Interview with Maria Gilpin
Leading worship at her local Elim church, Maria has recorded an EP of her music. We find out more.
Tell us about yourself
Hi. I’m Maria Gilpin, I am a 32 and I live in Portadown northern Ireland. I am married to Mark and we have two incredible, fierce VERY boisterous boys. Noah is 6 and Seth is almost 3, I'm saying "almost 3" because I'm wishing away the terrible 2s!! Mark and I lead worship at our home church Portadown Elim.
How did you get involved in music
Music has always been a massive part In my life. My dad used to play in a band when I was wee, so there would have been band practices in our home every other night. I would have sat in the corner of the room listening to the band play and would try to learn harmonies from the age of 5 and of course, my dad would have let me do the odd solo!
When I met Jesus at 19, I found worship music and it completely changed my life. The very first worship song I had ever listened to was 'hungry' by Joy Williams and I was completely hooked.
I got an opportunity to sing at our youth one night and the worship leader of Portadown Elim came to hear me, He asked me afterwards would I like to join the praise team and there I stepped into what God was calling me into.
Aren't you so thankful for spirit lead leaders? Michael Watson looked at me and seen Gods calling on my life and gave me an opportunity to be involved, flaws and all!
You recently released your first EP 'Giving it all' what was the inspiration behind the EP?
Well, where do I begin?! To start with the songs where kind of prayers translated into songs. Over the past 2 years, we as a family have been going through a really difficult, life changing experience.
Our oldest boy Noah last year was diagnosed with Autism. It has been an emotional journey for sure! When you become a mum, something switches in your heart, it's like a completely overwhelming love that you know in that moment this child has changed your life forever and you go into complete obsessed mode.
Hands up who knows what I'm talking about? Yep! The 'I will take care of everything mode'. When this all started with Noah, I have felt so out of my depth but I was determined to make it better. I didn't and I couldn't. A defining moment had happened when I was completely exhausted and couldn't go on, God said in his sweet, gentle voice, "are you ready to give it all over now Maria?" I forgot who my Abba was.
I was carrying a burden that I didn't have to carry! WOW! If only I laid it down at the very start eh? But there was teaching in the valley.
What's your favourite song on the EP and why
My favourite song would have to be 'overflow' this song still minsters to me, reminding me continually to hand it all to Jesus! If I'm honest there are times where I am about to take control of everything again and I have to remind myself time and time again to keep surrendering all to Jesus and just let it overflow.
You have two boys how do you find balance being a busy mum and pursuing your musical journey
I certainly don't have it all together but I think sitting down and thinking about your priorities helps. The best investment for the kingdom is raising Kingdom kids so my priority is that. It's also an incredible blessing and privilege to be able to sing and write music.
I'm usually writing in between wiping noses, making sandwiches and looking at invisible snails! The journey is real!!
What advice/wisdom would you give to other mums who feel called to pursue music
When I became a mum I remember thinking 'this is it for me'. I always knew God had called me to music but how could I with a baby? And then again when Noah was diagnosed with Autism. Once again putting God in a box! God can do anything, remember?!
I now look at it as a family ministry and God has not just called Mark and I but also Noah and Seth. How beautiful is that?! He has called my babies too! Simple obedience is the key. There's a YES in the Gilpins hearts.
What does 2017 have in store for you
We hope to have an album come out at the end of the year. Mark and I are writing new material at the minute. We are making melodies and it's a lot of fun.
Giving it all - Available now
Watch the live video
Questions: What advice and wisdom would you give to parents who feel called to pursue music? Leave a comment below.