You can’t do it

Of course you can’t. Of COURSE you can’t!!!

Did someone tell you that you would be able to jump in and jump on and stand up on your first try?!

Who told you that lie?

I’ll be the first to tell you it’s a lie.

You need to WORK to thrive

You need to FAIL to vibe

You need to learn to stand before you can walk

You need to balance before you can glide

It’s not going to be easy. You have to build up your muscles. God gave us muscles so we could use them. So we could work them. So we could feel the soreness when we try new things. So we could stretch and grow and get up and tone and KNOW that we’re alive.

You can’t do it. Imagine if that’s all someone said to you when you were first starting out. Would it fan your flame to press on or would it justify quitting? I think it has to do with the will, the why. The motive behind doing something in the first place.

I remember driving down the highway on Route 64 and having somewhat of a vision. A bottle of shampoo fell into my lap. It fell from the sky… from heaven. It fell from God. God dropped that bottle of shampoo right into my lap. It seemed to fit in perfectly well. It seemed to fit my personality. “You can sell anything” people have always told me. It’s vegan and chemical-free; good for my body. I believe in it. I use it and love it. It has made my hair healthy. I feel good knowing that it makes me healthy.

When you’re passionate about something and love something, you light a fire underneath other people too. Passion and love are contagious. Love is the one thing that never dies. Because God is love, and God is steadfast and unchanging. And He alone stands the test of time.

But we live in a broken world. And things get difficult. Trials pop up. Hardships come around. Things can start to seem bleak or like they are never going to change. Sometimes the hardship can distract us from why we started in the first place.

Does a pregnant mother give up growing her baby because it’s too hard? God forbid.
Does a pro basketball player walk off the court mid-game because he’s having a bad night?
Does a gardener destroy his bed of flowers because he’s sick and tired of weeds popping up every day?

The answer to all three is, of course, “no”.

Because with perseverance and hard work, there eventually comes a turning point.

You try one more time… and you are able to get up. You find the sweet spot and are able to balance. You find your center of gravity and have built up your muscles enough to maintain your position.

“I’m going to have this baby if it’s the last thing I do” says the mother.
“I’m going to give every shot and pass my all before this game is over” says the b-ball player.
“I’m going to weed day after day to enSURE that my plants aren’t choked out” says the gardener.

And at that point, you’re DOING it. You’re thriving. The work is getting done.

At what point are you at? Feeling like quitting or absolutely committing?

I want to cheer you on. Keep showing up. The hardship is normal. The hardship is expected. The hardship will get you to your goal. And later down the road, I’ll be able to  say this to you:

“Aren’t you glad you didn’t quit? Aren’t you glad you kept persevering?”

BE glad you didn’t quit.
BE glad you kept persevering! Everyone on the sidelines is! Whether they know it or not. Some expected you to give up and fail. Don’t humor them. Some expected you to excel, because they believed in you. Do you believe that you’ll get there? Believe it. Get back up. Try again. Show up again. Build up your muscles. Expect to fall. Expect to fail. Expect that it’ll take hundreds of times, maybe thousands, before you’re an expert.

Experts aren’t born, they’re made. They’re created through trial after trial after trial. Loss after loss after gain after loss. It can seem futile. We’ve all been there. Press on.

You can’t do it”. You’re right. Maybe not right away or right at first. But that’s unrealistic. Was anything worth doing ever easy?

xxx

<3

V

Relief

Oh my goodness. What a relief it is to know you Lord.

You’re IT. You’re what gives me purpose. You’re the missing link. The missing piece.

You answer the “why” that I’m looking for.

Why am I here?

Why am I alive?

What’s the point?

How do I live in this jacked up world?

How do I survive?

How do I forgive people?

How do I take care of myself well?

How do I say “no” to doing and saying things that hurt me and others?

How?

 

You kept me awake all night the other night. I kept waking up, lurching forward out of a dream. A nightmare. I was in the passenger seat of a car and we were driving too fast. There wasn’t enough time to brake.

I kept waking up out of this dream and lurching forward to almost sitting straight up.

I know what You were trying to tell me. Hit the brakes. HARD. Turn around. Better yet,

get.

out.

of.

the.

car.

I’m in the wrong place, with the wrong person, heading in the wrong direction. And if I don’t hit the brakes, we’re both going to crash.

I knew that was You speaking to me through a dream. And people say You don’t speak through dreams. Ha

People say a lot of things

people say

people say

“people say”

it doesn’t matter what people say. It’s just words. But YOU, Your Word. When YOU speak…. we MUST pay attention.

