Thursday, October 24, 2013

Music

Music moves me and it soothes my soul. Some times I just sit back ... Humming a tune ... Not knowing where it's coming from. I want to as lyrics an a piano or a guitar - I want to write music not just books or poems. 

All my life I have been drawn to this. Drawn to music. Drawn to writing. I always in myself denying this dream because I don't want to be famous or live in a glass house. I have this tainted view of what my life would be like if I actually put my heart into something bigger than me. I worry that I won't be able to do it or I won't be able to play well enough. 

But then I wonder- what is my dream and why do I have it? I love music and I love singing. I dream of working on something that I can call my own and I wonder what that would look like or feel like. Then I sit back and listen to people all around me who are doing what they love and a small slice of jealousy creeps in. 

I wouldn't want to be famous - I just want to embrace what's within. I wouldn't do it to show off - I just want to share. 

I have a long road ahead of me and so much more to do ... But tonight I felt inspired and I wanted to share it with you. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

You Matter!

You matter.
What you do matters.
You make a difference and your influence is significant.

Sometimes you need to hear that. It gets hard trudging along sometimes when all you can think of is the time you are investing in everything around you and you are seeing no result. Sometimes you will never see the outcome in your lifetime. Even though this idea is difficult to imagine - you have to be accepting because it is the truth.

I have always known that I have influence and I try really hard to be humble about this, but I cannot help but acknowledge it and you should as well. The influence we have is significant and you have to be aware of how you are influencing.

If someone tagged along with a video camera for a day - would you be proud of what was filmed? Would you want that to be what kind of influence you were having on others? Would this be the explicit viewpoint or the G rated viewpoint? Would it be the truth and the real, honest you?

How often are we REAL with people? Allow people to see the real/true self? So often we are afraid of people seeing us and judging us - we never let people fully in. Why should we fear people seeing us for us? We are who we are and we need to be honest with ourselves and everyone else.

Set the example. Monkey see - Monkey do. So true. There are eyes watching all the time and we have to be aware and know that they will follow in our steps. Are we leaving the legacy that we want them to pick up and run with?

Are you proud of who you portray? Do you know how much you matter to everyone around you? Would you act differently or love differently if you knew?

Well... You should know!

YOU MATTER!

There may never be anyone who tells you this, but it's not because they don't think it. It may because they don't know how to say it. It may be because they don't know that you need to hear it. It may be because you act like you don't need to know.

But you should know - if you don't and if nobody has told you lately, ever, or at all... You do matter. Everything you do matters. So make it count!

What you do now and how you treat others will affect them in their future. You should know that this is influencing and impacting the way someone grows old and how they influence and impact the world. Think on that....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stand out!

Tonight I had a conversation that made me feel high and low at the same time. 

A young woman is choosing to be single. She, like many others, has realized that you don't need someone to complete you and you especially don't need to make that happen in college, high school, or any time sooner than that. It takes a certain level of self control and self confidence to stand by while everyone else is "dating", get asked to school dances, etc and being the one who says no. It takes a certain level of maturity to know that not leading a man on is best for you and him. I must say that my heart skipped a best and I felt so proud when she said she was going to stand up for what she believed even if it meant being different. 

What breaks my heart is that because of these decisions - she stands out. Now, standing out is not a bad thing - don't hear me wrong. What is sad is that people take advantage of this, peg her, peer pressure her, invite her along and purposefully make fun of her lack of bad behavior. Since when did standing out become such a bad thing? 

My ten hear reunion is approaching and it got me thinking .... What was it like for me when I was in high school? 

I didn't fit in to any set crowds - I wasn't all in for any clique or club. I bet over half my class wouldn't know me or recognize me if you asked them who I was. I was the kid that melted in. I blended just enough that I wasn't bothered too much and I stuck to the people I knew and didn't try to befriend those I knew wouldn't accept me. I was also the kid that never got invited to parties or events. I didn't go to most school events, didn't go to prom or other dances. I wasn't that into school spirit and I didn't attend many games. 

I think about that time in my life when I was, we all were, seeking acceptance. We wanted to fit in and have friends we could count on. I remember when everyone went away to college, started jobs or families and most of those friendships dissipated. 

Then I begin to think abut what my life would be like if I had just made the effort to stand out... To take that step. To be different than everyone else and feel okay about it. 

What would your life look like if you stood out? If you took a stand? If you dared to be different?! 

Are we still in fear of being singled out? Made fun of? Bullied even? Are we the people who made fun if others or bullied them? 

What is the point of pressuring someone to do something? So you aren't alone and don't feel so bad for doing it? Are we still those people that try to pressure others even though me know it's wrong? 

What would life look like if you never felt pressured? What if you could stand up and stand out?! Paint that picture and let it set itself in your mind!

Dare to be different! 
Stand up and stand out!! 
Do you have the courage? 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Surprises

Tonight I came home to an amazing surprise. It was likely the best surprise I have ever had in my entire life. I am in awe and amazement at the ways I am blessed. A part of my surprise involved chocolate!! Yum!


I was inspired, encouraged, and struck by these words I received and many others.

