“I don’t know what to doooooooo!!!!!” Sharon cried from the helm of the sail boat. We literally went from picture perfect sailing conditions to 5-foot seas years ago when we found ourselves in the middle of Lake Murray when the storm came out of nowhere. How lucky were we that the very first time Sharon had to put her newly-learned sailing skills from sailing school was with us, in the boat, in a storm? All the while, Ross was screaming to Lindsie, her husband and our then pediatrician, “Doctow Windswie, is this boat gonna tip ozer?!” The girls down below, me rocking Ross in the stairwell, it was a sight. Lindsie assured Ross the boat was not going to tip over, and gave Sharon some specific instructions that she followed, beautifully getting us back to the dock while he took the sails down so we could motor back. What a vivid memory that still is after all these years, and one that the Lord uses quite often to remind me of Who is in control when the storms rage. I have heard it said you are either in the midst of a storm, coming out of one, or heading straight for another one. And yet even when we cry out that we don’t know what to do, if we have trusted in the Lord, then we really do know what to do. We DO nothing. “Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10 reminds us. Our great God is in control of the very storm that we fear will drown us.
Matthew 8:23-26 says, “Then He got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
Mark 4:37-40 is where Mark recounts the same story. “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet, be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
Without warning, that is usually how the storms hit. No one predicted them or prepared us, and there we are. In the middle of a tsunami. Even as I write this, we are awaiting the arrival of Tropical Storm Hermine with very heavy rain, and possible flooding. But no one will know the damage and to what the extent will be until it has come and gone. As I strapped Ross into his car seat that night once my friends did a beautiful job getting us safely back to the dock, he tearfully said in his little 3-year-old voice, “I’m never going sailing again!” To which I replied, “Me either!”
But the reality is, we have to get back in the boat. And the good news is, we are not alone. Jesus is in that boat with us. As Sharon, Lindsie, a friend and I were kayaking the Saluda River a few weeks ago, at one point I hit some rapids and couldn’t resist to yell up to Lindsie, “Doctow Windswie, is this boat gonna tip ozer!?” We can laugh about it now, but at the same time, it was frightening years ago. But it is in those times that I am reminded that the faithfulness of God in the past assures me His faithfulness in the present, and the future I cannot begin to see.
A storm has been raging for far longer than this mama ever imagined it would, and yet the Lord continues to whisper to my heart of hearts, “Peace be still.” Precious family and friends continue to brave storms they did not see coming…for one beloved, a serious health scare that resulted in an unanticipated surgery and hospital stay in ICU. Another, job and financial insecurity. Another, a son going off to college. Another, a struggling grown child. A wayward child. A difficult marriage. One of my dearest friends facing the dreaded “C” word right now as her beloved husband has been diagnosed with cancer. Just two days after the devastating news, she and I stood in my kitchen and she spoke these words, as the tears streamed down her face and mine, “All I know to say is, “I trust You, Lord. I trust You.”
2 Chronicles 20:12 says, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” When we find our hearts crying out, “I don’t know what to do!!!!!” maybe that is actually an accurate assessment of the situation. There just may BE nothing we can DO, and the Father is calling us to BE still, trust Him, take our eyes off of the storm, and watch Him DO what only He can do.
On the counters beside my kitchen sink are Scriptures reminding me to “Fix my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my Faith,” (Hebrews 12:2.) Sometimes He calms the storm, and other times He calms His child, the songwriter so accurately penned. Could it just be that best thing you and I can do is absolutely nothing, but trust in the Lord as we take our focus off the current storm raging and fix your eyes on Him? “Our eyes are on You.”
Ministry at a Glance:
We, Allison Hodge (my wonderful Administrative Assistant) and I, are busy scheduling the fall, winter, and well into 2017. As you are looking ahead to your fall/holiday/Christmas events, I'd love to be your speaker/singer. Even as I was writing this, I received a call from a women's ministry director inviting me to come in November for their holiday ladies' event, so the dates are starting to go fast. You can call me at (803)772-7747 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The month of August was quite busy, with concerts every Sunday and a few events in between. I was so blessed to share my ministry all over South Carolina. I kicked off the first weekend at Memorial Baptist Church in St. George, SC with a morning worship/ministry time and an evening concert.
The following Sunday, I spent the morning in concert at First Baptist Church Holly Hill, where I especially loved reconnecting with their pastor Marshall Locke and his wife Tiffany, and got to meet their newest little addition to the family.
