40 Days

Yes, we were up at 6:00 taking our family to an early morning Ash Wednesday service at our church this week. It was a tiny crowd that gathered in our candle-lit sanctuary, a remnant of a larger crowd that gathers regularly for corporate worship. We prayed through Psalm 51 together and received the mark of the ashes (they’re still on my forehead as I type) signifying repentance of sin and for me, cleaving to God. I am grateful for the rhythm of the Lenten season. 40 days seems so long when given to voluntary weakness (fasting, prayer, taking a ‘step back’ from the world). But these seasons of focused prayer and reflection always bring about an increase of my gratefulness to the Lord.

In a few weeks we’ll break our fast, the color will wash back through our skin and we will enter the season of celebration: celebrating the victory of our Risen Lord who now holds the keys to death and hades. In reality, we celebrate this every day. But Lent helps me remember personally and with much detail what the Lord has done for me.

Julie recording a new song “Fire In The Night”

If you’ve been following me on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll have heard that I’ve been writing more songs! The process of sharing these songs is never easy for me, even working with two of the greatest guys I know, my husband Matt Bernstein and music producer Kevin McNoldy. This video was taken just seconds before I played Fire In the Night for my husband for the first time. I was terrified! It’s one thing to have the songs swirling around on the inside of your head, or singing them out when no one is around. But it’s a completely different thing to sing them to or in front of another person … especially if they’re recording you! You’ll be happy to know that I survived this session (and I’m now snowed in after a big storm last night!).

Again, welcome to our studio where all of this great music is made. Soon you’ll see where Kevin works his magic on the songs in his studio in North Carolina. What a talented man! Read More...

Tour of Julie’s studio room

I wanted to invite you into our studio so you could see where our recording sessions take place. Our studio is actually our dining room, which was added onto our house last year. In fact, this room was finished just in time to record my first album, Out Of The Deep, with producer Kevin McNoldy. This is also where I have my morning coffee … where we eat our family meals … and where my kids do their homework. It’s also where we gather with friends, break out our instruments and worship together.

In the video, you’ll see a newly acquired painting (painted by my late uncle, Art Neahring) titled “Man of Sorrows,” one of my favorites of his work. Creativity has been breaking through the generations in my family. And we embrace it fully.

Glad to invite you into our studio. Welcome!