Lacey Hight never doubted God's plan for her life. And she knew that somehow her singing talent would be her way to spread his message.
"It's something I've always wanted to do, and it really just felt like God was laying it out," said Hight, a 26-year-old stay-at-home mom who recently recorded her first album. "It's been wonderful."
Hight was backed by members of her church, Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, and a few close friends who helped with the financial details pertaining to the recording. Bob and Julie Neal, who also attend Abilene, were among those who felt that Hight's talent needed a larger audience.
"Lacey's singing talent has been such a God-given gift to me and my wife," Mr. Neal said. "We wanted to somehow help multiply the number of people Lacey could touch with her talent and message."
Hight traveled to Joelton, Tenn., in November 2003 to record her album at a studio owned by a member of country-music star Doug Stone's band. Stone's musicians even played for the album.
"They were just so professional and so generous," said Hight, who is married to Ken Hight of Martinez. "It was so neat."
The album, currently available for sale only at Abilene's Christian Learning Center and through Hight's Web site www.laceyhight.com, has been a hit among members of Abilene. Hight hopes the album, simply titled Lacey, will bring about offers to perform for others.
"I really would like to get involved in doing concerts in the area," said Hight, the mother of 20-month-old Kaetlyn.
Four of the songs recorded for the album were written by Hight's father, Greg Hawley of Salem, Ill. and had never before been recorded.
"It's hard to put into words," said Hawley of how he feels about his daughter recording his songs. "A lot of these songs have been written years ago - it's just joy and fulfillment."
Hawley and his wife, Janeen, recall Hight singing as a child and putting on impromptu performances in the family's living room.
"I can remember her standing on the sofas and chairs, anything she could stand on and grabbing anything she could use as a microphone and singing," Mrs. Hawley said. "She's been singing since she was old enough to talk."
A freak accident when Hight was about 4 years old left her parents wondering if she would ever talk again, much less sing.
She was playing on a chair with a cane. She fell off of the chair, and the cane punctured the roof of her mouth, Mr. Hawley said.
Fortunately, Hight recovered - vocal cords intact, and Mr. Hawley said he is proud of what his daughter has accomplished.
"I'm so happy for her," Mr. Hawley said. "It is a thrill to have my songs on there. Years ago, I felt that God had given me these songs."
Today, Hight is certain God gave the same songs to her.
"There's a tremendous power that makes her music even more powerful," Mr. Neal said. "It's not about Lacey - it's about the God Lacey serves."
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