Happy belated New Year! Not sure about you, but I’m ready for a new year! I love the idea of reflecting on the past year to inform and inspire this new year filled with wisdom and experience and sharing it in order to encourage those facing a challenging season. I love facing new fears and moving forward with the opportunity to help create a beautiful life for me, for my family and for others. For me, this season is about being in the present moment. No stressing out about my future or being depressed about my past, but just waking up each day with a heart full of gratitude that knows I can’t change the past and I am not guaranteed the future, but I do have this moment. What will I do with it?
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Florida to receive the 2014 “Courage Award” from the Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders President at their national cheerleading championship. Prior to this event I had spoken in public four times. The audience in Florida was by far the most people I’d ever spoken in front of. I knew this would be a moment where I would face a huge fear. Ever since I put on my blog that I would come speak to whoever would have me, I have just said yes to the opportunities and trusted that the rest would work itself out. I have to be honest I didn’t expect an opportunity like this to come along so quickly, but thankfully it did. Let’s just say the speech didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked. I had never used a microphone with feedback and it really threw me off as well as not feeling connected to the audience because I couldn’t see them with the lights. I walked off the stage a little defeated and mostly embarrassed. Afterwards the President of FCC came to me with tears in his eyes and told me that God put it on his heart to give me the courage award and invite me to speak and so he obeyed. That moment brought me right back to the heart of why I share, which is to encourage and inspire others. It wasn’t about me giving a flawless speech the victory was just getting up there to speak. If God truly wanted me to be there then the victory was me saying yes and leaving the rest in His hands. I used to be so afraid to make mistakes in life that I never tried anything that I thought I might fail at. Although it’s still difficult for me, I welcome my mistakes because in the mistakes are lessons and if I learn from my lessons (like practicing with a microphone with feedback and with lights in my face) then I can grow from the experience and be better prepared for the next one.
I recently got back from a cruise that I went on with my family and Andrew’s family. It was something we all decided to put on the calendar pretty quickly after Andrew passed away. During the cruise, we had a family memorial where we released some of Andrew’s ashes into the Ocean. We talked about how proud we all thought he’d be because we’ve stayed close and been there for each other.
Ellie bug turns three next weekend and she is excited about celebrating her special day at Chuck E Cheese’s with her cousins. She is so full of energy and love. She brings so much joy and laughter to me and to our entire family.
Just want you all to know how much I appreciate your love and support. I would not be in the place that I am today without all of the ways you’ve blessed my family. I’m excited about being able to give back, because you all have given me so much. Each of you continues to inspire me to serve and give to others, because you never know how much it can impact someone’s life. That’s what you’ve all done for me and for my family. Thank you for helping to set me on this path of inspiring and encouraging others for a living. It has been a life changing experience for me. Lots of love to each one of you! Blessings.