Fun Friday: Jess Ray's new album
My current obsession: Jess Ray’s latest album.
I’m going to come clean right away:
Yes, this crazy talent is my husband’s little sister. Yes, she’s the auntie to my kiddos, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding, and she will forever be one of my very best friends (and favorite humans) in the world.
But EVEN IF SHE WASN’T, I’d still be crazy about her music. I’d listen to it on repeat (as I do), I’d sing her songs to my kids every night (dimensions from her last album is Milly’s favorite), and I’d cry my eyes out every time I hear a new song. Heck, I cry year round at her songs.
Like just the other day when I was sick and exhausted and sleep deprived, just barely holding it together. As I drove home from preschool the song Gallows came on, and these words filled the car and changed my entire outlook for the day:
Someone’s on the prowl, trying to take us down
But we ain’t giving up now
A liar and a thief, coming after you and me
But we ain’t giving up now
The harder the wind will blow, the deeper our roots will go,
And the devil’s gonna hang, oh the devil is gonna hang,
The devil is gonna hang from his own gallows
I just THREW IT BACK IN HIS FACE. Just like Mordecai in the book of Esther, the devil’s gonna hang on his own gallows. He’s going to LOSE this war. We cannot and will not give up.
Again and again I said in the car with tears in my eyes: “the harder the wind will blow, the deeper MY roots will grow.” It gave me the strength to just keep going. And it was probably the 20th time I had heard that song, but this time it hit me with a new anointing.
I’ve had the privilege of having a front row seat to watching Jess become the artist she is today. Her latest album Parallels and Meridians has been on repeat in our home, in my car, and in the studio ever since it was released. I’m actually terribly late in sharing this album with you, because the full album has been out on Spotify for a few weeks now. But I wanted to really learn the songs, and let you know my top three and why I love them so much:
Humble heart - she put into words a theme that God has been teaching me for years - the lower we go, the more humble we become, the more we have to learn from others. Humility is a quality I hope my life is marked by, and is something I want deeply entrenched in our children. This song is a beautiful prayer, and it reminds me to embrace humility every time I listen in.
Morning song - I could pretty much listen to this every single morning. Olivia, who works with me, said she actually played this on youtube every morning before it was released on this album, which made me laugh. She said it’s probably her all time favorite song. For me, this song is so special because it has really ministered to me on really hard days and really good days. The gist: I don’t want to do this day without the Lord. “I love you, and I want to love you more than the day before.”
Did not our hearts burn - Jess’s testimony in a song. How she prayed a prayer when she was little, then re-aquainted with the Lord at a conference when she was a teenager, then began to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and understand how personal and powerful walking with Him can be. Just so beautifully written. Just as the disciples said, “Did not our hearts burn within us?” when they were walking back wtih Jesus, Jess tells the story of her own life, saying “Did not our hearts burn inside our chests” when we encounter God at different times in our lives. Just beautiful.
TBH, I think my favorite songs on this album change week to week. So be sure to give the whole album a listen because every song is just that good.
And Jess, if you read this, I love you. I seriously cannot wait to see where the Lord takes you. No matter how big or small your audience becomes, I know Jesus is so pleased with you - and He’s the only audience that really matters.
Beautiful Album Photo by Sarah DeShields