Hello World.

Hello from Ontario! ("Long story short...") 

So. Some pretty big things this entry. When I first heard that we would be moving to Ontario for Franco’s work, I was heartbroken. For some reason my brain didn’t register that option. While I love to travel, I’ve only ever lived an hour and a half away from home. Franco and I would be married and going together so that was good, but all my friends and family would still be in Calgary. All the change was overwhelming to think about and a rather emotional day. 

June 1st, 2019: The first big “new”. Franco and I got married (woot!) and set off on our new adventure together (pictures to come, hold tight). 3 weeks of learning so much more about each other it’s actually amazing. I’ve fallen more in love with Franco than I ever felt even while knowing the huge move was coming up. There were a few days where the thought of leaving my friends and family would bring me to tears. Even after 3 full months of processing the change, my mind was still going through the emotions that come with that - I suspect that has to do with planning a wedding because that’s a major emotional/mental/physical distraction. But I came to resolutions and set some goals with my nearest and dearest that then allowed my mind to get excited about what’s to come. 

June 21, 2019: We arrived home from our honeymoon and immediately packed up our lives. 

June 23, 2019: The big move. We started our trek across Canada. Long driving days. Fast food and gas stations. Car trouble and cramped legs. You get the picture. And sadness! Crazy sadness. But, by God’s grace, we made it. It was nearly midnight when we arrived, but something was stirring in my heart. Energy? Excitement? Joy? I was too tired to tell. The next morning, myself and our moving crew began to explore this little bayside town called “Parry Sound”. And I fell in love all over again. It’s only been a few days here but I can feel something deep in my Spirit that is right and good. I am so excited to get to know this place and get to know the people. This place has not only recharged my emotional batteries, but it’s also recharging my creative and spiritual batteries (I’m gonna need a lot of sleep before my physical batteries are charged but hey, 3 out of 4 ain’t bad). The Lord knew. He knew this is where we need to be. And we’re very excited. 

Thank you everyone for you prayers and you love and your support. To all my friends and family in Western Canada and beyond, we have a pullout couch and we’re so excited for you to visit us! Love to you all <3 

Emily Du Preez 

PS. My music will still be under my maiden name (I have one of those now - eeeeeep!) when you wanna find my music! Also, stay tuned, because like I said the creativity is flowin’!

GUYS THIS WEEK HAS BEEN SO COOL! 

Ok, God is so incredibly good. There have been so many answers to prayer this week - let me share some of them with you! 

Firstly let me say that all this came out of a humbled place. I was asked to lead worship at church on Sunday (a very simple morning as most summer services are). I said I would, though if we’re honest I haven’t really felt that close with Jesus for probably a few months now. But even in my complacent state I knew that worship is one of those things that can kickstart my spiritual growth journey again. I am so thankful I did. The music went well, but that’s actually not what kickstarted me this time. My guy and I were in line to partake in communion and this lovely lady came up to me. “What a beautiful job you did this morning,” she said, her piercingly beautiful eye looking straight through me, “You are such a beautiful soul.” And she walked away. I felt so…two-faced, just because I knew how complacent and apathetic I was feeling. After the service was done, I went up to her and asked if she’d pray with me. I felt so subpar in my relationship with Jesus, and I thought asking God for more diligence and asking to hear him more would solve my floating state. 

Ok, this is where things get interesting. 

This lovely woman listened to me through my blubbering (I cry quite frequently when it comes to Jesus - for good reasons usually). After I was done, she began to speak life and encouragement to me. She reminded me that I don’t have to “do” anything to receive the love of Jesus, that He sees the beautiful flower garden that he made me to be even if all I can see are the weeds. Then she began to pray. Keep in mind, folks, that I don’t know this woman, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know me. But the prayer she prayed was exactly what I needed-and I didn’t even know it! She prayed that my creativity would be opened up, that God would pour into me creatively in a way that I just overflow, and that the dreams I have for my life that I might not even know about would be brought to life and the necessary doors would open. WHAT. My world was rocked. 

