Song Writer & Worship Leader

Taken from my Journal:

Sitting here at retreat, at Calvary Bible College Murietta, sipping coffee and musing. I’ve been feeling a little un-spiritual lately. Found some gems in Jeremiah 31 this morning, as God always knows how to cheer me up. I read about how Israel was sinful, and that God was the one who scattered them. Wondering if God is telling me something? But then knowing how often Israel sinned, and reading in Jeremiah how God has plans to ransom and restore them, blesses me and gives me peace.  

JEREMIAH 31:10-14  “HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD , O NATIONS, AND DECLARE IT IN THE COASTLANDS FAR AWAY; SAY, ‘HE WHO SCATTERED ISRAEL WILL GATHER HIM, AND WILL KEEP HIM AS A SHEPHERD KEEPS HIS FLOCK.’ FOR THE LORD HAS RANSOMED JACOB AND HAS REDEEMED HIM FROM HANDS TOO STRONG FOR HIM. THEY SHALL COME AND SING ALOUD ON THE HEIGHT OF ZION, AND THEY SHALL BE RADIANT OVER THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD , OVER THE GRAIN, THE WINE, AND THE OIL, AND OVER THE YOUNG OF THE FLOCK AND THE HERD; THEIR LIFE SHALL BE LIKE A WATERED GARDEN, AND THEY SHALL LANGUISH NO MORE. THEN SHALL THE YOUNG WOMEN REJOICE IN THE DANCE, AND THE YOUNG MEN AND THE OLD SHALL BE MERRY. I WILL TURN THEIR MOURNING INTO JOY; I WILL COMFORT THEM, AND GIVE THEM GLADNESS FOR SORROW. I WILL FEAST THE SOUL OF THE PRIESTS WITH ABUNDANCE, AND MY PEOPLE SHALL BE SATISFIED WITH MY GOODNESS, DECLARES THE LORD .”

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?

park chapel

Words cannot express how much I love Park Chapel.  I really love the low-key, artist vibe.  And LOVE how much this group worships.  Something about them is just so sweet.  I really think that people who attend a church will follow the lead of their pastor.  He has such a loving heart, you can see it reflected in the people.  One of my favorite things (and also the most intimidating) is that this particular church is FULL of musicians.  I’ve never seen so much unique talent in one spot!  And some really great debut albums have been recorded in their studio! (Wink, wink)