Business Review

My New Adventure with Origami Owl

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Hello Everyone!!

I wanted to share with you that I have become an Origami Owl Designer!!! This means that I sell Custom Jewelry created by Origami Owl. You can check out my site here: Origami Owl – Wear Your Heart.  Some of the jewelry includes necklaces, ear rings, bracelets, watches, and so much more! The main piece of jewelry are the Living Lockets in which you place different charms. Origami Owl is all about telling stories. And one of the ways to tell your story is through the different charms you pick out to put in your Living Locket.

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As a part of telling stories, I would like to share with you my “Why” for joining Origami Owl:

So I didn’t start out searching for Origami Owl. I honestly had never heard of it before. I had been searching and praying for some time that God would allow me to find a job I could do from home. But it had to be something I enjoyed. And every time I thought about what kind of job I would like I found myself repeating “I just want to help people. I want them to know how loved they are and how beautiful. I want others to go for their dreams and not doubt they can achieve them.” In my mind I was like there is no way there is any sort of job that would allow me to do this desire in my heart and make money. The money part didn’t really matter to me but I still needed to make money to live. Anyway, God sort of caused Origami Owl to stumble upon me. When I looked through Origami Owl I saw beautiful lockets and cute charms and just beautiful jewelry and I was like yeah that’s cool. But then I saw Origami Owl’s message behind their jewelry and I felt my heart jump. This company was more than just making money. It had heart behind it and its focus was people and inspiring and spreading love and being a force for good! This was everything I wanted to do! So I joined. And as I got to know more about Origami Owl I realized they were also about storytelling and connecting with others through story and helping others see their own beauty and their own potential. Again, my heart did a leap. I have been working to become a published author so I love stories and storytelling and one of the reasons I joined Origami Owl was because I wanted a way to have a source of income but also have time to work on my writing. And then I find out storytelling is a part of Origami Owl!!! So even though I sort of just fell into this opportunity I think God’s hand was working behind my story and He was leading me even though I didn’t realize it.

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In addition to sharing my “Why” for joining Origami Owl, I wanted to share some of the History of how this company all got started. It began when a fourteen year old named, Bella, went to her parents and asked if they could buy her a car for her 16th birthday. Like any good parents, they told her that is something she was going to have to work towards. Life isn’t easy and we all have to find our way in it. So Bella began to create jewelry and sell it to her family and friends and eventually she raised enough money to buy her very own car! Now, her business is thriving and so many more people are able to reach their dreams and goals by doing exactly what Bella did when she was just fourteen years old.

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Origami Owl is all about inspiring others and spreading love and being a force for good. It seems strange that it would be through jewelry. However, one of the things I love about Origami Owl is that the charms are a way to tell stories. People connect through story. Each one of us carries stories in our hearts or memories of something beautiful we hope we never forget. And these charms are a way of sharing our story. We can inspire others through our stories and through the treasures we carry in our hearts. We can be a force for good by encouraging others and listening to their story without judgement and connecting with them and finding comfort in shared experiences.

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In my opinion, Origami Owl is so much more than just jewelry. While the jewelry is beautiful, it is just a means to share our hearts with each other.  You don’t need a piece of jewelry to connect or to share your heart. But if you would like to tell your own story through different pieces of jewelry please visit: Origami Owl – Wear Your Heart

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Business Review

She Wears Truth

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You have heard it said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” This seems pretty simple. But every time I read it I find it difficult to live out. What if you don’t or can’t love yourself? How can you even start to love others? I find it so much easier to love others than to love myself. No one can see my heart the way I can. Except God. Speaking of God, what do you do when you think God sees you just as badly as you see your own heart?

Everyone else seems so kind and caring and compassionate. Their smile looks like they’ve never kissed anger on the lips. There’s a light in their eyes that looks like darkness has never dimmed their candle. I can see why God would love them. And why He should. And why I should. But how do I love myself?

