Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bumpy Road to the Top

     Picture a little child wanting nothing but to grow up and be like his or her idol... a singer, an athlete, a friend...whoever. They dream of being just like that idol when they get "older" but as they grow up they realize how hard it is to accomplish that goal.

     No matter what age, I think people in general want to fit in. People want to be accepted. It seems natuaral to want to be a part of the popular crowd, but it's hard to want to be like someone else. It's great to have a dream and look up to someone but I think we underestimate our own capabilities and forget to put our faith in God and his plan for our lives. The true legends take their eyes off the crowd and focus on their goal, their dream...the prize. They don't let distractions keep them from achieving great things and living their dreams.

     There comes a point in life when it's time to take responsibility for our own dreams. Recognize the power you have within yourself to do something great, and remember that God has created you as a unique individual. There is no one else like you. Realize that you are just as beautiful as anyone else and that changing who you really are and compromising your faith just to "fit in" is something that is very dangerous and not worth the risk.

     I've known these truths for a long time, and am blessed to be in a family who raised me to have integrity and to work hard to realize my dreams. But it's hard to really understand and grasp that concept until you've travelled the road a little bit. I think the road to success is extrememly bumpy and sometimes lonely. There are sacrifices that will have to be made and you may miss out on some opportunities. You might fall. (No, you will fall.) But the important part is getting back up with even more determination and your integrity intact. When you've travelled a bumpy road and persevered through all the trials, then you are one giant step closer to your dream.

     Even though I've heard these things all my life, I'm arriving at the point now where I'm okay to dive head first into my dream and not be afraid of the outcome. I'm ready and excited to travel the bumpy and forsaken roads of life. We all have people that we look up to and depend on, but at some point we have to take responsibility for ourselves and take a leap of faith on our own. It's so important to arrive at that place where it's just you, God, and the open road.

     I'm so ready for that point. I'm ready to let Him tell me where to go and I'm ready to let Him take me straight to the top. (or maybe to a place I haven't thought of yet, and didn't expect.) He knows my dreams and He knows yours too. Depend on Him and no one else to fulfill your happiness. And as it gets harder and harder to tell the difference between God's will and your dreams, I am confident you will be travelling the road to success.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Embrace yourself. Love yourself."

You know that feeling when you just want to cry cry cry because no one understands? Every time that happens to me…just when I’m about to fall, I remember a little girl with unfailing faith, bouncy brown curls, and a constant song that she sung. I remember not having a care in the world. I remember constantly singing…no matter what.

One thing I have lived by my whole life is to hold my faith with everything I have. Never compromise my values and always give every ambition one last shot. I wasn’t raised a quitter but sometimes you lose you lose your way.

Sometimes my hopes and ambitions feel so intense, it seems like the only thing left is a dream and a heartbeat and at that point there’s nothing left to say…so I sing. All I’ve ever wanted to do was sing. I’m always singing a song whether it’s in my head or out loud….it’s a way for me to escape. When I get lost in a song, I can forget about all the other responsibilities I have…just for a moment until that song is over and then I go back to reality. If I didn’t have music, I guarantee I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today. Music has a power to heal unlike anything else. Singing has always been my number one passion but it’s also the way I cope when the difficult times come around.

When I had my first heartbreak…I sang. When I lost a loved one, I sang and prayed. When I feel lonely, I sing. When I have nothing left to say, I sing. I guess what I’m saying is I’m extremely grateful for the song that is always in my heart. I’m certain that God put that song in my heart when I was just a little girl because He knew that I would fall in love with music and it would help me for the rest of my life. He knew that I’d be an 80 year old grandmother singing her grandbabies to sleep.

To have a passion just makes life a little bit sweeter than it already is. God has given everyone a passion or a gift, we just sometimes don’t see it. I truly believe that whatever gift or talent you have…you have for a powerful reason. Passions and loves for things in this life help us get through the hard times and somehow make sense of pain.

Do you love to write? Don’t waste another minute…go write. Do you feel free when you run? Go run. Do you have a love for learning? Work as hard as you can to get into the college of your dreams and accomplish your goals. Anything is possible! Do what you love and realize that you love it for a beautiful reason.

