Giggles, Fits, Everything Else

While visiting a friend this week, it was time for her daughter to take a nap.

The child began to scream and cry because she wasn’t ready to take a nap, claimed she didn’t need one, and pleaded to stay up longer.

I was holding back a giggle because the very thing she was doing (throwing a fit) was a huge sign that she was indeed exhausted and needed a nap!

This got me started thinking about my reactions to all the setbacks, detours, and dead ends I’ve faced in life. How many times have I pitched a fit because things didn’t go my way, thereby proving I wasn’t ready for that thing in the first place?

More than I’d like to admit.


On a related note, last week I shared about our long road to becoming parents…and the fact that we’re still not there yet. (If you missed it, you can read it here.)

It was so helpful to hear that many of you are in the middle of waiting on something too.

Since I’ve found meditation to be a helpful way of handling this, I would love for you to join me in a mini-meditation series starting Palm Sunday and completing on Easter Sunday.

Each email contains scripture, a short devotional, and musical meditation.

I would say more, but I think the email titles speak for themselves:

Palm Sunday: Why don’t you say what you really think?

Monday: Hold that thought

Tuesday: Wishful thinking

Wednesday: Think it over

Maundy Thursday: When you come to think of it…

Good Friday: It’s later than you think

Saturday: Think on your feet

Easter Sunday: It’s the thought that counts

Intrigued? Join in here, and consider inviting a friend!

God IS blessing you, even in the waiting,

waiting weight

The Weight of Waiting…

2003: Tired of waiting, I made a deal with God in an effort to secure my “happily ever after.”

It went a little something like this:

“Ok God, I’ve been through some pretty awful stuff. It’s helped me grow up a lot and you’ve graciously provided me with family and friends who love and accept me unconditionally. Thank you for getting me through. Now that we’ve got the hard stuff taken care of, I’d like the rest of my life to be smooth sailing. Got it?”

It seemed like things were on track too…I married a wonderful man, we have a beautiful house, I make music for a living…

waiting weight

You heard it, didn’t you? The inevitable but that’s coming…


We always knew we wanted to have children and started trying back in 2011. We thought our dog Penny would be lonely once we were distracted by a baby so we adopted another dog, Shadow, to be a playmate when the baby came.

2012: No baby yet, so I applied to grad school, because I always heard you get pregnant when it’s most inconvenient to have a baby. What could be crazier than holding down two jobs and getting a graduate degree? This was definitely going to work…

waiting weight

2014: We now have two dogs,

I earned a masters in music, and….

still waiting.


We were diagnosed with infertility. The diagnosis meant that no matter how much money we were willing to spend or treatments we were willing to try there was no way we could make a baby together.

And yet we still wanted to be parents.

2016: We discovered the miracle of embryo adoption.

It’s a unique process that began because couples who have undergone fertility treatments often end up with more embryos than they can use. These embryos remain frozen in storage and are often called “snowflake babies”.

Our adoption agency matched us with a family at the end of last year and the embryos were transported to our clinic a few months ago. We get to experience the miracle of adoption AND the miracle of pregnancy…what could be better?

We are so close to becoming parents!


Close…but not yet.

I have been composing this post for months and waiting to hit publish until I had a happy ending to share.

And now I’m realizing that’s not what life is about.

Even though I would LOVE to fast forward to the happy ending!


God isn’t just here to handle the hard stuff or hand us the happy stuff.

He’s here for everything in between.

So I’m going to get comfortable with God and hand him everything.

My hopes, my dreams, and most importantly…

my timeline.

He’s got a plan for when this baby will come.

I will do my part and trust that He’s got this.

And whatever you’ve got going in your life? God’s got that too…

~ If you have a friend or loved one struggling with infertility please feel free to share this with them. The weight of waiting is lighter when we share the load. Thank you so much for sharing mine. ~

Update 4/6/17:

​It was so helpful to hear that many of you are in the middle of waiting on something too. Since I’ve found meditation to be a helpful way of handling this, I would love for you to join me in a mini-meditation series starting Palm Sunday and completing on Easter Sunday.

