Marriage Honesty

Marriage Honesty

[Editor’s Note: I had the awesome opportunity to do a Q&A with Molly Reed of the husband/wife music duo Grayson|Reed. They are honest in their songs and have a strong marriage message that I love. Here is some backstory on Grayson|Reed before we dive into the interview…cover-artwork-gr

Mike and Molly met their first week of college as entering freshman at Nashville’s Belmont University. Over the next 10 years, the aspiring artists floated in and out of one another’s social circles, gradually building a unique friendship that eventually became a strong relational foundation when they started dating in 2012. The following year, they said “I do,” and two years later, they welcomed their daughter, Grailey. 

Whether writing about the Christian journey, marriage or redemption, Grayson|Reed simply desires to craft music from an intensely honest place—even if their vulnerability shines a light on the messy parts of life.]

MW: Do you feel like you have a mission with your songwriting?

MR: Absolutely! I believe that The Lord gave me such a special gift and has called me to use it. I’m so thankful for songwriting. Music is the universal language and to be able to communicate to people through song is so cool. I love the idea of being able to encourage people and share Jesus through music.

MW: Could you tell us about your Christian walk?

MR: My personal journey with Jesus really became real during my senior year of high school. I was on a mission trip and just got to see the world in a whole new way. It really opened my eyes and Jesus showed up in a way I hadn’t seen Him do before. It’s a daily choice to put Him first. What’s been super fun lately is praying with my daughter and teaching her about Jesus. I love seeing Him through her eyes.

MW: How important was it for you to be able to eventually work together?

MR: It was always a dream for my husband Mike and I to be able to do music together, and the fact that we are living that dream is amazing. Once we had our daughter Grailey, we knew we didn’t want to be touring apart and always leaving each other. We would rather be playing in front of 10 people together then 1,000 apart.

MW: What is your songwriting process like?

MR: It’s the same yet different for each song. I usually start with some kind of melody or groove and feel out the music, from there the idea or title is born. BUT, some days I come with a concept or title and write the music around it. Songwriting is much like playing a sport, it’s almost like a muscle that you have to use regularly to get better and better. It’s important for me to hone my craft as often as I can, so I try to write around 3-4 days a week when we are not on the road.

MW: What do you feel are the biggest reasons people give up on their marriages?

MR: Lack of communication or as we call it “writing stories.” From day one, Mike and I made a promise to try and NOT write stories or fill in the blanks with what the other was saying. So often, people live out and believe what they “think” someone meant by what they said rather than asking for clarification. I will say “Mike I’m writing a story that when you said XYZ you meant “this,” is that true?” It gives the other person a chance to speak to the lies we created in our head and call out the heart and truth.

MW: How has your faith grown during your marriage?

MR: Much like becoming a parent, I have had to learn how to surrender and trust in a whole new way. It’s easy for me to want to try to control the other person, or to live in fear of something tragic happening. But I’m choosing to give it all to God and TRUST Him with my family.

MW: What do you think is next for Grayson|Reed?

MR: Honestly, I love cooking and baking so one day I hope to be able to write a cookbook! Maybe I’ll call it “What’s Molly Making?” haha!  

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Reflecting and Projecting: How to Live Each Year with Purpose

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Reflecting and Projecting: How to Live Each Year with Purpose

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Britney Christian Miller. Britney is sharing her story today about being a Christian missionary and musician abroad and her goals now that she is home in California this year. You may be noticing more music on Devotional Diva! I’m thrilled about this, and there is more to come 😉 Thank you, Britney!]

This time of year, all of us do two things; we reflect and we project. We reflect on the year we just lived and then we project our ideals on to a new year. Whether we do this for five minutes when we post our best nine on Instagram, or we spend several weeks pondering, none of us escape this deep desire for our lives to count for something in the future and wonder if it did in the past.

Each year, instead of doing a new years resolution, I pick a theme that I want to work on. In 2016 my theme was “yearning.”

I wanted to wake up every morning with a deeper yearning for God: to know him more, to seek him more and to experience him to greater depths.

My husband and I were about to move across the world, to a country most people have never heard of, and serve as missionaries to women enslaved to sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

Yearning for God wasn’t just a luxury; it was part of my lifeline. It was my only security in an otherwise completely uncertain realm.

