Hello there! Happy Friday! Anyone have fun plans for the weekend? Lots to talk about in today’s video and some very exciting plans in the works!
Hey guys! So as I mention in the video, I was not planning on having a video today. Life has just been too crazy to record anything! And then… well.. You’ll just have to watch and see what happened.
It’s just about 2 o’clock in the morning and I am writing this mainly to help myself through a mini emotional crisis.
You know how sometimes when it’s really late and you can’t shut down, how your brain starts to do the thing where it reminds you of every mistake you’ve made in the past 1-18 years? Yeah, that. It sucks. And it’s really really unhealthy. But lying here, telling myself that it’s unhealthy doesn’t make the thoughts go away, nor does it release that annoying tension that builds up in my chest and doesn’t disappear until I somehow find a way to work out this nervous energy. Usually, by writing.
So here’s where my brain is tonight… or this morning? Anyway. I’m worried about what I want to do with the rest of my life. I’m worried that all of these big projects that are crowding into my brain space (and especially the ones which keep me up writing and journaling and idea-making at all hours) are never actually going to work out. In a world of internet where it seems like everything has been done and redone in a hundred versions, it’s sometimes hard to feel like your vision or passion is unique, no matter how much encouragement or positive feedback you receive from the people who love and support you. (Which is awesome by the way! And to those people, thank you!)
This anxiousness is natural, especially for artists/creators. It may not be healthy, but artists don’t tend to have the best track record for being emotionally stable people either, let’s just be honest. We pour so much of who we are into our art, whether that’s acting or drawing or photography, videos or music or writing, or the thousands of other creative forms out there. Our projects become our babies and we want to see them grow and develop and become that beautiful thing that we dreamt of. And so, naturally, we worry when things are not progressing the nice, neat way we pictured them to in our minds.
But the fact is this: Art is messy. Art, of any kind, means both literally and figuratively getting your hands dirty. It means you put your heart out there on a canvas or a piece of paper or a screen, and you have NO IDEA what the result is going to be. It could lift you up, or tear you apart. People could love what you created, hate it, or worse, never even notice it. You have to acknowledge these risks if you ever want to get anywhere.
And then you have to do it anyway.
Let me just say, I love what I’m doing. I love making youtube videos- even if I can’t even figure out how to get a good thumbnail, or create an endscreen. It’s okay. I have to remind myself that I’m learning. I love writing- and rewriting, and editing, and trashing 90% of that and rewriting what I just rewrote. I love this blog and studying social media and all of the very unique stresses and concerns that come along with both of those things.
That said, the possibility of failure is never a fun thing to worry about. Neither is the possibility that your voice will never be heard at all.
And therefore I worry constantly. I worry that no one will ever notice what I’m trying to do. And I have to promptly remind myself that I’m not doing this because I want an audience. I’m doing it because I love it.
I worry that I’m never going to find a way to actually make a living doing the thing I am so passionate about, or that there’s no market for it at all and I’m just plunging ahead blindly and there is no light at the end of this tunnel. And then I have to remind myself once again that I am protected by the God who provides. And that if there’s no one else doing what I want to do, well then isn’t that what they have things like Kickstarter and social media for in the first place?
I am who I am and I’m doing what I’m doing because I am an artist. I have no other option. To be otherwise would be a lie both to myself and the people around me. To refuse to go out into this world and create because I am instead choosing to allow fear to rule my life is an insult to the God who gave me these passions and talents in the first place, who gave me the ability to send my voice out to float amongst the billions of other in this world.
And so, despite the fact that a few minutes ago I had myself half-convinced that I should just stop everything now and give up and become a bookworm full-time, I am deciding now to press on. To keep going. To lean into the storm, as my choir director likes to say. Because I am an artist. I am a writer. I am a creator.
And I believe in the power of one more voice.
I am a spoken word poet and this piece was written by one of my inspirations and coaches, Adam Gotleib. Hope you enjoy it!
Hello there lovely internet!
Today’s video is a little out of the ordinary routine but since I seem to say that every time… oh well! This has been sitting on my desktop forever waiting to be made into a video. Hope you like it!
