I have laughed repeatedly over this year as a piano/voice teacher, a job that I have done for years on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Fellow home studio teacher friends of mine and I have commented on how it has seemed that EVERY. SINGLE. STUDENT. has wanted to either play or sing something from the Disney movie "Frozen." And you can probably guess which song has been most requested. You got it! "Let it Go!" I kid you not...I had girls singing it, boys singing it, pianists playing it. One student came in to her lesson and said, "Ms. Dawn, please don't hate me, but I really want to play "Let it Go" too. We had a good laugh. One of my voice students sang it in her elementary school talent show. Then she sang it in our end-of-the-year recital. Another voice student sang another song from the same movie, "In Summer" while others did "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"
At the Miss South Carolina Pageant this week both a Teen contestant, as well as a Miss SC contestant sang "Let it Go." It is the song that won't go away! In the winter when I went snow tubing with Robert and his family, there was karaoke going on at the hill, and every single girl had to have her turn at that one song. Over and over again. And truly, it seems the message of that song has become a theme in my life over the last year, which is quite ironic.
With my children turning 21 and 18 this month, it is a new and strange season of life for me. For the month of June, I have to be completely honest and tell you that I have felt almost lost. After being a mom for all these years, it has taken some getting used to having neither of my children under my roof. And to be truthful, I did not like it at all. It felt empty, lonely, and sad to be in this big old house with just Cookie and Skunky. And so I began to ask the Lord to show me how to live in this new way of life.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." To me, that verse is basically saying it is time to let it go...the past, what was before now, and look to see what God is doing next. I treasure all of the wonderful years of having my children underfoot, and all of the memories we have made together as a family. As I have come to accept that my years of mothering in the way that I have up until this point are over, I am in the midst of a learning curve myself. I am learning how to let go, and let God have His way in their lives, as my "mama-ing" days are not over, but are certainly different. I am learning to pray more for my children, and let go of my expectations of things that we used to do together...like summer vacations, trips, traditions like going to the Miss SC Pageant together, or whatever they may be...that these may not ever be the same from this day forward. They are growing up, and I am growing still. At 50 years old, I love that God is still at work in me, molding and making me into the woman, sister, daughter, neice, mother and friend that He has called me to be. And it is actually exciting!
I have taken up Zumba with a few of my girlfriends twice a week, something I never had time to do with children at home, and it is fun! I joined Weight Watchers with my girlfriend and dropped the 15 pounds that I never could seem to get rid of when cooking for a family. Homemade cookie dough always on hand surely didn't help! I am journaling again, because I have a little more time to sit quietly with my Father in the mornings. I enjoy a second cup of coffee if I feel like it. I have a little more time to talk on the phone to my precious sister-in-law about parenting, or struggles of life, or simply decorating ideas. I can adjust my day's plans on the spur of the moment when my other sister-in-law, who lives in town, texts to ask if she and my 18-month-old nephew can drop by to see our new kitty (whom he calls "titty" currently) while they are in the neighborhood. And after a long weekend of traveling and ministry, I don't necessarily have to be up quite as early on a Monday morning with no children to get up, fed, and out the door for school. I've done that, I am grateful to have given it my all, and will always cherish that time.
Letting go is one of the hardest things we have to learn to do in life, but when we do, we find that when we finally, reluctantly yet willingly, open our hands to let go of the things we have held on to so tightly, that actually allows the Father to show us what He wants us to take hold of next. That is exciting. And new. And I don't want to miss out on any of it.
Ministry at a Glance:
June is usually one of my slower months but I certainly cannot say that about this year. June 1st I shared a concert at Cane Branch Baptist Church in Loris, SC. It was extra special as I was joined by my friend Julie's sister Joy Powell Jordan on some beautiful harmonies. That afternoon I was able to visit with my Uncle Billy Cartrette who lives in Loris, my mom's only living sibling.
On June 22nd I was in concert at Horse Branch Free Will Baptist Church in Turbeville, SC and at Summerton Baptist Church in Summerton, SC. Then on June 26th I spoke/sang with the Santee Women in Rural Electrification in Kingstree, SC, June 29th I was in concert at Branchville Baptist Church in Branchville, SC and at Doctor's Creek Baptist Church in Walterboro, SC. Having also been a part of numerous Miss SC Pageant 2014 activities and TV interviews etc. this past week, in addition to teaching my voice and piano students, it has made June a crazy-busy month!
