God Is The Plug

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”

                                                      James 4:8

Hallways seem longer when all the doors are bolted shut.

That job that I so desperately knew was mine a few months ago was in fact not. The day after I posted the blog “In The Hallway” I received a notice that I would not be moving forward in the application process. I’d like to say that it had no effect on me at all, but that would be a lie. How could something so perfectly timed out and articulated not be from God? Had I heard the signs wrong? I was lost, a little broken, and really confused. I thought I had this figured out.

But as it turned out, I didn’t. And I have a sneaky suspicion that the sooner I understand that I will never have it figure out, the more God will be able to do with me. I got the news on the day before I was supposed to leave for Vegas with family. It had taken me a day or so but I was learning to let it go. The job just wasn’t for me. I started to enjoy my trip while loosening my grip on the desire that I had fed for a month to fly out to Dallas and begin a new life. My mother was even looking at apartments. Nonetheless, I had to let it go (yes, in my “Frozen” voice). After all, I was beginning to get used to rejection.

On the very last day of the trip, God gave me a very physical reminder of where my focus needed to be for my job search. I have a cousin who designs shirts. She takes t-shirts and brands them with phrases and logos, and she had been given the duty to craft t-shirts for the entire family for the holiday weekend. She did her duty and I though that was the end of it.  But on the day that everyone was set to say their goodbyes, my cousin came into my hotel room with a specialized t-shirt just for me. She hadn’t known my desire for this job in Texas, she hadn’t even known about my job search in general. So when I  unfolded the shirt to read the words “God Is The Plug” I knew  that could only be a wink from God. A clear sign that He sees me, and knows my heart. It became clear where God was directing me in order to fall in line with where he wanted me to go in my job search. He wanted me to go straight to Him.

Even now, a month later, I still struggle with turning my search over to Him completely. but I think I am getting there. I am sprinting past the lie that Satan wants me to believe. That the shirt that I received was just a “coincidence”. It didn’t mean anything, just like my belief in that job in Texas. But I can’t believe that. Even though my decision to not believe in coincidences has led me to some deep moments of sadness, It is also my belief that even in those moments of confusion and misdirection, God is still talking to me, testing me, guiding me. However, if I want to reach the level of clarity in which I am sure of what steps to take for my future jobs, my future husband and any other decisions that I will have to make in life I will have to plug in to Him. Only then will I receive the power that I need to do what I was built to do.

When You Know What You Need To Do, But You Don’t Want To Do It

I’m a fighter. Not in the literal “boxing gloves and vaseline” sense, but I have noticed that I have the tendency to fight against things. Sometimes unknowingly. Over the years I have taken note on how I can hear a sermon, read a blog post, receive personal advice from people in my life that I truly respect and do absolutely nothing with it. Well, that has to change. I spend so much of my time complaining about things that I need to change, that I don’t think about what I could do (or Who I should surrender to) in order to make it happen. As a Christian, I am given the blessing and freedom to have direct communication with the One who holds the future of my life. Although I often find myself fretting over where I will be in 10 years, I know that God knows where I will be in 20. Even so, I still find myself fighting against the fact that it is God who holds my future. And if I ever plan to accept my current position as a necessary growing pain in order to make me the person that God is calling me to be.

 

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverence, perseverance, character, hope.1

 

 

Much Love,

Whit

When The Cubicle Walls Begin To Close In

No, you aren’t crazy. Those short gray walls surrounding your desk, boxing you in for the next 8 hours have the tendency to move. Even if it’s just mentally. With 80% of your time spent at work, and most likely at a desk, it is easy to go stir crazy. Constantly battling the feeling to just jump up and run out of your office and into a field of soft comfy pillows and a marathon of Stranger Things. Although the temptation is strong, we must prevail. In our hardest moments of being at a job that we struggle to find success and happiness at, we must remember that our time of persevering through data-entry mistakes, rude calls, and frozen clocks will only help to build the type of character that is needed to sustain you through the rocky moments of that career that you so desire.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverence, perseverance, character, hope.1

This verse from Romans helps to bring me back. Back to my senses during any moment of doubt, impatience and frustrations. It is what reminds me that this time that I am spending, struggling to see the light, will only help to build the type of person that I need to be for what will come next.

