Who are you wearing? That is the #1 question being asked of the movie stars on the Red Carpet tonight at the Oscars. The name of the designer is so much the focus of the dress, and said with such confidence and pride by the one wearing it. Armani, Dior, Klein, Versace, on and on they go. Let me ask you a question? Who are YOU wearing? Every day I seek to start the day with this simple prayer before the demands of life take me away, "Father, help me to walk in the fruit of Your Spirit and not my flesh this day."
You see, if I don't focus on the most important thing that I "put on" before a day gets going, I will not be clothed in my (His) best in me. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." These are DEFINITELY things that I cannot possess on my own. It is a daily choice to ask my Father to enable me to have what I do not.
One of my piano students asked me this week if, when I am out in a restaurant or somewhere public, if people come up to me and say, "Oh my gosh, you're Dawn Smith Jordan Miss South Carolina!" I laughed and told her it happens quite often. A few days later I found myself in my annual mammogram appointment, and was greeted as I went to sign in with, "Dawn Smith Jordan!" And as if that were not enough, WHILE in the actual exam, the technician said, "You have such a beautiful voice, I love to hear you sing." I literally got in my car and laughed out loud!
You know, for me, it has been a lifetime of being recognized when out and about. At times it was frustrating to my children, and if I were completely honest, to me as well. As we would be out to eat as a family for birthdays or other celebrations, it always seemed someone would come over to our table to speak to me. Sometimes I would recognize the person, but for the most part, I did not know them, but they recognized me. I have to be honest and say that there are times when I have not recognized the person that has recognized me, struggling to answer their question, "Do you remember me?" After years, I have come to realize that more than not, they feel like they know me, but we have never actually met.
Wouldn't it be an amazing honor for someone to recognize Jesus in us as quickly as they recognize us? That someone would say of us, "I see Jesus in him/her." Oh, that is my prayer. And I would not be completely honest if I did not admit that in the confusion and frustration of trying to figure out how I know someone (that I actually don't know!), I am certain that I did not come across as I would have liked to (as my children have a way of making sure I am made aware of these things!). I am learning how those very brief interchanges may be the only ones we may ever have with that other person, and our response may be but one interchange. Ever.
Just this past week alone I was reminded in a very real way just how very short life is...last Monday one of my son Ross's friends/classmates was murdered as a result of an argument between two rivaling high schools after a basketball game. That same night a dear family friend lost the battle with cancer and was welcomed home and into the arms of Jesus. On Wednesday another friend of Ross's lost his life to an accidental overdose. On Monday I received a Facebook message from the Director of Operations and Contestant Affairs of the Miss South Carolina Pageant Organization, asking me if I could come on Saturday to share my testimony and song "Keep Believing" during their work weekend here in Columbia, as one of the Miss SC Teen contestants is the sister of Heather Elvis, who appears to have been murdered at just 19 years old. Then on Wednesday another 17-year-old girl was also found murdered. All of this within one week, and all very close to home.
Since I had a concert in town on Saturday night, I gladly accepted the invitation to go speak to the 500 in attendance at the Miss SC Pageant event. What a privilege it was to speak personally to Heather Elvis' mother and sister, and to prayerfully speak words of hope and encouragement to them and all in attendance. I can't help but remember being one of those young women, just one year after my own younger sister had been murdered, competing for the title of Miss South Carolina. Oh how important the gown was, the outer beauty, hair, make-up, weight. Everything exterior was the focus. But I always remembered what my mama taught me, "Pretty is as pretty does, Dawn. Beauty is only skin deep. Beauty needs to come from the inside out."
It was fun to meet the reigning Miss South Carolina, Brooke Mosteller, and reconnect with one of my favorite Miss South Carolinas, Bree Boyce, as well as seeing many friends in the pageant family. But as I look back over this week, we are all "known" for something. Sure, many people "know" me as a former Miss South Carolina, or sister to Shari Smith, or contemporary Christian singer/songwriter/speaker/author. But when all is said and done, and my life comes to an end just as all of these this week did, may it be said more than anything else that I wore Jesus well. I have so far to go. But daily I am seeking Him, and He is at work in me. Daily. Who are you wearing? Oh, may we seek to wear the fruit of HIS Spirit in our lives daily, so that as we live out our stories of His faithfulness in the midst of our testimonies, that He would live in and through each of us.
On the Home Front:
February was an exciting month as we in South Carolina got to see our 2nd snow of the winter! We had 4 more snow days last month! Unheard of in these parts, my friends. Even Hannah had a 2nd snow in Clemson, as well. Here is a picture of her and Clayton enjoying their snow days there. As if getting to go to Alaska were not enough, the Lord let this snow-loving woman have her fill! And to top it all off, I got to cash in on one of my Christmas gifts from Robert, Elizabeth and James Michael and go to Hendersonville, NC for a fun day of snow tubing! Their gift certificate was signed "The Smithwolds" and here we are having a great time together. Lacrosse season began in the month of February, and so far I have not missed a scrimmage or game, and am so thankful that my ministry schedule this time around will allow me to be at them all. In the first two games Ross scored a goal at each, and that was even more exciting. With this being his senior year, this will be his last season playing on the Dutch Fork High School Lacrosse Team. Go, Silver Foxes!