That afternoon I had a wedding rehearsal, and when I got home and was settling for bed I could “hear”, for the first time in a long time, the LORD speaking to my heart - poking and nudging me with old and new dreams like only God can. To quote the youths, I was SHOOOK.  He opened my eyes to see the possibilities of my dreams and aspirations. I could not contain my thoughts so I messaged my guy. His encouragement on top of all that Jesus was teaching me just sent me into a gratitude spiral (I cried for about 20 mins). So so many other amazing prayers have been answered this week, and I owe it all to Jesus. His timing, my surrender, His uplifting and empowering. There’s nothing better, trust me. I’m learning more and more about Jesus every day, but Jesus already knows me. And He knows you. He sees your flowers even if you only see weeds, and where you see failure he sees potential. He loves you and has given you your dreams for a reason. Pursue them with His strength, His wisdom, His love. That’s the best way to go. 

Anywho, I hope that encourages y’all. I fell pretty encouraged right now (if you couldn’t tell). Thanks for reading! Chat soon! 

Love and blessings, 

Emily

Jeepers, has it been long enough? (My bad). 

Ok sooo I know I said I would write less than seven months apart…it’s June now, and I last wrote in September. It’s been 9 months. My bad, haha! Let me fill you in on these past few months:  

Still teaching piano (also I started teaching voice…wut), so that’s been some much needed routine to my life. I’m thankful for that, and I’m starting to realize the importance of being smart with what I choose to spend money on. So having some source of income is good, even if it’s less than half of the hours most people work (lucky me, eh?). I’ve done a few gigs, which is awesome and I love it. I’m in the midst of practicing for 2 different weddings this summer, one of which is for a now-close friend of mine. With this season and the sunshine comes busking as well, so I’ll be playing around Calgary and area a few times too (I need a goal (#artist), so let’s go with 4 busking sessions this summer). I’ve been in a lull for a few weeks now, no real creative moments so the writing’s been slow. I know a ton of profs who have cultivated a habit of creativity (it’s a “muscle” that needs work just like anything else) but I find it so hard! Isn’t it crazy the giftings we have still need work, still need to be used, not just received? Huh. That’s cool. I've also started to realize the importance and value of taking care of my body and mind by (begrudgingly) developing an excursive routine (actually it's pretty entertaining - it's Aerobics, soo its basically dancing, and I love dancing). That's been both challenging and life-giving. Who knew that fitness could be so, well, fun? 

Currently living the long-distance life. My guy is studying in Drumheller, and I’m in Calgs - I know, it’s not a crazy huge distance, but any distance is huge when you’re longing to spend every waking moment with someone. I find the times I’m not cooking or teaching (Or binging Netfilx) I’m thinking about him and what he’s up to, what he’s learning. And whenever he comes to town, we manage to spend more hours than we thought possible with each other (at the cost of less sleep and ridiculous driving hours). Phone calls and FaceTime get us through the week, and though they aren’t the same as in person, you’ll often hear me say “It’s what we have right now”. It’s amazing how thoughtful he is: no matter what kind of day he’s had or how long his day has been or how much sleep he got that night, he’ll do his very best to make time in his day for us, for our relationship. It’s incredible the sacrifices we make for those we love. But, it’s also incredible how much we put the other first, with our time and support. When two people make sacrifices for their “other” AND put their “other” before themselves, something beautiful happens. Trust me. (Ok, this was a lot of deep, romantic talk - and relationships do involve that - but it’s also incredibly fun and silly and chill…intentional and committal, but chill).  

What has Jesus been teaching me? Hmm. Well if I’m honest I’ve been doing most of the talking in that relationship, not so much listening. Maybe that’s it. I need to learn to be still and silent in order to hear that ever-sweet small voice. What I have seen, regardless of my listening abilities, are the blessings and opportunities He’s been giving to me and those around me: quality time and memory-making with those I love, worship leading and musical outlets, beautiful and exciting bonds with my music students. He’s helping me be brave, teaching my to trust - the things I need more and more of everyday. If this is what I’m picking up on, I wonder what glorious things I’ve been missing…Thank the Lord for grace and second chances.  

That’s a pretty good summary of these past 9 months (exciting and life-changing, I’m sure). Maybe next time I’ll write within 9 months…no guarantees though.  

Love and blessings,  

Emily

It's been a while! 

Hello everyone!  