You may not know why you have a secret passion or love for something but you have it for an amazing purpose. You have a gift…learn to embrace that gift and share it with the world!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Am I Wishing or Working?

Maybe the reason your dreams aren’t “coming true” is because you’re simply dreaming. Dreaming for something is beautiful but it’s different than diligently working for the dream.

I think it’s encouraging to hear the stories of the people who have reached a goal that you yourself have aimed to reach…and you then realize how many obstacles they had to overcome in order to get to where they are today. It is never “yesterday I was there and today I’m here…where I want to be.”

There is always stories of disappointment, failure, doubt, and discouragement. So you’ve heard the expression “No pain, no gain?” Well, I think that applies to life as well. Dreams aren’t always just a click away…but they are always there… it is always possible to reach them. So why limit the amount of success in your life by giving up when the first heartbreak comes…or when you hear “no” for the first time? Those moments are simply milestones…if anything you’re getting experience by enduring the hard moments. The only thing that would be holding me back is myself.

When you hear “no” or “not this time”…..try again. It’s very difficult not to get discouraged and quit, but learn to focus on all the beauty in your life rather than wishing for different circumstances. It will save you from a lot of tragedy and heartache. Many times, though not all, the heartbreak and pain you feel…is because you allowed it to get there.

It’s all a mindset. I mean, of course you’re going to get discouraged and of course there will be times when we break…it happens to the best of us. But how long you let that sorrow overtake you, is your choice. Dwelling in the pain and many times the past, is taking up precious time when you could be dwelling on more important things. Like the next step in accomplishing your goal…or how blessed you are with a beautiful family…or how the seemingly awful past led to a bright future.

Dwell on what’s beautiful…take a wonderful thing in your life, thank God for it, and thrive on its beauty.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
- Philippians 4:8 (New International Version)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Unforgettable Evening

First, I want to say thank you for supporting me and giving me encouragement to continue pursuing my lifelong dream of sharing music with the world. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog…it truly means a lot! So many things have happened that have been great opportunities and fantastic experiences.

On November first, I had the privilege of opening for the band, Sidewalk Prophets. The theater was beautiful and all the people putting on the show were so kind. It was a night I will never forget. But the coolest thing about the night wasn’t the big lights or the beautiful stage…. it was the people.

I got to make new relationships and meet so many incredible hearts. One of my favorite things to do is hear life stories and then share mine…making new relationships. It was so inspirational to watch the devotion that the Sidewalk Prophets had for their fans and their stage presence that drew hundreds of people in that night. But what was even more inspiring was the faith that you could feel throughout the entire theater. The lead singer of Sidewalk Prophets was so clear and firm in his faith in the Lord that you couldn’t help but feel moved by such talent that is uplifting people and glorifying God. I was honored to be able to share the same stage as them. I hope I can work with them again…it will forever remain one of my greatest memories.
Over and over again I am reminded how small I am in this universe, that I am just a speck among billions of other people. What amazes me though, is when one speck, makes such a difference in people’s lives.

I watched the band, Sidewalk Prophets make a difference in hundreds of lives that night. I’m beginning to realize that if I really wanted to, I could make a difference too.

I think people in general get discouraged sometimes because we watch the “famous” people do all the work and realize we don’t have the same things that they have. But that’s just not true…they started with a dream and a little faith. We all can find that.

It doesn’t even take a lot of faith…just a little…Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains! (Matt. 17:20)

The people who make a difference are the ones who work for it and are not ashamed to stand up tall. One of my favorite quotes is "If I like me…you’ll like me”, said of course by Dolly Parton. Not in a cocky way but in a confident determined way.

Time is too short to day dream…there's so much potential sitting right in front of us all.

This night encouraged me to continue to pursue what I love. God is good and has blessed me with support, love all around me, and a dream. He’s the one person who has never failed me and once again…I stand amazed by His power to change my heart.

Monday, October 1, 2012


I think that many times success or dreams are postponed, or even forgotten because of the limitations we create for ourselves.  Not the limitations that truly exist, but the ones we create in our minds.

 “I’m not talented enough.”

“He’s better.”

“I have no one who supports my efforts.”

