Thursday, October 8, 2009

Concert Time

The concert was to begin around 7:00pm. Friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances began to show up around 6:15pm. To be honest, we had no idea what to expect. K-Love had told me to reach out to as many people as I could and to impact the community, so without knowing if Mark would have a mic and if the weather would cooperate, we tried to keep it semi contained in case we had to move inside.

When Mark arrived (after spending 10 minutes on the phone with my husband Ryan trying to figure out how to get to our house) he was gracious and so flexible. He saw our little set up in the garage and over 100 people in our front yard and said, "lets do it". Even without a mic he sang his heart out and brought everyone to tears.

Mark has touched my life in so many ways. We have seen him in concert numerous times and watched all of his videos (scroll to the end of the blog to view a few). Each time I am amazed by his genuineness. While he has a song that touches almost every walk of life, his songs about little girls and adoption always make me drop to my knees. Mark was adopted at birth and often shares of this experience and his loving adoptive parents. The theme of the night continued to center around adoption, as my biological daughter and her adoptive parents (the Stantons) joined us for the event. Kellie was born 13 years ago right after I turned 19. I will save the details for another post as I would love to eventually start spending more time ministering to young girls that find themselves pregnant and contemplating adoption. Every adoption is unique and personal, and our situation has taken a life of its own. From the beginning, I think the Stantons and I really placed these relationships in God's hands and he has continued to grow and foster them, creating a strong sense of trust. It is times like these that we are able to reflect and embrace God's truth as stated in Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God".

I think my aunt summarized the evening well ~

It was such an amazing evening. I will never forget it. Too many stories to share here. God really showed up. What was so special is that Mark said more than once that he would never forget it…and he was blessed by it. I wish you all could have been there. Yet it was so intensely personal…lots of tears….lots of people that just needed to know that God is real and He loves them and wants to have a personal relationship with them.

Tomorrow is my 5th day of being unemployed, and I couldn't be more filled with Hope. This has been a life changing week. I am anxious for the future and to work towards the purpose (whatever that is) God created me for. I am continuing to experience the joy in the journey, realizing that I will never arrive at a destination just change courses with hopefully God's directions guiding my path. K-Love and Mark ~ THANK YOU for helping me kick-start this new stage in my journey.

Preparing for a concert in less than 48 hours

Tuesday and Wednesday were so wonderful. In the past couple of years, I had been working so much, I would go months without touching base with many of my friends. In these two days, I spent more time talking to my friends and family than I have in years. I have smiled so much that my cheeks are sore.

Thankfully, my house wasn't too much of a mess, so I was able to focus my time on the list of people that I wanted to invite, and then start making phone calls. The list continued to grow and by Tuesday afternoon we decided that the best spot for Mark to perform might be in our garage. Crazy, I know, but ironically, we had watched Extreme Home Makeover this past weekend, and singer Ashley Tisdale set up a mini concert in the winners new garage while all of the builders, friends, and volunteers were lined up on the drive way, and lawn enjoy the music. I couldn't get this vision out of my head, so we worked to re-create that scene for Mark and our guests.

The stories and connections that happened in these two days are incredible. My favorite happened on Tuesday. Mark received a call from his long time friend, Carrie. Mark and Carrie grew up in Colby Kansas together. Carrie happens to be friends with the Stantons. The Stantons are an amazing family (husband Stewart, wife Jan, oldest daughter Amanda, and adopted daughter Kellie). They are very special to me, because 13 years ago I picked them to raise my baby girl. They adopted Kellie straight from the hospital and our open adoption relationship has continued to produce numerous blessings. Anyway, Jan had been talking with Carrie at Church on Tuesday, and told her that they were going to a Mark Schultz concert on Wednesday night. Carrie asked how they knew the lady that won the contest, and Jan proceed to tell Carrie that Kellie, their adopted daughter was the biological daughter of the K-Love winner, Lisa. Carrie called Mark that night to tell him about the divine coincidence, and scheduled lunch during Mark's quick visit to Denver.

How it Started....

This Monday, October 5th, was my first official day unemployed. I hadn't over scheduled my week, even though that is my normal MO, and just wanted some time to be still. I had just dropped the kids off from a great ride to school and turned up the radio just in time to hear about this cool contest K-Love Radio (91.1 FM Denver) was sponsoring. Mark Schultz, Christian singer/song writer was going to do four concerts this week in winners "living rooms" - it was titled Mark Schultz Home Delivery. So when I got home, I went straight to the computer and entered to win. To enter you had to write in 250 words or less, about how an event like this could impact your family and neighborhood.

So here is what I wrote:

When I first heard "Everything to Me", Mark's song about adoption, tears streamed down my face. When I was 19, 13 years ago, I gave my baby girl up for adoption. God has blessed this open adoption continuously. I am starting a new chapter in my life as I just lost my job, and I am feeling lead to share my heart and my story much like Mark shares his through song. There are so many people in my community and so many of my friends that need to know the love of God and I am praying for God to give me the avenue in which to start that dialogue. When I heard about this contest on K-Love, I couldn’t think of a better way than to fill my home with people who need to know the love of Jesus. This would be an experience of a lifetime with Mark Schultz that would then open up the door to begin talking and sharing God’s amazing grace. If I was chosen, this would be a gift that would just keep giving and I would be honored and challenged to continue to pray and minister to those that would attend.

Then the rest of my Monday was filled with cleaning my office, paying bills, writing in my journal and reading my new favorite book Find Your Strongest Life - What the Happiest and Most Successful Women do Differently by Marcus Buckingham. I heard Marcus speak at the Women of Faith conference two weekends ago, and was very inspired. Monday, I also went to take this quiz associated with the book - you can take it too at I found out (or reconfirmed) that primarily I am a Care Taker and a Weaver (someone who sees the world as a "web of relationships, and always excited by the prospect of connecting two new people"). Unknowing on Monday, this role will suite me well in the following days.

Tuesday morning, I was awoken by my cell phone ringing at 7am. We had been up late the night before watching Brett Farve and the Minneosta Vikings defeat the Green Bay Packers. I came downstairs to find my phone and as I listened to the message I started screaming! It said " is Lisa and Eric from K-Love, give us a call as soon as you can". At that moment, I just knew what was about to happen. I played the message to my family (Kaylee (6), Austin (11) and my husband Ryan)and the excitement was overwhelming. We quickly called K-Love and were thrilled to know that the next night, Wednesday, October 7, 2009, Mark Schultz would be coming to our house to give us a private concert.