Thursday, October 22

Let The People Rejoice!

And God's providing for my musical creativity continues!

Wednesday of last week, I had a very unexpected and intriguing phone call. The music director of my church, who happens to be a very dear friend I've known for years, conference called me and asked if I'd consider taking over the music for the Teen Mass recently started at my church.

Oh, joy!

Tuesday, October 20

Something They Might Not Have Told You About Babies...

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would share some more about my early experience with nursing my Matthew. Ladies, let me be the first to say it, if someone has not already broken this news to you: Nursing is NOT always second nature. It is not always easy, and the baby, regardless of how soon after birth he lies on your stomach and you place him on the breast, sometimes does not quickly attach or begin to nurse automatically. It took Matthew and I quite a while to achieve this supposed instinctive and natural skill.

Monday, October 19

Wanted: Non-Perfectionist to be Mother to Baby Boy

I had an interesting conversation with a good friend recently about parenting and perfection. This person, who is a dear, dear friend, commented that she didn't ever think that she would feel ready to start a family. She said that the heavy responsibility of raising children was too awesome to contemplate, when she didn't even feel her own life was fully on track or under control.

Do I ever know that feeling. So often, I am overwhelmed at the thought of what I have committed myself to. One day, I will stand before Almighty God and say, "Lord, this is what you gave me and this is what I did with that gift." The greatest gift the Lord bestows is that of life, and He allows us, weak and inadequate as we are, to participate in that act of creation.

Wednesday, October 14

"God Is Her Songwriting Partner" Article

This article was written a few months before I graduated from Franciscan University. It was featured in the National Catholic Register. Joseph Pronechen is a wonderful man and a terrific interviewer. It was a pleasure working with him and communicating something that is such a part of who I am - my passion and love for uplifting and Christ-centered music.

Original article located here.

God Is Her Songwriting Partner
Not once during the 13 years she studied piano in Fort Myers, Fla., did she think of composing a song — but when a friend suggested she try, Gabriela Martinez wrote a whole CD’s worth. That led to the recording of “Light Unto the World,” a set of original religious songs available at

Today, as a 22-year-old senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio), from where she will graduate this spring with a degree in Humanities and Catholic culture, Martinez is putting together her second album.
Martinez composes in a meditative, lyrical style and sings in a clear soprano. She has given concerts in Florida and on-campus coffeehouses, and acts as student group leader of the music ministry at Steubenville. She spoke about her songs, music ministry and goals with Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen.

When did your interest in music begin?
For as long as I can remember I always had a passion for music. My mom tells me I was singing before I was speaking. I studied piano for 13 years. That grew out of being homeschooled. My mother was very good about plugging us into a lot of different things that we all excelled in. For me this was not only classical piano but also singing.

Do you have any help in composing your songs?
If I think "I’m going to write a song today," I can’t do it. It’s a humbling thing because I have to be present to the Lord. It’s really his work. He sits down with me and we write the song together. It’s cooperation on my part. I share with the Lord in this active writing of a song and creating a piece of music.

How did your first songs come to you?
I had a car accident when I was 16, and one of the songs stemmed from that experience. It’s called “Why God?” I was asking, “Why did you let this happen? Why do I experience all this pain and sorrow?” — and then realizing in the midst of the pain He’s right there with me, carrying the burden and sharing the pain, showing nothing is too hard to handle. A lot of my music has grown from the experiences through which the Lord has taught me something. And a lot has stemmed from experiences I have had on my walk with the Lord and the words that he has spoken to my heart that have been a grace and blessing to me.

Your songs are quite personal in their details yet universal in their themes.
They spring from my heart and the encounter with the Lord in the depths there. It’s a vulnerable thing because I share the deepest parts of my heart with others. In a lot of ways, these are the words He has spoken to my heart, and I can’t keep them to myself. They’ve been a blessing to me, but I have to share them with the world, to keep speaking the good news of peace and joy. For example, I wrote “Transfigure Me” on the feast of the Transfiguration. Sometimes I wonder, “How could I have written this?” The Lord stepped in and wrote the song along with me, knowing exactly what I needed to hear and continue to need to hear. He’s doing the work of perfection and transfiguration with me every day.

What are your favorite subjects and themes?
Trust, surrender, abandonment to his love. “The Present Moment” grew out of my experiences studying in Austria. It was a semester in learning how to surrender, especially from my need to have a plan with all the ducks in a row. The Lord used that semester to teach me how to abandon myself entirely into his hands. We can make plans for five years down the road, but the gift the Lord has given us is this moment right now. We have to surrender the need to have it all figured out. We have to trust in the Lord and know whatever He has planned for the future is perfectly suited for us.

Your two Marian songs bring this out, too. What’s the story behind “Fiat”?
I wrote that song after my family had the blessing of going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. While I was there I meditated mainly on the union between the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart — “Not my will but yours be done” in the Garden of Gethsemane, and “Let it be done to me according to your word” at the Annunciation.
In the last part of the song I’m asking both Our Lord and Our Lady to help me have the ability for that same Yes, embrace it and accept that mission or role, whatever it is, because nobody else can do the work only I can do. That applies to everyone.

