A Song for Our book, "Redeemed by Grace!"

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I still remember how I learned about the song. “I have something to share with you,” Ramona wrote in a text. “Do you have a minute?” Soon, we were talking by phone and she told me about the song she and her daughter Lorena had written together; a song that was linked to the book we were in the middle of writing together about her life — Redeemed by Grace. “Cool, send it to me!” I said.

I found it in my email inbox the next morning. I was lying in bed when I opened the file on my smartphone and began listening. And as I did, shivers began running through my body. The good kind of shivers. The kind of shivers you can’t plan, but that tell you something extraordinary has just taken place.

I sprang out of bed to find someone with whom I could share it. It was Christmas break, and my oldest daughter was up making coffee. She would be the first guinea pig. Being close to Lorena’s age, she responded with great interest to the song. If she wasn’t awake before, she was now!

This is something different, I thought. This is unique. A song written in the middle of our fleshing out the chapters of a book about Ramona’s life. A song about her life’s journey. Written by her, and refined and performed by her sweet daughter. The same daughter that, when Ramona got pregnant at 16, might have drawn a few scrutinizing glances their way.

And yet here she is now, beautiful inside and out, and with this natural gift that did not come from years of lessons but the sheer will to tap into a gift that God had bestowed on her long ago, even while she was being knit in her mother’s womb.LOLO (2)B

The song still gives me shivers. Honestly, I’ve cried while listening to it. And in difficult times I’ve found it healing. It’s mesmerizing in many ways. So when Ignatius Press talked of possibly doing a book trailer about a month ago, I chimed in, “Hey, there’s this song…” Would they consider using it with the trailer? It seemed a perfect fit. And truly, what a unique and beautiful thing. As both a music and word lover, I couldn’t help but see the sparkling treasure we had in our laps; something that would only add even more to the gift coming from Ramona’s soul, with the help of my hand.

So now, for the first time ever, we’re sharing with the world, here on Catholic Mom, in conjunction with my Peace Garden Mama blog, the song, “Only You,” in its entirety — not just the bit that was part of the book trailer, which I’ll also post below.

But first, allow me to let Ramona share her own version of how it came to be. Trust me, you will want to read to the end, then listen for the couple minutes it takes.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever – by Ramona Trevino

I’ve always been a fan of poetry, music, and art.  As the first line in John Keats’ famous poem states, a thing of beauty IS truly a joy forever. That’s exactly how I feel about the song, “Only You,” that I wrote with my daughter, Lorena. This song brings me a tremendous amount of joy for many reasons, and my hope is that it will bring others that same joy, because, well- it’s beautiful.

“Only You” is a song that was truly a prompting of the Holy Spirit. I was inspired to write this song after hearing a woman who sings and shares her personal testimony and conversion via song. I was so moved by her story and the lyrics to her songs that I was instantly compelled to do the same with my own story.

Beautiful music has a way of moving us. It has a way of speaking to our hearts, allowing us to interpret the lyrics however we see fit. It has a way of healing us, a way of inspiring us, and a way of speaking for us when we can’t find the right words. Music has a way of telling a story, and that’s exactly what I wanted to do with this song. I wanted to write a song from my heart that was inspired by my own personal story, “Redeemed by Grace.”

On the evening of December 22, I told my daughter, Lorena, “Go grab your guitar! I’m feeling inspired.” She returned, we sat down, I wrote, she composed and in about 20 minutes we had a song. We had a piece of poetry that summarized my whole life in just a few lines. We had a song that has moved me and others to tears.

For me, this song has even greater meaning than just its beauty. My daughter, Lorena, has never trained or studied music in her life. She picked up the guitar one day at the age of 13 and just began to play, compose, and write her own songs. So when she sat with me on that cold winter night in December and produced this beauty of a song, it only further confirmed how God has gifted my daughter with such great talent in the hope that she would one day glorify him through them.

When I discovered that “Only You” would be used in the book trailer for my book I was over the moon. Not only was I overjoyed to share the news with my daughter, but overjoyed that others would have the opportunity to listen to her beautiful voice and witness a truly special gift that God bestowed upon this special girl I have the privilege of calling my daughter.

And now, introducing, for the first time ever in full, “Only You,” by Ramona and Lorena, performed by Lorena :  Only You

LorenaRecordingB

The book trailer that includes the song…

Q4U: When did God last touch your heart with song?

Copyright 2015 Roxane Salonen

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About Author

Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five from Fargo, N.D., is an award-winning children’s author and freelance writer who also enjoys Catholic radio hosting and speaking. Roxane co-authored former Planned Parenthood manager Ramona Trevino’s memoir, Redeemed by Grace. Her work is featured on “Peace Garden Passage” at her website, roxanesalonen.com

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