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LIE #1: Fat Girls Don't Deserve Love [& other lies I believed for way too long]

 

I remember being called fat as early as 5 years old. Teased by school mates all through elementary school, I always had to wear larger sizes than the other girls. I even remember summers at the lake with my cousins - one of them only a few months younger than I, and I always needed a larger sized life jacket than she did. I was honestly so ashamed of that. It was a small scar, but one that I never outgrew.

 

In middle school, I was hollered at by strangers out of car windows things like, "Mooooooo!" or "Look at that beached whale!" In gym class I was never incredibly athletic, so that was never a fun environment already, but let's just be real - changing clothes and taking showers in the locker rooms at that age is downright cruel punishment for kids who are all at different stages of development. It did nothing for my self esteem.

 

When I was a high school cheerleader, not well-meaning strangers hollered at me from the grandstands things like, "Look, it's Dolly Parton! Watch where you put those things! You might hurt somebody!" And on days that there were games, we were required to wear our uniform all day at school to promote school spirit. I was often teased, pointed at, and snickered at in that short skirt and tight top. Once again, I had to wear the larger sized uniform than the other girls, but it was still skin tight on me. I felt like a freak, and was treated like one.

 

I was shamed and shamed into believing something was wrong my body, basically hiding myself behind baggy clothes and being afraid to be physically active out in the open for fear of being ridiculed and humiliated publicly. I was also led to believe that because of my weight I was less of a person and not worthy of people's time or attention. This was driven home rather hard by my lack of love life.

 

What's sad is I look back on pictures of myself from back then and don't think I looked fat at all. Sure, some people were honestly just mean, but I think ultimately the enemy had an agenda to destroy me at my weakest spot: at my source of worth. I honestly believed most of my life that I really was a total hippo. It shaped my opinion of myself in a really unhealthy and twisted way.

 

Reality was I was rarely asked out by guys (and to this day am still not). I was almost never asked to school dances (and can't recall the last date I ever had on New Years). Usually a desperate guy friend would finally agree to go to a school dance just days before when all his other options were exhausted. Then I was the girl who would be left sitting on the sidelines while everyone slow danced....because even my date didn't want to slow dance with me.

 

I quit cheerleading and stopped going out for any sports. Sadly, it is after I quit that my weight actually DID start to become a problem (and honestly, it has been a struggle for me ever since). It's like I became what they said I was, and they shamed me out of being active so that I became more sedentary to protect myself from being teased. Quite a horrible thing that evolved now that I look back on photos and think about the timing of it all.

 

I also became much less outgoing and started to be very quiet in school. I was always a bit of a nerd anyways, so I basically kept to my studies and artsy things. Friends from high school now say I barely ever spoke in class and mostly stared at my books. Being called fat and ugly led me to pursue things that I felt I could control - good grades and good performance (musically/artistically).

 

I stayed up half the night most of my high school years, studying or writing papers. I was fighting to get straight A's, which I mostly did achieve - all except my junior year of high school when I got that devastating C in Economics (which meant it was either just not my subject, or I had a horrible teacher....I vote for the latter).

 

I prided myself at being first chair flute player - not just in my school, but in the entire state. I sat second chair only once, and secretly vowed to never let it happen again. I was driven to be the best, for better or worse (I also think the latter). I was heavily involved in band, choir, and musical theater...and was usually at school morning 'til night for rehearsals or performances.

 

I wasn't afraid to sing my guts out like no one was watching, and therefore found acceptance on stage behind a microphone. I started writing songs from a young age as well, and used music as an outlet to express myself. I would write songs when a friend was moving away as a way to say goodbye. I would write a song for my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. I would write a song for a boy who had no idea I existed. This was long before I ever wrote worship songs for the church, which I feel is a redemptive part of the story (more to come on that later).

 

I strived and strived to earn love and acceptance in whatever way I could, as any human being probably does at some level. Love is something we all long for, right? The reality is we will sometimes go to extremes to find it...I think I strived mostly by performing. Awaiting the applause (whether actually or metaphorically), hoping to feel validated in some way by what I could DO for people, by how I could impress them. But ultimately, I hoped I that I would win their love.

