Thursday, May 21, 2009


I woke up yesterday morning to colorful post-it notes on my bedside table reminding me that life is shorter than it used to be. I followed them around the apartment, they were everywhere; the bathroom mirror, the coffee maker, the computer, wishing me a happy birthday and showering me with compliments. These were courtesy of my lovely wife, of course. As I type this I'm looking at a neon green post-it note next to the computer that says "You are really good at what you do. <3"
I know, right? Lucky me.

This birthday has been strange for me. Last year was different. As I turned twenty-five there was a record ready to be released and I was in love with our new direction. We had plans as a band. Slowly we watched our hard work crumble as the label lost interest, we lost one of our managers, a booking agent, a publishing deal and our A&R person. Now we're in limbo a year later, with very little earthly reward for our hard work. Not that I care much about material things in general, but there's a natural want in a man to make a name for himself, to support and provide for his loved ones, to do something that his peers respect. It's tough to come home empty handed six week tour after six week tour. Talk about leaving it all out on stage. But when those are gone you realize the six week tours are blessings and that life can be much harder without them.

So here I am after twenty six years on this earth wondering what I've done with my life. Have I wasted potential? Have I missed opportunity? Probably, and that is what frustrates me about time. It only moves in one direction, once its gone, its gone. Life is much shorter than it used to be and much more difficult. However, I find myself completely satisfied when I thank God for my blessings.

I have a beautiful wife who happens to be my best friend, and who happens to understand how crazy I am and loves me anyways. She listens to me ramble, laughs when I'm sarcastic and makes compromises without batting an eye. We are truly in love and for that I am thankful. We are poor by societies standards, but we eat three meals a day and good ones at that. We have a place to call home in a neighborhood we love. We have friends who love us in a community of like-minded people. We have hobbies we enjoy together. We both long to be more like Jesus, and we both fall short, but we do it together. I can hardly believe we've been married four years, sometimes I still feel like an obsessed teenager around her.

Gratitude is what makes my life better. The choice is mine; I can think of all the things I have not accomplished in twenty six years, or I can think of what I've been blessed with. I've lived long enough to know that when you live a life aware of your blessings, you are more apt to bless those around you. The small stage I've been given for my art is an incredible blessing, one that most musicians never experience. Sure, it doesn't pay the bills, and sometimes (I'll be honest) it does seem like a waste of time, but whenever I step back I am incredibly grateful to have made it this far. When I take a step even further back to take a look at the grand scheme of things, if even one person is blessed by our music than it makes it all worthwhile. What matters on this earth is not what people think of you or what you accomplish for yourself, but what you do for others. 

I am reminded of my own lyrics from a song I wrote six years ago: "I have come to the realization that life is more than what I have accomplished, and life is more than the realization that we have accomplished nothing at all." 

Its funny how I keep learning the same lesson over and over. I never would have dreamed this life ten years ago, but here I am living it. I am blessed.


  1. wow matt, this is really inspiring and helpful. i love it when you said "I can think of all the things I have not accomplished in twenty six years, or I can think of what I've been blessed with" its just an eye opener for me really. i feel like ive been thinking of everything i havent accomplished. this is really really inspiring matt, thanks again for everything you do!!!

  2. your blog is always heartfelt and lovely. it's so nice to see how you and your wife love each other and fully live this life together.

  3. i agree, inspiring... humility's the most important thing you can have. humility draws one to love.

    some years it feels like a good thing that time passes, and others... it's just too fast, doesn't feel right. it made me laugh when you say time only moves in one direction, and once it's gone it's gone... it's an important idea. carpe diem.

    it really... i don't know how to say it right, but it really just feels -so- wrong to read that you guys... don't come out of each tour with like, millions of dollars. it's hard hearing that guys that make such incredible music and that i draw so much inspiration from could be even begin to feel like it's a waste of time... i don't know, i guess all i'm trying to say is that it's definiely not a waste, and i, at least, beleive that y'all deserve awards.

    oh, and happy birthday :)

  4. wow! everytime you write something you blow me away. and your music does effect me so feel accomplish for what you do, it has left a lasting impact on me
    have a great birthday dude!

  5. On quite a few occasions I've printed out your posts during study hall and passed up some of my lunch (or math lol) period to read them. I cant find a word to describe your writing but it has definitely affected me along with your guys' music. Keep it up and persevere through the rough spots!

    Happy Birthday!!

  6. I'd say you have a successful life. You have a wife who loves you an extremely high amount, a band that no matter what happens will always have a high number of fans (one of them, at the top of the list, being me), and most of all, Jesus Christ. What more could you need? I think at some point we all get to that time when we ask ourselves where our life is going, but it's not up to us to decide - it's up to the Lord and He'll show you when you surrender all the plans you made and give your life to Him.

