The Music En-e-my

Somewhere in my closet is a box. In that box is “stuff” from my childhood that my mother or I thought was important enough, or meaningful enough, to keep. Medals, ribbons, artwork (I use that term loosely, because I have no discernible artistic talent), school papers and the like, occupy that box. There’s also a caricature of me.

Crystal Gayle - I wanted her voice and hair

I remember sitting for this cartoon at Astroworld. The sketch artist scrutinized my 7-year-old face carefully and started to draw. As he reconstructed my forehead, hidden by loooooooong hair and my somewhat prominent nose, he asked me questions.

What do you like to do? What do you want to be when you grow up? What’s your favorite song? Do you like broccoli?

At that time in my life, I wanted nothing more than to sing onstage. I wanted to be a country singer, like Crystal Gayle. Two years later, I cut my hair short, reminded myself I had neither brown, nor blue eyes, but green ones, decided I couldn’t really sing and gave up the dream; but in that moment, my cartoon me was a country singer with cowboy hat, boots, fringed skirt and microphone.

Recently, I overcame my extreme fear of singing in public to join Sacred Edge, our house worship band. Everyone has been really encouraging, and I love worshiping through song. I haven’t sung OUT, though. If no one heard me, that was fine by me. In fact, I am pretty sure I turned my microphone off that first Sunday, because I was so scared.

Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I will sing to the LORD, I will sing; I will make music to the LORD, the God of Israel. – Judges 5:3


Today, I sang. Today, I was asked if I was interested in singing a solo. Today, I remembered what it was like to be a 7-year-old who didn’t fear the sound of her own voice. Today, I thought that if I am to sing a solo, I’m not going to choose something easy. I’m going to go big like a kid having her dream drawn out before her. Today, I stopped listening to my music en-e-my, that part of myself that says “you can’t sing” and I showed it who was boss, not me, but my God who asked me to praise him with everything he’d given me.

What instrument do you play? If you sat for a cartoonist, what would your cartoon drawing look like?


42 responses to “The Music En-e-my

  1. I’m not musical. I took guitar lessons for a year a long time ago and stopped because I was getting carpal tunnel (from my job). I’d like to take them again sometime though. I also took flute lessons for about a year before I went to Korea and haven’t had the money to take them since, lol. Someday, maybe I’ll get to take those lessons again. As for singing…I totally can’t sing. I think I can carry a tune, but I could never try out for American/Canadian Idol, lol.

  2. Oh man i miss Astroworld!!! Please…a moment of silence…………ok….i’m…

    That may be my favorite verse of all time!

    Congrats on you singing!

    I don’t know if you’ve seen my bands page on my blog but i like to do some singing as well….and i play guitar and write music…it’s my dream and passion……

    I really liked this post Kristin….thanks…

    • I haven’t seen your band page, but I’ll have to check it out. I don’t think I’ll ever “get” the guitar, but played piano for years growing up.

      Thanks, Arny!

  3. Way to go Kristen! I don’t play an instrument unless you count the sound board!

    It’s uplifting to see and hear someone step out in faith to do what God’s put in their heart to do. Keep it up!

  4. I sing and play guitar and bass. I used to play brass and could play djembe if necessary. My musical hero is Johnny Cash, although my voice isn’t quite as deep. I’ve just recently gotten into voice lessons over the past year. I’m told they’re actually helping.

    And I sat for a caricaturist once. He accentuated my overalls and my then-big hair.

  5. I wish I could play an instrument. Currently, I am learning to play chords on the keyboard, but I am very novice. I do sing though and help lead music at our church.

  6. Congratulations on stepping up and singing! That’s great!

    I have a guitar in my closet. I picked it up off Ebay for pretty cheap, and would “like” to learn to play it, but have not made it enough of a desire to fight for it, so it sits in my closet. I’ve been told a few times that I should learn piano, but I think all guys with long, thin fingers get told that. 🙂

    I loved to sing before I hit puberty. My voice did that thing that boy voices do, going down in range, which wasn’t a bad thing in itself though I miss the ability to hit certain notes. What it did do, however, was prove prone to picking its own level that does not always match what I want it to sing at. I can’t rely on it hitting the notes I tell it to hit, so I’m reluctant to sing in front of others now. I actually have a good voice when it’s working well; I’m just afraid of getting embarrassed if it slips out of my control in front of others.