To some extent, there truly are some limitations that exist when it comes to pursuing something, but none of them can or should stop you from doing something that you truly want to achieve.

If you want it that bad then you’ll do it. I have to tell myself over and over and over again to remember that people are just people and that the ones who are leaders in the world...are just people too. They are people who had big dreams and extremely hard work ethics.

Why would I tell myself that I can’t do something because I don’t have what it takes or I don’t have enough strength. It’s simply not true. Much of what you accomplish is a mindset and how you look at things. Try and look at the “limitation” that’s holding you back in a more positive way and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be one step closer to your dream. Just a thought.

Madalyn McHugh is a Christian music artist who just released her debut CD, "Stepping Stone". Check out all the songs at her CDBaby site (Hint: It's at the top right of this page!)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Do What You Want

You know that feeling when you know exactly what you want with your life and you’re doing everything you can think of to achieve it but it's not going exactly as you thought it would?

I’m working really hard right now and trying to keep my head in the game. I‘m working on writing more songs as well as getting better on the guitar, working on my voice, and playing the piano. Sending emails, visiting different churches, and sharing my songs and my message. Making new connections. Sometimes the thought goes through my head…

“What do you want from me, God? Aren’t I doing what you asked me to?” I guess what I’m trying to say is, what if what I want isn’t what God wants?

And then I remembered an unforgettable summer. It was the summer before my junior year of high school and I went to Pennsylvania for a Teen Leadership Conference. During the week we could pick different seminars to go to and I remember wanting to choose ones that would apply to my life whether one of my friends came with me or not.

So I chose a seminar with a captivating title (that I dont remember), and I went in with an open mind. Honestly it was kind of boring at first and then the professor said something that almost threw me off my chair. He said “Want to know what you should do with your life?” To which I thought...well, yeah. Thats why I’m here. “Do what you want.” WHATTT? That sounds rebellious. What does that even mean? Did he really just say that? Thats the answer that will solve all of my woes? Just do what I want? I came to Pennsylvania to hear that?

Then he explained a little more. If your mind and heart are in the right place and your motives are pure with God in the center of your life, your desires will be in line with God’s desires and what you want for your life will be what He wants. He wants you to be happy and is 100% on your side.

I remember feeling extremely humbled. I had underestimated the power of God and forgotten that He was able to use me in incredible ways. I know exactly what I want. I know exactly where I want to be...and how will I get there? Only with the Lord in the center.

I never want to be selfish again and think that its up to me where my life goes because that’s a waste of precious time. Its impossible for me to understand completely the mind of God because it is too complex for my finite mind.  But it is possible for me to understand that I am powerful through Him.

That summer, my eyes were opened and I realized that it was okay to open myself up and let God use me. In the fall I started going to a different school and had two of the best years of my life. I met incredible people, heard incredible life stories, and realized some things about myself. I opened myself up and put God in the center and I know that He led me through those incredible two years and is still leading me right now.

Why should I let negative comments take me down? Why should I let the world tell me I can’t possibly achieve this gigantic goal unless a miracle comes along? Why should I give up hope when everything begins to fail?

The answer is, I shouldn't, and I won’t. I can’t describe the burning passion inside of me to be a singer and share my story. I'll never give up. Be your own motivation. Live to please no one but God. And when it comes to your life, well......"do what you want.”

Madalyn McHugh is a Christian music artist who just released her debut CD, "Stepping Stone". Check out all the songs at her CDBaby site (Hint: It's at the top right of this page!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I’m ready, Let's go!

I’m beginning to realize more and more that my developing music career is so much more than just singing. It’s an entire ministry and I have to keep focus.

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to sing at the Relay for Life Survivor’s Ceremony in Caro. I prepared my song and I prepared my heart for the event but nothing could have prepared me for the actual moment.

It was an incredible thing to stand in front of a mass of courageous souls who have fought the battle of cancer and won. God moved through that crowd and it was an unforgettable evening.

I guess what I’m seeing is that, every opportunity is a beautiful one and has the potential to be a powerful thing.   I dream of a life full of singing where I can share my passion with the world and ultimately glorify God – the opportunity is literally sitting on my lap. I have been given a tremendous chance and I will not waste one moment.

I’m ready, let's go!