Read how it came about:

I totally believe God can inspire you through simple obedience to Him.  How do I know? It happened to me recently.

First, a little about me. I’m Diane Luna: mother of two tykes, happily-married pastor’s wife, busy worship leader, part time day jobber and full time garage saler. I’m also a painter. And… I am a songwriter.  How did I manage to pull off making a new album? Settle in, grab a coffee, and I’ll tell you.

Life has been crazy the last few years. Our two kids arrived unexpectedly out of nowhere (we had been trying for six years), my husband left his day job to become a full-time pastor of a church, and we dug up our roots to relocate. New kids, new ministry, new town, new friends.  In the midst of the “excitement” my prayer life took a back seat and I was caught up in work, chores and mommy-do’s.  Here’s a little video I made about it…

I worked on a first album Rock Everlasting (click to listen/download) a few years ago, while we thought we weren’t going to have kids. Surprise… Isaac arrived right smack in the middle of recording everything. He was so cute, his little bundled-up six-week-old self all snuggy on the studio couch during recording days. Love!

I learned something with that first album. I learned there comes a point when you kinda want to make ANOTHER album. Those old familiar songs might still be new to some folks, but to you they’re just… old. So I recently summoned up my courage and approached my hubby: “Babe I really want to do another album.” Want to know what he said?

In that low, steady voice that I adore, I heard these words:

“Do you have songs?”

I hedged answering that question, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: I did NOT have songs. I just had scattered piles of ideas.

My thoughts went a little something like this: “How can you expect me to finish songs while pulling THIS schedule? Come on, just say yes for now, I’ll figure it out.” But my hubby in all his wisdom cut straight to the chase: To make an album, I needed songs.

Any of you who have children will nod to this: it’s entirely impossible to get it ALL done. You might get the little ones to school on time, but maybe your bills are a day late or the fridge is running on empty. You just choose your priorities for that day, and shuffle the rest. At least that’s what we do in our house. It works, and we have a blast. All is good.

But adding another album project in? Oh so hard. I had NO idea when I’d make time for working on songs. In my sleep maybe? My new-album balloon deflated at the thought. But something inside me wanted to try.

Conviction came deep to my heart. I knew that God had been wooing me to Himself. To spend MORE time with Him. To linger over the scriptures like I did when I was younger. To talk with Him about my goings-on. To include him in my stress level. To become a better wife. A better mom.

I wasn’t sure how I was gonna do it, but I decided in my heart I was gonna do it.  Enter the alarm clock.

It is as simple as this. I began to drag myself out of bed an hour early and zombie down the hall to my pre-designated quiet-time spot. Or “psot” as my two year old daughter affectionately calls it. I had my year-thru-the-bible permanently placed on the table, a little throw-blanket, my iPhone with prayer list, and my wonderful hubby who gets up earlier than I and makes the coffee. Wakie wakie! I made a commitment and have stuck with it since.

And here’s the best part of the story:

Does anyone else’s mind wander during prayer? Or is it just me. I had this new commitment to spending God-time, and I was doing it (just about) every day before the kids woke up. Awesome! But I kept getting DISTRACTED by bits of songs I would hear in my head as I read the scriptures. So, as every good songwriter dutifully attempts, I would STOP and write the ideas down right then. I never could quite focus. And I felt guilty for straying from plan.

…it took me a while to realize… that WAS the plan.

Duh. Hello! God hadn’t wasted time rewarding me for committing to Him. He rewarded me HUGE… with songs, and songs. In less than three months, I had a whole stack of finished drafts to play for a producer friend to see what he thought. (He loved them by the way.) This after like a four year dry spell! And not only did I have a stack of songs, the songs had distinct vision and direction as a group. They were like this little bundle of gifts from God. Which were designed by Him to become an album.

Enter the album title: Everything is Good.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17

This new album? Sounds WAY better than I ever dreamed.

Coincidence? Not at all…

Still praying?  yes I am.

Are YOU?

I spent some time this morning, while enjoying my super delicious cream-filled coffee, pondering friends and memories. Have you ever been on the receiving end of UN-forgiveness? I have once, maybe twice. It burns in your heart. Erodes your confidence. Makes you cringe from future relationships.

Perfect person? Assuredly, I am not. My foot likes to thrust itself into my mouth… with gusto! My heart is incessantly me-focused when I should instead put my friends first. But it is something I am continually working on fixing, because I love my friends and hope to keep them. And when my friends forgive what’s not fixed in ME yet… it’s so beautiful.  And I am so thankful.

I had two talks – the first was in the car, parked outside the mall.  We two friends shared how the other had hurt us, and through the awkward situation we chose, together, to forgive… because we cherished our friendship. It was hard for the moment, but through it that wonderful friendship has lasted, growingly, to this day.

The second was at a favorite sandwich shop. We two friends shared how the other had hurt us. The difference was that one friend chose not to forgive, ending the friendship and keeping their heart neatly protected by a bandaid. The other friend – me – left devastated.

I was on the receiving end of un-forgiveness, and it still hurts to this day.

To forgive is to relinquish one’s rights, allow the pain and with open arms accept the offender. As Jesus did.

To forgive is to render your own heart vulnerable, unprotected. As Jesus was.

To forgive is to love deeply and to rescue your friends. As Jesus does!

The more I look back over friendships and memories, the clearer I realize God’s great promise: that HIS friends will never be on the receiving end of un-forgiveness from HIM. Oh how thankful I am to be His friend!  Let’s you and I be friend rescuers, just like Him. (Oh and P.S., I haven’t given up on my second-mentioned friend.  Still praying for the day we can wholeheartedly cross paths. Go deep? Mutual rescue? Let’s do it!)

I love reading my Year-Through-The-Bible. There’s something for each day, and somebody ‘else’ schedules the something. This means that if something spoke to me today as I read, I can have confidence that I didn’t manipulate my reading to fit into my plans.  It’s usually GOD speaking. In today’s read, in Mark 5, Jesus was just cruising along doing his thing, and comes across a girl who died and needs to come back to life.  He goes to her house, goes inside, grabs her hand and says, “ARISE!”  Boom, just like that, she’s healed. Yes!!!!  That’s my Jesus.  I love picturing that scene in my head, and I love that I can reach my hand up to Jesus and he will pull me up to standing.  Boom, just like that, I can have His supernatural help.  And that is awesomeness for today.  

This morning I was noticing how much my little girl has begun to reach for things.  It seems like overnight she became a little grabber!  Anything within her reach ends up in her lap and FAST.  I began to ponder why she’s so grabby.  One conclusion I reached is that she doesn’t know yet that things can hurt her.   She reaches out in excitement to capture every interesting thing she puts her eyes on. Another is, simply, she trusts me wholeheartedly.

Oh that we would trust God wholeheartedly, just like babies!  That we would reach out and grab the things that He puts before us.  What a great analogy!  My toddler daughter has inspired me today, to be a “little grabber” for God.  A-men!