no perfection needed.

I thought this thought in church a week ago…

It’s crazy how in the most transitional  moments of my life, I tend to step away from God more.

You would think that when life was the most unstable, I’d lean on God more, but the past couple of weeks with me moving into a new house, trying to get into a good routine, and then getting sick a couple of times have proved to me that I don’t spend as much time in the Word as I normally would, especially when my routine is out of whack. I think a part of me wants to get the rest of myself together before I can insert my quiet time or devotional time in, and that just seems backwards.

Admittedly, I’m getting uncomfortable just typing this out; seriously, I’m squirming in my chair right now. Rarely do I get physically uncomfortable from typing something like this out, but I guess my spirit is just cringing at the thought of how messed up this is. When things go awry is when most people turn to God, yet I choose to take a step back. Why is that?

I think there are several different reasons why I do this. These reasons may seem weird, but after thinking about this for a week, I truly believe that these are the thoughts I go through, which lead me to not turn to God as much.

“I Got This…”

Even though I’m under the weather, I feel like I’ve been sick enough times in my life to know how to take care of  myself. And while I may know things like what to drink that’ll relieve my symptoms, that doesn’t mean I should stop praying to God and asking to heal me.

“God’s Not a Genie”

I want to avoid going to God simply to ask for things, such as healing or motivation to get things done. So, instead of speaking to Him, I avoid Him, or I just don’t talk to Him as much as I did when I was feeling 100%. And I know that’s silly…we’re called to speak to God, for our needs, our heart’s desires…He knows them all anyway. So, why don’t I want to come before Him in prayer, and ask to be healed?

“I Don’t Have it All Together”

One major thought that I don’t really think about when I make the conscious decision to not spend time in the Word or pray during times in which I really need God is this: “I don’t have everything together, God. I’m not healthy enough. I’m not settled enough. My room isn’t clean enough for me to be in Your Presence.”

That last thought seems silly, but if I’m honest, I think there is a part of me that feels like I am not worthy enough to go before my Lord and Savior unless I am 100% healthy. Unless I’m way  more organized in my agenda. Now, I am only worthy to go before God because of Jesus’ death on the Cross. But that does mean that I can come as I am – God doesn’t need me to be perfect for me to come to Him. He will take me and all my mess; He isn’t afraid of my germs when I’m sick, or my messy room and lifestyle. He isn’t worried that He can’t move amidst my laziness or unmotivated moments. He is able to work through it all. And so often, I forget that.

As I sit in my dining room, still recovering from a cold, and trying to organize myself for the work week ahead, my goal is to start reminding myself every day that God is able; He hasn’t failed me yet. And that I can go to Him with all of my mess because it doesn’t scare Him, even though it may scare me.

There’s no need for me to run away when the safest place I can be is with Him.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

Two Years Ago…

This morning, my newly downloaded Google photos app notified me that I should look back on this day, two years ago. Curious, I opened the notification to pictures of me, my sister, and my best friend Bria at Mojo Burrito and then at an Issues concert.

I remember the day like it was yesterday.

Two years ago today, it was a school night; a Thursday. I probably got someone to cover my library work shift so I could go to this concert. Before leaving town, the three of us got dinner at Mojo Burrito, then  made our way to Atlanta. I remember realizing we were going to be late to the concert, which meant it would probably be harder to try to find parking for the venue, and we might miss some good opening acts.

My usual self would be visibly frustrated, to the point in which my sister would attempt to calm me down, but only irritate me more, which would then cause Bria to truly calm me down. But I clearly remember making the conscious decision to just let everything play out instead of worrying and freaking out, which made the car ride down more enjoyable.

And when we got to the venue after sitting through some typical Atlanta traffic? A couple left their parking spot that was right across the street from the venue, and I was able to perfectly parallel park into it. When we got into the venue, we’d missed one or two opening acts, but we were still able to catch the main two bands we wanted to see (PVRIS and Issues), plus we got to meet Bad Seed Rising after the show too.

