Peace in Playfulness

Even though we can always find much to celebrate heading into the Christmas season, it’s still really easy to get caught up in the craziness and stress out instead isn’t it?

For instance, in preparation for the baby’s arrival we are getting new carpet in the bedrooms and replacing the tile in the hall bath…

all happening next week.

Which means our dining room and garage are holding all the items from the baby room and bathroom so we (or rather, my hubby, family, and friends) can paint the nursery and prime/texture/paint the bathroom this weekend.

I was so proud that I was totally keeping my cool about all the bins and boxes stored around the house.

In fact, our living room still looked normal and we even had the tree decorated!

And then half the lights when out on the tree.

Thinking this was something I could handle fixing on my own, I set about replacing the burned out bulbs.

No dice. It’s apparently a blown fuze of some sort. Definitely beyond my capabilities.

So we half a half-lit tree for the time being…and it’s not the end of the world.

But it IS a challenge to remain calm amid the chaos of a house literally turned inside out while improvements are being made.


What has helped me to maintain some sense of peace is singing some hymns I adapted for meditating.

I’d love to share these unique compositions with you in case you are dealing with similar holiday anxiety.

The Hymns to help during Holidays experience is literally just that…

simple songs in a singalong style to help us go from feeling like we’re falling to pieces to feeling at peace.

To Hymns, Holidays, and a Happy (if at times chaotic) Home,

 

Hymns, Holidays, and Helping

Some days I feel like I barely made it through in one piece…

This year, I want to be able to say

“I made it through with peace.”

Hymns, Holidays, and Helping: Music to Combat the Craziness

If you enjoy being still with your thoughts, this is NOT for you!

If you are interested in achieving Peace but also want to be Playful, then this IS for you!

“I loved the opportunity to sing along with these meditations.  It was so unique!!” ~ Jess

Wait…are we meditating

Ultimately the goal is the same ~ PEACE

But we achieve it through singing instead of silence.

A combination of listening to positive music and saying encouraging words with simple statements that you (and your family) can singalong to.

“I loved the harp and vocal meditations, the messages were a great way to start my day!” ~ Shauna

Songs include lyrics and melody from:

♬  Silent Night ~ Away in a Manger ~(Holidays)

♬  It is Well ~ I Need Thee Every Hour ~ (Hymns)

Features:

♬  A portion of proceeds go to Wounded Warrior Foundation. ~ (Helping)

♬ Immediate access to the entire experience (10 + singalongs)

♬ Digital reminders sent to your inbox

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.

Start the experience now!

my anchor holds

Anchor Hold

I used to think of an anchor as something that

weighs you down or holds you in place,

Until I learned one thing changed every thing…


I’ve written a song about this, “Anchor for your Soul”….check it out here!


You see, my very first full time job was as a singer in the Navy band.

Which meant I had to go through bootcamp.

I had never run a mile or done a pushup in my life, and now I was required to do those things (and other unexpected tasks) in order to serve as a singer!


“I made it through bootcamp, I can make it through this”

has become my mantra in tough times.

I use the strength I gained from that experience

as an anchor.

Because sailors use anchors to hold the ship in place,

but climbers use anchors to pull themselves up to a higher place.

Totally changes everything, doesn’t it?

I’ve written a song about this, “Anchor for your Soul”….check it out here!

 

What is your anchor when things get rough? Share this and let us know!

I Couldn’t Keep Up

Do you ever feel “wrong” or “not good enough”?

It started early for me…

Pretty much as soon as I could walk, I started making up song and dance routines, ♬ grabbing my glue stick “microphone”, 🎤and roping my younger brother into running pyrotechnics (throwing leaves in the background 🍁) for my outdoor “shows.”

So my parents dutifully enrolled me in dance and piano lessons…

And I got kicked out of my dance class.

I am seriously uncoordinated and despite my best efforts it was becoming painfully obvious that I couldn’t keep up.

(That is still a bit of a sore spot for me.)

Piano lessons were a bit more successful, but there was always a girl my age who was better than me.

“Sally” (name changed to protect the innocent) always seemed to learn music faster and play it prettier.

I could never “win” because she was better.

