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…


I planted my heart in the Garden

If someone would have told me even just ten years ago, that I would spend a semester living in the heart of New York City (and be a graduate of Baylor University!) I know exactly what look would be plastered on my face. And some of you do too! I’m fully confident when I claim that my life hasn’t ‘worked out’ normally, but has been divinely constructed. There have been avenues and opportunities provided to me that have no explanation. I know I have experienced grace in abundance, just like you.

There were times I’d be strolling down Broadway on a Friday night with my friends and it would hit me. This beautiful, contrasting, simplistic picture in my mind – of me, so young and innocent, in a small country home with my family. It’s an incredible and imperative thing that we sometimes halt, and wholeheartedly trek backward in time to re-enter the times that shaped us. And stay there a while. But, equally important, is to pause and take a mental picture of where you currently stand.

I found myself doing this almost every day in NYC. Not only is season in my life the craziest, most mysterious and challenging era thus far – every thought, every decision, every opportunity was amped a million times while in the heart of the city. I spent each day – yes, every single day – carefully crafting a balance between establishing myself as a powerful, positive woman entering into my industry, and remaining true to the girl who sat barefoot on the banks of the pond in Oklahoma growing up. The first thing I did when I got home was go fishing… So I think I succeeded. 🙂

Another thing I did, without knowing it, was joining the heartbeat of NYC. It’s almost a subconscious thing; you have NO idea you’re in it, until you look at the skyline the night before leaving. The city has a way of grabbing you, whether you’re quiet, small, boisterous, powerful, lethargic, persistent, evil or good: and making you it’s own. The heart of the city shaped my mindset to wake up every day with a desire to compete, to be better than I was just 24 short hours ago, to be better than the cat next to me on the subway, to not just be inspired, but inspire. It’s an addictive game, an astounding mindset. You can’t grow complacent, because you don’t have time. You don’t get tired, because the only time you think about your bed is when you’re falling in it. You never really ‘get over’ the lights at night – well, that might just be me. But I’m fine with admitting it. Sure, I know my way around Manhattan like a local. But the times I was too lost in the moment to act like one – are my most cherished of all.

Spending each day and night at the most famous arena in the world took my capacity of respecting the world of sports to an entire new set of levels. Hosting over 320 events annually, there’s never a moment of rest on 8th Ave. Home of millions of athletes’ favorite memories, the Garden is now absolutely one of mine. I think my fellow interns started to worry about me when it was almost late April and I still walked into the arena gushing, beaming, and skipping around the surrounding streets like it was Christmas eve. There’s a different vibe in the Garden. The most passionate, devoted and critical fans in the entire world roar and engulf your every move. Every matchup at the Garden carries weight – a different kind of weight. Every regular season game feels like a championship and the hype is sincerely never-ending. The motto for the arena is, “It’s different here”. I think you’re starting to get that by everything I’ve written.

But just in case you’re looking for proof, check out this video below. I worked at MSG with Ryan Watson, who made these promos, and there were many days after work I’d stop by his edit bay to just to get a preview of what he was producing. He’s super talented and can compile videos to move even the toughest fans alive! Enjoy!