Each email contains scripture, a short devotional, and musical meditation.

I would say more, but I think the email titles speak for themselves:

Palm Sunday: Why don’t you say what you really think?

Monday: Hold that thought

Tuesday: Wishful thinking

Wednesday: Think it over

Maundy Thursday: When you come to think of it…

Good Friday: It’s later than you think

Saturday: Think on your feet

Easter Sunday: It’s the thought that counts

Intrigued? Join in here, and please forward to a friend and invite them along.

God IS blessing you, even in the waiting,

priest walks into a harpist

A Priest walks into a Harpist…

Sounds like the start of an awesome joke, right?

Even better, it’s a true story…


I was alone, driving a borrowed van, headed to retrieve my harp from school where everyone was already gone for spring break.

The place would be deserted.

This meant for the first time ever I would be faced with loading this massive harp all by myself.

Time to pray! ​ “Ok God, let’s review:

~ I’ve never loaded the harp alone.

~ It weighs 96 pounds.

~ It is the most expensive thing I own.

The way I see it, we’ve got two options:

1. Help me do it on my own or

2. Provide someone who will help me load it…

(preferably a responsible adult).”

I got to the school, covered the harp, strapped it into its custom dolly, and started walking through the building, all without seeing another soul.

Just as I was nearing the door, a man came walking through the building and asked if he could hold the door for me. I accepted and then asked if he could walk me out to the van and help load it in. He graciously agreed and we accomplished the task without incident.

As I was thanking him, I realized he was one of the priests on campus! I smile now just thinking about how God answered my prayer for a responsible adult with a priest! 

So glad I was specific, and so glad that God cares about EVERYTHING in our lives!

I created this meditation “My Hope is Built” with voice and harp is a great musical reminder of this!

puzzle pondering blog post

Puzzle Pondering

When I was younger we had a 25 piece puzzle of Bambi (one of my favorite movies at the time).

I couldn’t get the pieces to fit together the way I was pretty sure they were supposed to…actually, the way I was VERY sure they were supposed to!!

So I took some scissors to the puzzle pieces and I cut them to fit.

Well, what do you know, they actually weren’t supposed to fit together that way and I totally ruined the puzzle.

Puzzle pieces tulip

I had that exact same impulse when I was putting together my tulip puzzle over the weekend.

The puzzle was from dollar tree and when I finished the border I had a whole bunch of edge pieces leftover.

I was so sure the dollar tree people screwed up!

Time to break out the scissors and make it fit!

Thankfully my husband walked in before the massacre began and when I showed him  he helped me to realize that even though it looked like I had pieces left over, In fact they were pieces that went on the inside of the puzzle but they just looked like edge pieces.

Yikes! I realized that is definitely one of my impulses for life as well. When I don’t really think things are fitting together like their supposed to, I take my scissors to it and make it work.

“I’m going to pound on the pieces until they jam together.”

“I’m gonna make it work.”

In reality when you find pieces that really do go together they fit together beautifully, easily, and it all just flows.

The resulting picture is much prettier.

So…the puzzle that did turn out beautifully and all 101 pieces I actually did belong in that puzzle. (Thank you dollar tree you didn’t screw up after all.)

puzzle picture

Here are my lessons learned:

puzzle ponderingThe pieces (and you and I) are exactly the right shape.

Even though they looked like they were wrong at first and we may be in a  place where It doesn’t seem like things are going to fit together, we are exactly the right shape.

 

puzzle ponderingWe have exactly the number we need.

Even though, again, I was so sure I had too many pieces and we may feel “not enough” for whatever situation we’re in…we have exactly what we need!

 

 

puzzle pondering

We fit easily where we belong.

So we can stop making ourselves fit where our pieces are not meant to be.

 

So if you feel like maybe you’re not the right size and maybe you don’t have exactly what you need to succeed I would encourage you to go buy a puzzle at dollar tree (or wherever fine puzzles are sold) and see what discoveries you have while you are putting it together.

