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Do You Have Your Concert Tickets Yet?

A few months ago I was approached by a small venue in Pleasant Grove, UT about doing an intimate solo concert for their 2012-13 concert season. I thought to myself, “Oh, yeah…I used to be a performing songwriter in a former life!” While I speak and present regularly on emotional health and relationships, and I often include music in my presentations, I can’t remember the last time I did concert where music – the songs – were the primary focus.

So I said yes! OK, I know that it’s a few months away, but the venue seats only 100 people so tickets are on sale NOW.

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Mother’s Day Tribute: She Put The Music In Me

It’s not often that I blog about other artist’s music. Mostly because I write about mental health and relationship topics these days, but also because it takes a lot for me to be really moved by a new artist. I prefer singer-songwriters who have a unique voice or style and who has something important to say. Occasionally, an artist comes along that I fall in love with and I can’t help but spread the word. Enter Calee Reed. A little flattery doesn’t hurt either…Calee says that my music has inspired her over the years. I have a passion for mentoring younger women and so knowing this makes me smile (and feel kinda old).

Calee began writing songs for her album “The Waiting Place” while watching her mother suffer from terminal cancer. During this trying time in her life, music lifted her up and helped her cope – and she is compelled to share that hope with others who might be enduring similar challenges. Her first single and music video She Put the Music in Me is a touching tribute to her mother’s love. Before you start the video, grab a tissue. Consider yourself warned…

If you download this song on iTunes, proceeds will be donated to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women who have touched my life.

Feel free to share this song with other women in your life.

Make Enough Of Me To Go Around

Do you ever feel like there’s too much to do and not enough of you?

This is definitely a theme in my life. It doesn’t help that my hubby has 4 back to back business trips in a row and we’re only half way through. The good news is I’m heading to Southern California this afternoon to speak to hundreds of amazing women at a Deseret Book Time Out For Women weekend! I’ll be offering up a few thoughts on developing your authentic self, but ironically, I’ll be the one who comes away benefiting the most from spending time in the presence of so many good women and having my own “time out”.

While I’m sad to be leaving my family today, after several night of my 5 yr old coming into my bed and kicking me in the head I’m looking forward to uninterrupted sleep. I need my sleep…and the sunshine…and some time with other women who know what it’s like to feel “overwhelmed and underpaid” sometimes.

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Tuesday Tunes: Keeper Of The Flame

Last month my husband and I were in England picking up my oldest son from a two-year full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One Saturday night I forgot to turn off the sound on my cell phone and throughout the night I heard texts and tweets dinging. When I woke up, my husband said, “There’s something on your phone about President Monson. Groggy and confused I looked at my phone and there were several messages saying, “President Thomas S. Monson (President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) quoted your lyrics to ‘Keeper Of The Flame” last night in the General Young Women’s Conference!”

“Seriously?” I thought. My hubby and I went online to see if we could find the video. We found it and I watched in amazement as President Monson quoted me by name and read some of the lyrics to my song. When ever I’ve thought about it since I giggle and smile. What an incredible honor…

Watch the video (10:15 is where he quotes me lyrics)

Story Behind The Song

Since 1987 I’ve contributed songs for BYU’s Especially For Youth’s theme CD’s. Keeper Of The Flame was written for  the 1997 CD “Treasure The Truth”. I usually don’t like to write songs around certain topic because I usually write when things “come up” and prefer not to write “on demand.” Writing with a certain topic in mind tends to feel contrived and less honest to me. But this song was different. It did feel honest. In thinking about what truth I treasure it is my testimony and the experiences that have shaped it. By 1997 I had had enough life experience to know that there are many internal struggles and doubts and external life’s circumstances that can dim the flame of testimony if we’re not careful. I wanted to share with the youth the importance of guarding their flame of testimony, no matter what.

Download on iTunes

Keeper Of The Flame (Vocal by Katherine Nelson, 1997, From the CD “Treasure the Truth: Especially For Youth”

Keeper Of The Flame  (Vocal by Julie de Azevedo, 2003, from the CD “Window To His Love: Intimate Renditions of Inspirational Favorites)

Lyrics

Keeper Of The Flame

Believing, receiving the burning inside
Learning and yearning for greater light
Melting the frost
Moving the lost

Chorus
Through the winds of change
Encircled by the clouds of pain
I guard it with my life
I need the warmth I need the light
Though the storm will rage
I stand against the pounding rain
I remain a keeper of the flame

Inspiring fire blazing in truth
Living and giving
Leading to You
Filling my soul
Willing to go

Repeat Chorus

I remain a keeper of the flame

(c) 1997 Julie de Azevedo

Are there any of my songs that you’d like to know more about? Post your suggestions below.

Top 10 Posts of 2011 on JulieHanks.com

It’s always fun to see which posts catch your interest over 12 months. Looking back over 2012 the top posts are a mix of music, personal posts, parenting tips, marriage topics, and mental and emotional health advice…and that list just about sums up my life!

A big surprise is #1 — guess you haven’t forgotten that I’ve been a performing songwriter for, oh, 25 years. But, the biggest surprise on this top 10 list is #2 because I only posted it last week! So, many of you have shared it with friends and family online. Thank you.

Thank you for sharing my articles and posts, for great blog discussions and social media comments, and coming to live events this year. I am grateful to have you as part of my “virtual” family.

