A Conversation with Shane Everett

shane-everett

We interviewed Shane Everett from the best-selling band, Shane and Shane.

So, you’re currently on tour with Bebo…

We are currently on tour with Bebo Norman and a young lady named Allie Rogers, a new artist out of Nashville.

Shane, tell me about your family. You’ve been married to Kelly for how long?

Right at five and a half years now. And a daughter, Olive, who will be nine months this week. So, yeah, we are in a whole new ballgame right now of being parents. It feels like our family has been legitimized now. It’s just been amazing.

That’s a big, big shift.
It’s so funny. Before I had a child, I’d heard people talk about how your life will change and all this stuff, and I was like, Ahh, yeah. In theory I knew, but in practicality now it is a whole new ballgame. [laughs] I guess I didn’t know how much you have to lose about yourself when you have a child.

It’s been a beautiful experience thus far. We have just loved it and Olive is the most precious little thing, man. I feel like I just grew a heart. It’s incredible.

Where did her name Olive come from?
Kelly really liked the name Olivia. I was out on the road and I said, What do you think about Olive Lynn? And Kelly said, I thought Olive too. It wasn’t this big meaning other than we just thought it was really pretty.

I read about a song on your album, Burn Us Up. That has special significance to you and Kelly, doesn’t it, as it relates to Olive?
Yeah, the song is about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the story of the fiery furnace. Olive was about two months old and she was having some problems breathing. She had a condition that is basically a birthmark on her trachea, impeding about 75% of her windpipe. She was having a very difficult time breathing, very labored, and we didn’t know what was going on. It was really terrifying.

So literally I was singing this song Burn Us Up as I’m sitting in the hospital. We just met with the doctors and they were like, Well, there’s always a risk putting a two month old under anesthesia and then going in with tubes. We might have to do the surgery.

So we signed the consent forms in case something happens… They had just taken our daughter back to surgery and we go downstairs, sitting at this little restaurant in the hospital. Needless to say, we’re very emotional at this moment. Kelly loses it right there.

Kelly said to me, I just don’t know how I’ll feel towards the Lord if Olive doesn’t make it.

I remembered a line when these three guys are brought before Nebuchadnezzar and they wouldn’t bow before this golden altar. And the king says, Bow, or you’re going to be thrown in this fiery furnace. And they said: “We have a God who’s able to deliver us. But even if he doesn’t, we won’t bow.” It translated into this moment right there when I kept hearing this line, “Even if you don’t. Even if you don’t, we will burn. Even if you don’t, we will burn.”

And that’s what I told Kelly, I’ve been singing this song all day and this one line keeps coming to my mind. Even if God doesn’t save our daughter Olive, even if she doesn’t make it through this, which is the most horrific tragic thing that I could ever imagine in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever known fear like this kind of fear. But even if He doesn’t, it doesn’t make Him any less our God and that’s what I told Kelly. Kelly and I are sitting downstairs in this hospital crying saying, Even if you don’t save our little girl, Lord, you’re still our Lord and I’m still no less your man and she is no less your woman. That was a big deal for us. It was a huge moment for Kelly and I in our faith.

And Olive ended up being fine and she has a little condition that we have to go in every three months and get worked on, but God was gracious to give the doctors the wherewithal and the technology to help. If it was 50 years ago, we might have a different outcome. But she’s okay, she’s good, and the Lord is gracious.

How has fatherhood changed you?
Man, I’ll tell you this. This is a very practical, crazy kind of God story that I’ve been talking to my guys in Bible study about.

I’m the kind of guy who loves his sleep in the morning. We travel and we play shows, so my schedule is pretty crazy. By the time load out is done its maybe 1 or 2 A.M. and I’d end up driving the bus — I would sleep in till 9 or 10. Golly, that’s a word that doesn’t exist in my vocabulary anymore. If I didn’t get six or seven hours, I was tired all day and I was a grumpy guy when I didn’t get sleep. [laughs]

But ever since I’ve had this child, at five o’clock I am up. Kelly and I are on the road right now and Olive is with us. We have a little back room in the bus here with a crib so Olive basically lives and sleeps about three feet from Kelly and I. So there’s no escaping when she wants to get up, and when she wants to get up and she’s up, she’s up. But I’ll tell you it’s not in my character to be as friendly in the morning as I have been over the past eight months. [laughs]

It sounds like you’re a better servant.