    • I’m worried about breaking pitch, mostly – cracking on the high notes. I’m giving it to God. Hopefully, he won’t let me sound awful while praising him.

  7. Video or it didn’t happen. 🙂

    Confidence is key in vocals, and from reading it sounds like you were on point.

    Instruments? Piano/Drums/Trumpet

    I’m sure if I sat for a cartoonist, my head and crooked hair-line would be prominent, with some Alfred E Neuman – like freckles on my cheeks.

  8. I’d probably turn the microphone off if I were up front singing, too. Not because I’m afraid to be in front of others, but because I really can’t sing.

    People would be running from the building, covering their ears and screaming for me to stop.

    It’s the one area where I am not Mr. Awesome. Ha!

  9. Glad to hear you finally sang out 🙂 I remember being pretty nervous my first time too.

    I play guitar and sing. I’ve led worship for a long time, and was in a rock band years ago!

  10. Kristen, that’s very cool; kudos to you! I can’t sing worth a rip, but I do play the french horn. I played in a church orchestra a few years ago, so I can relate to what you said about using your gifts to worship God. There’s really nothing quite like it!

    In my caricature, I would be reading a book, and there would be little forest animals (birds, squirrels, etc…) peeking out of my beard and reading along with me. 🙂

  11. Awesome! I used to sing in the church choir but I would never want to sing a solo. However, I sang an Alison Krauss song with two friends at a young adult coffeehouse we held a few years ago. I was terrified but it was a thrill! It’s so good to step out of our comfort zones, especially for our dreams.

    Also, I was a fan of Crystal’s hair too. I can’t help but think about what a pain it must have been!

  12. Keep singin’, Herdy!

    I’m a sound tech, but I’m going to take drum lessons. I’ve always wanted to play and I constantly have a beat in my head.

    My cartoon would like Hellboy – only he writes masterpieces with his giant hands.

  13. Woohoo! You go Herdy! You tell that liar who can worship her God like nobody’s business.

    I can’t wait to buy your LP.

    I can’t play any instruments, but I can draw. Have you seen my twitter AVI lately? That’s what I would look like.

  14. I once had a caricature done of me playing hockey. I’ve long since retired from hockey and I have no idea where the caricature wound up. If I had one done today it would probably show me with a mischievous grin, hacking away on a laptop with one hand and drawing a cartoon with the other.

  15. The only person that thinks I can sing is my daughter, but she’s only 4 and she still depends on me for survival so she has to be nice to me. Seriously though, I can’t sing so I would never be brave enough to sing in front of anyone.

    My daughter’s dad was a worship leader and musician and she is already very interested in music and wants to learn to play the guitar. My brother is also a musician and reluctant worship leader, so maybe the talent that skipped me will go to my daughter. I can’t even clap in time to music. (I’m not kidding, people make fun of me.)

    • i thought your last line said “please make fun of me” at first, and I was trying to oblige you. I’ll stick with – that’s great that your daughter is already so interested in music! 🙂

  16. Way to go!
    I used to play the french horn and guitar. Now I play the radio.
    My cartoon self would probably look a lot like Perry Stone.

  17. I play the guitar. Still love to pull it out every now and again… my girls like “playing” it as well.

    As far as a cartoonist…. Had one done a few months back at a company function:

    • That picture is awesome. Do you really have a Jay Leno chin?

      The acoustic guitar-man in Sacred Edge gave my girls homework this week, they are supposed to come back and tell him what instrument they want to play in the praise and worship band when they get a bit older. I’m in for it now!

  18. Way to go! I know that’s a hard fear to overcome. This past year, I got to preach in Brazil and that was my first time with a translator. I was a bit nervous, but it went great and I’m excited to go back.

    • was that weird, working with a translator? how did you prepare for that? I’ve never had a translator before, and would think you would have to speak in small sections, or, am I wrong?

  19. I use to play the Saxophone in junior high but that talent went out the window the summer after junior high. My mom can sing, my dad can sing, my sister leads worship at her church. I however can’t carry a tune. Singing is not my calling for sure.

    I’d have a big forehead and big ears. It would probably look pretty funny. 🙂
    I think I’d make a great cartoon.

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