I am hoping I’m not the only one who struggles with this. Even though I wish that everyone could see themselves and know that they are deeply loved no matter what they have done. I think most of us find it easier to love other people than to love ourselves. And to believe that God loves them more than we believe He actually loves us.

This is where I think the enemy is beating us. If he can get us to not see beauty and light in ourselves, maybe he can keep us from truly loving others the way Jesus did. I also think the enemy has so many tactics to keep us from love. He seems to know our weaknesses and what we doubt about ourselves. Think about it, he’s been dealing with humans for centuries! He knows how we work and how we think and he knows how to bring us down and drag us into darkness.

One of the ways through which I believe the enemy works so strongly to attack us and surround us in darkness is through our thoughts. How many times a day do you think something negative about yourself? How many times do you think, “Wow, I can’t even do this simple little thing right. I am such a failure” ? Do you hear yourself saying, “My belly sticks out to much. I have so many rolls. And this acne on my face! Really?! No one is going to want to look at this. No one wants me.” Or what about these thoughts:

“I don’t make that much of a difference. Anyone can do what I do. And all I do is mess up.”

“ I’m not brave or courageous. I couldn’t even tell the waiter he got my order wrong.”

“I have no talents. I can’t sing or dance or even draw a stick figure right.”

“My dad didn’t even want me…why in the world would God or anyone else want me?”

“I’m better off alone.”

“Don’t believe in me because I will fail you.”

“I’m not pretty enough.”

“ There must be something wrong with me. I’m not where I should be. And I keep messing up.”

These are just a few of the thoughts the enemy bombards us with on a daily basis. But not only are we hit with the enemies lies that taste so much like truth, but I think we, especially women, are very good at seeing all of the bad in ourselves or all of the ways we don’t measure up. We criticize ourselves for not being a good enough mother or daughter or wife or child of God. The enemy doesn’t really have to do any work because we do enough degrading of ourselves all on our own. Sometimes we have been told something so much or, have told something to ourselves so much, that we have grown to believe it. And even though it is a lie it feels and appears to be true. Sometimes a negative word can feel true even though our minds know it is not. Why is it so much easier to believe the bad and negative about ourselves than to believe the good and the beautiful?

I don’t know the answer to this question, but I feel it to be true. So how do we change our thinking about ourselves? How do we tell the lies the truth and actually believe it? How do we love ourselves so we can love others more fully? Maybe we can’t do this on our own. Maybe we need to hear God’s truth about who we are over and over again and actually experience Him before we can believe it and before it can settle like a peaceful stream in our hearts.

There is one wonderful lady I would like to introduce you to who has come up with a simple but powerful -and also stylish- solution to help repel these negative thoughts from climbing into our minds. Elizabeth Gray, or Liz, is an artist who makes jewelry with encouraging engravings on each piece to remind our hearts and minds who we truly are. She says, “Every word I use in my work is chosen to directly challenge the lies we have believed about ourselves.”

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Liz knows the negative thoughts and feelings that deceive us into believing their truth, and she knows that it is only through a constant reminder of who we are in God that we can overcome the enemies in this battle. It is her desire “to encourage and edify the women in [her] life and hopefully come alongside them to help slay some serious dragons they may be facing. Dragons like insecurity and loneliness. Fearsome beasts like anxiety and depression. Foul monsters like fear and self-doubt.” So through her various necklaces and bracelets and earrings she is giving women a weapon to speak truth to our own hearts until we believe it.

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In her work she uses words like “Chosen” and “Courage” and “Strong” and “Beloved” to remind us that we are God’s beautiful, chosen children. She adds, “ I like to use crowns in a lot of my designs to symbolize our dignity and value as intricate human miracles.”  So when we doubt who we are and our worth and purpose, these little crowns can remind us who we truly are. We are daughters of the King. He created us and He sees all of who we are and believes we are wonderful and beautiful and full of His light.

