If you've ever had the opportunity to meet someone "famous" and have a real conversation with them, you know the nervous feeling that wells up inside the pit of your stomach. You just hope you act normal.
That was the way I felt in anticipation of my interview with Amy Grant today. It's funny, we have lots of bands that come and visit the K-LOVE studio, but this was different. This was Amy Grant. I tried to pretend like I was all "whatever" this is cool, but inside I was a nervous wreck.
But, once I started talking with her, the nervousness melted away, and I felt calm. She has this amazing ability to bring peace and calm into a room. Just the sound of her voice made me breathe a sigh of relief and remember, she's Amy Grant, yes, but she's a person. She's like all of us, trying to juggle the demands of career and family, and serve God. I admire the way she lives her life.
What I was most impressed by was her desire, and ability to keep life simple. She is able to prioritize on what really matters to her, and has the guts to say no to things that don't. She said a friend of hers challenged her to, "make a list of what matters to you, and then see how you are spending your time in relationship to that list, and if month after month after month, you're not spending any time there, you ought to rewrite that list. Because those things don't really matter."
Her simple life even extends to her spending. Amy admits to going an entire year of "no spending for sport". Her New Year's Resolution for 2012 was to "read the books on your shelf, listen to the music you've already downloaded, play the games in your closet. She says it changed her, because now she knows it's possible not to always give in to the desire to spend on stuff. Although she does admit to buying Christmas presents that year.
Her first CD released in 10 years, is out today. She says that the song, "Don't Try So Hard" was written to herself. She says, "I need to hear this. I'm a woman who is trying to raise her kids, keep her house clean, and keep her head above water - all of that work somehow gets misplaced in my faith. The song is just saying stop removing the wonder of God's free gift of love by beating yourself up because you don't deserve it."
On her family, I was most inspired when she revealed what was going through her mind on the day she married, Vince Gill. "I knew like I had never known anything before that I wanted the strength of his character by my side."
After our conversation ended, I kept thinking about one of my favorite bible verses paraphrased in the message. Somehow it seems Amy has figured out how to live this, and I don't know you, but she encouraged me to "don't try so hard" as well.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. -Matthew 11: 28-30 MSG
In case you missed the interview or would like to listen back, here it is!