Category Archives: Inspirational

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!

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…

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,