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

Can’t think of a better way to welcome in a release of a new album than to end Behind The Songs with Loved You Well! Releasing here on the West Coast on CD Baby in less than 15 minutes! Already released on iTunes!!! Woo hoo!

Track 10. Loved You Well

1. Craig & Jen Wedding Day 1987This was both a painful song to write and a liberating, healing song to write. Let me expound…

After 13 years of marriage (married August 1, 1987) and 3 children: 12, 9 & 3, we were divorced. A few months later saw us far away in the high desert of Colorado Springs, CO trying to see if we could put the pieces back together again. We had everything to gain and nothing to lose, since we had already lost everything. Let me say, that God’s grace is sufficient. He is a VERY BIG God and can do anything, including reconciling broken marriages, first by reconciling the two to Himself, and then to each other. Which is what God did for my husband and me.

It was the hardest thing we have ever done to allow Him to work in our hearts and to learn how to die to ourselves, removing any sense of entitlement of “it’s not fair”. Likewise, the cross wasn’t fair. But He (Christ Jesus), willingly laid down His life for us and then gloriously raised it back up again. It really is the hardest thing to lay down your life for another human being when you have been treated in a way that is poor. But in our instance it was mutual. We both were horrible at loving each other unconditionally. We had so much to learn about what Christ did at the cross for us. What true love meant. I learned in our counseling (it was quite the epiphany, although seems like a “no-brainer”), that the same God that died for me, also died for my husband and all his sins and failures.

A cloud of witnesses rejoiced along with our children and parents. We were re-married on August 16, 2000, making every wrong right, and our lives became sold out to Christ as a result. Our children made strong commitments to Christ and to purity, including our daughters who made vows to remain pure until marriage; they saved their first kiss for the altar with their husbands and greatly honored their father and me (their brother is following in their footsteps).

6. Restored Haugland Family 2000
Reconciled and re-married, August 16, 2000.

I realize that not every relationship can turn around and find a place of reconciliation like ours did. That is the reality of a fallen world. But God takes us where we are at, even when we fail and the other person gives up or we give up. Sometimes the damage is too great. It takes both partners to be willing to work through their pain and come back together again. This is what we chose, and our lives were never the same again, nor our children’s lives and we have no regrets when we have seen the outcomes.

On August 16, 2000 we re-married each other and it’s been another 13 and 1/2 years. It will be 27 years this August (we still count all the years), but the kids like to celebrate the first anniversary because then it means that they count. Craig and I like to celebrate the second one because it was the one we worked the hardest for. To simplify things, we celebrate from August 1 – August 16! 🙂

Here we are now, still plugging along. I’d like to say it get’s easier, sometimes it does, but other times, it gets just as challenging as we face milestones such as job changes, retirement, marrying off adult children and becoming empty nesters. Even stepping out in faith with this music ministry has been a great challenge to us. I know that the Enemy of God does not want to see us be successful for the Kingdom. So we dig our heels in a little deeper, cling on to our faith a bit tighter and try to trust Him through all the unknowns. He doesn’t guarantee that there will be no pain (in fact, He assures it) but He guarantees that He will never leave us and that He will carry us through the hard times…if we let Him.

What might it look like if we learned to love each other well? Not just our spouses, but even our family members, friends and then our enemies (those who are set against us). Will people that watch us, know that we are Christians because we choose to love each other well to the finish, or do we end up like those who have no hope? Where is our hope? Is our God big enough for us?

Finish well by loving well, if you are able…

Last - Haugland Family EP Release Party 2012
Haugland Family – Jen’s Your Love Comes After Me EP Release Party 2012

Loved You Well

©2013 Jen Haugland and Eric Copeland
Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP)/From The Moment Music (BMI)

V1
When I fail to hear you speak
And I grow tired when things look bleak
Too careless with words

Swallow pride and lay down my life
It’s such a painful sacrifice
But He said He was enough

Ch
If I loved you with a heart
Loved you with some grace
Loved you ‘til the end of days
What a finish
And loved you when it’s hard
Even with our scars
Because we’re both created
In His image

Then I’ll know I loved you well
Oh I’ll know I loved you well
Yeah I’ll know I loved you well
Oh I’ll know I loved you well

V2
There’s no guarantee we’ll last
As we struggle with the past
The lines have been drawn

I have bought the lie and found
There’s a truth that brings me ‘round
That He reconciles

Ch

Session Players
Mark Baldwin (guitar)
Gary Lunn (bass)
Eric Copeland (keys)
Brian Green (orchestration)

2 days left (sort of)… !!!

Track 9. Intentionally

It’s a good thing you can’t see me right now, because I am starting to cry as I write about this one. I am not sure if it’s because I know my CD is releasing in less the 48 hours or because of this song that I am going to tell you about.

I hope my son doesn’t read this…(jk)

Actually, this song was inspired by my wonderful son, Nathanael. He, like you and me, was born wonderful in God’s image. I always longed for a son and God gave us one on our last try! We call him our love child! We didn’t know it when he was born or when he was younger, but Nate is on the Autism Spectrum and was diagnosed later in life (6th grade) with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, NOS. Basically, Asperger’s type.