 

However, somewhere in there, my heart was convinced (matter of factly) that fat girls don't deserve love. Period. I was convinced that it didn't matter how talented I was, how funny or clever, how smart, how resourceful, how independent, how kind, how generous, how caring, how loyal, how loving, how amazing...I simply was not lovable if I was fat. It seemed proven time and again.

 

It seems preposterous now that I really believed that for so long. Well, let's be honest; I might have believed that yesterday, even. And I may believe it tomorrow. Really I fight believing it every day - but even so, it doesn't make it true. It is a lie. But as much as I know it in my head, my heart is still sometimes quite slow to follow.

 

I actually wrote a song a few years ago, called "Lovable" (you can listen by clicking here). It was in a season after my divorce (we'll talk more about that some other day), in a time where I felt valued by what I could offer people - my gifts, my talent, my friendship, etc...but I didn't feel fully loved for just being me. I felt like people loved pieces of me, but that no one (especially a man) wanted ALL of me. And I felt willing to trade my gifts & talents for this simple thing of just feeling loved completely, unconditionally. 

 

You know, sometimes women would see my seemingly "glamorous" singing-recording-touring-traveling-single-life and be somewhat envious, and would even tell me so sometimes. Little did they know that I was painfully envious of their husband-2 kids-white-picket-fence-life (complete with the family Christmas photos they mail out every year). The grass is always greener on the other side, you know?

 

I "joke" that selfies exist because loneliness does. Many of us long to share our lives with someone - anyone. I have traveled the world (mostly alone, sometimes in groups), but get teased a lot for posting a lot of selfies. I get it. I'm sure how it looks, but if you will allow me to let you into my secret thought-life...here is what happens when someone makes such a comment to me:

 

"Sure, on Christmas Day, it's okay for people to dress themselves up in their Sunday best and pose for a family photo, but God forbid I post a photo by myself in mine. How vain! I should never post pictures of myself, especially smiling or looking nice or feeling good about myself. I should never post selfies in beautiful places I am visiting to share with friends or family.....not until I have a family, at least. Posting pretty pictures of yourself is only allowed once you have a significant other to be in the picture with you, or a child, of course. Or a dog or cat. I mean, at least have the decency to have a pet in the picture with you. But certainly not you by yourself. How shameful! No one wants to see that! You should take it down!!!"

 

So that is a bit obnoxious, I admit...but I do have days I feel that way. I am poking fun a bit here, but there is some honesty and vulnerability there on behalf of those of us who are single and have been for a while. To this day, I fight the noise in my head that says I'm less of a person if I'm not married or don't have kids. I would love to be married and have a family. And anyone who is close to me knows I have sure put myself out there. It is not for lack of trying. It is just not what God has for me right now. This is my life. And I need to try and embrace that. And I hope that my friends and family can embrace me in this season, as well....a million selfies and all. ;)

 

Well, I got on a bit of a rabbit trail there, but here's the thing: I believe that all of us - whatever our issues may be - have some sort of very noisy, staticky, old recording on repeat in our heads that tends to plague us for most of our lives. What are the lies that have tormented you the most over the years? How have they affected you? How might God want to use something the enemy intended for harm to actually bring about some good - in your life, and in the lives of those around you?

 

"Fat girls don't deserve love" is one lie I definitely believed for way too long. It did force me to excel at other things in my life when I realized my looks wouldn't get me anywhere, so I guess for some of my success I can thank all the kids who teased me over the years. But in all seriousness, I do know that it gave me a great bit of compassion and empathy for the "least of these." I tend to notice people sitting in the corner of the room alone. I tend to notice the unlikely hidden talent that others sometimes overlook. And I am thankful for people who noticed the same in me and called it out over the years.

 

The thing is, deep down, I know I am worthy of love. I know I also have a lot of love to give. Even when that darn noisy old tape of lies plays - when I have yet *another* weekend or holiday spent alone - I know that I *do* deserve love. Every single one of you out there deserves love, too. No matter who you are, what you look like, how talented or gifted you think you are, or what anyone says about you....you are worthy of love. And you ARE loved.