Recently I’ve been thinking about the Church- the Church as a whole, as the community of believers spanning the globe, from every culture, background, and denomination. I’ve been thinking- we’re all so different. We carry so many different labels on us. Race. Gender. Age. Political association. And yet there must be something we can say that identifies us as true Christians, right? Something that separates us from those who are simply “good people,” right? And I was trying to come up with something for the longest time, and I was starting to give up, when suddenly it hit me.
True Christians Love sacrificially.
Is it truly as simple as that?
Christians love without expecting anything in return. Scratch that. Christians love even and especially when they know there will be a cost. The Church is called to take care of the poor, the widows, the orphans, the sick and dying. There is a cost to that- time, money, and resources. We are called to stand firm in our faith no matter where that path leads us, even unto persecution and death. Not to be turned by the world’s beliefs, but to continue to love people despite differences. We are called to be good- no, excellent- stewards of the blessings God has given us, as those who protect the land until the King returns.
Christians Love all people, in all situations, in all places in life, no matter the risk or personal sacrifice.
This, I believe, is what defines and will continue to define the Church as a whole- Not our differences, but the Love that pours out from us.
Perhaps there is no greater example of this kind of love that we are to give than this.
“In this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The power in that statement cannot be underestimated. While we were still sinners- broken, dirty, enemies of God, eternally separated from him… And yet the beauty of that verse still shines through. Despite all of the hurt and betrayal and unfaithfulness, and that God could have easily wiped us off the face of the planet and started over if he really wanted to, he didn’t. Instead, he sent his Son to die for us. To be crucified for us. That alone should make us at least pause and wonder at the kind of Love that act portrayed. That alone should be enough of a weight on our shoulders that we are filled with the desire to go out into the world and infuse it with that kind of Love.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I live now in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
My generation is made of those who look out and see a world of adventure and possibility. We are a generation forever aiming to look like, feel like, and act like we’re in our twenties, while posting on social media the screenshots of wisdom of one long past their youth. Never mind that we so rarely apply those words of wisdom to our everyday lives. At least we do apply them to ourselves more often than not- we are going to be one tatted-up generation of grandparents and our grandchildren will look at us- no matter how wrinkled and stretched and discolored all that ink gets, it’s a part of our story- and they will look at us and say, “they were wild in their day.”
I hope, someday, our children and grandchildren will look back on our generation with pride. I hope they will remember us not for the violence, the self-harm, the death, though I do hope they remember and learn… but, God, I pray, let them also remember the good. Let them remember the open arms, scarred though they were. Let them remember the wanderlust and how we stopped the clocks on the long summer nights. Let them remember us through our music. Let them remember our shouts, our hearts, our rally cries. Let them remember us for everything that we ever stood for, every mistake we ever made, every heartbreak, every victory.
Let them remember and never forget this generation of crazy hipsters who grew up surrounded by the booming of technology, instead of resorting to a future framed in wires and wifi, made technology into something organic. World wide web of reaching hands and outstretched fingers. Spontaneous connections with people and lifestyles we never could have experienced otherwise.
Let them remember the way we cursed the system and challenged its concrete and standardized testing. Let them remember how we made our individuality known, how we carved it into the walls of our institutions and turned instead to the great big world for our education. Let them remember how we curled into corners, devouring the words of our favorite authors, experiencing places and people far out of our reach. The concept of escapism- to leave our own world for one that promised to be so much better, only to close the book and find it all was fiction.
Let them remember the long nights.
Let them remember the cries of the broken and how we stared down at our hands wondering how a loving God could allow so much evil to exist in our world, and let them remember how we cried out on our very darkest nights and begged for the end of it all because surely death, surely anything, could not be as bad as all of this mess.
And let them remember us as we were in the morning, burned and yet still burning, bright and young and alive, our faith rekindled, dusting the ashes from our souls and our shoes, and continuing to walk barefoot and open to this world. Let them remember how we leaned into the storm, and how we did not break.
Hello there everyone! I hope your 2015 is going well. We’re just over a week in and I think it’s high time I got back onto a normal schedule. So here’s a video I hope you like.
Let’s talk about books! What are your reading goals for 2015? Let me know in the comments, hit that thumbs up if you liked this video and don’t forget to subscribe!
Once again slowly getting these videos edited and uploaded. Thanks for patience!
Ringing in the New Year Hawaiian style with our first luau!