Stacie also mentions that the whole family is reading a book called "The Purpose Driven Life" (Zondervan) by Rick Warren that has been very helpful and thought-provoking for her.

Yet in the midst of listening to Bible verses on her cell phone and getting cute messages from Daddy, how does she handle the dangers and demands that often come along with success? “I don’t know yet! [laughing] It can be kind of difficult for me. The other night Rachael Lampa (We’re like best friends. She’s so fun; I love her!) and I were out to dinner, and there was a whole table of 20 people who knew [our] music, and they came over, and we were talking to them the whole time. And it was fun; they were really sweet. But it scares me sometimes because my downtime is really important to me, especially when I’m with my family. My little brother and sister, they’re 13. They’ll get so frustrated, and they’ll be like ‘Why can’t [the fans] just leave you alone?’ So sometimes I miss my privacy. It’s just finding the balance, and there are ways you can get away and have your own time. But it will be interesting in the next year or so, depending on what happens with the album. I have no idea what it’s going to be like.”

She mentions that her somewhat unorthodox childhood unknowingly prepared her for her current crazy schedule. “It’s funny, but I’ve always lived a little bit of a different life. From the time I was little, we moved around all the time; we were missionaries for a while in the Ukraine. So the whole picking up, leaving, always being gone and always traveling — I think that part has felt kind of the way my life has always been. There’s just not a lot of time for personal stuff. But I like my work. I enjoy getting to meet new people, try new things and, as of right now, it is my life. It is my personal life, it is my work life; everything is all wrapped up in the music right now.”

The Long, Strange Trip

Nearly an hour after we sat down, our waitress finally brings Stacie her Southwestern chicken salad. While she begins munching on it, I ask her if, after working at her career for five years, she has any regrets about starting so young? “No, I don’t,” she says quickly. “I was ready, even when I was 12 years old, I was ready to get out of school [laughter].… I knew that my life was going to be different. I think my whole family knew that I was going to do something different from the norm. I’ve always had a thing with preferring that [my age] not be the main focus. But I think it has positive and negative affects. Sometimes it’s negative because people don’t respect what I have to say, but a lot of times it’s positive because my goal is to reach people my age; and I’m 17, so I feel like I can really write about and sing about things that are relevant to teenagers because I am one [laughs].”

Looking ahead, she says, “I definitely know that in my future I want to make family a priority. I want to have kids; I don’t want to be one of those people where my career gets in the way until I’m 40, and I never get married,” she confides. “People ask me if I think I’ll be making records in 15 years, and I have no idea. There are so many things that I’d love to pursue. When I watch how my life has gone so far, I’ve had such different stages of it; and although I know music will always be a part of it, I don’t know. I’ve gotten to do so many great things most people will never get to do in a lifetime that I don’t think it’s worth whining over things I don’t get to do. I’m really glad for [the] different, strange turns my life has taken.”

Used by permission.  CCM Magazine © 2003  Click here to subscribe.