I had the pleasure of going to a house concert last weekend. The featured artist was Joy Ike, a young woman with a rich, resonant voice and captivating presence. She exuded joy in keeping with her name, and her music, which she played on both keyboard and ukulele, held us in rapt attention for over an hour.
One song, in particular, fit perfectly with my theme of simplicity for this month’s Blogging from A to Z Challenge. It’s called “Everything You Have” and I’ve included it below for your enjoyment. The video is light and fun; I hope you will check out more of her music while you’re there.
The house concert itself was an expression of simplicity. One couple opened up their modest tri-level home to their friends for an evening of fellowship and music. There was a picnic-style dinner, which guests contributed dishes to, and for the first hour, we mingled and ate and chatted with Joy before she began her concert. As an independent artist, Joy travels alone- or with her accompanist sister- to play and sing at colleges, churches, and other events, stopping in between at people’s homes to share her music in a more intimate setting.
While there, we were welcome to support Joy, either by purchasing her CD’s or by leaving a donation. As a spokesperson for Food for the Hungry, she also had several sponsorship cards available for children in need of support. What I loved about her music was hearing both the progression of her talent from the older to newer songs and the focus of her message, as she has identified what her purpose is as a musician. She has a heart for those in need around the world- for impoverished children, for displaced peoples, for race reconciliation- and it comes through in her music.
Joy is living the simple life with joy, despite hardships and trials on the road. Sharing an evening with her and her music in a simple setting was a blessing to those of us who could attend. Joy said it was also a blessing for her, because she got to experience a bit of home and family life while away from her own home. It reminds me that simple living is not easy living, but it is purposeful living. When we live with purpose and intention, we live with joy.
How will you live with joy today?
Blogging from A to Z:
Day 1: Assess
Day 2: Beauty
Day 3: Cull
Day 4: Donate
Day 5: Encourage
Day 6: Faith
Day 7: Gratitude
Day 8: Health
Day 9: Intention