Can You Hold On For One More Day?

By Lauren Schwab

Life is full of choices. When we are young, choices are often made for us. We can accept them and as we grow older decide this was our lot in life. On the other hand we can decide we are meant for more. The U.S. is known to be the land of the free, where you can be anything you want to be. Many times we view thing as limitations from following our true desires. Time, money, age, geographical location, family and friends. When it comes down to it, these can only be excuses for so long. I believe we all have the power to create the life we want. Depending on what you want to do and you current circumstances, it may take a long time to get where you want to be.

Besides our own fears being in the way, we often have to deal with other people. Others will not fully understand you own dreams. They may question you, think it’s not possible and not understand why you don’t just want to have an easy and normal life. Most likely, anything worth doing in your life will not come easy. I have seen my dad work hard to build his dream of farming from the ground up. He often says he shouldn’t have made it. With faith and perseverance, it is possible. There will be mistakes made and lessons learned when you start to make change happen in your life. Most people regret the things they didn’t do when they had the chance rather than the things they do.

I challenge you to imagine what you would want your life to be if you had no limitations. Would you move? Travel? Change careers or start a business? Go after love with no fear? What would you do? Usually what captivates your mind the most is an indicator of what you should go after. Also, think about what you enjoyed when you were younger. I remember as a kid I wanted to be a country music singer. Later I realized I don’t have the voice for singing, but I developed a love for journalism and interviewing country music singers on their own dreams and music.

While it can be easy and comfortable to stay in a situation, you have to live your own dreams. No one else is living your life. You have to trust that everything happens for a reason and even if you feel like you’ve wasted time and aren’t where you should be, trust in the process. What can feel like a setback, could be you setup. We often have to go through trials before we can live a life of treasure.

Music Heals the Soul When There is Doubt

By Lauren Schwab

Farming is hard work and it can come with doubt when times get hard. Farming is a lifestyle. It can be difficult to understand why someone would want to go with no days off work, an empty bank account and daily break downs. I will always admire the farmer and their dream to produce food and fiber for the world. I can with out a doubt tell you I know what hard work is. I have pushed on through more than what I think I am capable of. With cuts and bruises, callused hands and tired eyes. I do it because I know my family and animals depend on me.

I will be honest, farming is both physically and mentally exhausting. The days can seem long and when things go wrong it can be hard to keep the faith. When I find myself in a negative state, I refuse to let my spirit be crushed. So I put my head phones in and my mind can instantly be taken to another place. I find myself, pushing on, dancing in the barns and day dreaming about fun things that could happen in the future. I love to imagine great things happening and know I can become a stronger woman.

I have discovered with social media, it can be hard not to envy what others are doing or may have. I find myself thinking about others having fun while I’m working or wondering why we have it so much harder. All I know is that I am a farm girl right now for a reason. I don’t know what the future holds, but I have the power to create the life of my dreams and I will not let hard times break me. I can be peace, love and light in the midst of darkness.

Here are some melodies by Monroeville that help me push through:

Country Singer Chase Bryant Could Use a Little Bit of Friends in the FFA

By Lauren Schwab

Chase Bryant performed at the National FFA Convention & Expo on October 19 at the Dodge booth. As a Texas country music singer and former FFA member, Bryant took the time to perform his hit singles, “Little Bit of You”, “Room to Breathe” and “Take It On Back” while telling members about his FFA experience including competing in the creed-speaking contest.

chasebryant01-1423175014“I grew up in a small town in Orange Grove, Texas in a farming family. In my small town a lot of people said things wouldn’t happen for me. When I joined FFA it became a family very quickly. My brother was a state officer in Texas. Watching him, seeing how everyone treated him and the way everyone came together was pretty inspiring. There’s very few things when your living out your teenage years that instill things in you that you feel are going to live with you the rest of your life.”

img_2908“Growing up, I thought FFA was strictly for the farmers. I learned very quickly that it wasn’t just about the farmer. It’s about instilling good things in kids. The people in FFA became some of my best friends and have stuck around with the longest. There’s a guy who works with the Texas FFA that taught me a lot of things and became one of my best friends. I learned a lot of lessons and learned people in the FFA stick together and is something that will follow you the rest of your life. I want you (FFA members) to be proud of what you’re doing and to be part of this organization. I promise you and tell you it (FFA) is one of the best organizations on the planet.”

