Hey Matthew, what’s new?
Well, what’s new is actually what’s old; I’m making a Christmas record. In the middle of this summer heat, I’ve been in the recording studio getting into the Christmas spirit. It’s been great fun.
I have a book out this fall, The Story of Your Life. It’s a devotional book, 52 devotions inspired by real life stories, stories people sent to me. There’s a wide range of topics: a story from someone battling cancer, a former atheist’s story, stories of broken homes that have been restored. Each story has a devotion that I or Angela (Angela Thomas) have written that speaks to that topic of the day. The heart behind the book is to encourage people to begin examining their own lives and consider the story they’re telling. I’m really excited. The opportunity to extend my writing beyond songs is a neat thing, a different kind of challenge.
What's the biggest challenge of being married to an artist? Emily
Him being away and on the road so much. We’ve married been 8-years now — we have two daughters: Lulu 5.5 and Delany is 2 — he was a musician when we married, and on the road since then.
(laughs) Well, not every day.
You’ve been an artist since we’ve been together. I’m used to him traveling, but now that we have small children, it’s him leaving. We’re sad and we adjust. Then he comes home, and that’s an adjustment as well, bringing him back into the fold with schedules, school and things like that. That’s the hardest part, the travel.
How often do you travel together? Matthew
Not often. Our plan is not to home school our kids and be a traveling family band. We want the kids to have as normal as an up bringing as possible. It will never be like our next door neighbor’s because it’s a different kind of
We try to strike a healthy balance where I want them to travel with me enough so they can see and feel a part of what I believe God’s calling me to do. I feel it’s a calling on the whole family. Emily was saying, they have to deal with me being gone. What makes that more tolerable is if they know with all their hearts that what I’m doing when I’m gone is for the kingdom and is worthwhile work and ministry. If they can feel part of that ministry, it makes it easier to deal with our schedules.
I want my kids to see what I’m passionate about. That’s the strongest way to show them is when they see me on stage and I’m not pumping my chest and saying, "I’m a rock star!", I’m telling the crowd about the God who saved my life. I want them to be a part of that.
Sometimes we get to play at fun locations ? summer festivals and amusement parks. My daughters go nuts over the roller coasters and the cotton candy, and they love being on the bus with the band because it’s like a bunch of uncles spoiling the kids. It’s a fun thing.
My wife is an amazing mother; we want to create that strong, home foundation so they don’t feel their home is a bus, even though I might have to feel like that sometimes.
When is the last time you guys had fun together? Matthew
Right now is pretty fun (laughs)
His parents come to town about once a month to visit and they are great about taking the kids. About once a week we’ll go to dinner, just the two of us. We’ll be going to Florida— just us — in a few weeks, which we haven’t done since we’ve had kids.
Sometimes we can turn our shows into a weekend getaway. My parents will watch the kids and we’ll go to a beach for a couple days before the show. A few years ago, we had some shows in Northern California, Emily had a few days in San Francisco. We try to get those little getaways from time to time. It’s tough because we love being with our kids so much, it’s tough to break away. We definitely need that time together
What’s your favorite thing to do?
Going out to eat—at least it’s my favorite thing (laughs)
What’s your preferred cuisine? Emily
His is steak. (laughs)
I like steak. I’m a foody, I’m into the Food Network; I love finding these restaurants. So, if you put me in Manhattan, I will do some damage (laughs). You can’t beat those meals, you need a nap afterwards.