When we didn’t know for sure what was going on with him, he struggled to find his meaning and purpose in his identity. He LOVED Jesus at a very early age and accepted him when he was only 4 years old and baptized soon after. He loves to have deep theological discussions about his faith and God. But he also knew there was something different about himself. He thought he was stupid. He couldn’t have been further from the truth. He started being bullied in elementary school and middle school. In first grade we took him to Children’s Hospital in Seattle and they knew he had some type of cognitive impairment but they just

Nate when he was in 5th grade
Nate when he was in 5th grade

couldn’t put their finger on it. Nate also struggled with a developmental vision issue where he couldn’t see things in stereo if his eyes or brain were fatigued, and was also diagnosed with strabismus. He had balance and coordination issues and just wasn’t your athletic kiddo, no matter how much we had hoped. He was very down on himself and would get very depressed and angry.

I missed it as a therapist when he was little, but had started putting all the pieces together and by the time he was in 6th grade, we pursued the evaluation. Sure enough, the diagnosis was confirmed. It was hard to diagnose it though, because with our parenting abilities, we were able to extinguish some of the behaviors he had that would have been more identifiable in assessment (the eye contact, biting on the arm, banging of the head on the wall, rocking, etc.). It wasn’t until we had the firm diagnosis that he began to understand more about himself and actually how intelligent he really was! And it was at this time that we were able to help affirm him even more about who he was (and is) in Christ.

One day Nate and I were driving home from my picking him up from school. The leaves were turning their fall colors and he said something really profound. It was at that moment, I was inspired with these words. I said to him, “Nate, do you know that God made you intentionally and that He has a purpose for your life? He knew you were going to have Autism and that you needed parents like your dad and I to help you get everything you need to be successful in this world.”

Nate had been resentful from some of the ABA tutoring we had put him through the couple of years earlier, but at this time he told me how much he had appreciated all that we were doing. He spoke of insights he had about himself and how he noticed similar behaviors in other kids that he met, that were like him. I was so amazed at what he was learning. He was finally getting it. He was learning that he was just fine the way he was. He was becoming resilient in his identity.

After finishing the song (Nate had heard portions of it with me writing it here at home) and getting the ruff track back from Nashville, I asked him if he was ready to hear it. Of course, he was. We laid on the floor in the Great Room here and stared up at the ceiling while I played the track on the Bose speakers for him. After we listened to the song, he said, “Mom, that’s me!” I looked over at him and said, “Yes, Nate, that is you! And God made you so wonderful!”

This song is general enough in the lyrics to speak to anyone who has a developmental, mental, emotional or physical disability. For those who are broken-hearted, who feel worthless and believe that no one loves them. God loves you so VERY much! He gave you His Son, Jesus, so that you can become whole in Him. No one can take away who you are in Christ. He loves you just as you are. You have meaning and purpose and He wants to reveal that to you. Don’t ever give up. Don’t throw your life away or try to end it. You are a great treasure! Do not seek the praise of man or let others determine your worth, instead, believe what God says about who you are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! He knew you before He knitted you in your mother’s womb. He created you in His image and of all of His creations in nature (which He said were GOOD), He said you are VERY GOOD! Read about yourself in Psalm 139!

Ask Him into your heart today, by asking for forgiveness. Let Him show you how much He loves you. You are not your disability or your past. You are beautiful…a precious child of God.

9. Intentionally
©2013 Jen Haugland
Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP)

V1
What’s the matter on your heart
A little trouble in your soul?
I’d like to draw it out of you
And be there to help you sort it out

PC
I know He loves you so and I’m hoping you will know
Nothing ever happens by chance

Ch
For you were made so intentionally
There’s purpose in your life, ev’ry detail’s in His hands
With all the beauty of your intricacies
Nothing’s ever wasted, I know He understands
Because He made you so intentionally

V2
If you could step outside yourself
And get another point of view
See the precious child of God
That I see in you

PC
I know He loves you so and I’m hoping you will know
Nothing ever happens by chance

Ch

Bridge
Every hurt that you have been through, all the things you know you did were wrong
Can bring you one step closer to where you belong

Ch

Blair Masters
Blair Masters

Mark Baldwin & Gary Lunn
Mark Baldwin & Gary Lunn

Session Players

Mark Baldwin (guitar)
Gary Lunn (bass)
Blair Masters (keys)
Ken Lewis (drums)

Okay, getting seriously excited here…3 more days!!! Counting down to the release, this Tuesday, May 6th!!!

Track 8. Peace

When I first brought my song ideas to Eric, this was the very first song that I showed him that he liked immediately. I already had the first verse written. This is the one song on the album that was specifically written to reflect a specific scripture (not that the others haven’t been themed off of scriptures).

“You will keep in perfect peace, Him whose mind is stayed on you.” Isaiah 26:3

I love this scripture, because it is so reassuring to me in my mind that when things are crazy and chaotic around me, as long as my mind is focused on Christ and not the extraneous things happening around me, everything will be just fine. And it really is a peaceful “letting go” feeling. I thought of the things that make me peaceful inside: being in nature, playing my piano, and reading my Bible. There are others, but these are probably the most significant.

