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!

A Yielded Life – Part I

Meriam Webster defines “yielded” as: to reward, render as fitting, to give up a claim or possession on, to surrender, to cultivate, etc. (see: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yield)

Here are the many definitions of it in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek (basically it means the same thing): http://biblez.com/searchstrongs.php?q=Yield

Be sure to read up on these though, because this will be a longer blog series that I want to share with you. This first part will reflect a portion of a testimony and story that I am writing in a book that I hope will be another important part of my ministry here at Jen Haugland Music.

As I went about a particular day in my week (last week), I think I may have experienced most of these different meanings of the word. I certainly yielded to my early morning schedule. I had to drop off my son with his sister early in Seattle,  so I could get to the recording studio in time to lay down vocal tracks for my new EP starting at 10. That meant I had to leave the house by 5:15 to catch an early enough ferry (which I missed by the 4th car) and know my route to my daughter’s house (which I overshot by going a back way from downtown Seattle and ended up in a very wrong neighborhood of W. Seattle and consequently was late to my recording time).

But the morning had started off so good as I laid in bed, slowly waking up, reflecting in my mind these songs that I would be recording that day. They were worship songs and meditating on them, word by word, gave me solitude with my Heavenly Father.  I prayed that He would be glorified in every song that I sang so that the listener on the receiving end of this upcoming EP project would hear whatever message God would have for them.

Then I turned over and looked at my husband of 25 years next to me still sleeping and remembered whom I yielded my life to in marriage, twice! I thought about my God of second, third, fourth (etc.) chances. This day was our 12th wedding anniversary of when Craig and I re-married each other after being divorced for 6 months (and married for 13 years previous to each other). On August 16, 2000, I chose to be brave that day, when I was so scared. I had thought about running away, even at that last moment before walking into that courtroom to go before the Justice of the Peace. My step-mom, whom I had just confessed my fears to, who was by my side said, “I am so proud of you honey, you are so brave” and she held my hand. I never forgot her words.

As I stood outside of that courtroom I thought about that word “brave”.  I had no guarantee that life would be easier, or different from the previous 13 years that we struggled through, but then I heard a still small voice in my ear reminding me, that if I would yield, I had a guarantee that He would be with me every step of the way and carry me when I needed Him too.  I yielded my life to Christ and remembered how much He yielded His life to me and also to my husband who very much needed the same forgiveness that I needed.

Apparently there is something to being brave…

Yes, I trusted my God that day, I chose to be brave and yield to Him and His will in my life (as did Craig), and our God has been faithful… these last 12 years have been the best ever and we count even the 13 before as a blessing as well. Yielding has produced much fruit in our lives. We stood against the forces of darkness that day that longed to destroy us and our little family. We stood against the societal norms of our times and the ‘lie of divorce’ as we stood inside that little room and we confessed to love one another forever with the love that Christ had shown us.

That day, we were surrounded by our small cloud of witnesses here on earth: our 3 beautiful children: Jessica, Rachel & Nathanael, Craig’s dad and mom and my dad and step-mom. I know our Heavenly Father, our Savior, the Spirit and a cloud of witnesses in the heavens were also rejoicing! It is a day we all highly treasure as a family. It changed our hearts, it strengthened our faith and it gave a solid foundation and future to our children who now understand a deeper meaning of what and who love is in their own lives.  It has changed our lives forever in so many ways and we are so thankful for the cross!WeddingDay08162000-1

(to be continued, A Yielded Life-Part II)…

Sorrowful Even to Death

Sometimes our sorrows and griefs can be so overwhelming that we wish we could die or have contemplated taking our lives in suicide. This is sorrow at its worst, when we think we can’t go on anymore. And then the Enemy uses our thoughts to attack us in these lowest times. He is the deceiver and destroyer of life. Don’t listen to the lies, you are not alone.

On a night of intense sorrows, and after Jesus had shared Passover with His disciples He went to Gethsemane to pray. He took three of his closest friends with Him: Peter, James and John. Jesus “began to be sorrowful and troubled and He said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.’ And going a little further he fell on his face and prayed saying. ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’ And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping.” Matthew 26:36-40, ESV

Jesus was indeed sorrowful and anguished. Luke tells us that He even sweat drops of blood in that anguish. Even the grove itself was a place where olives were pressed. And Jesus was pressed here, in this moment; even before He experienced death on a cross for you and me. He suffered greatly. He was betrayed and then beaten and humiliated unto death. He bore it all. His purpose from before time, when He was in the Godhead was the way of the Cross.

Yes, He knows our deep sorrows and griefs that we suffer. He went to death so that we would be freed from the bondage of sin and death. No intense grief or sorrow that permeates our souls could ever be greater than what He bore in His body, because He bore it all, from all of us, for all of us. When all the sins of the world were laid upon His shoulders as the One and only perfect sacrifice, for that brief moment, He was all alone. Intense heaviness, through and through. Even in that moment, Satan thought he had defeated Jesus in death. But we know, on that third day, Christ raised Himself from the grave and He now lives. This is our hope for all humanity! Because He lives, we live!

Jesus has promised us, He is with us always – forever! He will never leave or forsake us. He is God with us and now His Holy Spirit lives in us as a deposit and guarantee that He is coming back for us! Lift your eyes up to the One who rescues you and forgives you of ALL your sins. He bears all of your burdens and sorrows. He mourns with those who mourn. He draws near to the broken-hearted. He is the forgiver of sins and He is the giver of all LIFE!