It's been too long!! My apologies. Well, Let me catch you guys up on what’s happened in my life: 

    - I graduated 

    - I worked  

    - I travelled 

    - I lived (a little bit, anyways)

This season of life is so formative, as many have said. I don't think I realized how formative. I’m done my schooling (for now, but that’s a story for another time), so my days are filled with, well, not as much as I thought. I have to make my own schedule, plan my own routine, which is challenging for someone who would much rather be told what to do than figure it out myself (again, I’ll dive into this another time).  

    I’ve had to think about work in a new light. I’ve grown up with this mentality that productivity is important. This is a good thing, until fear locks you to that security blanket and you submit to its grasp at the risk of forgetting your dream (not that I’m speaking form experience or anything…). My parents are actually amazing. Why? Because they have noticed this becoming an unhealthy and detrimental pattern in my life, and have encouraged me to continue to focus on my dream. So, rather than chasing students so that I can teach piano and becoming preoccupied with this, I have been reassured that my music and my craft are worth pursuing and developing. I don't need to be afraid. Sometimes I label myself as inadequate or incapable and I forget that while I may not know everything,I know a thing or two. And that’s enough to get started with.   

    I have been blessed with opportunity to travel and see a glimpse of the world, and I’ve noticed that I really do like to be home. So many people my age think that “out there” is where self discovery or truth or epiphany lies, and the end up deeply disappointed with what this world has to offer. Magical places can only point to something greater, and beautiful people are mere reflections of something brighter. When you realize the “something” is actually “Someone”, then home means something greater and carries more importance than what you expected. True home is a safe place where the people who love, encourage and support you are; it is there you are pointed to that Someone. That is where those of us who are planted grow. Steven Curtis Chapman once said to me (ok, I know, this is crazy, but trust me, it’s true) “Grow where you're planted”. Instead of desiring to be elsewhere, what if everyone chose to invest in the lives that have invested in them, and invest in lives that crave investment? Wow. I need to think about that for a second.  

    I’ve experienced a real sense of loneliness after coming back home. But, in the same breathe, my heart has been opened to the beauty of second chances, specifically in the realm of relationships. I’ve been with an amazing young man for a little over a month, and I cannot begin to express the gratitude and joy I’ve experienced. If you told me a year and a half ago that I would find myself in this very coffee shop, next to a man I call mine, writing of these experiences…I would have wanted to believe you, but I don’t know if I would. Since then, I’ve seen who my true friends are (both the new and the old), I’ve learned that relationships aren't everything, and yet I’ve experienced the beauty and purity a relationship (any relationship!) can possess.  

I am thankful for all of this. The organized, the messy, and the “Where’d I put that again?”. And to begin this next season, I will be writing more frequently than 7 months between posts. Hahaha!  

Thanks for reading! 

Blessings,

EMILY

Two sisters, trying to make sense of it all... 

Hello everyone! 

Ok, so you know those friends that just go back so far that you can have a conversation about how amazing mac and cheese is and then talk about the meaning of life all in the same breath? Well, just last night, I had a very similar conversation with a friend -a sister- about this: what does it mean to be "unequally yoked'? As Christians, we are so aware of this verse and the cautionary air it has, but what does it really mean? My sister was curious about my perspective, and shared with me story of a girl whose perspective confused her a bit. This girl (I believe she went to my sister's bible study) said how she and a boy liked each other, but because she was on a "different spiritual level" than him, she considered that to be unequal yoking and she wouldn't date him. I could totally understand how a) she could glean this perspective from the verse, but also b) how this confused my sister.  

I want to take a moment here to just give a little disclaimer: I am no expert, nor do I intend to come across as one. I do intend, however, to seek the heart of God in this matter, so you could call this an educated perspective, but by no means a perfect one. 

After chatting and reiterating and chatting some more, my sister and I boiled it down to this: If your foundations are the same (meaning you both love Jesus and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, he died and rose again to pay our price, salvation is free to those who accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, the Bible is the Word of God, and so on...), your goals are the same, and you see traits in the other person that could compliment your traits, enabling you two to be a good team, I don't think "spiritual level" is as big of an issue as we can paint it to be. I’ll explain: if the foundations are the same, that implies that there is a spiritual walk there. We all have different spiritual walks, but if we are intentional and genuinely seek wisdom and guidance from the Word and also from others who have gone before, then I think that relationship is possible. I think we still need to use wisdom and discretion before we enter into relationships, but as long as both members in a relationship are spurring each other on to greater things in Christ, that relationship can be beautiful.  