OK…so here’s the top 10 posts of 2011…

  1. 3 Generations of Azevedo Performed in Church Today
  2. Letter To Santa That Made Me Cry
  3. How To Stop Overreacting and Keep Your Cool
  4. To Forgive Or Not To Forgive?
  5. National TV Appearance On Nov 3 Secretly Pregnant on Discovery Health
  6. Tuesday Tunes: Window To His Love
  7. Avoiding Parenting Clashes With College-aged Kids
  8. Q&A: Is Date Night Too Much To Ask? & I’m Never In The Mood!
  9. 8 Surefire Ways To Emotionally Mess Up Your Kid
  10. Keep Your Marriage Emotionally HOT

I am a social media lover so I hope you’ll stay connected in 2012.

New Young Women Values CD “Live What I Know”

I’m honored to have contributed a song “He Whispers Courage”, based on the Young Women value  of”integrity”, to the new CD “Live What I Know: Honoring the Values of Young Women.” Songwriters and vocalists include Hilary Weeks, Cherie Call, Katherine Nelson, Staci Peters, and more.

I’m thrilled to be participating in the CD release concert at Cottonwood High School on August 24th, a free concert for Young Women and leaders.

Listen to clips & buy CD online

 

3 Generations of Azevedos Performed in Church Today

What a treat to sing with my 17 year old daughter in church today, accompanied by my dad Lex de Azevedo. We did a medley of “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” & “I Feel My Savior’s Love”. My hubby was able to record it on his iPhone and the recording actually sounds half decent so I wanted to share it with you. Happy Sunday!

Thanks to all of my Facebook friends for song suggestions.

Listen To Performance

Mads.Me
17 yr old daughter after her vocal recital
P1000448
Dad & me at his President's Day concert

Tuesday Tunes: Window To His Love by Julie de Azevedo

STORY Behind the song “Window To His Love”

I was in tears after giving a musical fireside to a youth group one Sunday night about 20 years ago. “Why am I doing this?” I asked myself. Why was I putting myself through the stress of giving up my Sunday nights, leaving my little baby, and singing for people? From my point of view the fireside had been a complete failure, void of the spirit, and not worth the effort for me or for the congregation. “Why am I doing this music thing? What went wrong?” I asked myself and God as I prayed through my tears.

Rarely have my prayers been answered immediately, but this prayer was different. If I’m remembering correctly, it was that very same night an image of a window with the Savior standing behind it flooded my mind and soon after, most of the words poured out on paper through my tears as I plunked the melody out on our little upright piano. This was truly a gift of mercy given to a young wife and mother in her early 20’s who for years had been plagued with insecurities and self-doubt, but also arm with strong desire to do God’s will and to follow Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father taught me what went wrong at the fireside as he gently showed me that I was in way. I was so worried about myself, how I was doing, sounding, and how I looked, that he couldn’t work with me. He couldn’t use me as an instrument. I needed to get out of the way so he could work through me. The lyrics to “Window To His Love” have become a motto for over 2 decades and the truths in this song were and are my only hope for making a difference in the world. I want to be a window to His love.

LISTEN To “Window To His Love”

Download “Window To His Love” on iTunes

State of the Heart CD (reprise – piano/vocal)
State of the Heart CD (pop version)
Pray For Rain Live Concert CD / EFY
Window to His Love: Intimate Renditions of Inspirational Favorites CD

LYRICS

Window to His Love (Reprise)

From the album State of the Heart
Words & Music: Julie de Azevedo
© 1992 Mohrgud Music (BMI)

I want to be a window to His love
So when you look at me you will see Him
I want to be so pure and clear
That you won’t even know I’m here
‘Cause His love will shine brightly through me

I want to be a doorway to the truth
So when you walk beyond you will find Him
I want to stand so straight and tall
That you won’t notice me at all
But through my open door He will be seen

Chorus
A window to His love
A doorway to the truth
A bearer of the message
He’d have me bring to you
And with each passing day
I want to fade away
‘Til only He can be seen
And I become a window to His love

I want to be a window to His love
So you can look through me and you’ll see Him
And someday shining through the glass
You’ll see His loving countenance
‘Cause I will have become like He is

Chorus
A doorway to the truth
A bearer of the message
He’d have me bring to you
And with each passing year
I want to disappear
‘Til He’s become everything
And I’ve become a window to His love

FUN FACTS ABOUT “Window To His Love”

  • The only hate mail I ever received was about this song.
  • I’ve recorded this song more times than any other song I’ve written.
  • This song is the most recorded songs that I’ve written, recorded numerous times by many other artists.
  • The words original words “And someday shining through my face” were recorded on the first recording were changed to “And someday shining through the glass you’ll see His loving countenance.”
  • The first recording of Window to His Love appeared on the CD “Charity Never Faileth.”
  • It’s been recorded in many different languages.
  • This is the most widely performed song I’ve written (probably because it’s one of the few “chapel appropriate” songs in my collection).
  • People who know this song usually don’t know who wrote it (and I love it).
  • When I polled my Julie de Azevedo Facebook friends which song introduced them to my music “Window To His Love” had the most votes by a long shot.
  • Google search turns up about 45 pages when you search the song title. Try it.
  • There are several YouTube videos/slideshows about the song (none of which I was involved in)
  • The little baby crawling around when I wrote this song is now serving a full-time LDS mission in England and is listening to the CD “Window To His Love” and sharing it with converts and companions.
  • I continued to be overwhelmed and humbled when I perform this song and the majority of the audience can sing a long on the chorus. It still blows me away after 20 + years that a little song that came through a desperate twenty-something has reached so many people. God is good.

Has “Window To His Love” has touched your life in some way? Have you sung it for a special occasion? Did you hear it at a particularly difficult time? I’d love to have your share your experience by commenting below.