Why Women Love Gilbert Blythe and Why Guys Should Pay Attention

Gilbert Blythe.  The name alone is enough to make hearts swoon!

When I heard that Jonathan Crombie died two weeks ago, I cried. Call me sappy or too sentimental but I did, for real. Not only was he just too young, he brought to life literature’s most beloved boy-next-door and I felt like a tornado swept through my childhood and the memory of those sweet, sweet years will never be the same.

jonathan crombie IMDB
photo credit – IMDB

So, what’s the big deal about this guy, Gilbert Blythe? Why do girls fall for him so easily? While women everywhere have swooned over any number of literature’s leading men over the years, from Darcy to Rochester, it is my humble opinion that L.M. Montgomery’s dear Gil is the best.

So, if you’ll allow me, I’m going to indulge in a bit of sentimental fan-girling. I write this for Green Gables fans, of course, but I write it first for the little girl who grew up with Anne & Gil and will always cherish the memories of movie marathons and worn paperbacks.

That is to say, this post is for me.

But, you will have, of course, noticed the second half of my title: Why Guys Need to Pay Attention. Yeah, this one is for the guys too – if they can sit through it. Ladies, pass this on to the gentlemen in your life and see what kind of conversations it’ll start. If you’re a gentleman and you’re reading this, I have five things to say to you:

  1. Excuse the profuse sentiment.
  2. You’ll notice a Guy Tip at the end of each item – that’s for you. If you want to just cut to the chase and read those bits first, go for it!
  3. If your girlfriend or wife made you read this, suck it up, read it and then give her a hug and ask her why she thought you should and really listen to what she has to say. Be open to a new conversation.  
  4. You’re about to find out why, if you didn’t yet know, the lady in your life had has such a huge crush on a fictional character. 
  5. You’re welcome.

NOTE: If you haven’t read the books, you won’t recognize some of the references. If you’ve never watched the movies or read the books…well, you decide how you feel about spoilers!

So, here’s my list in memory of Jonathan Crombie.

Why Women Love Gilbert Blythe and Why Guys Should Pay Attention

(This post contains affiliate links)

1. He lets Anne be Anne.

Oh, Anne Shirley!  She’s a wonderful mess of imagination, goof-ups, temper, drive, and dreams – and Gilbert loves all of that about her. He never tries to make her something she isn’t. He lets her be herself and admires her for it.

This most definitely does not mean that he’s a pushover! If he has a differing opinion, he’ll state it and stand by it. (You may recall their discussion about Leslie’s husband in Anne’s House of Dreams). These two chums-turned-lovers don’t always agree, and their lives aren’t free of struggle – they’ve got issues just like everyone else. Gilbert doesn’t think she’s perfect but he loves her for the person she is and the person she’s becoming.

Guy Tip: If you really like a girl, let her be herself! Great relationships aren’t about what you’re going to get out of the other person, they’re about how you bring out the best in that other person. Bring out the best in your lady and if you’ve got a keeper, not only will she shine, she’ll do the same for you too!

Gentleman, if you’re married, this is even more crucial. We all change over time and I’m sure that if you’ve been married long enough, both of you can say that, in some ways, you’re not married to the same person you stood next to at the alter. And that’s okay!! That’s the way life is and it’s a good thing as long as we’re growing and learning and progressing. Let her grow and learn. Let her mature and change. Let her thrive. Again, if you’ve got a good girl, she’ll do the same for you and the two of you will have a good thing going.

2. He works hard.

Gilbert works hard for what he has and isn’t showy about his successes. He simply shows up, does his best, and lets his work speak for itself. You see this all through his years in school and later as a doctor. He doesn’t let obstacles throw him and he pursues excellence. And Anne knows this. Even before she falls in love with Gilbert, she knows her best guy friend is somebody who chases dreams and does the hard work. She knows that he’s not flakey and she can trust him cause he’s proven to be dependable. 

Guy Tip: If you haven’t already, figure out what you want to do in life and then work hard to make it happen. It’s not about having all your ducks in a row right this very minute but rather doing the best with what you’ve got and always pursuing excellence. That may mean sacrificing stuff you used to enjoy when you were a kid. If you find yourself having to decide whether or not to study or work longer on an assignment for your job rather than hang out? Congrats, you’ve entered adulthood. If you have to start at the bottom again even though you know you’re worth more? Congrats, you’re entering a new season of life.

Working hard means paying your dues in the pursuit of what you’ve deemed important. We’re all old enough to know that we don’t realize success overnight – it takes work. Life is a cumulative journey; we learn by and build on experience. Embrace it, work with it, and then let your successes speak for themselves. And, I assure you, the good girls will pay attention and they will applaud you because that kind of work ethic is attractive. I promise.  

3. He’s patient.

This is evidenced in the TV series but so much more, I think, in the books. How incredibly patient this guy is! He fell in love with Anne long before the thought ever occurred to her that he could. And he waited. And waited.

The second book in the series, Anne of Avonlea, ends with Anne and Gil walking home from the wedding of a dear friend, Miss Lavender, who had married her sweetheart from years ago. Anne comments on how sweet their story was and how happy she was that the bride and groom came “together again after all the years of separation and misunderstanding.”

“Yes, it’s beautiful,” said Gilbert, looking steadily down into Anne’s uplifted face, “but wouldn’t it have been more beautiful still, Anne, if there had been no separation or misunderstanding…if they had come hand in hand all the way through life, with no memories behind them but those which belonged to each other?”

Get’s me every time. Here’s what happens next.

“For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways…perhaps…perhaps…love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.