Our experience overseas was full of curveballs. We moved there to work at a center for women coming out of sexual exploitation and the day we arrived, all the women who were living there had moved out for various reasons. But instead, I got to focus my efforts on street outreach to women who were still being exploited and God infused in me a deeper passion for reaching those who are held captive to the enemy. My yearning for God grew as I wrestled with witnessing evil and yet knowing the power of God in the midst of it all. Yearning was no longer something I had to muster up or work for; it became absolutely necessary to process the world around me.

Another curveball came when after only six short months of us living overseas we felt God calling us back home. Our original plan was to be there at least a year and a half, but most likely longer. Again, I wrestled and yearned for God in the most desperate way to help me make sense why he called us across the world only to bring us right back. I didn’t receive a glorious revelation of God’s plans for our future right off the bat, but we followed anyways not quite sure of what the next season would hold.

Shortly after I arrived home, God gave me my theme for 2017:

“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gifts God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:6-7

God has called me to “fan into flames” the gifts he put inside of me not only during my time overseas, but my whole life. I am beginning to see the glimpses of why God called us overseas in the first place. My passion for fighting for those who are enslaved to human trafficking was not just something I could do overseas. In fact, it turns out that my seemingly beautiful hometown in the midst of southern California is also darker than I ever realized growing up surrounded by all of my church friends.

I have already begun to serve with another Christian non-profit called “Forever Found” which allows me to connect with girls much like the ones I worked with overseas. I even get to be a part of launching a brand new team that will come alongside girls in my county the moment they are being rescued out of trafficking.

I stand at the edge of this great cliff with 2017 before me; my toes dangle over the edge as I peek forward in curiosity. In some ways, this year feels far more uncertain than the one before it, because I have no idea what it will hold. But I know one thing; I will spend this year fanning the flames of the spiritual gifts God has put inside of me.

Watch Britney’s debut music video filmed overseas while she was serving in missions. A message of hope that no matter how far we wander, or how forgotten we feel, there is a God chasing after us with an unrelenting love:

 

 

img_9796Britney Christian Miller is a missionary, singer-songwriter, blogger and worship leader from southern California. Her biggest passion is reaching girls who are enslaved to human trafficking and sexual exploitation and sharing with them the hope to be found in Christ. She spent her teens and early 20’s writing and recording music and touring all over the country as a spokesperson for a national campaign. In 2016, her and her husband moved overseas to serve as missionaries with YWAM Freedom 61. She now lives back in southern California and works directly with girls coming out of human trafficking and exploitation. Read more about her journey on her blog: www.worthyoffreedom.com

 

Images provided by Britney Christian Miller.

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You've Got a Plan

you've got a plan by karsyn robb on devotional diva power of god healing christian song[Guest post by Karsyn Robb: Karsyn contacted me to share her beautiful song “You’ve Got a Plan,” and I was so excited to have a musical submission! Below is the story behind the song, followed by the video. Enjoy!]

 

At the end of my freshman year of college, two fellow students attempted to sexually assault me on my university’s campus. I was fortunate enough to be able to get away, but the trauma from that night nearly destroyed me.

For five months I kept what had happened a secret because I was terrified of how people would react once they found out.

It didn’t take long before the stress from it all took its toll causing me to briefly end up in the hospital. So by September, I knew I couldn’t keep quiet anymore and told my family and the university what had happened as well as filed a no contact order against the guys.

In January the following year, I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in the UK for six months, which was exactly what I needed to begin the healing process. It was during my first week in abroad when I wrote, “You’ve Got a Plan.”

The song was a prayer expressing the brokenness I had felt the last eight months and admitting that I wasn’t strong enough to deal with everything by myself anymore.

It was time to put all that had happened into God’s hands. Being away from the place and the people that had caused me so much pain was my chance to start fresh and begin the long process of picking up the pieces.

It didn’t get easier overnight, in fact it is almost two years later and there are still days that are almost impossible to get through, but I am healing. I am stronger than I’ve ever been because I surround myself with people that love and support me.

Most importantly though, I have the King of all kings fighting for me so I know I’m going to be okay.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWbF2ovVCUg

If you’re unable to see the embedded video, click this link to listen to Karsyn’s song “You’ve Got a Plan”

karsyn robb on devotional divaKarsyn Robb is a 20 year old singer-songwriter from Nashville, TN. She is currently earning her bachelor degree in Music Business and Marketing with plans to graduate in December of 2015. Although music is her favorite passion, she also has a heart for traveling and photography.

photo credit: Cactus with yellow flowers. Less than 3 inches tall, it is nearly full grown. via photopin (license)

Would you like to “become a diva” and guest post on Devotional Diva? Follow this link to find out how!

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