Tell me about your pro-life song that has moved listeners.
I wrote “Let Me Live” specifically for my first pro-life concert two Christmases ago. It is a conversation between the unborn baby in its mother’s womb and the young mother herself. Both are crying out to the Lord in fear and desperation: “Is there anyone listening to me? Do you hear the cry of the brokenhearted? … Please, Lord, let me live.” The mother doesn’t want to give up her child, and the little one is crying out, too. We live in such a culture of death that more and more is ready to hear this message of hope and life.

Tell me about your music leadership at Franciscan University.
There’s no more beautiful use of music than in the liturgy of the Mass. I try to do a blend of the traditional hymns and the more contemporary praise-and-worship songs. I came from a more traditional church back home, but I also fit into the praise-and-worship [category] because my family has had a charismatic prayer group for as long as I remember.

What are your plans after graduation?
I would like to see what opportunities and doors the Lord has for me to walk through. I would love to sing full-time and keep writing and recording and develop a ministry to hurting hearts to let them know the Lord is waiting to shower his love on them.

There can be no greater blessing than doing what you love for who you love.

Staff writer Joseph Pronechen
writes from Trumbull, Connecticut.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, October 13

Faith and Family Magazine Article

I was featured in this article titled "Singing Their Hearts Out: Young Catholic singers mix faith and music," during my senior year at Franciscan University. It was an awesome experience, being interviewed and getting to share my love for music and the Lord. I hope it's not the last time. You can click on the link to see the rest of the article, as I have only presented the portion referring to me.

Faith & Family Magazine: Singing Their Hearts Out

The Beauty of Praise
Gabriela Martinez, age 22
At Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, senior Gabriela Martinez has found a way to give back to God her talents as a student group leader in music ministry.

Monday, October 12

Crooked Lines Made Straight

Today was one of those not quite so fun days of mommyhood. One of those days that can, if you look just at particular instances rather than the entire whole, seem as an epic fail. You know you've had days like that. I actually accomplished quite a bit today, but it paled next to the things I failed to accomplish.

And all because I am now at the service of a little man who throws his weight around like you wouldn't believe. Yes, my son is adorable, but sometimes, he can be quite challenging too. And then he looks at me with those little eyes, the ones that say, "Yes, Mommy, you are the most important person in my universe," and I melt into a thousand little pieces of love.

Saturday, October 10

Aruba, Jamaica, Ooh I Wanna Take Ya

While Jonathan and I were on our honeymoon, we visited the resort's piano bar a few times. We very much enjoyed the fun atmosphere and the fantastic pianist. I had the pleasure of singing "L-O-V-E" to a very spirited accompaniment, and have been waiting over a year to be able to upload the video. So here it is: "L-O-V-E" live from the piano bar of Sandals Ocho Rios in Jamaica!

Friday, October 9

Recovering Perfectionist Learns to Surrender

For the last six years, I have had the pleasure and blessing of attending a charismatic prayer group, as well as leading the worship for it. I cannot tell you the incredible freedom, joy, and peace I have experienced as a result. It's so crucial to have that fellowship, to have others to share in life's blessings and burdens, and to call you on in your walk with the Lord.

Wednesday, October 7

Like Father, Like Son, Like Daughter?

I have several good friends who were pregnant around the same time as I was. Now that we have had our babies, the topic often comes up of who our babies most resemble. Is the wee one a mirror image of mommy? Or perhaps the spitting image of daddy? I find myself scrutinizing every inch of Matthew, trying to find the vestiges of myself in him amongst the mountains of DNA he inherited from his daddy. He has my eyes, my ears, and my mouth. All good things, I think.

I had the occasion to meditate further on this topic of family resemblance earlier today.

Tuesday, October 6

Voice of An Angel Update!

At long last, I have an update on my musical journey!

First of all, I have a new music website, Please check it out! I hope that you enjoy it. I'll be updating it as I record new music and have dates for the Voice of An Angel competition. I'm super excited about it. Tell your friends :)

Saturday, October 3

Friday, October 2

Coda of Love - the Finale to the Augustinian Meditation

This love song to a Savior is pure, total surrender. Although I do not know what I am saying to the Almighty, through grace I am completely content and at peace, trusting that my helpless and childlike offering still brings Him delight. “May God himself approve my intention and pardon my failure.”

If one day I am fit to worship Him as He is, it is not of my doing, but because of His grace and His Spirit, with which He inspires my heart to yearn for union with Him. “But let us return to ourselves and acknowledge him there; let us praise the maker in his works; for we are not fit to behold him in himself. One day perhaps we shall be fit to behold him, when our heart has been so cleansed by faith that at last it may rejoice in truth.” 

Thursday, October 1

Let My Love Song Sing To You - Part 2 of Augustine Meditation

But what is this jubilation, this language-less praise that sounds as mere gibberish and absurdity? We know that the angels in Heaven are praising God for eternity, unending “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Yet, these are words that man in his human nature has imparted to angelic praise. However, the praise with which the angels extol the greatness of the Lord must not be limited by human words. These words can never suffice to capture His magnificence, even in His condescension to the level of man. For “How do the angels enjoy him? As he is.” 

Related Posts with Thumbnails