Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Project

Have you ever taken on a project thinking it is going to be super awesome only to find that it is a lot harder than you thought it would be? Well that is where I find myself today...okay, the past several days. It is also the reason I haven't been writing on this blog as consistently this month.

A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my sister and asked her what she wanted for Christmas. Her answer: "You know when your on Broadway and you go backstage and have a mirror with lights all around it and a chair with your name on it and you put your make-up on and and have costumes and wigs and a script...Yeah, I want all that!" I hung up the phone wondering how in the world I was going to pull that one off!

I decided to ditch the idea of the lighted mirror and chair, she can pretend on those things. I didn't want to abandon the whole though, and spent a few days really thinking about what I could get her. One afternoon I was browsing the internet looking for inspiration and had a brilliant idea! I would write her a musical!!

What a super awesome idea right?!? I decided to write her a script that she could act out over and over in her room. It would be original so that will make it fun for her. I could download songs off of Itunes to fit with my script and make her a "soundtrack" that she can sing-a-long with as she acts  it out. I even thought that if I had time when I was all done I could go to the DI and look for costume ideas for the characters. It was brilliant and I was super excited about it.

Fast forward to today...It is eight days til Christmas and I am still working on the script. It has turned out to be a much bigger task than I had envisioned. Writing a script is a lot harder than simply writing a story. I have had to think differently than I am used to in order to convey my thoughts through the characters dialogue and actions. Oh and did I mention that my biggest weakness when it comes to writing is dialogue? I have always struggling with dialogue and a script is 99% dialogue!! Making it a musical is another new and difficult thing because I have to figure out how to transition my dialogue's into songs and then back to dialogue. Finding songs that perfectly fit into everything is another daunting part of this project.

While I am completely overwhelmed with this project I am also determined. I want to do this for her and for me. Trying new things is always hard, but that is how we learn and grow. Once I have completed this project my confidence in writing will increase. I will feel proud of myself for accomplishing something that really strained me and not quitting when the going got rough. It's things like this that push us to step out of the routine of our daily lives and discover the power that really lies within us. Projects like this can be difficult, but they can also be fun. Step outside of your comfort zone and do something that will stretch you. I promise there will be times when you'll  be just like me and want to shut off the computer and buy a gift card to the movie, but pressing forward will bring great rewards and you'll find you are capable of doing so much more than you ever thought you could.

Friday, December 7, 2012

You Are Intentional

I've been really bummed out this week. There are a number of reasons for this. It started out with some family drama. Then, I had the flu...spending three days in bed with aches and fevers would bum anyone out! Luckily, I got over that though and the family drama sort of worked itself out, but I still found myself sitting on the couch feeling down. 

I started thinking about all the things my life isn't and all the things I haven't done. I'm not as pretty as Betty*, as talented as Nancy, or as popular as Jane. I'm 31-years-old and don't have much to show for it. I haven't accomplished all the things I wish I had or that I see others around me doing. As these thoughts inched their way into my mind my mood spiraled downward. (*names have been changed to protect those who will probably never even read this)

Then I came across the following picture...

God's design of you is intentional. You aren't like your parents, siblings, or friends for a reason. And that's a good thing, because God doesn't want you to be like them. He wants you to be YOU. The challenge today is to release the expectations you've placed on yourself and explore God's amazing plan for you. You'll soon discover that everyone has something to offer!

Wow! Can we say tender mercy!?! Reading that felt like getting spiritually slapped upside the head! I was made to be ME, not Betty, Nancy, or Jane! God's design of me was intentional, I was not His first big oops! He does not see me sitting here on the couch accomplishing nothing with my life and say, "Yeah, not really sure what I was thinking on that one". I matter for one reason or another I matter.

I then started to wonder if me being me was so intentional...what was God thinking? What am I doing that I'm just not seeing right now?

