Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blood Stained & a Giveaway

Christie Russell
Wife to her equally as talented Youth Minister Husband (who sings on the album with her), Homeschooling Mother of three, Birthing Doula, Confidant and friend to many, and yes....
Singer/ Songwriter.

Is there anything this woman doesn't do??  I've often wondered myself.  To me, not only is she my best friend, she also super human!

Christie just released her debut album, Blood Stained, last month and I am honored to give you a glimpse into her writing process, her inspiration, her hopes and dreams for this project...


to give away a copy of her CD to one lucky winner!! (more on that in a minute)

Here's the song Cling from the album.  It's absolutely beautiful and one of my favorites.  Click play to listen.


I had the pleasure of talking with Christie about all this and here's what she had to say about it...

Q. Tell me a little about the writing process.
A. Sporadic, I leave notebooks around the house, especially in the bathroon.  Being a mother of three, sometimes the shower is the only place where I can have a complete thought!  REALLY, what usually happens is God will open a Scripture passage or give me a tune, words or a quote and then He works out the rest.  I have dreamed about songs before, too...that is pretty cool! 

Q. What was some of your inspiration?
A. People are the most inspirational to me.  Life is so hard and the strength, courage and faith of those who face the most difficult situations in life inspire me and bring honor to God...not to say that the great moments in life are not inspiring, it just seems that for me as a writer I see God's movement clearer in the difficult times.  Life makes us holy!!

Q. Cling (though they are all good) has become my personal favorite.  Tell me about this song.
A. Well, Cling was a labor of love.  God gave me the tune months before the words ever came.  I searched Scripture passages, journals, quotes, etc. to "find the words", but nothing fit.  And one day while recording the tune, the words finally came.  This song is one of the most personal (to me) songs on the album.  It is a journey through my life over the past few years, as I dealt with my god, mother being ill, and then passing...having two babies in the process, life as a minister's wife and wife in general!!  My knee jerk reaction to a stressful situation is to "do" something about it.  However, when I read and meditated on Psalms time and time again God tells us to wait, cling and be still.  The verse that inspires the song is Psalm 63.8, "My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me."  So as life happens, I am often times overwhelmed by the grief of others as well as with my own, my days run together as I have a "storm" of potty trips, clothes to wash, lessons to teach, and there are some times when I just want to lay it all out before God with the "WHY?" question.  And over the years while I stuggle to stay about water, God ALWAYS brings me back to Him and His love for me.  Whether I like it or not!  But the most fabulous aspect of God for me right now is that HE IS BIG ENOUGH to handle WHATEVER I have.  I don't need to hide my feelings, my lack of wisdom; with God, He already knows and still He loves me and will work for my good and His glory every single time!

Q. What are your hopes for this album?
A. I hope that after listening to the album, people would begin to see the song of hope and love that God is writing in their lives.  I pray that those who don't know Jesus at all will get a small glimpse of His love for them and how He cares for them even when they don't realize it.  He came while we were still sinners to die on the cross for us.
Another hope I have for the album is to help people open up to each other.  To talk with other brothers and sisters about Christ and life.  I don't think they everyone on the planet needs to know every detail of our lives, however, Christ has given us the church to support, uphold and correct us.  Often times we run in fear of what others will think if we don't have the "right church answer" to the situation we are struggling with.  In reality we NEED each other because that is often times how God works.
Stay with me here...
Harry Potter is one of my favorite book series and movies and in one movie Harry's friend Luna Lovegood explains to Harry that the dark lord WANTS Harry to feel alone, because then he will be powerless. There is no greater power to defeat sin than love and we know we have the love of God but He provides the body to up hold us in love for our protection and our sanctification process... being made holy as he is holy! I know that is a weird example but it was a quote that open up community to me in a new way.

Q. What has God taught you through this process?
A. He sees the whole picture and is ALWAYS working. This album reflects homelessness, stubbornness, adultery, and death, these are realities in human life that it can be overwhelming to not be able to "fix" the problems of the world. Ryan tossed me a puzzle piece on night; when I was struggling with some things... he said "what is this?" I replied... "a puzzle piece that I couldn't get the vacuum to suck up!" ... "no" he said, "it is what we get to see... God has already finished the puzzle... but this is what we get to see. Trust Him and Obey Him." That has rocked my world and had a huge impact, whether intentional or not, on the record.

