Leanna Crawford on Telling Bold and Promising Stories


Leanna Crawford Still Waters


There’s nothing like a good story. Curling up with a book on a cold winter night, or watching a favorite film outside on a big screen with your friends on a summer evening or even filling a household with laughter and tears as family members share life experiences. A good story penetrates deep into the heart, making an impression on us that we carry through life. “I aspire to be a great storyteller,” Christian musician Leanna Crawford says. “That’s the most powerful thing to me – when a songwriter can tell their story and I can see myself in it. I want people to be able to see themselves in my music.”

Many of Leanna’s stories start out as journal entries. Her stories aren’t always about a bad breakup or crazy adventure like many musicians, they’re about what God is doing in her life. “I have terrible short-term memory, so I need to be able to look back. I date all my journals so I can remember how God has answered my prayers,” Leanna explains. 

As a high school student, Leanna Crawford knew God was calling her to minister to other young women. When she returned home from a mission trip to Haiti she remembers telling her mom, “I’ve never felt something so strong in my life. This is what I’m supposed to do, and I have no idea what that looks like.” God gave her the direction she was seeking. Through ministry and music Leanna reaches into the hearts of young women with powerful encouragement, reminding them of their identity in Christ and their true value. 

“I found Jesus at four years old. I don’t have a crazy testimony. Four-year-old Leanna knew she had Jesus in her heart, but twelve-year-old Leanna needed Jesus in a whole new way and then sixteen-year-old Leanna needed Him in another way.” Knowing her need for Jesus, Leanna saw that other young women didn’t have the same awareness, nor did they have people in their lives providing love and truth. “I think it’s shocking the amount of young girls that have not had truth spoken over them. And I’ve always been very passionate about it. I think it honestly makes me get very emotional when I think about the amount of young people, but especially young girls that haven’t had someone speak truth into their lives.” 

As a young Christian woman, Leanna knows the power and impact that someone can have on someone’s life and faith. She proclaims, “I’m so grateful for women that have spoken into my life and encouraged me. And so if I can do that in my music, if I can do that in anything that I say…, then I want them to hear that.”

Leanna Crawford Song Inspiration

Leanna Crawford has always had wise Christian women guiding her in life, but now she has an incredible man speaking into her life as well! Leanna met Cody Zeller, New Orleans Pelicans center, at a concert through a mutual friend. After dating for two years, Cody proposed with a sentimental letter that spelled out “Will you marry me” during a scenic hike. A year later, the two were married in front of hundreds of family and friends at an elaborate wedding in Nashville. Leanna surprised her husband during their wedding reception by singing the sweet song that she wrote for him “Vow to Be Yours” (which can be heard on her latest album release Still Waters). Leanna describes her wedding as “a dream come true – just a perfect day.” Although the food, music and setting were exquisite, Leanna describes marriage as “the most beautiful covenant we can make,” as the reason for a perfect day. One of the most incredible moments was during the ceremony when each parent prayed a blessing over their child.

Leanna Crawford’s Song “Vow to Be Yours” from Album Still Waters

Leanna’s family (especially her parents) provide much of the stories and experiences that direct her songwriting. During a recent trip to visit her in Nashville, Leanna’s dad became the inspiration for “How Can You Not” one of the songs on her new album Still Waters. Leanna explains “My parents were visiting me in Nashville and my dad had never seen fireflies before. Most people don’t know this, but there are no fireflies in the Pacific Northwest. We were out walking in the rain because we’re from the rainy state of Washington and don’t care about getting wet. But when the rain slowed down, the field next to us lit up like the night sky. My dad saw all those fireflies and said, ‘How can you not see the Creator?’ It was such a beautiful moment. And I was reminded that God created things like fireflies to show us how much He loves us.”

Leanna Crawford’s Song “How Can You Not” from Album Still Waters

Nature has always been an essential part of Leanna’s life. Growing up on a farm, Leanna feels particularly close to the Lord when she is out in His creation. “Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I have the sweetest memories riding my horse through the woods and talking to God. I loved wandering through the fog in the morning, writing songs as I was walking. For me, being outside was another way to feel closer to God.” It’s this connection with the Lord that’s the core of Still Waters. “This project brought me back to my roots,” says Leanna, “I was inspired by the majestic trees, the mountains and the ocean.”

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.

Let the field be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Psalm 96:11-12

God’s creation is so grand, but in the scope of it all we are so small. Yet, we make things so complicated. “I tend to overcomplicate Jesus and His love for me,” Leanna shares when speaking of her song “Simple”. “But God’s love is simple. He’s for me and He loves me.” This song as well as others throughout the album speak strongly of God’s faithfulness. “Whether you’ve known God your whole life or just met Him yesterday, I hope you can rejoice in knowing He is faithful in every season.”

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