Saturday, 25 February 2017

Solo Retreat

About a month ago, my mom asked me if I would stay at her place for a few days and look after "Arwen" her big, beautiful, hairy dog.  At first my reaction was like..."I've got so much stuff going on right now with music and family, how can I possibly squeeze in a 4 day dog/house sitting?"
I bounced the idea off of Sarah, thinking she would say "no way," but she was actually really excited about this opportunity for me to get away and have a solo retreat.
I used to make time and space in my life for this kind of thing and used to go to a solitude cabin up near Collingwood and the truth is a miss that very much.  There is something wonderful about getting away and something uncomfortable for me about being completely alone.  Well, other than my hairy companion who thinks we are going for a walk every time I stand up.
So I am now on my 4 day solo retreat.
I am a little over halfway through now and as soon as I stopped thinking about what I "should" be doing, I started enjoying this time and space.  My mom's house is so tidy and has so much order.  It really contrasts my life which feels like nothing is tidy and order is not really a thing.
Being alone like this also creates space for me to get inside my head and heart.  I fill my life with so much noise so this silence is almost frightening.
In one of my recent songs "See Your Love again," I wrote that "I have always just believed, that you were watching over me" and that is true for me.  I have always had the sense that God is watching over me and really cares about me.  It gives me a sense of peace to know this, and yet when I am alone with God (like this) I sometimes forget how to engage in relationship with Him.   Which is what I think He wants most from me.  To love Him/Her and love my neighbour.  To just "hang out" in the presence of a God who is both creator and friend.  Thinking about this right now is blowing my mind a bit.
I'm not sure what I am supposed to take away from this time, but I am once again convinced that everyone (even extroverts like me) need to have this type of retreat as a part of their regular rhythm.
Perhaps it will look quite different for you, but I would encourage you to get something like this on your calendar now and stick to it.  You won't regret that you did.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

CD Release Party

Well after over a year of recording "Who am I" and over five years of preparing my head and my heart for it, the record is done.  This Saturday (January 14th) is the CD Release Party at Mill's Hardware and I'm so excited to finally share these songs with friends and family.
I feel that these songs and stories really capture what is in my heart and my hope is that others will be encouraged by this album.
I have so many people to thank for helping me finish this project but I'll save that for a future post.
In the meantime, I hope to see you at Mills Hardware on Saturday in my home town of Hamilton.

Monday, 7 November 2016

New Hope Church

It was a very special time yesterday at New Hope Church in Hamilton.  My family and I really felt welcomed by the wonderfully warm and friendly environment.  I dug the casual (round table) set up and it's always nice to be encouraged to drink coffee in church.
One of my favorite parts about visiting this church as a part of my Who Am I tour was hearing how the community there has come around our new friends and neighbours "Mark and Jen" as they suffered a terrible loss one year ago.  It was humbling to be a part of the service.  
The kingdom is a beautiful thing and I love that I get opportunities to go and visit so many wonderful communities and share my songs and stories.
If you are in Hamilton and haven't found a Jesus community to call home, I would recommend the warm and welcoming group that meeting in the Perkins Centre on Sunday mornings at 10:30(ish).

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Who Am I Tour

The tour has begun and our first show at Maitland Street church in London was amazing!
When you put so much of yourself into something and hope and pray that people will react in a positive way, it is very encouraging when they do.
I saw old friends with tears in their eyes at the intermission and it moved me to see that my songs and sharing could connect with others in this way.
This tour is powerful because it is very vulnerable and takes the audience to a place of vulnerability where they may not have expected to go through personal stories and videos that connect with the songs.  As we continue looking for places to take this tour in 2017, I would love it if you would help me get the word out and even consider bringing us to your church to share these songs and stories.
 Something very cool is happening through this tour.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

House Concert

    Last night I had the opportunity to play a little house concert with Ian Randall Thornton from Virginia and Jesse Hill, also from Virginia but currently living in Hamilton.
It was really nice after a long stretch of not playing house concerts to do it again.  Ian is a very profound writer and has a super cool voice and heart.  His stories are very moving and it was great to hear him in the context of a house concert.
Jesse Hill is a new friend in Hamilton who has played guitar with me a few times but I didn't realize that he is also a great writer and a very thoughtful cat.
It was an intimate group and it was perfect!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Summer of Bike

This Summer was our first without owning a vehicle.  We decided as a family to use bicycles as our primary mode of transportation and over the Summer we started on this journey.
It is actually quite exciting for us to see how much we can fit onto our bikes and how far we can ride.
Riding is an amazing culmination of exercise, being outdoors, hearing sounds, seeing sites and working together as a family.  We live in Hamilton, ON so we have had to learn how to ride safely as a family through a busy city and although it is challenging at times, we love that too.
For our vacation this Summer we did a 10 day Bicycle Music Tour covering around 325 kms and although it was challenging, our kids each told us how much they loved it and how they want to do a longer one next year.
I will do some longer blogs telling more about the tour itself in the next few weeks.
I highly recommend buying a bike and starting to use it as much as our life will allow you to.
We are a family of 5 and we didn't all own bikes a few years ago, but not we look forward to our time as a family using our bikes.  It's pretty awesome!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Let's Ride

In the morning we will be loading all of this gear onto our bikes and rolling out of our driveway for a 10 day adventure.  We are covering a fair bit of ground and stopping in some cool little towns along the way.  I will try to post some stuff on my blog in case you want to follow our journey.  And if you are in the area and feeling inspired, bring your bike and join us for part of the journey.

Notice the homemade panniers made out of recycled cat litter containers.

Uncle Nathan