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So as Liz would say, “Whether you wear the words because you know they are true or you wear them until that you do, It is a declaration of truth over yourself everyday. You are Free. You are Brave. You are Loved. Wear the truth boldly.”

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You can find her designs at She Wears Truth and see all of the different reminders of God’s truth. One of her best selling necklaces is very unique and interesting because it not only has your chosen word of truth, but it is also a diffuser. The diffuser necklace comes with little pads inside of the locket in which you can drop your favorite Essential Oil. So while you are reminding yourself each day who you truly are and fighting the battle of lies and negativity you’re necklace will also be emitting a fragrance of your choice! I think this is a really unique feature and reminds us that we truly are a sweet fragrance to God our devoted father.

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Upcoming

    What Liz wants you to know:I am working toward some exciting new projects that will give She Wears Truth a slightly new look while presenting the same message. I’m hoping to launch some new designs in the fall of this year.”

So while you wait in anticipation to see her new projects take a look at her website (She Wears Truth) In addition, Liz also makes Customized gift boxes! So if there is a specific word or phrase or favorite quote or verse you want on your gift box all you have to do is let Liz know and she will write it and “add a few flourishes to make it unique.”

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Please remember that you don’t need jewelry or outward adornment to determine who you are. God is right there with you even when you can’t feel Him. He constantly sees how beautiful you are and He is ready with reminders of His truth to fight off every negative, degrading thought that sets itself up against you. Believe His truth about you. Accept all of His love for you. Then go and love others as fully as you are loved by Him.

If you would like a daily stylish reminder to wear, or if you know someone who needs to hear a daily, truthful reminder of who they are please visit She Wears Truth.

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Movie/TV Reviews

TV Show Review: “The Good Doctor”

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“The Good Doctor” captures the imagination with it’s superhero-like main character, wrenches our hearts with a pang that has somewhat disappeared from most TV shows, all the while causing us to laugh while tears roll down our cheeks.

Created by David Shore, “The Good Doctor”, starring Freddie Highmore who most will know from his roles in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” remake and “Bates Motel”, is a new captivating medical-drama airing on ABC. Freddie Highmore once again shows his diverse acting skills by playing a resident surgeon, Dr. Shawn Murphy, who was diagnosed with autism. Not only does Dr. Murphy struggle with autism, but he also has savant syndrome. Both of these diagnoses join to create a character we are unsure of yet root for at the same time.
We start out the show with Dr. Murphy moving to become a resident surgeon at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital. However, before he can be added to the team of residents he has to “prove” himself. Some of the Committee at the hospital are against hiring a surgeon who has autism. They believe his autism will keep him from communicating and performing his duties to the standard they require. I will not give away whether he is able to prove himself to them, but just to give you a better understanding of his autism, I will give you some examples of his peculiar traits.

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One of the very first of these autistic traits can be heard in the way Dr. Murphy speaks. He uses very short sentences that are not so much monotone as they are robotic. When he speaks he is intelligent and to the point. He does not understand sarcasm and so his responses to it are entertaining. He also takes longer to respond to questions which makes the watcher feel uneasy knowing that he needs to hurry with his responses especially when someone’s life may be on the line.
Dr. Murphy also is not well with social skills. For example, he does not understand flirting and equates the flipping of a girl’s hair to possibly being a sign of ringworm. He doesn’t usually hold a conversation with others and can be very blunt and logical in his responses. When it comes to patients he doesn’t really understand fear or how to comfort. He will bluntly state what his diagnosis of the patient is and not realize they are panicked now. Because he cannot lie, he does not know how to make his patients feel better when the truth is not what they want to hear. So at times he resorts to using another resident surgeon to lie for him.

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Another one of his peculiar traits is that he uses the alarm on his phone for his morning routine. His alarm does not just wake him up, his alarm tells him when to do his exercises, when to brush his teeth, when to get dressed and when to eat. While we see his autistic tendencies, we also see his savant syndrome working. His savant syndrome allows him to see things that others cannot see. For example, he can see the vessels and muscles and all the parts that a kidney is made of. He can also see how to surgically remove the problem and where to make the first cut.