I grew a new heart. I think that’s the best way to say it. When my little girl wakes up at five in the morning and she’s ready to eat and she eats and she looks up at me she’s laughing and giggling and smiling. The last thing I care about is how much sleep that I got. [laughs] We’ll get up and we’ll play. She’ll go down for a nap after about an hour and I get a nap, too, sometimes. [laughs]

Have you guys been traveling together since she was born?

Get more — Free! e-book — Les & Leslie Parrott's, The Good Fight

Because of Olive’s condition, Kelly and Olive had to stay home for about five months, but they’ve been out with us for about the last three — it’s been great. But, man, I couldn’t do this without my family with me.

Have you found any challenges to the music business as it relates to family?

What we do is not necessarily easy for family. We live life with people. There’s always people around. We have a little room in the back of the bus but ultimately we live life with 18 people on any given day. We’re meeting new people every day.

And so there’s challenges that come along with just finding time for intimacy. That could be talking for a couple of hours or decompressing from the day’s events or finding alone time to talk. It’s hard to do. We have to really fight for that time.

You know what? It’s hard being out on the road. But, I don’t think that the struggle is any less of a struggle whether you work a 9 to 5 or you live on the road.

I think ultimately you have to fight for that time no matter what your schedule is or no matter what your location. I don’t feel like our life is any harder than anyone else’s. I think with the busyness and the hustle and flow of life today you’ve got to fight for time with your family. You’ve got to fight for time with your wife. It’s just life.

How are you and Kelly working to keep your spiritual intimacy going?

It’s making decisions preemptively. I may know that the day is going to be crazy; I know it’s going to be nuts. But from 7 to 8 I know that we can just say, Hey, you know what? Everybody else, ”We’re out.’ And we can go get a cup of coffee, we can process together, we can pray together, and then in the mornings we try to do it as well.

It’s little tidbits of time, but a good 30 minutes of one-on-one can make the rest of the day so much better. It seems like such a small thing. I’m not saying that we’ve got this thing down at all. We literally have to fight for it because she has an agenda for the day, I have an agenda for the day, and so it’s basically kind of rubbing each other in a way that says, Hey, I know you’ve got stuff to do but let’s get away for 30 minutes. Or sometimes I’m in the middle of something and she says, I know you’re busy but let’s do this.

In those 30 minutes, what would you two do or say together?

It would just depend. Most of the time it’s, How are you doing? What’s going on in your head? What are you thinking? Are you frustrated with anything? How can I pray for you? I don’t want to say we have a checklist or a list of things that we like to talk about, but it’s basically, How are you? How are you doing? Hello. It’s as simple as that.

I would imagine that a small group, mentoring relationships, or Bible study would be difficult when you’re traveling, right?

Yeah, it is. We are heavily involved with our church, our local body at home, but we’re away for two or three months at a time.

Yeah, as far as small group time, we’ll have a Bible study on the road but it’s different than being in a couple’s study and that’s a hard part of what we do, not being with those people.

What would you list as your biggist marriage challenge?

I hate to keep going back to it, but it’s quality time. I think ultimately we are busy — people are busy — but, yeah, that’s by far the biggest challenge that we have: carving out time and carving out a date.

I think having a child complicates that. We have a daughter that takes so much energy. Okay, how do you still be relationally connected when you’re losing yourself relationally. [laughs]

It’s been harder since we’ve had Olive. Right now we’re trying to figure that out. Kelly and I had a talk just a few days ago. I said, I feel like I don’t see you and when I do see you we’re still focusing on Olive. And we just have one kid. I can’t imagine having two, three, four kids. [laughs] I just don’t know how people do it but the Lord gives you grace. I have such a respect for my mom and dad right now. I just can’t even imagine.

It’s definitely a season where you have to keep remembering that the marriage is the priority — and yet you still have this child to care for.

Yeah, man, I do not have the answers other than the fact that we’re trying. I think it’s all about carving out time. Saying no to good things to do the better thing — the better choice — and that’s be together.

Copyright © 2007 Growthtrac. All rights reserved.

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About Jim Mueller

bio-jim-muellerJim is the founder, with wife, Sheri, of Growthtrac Ministries as well as Program Director of GrowthtracRadio and the architect behind growthtrac.com. Jim holds a B.S. in business management and is a facilitator for PREPARE/ENRICH, the most widely used customized couple assessment tool. He has authored numerous articles, interviewed leading relationship authors and Christian artists, and has contributed to Dr. Les Parrott’s book, The Complete Guide to Marriage Mentoring. Jim has worked for more than 15 years to help premarital couples and married couples build and maintain healthy relationships.

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