Welcome to the newly renovated joninichols.net

On the dusty back roads of your life, I hope you’ve found my humble abode here the perfect stopping place for a little rest and re-direction.

Some of you have followed my websites over the years as they have morphed and changed, maybe first knowing me as a songwriter, teacher, or writer. You know I love to uncover and reveal what gets overlooked and pushed aside. I’ve tried to put it all together here via  a music roomschool room, and of course the ongoing blog {rooftop} of stories on the actual-not-theoretical intersection of life and faith.

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To Launch Something, You Leave Something…

Having the cd in my hands and passing it along to friends pushed this new cd project beyond theory into a reality that
looked different up close. To be blunt, I’d gotten in a rut.

I had lost sight of things ahead. I know better than to believe the lie that we simply follow “open doors” and people’s applause, but Zach says I had begun to walk around the house saying, “I can’t do anything… I can’t… I can’t…I can’t…I can’t.” It’s the stuff of Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem, “Truth.” I had receded into a comfortable survival mode in which the world couldn’t blow through my tightly closed windows. I was adopting a mindset that had no room for Joni the creative music-maker and writer. Sure, we are working on our next 2 projects; sure, those projects are in my hands and I am actively working on them…but somewhere in the last 2 years I had taken some turns that had led me to a dead end in my mind.

To move forward with my work, I had to leave something behind, and I had no idea what this was going to mean for me. I had no idea it meant untangling my mind from a settled mess.

“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE??” –the voice kept booming in my head, ending in a tearful meltdown in my kitchen. You’ve got the music, the poetry, the half-written books and blogs… and a booming house that is desperate for a focused wife and mother.

I had come to one of those awful stand stills where I thought, “Maybe I’ll never know.
Maybe I’ll just do the best I can and plod along and always wonder if I’m off on some
tangent or not.” It’s the way I felt before my move to California when I couldn’t possibly
know which decision was best..until the next morning when more news hit the table.

That’s what happened this time.

The next morning, we left the house early to return a rental car and get our car out of the shop.

Zach and I were talking about some  projects we have on the table that involve music
opportunities with other musicians and writers. We get excited talking about music with the timid budding theme of, “We’ve got to stop looking at
everybody else’s box and be who God made us to be.” We are eating breakfast, letting the kids play.

I go up to get a refill.

Behind the counter, a lady/employee says to me, “Are you ..a writer, poet…” and I said yes,
and a musician.” And she beamed, “Yes, I saw you and felt that you were 3 things–a writer,
poet, and musician…Are you ….going for it?” I said I was, and that I had just been having
a little crisis about it, and that I knew that this was a ‘divine appointment.” She was really
excited then. (We high fived a few times..and I am known to be quite a high fiver!)

Then she encouraged me, grabbed my hand, and quickly prayed for me [right there from BEHIND the counter.] I felt bad for the onlookers because they must have thought we were crazy.   Then she handed me my refill.

I NEEDED THAT SOOOOO BADLY!

When we were about to leave, ‘breakfast was over’, so they passed out leftover breakfast
sandwiches … my favorite. A spicy chicken biscuit.

Now, I’ve been going to Chic-Fil-A for many years and have never walked out with a free
sandwich…much less my favorite menu item!

🙂

Identity crisis over!

——————-

This was how it all started for me and Zach–small steps in one direction with no one chanting my name, no one caring or understanding.  Just a conviction of sharing what has made my life worth living. It flourished into a wonderful era.

Now that we have a family, it will look different. I have several friends who are busting their butts to do the music thing .. at the cost of children and/or marriage.  It is a real trade-off it seems to me.  But “one step is all you can TAKE!!! [there’s terror involved here!]

THE WORST PART: I didn’t even know any of this until this Germany Version hit my door.

What an inspiration I have received. And what a mess I have been in.

Yeah, yeah, they say a mother forgets who she is when her children are born… so, ok, much ado about nothing; this is common to man.  But suddenly to live it ..is HUGE!

Thank God for the Launch that helped me LEAVE!

To Pioneer

You can’t t bandperrypioneer hrow the word around lightly, but when it is appropriate, it is a precious word. Pioneer.  In a late night chat with Aaron and Ielyn Henningsen about life and music, and why we do what we do, Aaron said, “You’re totally describing this song we just wrote with The Band Perry called “Pioneer” and he whipped out his iPhone and played the ‘work tape.’ I can’t tell you how good it felt and feels to hear words that speak what you feel…and to know the friends across the table understand what you’re feeling. The song came out his week and just gave me a big fat boo hoo session.

Sample clip here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/pioneer/id615443772

Lyrics:

Oh Pioneer
I sing your song
It’s the hymn of those who’ve gone before and those who carry on
Pioneer
Your work is hard
But the future of us all rests on the shoulders of your heart

Where are we going
Oh I don’t know
But still I’ve got to go
What will become of us
Oh I don’t care
All I know is I’ll go anywhere
Pioneer

Oh Pioneer
So young and brave
Be careful of the careful souls who doubt you along the way
Pioneer
You orphaned child
Your mother is adventure and your father is the wild

Where are we going
Oh I don’t know
But still I’ve got to go
What will become of us
Oh I don’t care
All I know is I’ll go anywhere
Pioneer

Let your heart not be troubled

I won’t run when bullets chase me
I won’t rest where arms embrace me
I will love when people hate me
I won’t hush, no you can’t make me
Send the dark but it won’t break me
You can try but you can’t change me
Take my life, they will replace me
I won’t hush, no you can’t make me
I won’t hush, no we will sing

Where are we going
Oh I don’t know
But still I’ve got to go
What will become of us
Oh I don’t care
All I know is I’ll go anywhere
Pioneer

Let your heart not be troubled.