 

I mean, let's be real, some of you out there may be married and have kids but still struggle with feeling lovable or beautiful or valuable, too. It's not that having a husband or children can "fix" what is broken in me any more than it can fix what may be broken in you. Only Jesus can. He is the one who fulfills our hearts. He is the one who satisfies our souls.

 

Do you know the story in the Bible about Jacob & Esau? If not, you should take some time to check it out...but I love this verse:

 

"Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears." (Hebrews 12, The Message)

 

The world sure works hard EVERY day to chip away at God's truth - the truth that HE is the one who satisfies our souls. Not a boyfriend/girlfriend. Not great success. Not money. Not fame. Not a recording contract. Not buying a new home. I know that I have to resist caving in to the way of the world - which tells me to cheaply give pieces of myself away, crumbs to whomever will take them, and to find ways to satisfy myself. This will lead to nowhere good. Tears and more tears. Regret and more regret. I have my fair share. It is worth it to wait on God. It is so very hard, and yet so very worth it. And He is so very faithful.

 

The Bible is FULL of stories of God's faithfulness. I need to read them over and over to remind myself of this when the world tries to tell me otherwise, when the father of lies comes rushing in like a flood when I'm home alone and feeling unloved. So when the enemy's awful tape of lies starts to play, I have a speech prepared. And I say it. I sing it. I write it. Maybe I should dance it, even. 

 

"I am the one and only Sherilyn, daughter of the Most High God. I am wonderfully made, and I will not believe the lies anymore. I will fight every day to cling to His truth...that I am lovable."

 

As I take some time this year to explore the multitudes of lies I have believed for way too long, I invite you to come on the journey with me and to allow the Lord into those places in your own heart as well - places where you have also believed the lies and allowed them to fester for way too long. May He also give you a speech to write, a song to sing, a dance to stomp out....right in the accuser's face! Let's create a beautiful symphony of truth together, living out our lives fully alive to all that God has planned for us!

 

"Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love." (Ephesians 1, The Msg)

 

PHOTOS: Me as a cheerleader in 2nd grade & 9th grade....

 

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Click the links below to read other blogs in the series "Fat Girls Don't Deserve Love [And other lies I believed for way too long]"

Preface: No More Stalling: It's Time to Be Brave

Lie #1: Fat Girls Don't Deserve Love

Lie #2: It's All Your Fault

Lie # 3: You're Just too Much but Never Quite Enough

Lie #4: You Are Invisible 

Lie #5: Divorced = Disqualified

Lie #6: You Are Broken & Useless

 

 

No More Stalling :: It's Time to Be Brave [PREFACE]

 

I used to be a a lot braver.

 

I used to swing as high as I could on the swing set and do back flips from the highest point, fearlessly sticking the landing. I used to play sports and wear tank tops and not care if I looked dumb on the field or worry if my arms looked fat.

 

I used to write, record, and perform music all the time - because I wanted to. Because I liked it. Because it fed my own soul. I didn't used to care what anyone else thought, really. It was for me. To express parts of my heart I needed to express. To say [or sing] what my heart just really needed to say.

 

I used to blog all the time - write and write and write - pouring my thoughts out for anyone to read (or even if no one read it). I did it because I wanted to. I liked to. I felt I had something to say.

 

I used to make goofy videos and post them on YouTube. I used to let the world into more of my life and not be so guarded and self-preserving. And I want to get back to it. It's time to put my skills, talents, & dreams back into action.

 

Resonate with anyone? I know as we enter the New Year, we tend to take stock of our lives, where the year that we just passed has taken us, and where we want to be a year from now. What dreams are stirring in your heart that you have yet to taken action on???

 

It's been a few years since I've recorded a new album of original music. It's time. More than time. Regardless of how many people will want to hear it when it's done...I just need to do it. I have people around me who believe in me and want to help make it happen. So what on earth is the problem? What is the hold up??? Me!!!

 

Years ago I also had a mentor encourage me to write a book (or at least a collection of blogs) containing some of my personal life stories. A few months ago, I actually felt like an outline for these stories came into clarity on a random afternoon at Starbucks. Have I started it yet? No. And why not? Because I fear being vulnerable, of being real. I fear that it is a waste of my time and a stupid idea. I fear being judged. And yet, I feel compelled all at the same time, which is a mystery all of its own.