 

Lord… 

Thank you that you know my heart and you love me the same. Thank you for the gift of conviction and the gift of knowing You and hearing from You. Thank you for calling my name and speaking to me. Thank you for redirecting me. Thank you for capturing my attention. Thank you for not leaving me alone to make bad decisions that I’ll later regret. Thank you for wanting me to look more like Christ and less like me. Thank you for properly posturing my heart to desire You. To love You. To not just modify my behavior on the outside for PEOPLE but to earnestly seek to love you with every cell in my body. 

Help me trust You with every detail. Help me not settle for the wrong car, for the wrong person, for the wrong trip, for the wrong direction. For the wrong motives. For the wrong outcomes. For selfishness. For personal gains. For thrill seeking. Lord I thank you that every thing you created is good… but it isn’t always the right time or place to enjoy Your creation. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy so much of my every day life. You didn’t have to do that. From the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to bed; I love my life. 

I love my life.

I love this life.

There are parts I want to change.

I am actively working on changing those parts.

There are parts that can’t change right now or maybe never.

I am actively working on accepting those parts. Even if that means giving them up again and again on the daily.

All we can do is the next right thing.

We must focus on the next right thing. We mustn’t focus on what’s lacking.

For the Lord is my shepherd, and I shall. not. want.

xxx

<3

V

write your book

I’m telling you guys. The book is not going to write itself.

Do you have one hour a day to work on it? Sit down, open up the document, and focus. 

Do you have more than one? Lucky you, now focus!

I promise, a little a day adds up. Make a realistic goal! Shoot for finishing a section, or a chapter. Simply shoot for 300 words! 300 words a day is 2100 words a week. That’s 8400 words a month. 84,000 in ten months. Y’knowmsayn?

I love this scripture so much.

I am God’s workmanship. Workmanship means “the art of skill of a workman”.

I’m God’s art. & So are you! <3

He did a pretty good job, amirite? 😉 😀

And He is at work within me RIGHT NOW to will His good pleasure && do His good pleasure.

Idk about you, but this motivates me! And if it doesn’t motivate you, I encourage you to cry out to Him. Ask Him for motivation. Ask Him for inspiration. Ask Him for focus. Ask Him to show you what to write and how to phrase things; which topics to keep, which topics to throw out.

Projects anointed by God will NOT be stopped.

So let’s work, my brothers and sisters!!! For His glory. By His power.

Lord, thank you so much for this day. Thank you for the time I was able to put into writing and working this afternoon. Thank you for focus. Thank you for leading me to the write resources to help me complete this project. Thank you for blessing me in every area of my life that you’ve deemed to be in Your good and perfect will. Thank you for going before me and preparing my way in all that I do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

xxx

<3

V

 

Go Time

I’ve got my Zevia tea (extra 45mg caffeine), hipster denim button down (cuz the AC be blastin’) and my homework (STUDY BOOKS) && …..

I’m ready to WORK.

I’m at Whole Foods. Something about being in a busy environment helps me focus. It helps me succeed faster. The hardest part for me is making the time. Scheduling time to work towards my goals. After all, books don’t write themselves, videos don’t create themselves, songs don’t write themselves. We have to do the work.

And I am thankful for this privilege; to have the time, the focus, the health required. The drive. The motivation. And I attribute all of these gifts to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Join me in following through with your goals. Make a date to do the work.

Now go get ’em tigers. <3

xxx

V

Bird Facts for Dummies

I’d like to start off by saying I don’t know a thing about birds. I see people who know their birds and wonder how the heck they know that stuff. I never studied birds, and I frankly don’t think about birds all too often. Kinda like I don’t think about dogs or lizards or cats or gophers. They all exist, but I don’t think about them. Animals have never been my passion. But today, I learned a thing or two about red-breasted robins.

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Robins like to dance. They like to play. Their legs are built to hop, and are naturally very muscular. They hop from branch to branch and in the grass when it’s too tall to see over. They can walk or hop, and sometimes they hop just for fun. Isn’t that cool? I hop just for fun sometimes too. And I have naturally muscular legs. My mom used to call them Amazon-woman legs. I forgive you mom. You didn’t know that I was built to hop.

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The truth is, I was having a rough morning this morning and wasn’t sure how to get over it. I was frustrated with more than one person and feeling heated physically and mentally, and maybe had too much coffee to drink. After journaling, praying, and talking about it I wasn’t sure what to do.

