Sarah, thanks so much for taking the time to be with us today. I have been really inspired by your music. What inspired you to pursue music full-time?
I have always loved to sing, ever since I was a little girl. I started out singing on the fireplace for stuffed animals and that love never went away. By the time I was in junior high, I realized that nothing made me feel more like I was who I was created to be than when I was singing. In high school I really began my conversion and grew so much in love with Jesus and the Catholic Church. It was then that I really felt a desire and a tug at my heart to sing solely and specifically for Him. I started to tell people when they asked what I wanted to do that I really wanted to be a Catholic artist. I had no idea if that was a possibility of even if such a thing existed, but I knew that if I could be anything that’s what it would be.
As a musician, what’s your greatest challenge? What strategies do you use to deal with those challenges?
I’d say, for me, my greatest challenge is probably self doubt, and lots of it. Whether performing and questioning whether I have anything of true value to share or writing a song and doubting whether it’s any good, I’d say I get bombarded with it a decent amount. Sometimes the strategies I use to deal with it aren’t the healthiest, but when I’m really in tune with God and his will then prayer is by all means the greatest way to cut through the self doubt. It’s a hard one to remember and execute in the moment, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like I’d want it to, filled with consolation, but He always provides the grace and means to move forward and trust Him, not what I think of a song or performance.
Sarah, I know that ministry is sometimes exhausting, with the rewards few and far between. Let’s look at both ends of that spectrum in your music. What’s challenging and what’s rewarding?
That’s the truth, it is exhausting sometimes! Sometimes, the travel and ministry will be encouraging and really build us up, and sometimes it takes three days to recoup from all the energy given. Finding a balance is definitely a struggle sometimes, but the most rewarding thing, I think, is to really connect with people. God gives us little glimpses when people share the way a song or story touched them after a concert or when a teenager is just really goofy and goes out of his or her way to let me know how awesome they think I am…I love to mirror it right back that *they* are awesome too! And, on the songwriting end the challenging thing is writing all the songs that don’t make it or don’t get used or just don’t come out right. For every song we’ve written and loved like “Radiance” there are more than a handful of songs, or times we’ve written the song that didn’t work. It can be frustrating, but when you finally get it right, that’s definitely where the reward comes in.
I know you’re a newlywed and that your husband is involved in your music ministry. Share your thoughts about how that affects your marriage and the relationship the two of you have. (I used to work with my husband, and I always loved it, and I thought it really added a deeper dimension to our relationship.)
Well, honestly, I don’t know it any other way. I met Chris when I was in high school, we were nothing more than acquaintances with a shared love for music. After college, we began meeting once a week strictly to work on songwriting and eventually other countless details of building the ministry. That grew into a friendship over two years and literally one day lightening struck us both within a few days and we knew there was no one else for us. So, for us, the romantic aspect of our relationship was the added dimension, not the work. However, I think there’s a great understanding between Chris and I, especially when we travel together and we’re doing a show. It’s a blessing to just know what the other needs, especially when performing.
Writing, on the other hand, is another story. I mentioned self-doubt was probably my greatest struggle, and I’d say that’s true for most artists when they’re working on their craft. There’s a vulnerability there that’s very raw and sometimes it’s incredibly challenging between Chris and I to be patient with each other’s ideas and to not feel overly sensitive when the other one doesn’t jump with excitement at our idea. Again, it’s a balance and I’m certain that for us it’s just another way our marriage is meant to purify us and lead us closer to holiness.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t slip in a plug for your big news. Why don’t you share your big news and some thoughts about how your life is going to be different (and better!)?
Yup, we’re expecting a little one in March. A little *girl* to be exact! I’m sure I can’t even imagine how much life is going to change. I do get quite panicked when we travel, especially as a full band, and I’m carrying a suitcase that is just filled with merch, another suitcase with our clothes, etc in it and Chris has two guitars to check…and then I see people with suitcases plus a stroller, diaper bag and car seat in tow. I have no idea how we’re going to work everything out when we travel but I do know and trust that if God wants us to continue songwriting and the ministry He will provide and find a way. And, it will be very clear. He’s done it before for us, and I’m certain He’ll continue if He’s His will. But, other than the travel we are so excited to meet our little girl and join the club of being parents!
Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks for listening to my music, I don’t take it for granted that you’re listening and fans are the absolute number one way that we are able to keep writing and traveling to sing and share.
Sarah is online at www.sarahbauer.com. Because I’m such a fan of her work, I’m springing for a copy of her latest album, and one of my favorites, Radiance to some lucky commenter. Comment before next Friday, November 27, and you could own Radiance. If you already have it, here’s your shot at getting some Christmas gifting done. 🙂