Random, Writing

In the Words of Nike…Just Do It

{sigh} Here I am again, feeling like a failure because I’ve not expressed myself here for so long. Major life changes can do that to you.

But then today…I began reading a book that has received a TON of press lately. When I read the author’s dedication, I knew it was going to be life-changing.

Oh, you want to know which book? It’s written by Rachel Hollis and is called, Girl, Wash Your Face.

From the introduction, “I believe God loves each of us unconditionally, butI don’t think that means we get to squander the gifts and talents He’s given us simply because we’re good enough already. A caterpillar is awesome, but if the caterpillar stopped there — if she just decided that good is good enough — we would all miss out on the beautiful creature she would become. You are more than what you have become.”

Say WHAT?!?!

I’m only through the first chapter, but already I can hear Rachel’s encouraging, go-after-what-you-want, words echoing in my mind.

Many years ago, the elementary school my children attended rolled out a new writing curriculum. My kids, then a 2nd grader and a kindergartner, were coming home with AMAZING words. Words that created incredible stories. I had always dreamed of being able to call myself a ‘writer.’ When I read their words, I felt encouraged and empowered. I felt I had permission to do this BIG thing called writing.

It was then, that I decided to start writing in this big expanse called the internet. My blog meant to be a place for me to express myself and be transparent with the world. It has been that and so much more. I’ve made money from my words. I’ve ‘met’ some really incredible women during my time online. I’ve stretched myself and I’ve grown in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise.

And I’ve also let it sit for too long, afraid of not doing it ‘perfectly.’ What is perfection, anyway? It’s boring…that’s what it is.

I’m teaching English again this year. School has only been in session for 9 days, and I can tell you that my students have genius running through their veins. I can’t wait to see the work they produce and hear their thoughts. I was telling them the other day that I’m a procrastinating-perfectionist. I want everything to be perfect, so I put it off and put it off, knowing that if I just prepared a little more, it WOULD be perfect. Then it comes crashing down on me, because I’m up against a deadline.

But the truth of the matter is, my words don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be MINE.

And I’m done procrastinating.

So, in the words of Nike, I’m going to Just Do It. I’m not going to wait for tomorrow, for conditions to be ‘perfect.’ I’m not going to wait until I feel I have ‘just the right’ words. I’m going to write and I’m going to give it my all again. I’m not going to get hung up on who will or won’t read my words. Because they were always meant for an audience of One, anyway.

Random, Writing

Someday…or Today?

I read a devotion by Shauna Niequist today. In it, she referred to how the word ‘someday’ can be seductive…

We can tell ourselves that someday we will get in shape, someday we will spend quality time with the kids, someday we will seek out our dream job, someday we will do ‘XYZ’.

Unfortunately, all too often, our ‘someday’ turns into never.

I didn’t want to write this post today. I wrote one yesterday and thought to myself, ‘eh, that’s good enough for now.’ When I read Shauna’s words, I knew I needed to put pen to paper (or words on a screen).

See, I’ve been wanting to do this writer thing for a while. And yes, I can technically call myself a writer because, well, I write…but I want to step up my game.

Here are all of the things I have ‘in the works’ right now that should be helping me up my game:

  • I am enrolled in an online writing class, with an author/teacher who is an incredible writer.
  • I am involved in several Facebook groups for writers.
  • I have multiple writing books on my bookshelves.
  • I have the encouragement of my kiddos and those closest to me.

While this is not an exhaustive list — it holds the most important list items.

And yet, I still struggle to make this appointment with my laptop to write and bleed words…

What about you? What are you putting off for ‘someday’? How can I encourage you to keep your appointment with whatever your goal is? Let’s do this today…and let’s do it together.

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Random

Hands…

Hands

I once read that things are different in the hands of different people.

For example, a paintbrush is much different when in the hands of Monet versus a child.

A basketball is much different in the hands of Michael Jordan than those of Babe Ruth.

A piano sounds much different when played by the hands of Mozart than when played by the hands of a first year piano student.

Clay turns out to be something much more inspired when molded by Leonardo da Vinci than when turned and shaped by a college student in an elective course.

One of the best examples I can think of to illustrate this is with the two fish and the five loaves of bread.

In Luke 9, there was a crowd of people surrounding Jesus and His disciples waiting and yearning to be taught. But, as Jesus repeatedly taught us, we need to meet people where they are before attempting to minister the Word of God to them.

This crowd was hungry, so Jesus told His disciples, “You give them something to eat.”

They replied, “We only have five loaves of bread and two fish-unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.”

If you are familiar with the story, you know that Jesus takes the bread and the fish, and, “looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them.”

The story further goes on to tell us that everyone ate to their satisfaction and there was still plenty that was left over.

Two fish and five loaves of bread go much further when in the hands of Jesus than when in the hands of His disciples.

When I apply this to my life, I realize that my circumstances, my children, my blessings, my challenges are all different in my hands than in the hands of others. While I may long for an easier road, or different blessings, I realize that God can’t accomplish what He wants to in me and through me without giving me what is in my hands.

Only I can prepare my children for the life God has for them; no other mother could do that. Only I can share with others my struggles as a single parent and give them hope that they, too, will come out on the other side – and stronger for it.

Only my words will breathe life into an experience I’ve lived; one that will deeply move and touch the heart of another.

So, friends, on this day, instead of looking at your situation and wondering why this is the hand that God has dealt you, thank Him that He chose you for this great work. Work that only you and your hands can accomplish for His greater purpose.

Random, Soul Relationships

Dreaming…

The smell of coffee brewed by you even though you don’t drink it…just for me.

The cool, crisp, evening autumn air we enjoy on your patio.

The sounds of our silly girls laughing.

Your hand to hold late at night.

Watching you help him on the many 4-H projects to come.

The cookouts in your backyard.

The early morning sunrises enjoyed together.

Lounging on the couch together…reading or watching the latest DIY shows.

The country concerts in the dead of summer.

Sledding and snow men with all of the kids.

Shared meals around a table.

Late night pillow talks.

Early morning pillow talks.

Dreaming, laughing, loving…together.

His Word, Random

Sorry

Beauty

I’m tired…of trying to prove my worth and value to someone who refuses to see it…

I’m done waiting for you to acknowledge the gift that I am…

One day, someone will come along who treasures and cherishes the heart of mine that I will freely give…

I’m sorry that you can’t see the woman who stood before you, with all of the care and unconditional love that one person could offer…

See, this? This is not what I want my daughter to witness. I don’t want her to see me not valuing myself for who God made me to be…

I want her to see a strong, confident woman who knows she has her Father’s love and acceptance…no questions asked.

I’m sorry I expected more of you than you were willing or capable of giving…

I’m sorry that I thought – based on your words and actions – that we were on the same page…

I’m sorry that you can’t see past my exterior to my inner heart and soul…the part of me that loves with every. ounce. of. my. being.

I’m sorry that you feel like, because you’ve been hurt before – no wait, that’s not strong enough – you’ve had your world rocked to the core – you’ve had the bottom fall out on you – you’ve been crushed – devastated – destroyed – and you’re trying to put yourself back together by yourself…see, that’s not for you to do – that’s all God.

I’m sorry you feel you can’t trust and no one is there for you or strong enough to love you through the rough times…or to help you put the pieces back together again.

I’m most sorry that you don’t have the strength to open up – to allow someone in – to be brave and courageous to love again.

Because you see, that’s what life is truly about…loving and being loved…

I’m sorry – no, actually, I’m not – that I need to move on – I need to close our door – this chapter of my life.

See, I’m not honoring God by continuing to hold onto something He has removed from my life. He can close doors no man can open and open doors no man can close.