Sunday, October 14, 2007

Book Review: Mosaic by Amy Grant

I have been an Amy Grant fan since I was 9 years old. (The age my daughter Tori is right now…which amazes me!!!) I remember clearly the day I was first introduced to the voice of Amy Grant! My Dad had done some car repairs for some good friends of our family at a highly discounted price and as a part of their heartfelt gratitude to him, they brought over the first 3 Amy Grant albums and gave them to me! I had no idea who she was but I was excited about the gift and immediately went to my room, shut the door and put the first one on my record player! I remember lying on my bed and listening to one song after another until I had listened to all 3 records. I am sure when I went to bed I had it playing softly as I went to sleep. These songs were describing a relationship with God that I was just on the very tip of coming to understand, and I was very curious about what this could mean in my life. As the verses of these songs became more and more familiar, they were more and more influential on my heart.

My parents as well were enjoying her music and very soon I remember my mom starting to seek out tickets for her concerts. I remember my family going to hear Amy in Dallas and then my mom driving my sister and me to Waco and sometimes Oklahoma as well to hear her sing. My sweet mama did this many times over the years. Now looking back on this as a mother myself, I am so touched by her willingness to do this.

I was always interested in any information I could learn about Amy. Her music was such a part of my life that I wanted to know more about hers. Her voice had become so familiar that I felt like we were friends. During my elementary and junior high years, I can remember having long conversations with various friends about what our favorite Amy Grant songs were and why. Whenever I heard her speak I always enjoyed her perspective. I could tell she loved Jesus and had a deep love for her family. Growing up, she was always someone I could look to who represented goodness and someone who admittedly was on a journey with the Lord. She spoke honestly and humbly and I was drawn to that.

I remember my heart aching for her when it became evident that Amy was going through a very painful time in her family. I had the privilege during this time to take my niece backstage before one of the Christmas concerts and talk with Amy. I remember telling her how much her music meant to me and that I was praying for her. I remember her looking me in the eyes and saying, “Thank you so much. I need your prayers.” Her humility and sincerity were again so evident.

Since our return from Benin and our having continual access to the internet, I have enjoyed looking at the Amy Grant website from time to time. (Okay I look several times a week!) I was excited to hear about her upcoming book and thrilled about the opportunity of receiving one to review! Once receiving the book in the mail, I found a way in the midst of caring for 4 small children to finish this book within 24 hours. I discovered that supervision of children does not always have to involve direct eye contact. :)

I had high expectations for this book. I opened it, expecting Amy to share her heart with me (after all, we are friends!). I will tell you that without a doubt, I have not been disappointed. Surprisingly, I found myself amazed at her willingness to share her deepest thoughts on the joys and pains of her life. I found myself crying with her on one page and laughing out loud on the next. I found it so refreshing to hear her speak of her relationship with Jesus, a relationship that is her deep source of daily strength and joy through all the mountains and valleys of life.

The book is divided into short vignettes that reveal what prompted her heart to write the songs that we have become so familiar with over the years. We gain precious and sometimes startling insights into Amy’s motherhood, marriage, friendship, faith, loss, forgiveness and redemption. This book feels like a getaway with a kindred spirit. As I finished this book I felt as if I was walking away from a warmly satisfying conversation with a gracious and wise friend.


Amy Grant’s publisher has provided me with 3 copies of her book to give away on this blog. To make this fun I would love to give these away to the 3 people who can share their most unique memory with either Amy Grant herself or with one of her songs. You can either leave your memory in a posted comment or you can email me at rkvaughn@harvestfields.net.

I will post your memories and will announce the winners on the blog later in the week. (If you email me, know that I will likely share excerpts from your memory on a future post, unless you direct otherwise. If you wish anonymity, I will honor that. Just say so.)

MOST POPULAR AMY GRANT SONG?
Whether you share a memory or not, indicate your favorite Amy Grant song of all time. We will be tallying the results as the week goes on, so please VOTE!

To purchase a copy of Mosaic, CLICK HERE.

Tomorrow I will be posting some of my favorite quotes from Mosaic!

10 comments:

Lyndsey said...

Thank you Kelly! I've been looking forward to this review all week - and what a blessing it was. My email is on the way! Love yall so. Lyndsey

Becky Reeves said...

Hi Kelly! What fun! I'm so glad you have been privileged to meet Amy Grant, pray for her, follow her life, and now be involved in reviewing her new book! I, too, was shaped by much of her music. I have memories with many of her songs, but my biggest memory is of singing "I will remember you" with my best high school friend at our high school graduation in front of over 2,000 people. The song of hers that I have sang most often in my head, however, is "Faithless heart" I identify in a deep place in my heart with the words in this song. I guess this would be my vote for my favorite Amy Grant song.

Thanks for your post, Kelly, and for sharing your heart! I look forward to reading her book at some point in the future!

Kendra said...

Oh how fun. I'll be pondering my response today and sending you my own memories soon! I don't think I'd even heard to "beginning of the story" before . .I love it that you took the albums home and "put them in your record player". Your children will never use those terms!! Oh my - we are growing up, eh? Sure enjoyed being with you last night. .

Anthony Parker said...

