Believers, Encourage Yourself, Uncategorized

Renewed and Ready?

Today is Sunday – my favorite day of the week (until about 6pm, when it really sinks in that I have to report to work the next day). Don’t get me wrong, I love Saturdays. Saturdays are wonderful, but often busy with errands, chores, and other responsibilities. Sundays are supposed to be chill: church, a good meal, a few hours of relaxation.

desk-keyboard-typing-8264When I woke this morning, my plan was to write out my schedule in my planner, post to each of my blogs, read Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and start my Camp Nanowrimo writing. It’s after 8 PM and so far, I have completed none of those things.

Today, my pastor told the congregation to be doers. At the time, I took it as “go do something,” but I think he meant more than that. I think he meant, become a doer. It felt like my pastor was saying, do something consistently and your reputation for doing will proceed you.

This year, all of our sermons have been about real change. This blog was supposed to reflect that. I’m trying. My hope was to work a  little bit by little bit, one word at a time, one decision at a time. Luckily, it’s not too late to start. I can still win Camp Nano. Today’s only the 8th. I can read a few pages of Gilead before I turn in for the night, and I’m typing my post now. I’m doing something. I’m moving forward.

Encourage Yourself, MFA, Time Management, Uncategorized

Out With the Familiar

The first quarter of 2018 is almost over. Unfortunately, I’m not surprised that I failed in my daily writing challenge. Meanwhile, my monthly MFA packet is due this weekend. I’m playing catch-up. I’m tired, I’m cranky and disappointed in myself for procrastinating once again.

Today, I listened to a new podcast. It was called Forever 35. It’s a health and wellness show about self-care. During the episode, one of the hosts confessed that she feels good when she procrastinates. Her co-host explained that the bad behavior felt good because it was a familiar feeling. She said that the familiarity was comfortable, not the procrastination.

I was blown away! Just yesterday I spoke with a friend about my battle with waiting until the last minute to do everything. I hate it because it makes me crazy and irritable, but I can’t seem to stop doing it. However, now that understand why I procrastinate, I believe I have the power to stop.

Matthew 18:18 says, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” God has given me the power to bind and loose! I can bind the familiar spirit of procrastination and loose the spirit of commitment. I can change what makes me feel comfortable! I am empowered to change.

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I know this is a blog about failure, but won’t be discouraged. The first quarter may have ended without my having accomplished all I wanted, but the second will begin with a plan for attack. It’s time to try faithfulness. It’s time to let go of the spirit of procrastination.

All Christians know that faith without works is dead, so every day I will work. I confess with my mouth that I will work even if I am uncomfortable. It may be a good time to feel a little uncomfortable. Out with the old and in with the new.

Believers, Encourage Yourself, Uncategorized

The Fear of New Levels

My pastor said once, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you need to go to another room.” It’s true. We do what we see. Even Jesus said, “Verily I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19-20) What my pastor understands is that if we stay in the same room, we stay on the same level. When we change what we see, we change what we strive for.

I personally believe God offers us access to environments where people operate on levels higher than ours, not because we should waste time with jealousy and envy, but so that we can see living examples of what we should strive for, and then learn how to emulate them.arm

Recently, I’ve found myself in all sorts of spaces where others operate at a much higher level than I do. I listen to podcasts and read articles where people share their testimonies and both inspire and teach others. While listening, I often feel like why am I listening to this? I can’t do what he or she is doing. But I listen anyway. I take notes.

It’s interesting because two things have happened since I starting seeking new influences. Number one, the people who are still in the old space are shaken up. While they hated that I was a leader in the old space, they still don’t want me to leave. They see that I don’t yet operate on the next level (and work hard to consistently remind me of that fact) but are just as afraid that I will.

Secondly, switching rooms involves a lot of fear. When a person who was once the teacher becomes the student, his or her ignorance is on full display. It can feel like everyone is moving faster than they are. It can feel like they don’t deserve admittance. Doubt may set in… unbelievable doubt.

But none of this matters. It doesn’t matter if we feel good enough. It doesn’t matter what people say. It doesn’t matter how little we know when we first start. What matters is showing up. What matters is doing the work. What matters is that we continue to strive and press, no matter who we make uncomfortable in the process. Even if the person we make uncomfortable is the person staring at us in the mirror.

Encourage Yourself, self care, Uncategorized

Why I Won’t Be Listening to 2017 Year in Reviews

I was in a good mood Friday morning. A short work day was ahead of me. My Christmas shopping was nearly done and I felt optimistic and nearly giddy… until NPR ruined it.

Let’s be fair, I have never been able to handle the news. When I was a little girl my mother banned it from our house because it made me cry. As an adult, I listen to podcasts only after a quick skim over the episode notes and read news stories only after searching the headlines for safe topics. I spend more time on social media breaks than I spend actively engaging.freely-9326

Because of this, during my morning commute, I listen to book podcasts or church sermons. I can normally trust them to create a decent atmosphere. Because my guard was down Friday morning, I dropped the ball and my morning was invaded by the hapless wonder that is our President. I’m not critical enough to be political, so I try not to mention politics in my posts, but even his voice makes me cringe. I can’t handle him. I can’t handle the state of the world right now. It’s too much. I’m too sensitive.

Honestly, I could stomach the news a little better during the Obama administration than I can now. Even when something terrible was happening, I had less anxiety. I felt safer knowing that the person in charge would at least ask questions before making decisions. I even hoped he might pray. I don’t feel that way now. What used to be casual avoidance is now an outright war against knowing.

In 2017 I leaned on self-care. I worked hard to create a safe space where my family could be carefree, where we could breathe and hope in spite of. When the year in review episode crept in I remembered all that I’d been running from and wondered, “Why does anyone want to review this year?”

I am going continue pursuing self-care as 2018 approaches, but I hope against hope that things get better. I won’t worry and I am going to continuing praying about the hard truths and writing about things that make me feel hopeful. And I’ll continue to do so with the radio turned off.

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“Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” – Psalms 34:14

 

Encourage Yourself, Starting a Business

Motivating Others Instead

I have never been much of a doer. My tendencies lean more toward talking. So much so that I think myself a motivator, not a life coach because life coaches, at the very least, have a history of doing. I’m more of a pusher. I push dreams like drugs on unsuspecting people.

The truth is, I see possibility in everyone. Unless I’m looking in a mirror, rose-colored glasses are permanently fixed to my face. Give me ten minutes with a person and I am convinced that with God, a little faith, and some elbow grease, anybody can be, have, or do whatever they want – as long as they yield to God’s instruction.

This week alone, I’ve tried to motivate friends and family members to create apps, start a catering business, buy real estate and host a podcast. I’m prepared to help each and every one of those people get started. I’m ready to get dirty with them, pray, and talk to investors. I’m ready to work.

What I find weird about this, is that I can’t seem to do any of the same things for myself. I can be bold for everyone else but have little to no desire to be bold on my own behalf. What’s the deal with that?

I was going to suggest that maybe this isn’t the right time to make moves in this area. I was going to give myself an exemption. School has started. I’m supposed to be writing. I’m busy. But no! If I can find the time to work with everyone else. I can work for me too! I can advocate for me. I can motivate myself! I can be my own encouragement pusher.  I have to be my own encouragement pusher.