 

Lord, I need you. I can’t do this.

 

And I looked up, away from the caked muffin tin I was scrubbing and out  the window … and I saw this guy.

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The red-breasted robin, also known as the “Turdus Migratorius” is in the Turdidae family, Turdus genus, and migratorious species.

I love how “turd” is in his name.

I know, I’m five. :~)

^_^

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Camellia in full bloom!

And I watched this robin and his best friend dance with each other. Ralph (Robin #1) and Ronnie (Robin #2) mirrored each other. Ralph took a few steps forward. Then Ronnie took  a few steps forward. Ralph hopped a few steps to the left. And Ronnie followed. Ralph stepped towards Ronnie and looked left. Ronnie stepped towards Ralph and looked right.

Ralph is the leader in this situation. Whatever Ralph does, Ronnie does after. That’s how human relationships can be. Leaders and followers.

But then Ronnie did a backwards thing. He started towards the right, and Ralph followed him. The next few moves were done by the opposite bird. I was confused. So God said

I can teach you in all things and through all things. You’ve just got to look up and listen.

Here I was, having a rough morning, focusing on what was wrong in my life and how uncomfortable I was, and God starts teaching me a lesson with two Robins in the yard.

“You know the way to the place where I am going”

John 14:4

This was the verse of the day on my bible application. And it reminded me, in conjunction with seeing the birds dance, that sometimes all we gotta do is look up.

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Because I looked up, I saw the robins.

I saw the camellias.

I went outside barefoot and took pictures.

I came inside and researched robins.

I learned that robins hop just for fun sometimes.

And I saw that sometimes robins lead, and sometimes robins follow. And just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, life surprises us.

Thank you Lord for using some of your intricate creation to teach me. Thank you for pulling me out of my funk and brightening my day with a couple of hoppin’ robins! Thank you for your unpredictability, spontaneity, creativity, and beauty.

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

xoV

<3

 

 

enjoy Today

The clock striking 12:34 is a reminder of the inevitable interconnectedness of the Universe.

The Unity.

What I mean is, you and I, we’re the same. And I need you, wherever you are.

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coffee on the screened porch

Dear Reader,

Today could be the last day to

drink your morning cup of coffee and snuggle into your favorite spot on the couch.

stroke your dog’s back and greet him with a scratch behind his ears.

step out onto the back porch and inhale the freshness of the morning breeze

crack two eggs  into a cast-iron skillet and hear the sizzling butter working its’ magic.

hear the quirky sounds of your best friend over the phone.

get lost in the pages of a good book.

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Every moment of every day is a gift. We are gifted with our eyes to see and ears to hear. We are gifted with our noses to smell and hands to hold and legs to carry. We are gifted with places to stay and food to eat and people to serve and enjoy. But we don’t always think of our days as gifts. In fact, it’s easy to take our days for granted, and we do. We curse our days and call them “bad”. We curse our gifts and compare them to others’ gifts. We crave more than what we have and aren’t satisfied when things don’t go our way.

IMG_20160713_220135036family & tea

What if every day was really a gift? What if every day was a chance to be joyful about everything?

Even our missed alarms

broken-down cars

humid summers

technical difficulties

lost possessions

hurting bodies

broken relationships

uncomfortable feelings

tolling addictions

and unfair instances?

What if all parts of our lives were gifts to be thankful for — Good and Bad.

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summit of Mt. Monadnock at sunset, 7/16/16

I think they are.

I think we grow, like flowers in a rain storm.

I think we build up — like skyscrapers in a city.

I think we reflect nostalgically, like mirages in the water.

I think it’s all important; the successes and the failures. The losses and the gains. The peaks and the valleys. The ups and the downs. The broken and the healed. The strong and the weak.

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me & my two older brothers, 1994

I think we are all in this together — and the more we bring each other up, the more places we will go. The harder work  we endure to live in comfort, the greater the harvest we can enjoy.

But if we don’t enjoy Today, we don’t enjoy tomorrow. I believe that the way we spend our days is the way we spend our lives.

So if we spend our days grumbling, we cause others to grumble;
And if we spend our days mumbling, conversations aren’t clear.
And if we spend our days stumbling, we cause others to stumble;

But if we spend our days humbling, we’ll know that God is near.

So go now and enjoy your day. All the ups and all the downs.

Formulate a contagious smile from the remnants of your selfish frown.

 

Love you all <3

V