I was first introduced to Amy Grant in the early 80s in the little missions center at Lipscomb. We missions groupies would hang out there and Amy Grant vinyl albums would be played. This was one of my first exposures to contemporary Christian music of any kind, and I thought it was wonderful. And while our missions director would tell us how wrong instrumental music was in public worship, he somehow knew it was spiritually healthy for us to listen to in the missions center.

Her "Mountaintop" song has to have had the greatest impact on me personally as I have wrestled, especially at times of leaving the U.S. for other parts of the world, with the need to come down from the mountaintop to the people in the valley below. It's strange that I now view my time in Africa as a mountaintop and the U.S. as a valley.

The Vaughn 5 said...

This is awesome, Kelly! Laura and I were reading it together before she went to school. She immediately started talking about her memories of the concert you took her to. Be looking for her email soon!

Love you!
Toni

Randy & Kelly Vaughn said...

Hey Kelly - I love sharing this week with you. I know you love Amy Grant, not just because she is who she is. I know you soak up her music, her every interview and and her writings because she embodies authentic faith. A real person, living out a real life (with real ups and downs) - all alongside a REAL God! I enjoy that about Amy, too!

My vote for best AG song: on the wonderful night in December 1995 when we got married, Kelly and I walked the aisle, hand-in-hand, to this Amy Grant song after being pronounced husband and wife. When we were dating, this was one of Amy's big songs and we made it our song.

In Christian circles, we often frown up the common use of "lucky." We smile and substitute that we are "blessed." I guess the distinction is warranted. The first could communicate a random encounter with blessing; the latter declaring to the world that we know that it is God Almighty who blesses His children. Without arguing semantics, I still think I am the luckiest guy around. To be married to Kelly is the most wonderful blessing. I am blessed! And I consider myself to be the lucky one!

So there's my vote: "The Lucky One" by Amy Grant!!

I love you, Kelly - have fun with all this!!

ALWAYS TLO,
-Randy

Donny said...

Ok, here's my vote... hmmm....

1) Big Yellow Taxi? No - still don't know what that song was about after all these years except someone was building a parking garage somewhere with alot of oh-bop-bops in the process (ok, sorry if I cheapened it!!)

2) Baby Baby? This is the one that I personally remember getting her into mainstream "Top 40" -- how dare she!! She belongs to the Christians, not those heathens in the secular world!! (wasn't that what some of us thought??) Sorry Amy, can't vote this one either.

3) Takes a Little Time?? This one was cool until she yells "I'm sick of this talk" - yikes again!! What happened to the great smooth, pretty Amy voice - this came out of no where... can't do it.

So, I land on my final vote:

El Shaddai ... 'nuff said! He is the God Almighty... age to age, HE IS STILL THE SAME !!

Thanks sis-in-law!! Great idea!!

p.s. I didn't pick a Christmas one (that's how I love Amy the best to be honest) but if I had to, it is always Tennessee Christmas that plays in my house or car that makes me enjoy the holidays that much more!! (oh and throw in a little The Night Before Christmas or Breath of Heaven for extra holiday joy)

JudyV said...

Kelly, my personal favorites by Amy are Breath of Heaven ( as illustrated by requesting Beth Plemmons to sing it at both yours and Randy's and Donny's and Kendra's Christmas weddings...which by the way if you can't get Amy...Beth is the next best thing! ) and El Shaddai because of the words AND sounds. Both are beautiful to me.

The other song of hers that made an impact on me was because of an experience I had in my classroom. I had a second grader (Keely) with emotional problems stemming from a turbulent family life with a nasty divorce going on. She reached out to me a lot and I grew really attached. During the last few days of school I allowed the children to bring music they wanted to hear from home. I got a real kick out of some of the things they brought including the Macarama (sp?) that we tried to dance to! My little friend, Keely, brought My Father's Eyes by Amy Grant. I could not believe she would even have it. She LOVED that album and the title song in particular. I am sure it gave her comfort.

Amy has no idea how her gift has touched so many people!

Judy

Holly said...

Amy Grant has been one of my very favorites. When I was in Junior High, our Summer Intern, played the song, Thy Word during a Wednesday night lesson. I thought it was a beautiful song sung by someone with a beautiful clear voice. I remember going in his office after church and asking about the tape that was played. I can see it laying on his desk even now, Straight Ahead, the one with the stoplight on the cover. That was my first introduction to Amy Grant. I had the tape of my own the very next day. I remember my parents getting tickets and taking me to the Unguarded Concert in Dallas. I thought she was amazing. My parents also got me the life size cut out (I can't remember what they are really called) of Amy from the display at the Christian Bookstore. So I had a life size Amy Grant in a black dress holding a dozen roses in my room. I am pretty sure she is still with us in my parents basement. I read her book many years ago and was also a member of her Fan Club. That was way before websites so every 6-8 weeks I would get the paper newsletter in the mail to catch up on what was going on with her! I skipped out on my college graduation (for my masters, not undergrad) so I could go to her Christmas Concert in Detroit! When it comes to her music, it is hard to choose favorites, depends on what day! I guess I would have to say: My favorite song - Thy Word since that was the first one I heard. My favorite album is the album of Hymns she came out with a couple of years ago.
How fun! I am so glad you were chosen to do this!!

Jim said...

I have met Amy and was impressed by humility and kindness.