img_2910“I grew up in a family of farmers and FFA taught me those people matter. Those people are the reason we have food on the table, the reason we get to live each day. Those people are out there busting their ass for me and you to put food on the table. Go around to all these booths (in the expo) and colleges and talk to the people. You will learn things here. I never got to go to the National FFA Convention; this is my first time. You will learn things that will live with you forever and you will learn exactly why you are apart of this organization. It’s about making friends that are going to live with you the rest of your life. This is the best organization you could be apart of so be proud of what you’re doing and spread it to your friends because you are cool being apart of this. Thanks for coming out to see us and to Dodge for letting us sing on this stage, a truck bed, how much cooler can it possibly get.”

chase-bryant-2015-billboard-650“About six years ago I moved up to be a song writer and an artist. I started writing for a company owned by Roy Orbison. There was a big band in Nashville that cut ten of my songs on a record. I went into write one day and I thought I’m just going to stay home and not write a song today. I was two months from living in my car. I bought way too much because I thought I was going to become and instant millionaire. That did not happen, all those songs got cut. But this one-day a buddy threw an idea out to me, so I grabbed a cup of coffee and walked out on the loading dock and started thinking about things. In about five to ten minutes I had written this chorus, ‘Take it on back, take it on back, take it on back to where the grass is greener.’”

To follow Chase Bryant’s music visit http://www.chasebryant.com

To Learn more about the National FFA Organization visit https://www.ffa.org/home

USFRA Faces of Farming & Ranching Contest Finalist

It is an honor to be a finalist for the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Faces of Farming and Ranching contest. Please take a moment each day October 14-23 to vote for me and share so I can have the opportunity to reach a larger audience across the country in advocating for agriculture!

Vote at : https://www.facebook.com/USFarmersandRanchers/app/610925878965605/

 

We want to “Pardi Moore” in Oklahoma

By Lauren Schwab

Music has a way of creating memories that last a lifetime. I have always been in love with how music can relate to so many moments and emotions in life. I can hear a song and instantly be taken back to a moment in time or let my mind imagine what I want to happen in the future. Most of these memories or imaginations are about love and having good times with friends. I have come to know making memories are the best gifts. I also love experiencing an artist’s music so when I listen to their songs I can imagine myself at the concert and be taken back to that moment in time. Jon Pardi’s “Missin’ You Crazy” is one of those songs for me because I have the best memory of my best friend Brittany dancing in PR’s in the Fort Worth Stockyards and now me singing it with my OSU friends.

I recently traveled to Oklahoma to visit my Ohio friends going to school at Oklahoma State University. We had a great time going to see Jon Pardi and Kip Moore in concert at the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City. We danced, sang and admired the cowboys. The money was worth every penny to experience a new place with new friends. I will keep this post short, but allow yourself to use music to let your mind wonder, uplift your day and take you away to a place where memories can be made. I admire the artists living their dream and using their talents to touch the lives of people around the world.

 

Where I Come From and Why I Write…

Dear Friend,

LaurenI am from country farms on one-lane roads

Tractors and trailers filled with baby pigs

Front porch swings watching the pink sunset

Stars sparkling during hard work at 5AM
FFA Lauren

I am from the national blue and corn gold jackets of the FFA

Speaking my heart out in front of 500 people

DSC01629

 

 

 

Judging contests and chocolate milkshakes

Black tights with runs and trips with an advisor driving crazy

All nighters in hotel rooms and friends made across the nation

 

IMG_0290

I am from county fairs in the hot July sun

Ferris wheels and pork burgers

Playing cards in my best friend’s camper

Showing pigs to win that blue ribbon

 

IM000270.JPG

 

 

I am from rockin it out to Fall Out Boy in my room

Not caring what any one thinks

Living for the moment

Determined to be an old lady on a Harley with no regrets

 

5610786_550x550_mb_art_R0

 

 

I am from singing my heart out on Sunday mornings

Praise of having such a blessed life

In awe of the wonderful powers from heaven above

Always having faith so that nothing will be impossible unto me

And this is why I write…

IMG_3009I write to clam my soul,

I write to unleash my soul, my tears, and my pain.

