Behind The Songs – A Still and Quiet Night

Christmas Single – A Still and Quiet Night

One of the biggest (and I think), most difficult places to show the love of Christ is to our spouse: in which we have many opportunities to practice grace, allowing iron to sharpen iron to mature and prepare us for future glory.

In marriage, many couples face an unintentional drift as they prepare for the Empty Nest. For many years the focus of the union has been on the children and as they prepare to leave, and once the children are out the door husbands and wives have to rediscover each other once more. There may have been preconceived ideas of what the latter years were going to look like and once we are there, we find it is nothing like we had dreamed out. We may question, who is this person I live with? And sadly, over 50% become divorced. They even have a term for this kind of divorce in these latter years: Gray Divorce.

But there are ways to be intentional to try and close the gap as you transition into the next phase of your marriage relationship and to inoculate it against the “D word”. It is an intentional turning into one another, finding things in common, appreciating new direction for one another, etc.  A Still and Quiet Night is not only a song of memories of the way things were when the children were little and growing up at home, but also an acknowledgement of the loss of our grown babies. Christmas seems to be the time, as it comes at the end of a calendar year, where we take more account of our lives. Where are we in life? What happened? Where did the years go? We miss our kids! Now it’s just us and we aren’t sure we like each other right now!

Questions like these, can take us on a journey at Christmas to learn how to create new memories of what love is about. Times change, children leave, traditions change, we are older, it’s quieter in the house, we are more gray, balding or wrinkled, finding ourselves more lonely…but love always remains if we invite it in.

What greater time than at Christmas to reflect on the love that God has for us by sending Himself to us in the form of a baby, Jesus the Christ, Emmanuel, reconciling us to Himself. Christ reminds us of what love is and He brings His peace into our hearts through His Holy Spirit, giving us the ministry of reconciliation. It is the interpretation of this love, lived out in real life that finds us rediscovering each other in a new light; and therefore, making new memories for our future.
 
Production Notes:

IMG_9983
My producer Eric Copeland (Creative Soul Records) and I worked on this song as a co-write this last Summer of July 2014, as I was touring across the country with my new album project, Where I Am. We met up at Word Entertainment in one of the writing rooms and I shared my ideas of the first verse with him. He started to town on a melody idea for the arrangement and came up with a beautiful interlude of Silent Night, Holy Night in the middle of the song.

Eric didn’t know it, but Silent Night was one of the very first songs that my brother and I learned to sing in German for our German grandparents. We recorded it on a little tape recorder for our Oma and Opa when we were very young (possibly around 6 and 4) and when they received the cassette tape, they were overjoyed to hear their American grandchildren singing in their native tongue. So that is a very special part in the song for me, that holds wonderful memories of my own childhood and heritage.

We started the lyrics on the 2nd verse trying to be mindful of what it might look like to revive a marriage by bringing a little romance back into it at Christmastime. We finished up the second verse long distance and then sent it off for production. I love the creativity that all the players brought to this project and one of my most favorite parts in the song, is a bass part in “not a creature stirs or makes another sound”.

A Still and Quiet Night

Jen Haugland & Eric Copeland ©2014 Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP) & From the Moment Music (BMI)

V1

All the moments that we sit around the tree

Hold our memories of everything that used to be

To see our little ones their eyes so opened wide

As they stared at all the pretty bulbs so bright

 

PC

Oh where did the years go, now that they’ve all moved on

And it’s just the two of us in this big house all alone

 

Ch

Turn down the lights

Pull me closer to your side

We can make new memories

In a still and quiet night

Don’t be surprised

As I stare into your eyes

We can find ourselves in love

In a still and quiet night

 

V2

As we find ourselves here sitting by the fire

And an ember sparks a warmth of new desire

While the snow falls silent outside on the ground

Not a creature stirs or makes another sound

 

PC2

So this is our moment, now that they’ve all moved on

And it’s just the two of us in this big house all alone

 

Ch

Turn down the lights

Pull me closer to your side

We can make new memories

In a still and quiet night

Don’t be surprised

As I stare into your eyes

We can find ourselves in love

In a still and quiet night

 

Instrumental Interlude – Silent Night, Holy Night

 

PC2

So this is our moment, now that they’ve all moved on

And it’s just the two of us in this big house all alone

 

Ch

Turn down the lights

Pull me closer to your side

We can make new memories

In a still and quiet night

Don’t be surprised

As I stare into your eyes

We can find ourselves in love

In a still and quiet night

We can find ourselves in love

In a still and quiet night

 

*Honorable Mention, Cindy Wilt Colville Excellence in Songwriting Award – CMS NW 2014

 

Session Players (and, by the way, the guys behind Player A):

John Hammond (drums/percussion)

Gary Lunn (bass)

Mark Baldwin (guitar)

Eric Copeland (keys)

Ronnie Brookshire (Engineering & Mixing)

 

Frequency.FM Interview – A Still and Quiet Night

Last week I had an enjoyable Skype interview with Joe Brookhouse of Frequency.FM to talk about my new Christmas single, A Still and Quiet Night. I like to think of the meaning of Christmas as being an outpouring of God’s heart and love to us by sending us His Son, Jesus, God incarnate: to reconcile us to Himself and to one another by showing us what it means to love one another well, while we are here on this earth.