 

I am determined now to use this blog to begin that process in 2016. Whether anyone comes along for the journey with me or not, I feel like it is going to be a good journey for me personally....and so I am making a commitment to myself...to write down some of my stories in this blog...and to record a new album of music. By the grace of God...no more stalling. It's time to be brave.

 

And I hope you will help hold me to it.

 

What wants to join me? What is God stirring in your heart? What is He calling you to step out and do this year???

=======

Click the links below to read other blogs in the series "Fat Girls Don't Deserve Love [And other lies I believed for way too long]"

Preface: No More Stalling: It's Time to Be Brave

Lie #1: Fat Girls Don't Deserve Love

Lie #2: It's All Your Fault

Lie # 3: You're Just too Much but Never Quite Enough

Lie #4: You Are Invisible 

Lie #5: Divorced = Disqualified

Lie #6: You Are Broken & Useless

 

 

 

Seasons for Everything

 

So it hardly seems possible that it's been over a year since I last posted here! I tell myself a lot that there are "Seasons for Everything," and so it hasn't been a season for blogging or posting a lot publicly. It's been a quieter season of reflection inwardly. But I feel the tide shifting.

I have indeed been in a season of really getting settled in a new home, new church, new job, new life in San Luis Obispo, CA. The interim season in SLO last spring & summer turned into a permanent one, which has been a huge blessing! It has been such a joy to have a new beginning here. 

It also felt like the time to return to my maiden name, Keller, when I moved out to CA last year. Perfect time for another fresh start. Then, after a season of about five years writing songs about life, love, & loss - songs of lament, songs that found life in coffee shops, pubs, and bars - I have started writing songs for the Church again in this season...which feels like a gift.

I've had a lot of "full circle" moments this year, a huge one being back in the Vineyard Church family again. Mountainbrook Church (previously "San Luis Obispo Vineyard") was one of the first few Vineyards planted in CA many moons ago, and there is a lot of history & legacy here. I love knowing that guys like Carl Tuttle led worship here when our current pastor was in College Ministry. Though the name and location has changed, it is still a Vineyard, and I love the core values from which our team leads. I love this Tribe.

I do hope to start blogging here more again (no, really!), but for today, I mainly wanted to post a song video. We have begun hosting these "Woven: For Women" events at my church (and God has been breathing life and it's been growing like gang busters!), and I felt stirred in the nights leading up to the event in May to write a song called "Steady My Soul" to go with the theme, which was "Hope Anchors the Soul."

In general, my songwriting has been really stirred up in the last 6-8 months or so, and I felt it was time to start sharing them more widely. I'm praying about finally recording another worship album that would release in 2016. I covet your prayers over that process. It's been a long time and feels a bit overwhelming to consider! But it seems time...and there is indeed a season for everything! I continue to submit my plans to God and trust Him completely with the details.

Thanks to so many of you whom have followed my journey all these years. 2015 marks TWENTY years of worship leading for me! It's been a wild ride...and here's to the new season ahead!

P.S. Save the date, SLO area peeps, for an upcoming gig at Chateau Lettau in Paso Robles! Friday, August 21st, 6-8pm. Click here for more details.

So long, BraziL. Hello, CALIFORNIA!

 

Well. I have been a *horrible* blogger recently! But with good reason: I spent the month of October in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Monaco, & France with a music team doing training events and such there with Vineyard Brazil. Then, in November I flew straight from there to Brazil for four months. It was truly the adventure of a lifetime! 

If you missed the photo journal, just stop by my Instagram page and check out photos from October 2013, or you can watch a little re-cap video by clicking here.

When I left the States last October, I thought I would be living in Brazil at least a year, maybe longer…but we ran into a snag in trying to acquire a longer term visa for me. I had to return to the U.S. at the end of February, and I have still been unable to acquire one so far. It's possible that it may come through sometime in a few more months…but it was going to be a waiting game of an unknown amount of time, and I was going to be somewhat stranded in the States without a job, apartment, or car in the meantime.

