way, and it’s been so true. I couldn’t imagine not doing anything for this sweet girl and it just gives me chills to think that his love is even so much greater.”
Their new song Fight For You, outlines their real world perspective on the struggles of marriage and how they can be overcome.
“I know how to be your champion
I know what to say to build you up
And I know how to make you feel pretty
I know how make you feel love
Oh if you ever start to wonder whether it’s still true
Let me tell you once again what I said, when I said I do
I’m gonna fight for you”
“We are so passionate about family,” Molly shares, “and I’m not just saying this but family is life and we believe that marriage is the core of that and then raising children and grandchildren, all that, it just kind of trickles from there. And we – we’re like what an honor if God would use us to help inspire and challenge and I don’t know strengthen marriages, which in turn will affect families.” Mike adds, “One of the things that I’ve really been working on is when Molly’s getting ready in the morning and I’m like ‘wow, she’s beautiful’, actually saying that to her because, if I don’t, she’s not getting the benefit of that. So being way more intentional with my words with Molly and then especially with our little girl because I feel that weight of what it means to be the father of a girl.”
So, no matter what you are fighting for today, keep Mike and Molly’s words in mind, “It’s worth
choosing each other and choosing love till the end.”