Here is the link to the podcast, article and additional links. Please share it with as many people as you can! You just never know when someone really needs to hear something that will really touch them. We also thought we were just a little funny in the interview…you might chuckle once or twice. Maybe. 😉

Frequency-Banner Frequency.FM Amp’d Interview – Jen Haugland

New Music Video-Deep Into You-Live at Watershed Recording

Released my new music video today with Creative Soul Records for Deep Into You. It was a fun and mellow acoustic set with Dave Cleveland and Mark Burchfield at Mark’s Watershed Recording Studio, Nashville, TN. I was so honored to have the two of them play for me. Dave was instrumental (ha, no pun intended) in pulling the whole thing off! Thanks Dave! This is the first video of a series of 3. Two more will be released in the near future! 😉

Read the story behind the song at: Behind The Songs – Deep Into You

Blessings & Enjoy!

Where I Am – Hometown Gazette Support!

Gazettephoto 2editMy local newspaper did such a nice job today with a write up on me and my new album Where I Am, Creative Soul Records and the upcoming release concert. Thank you Staff Writer, Matthew Nash and Editor, Mike Dashiell!

If you live locally, I am personally inviting you to the concert THIS Friday night @7 p.m. Sequim Community Church, 950 N. Sequim Ave, Sequim, WA. I will be backed by an awesome band from my local community (Jonathan Simonson, Dillan Witherow, Jason Taylor, Steven Mangiemeli, Kirk Thomas & Mike Madison) and we are featuring another fellow singer-songwriter, Tom Taylor as our opening act. Jeremy Cays of Jeremy Cays Productions has been organizing and producing the release concert for me.

For All The Ways is a song I wrote in memory of Christina Nevill and her battle with brain tumors, and in dedication to her husband Doug & baby Isaiah. I will be performing it on Friday night.

Christina Ahmann Nevill Blog: http://www.christinaahmann.com/
JoDee Ahmann Blog: http://jodeeahmann.blogspot.com/

The album can be purchased through links here on my website: http://www.JenHaugland.com/store

See you at the concert and enjoy the new album!

Love, Jen

The Wisdom of the World

“For the wisdom of this world isSunset Travel foolishness in God’s sight.”1 Corinthians 3:19

The other day, I had to attend a professional ethics workshop to stay current on my license as a Mental Health Counselor. I was trying to think positive about attending it, knowing it would not be a class from a Christian world view, but quite possibly I would learn something new. Well, I was quite disappointed. What I did learn is that I truly felt like a foreigner in a secular training. I had to listen to sneers and chuckles when therapists reported that “Christians say people will go to Hell if…” (wish believers were careful with their words, it sure makes a bad name for those of us who are trying hard to be salt and light).

Then we had exercises on situational ethics and examples in which we had to answer, “What if’s” based on our personal values and then, how we would handle that if we were the therapist. On the abortion situation, I was one of 3 therapists out of a room of 25 that held up their hands as being pro-life (because she asked us to). I was definitely starting to get the feeling that we were being singled out. Then, ironically (but of course known to God), I sat next to a therapist whom I had to partner with to discuss an ethics issue that each of us were currently dealing with. She was dealing with a father in session who was “extremely religious” and trying to impose his desires of having her counsel his daughter in biblical standards. She believed that this was going beyond her scope of practice. I suggested to her if she had considered finding a Christian Therapist and referring. She had not, in fact she just couldn’t understand how there could even be “Christian Counselors” and how they could remain neutral in therapy sessions. I smiled politely at her and stated, well, actually, I myself am a Christian Therapist, and this is how I am able to work with my clients from a Christ-centered perspective…” I am sure I surprised her quite a bit. In fact, I must have surprised her so much, she avoided me the rest of the workshop.

Sexual misconduct by therapists with their patients and supervisors with their supervisees is still an ongoing problem in the field of clinical practice and the majority of the training seemed to focus in on this, but instead of using real-life case samples, we got to watch movie snippets for how Hollywood interprets therapy (which for the most part is poorly, by the way). And for a final exercise in this area of concern, I learned that the wisdom of the trainer I had was truly foolishness. First, she let us know that we did not have to do the exercise if we didn’t want to, but that she would explain it after we did it. That was my big red flag. We were instructed to physically write out a plan for how we would sexually seduce a client in our office. Seriously, I was appalled. I refused the assignment. We were later told that by doing the assignment we would then be better able to detect in ourselves when we might be starting to slip into this plan and to be sure to avoid it. Hmmm. Seems to me there could have been a much better way to teach this.

Scripture tells us that we are to guard our thoughts and to flee from sexual immorality. “After desire has been conceived it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown gives birth to death.” James 1:15 How about we just don’t go there? We flee! Why entertain the thought, even yet, why put a plan in writing…can you see what the next step would be? We are living in dangerous times for sure.  When a trainer on ethics decides that this kind of an exercise would help us in physical restraint, we are mislead as professionals. For the only one who restrains is the indwelling Spirit of God in the hearts of the believers. We MUST exercise restraint by allowing the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And we should practice fleeing from sin and sinful desires, being willing to hold every though captive to the obedience of Christ.

I realized after this training, that indeed, I am in the world, but not of this world. And yes, my evaluation of the training that I turned in had a lot of writing on it!