Spring is coming to a close, but man, it's been a good one! Even during the drearier times (rained a lot), there have still been reasons to smile. Creatively, there's a freedom that comes when life is surrendered to Him and a diligent pursuit of interests is established. Sure, everything isn't always "hunky-dory," but it's in the day to day that Christ can shine the brightest (if we let Him).
Looking back on this month, I still don't have my bedroom fully set up, and I haven't crossed any books off the list, but there's a wrestling excitement to continue pushing forward in the pursuit to learn, to ask questions, and to humbly serve others. I want to be better because Christ is better.
Ultimately, this month has been a lesson in the process of sanctification. I only hope that continues.
Try, and try again.
To put it bluntly, I grew up a quitter. I was a sore loser (and sometimes winner), who would move onto to the next thing if success wasn't achieved on the first attempt. It's something I'm not proud to admit, but I am very thankful for the teachings of my parents and grandparents. They were (and still are) the strongholds in my life, modeling hard work, dedication, and commitment. Now that I'm older, I see just how much I could have learned had I listened sooner and kept trying.
Thankfully, each day is a new day, a gift from God. And this month, there's been a new joy building up inside because of many things. Creatively, though, it's because things are coming together. It's not perfect, but there've been learnings with each step.
Specifically, I'm in the process of launching a podcast/Youtube video series. It was birthed out of a bit of video-binging and a little bit of reading, but it's all about feeding curiosity and meeting new people in the creative world. I hope to have the first iteration published in the coming weeks. When it's ready, you'll be some of the first to know.
In New York, summertime brings a great new crop of wide-eyed explorers. It was me two years ago. Fortunately, summertime also brings the opportunity for more social gatherings, so I've gotten to meet a handful of new friends already (and some even have ties to my Southern roots!).
My learning here revolves around the mindset of kindness, hospitality, and flexibility. As one lives longer in NYC, he/she can easily get trapped in routine (or #squadgoals). It's happened to me a few times. And while it's very nice to have a core group for stability, it's also nice to include others and make them feel welcome.
There doesn't have to be any expectations for "best friend status," but taking that extra step to make someone feel welcome goes a long way—maybe even longer than we'd first expect.
Last weekend, I ran my second half-marathon, and it was probably the best race I've ever run. (I ran competitively in high school.) While the weather conditions were almost perfect and the course was entertaining, I honestly think this happened because of the mindset I had going into things. (Coach Lamb used to always tell me that running was 90% mental!)
I signed up in January and had every intention of training very rigorously. I did train, but nothing compared to the plans published by the top dogs in the online forums. For me, running is a safe space. I clear my head, I see new sights, I pray. Sometimes, I even dance.
In the end, I finished the race because I just kept running, which is very applicable to everyday life. Lately, I've had friends mentioned wrestling with "spiritual and/or creative dryness." This has happened to me too in past seasons, and the best thing is to just keep going on faith. It may not play out how we expect, but it always plays out how God intended. We just need to obey and keep the faith.