Even though I enjoyed music, it just felt like if I couldn’t be the best it was wrong to even try. 🎹

I stopped and started lessons many times as I struggled with this feeling of inadequacy. <SIGH>

The constant comparison was exhausting.

IS exhausting.

Because (as much as I hate to admit it) I’m still doing this today.

Someone’s business is more successful, they have a better website, more likes on Facebook….

I should try this new tip, do that fancy trick, buy this new software, etc.

This was the wake up call I needed to snap out of it, step away, and talk to God:

Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do.

Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do.

If you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

~ excerpted from Matthew 23, The Message

There will always be a metric to measure success and find ourselves not good enough.

Here’s to simply being ourselves instead!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you think this is an important message that needs to be heard?

Please share on Facebook so that others will know they have permission to be themselves too!

Words can really wind you up, making you feel awesome…

“That compliment made me feel like I can do anything!” 😀

or awful.

“That email made me want to punch a hole in the wall!” 😤

Most of the time when it’s positive we hear it and soon forget it, but when it’s negative we can stew on it for DAYS!

Last Friday I got an email that made me feel like an idiot and I spent three days moping and fretting.

On Monday we heard the baby’s heartbeat. ❤️

It was an awesome experience that I’ll remember forever, but I did not let that miraculous feeling consume me the way that stupid email did.

So it got me wondering, is there a way to harness the power of music to help us hold onto the good stuff longer? ♫

Time for an experiment.

I asked my friends on Facebook to share the things that they were most grateful for.

I’m weaving them into a song that will debut right here.

My hope and prayer is that this will get our day (and our weekend) off to a positive start.

Check it out and consider sharing it with your friends.

What we focus on expands,

let’s expand our blessings this weekend!

Wonderful Joy

Debuting the song we wrote together!

Posted by AprilSingsalot on Friday, September 29, 2017

 

 

 

changing a habit to help when times are tough

Here comes the pretty part…

That’s what one of my students told me today during his piano lesson.

He had a favorite part in the song and he had finally gotten to it. So he paused to announce it proudly.

That’s how I feel in my life right now. Like the last few years of struggle to become parents were a long, hard passage in a song. And now, here comes the pretty part! The light after that long dark tunnel.

We wouldn’t appreciate the “pretty” parts if it wasn’t for the difficult parts. So I’m thankful for EVERY part of this journey.

And that’s why I chose “It is Well” for the Facebook live this morning.

Satan may buffet,

Trials will come,

but God is the victor

when helpless I feel,

He is the guard for my soul.

If you are also thankful for every part of the journey, share this with your friends! 

 

Good News! A lesson in Release

I’ve shared with you our infertility struggle. And now I get to share the good news…

I am pregnant! 🤰

I can honestly say that this is the happiest I have ever been…and that I wouldn’t trade a minute of the six year journey to get to this moment.

One of the many things I realized is that I was holding so tightly to the way I thought this had to happen. Lost in all the appointments, calendars, and alarms I started to think I had control over the outcome.

No surprise, it wasn’t happening as scheduled. I got a really strong reminder to

Release meant that we took a break this summer to travel and recover emotionally from all of the ups and downs we had been through.

When we returned, we felt we were supposed to try again, and decided to tell no one.

Releasing the need to share and instead lean on each other and our faith.

The week leading up to our embryo transfer was also VBS at our church. Every day of that week I sung these simple yet powerful words with the children…

Grounded in His love, Full of faith and hope

Everywhere that I go, Everything that I do

He’s keeping me on track, He’s always got my back

God I’m listening for you, You are the one who’s

GOT THIS!

If you need a reminder of this (like me!), check out this free recording of the song and some fun coloring sheets.

It’s a constant struggle to release and remember that God’s Got It, but we’re in this together!

P.S.– Music has saved me in many ways so I’m passionate about helping others find comfort in song as well. Please consider sharing this message with a friend!

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 hosted my first ever online event, “Hymn Sing Surprise” on Facebook!

Welcome to Hymn Sing Surprise! Download your free music essentials guide here: www.AprilSingsalot.com/hymnsingsurprise

Posted by AprilSingsalot on Monday, July 31, 2017

 

You are enough.

Just you.

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

Know someone else who needs this reminder too?

Share this post on Facebook! 

 

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!

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…