The night ended with a trip to McDonald’s for fries and a large sweet tea, what would become a regular post-concert snack for me. And once we got back to campus at like 2:30am, Bria and I were still awake enough to take a picture of us wearing our Issues shirts.

And I remember at the end of the night thinking and expressing to Bria how I’d just let go of the frustrations I was wanting to hold onto, and allowed God to move throughout the night, and He’d provided in so many awesome ways. He didn’t have to, but he did, and it was awesome to be a part of that amazing night.

Crazy how that was all two years ago; how I could remember all those details, and remember that that was probably one of the first nights I actively trusted God with a situation, and I watched Him provide. Two years later, and I would see so many more of these kinds of situations in my life, and I’m grateful for every single one of them, and how they’ve all shaped me, my faith, my perspective.

With me actively getting back to work with writing and whatnot, this was the type of reminder I needed: that I could let go of the fear, the worry, the frustration that this process has the potential to cause, and just have faith that God will work His way through every single detail.

Happy Saturday, luvvies, aka my favorite day of the week! Whatever you’ve got going on today, I pray that you’ll release any fears, worries, and frustrations; call on God; and watch Him work through your circumstances. He hears you. He knows your heart and your desires. Trust in Him.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

Changes…in Blogging/Writing?

So, clearly it has been a minute since I’ve blogged. The past several days have been crazy, and last night it culminated into me being extremely tired and just needing sleep.

And during those past several days, I’ve been wondering if I should change the way I blog to you all. I’ve been seeing the way some of my favorite bloggers blog – writing a post or two here and there, maybe once or twice a week, and their content is so relevant and real and truthful, and I’m sitting here wondering if the way I’m blogging is just too much for me, and isn’t the best way to blog.

A little over a year ago, I challenged myself to blog every day, forcing myself to write every day so that I could get better at writing. And granted, I’ve missed a good amount of days throughout, but overall, I’ve blogged so much more overall in the past year than I have in the past maybe four or five years since I’ve started blogging.

But I’m wondering if me just trying to rush a post out to you every day is really doing anything. Is it really giving you the best of me as a writer? Am I just getting sloppy in the writing I’ve done / am doing? Am I only giving half of myself over to you as I try to work on other writing projects I have, and if so, is that fair to you? Is it fair to me?

I’ve been wrestling with these thoughts, and here are some conclusions I’ve come up with…

It’s My Fault

The way I feel about blogging every day right now – like it’s rushed, like the content I’m putting out isn’t enough, like I’m boring you guys with insignificant details in my life – it’s all my fault really. Truly, if I could just prioritize the things in my life correctly, maybe blogging things won’t be so hard or painful for me sometimes. Not that there won’t be days in which I sit at my computer and think, “Dude…I have nothing to write about, what am I going to write about??” But I feel like less of that would come with better planning on my part.

Yet what do I do? I don’t plan. I work and write I feel on a whim, and I sometimes feel like it’s all rushed. Maybe I work well under pressure. Who am I kidding, I say that, but while I’m working like that, I’m stressed as all get out!

So, as always, some priorities need to be shifted. I write this, yet will I actually shift anything? Hopefully. Someone keep me accountable, please, I beg.

A Break

Blogging to you guys only two or three times a week would be an amazing break for me, honestly. It would give me more time during the day to do other things I need to do. It would give you guys an expectation of when the blogs will be coming out and when they wouldn’t (because right now, y’all may be expecting a blog post every day, and clearly that isn’t happening).

Better Content

Only blogging a few times a week would give me the chance to write better content for you guys, I think. Especially when it comes to deeper subjects – I can’t even tell you how many things I want to write to you all about, yet I feel like I can’t just crank it out in an hour or however long I have in my day to blog. Maybe I just need to do it to challenge myself. I just feel like I want to make sure what I’m writing to you all is understandable, and reflects my thoughts and opinions as best as it can.

And when I’m trying to write a blog every day, I feel like it isn’t my best sometimes; I feel like I’m just throwing some words out there for you all so I can say, “Yes, I blogged today! Another day in a row that I’ve done this!” I don’t want this to become a checklist thing, or a thing that I dread doing; I want to do it so that my writing and communication is growing and being challenged.