That night I headed back closer to home for an evening concert in West Columbia, SC at Green Hill Baptist Church where I reconnected with friends Michael and Darlene McCormick.
The next Sunday, the 21st I was delighted to share a “Back to School” concert at White Rock Baptist Church in White Rock, SC, and that evening in concert in Manning, SC at First Baptist Church.
Thursday, August 25th I was blessed to be at Trinity United Methodist Church in Blythewood, SC for their Ladies’ Salad Supper, where unbeknownst to me until I got there, the men were also invited!
Saturday, the 27th I was one of four speakers at Willow Swamp Baptist Church in Norway, SC for their Women of Excellence Conference where we had an amazing time together.
I closed out the month of August on Sunday the 28th at Red Bank Baptist Church in Saluda, SC for an evening concert and ice cream social afterward. What a perfect way to end my Summer Concert Series! How wonderful it was for friends to join me at many of these hosting churches. Wayne and Terry Mobley who had hosted me at their church earlier this summer came to St. George, and Harriette Cannon, a sweet friend and prayer warrior and her family came to Manning. I always love seeing friends on the road.
Looking ahead to September, on the 8th I head to Lancaster, SC to New Hope Baptist Church for a senior adult event, and then to Rock, Hill, SC for a WMU Ladies Brunch at Lakewood Baptist Church on the 17th. **Since I am already going to be in Rock Hill on Saturday, the 17th for an event, I would LOVE to find a church that would like for me to stay over for that Sunday, only asking for a hotel room Saturday night and a love offering on the 18th. Interested? I'd love to hear from you. I'm also available to come on a love offering basis on Sunday, September 25th.**
*ABC “I, Witness” Update: September 14-16 I will be flying back to NYC to film voice-overs for the upcoming new program to air on ABC, “I Witness” in 2017. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated as I return to revisit many difficult memories from the tragedy of my sister's kidnapping and murder from 1985. I am so grateful to be allowed this amazing opportunity to share my story with millions on national television, sharing the story the Lord has entrusted me to share for over 30 years now.
On The Home Front:
August was a blur with 9 ministry opportunities and my Summer Session students’ piano/voice recital, painting the rooms in my basement to finally complete the project I began last summer of painting the entire inside of my home (still not done, but getting close!)
On the 1st day of the month, I headed down to Charleston to help Hannah take both of her babies to the vet and got to meet my brand new grand dog Shadow! We had a great day together, and then we enjoyed dinner with Clayton’s mom Carolyn at Page’s Okra Grill and caught Clayton’s soccer game. The next day he was commissioned into the United States Navy as he is in dental school at MUSC. Oh how proud I am of this beloved son-in-law of mine.
My friend Sharon, her husband, a friend and I kayaked the Saluda River the first Saturday of the month, a first for me, as we kayaked over 5 miles! Beautiful, relaxing, and cannot wait to do it again. Like Sharon says, it’s like vacation in a day.
My summer music students did a beautiful job presenting their recital at The Heritage at Lowman Home for the residents, their families and friends. I loved celebrating my precious friend Beth Tolar’s 50th birthday at her not-so-surprise birthday party with family and friends.
Hannah and Clayton came through town for a friend’s wedding, and I had the pleasure of babysitting the puppies for them. And since I have not yet gotten Hannah’s wedding dress preserved, we had fun when she put it back on and modeled it for Clayton and me. The Little love birds are as happy as they can be, enjoying life in Charleston. Hannah is singing on the worship team at Newspring Church on Sundays and Wednesdays, which is an answer to prayer as this is her creative outlet and gifting, and I have been asking the Lord to provide her a place of ministry. Clayton has been so precious to send me videos of her singing every week.
I loved getting to see my cousins at my Aunt Sue’s house as we celebrated a birthday together. My sweet mama’s 74th birthday would have been the 22nd, and though I miss her terribly every day, even after 13 years, I thank God for the amazing mother He blessed me with. Isn’t heaven going to be heavenly when we get to be reunited with our loved ones again?
Thank you all for praying and asking about Ross. Thankfully he has no serious illness, and was diagnosed with IBS and some inflammation in his digestive tract. He is on medication, seeing his doctor, and working on getting his health back. Brianna is doing an excellent job of making his favorite home-cooked meals, and they are doing well. It’s hard to believe that it has now been one full year that they have been in Denver. It seems I miss them even more after being able to go visit them in July, and I can hardly wait til next time.