I don't have a job like everyone else does, but because of that I am free to help out a friend with outfit changes at a photoshoot...not everyone else gets to do that. I'm also free to spend an afternoon visiting with my recently widowed landlady...not everyone has the time to serve like that. I may not be married and have children of my own, but because of that I get to be "the best cousin ever" to the most amazing kids I've ever met. I get to help out in Savannah's kindergarten class and play with the kids at the family gatherings while everyone else is busy screaming, "don't you dare touch that" for the hundredth time. I may not be the person with the most friends, but because of that I can be the best friend I know how to the ones I do have. I can send them a message to let them know they are thought about. I can include each and every one of them in my prayers. I can make sure they feel like friends and not just another person, not everyone gets to do that.

My life may not be all the things I wanted it to be. I might still have days where I run into Nancy and long for something a little more, but I will always know I matter. I was born with a purpose. I may not always know what that purpose is, but I know that if I keep doing my best with what I have been given God will find a way to use me for whatever he needs done.

Monday, December 3, 2012


As Christmas time approaches I find myself withdrawing a lot into my imagination as I dream of sugar plums dancing in my head. Christmastime is so full of magic and wonder that pulls at my heart strings and makes me feel just like a kid again.

When I was younger my parents did a lot to help keep the magic of Christmas alive for me. I remember one year I sat down on a night close to Christmas to write my letter to Santa. I wasn't quite finished with my letter when my mom came in telling me it was time for bed. I begged her to let me finish my letter first, but she insisted I get to bed and could finish it in the morning. I carefully folded the letter and put it in the envelope, and placed it in the center of the table where it would be safe til the next day. When morning came I ran to the kitchen to finish my letter so we could get it in the mail that day...Christmas was coming soon and I didn't have much time left to get it to Santa. I stopped dead in my tracks as I entered the kitchen to find the tabletop completely bare. Where was my letter?!? I frantically questioned my parents about it and neither had touched it. I was so upset. I looked everywhere for it and was so sad when I couldn't find it. I knew there was not enough time to write a new letter and get it to Santa in time for Christmas. I remember feeling so sad.

The following evening as I was watching tv I heard the ringing of Christmas bells just outside my house. I quickly shut off the television and listened intently, sure enough I heard them again. Running into the living room I heard a soft knock at the door and opened it to find Santa at my house!! He'd stopped by around Christmastime before, but I was still so happy to see him. As he settled down on the couch and my parents joined us. He said that he'd had his elves out and about helping him double check the naughty and nice list and one of them had brought something to him. He reached in his pocket and pulled out none other than my letter!! I almost started crying I was so excited!! I hadn't lost it after all, the elves saw me writing and thought they would save me the trouble of mailing it by delivering it themselves!! Santa said he'd noticed it wasn't quite finished and thought he would pop in and ask what it was I wanted for Christmas.

The second Santa left my house that night I rushed to the phone to call everyone I knew and tell them the exciting tale of Santa and my letter.

I am extremely grateful for parents that loved me enough to do things like that! Experiences like this one are the foundation for my imagination. I have always believed that God blessed me with a creative mind, but it was the magical experiences my parents gave me each chance they could that fueled my creativity. Albert Einstein once said, "Logic will get you from A to Z, Imagination will get you everywhere." This has been true in my life. I am not a very logical person, I am terrible at math and logical things; but oh the things my imagination can unlock for me. Whenever life takes a toll on me and has me feeling really down the one sure fire thing I have to combat it is my imagination. I close my eyes and escape into a world of wonder and mystery. I imagine a day where everything in my life went perfectly and when I open my eyes I find a smile on my face. Does it change the fact that I still have to face the reality of my problems, no, but it does make it easier to bear.

Without imagination life is dull, boring, and can only take you so far. Imagination is the basis of every dream come true. Every famous actor started out as a child imagining themselves as a star. Every big music star began as a child imagining themselves on a stage with thousands of people screaming their name. Behind every technological breakthrough is someone with an imagination. Behind every major blockbuster is a person with an imagination.

If we learn to use our imagination the possibilities of our world become limitless. So, where will your imagination take you?