Start The Dream

Just Start. Make the flyer. Write the post. Make the business cards. It’s what I tell myself every time this haunting feeling of “do something more” creeps up on me. But do I do it? No. My heart begins to race, and my anxieties begin to rise. I can’t do this. I can’t start a business. I can’t ask for people’s money. And so, the thoughts of rising above my gray cubical begin to quickly fade.

With all the back and forth that I struggle with in actually starting my business, this weekend, I found myself extremely encouraged in what God has given me the passion to do. A few months ago, my cousin asked if I would be able to do her graduation photos. I said yes right away, excited for the opportunity to really see what I could do. At the same time, I was scared out of my mine. Why would I agree to provide my amateur service to do something so important? Graduation photos. That’s a moment that marks a milestone in someone’s life and I was going to try and capture it.

I was afraid, but I prayed. I had already been practicing on the kids in my neighborhood and I had been gaining some slight confidence. But now, It was showtime. I found myself slightly relieved when I learned that she would actually have another photographer there too. A friend of my cousins who had agreed to take photos of her at the school, while I would take pictures of her at the beach. This friend was another graduating senior who had been doing photography for 6 years! Let’s not even talk about my minor 8 months of watching photography YouTube videos. But in watching her work, I was able to ease drop. I took some photos from the sidelines out of fear because I was afraid of getting in her way. After a few moments, she was inviting me along to take the same photos with my camera just after she did with hers and I became so excited with the results. My confidence rose, and my excitement reached a peak.

For so long I had been interested in photography, but I did not think it was my gift. I’m the “video” girl at my church. Below are the pictures that I took for my cousin’s senior portraits. I think God is clearly showing me that I am able to do beyond what I could ever imagine. I just need to trust Him, and start.

 

 

Much Love,

Whit

When The Silence Is Too Loud

I know how to be alone. At least I tell myself I do. The truth is, as much as I find contentment in being in a room by myself for hours, I have begun to notice a fact about my own personality that I’ve kept unkowingly in my back pocket since I was a child: Silence is loud. Too loud.

It has only been in the last three or four years where I’ve felt the conviction to begin surrounding myself with a community for the betterment of my spirit. And as I’ve made it my mission to pursue that, God began to reveal to me that I have a significantly strong dependance on the comfort of television, the internet, and music. The idea of eliminating all of these distraction for an evening brings about a taste of anxiety that cannot be explained. Or maybe I can explain it. Maybe I know that if I turn the television off, I will be forced to keep my deepest thoughts, that are waiting, awkardly on the sideline in my mind, like wallflowers at a Junior High School dance, company.

If I am left alone with them, I will have to ask them to dance.

Why am I so afraid of my thoughts? There are times I can think of “legitimate” reasons on why I don’t want to be left to think. I don’t want to analyze my flaws, I don’t want to add on to my “To Do” list and I don’t want to become depresed by the fear that my life will not reach new levels.

The idea that the fear, doubt and anxiety will get louder as the distractions become quieter is too much to chance.

So, I do like any person would do when they don’t want to deal with the threat of the icky in their life. I run.

Hard. And fast. Right into a Netflix series, or a Christian blog about turning off distractions (the irony), and it is there, and only there, where I allow myself to think. When my mind is half distracted, and entertained. Where my deepest thought still sit, awkwardly waiting.

When I realized that silence was too loud for me, I knew that something was wrong. I knew it was because I was running from something, I just need to turn the noise off long enough to understand what it is.

 

Much love,

Whit

Pushing Past My Fear To Start A Business

 

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I want to start a business. Sometimes I struggle with what I should actually be selling, but it has always been my desire to create some type of brand. I guess that explains why I often find myself going back and forth with ideas and concepts that could potential turn into bigger platforms. I am a dreamer. I am a creator. And I want to offer the world something great. I just don’t know what.

Sometimes my mother hates me. Not literally of course, but she often rolls her eyes at my ability to switch gears and come up with new ideas and new desires in the blink of an eye. I used to feel bad about this. My mind wanders and I know it, I just can’t seem to help it.

Now, I’m done. Not with dreaming. Never with dreaming. But with thinking that something is abnormally wrong with me. Now- I realize that God has gifted me with a mind that thrives on all things creative. I no longer have to feel guilty. However, I do need to focus.

I want to start a business. So I need to look at the ways that God has uniquely gifted me. I obviously have a desire to write. Over the past few years, I have fallen in love with videography and I have a desire to learn photography. I think I may be on to something. With the recent help of Christy Wright and her launch of the Business Boutique, I’ve had about a year to truly think about what my business should be. And with a lot of time, doubt and mind juggling, I think I have finally figured it out.

Storytelling.

