Chad and I spent this past week in a recording studio in Midland. (Read more about how we got there.) It was an incredible experience. We stayed in the studio day and night, leaving only to sleep or to run to Sonic for burgers. We lost all track of time. It was sort of like hanging out in a cozy little cave for four days.
We watched incredible musicians come up with the most creative parts for the songs. It never got boring, all the hours of listening, singing, chatting, planning, and generally being wowed by how everything was sounding.
Occasionally the owner of the studio, Ken Goldsmith, would stop in and hang out for awhile, listening to tracks, watching the musicians work, telling stories. I really enjoyed meeting him. Talk about an interesting character! This extremely kind oil giant is one. He’s one of those people who gets ideas and visions, and then he takes the risks and follows through and sees if he can make them happen. In fact, while we were there, he got an idea for an invention and had one of his employees working late sketching it out. Not only is he a visionary man, he cares about other people and he views his position as the owner and operator of an extremely successful mud company (Mudsmith) as a unique opportunity to minister to others and to generally help people out. Meeting Mr. Goldsmith was a reminder that we are all called by God to minister where we are, whether it be in the oil field or standing in a state-of-the-art recording studio in Midland, Texas.
One of my favorite parts of the whole experience was watching Chad enjoy it all so much. I’m glad that I was able to be there, just to experience his joy in making good music. He really wowed me with his ridiculously good takes. The man is just a dead on singer. I remembered how much he loves recording and I realized for the first time how fun it really is to start with a song that was born at your kitchen table and watch it grow into an incredible recording before your very eyes. It felt like preserving a little part of ourselves that the kids can listen to some day and be amused or mortified or impressed. At least they might think we were slightly interesting at some point.
Being in a recording studio is a humbling experience. I walked into the booth with the harmony lines in my mind, knowing basically what I ought to sing. Then, I got in there, the music started, and I folded like a cheap deck of cards. It was crazy. I was so psyched out by everything about it. I certainly walked out of there with a much more realistic view of who I am and who I am not as a singer. And, that was good for me. Being knocked down a few pegs generally works to improve us as humans. If this is true, then I walked out of the studio a much better person than I walked in.
This little mama was wowed by the whole experience. Yet, even while I loved being in the studio, and while I adored the engineer, Anthony, and while I instantly loved Mr. Goldsmith in all of his fascinating Texas oil man-ness, while I enjoyed feeling like I was invited into a special world for a few days, I felt a little out of place. I was thrilled with our experience, and I would certainly do it again if we ever had the opportunity, but I will do it with this real-life truth engrained in my brain: there is a place where I fit perfectly. It’s messy and not nearly as exciting as the recording studio. It’s got its fair share of dishes to wash and piles of laundry wait around every corner. But, it has one essential element that no other place has: my children.
When we knocked on the door after having been gone for four days, I heard Sawyer shout, “Adelade! They’re here!” While all of the little feet pounded toward the door, Emerald began shouting it, too: “They’re here! They’re here!”
We walked through the door to cookies they had made for us, pictures they had painted. They had spelled our names and the word Welcome on the cookies in sprinkles. Adelade had earned tickets at school for good behavior and she had used them to buy gifts for Chad and me instead of for herself.
When I saw those three beaming faces, so happy that their world had returned to them, I felt grateful. For an amazing experience that stretched me, to say the least. For the reassurance that I, like Mr. Goldsmith, have been placed were I am to minister to these three miracles that God blessed me with, to support and love my husband, and to be all that I can be for our wonderful church family. And, in that moment, standing in the kitchen where really great songs are sometimes born, I felt overwhelmed by my sense of purpose.
I may not be the greatest recording artist ever, but I did get to go to Midland by God’s design, and most importantly, I got to come home to the place where I fit best. And, the really fun part is that Chad and I got to make a little music together, a couple of Texas sweethearts singing about what matters to us. I’ll always smile when I remember this week, both the going and the coming home.