I write to thank God of everything he’s given me and for being in my life.

I write to heal my anger,

I write to scream my emotions out,

IMG_0438I write to show my love for him.

I write to remember my life,

I write to experience my pain over and over again.
IMG_2604

I write to realize I am strong for coming out of pain and into the light.

I write to feed my hunger,

I write to honor God and spit on Satan.

I write to never forget love lost and love earned.

I write to have faith,

I write to later speak those words,

IMG_2082

I write to change lives,

 

I write to change my own life.

I write to live,

I write to die,

I write to fight against evil,

I write to embrace purity,

I write to fill my emptiness,

IMG_2848I write to embrace my aloneness.

I write to cry my black tears,

I write to wipe my black tears away.

I write to understand my meaning,

I write to wonder simply why?

I write to cry myself to sleep,

 

 

IMG_0769

 

I write to laugh till I feel worse pain than when I began writing.

I write to be in cold darkness,

I write to be in warm sunshine.

I write to taste that sweet kiss over and over again…

Sincerely,

Lauren Marceé Schwab

 

From the Barn to the Dance Floor – Texas Country Music Inspires Us to “Live It While You Got It”

Thanks to my best friend and Texas girl Brittany, I am inspired each day by the lyrics in Texas Country music. All I have to do in put my ear buds in while I’m working in the pig barn and instantly my heart is calm. I love being on the farm with the pigs, but Texas Country music transports me to a honky tonk, a small town, a red dirt country road or best of all loving life with someone who loves me.

Our imagination is a powerful tool. Albert Einstein said:

download

Texas Country music can uplift my spirit, brighten my day and make me dance through the barn. From heartbreak to true love, drinking in a honky tonk to spinning someone around on the dance floor, each song can tell a story or take you to a place in your wildest dreams. No matter what state you are in, even all the way to Ohio, Texas Country music can bring joy to the heart and ease a hard day’s work.

My favorites as of late are Josh Abbott Band, Randy Rogers Band, Eli Young Band, Jon Wolfe, Kyle Park, and Granger Smith. There are so many artists, but these are my go to in the barn. I am sure I will discover many more. I hope to see them all in show.

IMG_0263

Life can have it’s hard moments, defining moments, and rewarding moments. People come and go in our lives for God’s greater plan we can’t always understand. It can be hard to let go, but when you find someone you can always lean onto in hard times, you know who will always stay. I thank Brittany for sharing Texas Country music with me, what it means to love life and to be like Texas even though I’m not from Texas!

Cheers to many more memories to be made that include Starbuck & Shiner Bock!

 

Eli Young Band Encourages Fans to “Keep on Dreaming Even if it Breaks Your Heart”

original.lqQL2Umv6wijMoHBB8cqiW6JaVOuyhkkDQDXrI3R3Xg

Photo credit to http://www.eliyoungband.com/#/about

By Lauren Schwab

IMG_2045Texas natives Eli Young Band had the crowd dancing and singing acapella to their hit song “Even if it Breaks Your Heart” at Miami Valley Gaming on Thursday, August 4 in Lebanon, Ohio. Their inaugural performance in the grandstands captivated the crowd and lit their dreams on fire. Lead singer, Mike Eli, told a story about how a fire got lit inside himself as a child.

IMG_2049After seeing Garth Brooks in Houston as a young boy, Mike Eli told his parents, “This is what I want to do with my life. As you can imagine I had two very different reactions to this news. Mom on one had said, ‘Son, you go out there and you follow your dreams.’ This is the part where I knew she was lying to me. She said, ‘If anybody can do it, you can.’ I was ten years old. Dad on the other hand said, ‘Son, for the last ten years of your life, I’ve been working three jobs for you to have an opportunity for you to go to college or just make something with your life. I promise to the good Lord right here and now, if you do not go to college, I will kick your ass.’ So I went to college and the first week I met these guys and we formed a band. This song is for all you dreamers out there (Even if it Breaks Your Heart).”

“In the music business, sometimes you wonder whether or not you picked the right tunes, but every now and again you write a song that makes you feel like you belong here. I wrote this song, it’s absolutely one of my favorite songs I’ve been a part of writing. I wrote this song with Mr. James Young (guitarist). We wrote this song about a girl named Guinevere.”

