I didn’t get to watch the Golden Globes, but when I got off work and was perusing through Facebook before I drifted off to dream land, I saw my newsfeed exploding with kudos to Oprah for her speech during her acceptance of the Cecil B. de Mille Award.
Oprah’s one of those women who doesn’t just throw her words around. She doesn’t simply use her fame to grow her platform and become richer. She uses her platform to share truth, injustice, victories, and more.
I don’t always agree with the views Oprah shares, but I still admire her strength, courage, vulnerability, and tenacity. I want to be like her when I grow up.
This speech. This speech. This speech.
Each year since 2011 I’ve chosen one word to live by – one word I want to define my year. I’ve lived out trust, radical faith, productivity, choosing to say no more, walking with more intention, truth, and rest.
But this past year – this 2017 – I have struggled. My word was rest, and though I was obedient in that for a minute, I kinda started sucking at it.
I struggled hard this past year and the thought of choosing a word for 2018 didn’t appeal to me whatsoever. I just didn’t want to do it. Because I just didn’t.
But if we always make decisions based off the way we feel in that moment, we’ll never get anywhere.
Remember being at the beginning of 2017 and so excited about the new year? It’s a fresh start. You can hear the excitement in your voice. You’re gonna rock this year!
Life hits you by February… March… June… August… November…
And you ask yourself, Where did my excitement go? I thought I was gonna rock this year!
When we start pursuing our goals, we usually do so with great excitement and focus, but it doesn’t take long until we hit a roadblock or two. It’s easy to want to quit. I’ve been there. Instead of quitting, maybe we just need to take a different approach.
I’m in the middle of that right now. It’s November and instead of getting discouraged that I only have less than two months to finish hitting my weight loss goal, I’m changing things up and figuring out how to make it happen without some crazy diet plan.
Last month I was struggling with feelings of defeat and I was ready to quit. But I didn’t. And I’m not.
You’re not quitting either, my friend.
In 2001, I packed my bags and moved 400 miles to the city I’d dreamed about for years. Since I was a little girl in the small town of Belle, Mo., I knew someday I’d either live in Hollywood and be an actress or move to Nashville and write songs so I could hear other people sing them on the radio. At 18 years old, I chose Nashville.
“I want to be a songwriter,” I told my family. They all thought I was crazy, but I went anyway. I pulled into “Music City” with my pickup truck and a suitcase full of dreams.
I wanted to be a songwriter but I didn’t have the first clue what I was doing. When people would ask me what I was doing there, as I waited tables at Shoney’s, I’d say, “I want to write songs.” I didn’t want to be a singer. I didn’t want to be in a band. I just wanted to write. Looking back on that time I realize there was a very important piece of the puzzle missing.
Jeff Goins writes in his new book, Real Artists Don’t Starve,
Eventually, you have to decide who you are. You have to choose your role and own that identity. We don’t fake it till we make it. We believe it till we become it.
Others are often surprised to learn I’m not a fan of confrontation. Because I serve in different areas of leadership, it comes with an automatic assumption that calling people out, holding others accountable, and dealing with confrontation comes easy for me.
I can promise you that it doesn’t.
Confrontation is never easy for me, but I know it’s necessary. It’s necessary in all of our lives. Yours, mine, and the guy next door.
There usually isn’t a day that goes by I don’t have to muster up the courage to confront an issue, whether that’s talking through a hard topic with our Freedom Finders at Esther’s House, talking through something with a friend, etc.
Confronting hard situations takes courage.
How many times has your mouth gotten you into trouble? Or perhaps you’ve been deeply hurt by the words of others. I’ve been on both sides, unfortunately.
I remember when Facebook used to be fun. I could scroll through and see pictures of families I wanted to keep in touch with, connect with new online friends who shared the same interests, and enjoy kitten memes.
Now it seems my feed is full of online wars between one another versus actually dealing with the problem. We use it as a passive aggressive way of getting our point across to a specific person without saying name. We gossip. We slander. And we do it all behind a protective screen, convincing ourselves if we do it this way, it won’t really hurt anyone.
How many teens are at dinner with their family but are nose-down into their social media accounts? It’s kind of depressing.
By the way, I’ve learned from my friend Marcie, who’s one of the greatest servers I’ve ever known, that when you refuse to take your eyes off your phone long enough to look up and place your order, they would love to hit you upside the head with a menu.
Is this the way it’s destined to be from now on? It doesn’t have to be.