Today, Abby speaks to us about how she wants to use her music gifts to honor God, her tour with Secret Keeper Girl, and the book that has been encouraging her, this season.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a loving, Christian household, being the third of four children. I have two amazing parents who diligently shared the Gospel and loved us. My siblings and I were all home schooled all throughout our school years.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: One passage (there are many!) that has been a recurring inspiration to me is Ephesians 6:19-20, which says, “and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” Such beautiful, yet convicting words that remind my forgetful heart to speak the Gospel boldly, unashamedly and joyfully.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: As of right now, among many other areas, I am focusing on making Christ my all- consuming passion and my chief desire. The world has so many distractions and things that can pull my attention away from Christ, and if I am not vigilant in keeping guard over my heart and mind, it can be easy for the cares of the world to steal my affections and first love. Practically, that looks like making sure I’m spending ample amount of time in His Word, praying, and staying away from things that I know won’t be uplifting or aid in my spiritual growth.
Profession: As of last month, I toured with Secret Keeper Girl, a ministry that is focused on bringing moms and daughters closer to Jesus and to each other through a two and a half hour show, of which I was apart of the cast (the worship leader). I was able to travel the whole U.S. for seven months, and I saw God work in ways that I never thought I would be able to see, like watching over a hundred girls pour down to accept Him into their lives in just one evening. That was incredible, and such an amazing job to have. Coming home, I am transitioning into being a nanny. I am also learning that this job can have just as much impact as the last, as I continue to share the Gospel with these little hearts that I am entrusted with, just as much as when I was on stage.
“I was able to travel the whole US for seven months, and I saw God work in ways that I never thought I would be able to see, like watching over a hundred girls pour down to accept Him into their lives in just one evening.”
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Lavished in perfect grace. Without a doubt. Though I grew up in a Christian home, I am still a sinner. I had to make a decision to follow Christ, and it was only His perfect grace that allowed me to come to Him just as I was, a sinner, and it was grace that allowed me to repent of that sin, trust in Him, and it is grace that is allowing me to continue to follow Him, grace that is greater than my sin, and grace that invites me to continually come to His feet to worship. His perfect grace has been lavished upon my life and it is that that I want people to see, knowing they can take part in that grace, as well, as they come to Him in repentance and trust.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I came to Christ when I was four years old. Yes, that is young, but praise God that we don’t have to know everything and all the in’s and out’s of every theological debate for us to become Christians. All we need know is that we are sinners, that we need Jesus and that if we repent and trust Him, we will be forgiven and received as sons and daughters. Ever since I can remember, my parents were diligent in sharing the Gospel with us kids. I knew the basics, but I had not accepted them as truth for myself yet. But I can still remember, it was a cold, rainy evening when we were driving home from Texas, coming home from a family vacation. We were having our family devotions when my mom read aloud the verse Revelation 3:20 which says,
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” I remember hearing that and immediately knowing that everything my parents had explained about the Gospel applied to me, and that Jesus was knocking at the door of my heart, and I needed to respond. We pulled the van over, prayed, and my life’s trajectory was forever changed, and I am forever grateful.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? The biggest thing that has helped me grow spiritually has been consistent time in God’s Word. If I am not consistently reading His Word, seeking it as my daily bread and living water, then my growth is stunted, and I begin to give into my flesh and its desires. But when I am praying and in His Word daily, my soul is nourished and my spirit is refreshed. I have also found that reading solid Christian books really helps aid in my spiritual growth, as well as intentionally surrounding myself with like- minded believers and people who will point me to Christ (Proverbs 13:20; 1 Corinthians 15:33)
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges is a book that I am currently working through, and it has been extremely encouraging. It has been helping me learn how to give myself grace, while still pursuing holiness relentlessly, and how to extend that grace to those around me. I highly recommend it!
Top three essentials:
- Family and sunshine (can that count as one? 😉 )
How did God speak to you recently? The biggest way He has been speaking to me has been through His Word. He has been revealing to me the importance of words, and the impact they can have, some for God’s glory and His praise, and others for tearing down and bringing glory only to self, and I don’t want to be known for the ladder. I love words. I think they can have such a beautiful impact on a soul, and yet they can also pierce a heart and cause damage beyond repair, apart from Christ’s healing. The more I realize this, and the more I fall in love with HIS Word, the more He is compelling my heart to use my mouth, tongue, and words solely for His glory. And since Luke 6:45 says, “for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.”, I know that if I want all of my words to glorify Him, I must first fix my heart to do that, then my words will follow.