Half way through our conversation, I began to chuckle. My sister and I are both single and combined have less than 50 years of life experience. Yet we felt that we had resolved this issue that has been around for literal centuries. Boom. Check that of the list, right? Complete irony. I understand that I still have a lot to learn in this life, and that those goals for your significant other that I mentioned earlier could contain that your SO is a spiritual leader. And if that is something the God has laid on your heart then stay with that goal. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not perfect, but my goal isn’t really perfection. My goal is to get you mussing about the inner workings of God’s heart, and to get you to think deeper and cultivate environments for deep discussion.  

I know that was probably a lot to process, so I’ll try to lighten it up next time.  

Love and blessings,  
Emily 

One Sunday morning... 

Hello everyone! 

Thanks for stopping by again. Remember how last time I said I might dive deeply in my next blog? Well, that's gonna happen very shortly, Here we go!

A few weeks ago, at church one Sunday morning, my mind wandered somewhere completely different than where the pastor was leading (you know what I'm talking about). I think that it's ok sometimes, because maybe God has something different He wants to share with us. So I'm going to share with you some of my notes from the inner workings of my mind that Sunday morning. Basically, I'm gonna share with you the attempt of my heart and mind to wrap my head around this issue. I invite you to dig little deeper with me, and to start discussion with those around you on this subject. I hope this maybe helps you articulate some your own thoughts, or helps you broaden your perspective.
 

How do we read the Old Testament in light of the New Testament? We see God's depth of love and grace - even in the disobedience of Israel. We see Jesus' depth of forgiveness and sacrifice - even in the denial of his people. We see the Holy Spirit's power and direction - even in the ignorance of our hearts.  

We love because He loves us first. So when we receive his love and commit our lives to the glorification of God, our lives should be fashioned after JESUS: Deeply loving, deeply sacrificing-living a way that pleases the Father. What does this mean for the commandments, for all the legalistic views?  

Jesus did what pleased the Lord, and broke the bonds those 600 laws had on the people of Isreal, giving them a holy freedom. The 10 commandments are all that we need. They can apply to everything. And for when they don't, we rely on the Holy Spirit for direction and guidance. Jesus gives commands too, to protect us. But. How do we keep our eyes open to be aware of any legalism that creeps in?  

If what you do could cause you or others to stumble, rethink your actions and pray.

Hope this is something to deepen your thought process. 

Love and blessings, 
Emily

Here we go! 

Hello everyone! 

Fun fact: I've never had a blog before, so this is a new experience for me. So please forgive any incorrect blog etiquette (I had much to learn about the blogging world).  

I am so excited to keep you informed about my music and also, to share with you some thoughts that cross my mind and weigh in my heart. But don't worry, I won't dive into anything super deep for today. Maybe next time... 

Well what can I say? This whole experience with songwriting and recording had been absolutely amazing. Mark, my producer, has been an incredible asset for this project, and I'm so thankful for his insight into the world of production. I'm so excited for you all to hear the beautiful music that has been created! Not just by me, but by my classmates too! For those of you who are just joining me on this journey, first of all WELCOME! :) Secondly, My classmates and I are finishing up a 2 year music program at Prairie College under the wonderful mentoring of Brian Doerksen, focusing on songwriting and album production. So all of us (yes, all 6 of us) are leaving this program with an EP of our own music. How crazy cool is that?! It's a fairly new program, but it's more than anything I could have asked for, even in its infancy. I've been stretched and challenged, but also encouraged beyond anything I could imagine. I'm so thankful for the last two years, and I have a hard time believing I'm almost done. God has been so good and has surrounded me with the community I needed. And well, I knew I was supposed to go this far, so now I believe an entirely new journey is beginning for me. I am getting ahead of myself. That's in a few months. Right now, life is good, and I know the future is gonna be good too.  

Love and blessings, 
Emily This is a photo of one of my studio sessions with Mark and the band at OCL studios. A memory to last a lifetime.

Summary

Just the musings of one who seeks the beauty around her, and the heart of the One who made her.