back at it, let’s do it

When life gets heavy, burdensome, or just plain drives you crazy, it’s so important to step back. Breathe. Remember. And evaluate.

And we’re just in time for all of those things!…That’s what the month of January is for! Resolutions are in full swing, my gym is waaay overcrowded, and we automatically get that sense of a new, clean slate. I know at the top of my slate, I have it written to spend more time here. A common thread of desire for people all over this world is (in very vanilla terms) to ‘do good’. What do you do?

Singing, painting, leading, researching, supervising, traveling, teaching studying, and serving are a few of the beautiful gifts you may have that come to my mind. I write. And when you’ve decidedly nailed down your gift, it can take you MUCH further than just ‘doing good’. You’re able to provoke, instill, inspire, and let your heart be contagious.

2012, you were adventurous and testing and challenging and I’m glad to say bye-bye to you! But I’m not naive enough to think that flipping the page on the calendar solves problems. Life takes you through a long, winding, never-ending road of seasons. Without dry, desolate still ones, you’ll never dig deep enough to tap into the depths of your soul. Exhibit A: Me, here, writing. Because I love it, and because God loves when I do it.

I am so grateful for new beginnings, mysteries and opportunities. You should be, too!! Look around harder tomorrow, and harder the next, with this little passage on your heart. You’ll be surprised to see all the bright and beautiful avenues God has created for you to enjoy.

See you very soon…

Choices, choices, choices

Choices, rather than ability, show us who we really are…

There are countless differing “stages”, if you will, of life. The combinations are endless. There is the glorious stage of being on cloud nine (for me, usually after a workout), skipping down your hallway thinking, “Why can’t life feel this amazing everyday?!” There are some days where you don’t even have time to think. (flashback: NYC!) You’re so submerged in the depths of your activities, to-do lists, and moving so quickly that you remember “I didn’t eat today”, as you crawl into bed at 1:00 a.m. Awesome. Then you have days where you stub your toe as you’re running late, forget your papers going to work, receive a stellar speeding ticket, forget a friend’s birthday, and all you’re thinking about is Bluebell and bedtime.

Those are crazy times in life and we’ve each been there in our own personal stages, with hilarious stories to prove it. But what if I asked you about the “hardest” “stage” you’ve been stuck in – how would you describe it?

Uneasy. Tense. Cloudy. Lost. Uncertain. Anxious. Perplexed. Overwhelmed. Bewildered…

Could this be THE worst – and dare I say it – best stage of life? Could it be the place where everyone should actually want to be? Can goodness truly stem from bewilderment?

Those adjectives listed above only scratch the surface of actuality. They also only scratch the surface of who you and I can truly become.

You see, circumstantially, this is where we stand at the crossroad, staring our souls straight in the face. We choose. Champion or second best. When life is bewildering, it’s up to me to choose to say, “Yes. I’ve been waiting. This is my opportunity.” When life winds up and just knocks me flat on my rear, it’s up to me to say, “Perfect. I’m not stayin’ down. I’m about to get up and run.” When I become anxious, trying to harness the reigns of my future, a choice arises. I can stress (brilliant idea, really), OR, I can hand my heart over to the One who steadily, purposefully created it.

Matthew 6:27 – Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to his life?

Life is many things, two things I’m certain. It’s so incredibly short, and at the same time, forever a process. The journey of life is not about where I go, end up, accomplish, or gain. I cannot and will not take accolades and accomplishments with me when I go. No. One. Will. The underlying purpose of life’s journey depends on who we become in each of these challenging, beautiful, chiseling situations. Character – my soul – hearts I’ve been blessed to love along the way – those last forever. C.S. Lewis is the greatest to ever say it: “You don’t have a Soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”

Aggressively take advantage of the circumstances you’re given. Your reactions and choices to these situations is your heart on display to the world. Some days are harder than others, and require us to look at the crossroads and choose: Give in or grow.