They share more of their journey as a band at http://www.eliyoungband.com/#/about :

large.vdd1sucgzAw3vsjOopu0BJ5yfCq9p2b91rH1vpVYMrEWith three No. 1 hits under their belt as well as a Grammy nomination and an Academy of Country Music Award for Song of the Year for their hit “Crazy Girl,” the Eli Young Band approached their second Republic Nashville album, 10,000 Towns, with a sense of confidence and purpose.  “We knew what we wanted and how to get what we wanted.” It’s been a long, steady rise for Jones, Thompson, lead vocalist Mike Eli and guitarist James Young, but the same four musicians have been together from the start and are now reaping the rewards.

large.RZZVvy0BAQP_ieml158vwpaIGZnEBqVUwmpH6yWP1g4

“This record (10,000 Towns) was a lot more upbeat than our previous records,” agrees Young. “We really wanted to record songs that are going to be fun to play live and fun for our fans watching the show. We were thinking about our live show and how these songs are going to translate on the set list. That was a priority in our minds too when we chose songs for this record. We’ve also learned to really follow our gut when it comes to songs and song choices. We’ve always had a good sense of what songs are going to work on the record and which ones aren’t.”

large.bK7alTdvGfhAnOfAxbnNOomeioJvlLSGE5pMEmyXBUYThere have been many miles over the years for the Eli Young Band and that’s why 10,000 Towns felt like the right title for their new effort. “There’s a general theme between small town America where every town is different, but in some ways, they are the same,” says Young. “We felt like the title encapsulated the best years of us driving all over the country playing music.”

large.AxWElXT8t8Ztd1PWxMDKd0bNivg3pdllBwlQrPXnUy0Eli agrees. “We’ve traveled all over the country and to other countries, but at the end of the day we all party the same way no matter what the culture or the town,” he says. “To us, ‘10,000 Towns’ is a great way to sum up this record in that way as well as who we are. We love traveling around the country and seeing all that and being a band of road dogs.”

IMG_2050 - Version 3

Lauren with Eli Young Band guitarist James Young

The Eli Young Band has worked hard to get to this point and is enjoying their current success the same way they earned it together. “We’ve surpassed the friend mark now and it’s more like brothers. It’s really kind of a blood bond between the four of us,” Jones says. “We set out to do this as a career and made the commitment to each other a long time ago and here we are 14 years later. None of us can imagine doing anything else.”

 

Listen to their new single Saltwater Gospel:

 

IMG_2027

To connect with Eli Young Band follow them at:

https://www.facebook.com/eliyoungband

https://twitter.com/eliyoungband

https://www.youtube.com/user/EliYoungBandVEVO

https://www.instagram.com/eliyoungband/

 

 

 

 

Creative Musician, Eddy Mann, is Lead Naturally by Faith, Peace and Love

Eddy Mann is a creative musician, songwriter, Dig Love - Back Cover with Text1worship leader, teacher, speaker, coach, husband and father led by faith. His life and music has constant vision of hope, peace and understanding through the eyes of a loving heart. As a musician and songwriter it was twenty years ago that he made the decision to offer his creative gifts to God. Since then he’s released seven CD’s and written countless songs for the church and world at large. On any weekend you can find him in a coffeehouse, in concert, at a conference, and/or leading worship.

His new fall album, The Consequence, the follow up to 2014’s Dig Love, will once again touch on the theme of a peaceful and loving existence, while delving into the consequences of our actions. Musically it continues down the path that Dig Love charted staying close to the Americana, roots rock, and singer-songwriter traditions.

 Q. Take me back to the beginning of your career, can you tell me how you found your love and talent for music and how you decided to make it a career aspiration?

1412707172_dsc_9047d A. “In high school someone put a guitar in my hands and it changed everything. I was a really shy child growing up. It wasn’t until I played guitar did I feel confidence. In the beginning I wasn’t very good, but for some reason I still had confidence and could express myself without any reservation. So it was a natural thing for me. In college while studying business, I realized I needed to be on the road to get this out of my system. I realize now, it will never be out of my system. It was a journey that developed and blossomed quickly for me.”

