Gratitude is at the center of a life of faith. It sounds to simple to be true, but isn't that the sign of all deep truth: so simple we're tempted to dismiss it, and so hard, it is exactly what God uses to change our hard lives.
A bird painted not with beauty but with all the dirt and wounds collected in a long hard life, in battle, in love, with torn feathers and a busted leg and a chipped beak and one of its eyes half closed; and yet a bird of deeper loveliness for all of that.
I don't really think about having had a hard life. It was just my life, and it's all I knew. It made me who I am - all the good and bad - and it's where all of the songs on Here For The Party came from. I've lived them all.
I grew up down in the hills of Virginia. I can be in Kentucky in 20 minutes, Tennessee in 20 minutes or in the state of West Virginia in 20 minutes. And it's down in the Appalachian Mountains, down there. And it's sort of a poorer country. Most of the livelihood is coal mining and logging, working in the woods and things like that. Most people has a hard life down that way.
That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.