In addition, his savant syndrome allows him to remember loads of information that “normal” people could not contain. He can remember all he’s studied and can recall the exact procedure for different symptoms. This gift gives him a sort of MacGyver-like feel when he is required to perform a procedure without all of the usual medical equipment. His memory and his outside of the box thinking enables him to find different solutions to a seemingly unsolvable problem.

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Throughout the show the watcher is given flashbacks of Dr. Murphy’s life as a child which better help us understand why he responds to certain situations in certain ways. I will not give away what these flashbacks entail because they are the source for all that you will be watching. However, I will say, These flashbacks are enlightening and entertaining as well as tear-jerking.
Overall, “The Good Doctor” breaks down the stereotypes attached to autism and allows us to see that we are no different. We too react to situations that trigger us from things that have happened in our pasts. We too wonder about what others true intentions are and if they actually say what they mean. We want others to listen to us and try to get to know us and see us as human. Dr. Murphy gives us an honest character and makes us think about the words we say and take the time to respond in the right way. So, if you’re looking for a new fresh show to watch that has dynamic characters with a meaningful plot you should check out “The Good Doctor”.

Poetry

Because I Didn’t

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The light turned red.
I saw you standing there in jeans and a gray sweatshirt with the hood covering the sides of your face. The air was cold like a smiling face biting bitter words. You held your cardboard sign in reluctant fingertips like you didn’t want to catch it’s disease. It said:

“Homeless
Anything helps
God bless”

Such a small piece of cardboard for so much to say.
I read your sign and looked at you. You knew I looked even though you couldn’t make eye contact. I read the sign again. And looked at your eyes you never settled on anyone. Why were you homeless? What happened? Did you set out on an adventure of self-discovery and end up meeting cold-hearted life instead? Were you kicked out of your home by an angry father who couldn’t accept you since you didn’t measure up to his self-righteous standards? How did you end up standing here at this exact moment when our car stopped beside you?
Why was this light taking so long to turn green?
How can you be homeless? Especially now when winter is eating its way closer to our bones. When Christmas is just around the corner? How can you not have a home? Not have a lit up tree? How can you not have presents for Christmas?
This light is still red.
Your eyes still keep averting themselves.
So do mine.
Did you really mean “God bless”? Or were you just throwing His name out there in hopes that someone would have compassion on you like His Son would? Was this a guilt trip? Or a reminder? Because if you believe in God you must be very angry and confused about His role in your life right about now? Was it your own choices that resulted in you standing here on the side of a busy highway? Or did evil see such a light and joy in you and decide to throw such painful needles to pierce you in the night? Was evil trying to numb your feeling heart? If you believe in God, do you wonder why He’s not providing for you? Do you worry He will let you down? Or do you feel as if He already has?
This freaking light is still red.
I look back at your lined, young face. You must be my age. Or younger. I see your eyes shifting as if looking at another human being burns your eyes like a gas stove being lit. It even hurts my soul to look at you. I can feel the shame stifling you and it makes me wonder if my gaze suffocates you further into its darkness. Do you wonder what I think when I see you? Maybe you think I assume you are just a drug addict reduced to standing in the cold in hopes to be given a few bucks to get high and escape the shame you wear like a dirty sweatshirt that just won’t come clean. Can I blame you if that’s what you have to do to find relief from your shame? God only knows how I’ve tried to escape mine. Do you silently scream for me to turn my eyes away from you just like this light is screaming red? You seem to ache for green too.
It’s still red.
We’re still stuck here with you not looking and me not being able to stop. I know it’s rude to stare. And I’m not trying to be rude. I too was taught never to make eye contact. But you have a story behind that cardboard sign. Behind that disease you hate to touch. You never wanted to end up here like this. As a boy I’m sure this is not what your wild dreams were made of. You probably expected to have a wife and kids by now. To be at home setting up a tall green Christmas tree strung with colorful lights with your children at your side and your wife filling your home with the smell of baking chocolate chip cookies. Silent Night plays in the background. A horn blares me back to see you. You’re not home, you’re here. At a busy intersection where everyone can see the humiliation you tried to hide under a hooded sweatshirt and a cardboard sign.
The light is green.
Quick!
Please look at me.
Please know, I see you.
We pass you by without giving you anything. I pray a prayer for you, feeling how inadequate it is. Will you be okay? Do you have somewhere warm to rest tonight? Will you cry yourself to sleep too worn out to try? Will evil win another piece of your light? How much longer can you keep it glowing? I can’t see your heart or your thoughts with this glaring green light in my face. But I can see you wilting under the weight of people’s judgments like a tired green leaf withers under the weight of cold snow. You don’t have to hear their slanders when eyes that look but don’t see scream louder than any words. It is terrifying how just a glance can skip your sentry skin and shoot straight into your veins. Bitterness ices our hearts like this cold gnashes on our warm blood. How do we stay warm with such a Cold War to fight? How do we keep our light warm and glowing when wicked wind is constantly blowing against us? How can beating love survive?
So many questions behind that one infected sign.
So many untraceable answers.
So many eyes and so many pockets of change.
And I’m just another car driving by.
For that, for all of it, I am sorry.
So from one mangled human heart to another human soul
—Please know, I see you.

