10 Questions with ... Julianna Zobrist
September 5, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 2009 The Tree
- 2012 Say It Now
- 2016 Shatterproof
I was born in Orlando, Fla., but raised the fourth of six kids in Iowa City, Iowa. My dad is a pastor at an Evangelical Free church there, so I was in the church every time the doors were open as a child. I grew up in a very loving, nurturing family where, as the middle child, I was extremely shy and quiet and content to sit in my room listening to music or writing poetry. My husband Ben and I have been married 10.5 years and we currently live in Chicago and then Nashville, Tenn. with our three children during the off MLB season.
2. What does a normal day at home look like for you?
A normal day for us during the MLB season typically begins around 10am. Because we are out late for games, we sleep in late. I try and let my hubby sleep as long as he can and then we eat a big breakfast together. One of my favorite parts of the day is praying together as a family during breakfast. We have various people and family members on rotation to pray for every week-it is a great joy of mine to listen to my children pray.
After Ben leaves for the field, the kids have school and this begins my work day. Right now, that work consists of rehearsals, writing, studying and interviews. I try my hardest to schedule all of those things during their school hours so that when I'm home I can be totally "Mom." I have a phenomenal assistant that walks through my schedule with me, packs and unpacks our suitcases and helps me prepare for road trips and upcoming events. I don't think I could do a lot of what I do without her!
In the evening, if I'm not working, we love to go to Ben's games! It's a fun time for the kids to feel like they're with Dad because they can watch him work! Nighttime is story time and prayer time together.
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
A song I am totally loving right now is called "Vintage" by the band High Dive Heart. The band members are friends of mine and he and I actually went to high school together. They're a married duo and this song is all about having an old school love for one another. I dig the fresh upbeat sound and am totally a sucker for anything having to do with committing to LOVE!
4. How much do you travel, what are the challenges? How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home?
We travel eight months out of the year pretty consistently. On average, I am on a plane at least once a week-that is a lot of flying! Most people have the common misconception that I get to fly on the team plane, or fly privately. While I WISH that was the case, it is not. So the kids and I book our own flights and meet Ben in the cities that he is playing in. Currently we are in San Diego and then headed to Los Angeles tomorrow. My management booked work for me out in LA while Ben is also there, and we try to do that as much as we can. Coordinating our schedules allows us to get our work done, but be together in the same hotel room as a family at night. And that is the main goal, to have a successful, love-filled family at the end of the day.
5. What artist or pastor has had the greatest impact on you?
The pastor that has had the greatest influence on me has been our pastor back at our home church, Byron Yawn. Byron helped to council Ben and me as newlyweds and has been a consistent figure in our lives...not only as a pastor but as a friend. He lives his life pounding the same drum beat....the love of God to save sinners.
6. What's the last book you read?
I have enjoyed reading a biography on John Newton these days. We all know his famous work, the song "Amazing Grace," but his life story is astounding and worth the read. It has forced me to think about the stipulations and expectations we put on those in church leadership, and how, if John Newton were applying for any type of pastoral job these days, he would most likely be laughed out of the interview room. What a profound story, what an incredible miracle of salvation and restoration and righteousness...not of his own, but imputed to him because of the work of Christ on his behalf.
7. What are the dynamics of mixing your music career with your husband's baseball career?
When Ben got drafted into minor league baseball, it was unexpected. He and I both thought he was going to be a youth pastor! So receiving that phone call, newly engaged, it felt as if the world was at our fingertips. However, we were also not ignorant to the challenges and stereotypes that go along with being a "baseball player." So, we prayed about whether or not we would venture into baseball as a career.
We walked into it knowing that the divorce rate in baseball is 84% and growing every year. We walked in knowing that they play 162 games in 180 days. We walked in knowing that they don't get Sundays off, so we wouldn't get to attend church for eight months out of the year. We walked in eyes wide open to the challenges ahead. And because of that, we set some ground rules. Now, ground rules aren't the golden ticket to a happy marriage or a successful family, but they're a starting point.
So for us, we set the "6 Day Rule"-we don't spend any longer than six days apart. Because of that, I have had to say no to record deals that would require too much touring. We've had to say no to traditional schooling and get very creative with homeschooling and road schooling and hybrid-private school schooling. We've made the sacrifices that have been necessary to keep the family geographically together. And honestly in a way, it's not as much of a balancing act as it is a question of priorities. We prioritize the health of our family and our marriage way before our success in baseball or music.
8. Take us through a couple songs on your latest project, Shatterproof.
What a gift to watch and read how music that you've written has caused others to think and reason and get mad and be passionate. It is one of my most favorite things to see women self-discover, not be emotionally lazy, but dig deep and think about what they do and how those decisions affect other people. Here are the stories behind a couple of the songs:
"ALWAYS THE SAME" Have you ever been in a really hard place? A really dark place? And as much as you'd like to convince yourself to pull yourself together and snap out of it, you can't. Somehow Hallmark type Christian sentiments seem...well, dumb. I've been there. If were being honest, we've all been there. So, if the trite (yet probably well meaning) comments haven't helped, and you feel exactly the same after listening to the podcast someone recommended, and if that book you read helped for two days and then you went right back to where you started - you are not alone. I will not pretend I can fully grasp what you're facing, and I won't lead you to believe that these hurts can be solved by following a set of how-to-steps. But, there is help. There is hope. The same God that met the woman at the well in her state of desperation and failure is the same God who meets you and me now. In our mess. At the end of ourselves. When every other way has been exhausted. He meets us. He rescues and loves and knows us intimately. He doesn't want you to hurry up and fix yourself so you can get back to your Christian witness. No. I believe He cares more about our hearts and less about our appearance. He is your rest and your assurance. He continues to be your salvation. He is always the same.
"SHATTERPROOF" I am finished with the spiritual game we women play with one another. We attempt to manipulate and guilt one another and fear each other into adhering to our preferences; preferences are not the Gospel. We use fear and shame to control one another; and, it is sin. We are not each other's gods. Be freed, my dear sisters, from other women's hold on you. Don't let the anger or disapproval of others control your joy and set opinions. Be smart and aware. Don't be easily swayed...your confidence rests in Christ alone. You will never find the approval your heart longs for by having the right convictions on vaccinations or homeschooling or kale. Dare to live free in your approval to God because of the person and work of Jesus Christ on your behalf. For in Him, you are truly Shatterproof.
9. What organization/service group are you affiliated with?
We are not affiliated with any one specific organization but support multiples. Because there are endless amounts of people to give to, we support only those that we've been able to go and see, first hand, their mission, their work, and their influence. Because of that, we have traveled to and support missions of specific people in Russia, Slovakia and other parts of the world.
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead.....Deities are excused from this question.
I would love to sit down and talk with Abigail Adams. Particularly, when her husband John Adams was helping draft the Declaration of Independence. I have a list of about a million questions to ask her!