It seems odd when I write it. Is that even a real job. But when I think about the writing, the video, and the photos. I realize that all of these could work together and independently to accomplish one thing; they tell stories.

In making this decision, it would only make sense that all of the fears and doubts would rush into my mind.

You are not that good at photography

You don’t have expensive film equipment

You are not good enough to do this.

Boom. Boom and Boom. Like bullets, they hit me. Doubts, negative thoughts, fears, anxieties. And then I start to retract. Right back into my cubical. The blinking cursor mocking me.

This is why Christy Wright’s Business Boutique could not have come at better time. It is through her work that I am learning that fear is expected, but I cannot let it stop me.

I will not let it stop me.

I’m going to start a business.

Much love,

Whit

I Wrote A Play, But God Put on The Show- Part 1

Well, I haven’t been here in a while. Which is sad, because I have had plenty to talk about. I guess we’ll begin with the fact that in December, I wrote a play for my church. It was never my plan to do such a thing, but it would be deceptive if I didn’t add that I would always imagine myself putting on a play for my church, I just never thought I would actually do it.

Case in point. A little over two years ago, I was approached by the music minister at my church about writing a play for Christmas. Immediately, my mind began to spin. I started outlining ideas right away. Within about a couple of hours of being asked I had the entire idea, plot and storyline established. I only needed to write the script. With a fervency, I wrote, and after about two weeks, I was done. I sent it to him and he loved it. And with that, the goal was to put on a play. I set up a special email for those who wished to be a part of it. I  created an announcement for a casting call, and I began to see some fruit. Church members were interested, and emails were coming in, however, back then, a little over two years ago, I wasn’t ready.

As I mentioned before, my mind would only dream big dreams, making them come alive was never a part of the plan. I wasn’t bold enough for that. With only a small amount effort used to promote it, the possibility of a play began to slowly drift. The fear began to make its way through my mind like a tsunami. Thunderous waves crashing over any ounces of courage and hope. Who was I to produce a show? No one. So why did I for a second think that I could? Within a month, the hype for the play died. I was sad, but I felt justified. I couldn’t do this by myself. I couldn’t do it all.

Fast forward almost three years later, and I get a Facebook message from the same music minister about another play.

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I love a good prompting to use my creative gifts, so I was quick to take him up on the challenge. Still, I wasn’t expecting to fully pull it through. Regardless, by February 26th, I had the play written and emailed for his review. After his positive reception, I knew that if we were to do this play, my involvement would be small. Nothing spectacular. But for some reason, this time around, I knew what I had to do. I took his advice on the premier date for the play which would become April 8th, and the structure of a schedule. Within a couple of days, I had an entire game plan.

I had a rehearsal schedule that covered the months of January-April.

I had a Prop list

I had Costume list

I had a vision

And only by the grace of God, I had the courage and the passion to pull it through.

I started with church announcements on casting, and I began brainstorming for ideas on stage props and costumes.

I still had fears though. I had no idea who my actors would be. My church has put on plays before, but the play that I had written required strong male leads that I had yet to see perform in any way at church.

One role I truly feared for. It was the main character of the play, Cameron. An alcoholic, in need of saving by Jesus. I needed someone to deliver the emotion that this character had. I needed someone who could make him believable. I needed someone strong. I was so afraid that my options were limited that I prayed. I remember, going to the beach, mid-January, taking a seat in the sand with my blue journal and writing to God.

I prayed for someone who could bring the emotion.

I prayed for someone who could bring the passion.

I prayed for someone who could make people believe the struggle in this character’s life was real.

And as God would do it, the next day, my Pastor came up to me and pointed out a minister at my church to go after for the play. In fact, he had already did the dirty work for me. All I needed to do was give him a role and a script.

It was a minister that I had only noticed once before I began to seriously dive into this play.

It just so happened to be the only minister on our staff that was licensed as a professional actor.

Yeah, my God did that.

I don’t think I noticed it then, but I am beginning to see the majesty in how God works now as I look back.  I expect that I will see more as my story in producing this play continues.

As for now-

To be continued


I’ve decided that I will have to do this blog in sections. So much has happened in the last month that I don’t want to cram it all into one post.


 

Much Love,

Whit

 

 

Speak

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This quote brings so much relevance to what I have come to believe over the last few months about life. Part of the reason I started this blog was because I want to bring life to the stories of others as well as my own. I want to promote transparency in our lives. Even though I struggle with finding people that I trust to truly pour my heart out, I know that there is still some healing in allowing people to know that I struggle too. That I am not strategically selecting the best pictures from my day for a social media spotlight. My life is not perfect. It’s good, but not perfect. I struggle, I cry, I get extremely insecure, I get angry and envious and I beat myself up over it. Despite all this, I’ve realized that I can find comfort in knowing that I am not the only one. That despite the mask that others may use, they, too, are facing the same battles. If only we would speak up about it. I wonder what it would do to satan’s pride if we were to rise up and admit that we are broken and in need of help. It’s in our secrecy that he get us. It’s in our secrecy where we allow our struggles to grow.

