I hope all is well! I am sorry that I let so much time pass by without giving an update.
It has been a time of discernment and blessings, mixed with trials and triumphs. I will share with you first the good and finish with the struggles!
Blessings & Triumphs
I created two new songs and put together acoustic music videos with lyrics for both!
Both of the songs are based out of Scripture.
You may notice that I have a different guitar now. I sold my other guitar to my brother, Eric, who will put it to good use as he regularly leads praise and worship. I love this new guitar!
This next song is based off of Psalm 1. I was surprised a few days ago when I saw they posted an article about this song! Click the link below to see what they thought about the song:
I am also excited to let you know that Blaise has his own guitar now. It is a high quality “parlor” size guitar that I can also use for recording! He has learned three chords so far: E minor, A minor, and C major. Next up is D major!
I also made new album artwork for my upcoming album! I wanted to keep it simple and straightforward.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, we were able to get our road completed with a hard gravel from our mailbox all the way to our shed! We also got a basketball hoop and a kids one and have been enjoying our time shooting around.
I put together a video of his work in sync with my music! Thank you Lord for our new driveway.
To prepare for winter, we need to clean out our wood burning stove pipe and possibly put up a snow wall to help reduce excessive snowdrifts on our driveway/road.
We were also able to have my brother David and his family visit us for a super fun labor day weekend. We had a bonfire and went to the arts & craft festival in Phelps.
We have continued to grow in friendship with another Catholic homeschooling family. We love our meal and board game nights!
I love my kids and its crazy to watch them grow! They have been very creative playing inside and outside together.
We are also excited for Frederic coming God-willing in early November. Please pray for Calena and Frederic, for a safe birth and good health for them.
Trials & Discernment
After visiting Colorado this summer, we felt drawn to possibly move there as there is a relatively large Catholic community. I applied to many and interviewed for three different church related jobs, but did not get position offers.
It was somewhat of an exhausting discernment and definitely contributed to having some burnout issues this summer (as I will explain below).
We are grateful that God made the answer so clear. We are committed to remain up north in the woods of Wisconsin and to keep making music for as long as God desires.
As I mentioned, I experienced a bit of burnout in August. I realized I wasn’t praying or exercising enough. I didn’t have much joy around my family or when trying to get work done. Part of it was trying to wrap my head around the possibility of moving to Colorado. The other was giving into negative thoughts about myself as a musician after I was struggling to get the right guitar recording for an upcoming track. (still working on it… sigh)
As a musical artist, I can’t just “show up”. I need to put forth an effort to produce results, and I have to wear many different hats. I am responsible for creating, recording, producing, promoting, booking, and performing my music. I have to make the blog that you are reading. I created and maintain this website. I edit the videos and for the past 10-15 videos I have put together the lyrics and video effects. I have not done as many concerts as I should and have been lacking motivation to invite new people to join my support team.
I can’t just clock in and it magically gets done. I have to do it. What makes it difficult is that even if I do all of these tasks well, it still doesn’t guarantee that I will get paid an adequate wage.
It can can be easy for me to worry about what others think of me. I can begin to think I am failing since I am not making a ton of money and my music isn’t very popular. I need to keep my eyes focused on Jesus and my call to be His disciple. I also must remember and live out the truth that my vocation as husband and father is more important than my career.
A Fresh Start
This burnout and intense discernment has been a blessing in disguise. By hitting the wall, it made me realize that I need Jesus – and that my family needs me to be the Saint I was created to be. I really felt an awakening in September. In a sense, to restart my work as a musician by first getting my mental, physical, and spiritual health back in proper order.
I am now happy to say that I am getting into a decent routine of daily prayer, daily mass a few times per week, and multiple visits to adoration. I am also working out about 3-4 times per week, including hockey, biking, running, basketball, and lifting weights.
I am also prioritizing my time with my family and making sure that the stress of my work doesn’t affect my family. I am putting in the effort and time to provide for my family but putting the results in God’s hands. I am beginning to see that poverty (not desolate poverty but a simple/humble lifestyle) can be a great source of blessing for myself and my family when lived out with faith and trust in Jesus (who choose a life of Gospel simplicity).
I would also love to do a concert at your home parish. Please contact me if you are interested in trying to get me to do a concert. I am willing to travel!
Finally, I am also in need of growing my support team. If you are able, try to invite a friend to join it by texting/messaging them the link: JacobRuddMusic.com/support-team