1. What is a hobby most people don’t know you have?
Transitioning from being a divorced mother of one child to a mother and stepmother of six and balancing a career on top of that has really put a damper on pursuing my hobbies lately. My new hobbies include flipping coins with my husband to see who has to change the dirty diapers, finding creative places to hide Oreos from my kids, and making sure everyone survives every day! But, prior to my life exploding with all of my current blessings, I loved to crochet.
2. What is your most memorable experience as a performer?
I was giving an area single adult fireside once, and my then–2-year-old was with me. She had to be taken out into the hall because she started crying. A few minutes later, she burst back into the chapel and came screaming down the aisle and up onto the stand where I was in the middle of singing “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” I picked her up and finished the song with her in my arms—trying my best to keep her from shrieking into the microphone!
3. You’ve had a lot of trials recently. What advice do you have for anyone struggling to push through their own personal storms?
Find good Christian music and/or radio stations and listen to them every single day. Find clean stand-up comedians and funny movies and watch them when you need a break. Find a good therapist and see them often. And, every now and then, cry. Hard. One of the hardest things about trials is not knowing when they’ll resolve. It can be spiritually and mentally exhausting. Surround yourself with reminders that God is aware of you, and talk to Him. Every. Single. Day.
4. What was your motivation to release your latest album, Rejoice?
I grew up loving Christmas music; I sang in my mother’s Christmas choirs and programs every year since I can remember. Making a Christmas album myself felt like a wonderful way to share the joy that Christmas brings to me with other people. This album has some of my favorite hymns that have been updated in beautiful ways and some of my favorite contemporary pop Christmas songs that focus on our Savior’s birth. I hope everyone loves it!
5. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
When my mother was nearing the end of her life, she wrote me a note. I was so angry that I put it in a drawer and chose to not read it. Several months after she passed away, I was fighting the pull to quit my job, move states, and record my first album, The Waiting Place. One night, while I was praying about it, the thought came to read the note Mom had written me. I opened the drawer, pulled out the small, blue envelope, and flipped it over. It read: “Just keep singing.” Peace flooded my heart as I stared at those words. It struck me in that moment that, above all else, God had given me talents to use in this life, and the call that I felt to do something with my gift shouldn’t be ignored. In a more general sense, she was telling me to follow the mission that God had placed in my heart—to not let fear keep me silent or stuck. We all need that reminder sometimes, I think.
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Listen to more inspirational, musical messages from Calee Reed on her latest album, Rejoice!, available at Deseret Book stores and on deseretbook.com.