Writing Amy Grant fans can WIN!

Dave is running a CONTEST on his site.  He will be giving away 3 copies of Amy Grant's new book, Mosaic – Pieces of My Life So Far.  All you have to do is share, in 500 words or less, about your favorite Amy Grant song and why you love it.  Dave will be the judge and select 3 winners to receive the book, compliments of her publisher, WaterBrook Press (www.randomhouse.com/waterbrook/).   He'll also award a signed photo of Amy Grant (www.amygrant.com) and publish his favorite entries on his blog.

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I have been reading Mosaic and it is really a good book!  It is full of anecdotes and journal entries and memories of people who have impacted her life.  There are insights, a discography and her history with pictures.  She included questions and timelines and explanations and lyrics to her songs.  She shares her poetry, including a haunting piece written just months ago about her son stepping into adulthood as he buries a childhood friend ("…good-bye two boys, hello one man…").  You hear, in her writing, the authentic voice of a woman at peace who has found her truest reflection in the relationships she has – her children, her husband, her parents, her sisters, and all the people God has placed in her path.  I don't think you can fake an authentic voice.  You hear the whisper of a heart who has faced the scrutiny of public opinion and pain and dark times like we all have and has come to embrace it as blessing, all part of the rich tapestry of life.

Except for the fact that she is this multiple-award-winning performer and an amazingly talented songwriter and famous around the world, I feel like Amy Grant and I have a lot in common.  She loves James Taylor and Carly Simon and so do I.  There is the whole Kevin Costner thing.  And – we have come to some of the same conclusions about life and love and God's faithfulness.  I really like this book because it is how I want my blog to be: honest and just who I am, without pretense or posturing.  Some days I have an anecdote.  Others find me waxing deeply melancholic as I recall people who have contributed to my life and what it has meant to me.  Some days I am doling out advice hoping the things I have learned in my growing number of trips-around-the-block will steer one of my children in the right direction.  Because, regardless of the material riches I may or may not have to leave my children and grandchildren one day, I do have heart-treasures and stories and words I can give them, which will be the greatest thing I could anyway.  I like Mosaic because it landed in my hands at the right time to confirm the importance of "writing and remembering,"  coinciding with the past 6 months of my quest to put on paper "the chosen treasure of my heart" ( previous references here and here) for my family.

Amy wrote in the introduction: "…I've realized how many days pass in semi-awareness – a kind of busy oblivion.  Thanks to writing and remembering, I'm reinspired to value both the mundane and magical moments…In trying to capture a few memories as best I can, I give myself the gift of treasuring what has been so far a very full and meaningful life."  And isn't that the truth?  It is the exciting and the excruciating, the highs and lows, the good days and the tough, the darkness and the restoration that mark our days and weeks and months and eventually our entire lives.

I love Amy Grant's new book!  I am thankful she let us in.  I have been listening to Amy Grant since about 1980.   Her hits and albums are like life's confetti, sprinkled througout the years marking places and times and seasons. Sadly, though, at times, I participated when it became popular in Christendom (though Christ cannot be blamed for any of it) to criticize her, to judge her walk and her witness and things we could not possibly know anything about – utter stupidity.  How wrong.  I deeply regret this.

Last September, I got to see Amy Grant live in Loveland and I was just astounded at the grace and ease with which she performed.  There was something so honest and pure in not only her vocals, but her connection with this huge audience.  She was witty, yet humble.  She was wry, but gentle.  Not only did she sing beautifully with seeming heartfelt joy, she communicates a song so well.  When she sang "Love Me Tender," dedicated to her husband, Vince Gill,  I heard the song, really heard it, for the first time.  It was amazing and I became, once again, a wildly dedicated Amy Grant fan.

So – creative writers who also love Amy Grant, get over to Dave's site http://www.daverhoades.com/wordpress/ and let something she has already written inspire you to write and win!

Blessings…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF: I wouldn't have chosen all that has been, all that I've seen.  This is why I am glad that the One who can see what I can't -chose the right pieces, led me through the right places to have this life that I love…

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