A Great Big Christmas in Heaven Thank You!!!!

Good Day Blogging Friends!

It has occurred to me that there is a much deeper story to my attachment to the event in Traverse City this weekend than some of you may know and perhaps it would be a great idea to share that with you.

First off, on Monday’s blog I told you that my dress was hanging near the shower with the hot water running hoping it would take the wrinkles out.  Well, my gown is now at the dry cleaners.  It didn’t work.  Lol!  I tried.  Someone may or may not have had to have a very cold shower that day because all the hot water was gone.  Just sayin’!

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes when you do a big event.  Almost everything in my life for the past three weeks has pointed toward Saturday, January 23rd!  What I’ve eaten!  How much I’ve exercised!  My vocal prep . . . and . . . most importantly . . . my spiritual prep!

Tomorrow my three best girl friends are coming over to do full outfit run-throughs!  We have to make sure shoes, jewelry, and undergarments are all perfect!  And, I don’t have much time to change between songs . . . so Marni and I will be practicing that, as well! 

So, my event this Saturday is in Traverse City, Michigan.  That happens to be where both Chad and I grew up.  We are both graduates of Traverse City AND Chad was a graduate of NMC, Northern Michigan College, where the event will be held Saturday night. 

I actually remember when they built the museum and auditorium where I will be performing.  Chad and I fell in love in Traverse City and the town and area hold many, MANY memories for me.  I actually stayed away from Traverse for many years after Chad passed away – too many memories, too difficult.

The woman who asked me to take part in this event has been a friend for years!!!!  She was actually a long, long-time friend of the Schieber family.  She is a retired City of Traverse City police officer and was the chaplain of the department up there for many years prior to her retirement. 

The day of Chad’s funeral, his casket was draped with a flag.  This dear woman . . . and friend . . . and chaplain . . . folded the flag off his casket and handed it to me during the ceremony at the cemetery.   I will NEVER forget that moment.  It is etched in my mind.  She holds a very dear place in my heart and it is an honor to team up with her to benefit girls who have no voice!

When she approached me about doing this event, she knew that she knew that she knew that she wanted me to sing Christmas in Heaven and that we would end the evening with my Patriotic Medley. 

The Patriotic Medley will be used as a tribute to police everywhere and as a thank you to them for the service they provide day in and day out – often without thanks or notice.  Without them, Citizens Against Sex Trafficking could not rescue girls who have no voice.  My dear friend shared with me this morning that there are 800,000 police officers in active service around the country today.  Five of them have received bad press.  The other 799,995 of them somehow have gotten a bad name because of those five.  We want to remember that we are all safer because of the many WONDERFUL men and women around our nation that serve us well every day!  May we honor each of you this weekend through the Patriotic Medley!

And now on to Christmas in Heaven!  My friends, this song has been such a gift!  I shared a bit on Monday’s blog about how the gift of recording it gave my kids and me hope at a time we needed it so desperately.  What I couldn’t fathom at the time was how it would grow to give so many others hope, as well.

I want to publicly thank all of you who have listened, watched, or purchased this precious song!  When we released Christmas in Heaven back in 2008, someone put it on YouTube with postcard pictures behind the music.  We watched in awe as the views grew and grew to over 250,000 views!  We soon realized that we needed to make a video of our own that represented what the song was to me, to my babies, and to us as a family and community!

It just so happened that my dear sister, Krystn Madrine, had always dreamed of being in video production and she presented the idea of her recording a video.  She had never made such a thing, but was certain she could do it!  She was visiting Midland from Pennsylvania for the holidays back in 2011 and kind of on a whim, we decided to give it a go!

It JUST SO HAPPENED (thank you Jesus) that it was snowing the two days that we recorded!  Guess what?????  Those were the only two days it snowed that entire winter!  No joke!  Again, I say . . . thank You, Jesus!!!!

It also just so happened that I was hospitalized the day after we finished recording with a very rare disorder deep in my neck and was subsequently put on two months of bedrest.  God sure knew what He was doing when He prompted us to make the video when we did!

Krystn worked diligently on that video for most of the next year and had it ready to roll for Christmas 2012.  It just so happened that Scotty McCreary was releasing his version of Christmas in Heaven that year and we were told by his record company that we had to wait to release our video.  We were devastated!  Krystn had worked so hard.  Producing a music video is super difficult and she had overcome HOURS of making my mouth line up with the music (ha!) and had produced a top notch video!  Now, we were told we couldn’t show it off to the world!

Then, tragedy struck.  On December 14, 2012, twenty children and six adults were shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.   In the days to follow, a local radio station used the Sarah Schieber version of Christmas in Heaven as a mash-up with President Barrack Obama’s voice reading the names of the victims throughout my song.  I was humbled.  I was honored.  I begged God to let this song minister to those in Connecticut.

We were then instructed to please, please release our video. 

This past Christmas we surpassed 200,000 views of Christmas in Heaven on YouTube.  Today we sit at almost 213,000 views and hundreds of comments from grieving people who find hope in this song!

Thank you to my sweet and talented sister for making such an incredible video when she really didn’t know what she was doing!  Sis!  You are amazing and I am so proud of you and so thankful to call you my sis!  Today she is working on her final semester in graphic design and photo and video school and she looks back and wonders how she did it!  (It’s because she’s amazing . . . that’s how!)

Thank you to Paul Marino and Jeremy Johnson for allowing me to record their precious song.  Thank you for writing a song that ministers so deeply to those who are grieving!

And finally, another thank you to all of you who have listened, watched, given it as gifts, and used it to minister to those in your own circles of this world!  It is an honor to team up with you in ministry! 

Well, this is my last blog before the big event this weekend!  Hopefully I’ll have lots of pictures and lots to tell next Monday morning!  Until then . . . God bless you all!

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