Lessons from Puzzle Pieces

Do you ever get frustrated by pieces of a puzzle (or your life) that don't fit together? Want to take drastic measures to make it work out the way it "should"? Here are some lessons learned from a dollar tree puzzle…1. I am exactly the right shape (even though it doesn't always feel that way)2. I have the perfect amount of pieces (even when it looks like I have too many or not enough)3. I fit easily where I belong (so cutting and pounding to make myself fit any other place is pointless)

Posted by AprilSingsalot on Monday, February 27, 2017

Want more? Sign up for a free five day meditation experience starting March 1st! 

you are fired

You’re Fired (Coming February 1st)

I’m on a mission to get fired in February. I know that sounds drastic, but hear me out.

I want to fire myself.

More specifically, that voice in my head that’s constantly droning on about all of my faults and holding me back from pursuing my dreams.

So on February 1st I’m launching a 28 day music and meditation experience…with a twist.

Every morning participants receive an email with a short devotional and singing meditation.

I’ve created this especially for people like me who struggle with maintaining a morning routine but want desperately to make a lasting change in their lives.

Why singing? Because….

We most remember things that set in song (Hello alphabet song!),

We are most receptive to learning when we first wake up, and

We all struggle with self-doubt, worry, fear, and anxiety.

So we need more than just listening to positive music or meditating on encouraging mantras, We Need To Sing These Mantras! 

Starting every morning with music that affirms our faith, reminds us of our strength, and centers our soul will change our day.

And changing our days will change our lives.

Join here and together,  Let’s fire those doubting voices this February.

Music and Mediation Experience Details:

Starting February 1st, receive an original meditation via email every morning to help you start the day with confidence. An example meditation and video explanation is available here.

Deadline to register is January 30th.

Bonus: The entire experience (28 days of encouraging messages and original music) will be available as a FREE download following the experience!

 

music and meditation

Music and Meditation

My New Year’s resolution was to have a daily spiritual practice.

I’ve done ok so far, but making it more than 5 days in a row is a struggle.

How are you doing with yours?

For me, something’s gotta change.

I need some inspiration, some reason to continue when I’d rather sleep in.

Feedback from these posts are very helpful to me, so I began reading through them for inspiration.

What came up over and over was something like this:

“I really enjoy these weekly devotionals.”

What?!? Don’t tell anyone, but

I had no idea I was writing devotionals.

Looking back over them, I see now that is what they became.

So in an effort to embrace what works, here’s a thought:

I’m offering a daily music and meditation experience during February. 

Sound like something you’d be interested in?

Each morning an email will arrive with up to 5 minutes of instrumental music and meditation prompts for you to use as a devotional.

Next week I’ll put out a sample, but if you want to get in early I’ve created a special gift for the first 15 people to sign up!

Check out more details here! 

music and meditation

My Vision Board Fell Off the Wall

True confessions time. I spent the last week of 2016 creating a vision board.

Roll your eyes if you must, but it seemed like something fun to try. It’s full of bright new ideas and great growth and happiness that I want to manifest in 2017. How can you argue with that?

Put it up on the wall and all was good….until the new year hit and I returned to my “everybody says I should do this so I may as well do it” routine instead of trying to follow a new path.

My vision board fell off the wall.

Literally.

My business buddy suggested that maybe since I wasn’t following any of the ideas I put up there my vision board gave up on me.

Total crap? Maybe. But it got me thinking…

What got me the most positive feedback in 2016?

This blog.

I collected all the responses and printed them on pretty paper and taped them on the walls of my office.

Feeling very inspired…….I returned to my normal, regular, safe routine.

You can see where this is going right?

All the pretty paper started to fall off the wall…

So I put everything back up (with reinforced tape this time!) and spent serious time reflecting and writing about what to do next.

Over the course of the last week I’ve gotten a new idea that may be “the one”.

Today was the day to put out some feelers on it and get feedback.

Instead I decided to run errands… to the post office (closed for the holiday), the library (closed for the holiday), drop off recycling (bins are too full), and shop at a boutique (you guessed it…closed!).

