What I Plan To Do ... and Why

What I Plan to Do …. And Why 

(Released March 3, 2015) - First blog as "April!"

I am pleased to announce this Tuesday March, 10 2015 will mark the first release from Out East Records!  Last year I cashed out my 401k to:
1.  Defend country music in a song called “Bro Country,”  and
2.  Create my own record label so I could link it with the nonprofit Love Them Now.
This is also super-exciting because it will be my first release since I dropped the last name as an artist!  Yep, think like “Pink”, except “April.” J  (I thought about changing my last name to something like “To-Be-Announced” but that’s a lot of letters!)
Tuesday I’m releasing two songs, “What I’d Say” and “Bro Country.”  Actually, what I wanted to say is “What I’d Say,” (see what I did there) but I feel like Bro Country is what I need to say…at least what somebody should say (I have a whole soapbox on how brocountry is actually a blessing; I plan to share that in a couple of days).
So that’s the what.  It has occurred to me that in my 2+ year break from music many things have changed, and I haven’t been as faithful to keep you up to date as I should.  The break wasn’t because I didn’t have anything going on music wise, in fact, on the surface it seemed even more promising than now.  I had a couple publishers throwing around the word “deal,” a few major label holds for A-list artists and more than one producer with street credit ready to crank out album #2. Yet I took time off.  Now I’m seemingly coming back alone.  Here’s the scoop…& possibly more info than some of you care to know about why.
Some of you already know I’m a nurse (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist to be exact), and I pay my bills practicing anesthesia in Alabama.  What you may not know is in 2008 I told the Lord I would gladly do full time ministry. I thought I might start an orphanage or maybe live in a mud hut in Africa.   I was pumped to do that! 
My thing was I’d had a heart for the Lord as far back as I could remember, but I had NO idea He had a heart for me.  I was in church three times/week  and missed it!  I figured if I missed it while trying so hard, there must be other people out there missing it, too.  Learning of God’s goodness was the first game-changer for me.  I knew for sure my purpose on the planet was to let the world know God is good.
Before that, between my failures and his anger life was tough.  I knew He didn’t hate me; He was God.  But I was certain He was disappointed.  My theology was:  God is holy.  I suck at being good.  He’s pissed.  I really should walk the fine line of still having fun and staying out of hell.
Don’t get me wrong.  I wanted to be do-gooder, but I couldn’t pull it off.  I did my best to pretend like I pulled it off as not to disappoint all the actual do-gooders at church.  Plus, it would embarrass my mom (small town).  
But then goodness.  GOODness.  That He is so pure and kind and full of love He isn’t nearly as easily offended as many of the people I know.  That He knew I was going to screw up before the foundation of the Earth, and He picked me ANYWAY.  His plan is still good for me ANYWAY.  I learned that letting Him be Lord is easy when your heart is secure in His goodness.   You can trust Him!  He’s not out to get you but to lift you up.  Yes, YOU!
That sounds silly to some of y’all.  But I came from a culture where pretty much everything fun was considered sin.  I heard plenty about sin and hell.  And holiness. But no wonder I couldn’t pull it off? The Bible says it’s God’s GOODNESS that brings us to repentance, and tragically, I knew nothing about that.   In fact, the guiltier I felt the better. 
I’d heard about lots of rules and trying really hard.  Can you imagine when I learned that Jesus came so that we could know FREEdom and REST?   And all of the crap-choices I made, I don’t have to feel bad about them because God will use them.  He’ll supernaturally turn what the enemy used for harm and use it for good.  My good.  And your good.   
He wants only good for us because He adores us like crazy!  Heck, if sin were good for us, He’d be for that, too.  Everything goes back to how much He loves us and wants to prosper and bless us.  If you had to describe the kingdom in 2 words it would be love and forgiveness.  Don’t believe me?   Just ask Him.  He wants to show us!  Feel like you’ve been slighted?  Tell Him that, too.  He can handle it!  He cares about relationship more than anything.
That’s a long way to say I’m all with Jesus.  ALL in.  Combine that with my purpose #2 for being on the planet:  To create and perform music, you see why I can only operate in a scenario that includes Love Them Now (the nonprofit I launched in 2013).  Linking Love Them Now to the label is the best way I can think of for keeping my ministry separate from my music, but making sure I can do both at the same time. 
Imagine you are at a concert (Taylor Swift, U2…idk…) and you know how they have those booths or tents set up for merch?  My dream is to have a country music show where Love Them Now can simply be present at the site.  It can have its own booth.  It’s not in anyone’s face, and it certainly isn’t forced.  But for those who need or want it, it will be available offering ministry resources –and hopefully one day – ministry opportunities.     
So far I’ve had one major label meeting.  It went great actually.  He loved everything I played him and my ideas, too.  But I’m not sure how most majors would feel about Love Them Now and their presence at shows.  For me, if I can’t do what I was created to do, what’s the point? 
I actually took the last couple years off from performing because I felt like the Lord was calling me just to hang with Him and get to know His heart.  He is a GREAT hang! 
Pre-break, when I would pray over a music meeting or something I would be like, “Lord please let...” blah blah blah.  But there came a point last year when the Lord reminded me of how I used to ask Him to do things for me.  I felt like He was saying it’s time for me to move forward again with music saying “Remember how you used to ask Me to do things for you?  Now I’m asking you to do this for Me.” 
And now… (drum roll ….) …  it’s time!  I know for sure I have to get Bro Country out there or my head may explode.  But I’m excited for the world to hear the other songs and to get back on the road.  I haven’t had my own band since Memphis! 
I’ve never heard of a dual single release, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do on Tuesday.  Obviously, I would love to have a major label’s benefits and promotion, but I know I need the freedom to run the race I was called to run.  Besides, maybe there’s a way to have that and still be able stay in my own lane?  We’ll see. 
Someone once compared my journey [to a music career] to an Indiana Jones movie saying when I took a step in faith a stone would appear under my foot.  They said I would do that a few times and before I knew it the whole bridge would appear.  If you and I were together right now I would raise my glass and say, “Here’s to bridges! .... And the friends who take the journey with you.”  God bless America.  God bless country music.  And God bless you!