Book Reviews

Book Review of “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp

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To suffer and to feel the weight of pain in your heart, leaking into your stomach are not shards of glass anyone wants to feel cutting into their happy comfortable lives. We fear pain and we fear the thought of suffering. We try to avoid being hurt because, duh, it hurts. But no matter how much we strive to avoid the sharp edges that cut and no matter how well we think we are doing, we know it’s only a matter of time. We all suffer and we all go through painful trials. We’ve been hurt by those we’ve loved. Hurt by cutting words and sharp glares. We’ve been betrayed by people we thought were our closest friends. We’ve had our trust and faith disappointed. Sometimes circumstances in life have gone terribly wrong and have ravaged our hearts to bits. Sometimes I think that heart pain is worse than physical pain. Heart pain takes so much longer to heal and it seems like the smallest sharp touch can rip a heart back to pieces.

Whenever suffering hits, no matter it’s form, I think we all ask the same question, Why? Why do we have to hurt? God, why are you allowing this hurt? Sometimes I think we try to avoid the hurt so we can avoid trying to answer those hard faith questions. We try to pretend nothing happened or we try to hurry up the grieving or suffering process to feel content again. I don’t think that any of us really think brokenness can lead to abundance. If we do, we think it is possible for someone else but not for us. And if it is even remotely possible for us it must be a long way off  like when we are on our deathbeds or something but not now. Not for us.

Ann Voskamp’s book “The Broken Way” faces suffering head on. In this book she talks about suffering and hurting and the walls we build up to protect our hearts from further pain. But more importantly she goes on a journey through suffering to realize herself, along with the reader, that brokenness is not bad and that just like a tiny seed must be buried in the dirt and go through a breaking death in order to sprout and produce life, maybe we too must go through the breaking. She talks about suffering as a way for us to find ultimate communion with each other. When Jesus took the bread as a symbol of his body, He broke it and gave it to the disciples to remember Him. His breaking body brought communion to us and Him and to each other. She questions that maybe we need to break in order to be re-membered. That maybe our suffering heart pressed into another suffering heart is how we find healing. Ann adds that to love means to suffer. But that love is a protective roof that accepts and hides away the wrongs and is free of judgments.

