Kathleen Cooke: You’ve been blessed with an amazing talent and great success as a musical artist, but the business is challenging. What has God taught you about lamenting and praying differently which transforms our thinking when things don’t turn out the way we want?
Linda (Peaches) Tavani: I have experienced being at the top of success and trust me, it’s unfortunately very temporary. I know now from experience how important it is to prayerfully consider seeking God first. Pray about the vision you’re being called to and prayerfully ask for the right people in your field of interest to help you along the way. Nothing is worse than the consequences of not doing this. When in doubt, walk it out. Pray. The risks are too great and the time you waste cannot be replaced. There will always be lessons to learn. Remember our loving Father of forgiveness and grace pulls us through our mistakes no matter what we have chosen to do. My advice is to always consult God first. He’ll walk you through. If He says no, let it go!
Kathleen: “Let it go.” Great words but so hard to do during so much uncertainty and when fears set in. How do we do that?
Peaches: It’s not easy to always trust and not be afraid in our world today. Continuous communication with God is necessary. I build my trust by reading Psalm 23 during challenging times. It brings me peace and builds my faith in God. The book of Proverbs in the Bible then enlightens me on how to bring wisdom and run from foolishness – bad decisions. God showed me that with the faith of a mustard seed, just a breath of prayer, we release Him to move mountains. Those impossible, immovable issues in our lives are conquered even when our faith falters.
I am encouraged and renewed when suffering has wounded my spirit by also reading the book written by Jesus’ brother, James, starting with chapter 1 where he tells us to “count it all joy.” I listen to worship music and love instrumental meditative music while reading the book of Psalms. Calm, instrumental music videos of nature and being reminded of God’s creation can bring me closer to Him, too. I smile through my issues while turning to the Lord to take over what matters. That smile is the beginning of happiness. I’m then ready for praise dancing because it lifts me up and allows me to reach my joy. Some of my favorite musical voices over the years have been Amy Grant, Parachute, Nicol Sponberg, and Hezekiah Walker. I have listened to them over and over for years and love them like it is the first time I have heard them.
Kathleen: The music business is crowded and competitive. What’s the secret you have found in being able to break in and break through?
Peaches: The way to breakthrough is by being different, being unique, being someone special who leads with love, and by using those unique talents and vocal tools He has blessed you with. Music honors God when we allow Him to mentor and train our ears. Just like Queen Esther was embraced and celebrated for her beauty, being set apart and unique means you are an essential trustworthy example that God can use to inspire and strengthen others. We bring honor and wisdom by our actions – our choices. Not just a pretty face or a talented voice. I was once a twisted mess. God gave me a beautiful musical message to the world of love, hope, and acceptance, in spite of my flaws, and that message would lead me and others to God’s loving arms. God has a plan for every one of us. He desires to partner with us in outstanding ways for good and not evil and wants us to follow Him wherever we go. We are His favorite creation and made in His image.
Kathleen: God tells us to go and influence the world. How are you doing that today?
Peaches: I was captivated at an early age by a famous singer and wanted to be like her. Now I want to be like Deborah in the Bible. I read a recent article about a huge star of today who revealed that I was one of her biggest inspirations. Over the last few years, I have used my influence as a singer, co-founder, and vice president, alongside my husband Steven, for our nonprofit organization WOW JAM. I visit underserved communities and offer them a day of free gifts and activities and joy. When the world can only give momentary happiness, I bring joy, Jesus, and a message of eternal love and life.