I was delighted when asked by my dear friend, former Miss South Carolina, and now news anchor for WACH FOX News Columbia, Bree Boyce, if I would be willing to be interviewed for a feature story on Monday night leading up to the Miss South Carolina Pageant. I am always grateful for any opportunity to share my story, especially when it is before those that may never step foot in a church in which I may be speaking.
I will have the first weekend in July home to rest and regroup before I head back out again on July 13th at First Baptist Church Darlington, SC for a 10:30am. concert (I would still love to give an evening concert while I am in the area if your church would be interested! All I would ask is a love offering). On July 20th I will share an 11:00am concert at Paxville Baptist Church in Manning, SC and a 6:30pm concert at Kelleytown Baptist Church in Hartsville, SC. I'm looking forward to singing for an evening revival service at Fort Creek Baptist Church in Dearing, GA on July 23rd, joined by their choir on a few songs. To close out the month, I will give a concert on July 27th at 11:00am at Calvary Baptist Church in Barnwell, SC and a 6:00pm concert at First Baptist Church Walteroro, SC. Come join us if you are anywhere near any of these dates, as I would love to see you there.
As busy as I am, the truth is that the summer months are financially extremely challenging as most churches are only able to host me on a love-offering basis due to lower attendances/vacations/camps. Our office costs and support needs however remain the same during these more challenging months. If the Lord lays it on your heart to financially support JordanMinistries and the work He is doing here, I would be truly honored by your support. As a thank-you for a summer contribution, I would love to send you a complimentary live Dawn Smith Jordan Testimony CD that includes the songs "Sister," "How Far" and "Amazing Grace." All gifts to JordanMinistries are tax-deductible as JordanMinistries is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
I still have several concert dates available this summer and am happy to come simply on a love-offering basis asking only that my mileage be covered (unless I am already in the area - then, even the mileage would be covered!):
- July 13 (pm only - in Darlington, SC in the morning)
- August 3rd (am only, - in Camden, SC in the evening)
- August 10th - (am has a current tentative inquiry; pm in West Columbia)
- August 17th am & pm
- August 24th am & pm
I would love to hear from you if any of these would work for your church!
I also currently have the following fall filler-dates available:
- September 14th (pm available, I will be in Belmont, NC in the morning)
- September 21st am & pm (I will be in Duffield, VA on the 20th)
- October 5th (pm available - I will be in Chesnee, SC in the morning)
- October 19th (pm available, I will be in St. Simon's Island, FL in the morning)
- November 9th am & pm - I will be in Pigeon Forge, TN the day before
- December 21st (pm available - I will be in Mocksville, NC in the morning)
The Miss SC pageant was also telecast on WACH FOX, so it has been an busy week in the media!
On the Home Front:
June was a month of animals! We were very sad to lose our precious "Skunky", Hannah's first baby, our cat and family member for 10 years. This was a first for me, losing one of our pets with no one home and having to dig his grave and bury him by myself. Through tears and in the rain, God gave me the grace to do what had to be done. Having to call Hannah to tell her was the hardest of all. Skunky and Cookie were best friends, even though they were cat and dog, so Cookie and I were a bit lost without our little buddy. So, after dog-sitting Robert and Elizabeth's dog for them to go on a few days of vacation, we welcomed our newly-adopted little 7-week old Zoey (which means "life") into our family. She was born in the wild, and blind the first 6 weeks of her life, when she all of the sudden began to see. Like all of our pets, she is a rescue. What a bundle of joy she is!
Then it was on to dog-sitting Hannah's dog, my grand dog Blue, while she went to the beach with her boyfriend's family for a short vacation. I have felt like I live in a zoo lately, but have loved every minute of these sweet furry babies being here. Ross came over for lunch to meet his new "sister" one day, and Hannah and Clayton were able to come by and see her while in town. We have all grown to love her already.
Ross graduated from Dutch Fork High School on June 5th, receiving the Life Scholarship. I am so proud of him. He will be attending Midlands Technical College in the fall, and then plans to transfer to the University of South Carolina the next year. So for 1 semester, it looks like we will truly have a "house divided." Hannah survived Accounting at Clemson Summer School Session I, and is now into Chemistry in Summer Session II.
I enjoyed a few days in beautiful Daniel Island, SC, near the Charleston area with Robert and Elizabeth, who graciously invited me to join them for a day on the beautiful beach of Sullivan's Island for some sun, sand, beach, and incredible seafood.