I grieved a little, because I really thought I would be in Brazil longer term (and I sold most of my belongings before I left to help make that possible)...but shortly after my return, I started to find a real peace and just kept my eyes open for what was next. I knew I wasn't totally freed up and mobile for nothing! While home in Atlanta, I've really enjoyed connecting with friends, doing lots of swing dancing, and eating all the American food I missed. LOL. 

I put together about 6 weeks of various travel dates (Orlando, Augusta, San Luis Obispo, and Virginia Beach) so that I could share about my "adventures in Brazil" and enjoy sharing some music. I also moved in with my dad just north of Atlanta temporarily and have been enjoying precious time with him when I've not been on the road. Now that he's retired, my favorite is when Dad makes me breakfast and we chat over our coffee and eggs.

The unexpected part of the journey these last few weeks was getting connected with Mountainbrook Church in San Luis Obispo, CA. they have been looking for assistance with leading worship and training their musicians and band leaders for the last 9 months or so. It soon turned into a conversation about me coming back to SLO for a 3-month interim season…and then we can see where things land in the fall. Perhaps it may become a more permanent option, perhaps not…but after a few more conversations (and visiting and seeing how dreamy the Central California coast really is!) my heart gave a resounding "yes!" to spending a summer there at the very least!

So…in true SHERILYN fashion…things happen in a hurry, and usually cross-country (or cross-continent in some cases)…so one week from today, I fly out from Atlanta again to begin this new chapter in California! I love that the move is happening over Easter weekend. There is a history of some pretty major events in my life happening over Easter weekends…and I feel like God often uses is symbolically to mark a new redemptive beginning in my life…though often through the most unexpected means! God is cool like that.

So the plan is that I will be in San Luis Obispo until at least the end of July (though I have a few quick trips planned back to Atlanta - like to lead worship for the Women's Night of Worship at Perimeter Church on June 10! Mark your calendar, Atlanta ladies!)…and then we'll see where things land in the fall.

Now that I'm Stateside, I'll try to be better at writing more regularly about my #SLOlife in San Luis Obispo…and I am hoping to find more time to write and record some new music this year, so stay tuned here on my websiteFacebookTwitter, & Instagram for the play-by-play.

Thanks for being part of my journey! I appreciate you all & would love to hear from you! Drop me an email any time!

Riding the wave,
SHERILYN

P.S. This is the view from my host home in Cayucos, CA, and then me standing on the pier in the first photo. Who's coming to visit???

   

It's true: I'm moving to BRAZIL!

 

So a lot has happened in the last few weeks and I wanted to share the news! 

It's official! I'm moving to BRAZIL!!!

While I was in Brazil earlier this summer, I actually got an offer to work with the Vineyard Church in Bauru, SP Brazil. I totally laughed at first and never thought I could find the courage to move to South America! However, over the last couple weeks since my return home, through some mega soul searching, wrestling with God, and talking it through with my family, pastors, longtime friends & mentors...I had a total change of heart.

I feel like if I can completely let go of things here in Atlanta - though I'd started to build a life for myself (finally!) - I can see a whole new life in Brazil if I can just have the courage to take the leap and trust God to catch me. I now believe I will regret it forever if I don't take the risk and go for it.

It's been so hard to process through the letting go - especially with so many fond memories here of my mom - and then to move so far away from my dad and brother makes it even harder. It has not been an easy decision, and it has come through many tears....but I made the decision yesterday and said YES to moving to Brazil! The flights are purchased! It's very surreal, but I am excited!

When I was in Brazil last month - as you may already know - I was also invited to join a music & missions team going to Italy October 3-23 (then I'm spending an extra week traveling Germany, Switzerland, & Austria with friends). Now I will just fly from Munich straight to Brazil on October 30th, and will get right to work in Brazil in November.

I was able to purchase my flight to Italy, but there are still lots of funds to be raised for grounds fees and my move to Brazil. If you want to read more about all that and find out how you can partner with me, click here. If your heart is so moved, you can easily make a donation on the right-hand column of my website. Thanks so much to those who have already given so generously!!

So, the rough plan is for me to live in Brazil for a year. I will be leading worship at the church twice a month, training up other musicians & worship leaders, potentially teaching private lessons on guitar, piano, & voice...and will have the opportunity to travel occassionally to do concerts, worship events, & teach seminars for worship leaders. 

