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Stories

InSpero People: Connie Skellie

Gina Hurry

Photo by Corey Nolen.

Photo by Corey Nolen.

We met Connie through InSpero's Thy Love Inspires events. We appreciate her winsomeness and willingness to step out and take risks to share her gifts through Act of Congress and her church and the community. InSpero also appreciates her strength as a woman and is glad to support her work and encourage her in her music endeavors. We look forward to continuing to partner with Connie and are excited to see what the future holds!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a singer, songwriter, violinist, band member, worship leader,

retirement/nursing home entertainer, whistler, lover of creation,

lover of friends and family, mother to four children and wife of one

extraordinary husband. 

 

Anything I have done that is noteworthy is only because God through

His spirit gave me the grace and means to do it.

I am so thankful He allows me to continue to have musical outlets that

satisfy this creative desire and love of music. 

Album art byWhitney Preg.

Album art byWhitney Preg.

 

*"Let all People Praise You" will be released Tuesday, August 23rd! I currently do not have a website but please feel free to send me a Facebook friend request if you want updates on my current musical endeavors.*

 

What is a lesson your art and/or work have taught you?

I've learned that to be good at something you must always be willing

to be a student and keep learning.  I'm honored to be able to work

with some of the finest musicians around and they have modeled this so

well.  Their humility, openness and honesty continues to challenge me,

and their example has given me more of a desire to grow as a musician.

 

What are you creating right now?

Right now I'm finishing up an arrangement of the Lord's Prayer.  I'm

hoping it will be the next single I record. 

 

I have lots of ideas!  In fact, I just checked my voice memos and

there are 137 recordings!  Most are melodies and reminders of

something I played on the piano or a new song I've begun. 

 

One idea I had a few months ago during what seemed like one horrific

event after another was to arrange and record "This is my Fathers

World".  Instrumentally it would be recorded with the violin playing

the melody in sort of a haunting, tender, beautiful way. I envisioned

getting a few photographers to capture rather difficult images while

looking for the hope in the midst of them reminding us all that.....

 

"This is my Fathers world,

Oh let me ne'er forget,

That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.

This is my Fathers world,

The battle is not done, 

Jesus who died shall be satisfied; And earth and heaven be one."

 

Can you describe a time you have failed? 

Just to be clear, I have learned that failure is a necessary part of

life. I try look at failure as an opportunity to grow. 

 

Musically speaking, I failed at my very first violin recital when I

was about 4 years old. I began to play my song and hit a wrong note.

Even then I wanted nothing less than perfection and was devastated. My

mom tells me I ran out crying. 

 

Fast forward a few years to the 7th grade. My sweet math teacher was

getting married and asked me to play the violin during her ceremony.

As I walked up to play my mind went completely blank and I awkwardly

walked back to my seat without playing a single note. 

 

In college I put on a concert and during the last number my voice

cracked so badly and I literally froze. 

 

There are many, many more stories like this. I used to think they were

failures but now I know it was just me being human. It wasn't an easy

lesson to learn but eventually God taught me that the ultimate place

of rest was in my true identity. I am loved by Him no matter how I

perform.  It has been one of the most freeing truths of my life.

 

When in life have you felt most alone? 

Two out of the four songs on "Let all people praise you" were born out

of a very difficult time in my life.  We were in the midst of a very

painful move and also dealing with family health issues.  Both of our

sons had been diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration, a visual

impairment that has left them legally blind with no cure. The

realization that I had taken my church family and friends for granted

for the last ten years was such a burden. I looked at my neighbors and

saw how I had failed to love them well.  Looking back on how I had

chosen selfishness instead of love for my family time after time, and

looking at the house we would soon be leaving, just made me weep. 

 

I played the piano for hours and hours during those hard days. It was

the only place of relief I could find, as I sang songs the Lord had

given to me. 

 

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart,

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding.

In all of your ways acknowledge Him.

He will make your path straight,

He will make your path straight,

So trust, trust in the Lord with all your heart,

Oh trust, trust in the lord with all your heart. 

 

I sang this at least 100 times. It would become the first track on my

ep. I had no idea I would end up recording these songs, but God had

already begun preparing me for it. These verses were in my heart and

the Lord gave me a melody for them. 

 

This is my commandment,

Be strong and courageous.

Do not be afraid or discouraged,

For the lord your God

Is with you wherever you go,

He is with you wherever you go,

With you wherever you go.

He is with you wherever you go.

 

I began to sing these songs in faith because sometimes the promises

were hard to believe.  But He was with us and He is with you. No

matter how hopeless you feel. He will never leave you. 

 

For my sons who can't rely on their vision to see, and for you and me

when this world seems unbearable, and your situation feels lost - His

Word will be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. 

 

Oh God let it be so!