Star Belle put on our prairie skirts and our cowgirl boots, walked up to those microphones and sang the hell out of our songs on Saturday night. We're done with waiting on  a train and raising our hand. We're standing up in front of everyone and owning our own crazy and our own fearlessness. On Saturday night that meant saying stupid stuff in the mics, laughing at our own jokes and living in the moment of each song we've been given to sing. We sang for our friends, our family and our fans and recorded every minute of it. Jessica wasn't there with us, but her voice has been forever woven into the fabric of all those stories we sang for all those years and so she was there too.

Star Belle Ukulele Band doesn't wait for the gig, it plans its own. Star Belle doesn't get placed into someone else's genre, it invents one for itself. Star Belle stands up and speaks and is done waiting for the teacher to call on her. If I've learned anything from Star Belle, I've learned the value of doing the work of building your own house from the ground up without giving a thought to what the neighbors are doing. In our boots and skirts we work, we do the laundry, we climb up on the roof in a windstorm, we get supper on the table and then we drive out to go play the show. That's what making music looks like. It's serving the people we've been called to serve with our time, treasures and talents and it feels real good. Saturday night felt real good.

Are you feeling discouraged? Are you wishing you'd get the call from the Big League that hasn't come yet? Are you worried your voice is getting carried away on those gale force winds where no one will hear it? Fear not. Be bold. Don't wait for the gig, produce your own gig. Don't fall under someone else's label, invent a new one just for you. Pour your heart and soul fearlessly into the work you believe in and know that the God of heaven and earth is looking down smiling saying, "That's my girl." (or "boy" if you're not a Belle).

Thinking back on the gig on Saturday it reminded me that, as we get older, there are fewer and fewer fearless women taking the stage. If you're worried time is getting to you, I'd say that's just the devil and his lies. More than ever we need women kicking the devil in the diamonds and sticking around to boldly love, serve, and dare to believe that their voice and their work is worthwhile. You might think no one is listening until the day you find out someone was and it was your voice that gave healing and encouragement and fire to someone else starting a chain reaction. Keep it going. Write your song and go sing the hell out of it. Love, Hope