I also have some incredible friends there waiting for me with open arms, and I can't wait to be part of the incredible community there! For a season, I think it could be really good for my soul. It has been a long, trial-filled, lonely 7 years in Atlanta, and for whatever reason, it just hasn't seemed like my life has blossomed here. So though I'm grieving that it didn't, I'm also rejoicing in a whole new opportunity. There are SO many friends in Atlanta that I will miss, so it is definitely bittersweet. Everybody download Voxer & Skype right now so we can keep in touch! :)

Thank you, dear ones, for all your love and support - these last few years especially, when things have been a little extra challenging in my life. I could not have made it through without your prayers & love. I appreciate you all so much, and I will keep you posted along the way!

A precious friend shared a verse with me yesterday that really spoke to my soul...may God make it so in your lives and mine!

"When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, 'What amazing things the Lord has done for them.' Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest." (Psalms 126:1-6 NLT)

CARRY ME TOUR may extend to ITALY!!!

 

 

Singing at an Acai Bar in Bauru, SP, Brazil...
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Hello friends!

So I just returned from an incredible few weeks in Brazil! Of course the food & culture were absolutely brilliant - but the thing that surprised & blessed me most was the amazing friendships that were forged in such a short time. I also had a chance to record 5 songs in Portuguese on this trip - which was so difficult, but so incredible! There will be a Portuguese EP to come!

I can truly say that this trip changed my life. I will blog soon about more of my specific experiences in Brazil, but I want to get straight to this possibility of touring Italy today because I need your help to make it possible.

There is a small team of about 12 Brazilians from Vineyard Piratininga & Vineyard Bauru who are planning a 20-day trip to Italy, and they have invited me to join the tour as an addition to the music team!  My departure for the trip would be October 3rd, so I have less than two months to work out all the details.

This trip would have to be self-funded, so I'm needing to raise financial support in the tune of $3,000 to make the trip possible. Would you consider being part of my support team, though prayers and/or financial support?

One really neat sidebar is they are working on translating my song "Fearless Now" into Italian & they have hopes of me recording it on an EP. Such a humbling & cool opportunity to see my music translated into other languages! 

Here are some more details on the trip:

We will spend 20 days there, mostly in the north...

-The trip will include 3-day excursion across the border to a partner with Vineyard in Lugano, Switzerland

-We will work with a YWAM  base (Youth With a Mission) in Milan as part of their School of Worship & will participate in teaching a worship seminar for 40-50 worship leaders from all over Italy.

-We will spend time in Pescara doing a worship conference.

-We will spend a few days in Rome working with a Baptist church.

-I will then spend an extra week with friends in Germany & Switzerland before returning home.

I'm really excited about this opportunity and feel so strongly that if it is meant for me to be part of the team that there will be a way me for me go. Not only will the trip cost me for the travel expenses, but also time off teaching for 20 days, so it's a big leap of faith for me - especially after just spending all summer on tour in the US & Brazil...but I'm taking the leap!

If you feel led to support me financially, you can donate online by debit or credit card (or email sherilyn@sherilynmusic.com to ask for a mailing address if you prefer to send a check):

Online donationshttp://SHERILYNmusic.com 
(Look for the "Make a Donation" tab on the right side-bar)

Thanks so much for considering partnering with me to make this possible! For those local to Atlanta, I'm actually having a giant garage sale, selling all my household items that have been in storage the last few years, to raise money for the trip. Find some treasures for yourself & support a good cause all at the same time!

I appreciate your love, support, & prayers so much!

Sheri

P.S. Here are a few photos from my Brazilian adventure...which includes pictures with some of people with whom I will be traveling to Italy (Beto, Raquel, Rodrigo, Adriana, Paulo....)

This is Beto (Brazilian) & his wife Raquel (Italian). They translated for me during part of my trip in Brazil. Both musical, songwriters, worship leaders. They are the ones heading up the trip to Italy, they lived there for a season and have all the contacts for us. Beto is also offering to help me book another tour in Brazil next summer!

