Posted in Inspired by Music, My life in pictures, Post A Day Challenge

237/365 Time for Church

Day 4 of Rock by the Sea 6: I was able to wrap up the raffle and auctions with seconds to spare…literally. I claimed my saved spot by the stage (Thank you Lindsey and Tammy!!!!) just about 60 seconds before the boys walked onto the stage.

As always, NEEDTOBREATHE did not disappoint on ANY level. Even when the power went out on their microphones, Bear stepped out to the edge of the stage and gave us everything he had. And it was enough. This 90 minutes was the dose of Holy Spirit that I had been craving all weekend. There is nothing I love more than feeling music. Correction, there is nothing I love more than feeling music and God’s love washing over me.

Or maybe that was just the sweat from having danced my tushy off.

But seriously, God blessed those boys in that little band from South Carolina. He not only gave them talent to write, sing and make beautiful music, he has allowed them to share that talent with so many people. And if you are very fortunate, like me, you will hear the words and know that God is working through them. I am proof of that.

Posted in My life in pictures, Post A Day Challenge

225/365 The Excitement is Building

THIS is on my mind. Next Wednesday Gil and I pack up and head north to Panama City Beach for the 6th Annual Rock By The Sea Charity Music Festival. This is on my mind for several reasons. First, I’m so stinking excited about spending a long weekend with not only my sister, but soooo many others that I consider family – my music family. The other reason is that as a board member for the charity that hosts this event, I’m anxious about how well the event will go and how much funding and awareness we’ll be able to raise for our selected charity recipients this year. I am in awe of the amazing job the other board members and volunteers do to make this event happen every year and I’m so honored to play a small part in it.

Please take a moment to check out the website for Rock by the Sea and read about the amazing charities we support. Oh, and the music. Check out the incredible bands and musicians who give of themselves to help us bring this event to life. We would love to have you join us. There’s also a link to our donation site if you can’t attend but would like to help us support these very worthy organizations. Even if you can’t attend or help us out financially, I would ask that you keep all of those traveling, working, volunteering, performing, and attending in your prayers.  Thank you.

Posted in My life in pictures

013/365 Three Amigos with a Hart

Gil Gonzalez, Jeff Wilson, Emerson Hart and Matt Harrington

This was the photo I wanted so badly to post yesterday but dead batteries and pure exhaustion resulted in no post. However, since I seem to be making up the rules as I go, what the hell, I’m posting anyway.

This has to be one of my new all time favorite pictures ever. Not only are Gil, Jeff and Matt best of friends, they are also three of the most giving and selfless people I know. I only wish I had a heart like these guys.

Yesterday was the first Rock by the Sea event to be held in the Tampa Bay area. Headlining the show was Emerson Hart, lead singer of the band Tonic, and we were so thrilled that he came out to support our efforts to raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Program at Arnold Palmer Hospital. It was a fantastic day and a wonderful and entertaining show.

Posted in Inspired by Music, Post A Week Challenge, Treasure Chest

Monday’s Treasure Chest – Anticipation

An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing. ~ Samuel Smiles

Today I opened up my Treasure Chest and was a little surprised by what I found. It wasn’t a person or a thing or any particular act that overflowed from the top of my blessing box. It was, instead, an emotion. It was anticipation. It was something I never considered a blessing before tonight, but after thinking about it all day, I am certain it is my treasure of the day.

Gil and I start a much needed and deserved vacation Wednesday morning. We’ll be heading up to St. George Island in the panhandle of Florida. Since 2008, we have made this journey north to attend the annual charity music festival known as Rock by the Sea. We look forward to this trip every year because it’s an opportunity to hear some of our favorite artists, discover new ones, hang out with our music-loving friends who have become family and well, it’s at the BEACH, people. What’s not to love about this?

Rock by the Sea (RBTS) is a Florida not-for-profit organization dedicated to planning and producing music festivals and events that raise money for deserving charities that provide direct services to those in need. RBTS has created an outlet for those agencies to gain exposure with the public and to facilitate donations. Through musical concerts, silent auctions, merchandise sales, and general donations, RBTS has been able to create awareness and provide an avenue that leads to involvement and enhancement of the direct services provided.

Even though this is our fourth year attending RBTS, this year is very different for us. It’s different because we will play a role in helping to make the event the best it can be.  Late last year, we were invited to join the RBTS Board of Directors and I can’t even begin to tell you what an honor that was. RBTS is an event that has been very near and dear to our hearts since our first year attending. Not only does the event benefit a variety of charities that are incredibly close to our hearts, it just so happens our dear friends, Beth Gosnell and Gail Harkins, are two of the founding members of Rock by the Sea.

I’ve admired Beth and Gail since I first attended Rock by the Sea II in 2008, and to be asked to be a part of this organization was one of the highlights of my life. This group has managed to make this event look completely effortless for those of us attending. I’m so very blessed to be a small component within this group of extremely giving individuals. I have so much to learn from them, but at the same time, I hope to add value to the organization as well. I’m very new and very green when it comes to charity event planning, especially fundraising, but I’m willing to learn. It’s what I hope and dream I’ll be able to do with my life someday, and being given this opportunity has only reinforced my desire to make this dream come true.

The anticipation and uncertainty of the upcoming week consumed me today.  I managed to be super productive at work but every second my mind had a chance to wander, it did just that. I thought about things like the weather, the idea of too much sun on my frog-belly-white skin, what food to pack, how many pairs of flip flops I’ll need (yes, I said NEED), and other vacation related concerns we all think about before a beach vacation. But this is not all I thought about. My mind also drifted to concerns of how much I’ll be able to contribute, how much money we will raise, will the honored charities be happy with the level of awareness we bring, will the event hit any snags along the way, etc. The thoughts just went on and on.

The anticipation inside of me fuels the hope I have for this event. My hope is that we do the charities proud, that we raise enough money to make a difference to at least one person, that everyone’s journey to and from the event is safe and without incident, and that the feelings of love and selflessness envelope us all weekend. I hope that when the music has stopped and it’s time to pack up and head home, we leave St. George feeling as if we’ve accomplished something extraordinary, both individually and collectively.

I’ve been given the gift of anticipation, and my anticipation level is ten times what it’s been in the past. My reward, however – or shall I say, my treasure – at the end of the weekend, can potentially fill a thousand treasure chests. For this, I am truly blessed.


This year RBTS has selected three amazing charities. They are University of Florida’s Pediatric Brain Tumor Program, The Down Syndrome Association of Tallahassee and Camp Sunshine. I invite you to visit each of the charity’s websites and see the incredible services they provide to people in need.

If you would like to know more about the organization Rock by the Sea, please visit our website or Facebook Page. If you would like to know more about our upcoming RBTS 5 event, you can check out our Facebook Event page.  We also invite you to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

If you would like to make a donation to Rock by the Sea, you can do so here.