Thursday, April 28, 2011

What If We Were Real

Thanks to the two people who texted/emailed to ask where my W post was. I feel loved. Oh, and to my mom who said "Did you post your thoughts yet tonight?" Ha. She's cute. Anyways, here is my W post. It gets pretty personal.

I really have no words to describe my admiration and respect for Mandisa. Some of you may know her from Idol, others may have picked up on her music later. Regardless, she is extremely successful and immensely talented. On top of that, she has a huge heart, and a beautiful story to tell. Mandisa has been on quite a journey- her music speaks that story loud and clear, as does her honest discussions with fans through interviews, twitter, concerts, etc. Mandisa has lost over 100 pounds, after a long journey of overcoming food addiction. I'm proud of her and inspired by her. She is open about her relationship with the Lord and how He has pulled her through this journey. What If We Were Real, Mandisa's third album, is compelling, breath taking, and inspiring. The songs relate to image- of ourselves, each other, and God. If you are seeking a powerful, soul seeking album, you need to listen to this.

1. Stronger. The first single, a wise choice at that. Mandisa has said that when she went into record this song, she wasn't feeling so hot- just down in the dumps, she had hit a wall with the weight loss and feeling low about herself. She then reports that once she was in the studio, things changed- not her circumstances, but her perspective. How powerful is that? I think we all need to remember that we can choose our own happiness sometimes. For me personally, this song came out RIGHT at the time I was hitting an all time low with my job search. I was frustrated, sad, lonely, broken hearted. When I heard these lyrics, I really did become Stronger. I was reminded that perhaps God was using this journey to make me stronger, make me more patient and grateful. The song is uplifting and encouraging, both the lyrics and the track itself.

2. What If We Were Real. A little bit of a rock/Gospel song, which is new for Mandisa (I think), but it totally works. This is my car song. This song is basically about us being real with each other, not putting up this front like everything was perfect. Mandisa has always been very real to me, she shares her story with grace opens up about the difficulties of food addiction and weight loss. She's like a friend. The line that sticks with me the most is "why can't we let someone love us", because I tend to push away people who get too close to me- perhaps because I'm afraid. It all goes back to my self worth and self image, which is what this song is about.

3. "These Days". Reminds me a little bit of "Only The World" from her first album. It's about learning to love the things that bring us down, to be grateful that we are here. I've been trying to work on this, make the best of each day regardless of the circumstances. This song is a nice reminder that God is there, even in the bad days.

4. "Truth About Me". First of a few ballads on the album. A very emotional tune that really touched my heart. We tell ourselves so many lies about ourselves- "you're not good enough", "you won't find love", etc. This song is saying- hey- those aren't true. God's truth about you is that you are loved, you are worthy...and if we believed these truths, it would change everything. I really, really struggle with this. Mandisa's song helped me to realize just how much I do struggle with it- I had never thought about it this deeply before. I need to believe the truth about me :)

5. "Say Goodbye". This song is SO. PERFECTLY. PLACED after "Truth About Me". It is taking those lies, and singing about saying goodbye to them, because they are breaking you down and does not have to define you. When I heard this right after the song above, I nearly broke down. Thank you thank you thank you Mandisa and producers for being so smart :) This song is deeply personal to me. I know I need to say goodbye to my old habits, beliefs, and lies. This song is giving me strength to do so.

6. "Good Morning" Now this song is my JAM. I listen to it every morning. You cannot help but dance to it! It helps that there is an amazing rap breakdown by Mr. Toby Mac. And the words "zumba" and "1/2 a marathon" are included in this rap. This fun, upbeat track puts an instant smile on my face and gives me hope for a great day. One of these days I should video myself dancing to it in the morning. Thanks, Mandisa, for waking me up every day!

7. "Waiting For Tomorrow". Who here is guilty of saying "that can wait till tomorrow". ::raises hand::. Yep, me. ESPECIALLY when it comes to eating healthy/working out. "Well...I didn't get to the gym, I'll just work out tomorrow..." that usually turns into a week later. Such a bad habit to keep pushing things off until tomorrow, and that's basically what Mandisa sings about in this pop tune. Saying that we are promised today, today is a new beginning, why wait until tomorrow to make changes that we need to make? We are worth so much more than that :) It also, kind of, talks about not waiting until tomorrow to get help if you need it. So if you are putting off something until tomorrow that could potentially save you, or even change you just a little bit, why not start today.

8. "just Cry". This could be my favorite Mandisa song ever. I really did break down and cry when I first heard it. If you want powerhouse ballad with raw emotion, listen to this one. This one goes out to everyone who believes tears are a sign of weakness, anyone too afraid to just break down and cry- know that it's okay. Sometimes that's all you can do to get you through. You can't listen to this song without feeling an incredible impact. I LOVE the emotion in her voice, especially in the chorus.

9. "Temporary Fills". Yet another song that hits so close to home. See, I tend to "fill up" on things that give me a temporary feeling of comfort, love, acceptance- like food...instead of focusing on God's love, love in general. This song is about those temporary fills, and how they only make us feel better for a while.

10. "Free". Love the vibe of this song. Mandisa is singing out her testimony here, about her journey to freedom and basically inviting others to do the same. Love the chant of f-r-e-e! GO Disa! Congratulations on your journey and for helping me to stay on track!

11. Lifeline. A beautiful Worship tune. This song displays hope, faith, and love for God, matched with flawless vocals. She is basically giving praise to God for bringing her through this journey of taking her mask of, learning to love herself, etc. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful, Disa!

Simply put, "What If We Were Real" is more than an album. It is a journey. It is an honest, inspiring, genuine story. It has given me hope and strength, motivation and encouragement. It has given me the courage to be real, to believe the truth about me. To cry. To say goodbye to my temporary fills, to be quit waiting for tomorrow and make all of these days start with a positive, good morning. To be free. To praise my God, my lifeline.
I love you, Disa!

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