The month of September is a good bit slower as far as ministry travel goes, which allows me to be able to meet Hannah, Clayton, and Hannah’s best friend Kelly at Lake Marion, SC with all 3 of our dogs for a weekend away. We are blessed that a precious family that I met a few years ago in ministry has offered their lake house to us and we are finally able to take them up on their generous offer. There will of course be pimento cheese, cookie dough, and cherished time spent together. As everyone was posting their first day of school pictures all over social media, I had to join in the fun posting the very first day of our home schooling journey when Hannah and Ross were 3 and 6. Sweet, sweet days of yesteryear. I will be in my first full month of teaching 31 music students this year on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and so far things have gotten off to a great start and I am absolutely loving every single one of my students. What a joy it is to be a part of these budding musicians’ lives. So that’s the scoop from the home front. How are you and yours?
Funnies From the Road:
You know you're in SC when you leave the church that hosted you for the day with a love offering AND a gallon of homemade boiled peanuts. In 30 years of ministry, that's a first. Delicious! One of my social media friends commented that I’m literally singing for peanuts now!
In Kroger last week, a woman asks, "Are you (insert name of a woman she knows)?" "No, that's not me." Husband interjects, "I tell you who she looks like, she looks like that girl that visited our church and sang on Sunday." "Dawn Smith something was her name," wife replies. "Yep, that's me." "No it isn't, is it really?" is his response. :)
I had the privilege a few years ago of singing for a company called Friendly Songs, as I was their "lullaby lady" and sang over 3,500 personalized lullabies for children. This email so touched my heart, I had to share it with you. Won't you pray for this precious mama and her little one? So grateful to be a part of singing the love of Jesus to little ones I will never meet, but know He is touching through the music He has allowed me to share.
My name is Deborah. My family and I live in Fort Worth, Texas. I have two precious children. But I wanted you to see the face of one of your listeners. This is my daughter Hope. She is 2. She and I lay in her bed together every night as she falls asleep while listening to your lullabies album. She even says, "Princess, it's time to go to close your eyes" with you.
I found your website tonight and read your story. What a testimony you have. I too agree with you about going through hard times can sometimes bring you blessings and closer to God. Hope is a cancer survivor. Without walking that road I would not have had the privilege to know what it's like to feel so many People praying for us and God's grace carrying me through.
Your songs are beautiful but I think your testimony is even more so. Thank you for providing these sweet songs that are going into the ears and heart of my little girl.
May you be blessed in return.
Dawn's Blog Amazing Grace Notes
My new blog is entitled "Amazing Grace Notes," and I would love to invite you to join me at http://dawnsmithjordan.blogspot.com/
for regular updates.
As you are prayerfully considering becoming a monthly partner, or sending a one time gift to Jordan Ministries remember all gifts are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, Jordan Ministries is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Make your donation to Jordan Ministries, and mail them to P.O. Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063. Thank you for partnering with us through your financial gifts and prayers.
Follow me on my DAWN SMITH JORDAN Musician/Band Facebook page to be eligible for the monthly prize give-away trivia contest!
Thursday, September 8
Moriah Baptist Association (at New Hope Baptist)
Senior Adult Event
Saturday, September 17
Lakewood Baptist Church
Rock Hill, SC
Saturday, October 22
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Indian Trail, NC
Sunday, October 23
Ebenezer Baptist Church
Indian Trail, NC
Follow Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
A Note from Allison
With everyone posting back-to-school and 1st day of school pictures, I was quickly reminded that this will be me next year. Abby, my 4 (almost 5) year old, will start Kindergarten next year. I remember rocking her at 2am and 5am feedings wondering if I would ever sleep again for more than 3 hours at a time, changing endless diapers wondering if she would ever get potty trained...and here we are, a mere 1 year until life as I know it changes. I am so excited for her and all the opportunities she will have next year, but right now I want to hold on to every moment that she's still here with me. Don't get me wrong, the days can be hard, SO. HARD. But when I think about the next 13 years of her being in school I try to relish in the 1 year I have left with her. So while I am in this season of "little ones" always, and I mean ALWAYS with me. Right mamas?!?! I want to treasure the days and times and build a firm foundation of who she is to me and in Christ before I send her into this big world (that frankly scares me sometimes, let alone my little girl!)
I love you Abs!