I live in such a beautiful place of the Pacific Northwest and out in the country, so that when it’s dark out at night, I can look up at the sky and see the stars and how beautifully they light up the sky. They make the expanse look so big and it is not difficult to imagine God’s greatness and His glory. It reminds me that He is in control of the universe, and everything that happens on this planet is in the palm of His hands.

I also LOVE the sound of a river as it flows steadily by, watching the beautiful patterns as it swirls around the rocks. Then I close my eyes and just listen to the path it travels, while the bed of rocks lightly tap each other creating it’s own rhythmic time signature. It is so calming and tranquil for me. Top it off with a quiet, gentle breeze on a summer day and I am a happy girl!

Eric took the melody that I had for the song and made it more ambient and peaceful with the arrangement. It really is a peaceful song to listen to. A way to help you let go and just focus on Him. The song was passed around from player to player to add their parts. Again, I just let them have the freedom to do what they do best. I pray this song brings you a peace that passes all understanding through challenging and stressful times. BREATHE and KEEP YOUR FOCUS! (That is just as much for me as it is for you!) 😉

Session players
Mark Baldwin (guitar)
Gary Lunn (bass)
Eric Copeland (keys)
Brian Fullen (drums)


8. Peace
©2013 Jen Haugland and Eric Copeland
Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP)/From The Moment Music (BMI)

V1
Peace, a starry night
A river flowing
It calms my mind
Like waters deep
Your word is settled in my heart

V2
Peace, it’s unconfined
Beyond our knowledge
Seems hard to find
Amidst our chaos
You came to save us for all times

Ch
You hold this fragile world in the palm of Your hand
You make the waters still and bring a quiet breeze
We can never know all that You have planned
If we keep our minds on You, You’ll bring Your perfect peace

V1 & V2

Ch

You hold this fragile world in the palm of Your hand
You make the waters still and bring a quiet breeze
We can never know all that You have planned
If we keep our minds on You, You’ll bring Your perfect, holy, awesome
If we keep our minds on You, You’ll bring Your perfect peace

IMG_0124
My Producer, Eric Copeland and me at Dark Horse Recording, Franklin, TN, where I tracked my vocals October 2013.

4 more days until the release!

Track 7: So Hard To Find

With my background in mental health, my producer and I wanted to write a song that reflected how I work with people as a counselor with those who struggle in their lives: the ones who feel like they must be hard to find because they are too small, or hidden out of sight. With God however, they are never hidden out of sight, never too small, and never insignificant.

I think about children that are kidnapped and pulled into the sex trafficking, children that are abused, and adults who are hiding from past woundedness. So much about counseling is about building a trusting relationship with the client so that you can “hold their hand” (figuratively) and walk side by side with them, as they explore more about who they are and take risks to makes changes in their lives.

Eric came up with the arrangement for this song and I really love the jazziness of it. About 22 years ago I worked as a co-host of a smooth jazz show called A.M. Jazz with a friend in Farmington, NM. It was there that I really fell in love with this genre, so it has been really nice to get to explore that more with a producer that has that bent and for this song. I love it! Definitely takes me back to those days.

Ronnie Studio rsz
Ronnie Brookshire (Grammy winning engineer)

A little bit of humor here… as Ronnie Brookshire was mixing the project, it was at this time that my grandpa died and I was really having a hard time with the loss. Ronnie would provide some comic relief after finishing mixes. He sent me an email after mixing So Hard To Find, and said “What if you change the last line of your lyric from, ‘I will find you’, to ‘I will hunt you down?’ I don’t know, just an idea.” I was really thankful for the good laugh. It makes me think of counseling in a whole new light. Well, again, I digress…

But, the point is, you can be found. You are important. You are significant. There isn’t anywhere you can hide from God’s presence. He is always here. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Such a comforting assurance when you feel alone!

7. So Hard To Find
©2013 Jen Haugland and Eric Copeland
Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP)/From The Moment Music (BMI)

V1
Where are you
I’m searching
What to do
With this yearning

PC
You’re not too small
Or insignificant

Ch
You’re so hard to find
Hidden out of sight
So hard to find
Lost in your disguise
But if you hear My voice
And find a way to where I am
I’ll hold your hand

V2
There’s a place
Of acceptance
Where you’re embraced
Cherished and blessed

PC
You’re not alone
Or undetectable

Ch

Bridge
I will find you, don’t give up yet
Someone’s looking, don’t forget that
You are here
And I am near you

PC
Look for the light
It’s searching for you

Ch
So hard to find
Hidden out of sight
So hard to find
Lost in your disguise
But if you hear My voice
And find a way to where I am
I’ll hold your hand

If you hear My voice
And find a way to where I am
I’ll hold your hand
I will hold your hand
I will find you

Image

Session Players
Mark Baldwin (guitar)
Danny O’Lannerghty (bass)
Eric Copeland (keys)
Blair Masters (keys)
Steve Brewster (drums)

Brian Green (orchestration)

Ronnie Brookshire (engineer)
Brewbeat, Franklin, TN