#JustStartWriting

Truly, the whole blogging every day thing was based on #JustStartWriting, which is now it’s own thing – it has its own website, and still has the same meaning and motto, it’s just now out there for more writers to be a part of. It’s no longer a solo thing of mine that I do.

However, this is where my thoughts on actually just posting whenever I have “good content” stop. Because when I look back on the year I’ve had with my writing, #JustStartWriting really shaped my writing – it got me actually writing instead of just wishing I was writing. It challenged me to really think about my day, and pay attention to what was happening in my life so that later, I could write about it. Just because #JSW is now it’s own separate thing, it doesn’t give me permission to drop the way I personally write.

Why am I going to have a separate site based in just starting to write to get past the fear, the laziness, the whatever else to write if I’m not willing to do that myself? Granted, I could “just start write” in my journal, or you know, on this book I’ve been wanting to write.

But I think blogging is just in my blood; like I feel so weird skipping out on writing here (except Sundays, that’s a given). I honestly think it’s because of gotten busy and lazy. Busier with trying to keep up with the new sites I’ve got, and also trying to work on and release spoken word poems I’ve been writing. More lazy in the fact that there are times in which I could blog, and I just don’t feel the draw, or I don’t feel like I have something good enough to write about. Also lazy in the fact that I haven’t been paying that much attention to my surroundings as much as I used to. I feel like my days run like clockwork, and I don’t take the time to really take in what’s happening. Therefore, my writing is lacking.

 

All this to say – I’m still going to try my best to blog every day. I won’t succeed all the time, obviously, but I still want this to be a priority of mine. I want it to still be an important part of my writing journey. And if I’m encouraging other writers out there to just start writing – to not let the fear of their writing not being good enough, the laziness of only dreaming of writing and being great at it, or the other worries or excuses that conjure up in their mind keep them from writing – then I need to keep on writing as best as I can.

So, no changes in the vision. Changes in the execution of the vision, however, are in the process of being made. Stay tuned – I’m going to try to do this better than I have been.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle: Day 5 – Have Patience, Be Brave, Restart

"Today I Affirm…"

"I have the courage to restart and the patience to work for it while I wait for it." – Alex Elle

Words: "Courage," "Restart," "Patience"

The nighttime mantra that goes along with this is: "I am courageous even in times of doubt. I am patient even when time doesn't seem to be on my side. I am capable of restarting because it's never too late to make changes." – Alex Elle

The mantra that goes along with this is hard for me to affirm, if I'm being honest. Because it's been hard for me to be courageous when I'm in the middle of some serious doubts. I thank God that lately, He's allowed me to push some heavy doubt aside, and it's caused me to cling to Him even more than I would have before. My initial reaction to doubt is worry and fear, so I have noticed that my bravery has increased as my journey has continued.

As for patience when time isn't on my side? Mmm, I'm still really working on that. I definitely still get upset with myself when I realize how much time I've wasted on certain things instead of getting what I need to get done accomplished. I'm trying to learn that I need to make most of the time I have, and if I am unable to do everything I need to do, it's okay; it isn't going to kill me, or cause my plan to completely de-rail.

And being capable of restarting things? I find it hard to do this because of my perfectionism – once I start something, or think about something, I want it to be done perfectly the first time, or I want the plan that I create to be perfect so that no mistakes are made in the process of getting somewhere. Because I've been going through this process of updating my site, my blog, and the #JustStartWriting site, I've been learning a lot, and well, failing a lot. And I've definitely had to restart on some ideas I originally had, or adjust some parts of my plan. It was sort of painful at first, but once I realized the necessity of being flexible, adapting things I needed to became quite easy. It's almost painless at this point, and I thank the Lord for shaping me more into a flexible person in this area of my life. I definitely am not perfectly flexible; but I see so much growth in myself now than before.

So let me answer the journal questions Elle has for this self-affirmation journal…

Are you scared of starting over? If so, why or why not?