There is so much knowledge packed into this book and so many hidden treasures. I found while reading this book that I began to feel more closely connected to God and He to my suffering and me to those around me suffering. This book opened my heart to the power of loving even while broken and loving those who are broken. I felt myself becoming more free even through suffering. Yes, people can hurt me and abuse me. But they cannot stop me from loving. Suffering can hurt but the hurt does not have to have power over me. I can accept the suffering and decide to love and be all that a hurting heart needs. I found such wonderful light and grace streaming into my soul through this book. It is scary to think that yes, we must suffer, but there is a freedom hidden there.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone struggling with the thought of what to do with suffering and how to grow as a person who has suffered. It is not a dreary, sad poor miserable me book to read. But an honest, soul searching and light enveloping book that introduces you to a way to have a more abundant life through Jesus and a closer heart to His. Ann uses poetic language that at times can be difficult to follow but once you get going you get used to her wording. She uses every day scenes and occurrences and shows you how to see God’s beauty beneath it all. At times I felt like I was secretly listening to a conversation God’s heart was having with hers. Like I was invited to have the honor of being inside a heart conversation. Overall,  I think you find your heart being warmed and growing closer to His without even trying. If you’re searching for freedom take a walk through these pages and let Jesus’s spirit light up yours.

 

Thoughts

Settling Down as a TCK

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I just read a post from the blog The Third Culture Kid Project that is titled “The Day I Compromised.” In it the author talks about how settling down is not a sign of failure for a TCK. This truth gently relieved a dormant wound I’d covered away until I could find a salve to soothe it. As a TCK you’re always told how much you have to offer the world since you have travelled outside of your home country- in my case America. It is true that as a traveler of the world your mind becomes more open and you learn how relate to people in other countries more easily – sometimes more easily than those in your own home country. You learn to appreciate different cultures and to see more of the outside world than wherever you happen to be living at the time. Those foreigners no longer seem strange but feel more like family. Because of this, you are told as a TCK you can work anywhere and you can help teach other people who never have been outside their own country to see the world a little bit differently. You have a perspective others don’t have the opportunity to have. You have a wealth of nations behind you and in you and a part of you. Think of how much you could do and accomplish!

So when a TCK -me- does “settle down” it can feel as if I am a failure for not living out the potential that is supposed to be in me. I see friends who are also TCKs living in other countries and helping the world and living up to that potential. And when I see them I am amazed and rejoice at all they are accomplishing and get to live through. But there is also a piece of me that becomes disheartened as I sit at my desk job back in the little town I was born in. Don’t get me wrong I have a wonderful life and I am so extremely grateful and am so blessed. I got to marry the man of my dreams who I never thought it would ever be possible to date let alone marry! We have a house and a very cute pitbull who is a huge baby we get to take all kinds of walks with through fantastic forests. We have electric and running water and warm beds and air conditioning when it gets too humid and heat when it snows. We get snow!!! God has blessed us with great jobs and He continues to provide for us and gives us more than we could need and want. Please believe I do not regret what all God has done for us.

Still, as a TCK, there is this restlessness at times to travel the world and absorb all I can. And see the beauties of God’s world before it’s all gone. There is this dark whisper inside that tells me I gave up because I’m not in another country and doing something grand and accomplishing more. That darkness makes it hard to see that settling down isn’t failing. Sometimes I feel like settling down means that all I have grown through and gone through and travelled through is being wasted. That more than half of my life was for nothing. I know this isn’t true. And I wouldn’t change anything. But it is something that I don’t like to dwell on. This is why when another TCK says that settling down is not failing it relieves a wound I know they deal with too.

And when I think about it, we’re all just living. Those TCKs living in countries that are not their passport countries home are just living their lives the same as I’m just living mine. We’re just on other sides of the world. We live with worlds inside us no matter where we are. We are still world travellers even when we “settle down” whether it’s in our passport’s home country or the one we decided to settle down in. Settling down isn’t giving up. It’s just living. And it doesn’t mean you will never travel again. It also doesn’t mean that those mixtures of cultures inside you die. They will still be there. They are a part of you and they helped to form you. You will always be a culture all your own. No matter where you decide to “settle down.”