This is my recording day in Brazil! 5 songs in Portuguese!

These are some of the best friends I've ever made - and they are all going to Italy (God-willing!)
Rodrigo Falsetti & his wife Adriana (top) and Paul Chaves (right) - all part of Vineyard Bauru.

My "going away party" the last night in Brazil. I can't wait to go back! I love you all!

Summer 2013: CARRY ME TOUR!

 

So I’ve discovered that planning a music tour is a little bit like herding cats. 

Lately I find myself on Mapquest until 2am most nights trying to sort out how on earth I’ll get myself most succinctly from St Louis to Denver to Chicago to Cleveland to Cincinnati to Myrtle Beach to Raleigh to Nashville…and (hopefully) I will...

1. Have people to share my songs & story with each day…
2. Have a safe place to sleep every night…
3. Get to visit friends & family along the way that I don’t get to see very often…
4. Stay awake driving hours & hundreds of miles on my own…
5. See some hearts uplifted & encouraged along the way…and
6. (Hopefully) still have enough gas money to get me back home to Atlanta. :)

Hats off to you booking agents out there that have mastered the art. I have so much to learn before I becoming a tour-booking-Jedi.  I am still a young Padawan in training. May the force be with us all, because try, have I…and a little tour has evolved!

One thing I know, this tour is not something I can do on my own. Though I’m a solo artist and much of the tour I will physically be traveling alone, I am asking you – my friends, family, & fans – to carry me on this one. I have chosen “Carry Me” as the tour centerpiece song and tour name, and I’d love for you to join the support team carrying me through this summer!

How can you do that, you ask? I’m so glad you asked. Here are a few ways you can be part of Team “Carry Me” this summer...

-Tweet or Facebook about my tour and/or a specific date you hope to attend and/or think your friends should attend as I’m coming through your/their part of the country.

-Blog about a specific experience you had at one of my shows already (or how a song on my latest CD may have encouraged you). You are my most valuable & influential advertisement amongst your peers.

-It’s not too late to book a stop! Let me know if you would consider hosting a house show and/or connecting me with a local venue in your town (coffee house/bar/church)…and/or provide a safe place to sleep for the night.

-Know of someone in the hospital or receiving treatment on my route? Let me know and I'll do my best to stop by & serenade them in person with a little hope & song.

-If you really catch the vision, believe in what I’m doing, and happen to have some extra funds burning a hole in your pocket, donations towards my gas/lodging expenses can be given on my website at SHERILYNmusic.com. [Any funds left at the end of tour will go towards my next recording!]

-If you’re the praying type, I totally welcome your prayers that I stay safe & healthy while on the road, & for some truly meaningful encounters at each venue.

With all those hours on the road alone, let’s hope I don’t start talking to my guitar like Tom Hanks talks to his volleyball in that movie Castaway. [Wilson!!!] Who am I kidding? I pretty much already do that. [For inquiring minds, my guitar is named Clarence & my grey gig rig is named Gus. Yep.]

Ultimately, this tour isn’t a money-maker (though of course I hope I can still pay my bills when I get home). It’s a “go and give it away” kind of thing. I feel like after all that I have walked through the last few years that I have a story to tell and songs to sing…and I feel compelled to get out there and share them. 

Whether I end up singing in a cancer ward at a hospital, someone’s living room, a church, a street corner, a divorce recovery group meeting, a bar, or a coffee shop…I’m going to attempt to play somewhere every night if at all possible. I know with you guys carrying me, it’s gonna be a great tour! The force is strong with you. :)

Be sure to follow me on TwitterInstagram, & Facebook for the play-by-play. The tour officially kicks off in Nashville on May 24th! For all the tour dates/details, visit: SHERILYNmusic.com/tour

See you on the road!
SHERILYN 

P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Email me at SHERILYN@SHERILYNmusic.com to say hello, tell me about yourself, and let me know if we can connect in person when I’m coming through this summer!

Love Collective: Valentine's Mixtape

 

My friends and I put together a Love Collective "Mixtape" for Valentine's Day & for a GREAT cause! Check it out!