I sort of answered this already, but in some cases, I am scared to start over because I feel like my original plan was perfect to begin with, and I don't want me changing things to ruin the outcome of what I had in mind. But starting over can be so refreshing; I've realized a lot of times if I'm bogged down in all the writing I've done for a post, it's just easier for me to scrap the whole thing and start all over than it is to go back through and try to edit. So maybe in some cases, I'm not too scared to start all over.

How can starting over benefit certain aspects of your life?

A fresh start can change my perspective of something instead of seeing it happen one way. When I start to get frustrated with a project, I tend to start all over instead of trying to fix the small mistakes in the middle because sometimes it's just easier to start making the changes you need to make from the very beginning.

Where can you exercise more patience + courage in your journey?

I need to be willing to be patient through my creative process. I want everything to happen for me all at once; I want to write a book, I want to release this poem, this EP, I want people to start spreading the word more about my poetry. But all of that can't happen without the proper little steps towards that. I can't just take giant leaps, I need to focus on the small things as well, and perfect them so that the bigger things can also be perfected.

But I also need to not be so hesitant when it comes to releasing things or doing things. I tend to not want to write, release, or say things until they are extremely perfect and full-proof, but sometimes I just need to take a leap of faith, and go for it.

Well, the weekend is here, and I don't know about you, but after the week I've had, I think now is a good time to really focus on restarting, on finding the patience to perfect my craft and perfect my way of life, on being brave enough to make the moves I need to make in order to make my dreams a reality.

Happy Friday, you guys! I hope your weekend has started well!

#MishyWrites🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle, Day 4 – Despite the Failure

"Today I Affirm…"

"my failures will not stop me from enjoying the journey." – Alex Elle

Words: "Enjoy," "Journey," "Failure"

The morning mantra for this is as follows: "I am allowed to fail. I am allowed to succeed. My worth is not contingent on my ability to avoid shortcomings. I am worthy through my good times and my bad. I will enjoy my journey fully, truly, and without apology." – Alex Elle

This is honestly perfect for today because from the moment I woke up this morning, I encountered a few small failures.

The first one? Forgetting to take my contacts out before going to bed last night. So I woke up wondering why my vision was slightly blurry, and why I couldn't really open my eyes fully. That would be why.

The second one? I got to work and, after thirty minutes of being there, realized I should have been there an hour ago. Oops. It was my first week with this new schedule change, and I'd completely forgotten. And I felt terrible because I'd let my co-teacher deal with seven one-year-olds for a solid hour or so all by herself. Oh boy.

And the last one? I was expecting to record a new spoken word poem tonight with a friend, and when I went to text him to make sure he was still coming, I realized I never answered his text from earlier this week about pushing back our time. So, who knows if that's even happening anymore tonight.

On top of those three failures, I haven't gone to the gym nearly as often as I normally do, and my eating habits have been total crap all week. If you were to ask me what I think my main source of food has been this week, I may answer chocolate. Whether or not that's true, I can't tell you. I just know that a whole ton of it has been consumed, more so than in the past few weeks. And I don't feel good about it.

You're probably reading all of that and thinking, Mishy, what. Okay, so what you did all those things, it's whatever.

But I don't take failures well because, as some of you already know from reading past posts of mine, I'm a perfectionist. Ever since I was a child, and realized the difference between a success and a failure, I vowed to myself that I'd be the one making all successes, and taking no "L's" ("losses" for those who don't know the slang), and it wasn't a good time for me or those around me when I failed. As I've grown older, I've done way better at accepting failures, but I still have my moments. Like today's three little failures didn't really affect me much; I did mentally kick myself a little though.

One of the failures I still take really hard though is when I repeat a mistake. Have you ever done that? Have you done something, failed, then tried again later in a different way, but then it still resulted in the same failure? I'm not talking about if you're trying to achieve a good goal and you try different ways to get there, and you fail in different ways. That's a part of learning and growing; it's a part of the process, the journey.