Hobby: I absolutely love exercising (Pilates and Zumba being my preference!), singing/creating music, drawing, hunting down good coffee shops and family hikes.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
- Stay in God’s Word. If you are not daily in His Word and digging into that, making that your ultimate source for truth, wisdom and authority, then it will be hard to stand firm in a world that wants to uproot you every time a new standard tells you to change. His Word is the primary way God talks with us and is the greatest way we can get to know Him, His will for us, and how we can best live for Him.
- Be in a Word-centered church. It is imperative that you are in a body of believers weekly to hear the Word preached, to have fellowship and to participate in communion. Listening to sermons online are a great bonus for mid-week encouragement, but we must not forsake the “meeting together” as Hebrews 10:25 says simply because we “don’t want to socialize”. Being apart of a multi-generational congregation has been one of the biggest blessings of my life, because I am able to gain so much wisdom from the older, wiser women, and then have the blessing of encouraging the younger girls. And lastly, remember I said “Word-centered”. Be sure, above all, that when you decide on which church to go to, you are going to be consistently given the Word, not simply the pastor’s thoughts or take on the Word. Our souls need God’s Word more than we need man’s thoughts.
- Have an older, wise and godly figure in your life. My mom is this person for me, and I am extremely thankful that I have access to her 24/7 for that reason! But maybe for you, you don’t have a believing mother, or maybe your mom isn’t present, or maybe she has passed away. I encourage you, then, to find an older, godly woman who you can be honest with about your struggles, your victories, and just your every day, day-to-day life. My mother has been one with whom I have been able to open up to about anything and everything. She has offered me council, challenged me in areas I didn’t want to be challenged, but knew I needed to be, and she has encouraged me in the ways I was doing well. Having someone in your life who will hold you accountable will be something that will help you stay strong in your walk with Christ and keep you in line with Him.
Favorite person in scripture? One of my favorite people in scripture would probably be Paul. His life, though it was full evil towards God’s people at the start, He yielded to God once confronted with His sin. His life was used mightily, and his passion for Christ impacted thousands, just while he was here on earth, not to mention how God inspired him in writing many of the epistles and letters in the New Testament. It is a stark and beautiful reminder to me of my God’s mighty transforming power and His ability to use anyone and everyone.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? Mainly, I want people to see God’s grace. The more I receive God’s grace towards me, the more I will be able to give it to those around me. I want to be set-apart, a stranger to this world, but yet a beautiful representation of God’s amazing grace. And grace works best on flawed people, one of which I most definitely am. I pray to be a reflection of God’s grace to those around me as I extend to them that same grace I have been given, in hopes of drawing them to Him.
“Grace works best on flawed people, one of which I most definitely am.”
How do you leave your mark on your community? Every interaction with my community I am given, I strive to use it for God’s glory. Whether that means simply showing kindness to a neighbor and delivering them cookies, playing a music set for my small town’s festival, or interacting with the girls in my church (my church is in the same community I am from), I make it my aim to use all those opportunities to point them to Christ, which is the most lasting effect you can leave.
Favorite holiday? My favorite holiday is Christmas, by far! And although I do love the coziness of sipping coffee by the fireplace as the snow gently falls, the hustle and bustle of the towns during snowy evenings and the anticipation of Christmas morning, I love the beauty of the meaning of it—the reality of our Savior piercing through space and history to come down to earth as a baby, meek and lowly, being the ultimate gift for sinners, eventually dying a sinner’s death as a perfect, sinless man, who would conquer the grave and, though His sacrifice, offer forgiveness to all who repent and call upon His name. What a precious gift to celebrate!
A goal you have? Practically, I have a goal for this summer to make more YouTube videos for my music. I have been burdened to put out more music that I will give God the glory, and to use the gift of music He has given me consistently, even in the small way of making a YouTube video. Big picture? To continue to pursue knowing and be known by Christ in a deeper way than before and to keep pressing into Him for my everything.
“I have been burdened to put out more music that I will give God the glory, and to use the gift of music He has given me consistently, even in the small way of making a YouTube video.”
What does your morning routine consist of? Generally, my morning starts off semi-early, starting with brushing my teeth and washing my face (gotta keep up that hygiene, ya know?), boiling the coffee water and making breakfast, then sitting down to have my quiet time. After I finish, I normally complete my workout and finish getting ready for the day!
What is on your nightstand? My lamp. I am a minimalist at heart.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity is a relationship one has with God Himself on the basis of the forgiveness of sin, which is made possible by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, which He shed on the cross for anyone and everyone who comes to Him in faith and repentance.
For more Abby:
Until next time, keep witnessing!