Our "Valentine's Mixtape" is free, but tips are most welcome, because all donations will be passed along to Not For Sale -a non-profit organization that works to bring an end to human trafficking. Today, around 27 million people are enslaved and you can be a part of bringing hope and freedom to them! For more information, visit www.notforsalecampaign.org

Download the music here (& help us spread the word by sharing this link): 
www.NoiseTrade.com/LoveCollective

My friends & I put together a Love Collective Valentine's Mixtape for a GREAT cause! Check it out at the link below! 
I also LOVE that this EP release is happening the same day as the official launch of the END IT Movement! Raise your voice for the 27 million enslaved today by signing the pledge at www.enditmovement.com. Together, we can end slavery in our lifetime!
Artists Contributing: SHERILYN music - Kurt Scobie - Carl Dylan Music - Mike Kinnebrew - Sarah Peacock Music - Joy Ike - The Well Reds 

I also LOVE that this EP release is happening the same day as the official launch of "END IT" - a movement intended to shine a light on modern day slavery and the numerous incredible organizations (like Not For Sale!) doing something to END IT in our lifetime. There is a full page ad today in USA Today - letting the world know it's time to raise our voices for the 27 million enslaved today. Sign the pledge at www.enditmovement.com and get IN IT to END IT. You can also follow @enditmovement on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

I am so excited that my artist friends are doing something practical this month to "End It" and raise awareness with this Love Collective EP. So. Stinkin. Cool. There are so many GREAT organizations doing AMAZING things! Speaking of great organizations...

Best. Gift. Ever.

 

I just saw a post online by a friend of mine who said, "Took mom to the ER 11 years ago and she never came home...was looking forward to her strudel in the morning....with her, always so much laughter." It was a little over a year ago now that my mom went into the hospital & never came home, too...and I can't help but think in these wee hours of Christmas morning how many others out there may be up late tonight grieving the loss of someone they loved and missing them this Christmas, too. Are you one of them?

Yesterday I decided it was time to bake. After multiple trips to the grocery store for ingredients and then new cookie pans and cookie cutters (because all my stuff is in storage and I had NO idea where to find them!), I set out all the ingredients for four different kinds of goodies, starting around 5pm, and didn't finish frosting all 80 of the last batch of cookies until about 4am. My mother was usually up half the night baking when she baked as well, so I felt her wind in my sails...

Uniquely Unusual

 

"My heart is me. The real me. Your heart is you. The deepest, truest you. That is why the heart is central, for what shall we do if we dismiss ourself?" -John Eldridge

I recently attended an event where I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb...and I thought that surely everyone was thinking, "What on earth is she doing here? She can't possibly belong." Who am I kidding, that was most of my middle school & high school years!

In all seriousness, though, being exactly who we were created to be in a world that tells us we should conform to it is incredibly daunting. Being true to our heart - to ourselves -is a choice each and every moment. It's difficult to be uniquely unusual, all-together authentic, and overwhelming outstanding. We usually feel like we're a freak of nature and long to be more "normal" and live a more "normal" life...or conversely want to "be cool like everyone else" but feel so "ordinary."

In that room the other day, I had to tell myself to stop comparing myself to anyone else - because we were never made to compare to anyone else. We were made to stand out! Even if standing out means we don't feel like we "fit in with the cool kids," so to speak.

I don't just mean that I don't own an iPad or wear hipster glasses or have bleach blond rock star hair or look amazing in skinny jeans and trendy scarves. I mean that the pressure to compare overflows onto WHO I am, how I portray who I really am to others, and how honest and vulnerable I'm willing to be with a world that tells me I should just kind of shut up and blend in.

Even more so, the pressure of comparison overflows onto how I live my life, what possessions or claims to fame I possess, what car I drive, what home I don't own, what my bank account balance is, or what job I hold down.

Further - as an artist - it affects how I feel about the music I've created, how well or not I feel I sing it, where or whether I feel the courage to go out and share my music, what gear I have or don't have, or how "together" I appear on stage - or even online.

Here's the thing: no one else was born with the "job" I was born to do: to be who I was created to be. No one else can be me. No one else can be you. And just like no one else can tell me how to be me...no one else can tell you how to be you.

You want to know the truth? I'll let you in on a big secret...

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