I'm talking about making a mistake, thinking you learned from that mistake, and vowing to yourself that you'll never make it again, and then getting yourself back in the same situation only through a different route. Even though you avoided the way in which the failure happened the first time, you somehow find yourself back at the same failure, only through a different outlet. Does that happen to anyone else? Is what I'm saying even making sense?

Anyways, even if I'm not making sense, I will say that I think failures are crucial to the journey. Elle says that "Just because we fail once, twice, or a few times, that doesn't mean we lose sight of the chances to start anew," and it's so true. I sometimes feel like when I fail, I've missed the opportunity for anything good to come out of that attempt, when really, I can still attempt again, and I can fail or maybe I'll succeed. It doesn't hurt to try; I can't be afraid to fail, or I'll never reach new heights in the things I want to accomplish.

And it's hard to sometimes push past the failures I've made. Am I the only one who sometimes sits there, and suddenly thinks of a time when I failed miserably at something, and I physically cringe because it hurts for me to think about it? I don't do this quite as often, but it still happens every once in a while. But again – without the failures, I would have never learned anything, and my journey would have never brought me to where I am today.

I also believe the Lord uses our failures to draw us closer to Him. If we never failed, we wouldn't have to rely so heavily on Him for direction, peace, wisdom. We are only human; imperfect beings in need of a perfect Savior. And failures are a major part of that journey! That doesn't mean we should want to fail; it just means we can expect to, and be okay with it, and be okay with learning something from it.

So, as I sit here, embracing my failures of the day, I am committed to enjoying the time I had today to live my life, and to take some major steps towards this journey of mine. Despite my failures, there were some successes: I was able to bring in a couple of more people into the #JustStartWriting family today. I got to run my errands after getting off of work at two o'clock. And even though I don't get to record my spoken word piece tonight, that means I get more time to practice saying it, and making it what I want it to be and sound like so I can perfect it when the time is right. And I get more time to do other things tonight!

Still so much to be grateful for despite the failures of the day. It's all just a part of life, and I thank God for it all.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Today I Affirm…” with Alex Elle: Day 3 – Joy Beyond Circumstances

Today I Affirm…

"my circumstances can shape my joy – both good and bad. It's all about how I look at things. Through it all, I am blessed beyond measure." – Alex Elle

Words: "Beyond," "Circumstance," "Joy"

Ooo, this is a particularly good topic to write about, especially this week. Since Monday, this week has been sort of "bleh." I normally try to stay in a positive mood despite what's going on around me, and it's not that anything extremely negative has happened to cause me to be in a sort of funk, but I've just been feeling a little down this week. Work has been a little harder; we're in the last summer session before the school year starts, so we've added numbers to classes, and teachers are trying to prepare for the transition into the school year. Meanwhile, I need to prepare for the transition from a floater to a teacher, something I'm a little intimidated about.

There are other smaller things in my life I'm unhappy with, but seeing those things in comparison to the big picture of where my life is right now, I question why there isn't more joy in my heart right now. Because despite the hard week, God has been opening doors I didn't think would ever open. He's proven Himself faithful in little things time and time again, and I have to remind myself that, even though my circumstances aren't where I want them to be right now, I don't have to sulk about it, or just accept that things are crappy. My hope and joy are found in the Lord, and He knows and sympathizes with where I am.

Some questions Alex Elle asked about this subject are…

How are you preparing for joy?

When I think of "preparing for joy," I think of the moments in which I am sitting alone in my room or in my car, about to face something or someone, or even about to work on the things I love, and I have to tell myself that, no matter what happens – good or bad – I have to remember to be joyful in the moment. Easier said than done, but that's what I have to do.

I don't think there are other steps I take in order to prepare for joy, but I feel like there needs to be more. Simply telling myself that doesn't mean I'll actually have joy when things don't go as I planned for them to. When I used to live on Tybee, I had all of these Bible verses and encouraging quotes on my wall, and I think picking one of those and physically having it with me as I go throughout my day to look at could help me to choose joy more often than not. That's also why memorizing Scripture is important too.

What is stopping you from going above and beyond?