 

Love,

Whit

Through A Perspective of Peace

“I won’t sacrifice my peace for your comfort.”

-Anthony Evans, Jr.

The war that I have been battling in my mind for months has not been fun. Like irritated siblings at odds, my heart and mind rage war against each other on whether or not the decision to simply let go was correct.

Friendships.

They are great, life-giving, soul comforting, fruit bearing, but sometimes, if your aren’t careful, they are just plain draining. In my attempts to find my “one and only” true friend throughout the years, I stumbled into a friendship that left me wondering whether or not I should be there. Weary weeks in the start of this friendship turned to frustrated months, and those months turned to mentally drained years. I’ve now realized that my  weariness was a clear sign of my lack of inner peace. My questioning of  whether or not this friendship I established should remain was not my battle against what I originally thought was my christian duty, it was my battle against peace.

Was I being mean for wanting to walk away?

Do I have friendship commitment issues?

Am I being petty?

Will God be mad at me?

It was a war. A circle, that I continued to go round and round in at a 100 mph. The green exit sign too blurry to make out in my speed. But now that I am looking at things with a perspective of peace, I am seeing that those questions were a direct result of my confusion, my insecurity, and my unrest.

I am sure that my lack of reading and understanding the Bible is a primary reason I could not distinguish this as a friendship that I could lightly set down when it first began. It was my misunderstanding of the Word and the Grace of God that kept me in bondage to the thoughts of others who made sure to point out my apparent flaws as a “true” friend in this particular friendship. When in reality, I had long been done, I just didn’t want to go to hell.

So I stayed, and I played, and I continued to sacrifice my peace for the comfort of someone else. Because I didn’t know how fragile they were, because I understood the hardness of their background, because I know that sometimes I could be a tad bit negative, because I was to confused and insecure to give myself permission to be free.

It’s interesting how living with a partial understanding on the goodness and salvation of Jesus will completely destroy you. For if I had been striving to know Him fully I may have found my eyes upon the verses of scripture that speak on His desire to give me complete peace.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” -2 Thessalonians 3:16

At all times. In every way.  My God seeks to give me peace.

 

I think I may try to memorize this scripture. Lest I forget to view every questionable situation and relationship through a perspective of peace.

 

Grace and Peace,

Whit

 

 

 

 

To Tell A Story

Rejection is my story. Insecurity is my struggle.

One day I would hope to write a book on how rejection and insecurity can be demolished in Jesus’ name. But first, I have to live it.

To tell a personal story one must have courage. I haven’t arrived there yet. My fears and anxieties have taken such a hold on me that even writing my hurts down on a blog that I know no one is reading seems way to vulnerable.

I know that I have a narrative within me but I am too afraid to bring it out. Because of this, I can’t make sense of it, I can’t process it and I definitely can’t share it. So it stays hidden. Deep in my soul where my pride and dignity take turns stomping it further into the pit of my gut. I  know that if I don’t allow my Savior to mend the pain of my broken, rejected and insecure heart, I will never be able to bloom in the way that God intends for me to.

I can’t stay here.

I want to say that I know the grass will be greener on the other side, but I was reminded of a statement that claims “the grass is greener where you water it”. Could this be true for me? Am I too sold out on what complete healing looks like that I have undervalued the beauty of the process to get there. The time for me to fall in love with Jesus and truly allow Him to be the redeemer of my soul. I’ve idolized the end result. After all, who has time to walk through an unexplored wilderness of self-doubt, deep rooted anxieties, and never ending fears? I want the testimony, the completed story, the signs of an unbreakable relationship with my Savior, and the healing. I want the book.

I love raising my hands in church. I tend to be a bit more sheepish in the small baptist church that I attend, but if you throw me in the right setting, with dimmed lights, loud music and complete strangers; this girl will worship.

Or at least try to.

Because the truth is, there is something keeping me from going all the way in with worship. When I want to just let go and focus on the King with a true heart of gratitude, amazement, love and awe, something blocks me.

“Are people looking at me?”

“I hope they think I’m holy”.

“Maybe they think I’m too holy”.

“I hope I don’t look radical”.

“What am I eating for lunch?”

The thoughts explode in my mind. I’m sure I am not the only one who struggles with this type of worship, but I also know that this distracted type of worship can only be the result of someone who has not fully given herself over to Christ.

To tell a story takes courage.

To give it to God takes steady patience and a whole lot of faith.

 

 

Much love,

Whit