<Sigh>

I picked up lunch (running all of those non-errands really worked up an appetite!) and headed home to send those emails.

Vision board: 1

April: Preparing her comeback (I am not a zero…not now, not ever)

Stay tuned, and if you come by the house watch out for falling inspirational objects!

permission granted begin

Permission Granted

It all started Friday night when I found out that a shipmate passed away.

Unexpected. Unbelievable. Unexplainable.

We were stationed in Navy Band New Orleans together. He was a good friend.

How could this happen?

It’s given me a greater sense of urgency to stop waiting around.

I’ve thought for so long that there was some magical degree,

or amount of money,

or number of followers,

that would make me feel that it was finally ok to follow my passion.

Step out and begin.

I’ve been waiting around for validation that is NEVER coming.

Because there is no committee in the sky passing out permission slips.

You were born with a permission slip to be you.

So was I.

Somehow or another I lost mine along the way.

I found it this morning.

I hope this song inspires you to grab your permission slip as well.

permission granted begin

Begin

I wonder when the show will start

And will it take you far?

When the curtain rises and the show begins

Will you step up and be the star?

Ooo Ooo This is where life begins

Ooo Ooo Your adventure awaits within

This is the start, You can go far

Believe it and dare to jump in

Ooo Ooo This is where life begins

I wonder how long the show will last

And who else is in the cast?

When the curtain closes and the show is over

It will all have happened so fast!

Ooo Ooo This is where life begins

Ooo Ooo Your adventure awaits within

This is the start, You can go far

Believe it and dare to jump in

Ooo Ooo This is where life begins

So put your show on the road

Get a ticket, let’s go!

Push the pedal to the metal

Pull the pin on your potential

You’ve got the gift

Untie the bow

Ooo Ooo Now your life begins

Ooo Ooo You’ve found the adventure within

You’re at the start, You will go far

Believe it you’ve dared and jumped in

Ooo Ooo Congratulations, Begin.

Silly Side Note: There is also no magical meal that has permission to be eaten on fine china. My breakfast this morning? Eggo waffles on Christmas dishes and King Cake coffee in a tea cup. Let the fun begin!

father orphan God see

I did NOT see that coming

​If I had to describe 2016 in one sentence it would be:

“Huh…I did NOT see that coming…”

One of the best examples is this blog.

I started in May with absolutely no idea what I was doing.

All I knew was that I wanted to write, record, and share original music and describe how music helps me through life.

This is now my 34th post and I can honestly say “Mission Accomplished”

…and so much more!

What started out as my attempt to inspire others has in turn inspired me. Every post has resulted in multiple responses from people with interesting insights, thoughtful questions, and wonderful words of encouragement.

And that challenge to myself to write and record original music? It resulted in enough songs that I was able to sell my own digital album of music! 

The weekly emails now reach over 300 people (392 to be exact!) and I’m truly excited and honored each week to create and share with you.

Thanks for being a part of this journey, here’s to more fun surprises in the new year!

As a shared a few weeks ago, my favorite advent song is “All through the Night”. Here’s a fun video of the song with harp and vocal…and me in my pjs!

more complicated please

More Complicated Please

“I Want to Play Something More Complicated!”

That’s the phrase I hear most from students at this time of year.

They hear these complicated piano solos of their favorite Christmas carol and they’re desperate to duplicate it.

But it’s not possible for them yet because they haven’t learned the fundamentals. The really unexciting (but necessary) stuff like scales, chords, and theory that make playing complicated pieces possible.

Try explaining that to an 8 year old.

It’s impossible.

Which is why I end up creating simplified versions for them that work for their skill level. It’s a compromise that will hopefully keep them interested in music long enough to learn the skills to play at a higher level.

And so it is with life. I know I want to have more students to teach. A larger choir to direct. More opportunities to travel and perform.

But perhaps my “teacher” is saying you have more fundamentals to learn first.

So as we begin a new year I’m going to start my days with a non negotiable spiritual practice. And by taking time every morning I hope to develop the skills I need to pursue those dreams.

How will you be growing in 2017? I’d love to hear about it!