“I took some time off when my children were young. I went back to school and was an educator for a number of years. (During this time) An assistant Pastor at a church got ahold of one of my albums, he enjoyed it and asked me to start a new service at the church.”

13346797_1113910518673806_6510432677000795575_nQ. What or who played an important role in developing your career goals and making the decision to take fate into your own hands to pursue a career in music?

 A. “My father played piano when I was growing up, so there was music in the house. I have music genes from him and my mother was a creative person. I knew I would do something creatively. There was also a teacher who saw something in me and put it inside of me that if I work hard at anything, I could achieve. It was focused on my efforts. Later on as I grew in my faith, the spirit put it in me that there’s no reason to expect I wouldn’t be successful. I have no doubts and I’m inspired each day to create and see what will come out next.”

12472578_1074338315964360_7778245011272862175_n“When I started I was infatuated with the instrument. I listened and studied all the guitar greats in the past. Then it occurred to me what was getting me out of bed was the creative part of song writing. So began to dig into the great songwriters of the past. Try to understand why certain song resonated with people. I grew up listening to all types of music. When it came time for me to write I started naturally to write in different styles. Whatever we experience in our lifetime becomes part of the fabric of who we are so whenever we are creative it comes out naturally.”

Q. What do you enjoy or look forward to most about recording or performing music?

13000074_1083265295071662_2185276098055955125_nA. “I’ll be honest, when I picked up the guitar back in high school what I enjoyed most were the girls. As I became a professional, I thought it was cool I could make a living doing this. My career evolved from being a professional musician to a songwriter. Being able to write and touch other people. Being able to relate to other people who want to be creative or seek a career in music. It’s wonderfully humbling to touch other people in a spiritual way.”

 

Q. What is a memorable experience for you in your music career and how has it impacted you?

13501619_1122758784455646_173372817369482414_nA. “I was doing a concert when a came in who lost her husband to cancer. She just wanted to get out of the house, saw an advertisement for the concert, checked out my music online and decided to come. We had a wonderful conversation on how she was lifted up, touched and felt a little bit better from the songs.”

“God does provide a moment to lift you up and give you strength keep you going. To continue on even when it seems the world isn’t listening. The latest album, Dig Love, was written during a season when I was watching the news and disappointed there was lack of compassion in the world. The songs came out naturally. Sometimes it can be a negative situation that spawns a positive result. I didn’t’ enjoy what I was hearing, but I found the songs were positive and trying to find a peaceful type of love.”

Q. What advice would you give to someone who may have a dream or desire, but is struggling with taking the steps to make them a reality?

A. “It’s valuable to enjoy the journey when things aren’t going well is the secret for me. My father gave me advice when I was a young boy that whatever way I decide to deal with the problems in my life, that would determine how happy I was going to be because there was always going to be another problem. So as a m13692670_1143896689008522_1831684960727790498_nusician and creative person, my career is never still. It’s always changing and evolving just like our lives are. At one moment we could be in the deepest valley and five minutes later we could be on top of the mountain. For someone just starting out, the arts are tough because people judge the arts in ways they shouldn’t be judged. When I was teaching, I would challenge people to find the creative part of their brain and use it. You can’t get down because one person doesn’t like something you wrote or played or if you can’t get work right away. You just have to enjoy the journey and where you are at now. Perhaps write about where you are at now. There isn’t one person other than God that’s going to put a stamp on whether or not you have been successful in this life. We are all struggling in our own skin, to find our own way. I have written music that touches one person and goes write by another person.”

Q. Can you tell me some of your exciting plans for the rest of the 2016? What goals do you have for your career?

13394186_1117506521647539_2782671788078613813_nA. “I am looking to travel and play more. I’ve done a lot of recording in the past year and some projects are going to be released. I have a collection of worship pieces that are being released in September called Re:Prize. In November, I have the follow up to Dig Love being released called The Consequence. So I have a lot of new things I’m excited about. I have my plans, but I wont be surprised at all if there are some unexpected turns. I’m excited and confident about the future in what I’m doing and pleased I’m being used by God.”

Follow Eddy Mann on social media to stay updated on music and shows:

www.eddymann.com

https://twitter.com/eddy_mann

www.facebook.com/eddymann.musician/

Instagram: @eddy_mann