Because of who you are

It’s been almost three months since I stepped down as music director at our church and I can’t believe it’s gone by so fast.

Truthfully, I was afraid I would lose my friends when I lost that title. Like I only had friends as April the music director and not as April the person. 

It’s embarrassing to admit now that I was that insecure. Especially since every single person has been supportive, loving, and understanding. What was I thinking?

That has been the greatest realization I’ve had in this whole process….that my worth and value does not lie in what I do but in who I am.  

And who I am is a someone who enjoys building spiritual connection through song.

So…drumroll please…. I’d like announce the first ever “Hymn Sing Surprise” this Monday at 7pm CST on Facebook. It will be a live event, so I think as long as you are on Facebook you will be notified that it’s happening.

It will be me and a guest musician jamming on hymns and you can join in on the fun! (And no I will not reveal the guest ahead of time…that’s why it’s called a surprise!)

Whether or not you are able to hop on Facebook Monday night, I hope you’ll help me remember this truth:

You are enough.

Just you.

Not because of what you do for people. But because of who you are.

 

gods got it

God’s Got It

True Confessions Time: I’m still nervous sharing new ideas with adults. (no offense) 😉

​So when I wrote some new song lyrics in my journal earlier this year, I decided to share it with some kids at church first. ⛪️

I figured they would be honest, helpful, and if we decided it was no good I could quickly distract them with something else and pretend it never happened. 😬

Together, we figured out a melody line for the chorus that was simple and catchy, ♫​  they each shared something they were afraid of and then we all shouted “God’s Got It!” for the verse, 🙌 and then they came up with some great motions! 🕺

Voila, we wrote a song! 🎼

Hear it here (and get some fun extras as well!)

“God’s Got It” became the theme of VBS and the highlight of my week was when a little girl exclaimed after singing it, “that’s my favorite!”

I almost cried.

We truly never know how God will use an idea….and I need that powerful reminder when I get so easily caught up in worrying and trying that I forget to just be still…

He took a simple journal entry and turned it into a catchy kids song (a miracle on par with 💦 into 🍷 in my opinion!)

All I need to do is show up and be me. The rest is in His hands. 🙏

What a relief….and what a challenge!

Curious to hear God’s Got it? Get the song and fun sheets here!

gods got it

No sense of direction

All this week I’ve found myself saying, “I have no idea where this is going but I’m committed to creating it.” (In reference to an album I’m recording for people dealing with infertility.)

Which is especially funny given a recent driving mistake I made.

After leaving an awesome conference in Columbia, SC I planned to meet up with my husband and start our anniversary road trip.

My husband flew into Charleston.

I drove to pick him up…..in Charlotte.

So clearly not knowing where I’m going is something that crops up in many areas of my life. And yet it doesn’t stop me from driving around….

In my defense I was exhausted, the first 5 letters of both cities are the same, and they are both an hour and a half away from Columbia.

Thankfully my husband saw the humor in it (eventually) and we had an excellent vacation once I found him.

Trust me, I’m an excellent driver…..I just need to be pointed in the right direction.

Sometimes multiple times.

And maybe that’s where project is teaching me. All I need to do is create, and allow the idea to point me in the right direction.

Speaking of creating and letting the project lead the way, I’d like to include some more singers as a part of this process. Would you (or someone you know) be interested in an online singing experiment?

Sign up here and I’ll send you the info soon!

Until next time…

bootcamp hard

Bootcamp wasn’t this hard…

Would it make sense if I told you I’ve been in the middle of a soul growth spurt?

That’s the only way I can describe what this feels like…the constant anticipation, excitement and disappointment that has been the “Adventure In Fertility.”

In other words, an exercise that is building my patience muscle. <sigh>

At least with bootcamp there was a definite end in sight.

Because I believe in the power of music to help us heal, I am creating a collection of songs that acknowledges this unique pain. Instead of ignoring it (which hasn’t helped) I’m going to give it a voice. And as it helps me through, maybe it can help you too.

This is a taste of what I hope to create….music that acknowledges the darkness and leads to light.

You need encouragement to match the intensity of the challenge you’re facing. Rob Bell

Through many dangers toils and snares I have already come

Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far And grace will lead me home

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…

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 they’re supposed to, I take my scissors to it and make it work.

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

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.

We may be in a  place where it doesn’t seem like things are going to fit together, but we are exactly the right shape and have exactly the right skills.

 

puzzle ponderingWe have exactly the number we need.

We may feel “not enough” for whatever situation we’re in…but we have exactly what we need!

 

 

puzzle pondering

We fit easily where we belong.

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)http://aprilsingsalot.com/puzzle_pondering/

Posted by AprilSingsalot on Monday, February 27, 2017

Want more? Sign up for a free five day meditation experience! 

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