Monday, March 31, 2014

currently vol. 3

Hello, blog. It's been a while. I didn't stop writing because I was having a hard time this time, which is good news! I don't have a real reason, other than maybe feeling uninspired to sit down and write. I haven't even been keeping up with my reading - I finally sat down and read all your blogs. Every single one. I love the blogs I follow and I don't want to fall behind! So instead of me attempting to find something inspiring to write about, I'm going to start back up with linking up with some of my favorite girls! Anna Kate at Home Away From Home and Jenna and Mary at A Mama Collective.

So I am currently...

Thinking about: 

So right now I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life -- do I want to dive head-first into performing? Stay teaching? It's been a crazy few months and I'm trying to discern what God wants from me, although I'm starting to think He's asking me what want.... and I'm still trying to figure that out. I'm also thinking about the fact that I'm waiting to hear about a show right now. Waiting to know if I've been cast in a show I auditioned for. It's weird. Seriously, just weird. I got out of the whole "theatre world" (the performing side) for the last five years to teach high school kids how to become performers. So now I'm back in the game, going to auditions and picking songs for myself and learning dances and competing with 20 blonde girls who look like me. I ran into two of my high school students at this audition - one of them sang a song I gave her when she was my student. The other was called back literally for the same exact thing as me - she was my competition. What a weird thing. I taught these girls how to do what they are doing, and now they are my competition. What a trip. It's a weird world to re-enter - the world of auditioning and performing. I don't know if it's what I want or not, but I'm in it for now and I'm just going to enjoy it. I found myself going into "teacher mode" at the audition - answering my old student's questions about her clothes and whatnot, and then I remembered - wait - we are up against each other for the same job! Weird. All I can say. Weird. So I'm just waiting for the cast list and I have another callback coming up soon. It's all in God's hands.

Also, my man flew back to Colorado today. I miss him already - but we were blessed to see each other every weekend in March. It was wonderful. Maybe that's why I've been blogging less!


Honestly, nothing at the moment. I've picked up so many books recently and have put them down for too long. The only book I have invested in and still pick up is Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross. It has helped me so immensely and resonates with me and where I have been for the last year so deeply. I will have to post about it in depth when I'm done with it - it's very dense so I'm taking it little by little.

Listening to:

This song, non-stop.

The slideshow doesn't mean anything to me - I didn't even watch it, to be honest. But this song. I sing it on repeat in my car on the way to work. It just brings me joy and touches my heart. 

"It's a long and rugged road - and we don't know where it's heading. But we know it's gonna get us where we're going. And when we find what we're looking for, we'll drop these bags and search no more - 'cause it's gonna feel like heaven when we're home. It's gonna feel like heaven when we're home."


My sister and I are each working on our computers, sitting on my bed, with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion on my TV. It's a slumber party and it's fabulous.

Thankful for:

God's unending love and mercy. The fact that I am starting to be able to see and experience this grace and mercy for the first time in a very long time. Even if it's just a whisper right now.
My sisters. Especially when one can come over for a slumber party and just sit in bed with me and watch junky TV and just be together.
My boyfriend. The amazing example of love, selflessness and kindness that he sets for me. His pureness of heart. I am so blessed to have someone like him love me so much. It's so humbling.
My job. My high school students who bring me so much joy and who teach me so much every single day.
Musical theatre. Performing, playing, singing, dancing. It doesn't matter. I love it, and I am thankful for it. I am thankful to watch young people fall more in love with musical theatre every day and work so hard to put on amazing shows and become incredible performers.
Being able to have perspective on auditions and callbacks and know that at the end of the day, none of this reflects my self worth or my talent, and none of it will take away my joy. I wasn't ready for this five years ago, and I'm thankful God gave me that time to be a teacher. To learn. To grow.

The list I could go on forever - suffice it to say, I am thankful. So thankful.

My view at work. Page 1 of my piano music -- one of my favorite things in the world, getting ready to start a show. I love it.

Monday, March 3, 2014

do not be afraid. keep on speaking. do not be silent.

There is so much to write. So much to say. I've been listening to this song on repeat this afternoon so I encourage you to hit "play" while you read. I hope this song makes you want to live a little bit more today - I know it did for me. "Let's go to sleep with clearer heads, and hearts too big to fit our beds - and maybe we won't feel so alone, before we turn to stone." Beauty.

I finally took the plunge and announced my blog on my facebook page. So far, I've kept my blog pretty closed to the "blogging community", and haven't shared it with many people who know me personally. The response so far has been overwhelming.

The reason I started this blog was because I felt called to it. That's the truth. I felt God tell me that I needed to write my story down, so that someone would know they are not alone. I've always had the gift of transparency - God has gifted me with a fearlessness in sharing my heart, my story, my thoughts, my feelings. I've never really known why. I am unashamed to be me. To cry in public. To sob in public. To tell people that I'm mentally ill. To tell people "I love you" a million times before they ever say it back. To tell strangers how I'm really doing, even when they were just making small talk. To ask strangers to tell me how they are really doing. I'm not afraid. Thank You, God.

But with this fearlessness has come pain. I of course have been betrayed, I have been hurt, I have been used, I have been mistreated and disrespected, I have been hated. But I will keep going. I will keep sharing. I will keep choosing to be fearless.

Because when I am fearless, God somehow uses that to allow other people to step into bravery and tell a part of their story they have never spoken aloud before. To tell me that they struggle with depression. That they doubt God. That their mother is going through chemotherapy. That no one knows they are mentally ill, and they wish they could just speak it out loud. That they have always felt alone. That they feel guilty because they are so unhappy.

Oh, my friends. How you have touched my heart. You will never know how deeply you have touched my heart. I sit here and write and weep. Because God is allowing us to speak life to one another. Shame has no place here. Shame cannot survive when we speak our truth to one another and overcome it with love and understanding. Shame is defeated when we let in the Light. Shame cannot breathe when we choose to breathe life into one another; when we uphold one another's hearts in the Truth. The Truth of God's love for us, and the truth of our love for one another.

The truth is that we are so worthwhile. In every struggle. In every sleepless night. Through every night of tears, through every manic episode, through every day of chemotherapy, through every day of job searching. Through the days of feeling friendless. Of feeling worthless. Of feeling like everything is pointless.

Every story matters. You matter. Your story matters.

Do you hear me?

You matter.

Your stories have touched my aching heart and I am so deeply moved.

My beautiful friends, be unashamed. Be fearless. Be unashamed of who you are. Be unashamed of your story. Be unashamed to tell it. To tell people that you are suffering. To tell people that it's okay that they are suffering, too. Because the truth is, we are all suffering. We will continue to suffer until we go Home. And the only way to survive it, to live it, is together. To love each other to death until death brings us new life. 

"Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood."
--Isaiah 54:4

"Overhearing what they said, Jesus said to him, 'Do not be afraid. Just believe.'"
--Mark 5:36

"One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: 'Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent."
--Acts 18:9

Oh, my friends, how I love you. You are not alone. You are never alone. Let us live unashamed. Fearless in Christ. Do not be afraid. Keep on speaking. Do not be silent.