So, when the cubicle walls begin to close in on you

Knock them down.

We are building character here, people.

 

 

Much Love,

Whit

When Anxiety Attacks Your Business Idea

It creeps up on me sometimes. Just when I least expect it. My mind begins to race, and I almost feel a shortness of breath coming on. It’s the anxiety, and it’s coming for my business. I’ve talked about my fears of starting my own side business on this blog, but I don’t think  I’ve fully understood what that meant. I think it is easy to believe that if we are afraid of something that is probably a sign that we should not be doing it. It’s like our internal consciousness is warning us to “Stay away!”.  Most times I listen. I pick up my stuff. Head for the door, and make a peacefully satisfied exit. Fear and I go way back. She would never let me down.

Now, as I dive deeper into this venture I’m understanding that fear was never my friend. And the anxieties that came with it can no longer find a warm and familiar spot on my couch.

They have to go.

Now.

As I was thinking of all the ways anxiety tries to keep me from pushing forward with this dream, I realized that I am under attack. And if you are trying to accomplish something major, you better believe that you are too. Nevertheless, fear and anxiety cannot become us. They cannot have our dreams and they cannot have our plans. We have got to fight back.

So, here are three things that work to keep me from balling up into a corner when that nagging feeling of fear and anxiety begin to tap on my shoulder.

 

  1. Meditate on scripture. Philipians 4: 6-7 of the Bible says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind through Christ Jesus.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quietly recited this verse to myself when I have been hit with a bout of anxiety. There is this subtle sense of peace that lightly flutters on my heart when I say the words to myself. It’s like this gentle reminder that the fears that I have are rooted in things that I do not know, and do not understand. This verse tells me that it is not up to my understanding. In fact, it tells me not to even trust it. And that, is refreshing.
  2. Spit in Satan’s Face. Over the past few years, I’ve heard several Bible teachers mention the fact that since God does not give the spirit of fear, then this spirit must be coming from somewhere else. If you haven’t guessed it yet, it’s Satan. And he wants you to fail. What better way to keep you from doing something that could help someone, or yourself, in the most benficial way than to implant fear and anxiety. It is his way of blocking your efforts and blocking your success. Fight it. And spit in his face.
  3. Take the anxiety with you. Christy Wright, creator of the Business Boutique, often reminds her follwoing to “do it scared”. That to me is brilliant. How many times have we talked ourselves into beliving that we will try something when we are no longer afraid. When it no longer intimidates us. When it no longer has an uninviting snear. However, the “do it scared” phrase tells us that our dreams cannot wait. And that we cannot use fear as our excuse to not start. As a result, a time will come when we will inevitably have to just “do it scared”. I was afraid when I started photographing my cousin for her senior portraits. But eventually that fear began to fade, and I started to have fun. So, when it is all said and done, take the anxiety with you. It will soon get the message 😉

 

Much love,

Whit

 

 

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

 

 

He Won’t Let Me Go

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Sometimes, on my darkest days, I want to fall into the pit of my own thoughts. You know, those thoughts that tell me that I won’t amount to much, that I will always be in this stagnant position, that I will never achieve the things or the relationships that I desire. Those thoughts. They find me the most at work. while I am staring at a computer, blankly entering data. This seems to be when I am the most vulnerable. I catch myself wanting to stay there. Wanting to take a front row seat at my own theater production of pitifulness. Sometimes, I even imagine the negative effects of a story that isn’t even mine. Vain imaginations. They become me.

But, somewhere in this dark forest that I have wandered into is something, someone, that keeps me from frantically running further into darkness. I found that even though I want to be lost in the sea of my own depression, there is a force that brings me back to a large reality. My God is too big.

It’s like I can feel Him, gently touching my arm to grab my attention. Asking me to turn away from a path of darkness and to His path of light.

I want to drown. Just like the rest of my peers. Just like the rest of this world.

But He won’t let me. Instead, He takes my hand, reminds me of the light and ease that is on His path.

Much Love,

Whit