Q. Are there any plans for more songs?
A. YES! I have a notebook of songs and tunes buzzing in my brain at this moment...

Q. What advice do you give to other artists/ writers?
A. Just do it! (rarely is that an appropriate response but it is here)... I have struggled with my biblical knowledge and feeling useless in God's kingdom because I was trying very hard to fit a mold God never intended for me. One day while having a migraine God reminded me of Joseph and David... a dreamer and a singer/songwriter and both the baby of their families (as am I). He spoke clearly to me... "Dream, Sing and Trust Me". It is most important to submit your art (whatever that might be) to God and let Him refine you and WRITE everything down, because you WILL forget it!

And just to be fun, I asked her this!

Q. Who's your bestest friend in the whole world and why do you love her so...
A. My best friend is Kelli Helms Mayhorn.... when I look back over my life before Christ there are few things I am proud or thankful for... she is one of just a handful of things I praise God for during that time in my life. Through the pain of breaking friendships God brought us together on the front steps of our college. Years of struggle followed on both our parts but God knew... I need her like I need air to breathe. She is much more than a best friend because she tells me when I am wrong and not just to be right but to bring my thoughts back to God. There is nothing that I can't tell her... and there is no journey in my life that I don't want to share with her. We are honest with each other in a way that I can not be with anyone else... we understand each other... and get excited about what God is doing in our lives... Kelli keeps me sane... I am thoughtless more times than not and she grounds me... There is no pressure to "perform" best friend duties... she will write our story one day...while I sing! and when we are old and living together with our rocking chairs, we are going to tell and retell all the wonderful stories of our life.

Spoken so eloquently, there is nothing I can add other than I feel the exact same about her.

There you have it folks!!  There's her heart and soul!!  And we can expect more songs in the future!!  I think that is a beautiful thing!

Christie is available to do small group shows around and in VA/NC.  If you'd be interested in having her perform for your group or chuch, please contact me for more info or email her at:

Now on to the giveaway!!

If you'd like to enter to win a copy of Christie's CD all you have to do is leave a comment.  Please leave an email address so I can contact the winner at the appropriate time.

Additional entries ~ please leave a comment for each.
1. Let me know you follow SustainingCreativity~ 1 entry
2. Tweet this giveaway linking back to this page (leave your twitter name too)~ 1 entry
3. Facebook this giveaway linking back to this page~ 1 entry
4. Blog about this giveway linking back to this page~ 2 entries

Contest is open until Saturday (March 6th) at Noon (EST).  I will randomly choose and annouce the winner that evening.

Good luck everyone!!



Jacky {The Sweetest Petunia} said...

I love music {a lot!}, and I'd love to listen to this CD. Thanks for sharing this with us, Kelly! :)

thesweetestpetunia {at} gmail {dot} com

Sally said...

Came over from WFMW, this is a new one for me, but listened to the song and love it!

Serving While Saving said...

I follow you on google ;)

Serving While Saving said...

Here is the link to my blog post about your giveaway

Holly said...

I am so enjoying listening to this beautiful song. Thank you so much for sharing Christie's music with us and the interview.
(I follow you)!!!!

Christy Setliff said...

You know I love you BOTH. I really want that CD and if I dont win, I want to buy it. Cling is beautiful, although before I ever listened to it, there was no doubt it would be. Shes come a long way since singing Sweet Child O Mine in the car! :-) But I always knew Id hear her on the radio someday and still believe that. I praise God for working through her to share his love through such beautiful melodies! Loved the interview by the way and it makes me miss you both so much! Much love, thoughts and prayers to you both!! XOXOXOXO

Miss Mommy said...

Very fun, Kelli! I'd love to win your giveaway :).

Thanks for the chance,

Emily/Miss Mommy

Carley said...

That's a beautiful song! I'd love to win your CD giveaway!


Anonymous said...

hope to win!
-Joy Price

Anonymous said...

i also did a blogpost about this.
-Joy Price

Jamie said...

I am a follower!

Jamie said...

would love to win this!!
jamietruwe at yahoo