Live in the Present! There is no better place. You have all you need and all that God has given you. Do not seek out something that is harmful. Do not look at the past. Do not try to see if the grass is greener on the other side. Do not look for the 20 when you have the 80! Life is passing you by while you are too busy to realize it. You have to stop and take a step back. Look at all that you have and just wonder in it. You are blessed. I am blessed. I could not honestly ask for anything else in my life. The world is such a big and beautiful place and I am so excited to experience it every day. To see and enjoy new things, or experience things again in a new light. I think for the first time in my life I am actually living!

Be Fearless! Do not be afraid. Do not let it rule your life. Do not allow your insecurities to step in the way. Life is too short to hide in the shadows or creep around worrying about everyone else. You have to live the life you know you were meant to live and do it fearlessly. There is nothing that God cannot handle. Even when things get rocky or a storm starts brewing - know that He is with you and you shall have no fear!

Do what Feels RIGHT! You know what is right or wrong. You know what feels good and what feels bad. Yet often we find ourselves doing what is best for everyone else instead of what is best for us. Often we find ourselves going against what we believe in order to appease someone else in our life. STOP! You have to do what you know feels right. Even if you think it's crazy or you think everyone else in the world will think it's crazy. Crazy just means that they don't know or understand it. What is right is not always easy, but it is worth it!

Know and understand how blessed you truly are. Appreciate the people in your life that you love and those that love you. Do NOT ever take advantage of what you have because one day you might not have it anymore. Our days are numbered and we do not know when that number will be up. Live like you haven't lived before in your life. Love like you won't have a tomorrow. Remember to tell everyone you love just how much you love them and why. You have no idea how impactful that is on a person's day and most importantly - on their HEART.

Have you ever cried because you were overwhelmed by positive feelings and not negative feelings? Have you ever felt so much happiness in your heart that you could not sit still? The focus is gone throughout your day ... squirrel squirrel squirrel ACORN! LOL! Let it be! I cannot express how much energy I wasted fighting all of this. But the thing that I have learned is that you have to be FEARLESS! LIVE in the PRESENT! and do what FEELS RIGHT even if it may seem crazy! The best things in life and almost everything that God has done seems crazy, but we just have to know and understand sometimes that it is BIGGER than us.

So... I sit here faithfully - In such awe and amazement - So inspired - So blessed - I cannot imagine feeling a better overwhelming feeling in my life. OK! So ... here I am with open arms...

Sunday, October 6, 2013

New Life

Today I witnessed people taking their faith public through baptism - then the most phenomenal thing happened ... A couple decided to get married and baptized together today in front of the entire church! What an incredible start to a journey! 

This life we live is always changing! It takes us on some bumpy roads and some smooth paths but all in all at some points we just wipe our old slate clean and start fresh - on a new journey with a new life! What a concept! 

Today I thought about the day I made the decision to take that leap of faith and go public. I was young and excited and didn't know really what I was getting myself into other than ... I was excited about Jesus and knew this was what I was supposed to do. Now mind you - there have been plenty of times in my life where I have faced trials and tribulation - I have turned away and it took me time to refocus and get back on track. I know and understand as an adult what it really means to follow Christ. It's a hard path and takes a lot of commitment - but it's definitely a journey I would not give up or trade in. 

I think about everything I have encountered along this journey and how it has impacted my life. The rocky and broken road that had led me to where I am. I see all the ways I have been saved and rescued. I can think back on all the ways I have been blessed. I can only credit these blessings to God. I must say that nothing in this life is a coincidence and I know He had a plan for me. I am excited to continually be uncovering that plan and journey. I'm excited for the company that will be with me on this journey as well. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Food

I just finished my lunch and it consisted of: spinach, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower salad with no dressing and an apple. Ugh. Well.... here is to healthy eating and getting on the right path!

So I have decided to go Gluten Free ... for sure... and am looking into the Paleo lifestyle. This is all new to me and crazy because it's different and difficult. I have been doing this for 3 days now and it's already hard. I want ice cream, sweets, bread, etc. It's so hard to say no to things when they are sitting all around you all day long!

Food = Temptation

This is such a difficult concept for me. Now, mind you, I have food allergies and I have never really been consistent with following that dietary plan that keeps the allergic food out of my diet. So - for the first time in my life I am fighting myself to stay consistent with food. All I want to do is bake! or eat this really delicious and huge muffin sitting across the lunchroom!

But I must say that I think this is a good decision and really the best decision I have made for myself and my body in a long time. It is responsible and safe. I am choosing to refrain from putting foods that are toxic to me in my body - What a concept?! I know.

So - I know this is difficult for me but I do have support and that is the best thing in the world. Everyone who decides to make a decision that will tempt or challenge them this greatly needs someone to support them and hold them accountable. It is difficult, but I plan to stick to it.

What decisions in your life do you need to make? What challenges do you face that you need a support system for? What temptations do you encounter that you need someone to hold you accountable for?

I know food seems like such a simple thing, but you have no idea. When you talk to me about food, I can describe things that will make your mouth water because I love food so much! I love cooking and baking! This is such a new journey for me. I have to re-learn how to love food, cooking, and baking in a whole new way!

Eek! Wish me luck!