Monday, February 25, 2019

Out of Chaos

So here's the thing guys, I feel as if in my writing I've been rather... distant. It's really hard opening up online where so many people can read my words, and then, in turn, misinterpret my heart. 

We were headed to some friends' get together the other night, and I read D my recent writing. I asked him for honest feedback. Where am I lacking? Is my writing even any good? Does it matter? Should I just altogether stop? Does anyone care?

I'm always thinking the worst of any given situation. But the thing about D that I truly value is that he is always honest. No matter what the situation, he told me that he'd always be honest with me... even if I wouldn't like the answer.

And then he said the words I somehow knew and feared most he would say. 

You're a good writer, but I feel like I don't have a connection with you. You're too scared to let anyone see the real you. And I can tell you think no one cares. You just need to find your voice.... Why do you love to write?

Sigh. It's like my feelings are completely transparent. 

Truth is it's hard to not want to have everything perfectly aligned. I'm a photographer, and honestly, I love beautiful things and having a pretty, neat feed. I love happy and redeeming endings, pretty pictures, and lovely words. I love order, not chaos. I love light, not darkness. 

But I don't realize how much of that I take with me in every single aspect of my life. I want to portray what I truly love in life. 

But to be honest... life isn't really all sparkles all the time. 

So to answer his question, why do I love to write?

I love the feeling and magic of words when I read them off of a page. I love the images I see in my mind, and the emotions I feel when reading something that touches me. 

I know how it feels to be sad and then read the right words at the perfect time and the tears start to tread down my face from knowing someone out there is facing the same thing as me. 

I love that words can connect strangers across the world and both say "me too".  

I love that with four words "Let there be light" God spoke life into existence. 

I love that with the words I read in the bible that one day a few years ago as I sobbed on the floor of my bedroom, God whispered into my heart that I was deeply loved. 

I love to write because I hope I too can have someone feel what I feel as we go through this life. That I struggle and I have insecurities, but I hope that somehow my words can bring hope and life to someone else. 

I hope that my words reach out to you as if I was right there and just wrap themselves around you and tell you, hey you're not alone.

Words are powerful. Words truly matter.

And now that I think about it, words are the one thing that people have that no other creature or creation has. 

We (people) were made in His image... and were even given the words just like God. He really did make us special, because He wanted to talk to us. 

And with that thought, I just blew my own mind. 

It's my hope that I open up more about who I am, and not hide so much behind the colorful photographs I post.

Life really is beautiful, but I'm starting to understand that light would not be as bright if the darkness wasn't behind it to let it shine. 

Out of the chaos of nothing, came the unimaginable beauty of life. 

I hope I always remember just how important each part of my story is. The beginning, the times I want to go back in time to, the times I wish I could just erase out of my memory, and the times that drew me closer to the people I love. 

And that it's okay to crack open the door a little to let others see.  We're all going through this one life and from time to time need some light to shine in.  

You're here. And I'm here... and all I know is that matters a heck of a lot. 

I'm so relieved there are new days to start over. New days to apologize, to forgive, and to find the right words that we always wanted to say.

Saturday, February 9, 2019


In the 7th grade, I had an English teacher who had the word "FOCUS" printed in giant letters posted high up on a wall in her classroom. 

Being 7th graders, most students would make fun of it, but she regularly would refer to it and point at it when teaching one of her lessons standing at the podium in front of our class. 

I still remember this class vividly and staring at the words every time I'd walk into first period. She placed the words there as a reminder to focus on our own work that we were doing. So many years later and those words and the memory of it still remain in my mind.

I find that today more than anything it's really hard to focus on our own path. There are so many distractions everywhere... that it makes it a real challenge to not veer off in the wrong direction. 

Social Media, entertainment, the news, and the list goes on and on. I was driving to work the other day and lately I've been feeling a bit confused, sad... and just not right.

Honesty time. I kept thinking, "God, it's hard. How am I supposed to be focused on my own path, when everyone else's successes seem to be on display like a billboard all the time?"

I know I'm not the only one that feels this way. And I've realized that I have a problem with focusing on the road that God has for me.

Truth is, it's hard not to look at other people. Considering we live in a time when everyone invites you to peek into their lives.

I met up with a friend the other night, and we talked about God, life and our businesses as we sipped on raspberry sweet tea and I slurped down my favorite bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Panera's.

Talking to someone in person lets you realize we're all in similar boats out on the big vast ocean, just trying to keep on paddling.

Some people have little boats, some speedboats, some yachts, and some fishing boats. But we're all in the same waters, under the same sky... subject to storms at some point in life.

There was a part in John 21:21 when Peter is walking with Jesus and asks him, "... Lord, and what shall this man do?" meaning how is John's life going to turn out, what cool things is he going to do for you?

And this is what Jesus replies: "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me." John 21:22

Jesus pretty much told Peter that it was no concern of his what He was going to do in John's life.

Ouch. The truth hurts.  

Which brings me to this. No matter what, we need to remember people will always put the best things in life on display. I mean no one likes to throw a parade on the bad stuff right?

But no one is perfect and behind it all everyone has their own load of hurt and things they're going through.

When people run in a marathon, they don't look behind them, to the sides, or to the person wearing red who's running way ahead. Instead, they stay focused on their path and time to make sure they finish.

I want to be devoted to the season I'm in, with the people and job that was given to me right now.

I can only run forward. 

Let's do the little things, for they amount to much. Wherever you are, be all there and focus on the road that God has uniquely placed you on. 

You matter not because you're super fast or overly qualified... but because you are IN the race... now let's finish it with grace.