Thoughts

Blogger Recognition Award

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First of all thank you so much to Lyndel Paris at Island Girl on a Mission for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award! I’ve never been nominated or won any sort of award before -except at the county fair when I threw darts at the correct amount of balloons to win a stuffed animal- but I’m not sure if that counts as an award. Anyway, I just want to say thank you from my sometimes ink-stained, typed-out fingers and emotional rollercoaster imagination but especially thank you from my very grateful heart for taking time that is all your own to read my blog. Sometimes, not just as a writer, you can start to feel like no one sees or hears you. Or maybe they hear but aren’t really listening. It can be discouraging. But that’s when we have to remember that we write, speak, and live and persevere not to receive praise or recognition but because of the kind of person we want to be. To build our integrity and character. But that is not to say that it does not feel good when someone comes along side you and says, “I see you and I hear you.” So thank you very much Miss Lyndel Paris for listening!

How Writings from the Cave Began

I started my blog, Writings from the Cave, after realizing I didn’t just want to write in silence anymore. At University I took several writing classes and it was encouraging to write with others who loved to write and who were also discovering our creativity and being challenged to continue to grow and think and write in new ways. After I graduated, that community was gone. I was back to writing in silence. I failed at finding a writing group to be a part of- schedules are busy and clash sometimes- but I knew I didn’t just want to stop writing. I believed God wanted me to write and I did not want to just sit and let my mind grow stagnant. So I decided to start a blog where complete strangers could read anything I wrote and give me accountability and community. They could give me advice and reassure me when I started to doubt myself. All of my life I usually only had my mom around to read anything I wrote and she’s my mom so of course she would like anything I wrote and of course she would think I was a great writer. And even though I am so grateful for my mom taking the time to read anything I handed her and for giving me unlimited encouragement and support, I still wanted to have a place where others could give me their opinions.

Besides needing accountability I also needed an outlet. A place that was all my own where I could just write truthfully and honestly about the goings on in my heart and mind. It was a sort of therapy to set free so much that had been hidden and trapped and built up in me over 20 or so years. So even though I was hesitant – what if no one likes what I write? Or I do it wrong? – I started a blog for my own sake and hoped for the best.

Advice for New Bloggers 

So, this leads to my first piece of advice for new bloggers. From a new blogger myself who is till learning how to do everything, I just want to say “Don’t be afraid.” When you feel that fear rising in you whispering doubts to your mind and attempting to make you feel as if you aren’t good enough, fight that fear back with bravery and post what is on your heart. Don’t write for others to like you or to notice you or write what you think others want to hear, write for yourself. Write from your heart and let your heart speak even when you are scared to. Your honesty and authenticity will  be what makes your writing beautiful even if you don’t know all of the “rules.”

Don’t write for a number of “likes” you want to receive. If you write a post and no one even takes notice of it you will start to feel worthless and as though your writing does not matter. I guess I am saying don’t base how good your writing is on how many people acknowledge it. Choose to be confident in your writing knowing you spoke from your heart and you spoke the truth whether it is noticed or not.

Believe that you do have something to say and a unique way of saying it that others need to hear. I used to get discouraged – and sometimes still do- when thinking about all of the awesome writers out there and all of the people writing and I thought who would choose to read me when they have so many options available to them. But then I thought about all of the different TV shows that exist and how each of them has their own story to tell even if the stories are similar they are told in different ways and people love watching even if they have heard the story before. So I ignored the failure voice inside my head and wrote anyway. So, believe in your voice and in your story and in the words you have to say. Believe that your voice will not get lost in a sea of voices.

Nominees

That being said I would like to nominate the following brave bloggers who have inspired me and encouraged me and allowed me to see their world:

Elaina M. Avalos

The Wild Heart of Life

Justified Ecstasy

Melody Chen

A Light Circle

Ashlin Horne

The Renegade Press

Freckled Foolery

OTV Magazine

Africa Far and Wide

In Passing Bye

The Third Culture Kid Project

Tea & Bannock

Sahaj Kaur Kohli

Live Original