Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hilary Weeks~ A Giveaway!

In 1997 I heard Hilary Weeks sing for the first time. Her debut solo CD had just been previously released, and she was performing at a fireside at my stake center in Mesa, Arizona. Her husband, Tim, was with her, and he did most of the speaking, with songs throughout sung by his wife. Next to Hilary, sat her little daughter, McKenzie, right up there on the bench next to her mommy, as good as gold. I thought to myself, 'what a lucky little girl to get to listen to this all the time!'

I became an ardent fan. I bought each CD as soon as I could get my hands on it, and learned the words to each song, most of them written by Hilary too. I was grateful that I had been in a place in 1997 where I could be introduced to her music, and I acknowledge God's hand in that blessing, because since then He has spoken to me many times through the words of her songs.

One particular time, in 2002, I was driving down a winding, mountain road coming back from my estranged husband's house, where I had just dropped off my three young children for the weekend. I had never felt so empty as I did driving back in the dark that night. I remember praying, frantically pleading with God to intervene in my life and help me to make sense of it all. It wasn't right that my babies were sleeping across town without me! It wasn't right that they now had Daddy's house and Mommy's house. None of this was right! And with an expression of my complete trust and reliance on Him, but a pleading for his strength to endure, suddenly, this song began from Hilary's CD:

"Why did this happen
Do you know what's happened to me
And heaven were you watching
Were you watching over me
'Cause the way that I've been feeling
Well I'm feeling so low
If You hear this prayer
And if I'm not alone
I need to know

I need to know You're there
I need something to hold on to
I need someone who will care
Carry me on
And carry me through somehow
Make sense of this pain
And show me the way

'Cause when the darkness comes
I'm a prisoner to my fears
Although I'm listening
The doubt is all I hear
But then I reach for Your hand
And feel You reaching back
And the light returns

And I begin
I begin to understand
My soul can feel the mercy
And love in Your plan
When I let go
And turn all the hurt and sorrow over to You
The burden is light
And trusting I find

Though the storms roll in
And the winds of change may blow
I know You let them come
So that I can learn and grow
And when I reach for Your hand
I feel You reaching back
And that's how I know
I am never alone.

It was a pivotal answer for me. I pulled the minivan over and wept. I could tell that God wasn't denying the hurt and the pain that I was feeling, but He was offering to carry it for me, walk with me, and that I wasn't alone, though I was driving by myself and going home to an empty house where my family should have been.

So, I loved Hilary even more. Many of her songs have touched me in similar ways. Through acts of the divine, I was able to meet her once at a Time Out for Women performance shortly after that experience, and share it with her, thank her for her gift. And then a few years after that, I had another opportunity to meet her again. She and her husband, Tim, invited me to their hotel room to talk, which we did for hours. She wanted to know me. And I came to love her even more. She is as genuine as she is talented. As beautiful inside, as she is out.

Since then, I've been able to attend, as her guest, several more Time Out's, to watch her work behind the scenes, to meet the other incredible speakers and performers, to eat with them, to talk with them, to learn from them. And I am more and more impressed with not only Hilary's music, but with the caliber of woman that she is. And funny to boot. So funny. So real.

Hilary's newest CD came out just recently. When our mutual friend, Angela, came out to CA on business, she brought me a signed copy from Hilary, and I was overjoyed. This is Hilary at her best. Her expression of gratitude in the front of the cover is so humble and touching. She knows from where her gift comes, and she truly seeks to be an instrument. I believe she is. It is so fun to get to know her newest "babies". I like to imagine the inspiration behind each song, and never fail to be amazed at how relevant each message is to my life too. She sings, and I feel it all.

The title song, "If I Only Had Today," expresses so poignantly what the important things to do would be, if today was all there was.

"I'd hold you and listen
And I'd let the dishes sit in the sink
I'd tell you I loved you over and over
And for once I'd just let the phone ring. . ."

Or, there's the beautiful "Just Let Me Cry", which if you're not already, you certainly will be crying by the end of it. (We girls always have something in our hearts to cry about! And crying feels good, and we need it!) I love the line that she wrote that says:
"When I agreed that God could put this heart inside me
I understood that there was a chance that it would break. . ."

I believe that. I believe we took it all, knowingly, because we knew it would be necessary. And worth it.

Oh, my gosh, nobody writes or sings more beautifully or personally about the Savior than does Hilary. Every time she writes a song about Christ, I think, well, she certainly can't top that. How will she ever find another way to say all those amazing things about Him? But she does. Every time. Which tells me she must know Him, and have the relationship with Him that comes from experience. "Tender Behind the Mercy" is so beautiful:
"He's the tender behind the mercy
The unconditional in love
And when I need forgiveness
He's the Redeeming in Son. . ."