    If I may be so bold as to quote you, "I took You for granted again and threw You aside and pretended for one minute that I had control of my life and direction it seemed to be in. I was wrong again." You're smarter than you give yourself credit for.

    :) Happy 26th, by the way. Only 10 and a half in front of me. Maybe someday I'll catch up.

  7. Matt, as you said, "If even one person is blessed by our music than it makes it all worthwhile."
    I have definitely been blessed by your music. Words cannot describe how appreciative I am of you and the band-- listening to your music, being at the concert, and meeting you guys is a truly inspiring experience.
    Keep up the good work! And Happy Birthday! : )

  8. Happy birthday Matt, I am definitly one of those people who have been blessed by what you do. It's funny to read your blog about this, my sister and I were just talking about a lot of the same things the other day. She'll be 20 next week and and I'll be 25 in the fall. We were talking about all the many dreams that we have and how they seem so far away. How time is passing so fast and how scary that feels. For some reason it is always easier to focus on all the things you have yet to accomplish than it is to focus and be thankful for the many blessings God has given us throughout our life. Thanks for reminding me to focus on the blessings. :)

  9. Happy Birthday! Don't feel too bad, some of us are still learning things over and over, especially things concerning God and his will for us. Some of us (like myself) are double your age and then some, but you are so right about time getting shorter. It's a good time get things in order, figure out where one stands with God. The love between you and your wife is probably the most valuable thing you will ever own (unless you have kids). Just keep counting your blessings and enjoy!

  10. I used that same quote in a personal essay not too long ago- that song in particular has always stood out to me, ever since I first heard it years ago. I for one am glad you make music- it has certainly had an impact on me. The most important thing you can do for the world, your family, and yourself is to do what you love, love those around you, and be loved in return. It seems to me that you're doing that. Thanks. :)

  11. hey,
    your music is all worthwhile because it has blessed me beyond belief. there are certain lines that get caught in my head that literally carry me through tough times. the classic crime and copeland are the only two bands in the world that i have ever heard where, after listening to you, no matter how sad the song, i am left feeling hopeful. thank you for all you have done!
    p.s. i have been to every one of your shows ever in minnesota

  12. your music is the most inspiring music to the way can i win tickets to sundays concert

  13. Dang. I had no idea about your label issues. Silver Cord is such an awesome ablum, and a step up from the great Albatross. We've been wondering why KC hasn't been getting any love :P

    Hindsight always favors good vision. Maybe God is protecting you from a path that wouldn't end up well, or wouldn't allow Him to receive the glory. Keep doing what you feel led to. And if you keep falling on your face, it doesn't matter so long as you know you are right where God wants you... sometimes that's on our faces.

  14. Your words are both honest and earnest and I think there's much to be accredited to that. There are many musicians who are out there who write songs for the sake of writing songs and making money. Clearly with you, it's not the case. Every lyric has a meaning. I was working on reviewing Silver Cord, but I never finished the piece, but at any rate, one of my comments was "MacDonald's words are like a soundtrack of poetry."
    I wouldn't give up on the dream. I've passed along some tracks to numerous friends (I Am Revolution, included) and the response has been quite positive.
    Have faith, there's certainly something to be said of you and your music.

  15. I just want you to know. that your last album is probably my most played and most listened to album. I really do praise God when i sing out the lyrics...even in the darker songs...THANK YOU for writing the darker songs. most Christian artists today are too afraid to write those things, when in reality we all go through them. God is using you and your band in a mighty way! I am thankful for your wife, because she is being your "help-mate" and encouraging you. I'm glad she is lifting you up an pushing you closer to God and closer to the gifts he has given you!

  16. hey Matt, Happy Birthday man! hey I was wondering if you could answer a question I had... I was wondering what the meaning/inspiration was behind the song "gravedigging". I've heard what other people have to say about it, and if it's not too much trouble, I'd love to hear from you on it. also, I'd like to say that I really enjoy your music, and it really inspires me.

  17. Haha, I was reading this and before you mentioned those lyrics, I was thinking about it. I can relate to doubting my purpose and such, haha and I'm a whole lot [eight] years younger. But you have a terrific place. When you write, people from all over hear and listen and it touches souls. It's a pretty high honor to have a microphone by your heart.

  18. if you only knew the half of it Matt. i dont want to be some creepy fan. but i sometimes find it difficult to say how much you/the band first album affected me. your words hit me hard and woke me up and got me threw some long drives a few years ago. i know every lines, every chord, every beat on albatross. you all are very gifted. thank you for what you do.

    happy really late birthday. as a woman of 26 myself, i count my blessings and wonder where my life is going, and how i can make it a part of something good.

    thank you agian.