Nashville #1


I want you to try an experiment.

Grab a suitcase with wheels, fill it up with clothes and toiletries and a couple of books and anything else you would take on a long trip.  Now wake up one morning before the neighbors and the sun are up and roll your full suitcase down the driveway or across the parking lot of your apartment complex.

Listen carefully.

Because there is just something about the sound of those wheels on pavement early in the morning that is impossible to describe…it creates some weird mixture of hope and anticipation and nervousness and joy and feeling all grown up but still like a total seedling….you just have to experience it in order to understand what I’m talking about.

Today, I drove my little car to Nashville, Tennessee, to fulfill a very big dream of mine – to record an album of songs that I wrote.

I remember the day I drove to college for the first time.  My little sister was in the passenger seat, my car was mostly full of my things, and my parents were driving their van behind me.  I was really enjoying myself and listening to music and laughing with Mary, but as soon as I took the exit for my college, I burst into tears.  I felt such excitement and nervousness and joy and fear at the culmination of all of this planning and anticipation and preparation and at all of the unknowns.  The feelings weren’t bad.  Some of you may understand that sometimes when you feel a whole lot of things all at once, it just comes out in tears.

That’s what happened tonight.  As soon as I drove under the big, green Nashville Exit sign and up over a hill to discover the beautiful Nashville skyline.

{I tried to take a picture with my phone, but you know…I was driving, it was night, I was keeping my eyes on the road.  So instead, please enjoy this picture of the Nashville Skyline that I stole from Wikipedia…}


When I saw it, I just started crying.  It represented the place I was going to fulfill this dream.  The place my time has been pointing to for the last several months.  The place all of my loved ones sent me off to, all bundled up with little notes and snacks and generosity and prayers and so many kind words.

Now I am here.  In the home of this sweet couple whom I could easily be all-the-time friends with if I only lived closer.  In the morning, we will wake up early and begin {as Dustin put it} “caressing” each of my songs, caring for all of their little rhythms and notes and lyrics and making them the best we can.  We will begin recording scratch tracks which we will use as a reference throughout the rest of the week as we record drums, bass, guitars, pianos, organs, banjos, cellos, whistles, chimes, bells, vocals, and so on.

My heart is so full of gratitude and disbelief at the generosity of my friends.  I want to send hugs and love and good things to everyone who pushed me to do this and affirmed this gift of worship in me.  It feels like I just happen to have a dad who plays in the NBA or like I happen to live in a house with an indoor pool, through no effort and to no credit of my own.  I am truly honored to be in this place.

Thanks for holding me up,

Anna Joy

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