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“Just Me” Blog #9 (Spring and Success) 6-20-13

Did spring leave?  It’s almost the first official day of summer and I feel like spring was a whirlwind.  My last blogpost was a “goodbye” to winter.  Goodness, that’s a long time.  Well, what can I say?  Winter was difficult and I was glad to see it leave.  Spring, however, was a much-needed season for me and it flew!  I mean it literally sprouted wings and took off!    I feel I need to have a chance to just tip my hat to it and write down some highlights, reflecting on successes and just plain joys.

Success in my songwriting career doesn’t mean much to me if I miss the moments that give me so much to write about.  For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen some of my recent good news on the career front.  In March, I was privileged to win a preliminary songwriting round and then in May, win the finals for the Pacific Northwest title of “best song” for the West Coast Songwriters organization.  My song “I Know it’s You” is doing pretty well and I’m very grateful for that.  I am looking forward to the FINAL finals coming in August, held in Berkeley, CA.  But the song wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the ways that goodness appears in my life.  Just how “I Know it’s You” came to be is a blog all in itself.  Perhaps the next one I’ll write?  That’s what it’s all about to me – absorbing life as it happens, feeding the lyric.

So how can I recap and reflect on a spring that sped by so fast?  I barely know where to begin but I’ll try.  Somehow in a few short months, in the midst of me finishing up my duties as treasurer of our local chapter for the Oregon Music Teachers Association – which wasn’t difficult but extremely time consuming, all of the recitals and events my students played for, and working hard on songwriting goals, I managed to attend countless events for my boys that earned them milestone trophies and awards, placements in special performances, a great soccer season for both boys (and Chandler’s first goal with his undefeated team), spend a fabulous time celebrating our wedding anniversary with my husband of 16 years,

Our wedding day, June 7, 1997

and holding down the fort when he went away on business trips for weeks at a time.  No wonder time has flown by so fast.  I never knew if we were coming or going or waiting or running…

Celebration Recital 2013 with my students, some earning milestone awards or special honors from the OMTA


What I’d love to highlight are the fun “prizes” earned during this season. You know the phrase “you win some, you lose some”, right?  Typically, we “lose some”.  But for our family this spring, we just seemed to “win some”.  That’s rare for us so we gladly accepted the rewards.  Steve and I won first prize for decorating our porch and won money off our rent – how random is that?  That was a huge financial need met.  And those who know us know that both our porches sat completely bare for 4 years, — just a blank cement slab with cobwebs along the siding, so this is significant!  I finally have a place for students to wait and a restful spot to watch my boys swim from – all while winning back the money we paid to “beautify” it.  Super cool.

Drab to Fab, this is our new back porch facing the pool!

Front porch -- finally, a place for students and my family to relax

Another highlight was that my oldest son wrote a paper and earned a competitive scholarship award to go to outdoor school – also a financial need met.  Then my youngest son entered a drawing contest and it was chosen as the new T-shirt design for his entire elementary school for the 2013-2014 school year coming up.  No money in that, but who cares!?  I’m blown away by that one!

So in taking some time to slow down and reflect, here is a surprising conclusion after this busy and eventful spring, full of reasons to celebrate. I think that perhaps the successes of my children are even more meaningful to me than my own.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to be representing the Pac NW in California this August, and just last night, I learned that I was one of 10 chosen to compete to play at a Christian festival in August with the same song again, and that’s all great after I’ve worked so hard.  But I wonder if I have even more joy over the “wins” of my sons because as a mother, I desire so much for them that I’m often willing to sacrifice my own time, money, etc., to provide for them these moments….  And this spring, somehow, even while sacrificing, I still managed to have a few wins of my own.  I think sometimes I just assume that you can’t have it both ways….but I guess sometimes, you can!  So many days I wonder if I can even be a musician while being a decent mom at the same time.  I believe that I’m extra joyful over their success because I have always stressed about the time I spend on my career vs. time I spend with my boys.  It’s such a tough balance and when I see evidence of them thriving, it helps me know that mmaAAAYBe….I’m not doing so badly after all?

"Take time to be" is what the sign says on the porch. I remind myself of this anytime I get a chance!

This to me is success as a songwriter, as a mom, as a woman.  Lord knows I don’t reach tangible, obvious success every season.  But at least this spring, I found that it’s possible.  If I can write some songs well and gain some professional success while not missing life along the way and the people I love the most, then I’ve really accomplished something, by the grace of God.

(BIG exhale…) Now if I could just keep up with my blog!!!

– Nicole Wells, June 20, 2013

Quote of the month comes from Amy Grant.  This is from the song “Not Giving Up” on her new, much anticipated album “How Mercy Looks from Here”.

“If you think you’re gonna fail, well you’re probably gonna fail.  So tell me, what was all the dreaming for?  If you think you’re gonna lose, well you’re probably gonna lose.   So what’s the point in tryin’ anymore?   What you’re lookin’ for you’ll find, it happens every time….I’m not givin’ up on you…  If you think you have a chance, then you’ll really have a chance.  I hope you know that I believe in you.”

– Amy Grant

I choose someone new each time.  Some quotes are reflective, some silly….I may quote YOU!  Be watching!

Nicole Wells is a singer-songwriter, soccer mom and story teller who enjoys encouraging and entertaining others through music and testimony.  She can be booked for performances, worship leading, and speaking engagements.

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