The Miss South Carolina Pageant was held the last week in June, and I enjoyed coaching two contestants on their talent competition presentations, and then attending preliminaries on Tuesday and Wednesday. The final competition was on Saturday night, where I had been invited to open the show with "God Bless America/America the Beautiful" at The Township Auditorium in Columbia. Of course it was especially fun to get together each evening with the former Miss South Carolinas that could also come, as well as have a wonderful time with our SC Governor, Nikki Haley, before the "formers annual luncheon," held at the lovely Palmetto Club in downtown Columbia.
The Miss SC Pageant had an extra special guest, Joe Sanders, who was the Executive Director of the Miss South Carolina Pageant for almost 50 years. Of course we all missed Gail, who just recently passed, but what a joy it was to have him back.
It was a lot of fun having Raven Smith, my personal ministry assistant join me at the Miss SC Pageant this year since neither of my children could go. We were especially thrilled to have walked into the greenroom to find none other than fellow Newspring Church worship team member along with my Hannah at the Anderson Campus, Delving Choice from The Voice!
Congratulations to the new Miss South Carolina 2014, Lanie Hudson! We wish her well as she prepares to compete for the Miss America Pageant in September (see pictures in the devotional thought above!).
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see Workshop Theater's production of "The Little Mermaid" in which two of my voice/piano students performed. I was such a proud teacher!
I enjoyed getting to go to my cousin's baby shower, as well as attend a baseball game at the Columbia Blowfish Stadium with my Aunt Sue McLeese and all of her children/grandchildren as her late husband, Ike McLeese, was honored, complete with fireworks.
On June 25th, my sister Shari would have celebrated her 47th birthday (hard to believe), but it was also "National Siblings Day". How blessed I am to have such a precious relationship with Robert, who is not only my brother, but also one of my dearest friends. It has been a great month, full of family, friendships, furry friends, and fun.
July is going to be a pretty big month in our family. Ross will turn 18 on July 12th, and Hannah will turn 21 on the 19th! Oh my goodness, I can't believe I even just said those ages! My friend of 32 years, Julie Caldwell, will join me in the 50-year-old group as she and Ross share the same birthday. I am singing for a very special family friend's wedding in July. Melody Phillips was my personal assistant/traveling nanny to Hannah and Ross when she was in high school, and Hannah and I are looking so forward to being a part of her special day. So there will be lots of celebrating going on.
I am looking forward to joining Robert, Elizabeth and James Michael for a few days at Folly Beach, SC the at the end of the month. I am grateful for the summer time that brings with it more time to enjoy those special times set apart with those we love.
Thank you for letting me visit with you for these few moments. May you and your family enjoy the rest of this summer, take in some sun, sand, and sea if possible, or wherever it is you like to just get away. These are precious days. And remember, open your hands so God can fill them with what He desires for you in this season of life.
Blessings today, my friend,
Product Highlight Dawn's most-beloved song, "Keep Believing" is featured on this recording by the same name. Originally titled "Taking a Stand" in 1990, it has been renamed and re-released. On sale for only $10. Order anything on our website here and receive a FREE copy of Dawn's Live Testimony CD which also includes the songs, "Sister," "How Far" and "Amazing Grace" in the month of July. http://www.dawnsmithjordan.com/store.php
Dawn's Concert Calendar
It's time to get your event on Dawn's Concert Calendar! We would love to hear from you if your church is booking a women's conference or retreat, a church wide summer concert or even a Christmas Holiday event. 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!
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!
First Baptist Church
Paxville Baptist Church
Kelleytown Baptist Church
Fort Creek Baptist Church
PM Revival Service (time tbd)
Calvary Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
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) Every summer I look forward to a slower pace, and every summer, we always end up being really busy. This summer is no exception as the ministry my husband Reid and I serve with is welcoming an unusually large number of guest groups and the kids have swim meets, various sports lessons, Vacation Bible School, our church Sports Camp, school work (either trying to catch up or trying to get ahead), daily chore charts, music lessons etc. I decided to put together a daily chore and activity chart that the kids had to check off each day (it included their daily chores, daily reading requirements, exercise logs etc.). When Julie-Joy saw me posting the list in the kitchen the first time and realized it was her morning to help me with the dishes she looked at me in distress and exclaimed: "Oh Mom, I really am NOT bored - I PROMISE!" :) I told her that I was just making sure that it stayed that way! :)
The other quote of the month goes to Jenna who asked me one morning: "Mom, were you born before or after the Civil War?" Since I teach her history and we had been working hard on memorizing a history timeline, I have to admit that my head just dropped in exasperation! :)