There are so many gems! I love them all! I can't wait to hear her sing them live, because you think the CD's are good? You should be there to hear her sing them in person any and every chance you get.

Well, so here's the deal. You can tell I adore Hilary. I want more people to love her and to be blessed by her talent and her spirit. I asked her if she'd be willing to let me give away an autographed copy of her latest CD and she was all for it! (Because she's generous and cool like that, and she loves to party!), so if you'd like to be entered into the drawing this week, leave me a comment on this post, and on Sunday I'll draw a name for the winner of "If I Only Had Today", signed just to you. You lucky, lucky duck!

Also, please hop on over to Hilary's website, where you'll find all kinds of good things and her blog too! Say hi! And good luck!


Amber said...

Oh I would love to win this! I saw Hilary at a Time out for Women event and I just love her. I agree with you 100% - she has an amazing gift and we are so lucky she shares it with us.

Wonder Woman said...

On Sunday I wrote a post about music, and mentioned Women of Destiny. I was trying to find links for some of the songs, and got lost on Hilary's site, and her blog. (She blogs! I feel so connected!) I read about the songs she was writing and working on recording and got very excited, thinking I wanted to buy this CD. (I NEVER buy CDs. I used to buy LDS ones for my sunday music, but now that I live in Utah, I don't need CD's to hear LDS music.) I do own her "Christmastime" and it's my favorite Christmas CD.

So anyway, I WANT TO WIN!!!

Your story brought tears to my eyes. I, too, have had answers to prayer through music.

Sarah said...

You are amazing, Jenna. You never disappoint in how you portray your emotions through words! I absolutely adore you and am so grateful to be able to call you my sister-in-law!

Abby said...

Awww I remember the time I lived with you and your Hilary discovery was still fairly new. I remember you blasting "He Hears Me" throughout the house often and didn't you learn to do that song in your sign language class as well? I know it was a Hilary song just can't remember which. I think it's well timed that you write this post because I've randomly been singing that song lately..and even though I'm not religious..it's still catchy and gives me the goosebumps.

I love you!

templework said...

You touch our hearts...
Thank you for being you.

Megan said...

I would love to find some new GOOD music to listen to. I don't think I've ever heard Hilary! :)

Josi said...

Don't put me in the drawing, cause I already have it and would hate to deny anyone else the chance to own it--but I love, love, love this CD and specifically the very songs you pointed out. And Christmastime--another fabulous one. She's an impressive woman and it just makes you that much cooler that you actually know her.

Jennifer said...

Jenna!!! PICK ME, PICK ME!!! I really need some good up lifting music that will talk to my soul, really bad. Can't wait for Sunday to find out who the winner is. I'm crossing my fingers.

Anonymous said...

oooh I'm in! Love you tons girl, I feel so lucky that we've conected again - even if i never comment. I love to read about your life - makes me feel that we are just 5 doors apart again. xoxo

Jeri said...

I love Hilary's music and would LOVE this CD. After just reading the words you posted, I may just have to splurge and go buy it for myself...
You are lucky to be able to call her a personal friend...

Raelene said...

I would love to have it! I really enjoyed her at Time out for Women too!

Laurie said...

I loved this post! I cried all the way through it. I've actually never heard her before, just seen her name but after reading this, I'm her newest fan. I can't wait to hear her songs. And Jenna, you are amazing. Thanks for openly sharing your life with us.

Melissa said...

wow, what a great thing to do! I think this would be awesome to have. I'll have to buy this CD, IF YOU DON'T PICK ME!

Stephanie Humphreys said...

What an awesome story. Fun how you admire her so much and she ends up being a friend. I love those "tender mercies".

family said...

Another thing that I love too. Hilary has helped me through some very dark days and I would love that copy. She IS amazing and love the spirit behind her words. He hears me.....

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Beautiful post Jenna. Pick me, please!!!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

How inspiring! I don't think I've ever heard her music and would love to be introduced.

Angela said...

I was so excited to come over and see this post about one of my favorite people! I also already have a copy just wanted to put my stamp of approval on how AWESOME this CD is and what a genuine person Hilary really is.

Good luck all and if you don't win go BUY it! It is worth every penny!

Jenna can you just write all my posts for me? I love how you write!

Jennifer said...

I would love to hear some of Hilary's music. Sounds like just what I need right now.

The Vance Vitals said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Vance Vitals said...

Is it too late? You know I felt that right along with you. I need that CD right now in my life.