Fear and worry are two things that come to mind. They always go hand-in-hand; I'm afraid something won't happen the way I want it to, so I end up worrying myself over it instead of taking action if it needs to be done.

Dwelling on my circumstances is another thing that stops me from embracing joy. I want to be able to use my negative situations to confirm that I can be a certain way, or get out of doing things I should be doing.

In what ways can you learn from your circumstance(s)?

Instead of seeing the negative aspects of a negative situation, I can focus on the positive things that are coming out of where I am. Sure, I may be tired from my job, but hey, I have a job, and some people struggle every day to find one. And my job is truly one of the best I've had because of who I work with and what we do.

In other ways, if I'm able to trace back a lesson through a past circumstance, I can take that and remind myself that there are always new things to be learned from all situations, and I can try to see how I can learn and grow within the current circumstance I'm in.

Wanting to have joy beyond circumstances is an easy idea to say and to want to execute, but actually having to do it takes a lot of effort. And I thank God that He is with me every step of the way to help me slow down or pause, and look at my situations with a positive and big-picture perspective. And I'm also thankful that, when I cannot find any way to have hope or joy, He is there willing to strengthen me, wanting me to rest in His joy.

#MishyWrites 🦋✨

“Come Alive, Come Alive, Come Alive…”

"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your Hands." – Psalm 138:8 (ESV)


I tend to have a habit of not blogging on Fridays, and it's because recently, I'm always doing something – a concert, a meet-&-greet, hanging out with friends. Maybe I should make Fridays my not blogging days, and just blog on Sunday? I don't know we'll have to see…ANYWAYS…

I didn't blog last night because I went to The Rocket Summer Do You Feel 10-Year Anniversary show in Atlanta, and I got to meet Bryce Avary, one of my heroes, for the second time. Going to shows of his is always different than going to other shows; afterwards, I leave feeling renewed, and reminded of my purpose. I see Bryce and all he does, and why he does it, and it encourages and reminds me that I am not useless. That I have a purpose, and can do what I love to glorify God, despite the fear, worry, and other troubles this world brings.

"Do You Feel?"

Last night, I was challenged to really think about whether I was feeling the pulse of the world right now instead of just focusing on my own world. It's too easy to get caught up in what's going on with me personally – my job, my writing, my friends, my family. Not to say these things aren't good things to focus on; but I need to learn to look outside of myself, and really pay attention to the world around me.

"So, In This Hour…"

Something else that's easy for me to forget is why I do what I do, and who I do it for. The focus becomes more on how I'm executing things instead of doing things for the sake of pleasing my Savior, and connecting with those around me. Hearing "So, In This Hour…" always resonates with me so deeply because I know I have a purpose, but I'm also very fearful of it. I'm afraid I'll mess it up, not do what I'm supposed to do, or say what I'm supposed to say. I'm afraid I'll let people down in the way I handle things. But God's grace is sufficient; He only needs to know if we're ready to take on the task He's given us, and He will help us along the way. I always need to be told that. And seeing Bryce take on the task the Lord has given Him, and seeing him doing what he loves with people who love and respect him just makes me realize that nothing is impossible with God. That doesn't mean it'll be easy, but it does mean that it can be so very good.

 

This morning, I read the verse that's at the beginning of this post, and just felt a confirmation from God saying, "Yes, I will fulfill My purpose in you. Simply be obedient to me. I know you're not perfect; I know the mistakes you'll make. But I'm willing to work with you. Just trust me."

Last night, near the end of the show, Bryce spoke this over the crowd, and told us to speak it as well: "Come alive, come alive, come alive…" He said it's a powerful statement, and as I yelled it, I could feel how powerful it is.

As frustrating as this world can be, I am alive. I may feel dead sometimes because of the choices I make – how I spend my time, what I choose to focus on, etc. But now is the time for me to step up, and to come alive. To shake the feeling that I'm worthless off me, and get moving, get working, break out into the world with full force.

"All I have is all of me, and it's all that I can give…"

#MishyWrites #TruthPrevails 🦋✨