I also enjoyed a sweet Valentine's Dinner with my sister-in-law, Caroline, and my sweet nephew Birkes. What a wonderful date he was! (See picture above in my devotional).
This month you will find me cheering (and freezing!) at 10 lacrosse games, loving every minute of it. I am especially looking forward to Hannah and Blue coming home for her spring break the 16th-21st. The greatest joy of my life and the most important calling is to be mom to my precious children. Time spent with them is my favorite.
On the Ministry Front
February was of course a wonderful month of travel to Alaska (with the Tanana Valley Baptist association ladies and University Baptist Church in Fairbanks) as well as to Alabama where I spoke and sang for ladies events and in church concerts at First Baptist Church in Jemison and at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church in Elmore. I then enjoyed some much-needed time at home, catching up on office work, taxes, and also getting to see family. As I mentioned earlier, I was also so privileged to speak at the Miss South Carolina Pageant Organization Forum this past Saturday.
The month of March has me back on the road again. I was privileged to share at Calvary Community Church's missions fundraiser banquet in West Columbia, SC Saturday evening and am looking forward to heading to Grassy Pond Baptist Church in Gaffney on Sunday morning, March 9th. March 16th I will be giving a concert with Millers Creek Baptist Church in NC, March 23rd I am excited to share at Trinity United Methodist Church in Andrews, SC during their morning service and on March 30th, I will be sharing at Union Baptist Church in Pamplico, SC during the morning and at Edisto Beach Baptist Church for the evening service. I am so thankful to the Lord for providing a busy spring concert season! I have also already received many inquiries into fall dates for ladies retreats etc. and am booking as far out as November 2015 already!
That being said, I am now opening up June and July simply on a love-offering basis for churches interested in hosting me for a summer concert. The summer time is usually more challenging for churches budget wise with many members on vacation and traveling, etc. Churches often feel that hosting a summer concert artist breathes some fresh air into the slower summer months and I would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in hosting me at this time!
So thank you for letting me come into your home, office, and heart for these few moments each month. It's always great to hear back from you, as well. Even in my own backyard I am seeing the beginning signs of spring just around the corner. Remember, wear Jesus well. To those you know and don't know. You just never know who He longs to touch in and through you.
As I share a lot about forgiveness when I speak, especially at Women's events, I thought this month I would highlight one of my older albums entitled How Far? - which is short for, How Far Must Forgiveness Go? I sing about the realization that Christ having forgiven us from the cross means we must also forgive in all circumstances. This album contains many of my most requested songs, including How Far, A Mother's Prayer and the radio charting song Even If. For more information, to listen to song excerpts and to purchase your own copy visit my website here.
Dawn's Concert Calendar
Hi everyone - this is Jennifer updating you on Dawn's current concert calendar. Dawn is getting bookings well into 2014, 2015 and even into 2016! It's time to get your event on the calendar as well! We would love to hear from you if your church is booking a spring women's conference or retreat or a church wide concert. Dawn's Timeless Hymns Concert that she shares in combination with church choirs has been extremely well received and she would love to have your choir join her in sharing her favorite hymns!
Be sure to check out my articles in Lifeway's Journey Magazine . I have had such wonderful positive responses and am so thankful to see how the Lord continues to use my testimony to encourage others. How grateful I am for the opportunity to share my own journey as a part of this wonderful magazine that encourages so many women in their walk with Christ.
Tax-Deductible Gifts If the Lord would lay Jordan Ministries on your heart to support financially, know that all gifts to Jordan Ministries are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated as we continue to share the good news of the Gospel. Jordan Ministries is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The NEW Mailing Address is:
Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries, PO Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063
Follow me on my DAWN SMITH JORDAN Musician/Band Facebook page to be eligible for the monthly prize give-away trivia contest!
Miss South Carolina Pageant Organization Forum
West Columbia, SC
Calvary Community Church (P.M. Concert)
Grassy Pond Baptist Church
3/16 opening for a morning concert
Miller's Creek, NC
Miller's Creek Baptist Church (P.M. Concert)
Trinity United Methodist Church
Union Baptist Church (A.M. Service)
Edisto Beach, SC
Edisto Beach Baptist Church (P.M. Service)
Follow Dawn on Facebook and Twitter where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
Little Dale Tales (Stories from the home of my schedule coordinator, Jennifer Dale)
Our older two kids are now in school, but I still homeschool Jenna and used to homeschool all of them. I was always impressed with their creative ways of avoiding school work. One of my favorites happened not too long ago when we had been studying history and diseases around the world (like the Bubonic Plague etc.). One morning Jenna insisted that she needed a bath - because she wanted to avoid getting leprosy!