Gilbert wisely said nothing more; but in his silence he read the history of the next four years in the light of Anne’s remembered blush. Four years of earnest, happy work…and then the guerdon of a useful knowledge gained and a sweet heart one.

Anne of Avonlea, Chapter 30

In our culture of hook-ups, shack-ups, and split-ups, it’s all the more satisfying to read about a patient guy. Gilbert decided to bide his time and work hard so that he could offer Anne a future. So the two set off for Redmond College to pursue their academic dreams. 

Enter Roy Gardner. You book readers will remember Roy from Anne of the Island. Anne fell for him because he was the epitome of perfection she had conjured up in her dreams. Poor Gil!! But he still held out. Oh, it hurt him to see is best girl going around with another guy but he waited. He knew he couldn’t ever love anyone the way he loved Anne but he never pressured her even when it seemed like he was going to lose out all together. That my friends, is not just patience, but good, ol’ fashioned, long-suffering love.

Guy Tip: You can’t force someone to love you or be with you. The whole time Gilbert was waiting for Anne to come to her senses, he went on with his life, pursuing his goals and working hard. He didn’t pine, he didn’t stalk, and he didn’t guilt-trip, tease, gossip, or gripe. By the time she came around, he was a whole individual with a full life to offer her. Yeah, it was incredibly tough because he didn’t know if she’d ever accept him. And what would have happened if she never chose him? His heart would’ve taken an unbearable hit, yes, but he would have still been a whole person with a full life to offer whoever his Mrs. Right would turn out to be. That’s called quiet strength and gentlemen, I promise you, it speaks volumes! Be patient, let things happen naturally, and don’t put your life on hold in the meantime.

4. He’s a class act.

Roy Gardner may have been Anne’s ‘perfect man’ but Gil more than outshines him as a class act! He’s sensible, grounded, and not silly or self-absorbed. Think young Gregory Peck or Jimmy Stewart. I consider a person to be a class act when they just go about their business responsibly, graciously, and unselfishly. They’re humbled when you compliment them, they don’t make a lot of fuss about themselves and they’re not out to toot their own horn. That’s Gil. He knows how to have a good time with his friends but he’s not all that concerned with the latest fads and trends. He doesn’t get involved in things he knows he shouldn’t. He’s not perfect but he’s prudent. I know, it’s not a sexy word but it’s an invaluable trait. As he grows up, he tucks into the pocket of his adulthood those things that make a real man – integrity, honesty, loyalty, and real love.

Guy Tip: Yeah, yeah, girls want a guy who’s good looking but she also wants one with a stand-up character. A sensible girl doesn’t want an immature airhead, a clingy boy, or a self-absorbed workaholic. Seriously consider those things you know you need to work on and, that’s right, work on them. If you don’t know what your character flaws are, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook – ask someone you trust and who will tell you the truth! You want a good girl, gentlemen, you gotta be a good guy. You gotta be a class act.  

5. He’s secure.

Remember when Anne and Diana beat Gilbert and Moody Spurgeon at the three-legged race? And remember when Anne beat Gilbert during the spelling bee by correctly spelling ‘chrysanthemum’ (and best better believe that, to this day, I spell that word with Anne’s voice in my head)? The beginning of Anne and Gil’s relationship was purely competitive. They worked hard to outdo one another in school. When they became friends, they helped each other in their studies and when they became professionals, they supported each other in their respective fields. All the while, Gilbert was never threatened when Anne succeeded. He didn’t have to prove himself and he didn’t always have to be right. He worked hard and was secure in who he was. That security allowed him to genuinely rejoice in others’ successes even if he was the one who lost.

One more thing worth pointing out – remember, in the third movie, when Anne was busy ‘co-writing’ her book with Jack Garrison and didn’t have as much time for her dear, fiancé? Gilbert knew she was working on something that mattered a lot to her and gave her the space to do so. He was also secure enough in their relationship that he wasn’t threatened by her professional relationship with Jack.

Guy Tip: Develop your talents and celebrate hers. If you’ve got a keeper, she’ll support you and push you to be the best you can be but you have to do the same for her. Both Anne and Gil are dreamers and doers, that is, they both figured out what they wanted to do and they worked hard at pursuing their passions. Have fun, throw in a little friendly competition to keep you both on your toes. Hold each other accountable when appropriate. Ask her about her latest project, be interested in what she’s doing. Give advice and ask for her opinion on whatever you’re working on.  And if she beats you at your favorite game, just give her a wink, congratulate her and say you’ll get her next time!

6. He’s a romantic

Okay, so we know that Gil pulled Anne’s hair in school and called her ‘Carrots’ but we find out later that he really was a super sweet guy and just as romantically inclined as Anne. You movie watchers will remember when Mr. Phillips made Anne sit by her nemesis, Gilbert, in school one afternoon, but it’s the book readers who may recall that Gilbert, who was truly sorry for teasing her “took from his desk a little pink candy heart with a gold motto on it, “You are sweet,” and slipped it under the curve of Anne’s arm.” (Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 15). Anne promptly crushed the candy with her shoe without glancing at the gift-giver but years later, she was reminded of that incident. One Christmas during college, Gilbert sent her “a thread-like gold chain with a tiny pink enamel heart as a pendant. On the accompanying card was written, “With all good wishes from your old chum, Gilbert.”” (Anne of the Island, Chapter 37). Sweet, yeah? But get this: she was already going steady with Roy Gardner.

Yeah.

It gets better. In the midst of finals and graduation preparation, Redmond was buzzing with the gossip of Roy’s impending proposal to Anne. And then Gilbert sends her flowers for Convocation. But not just any flowers, these were lilies-of-the-valley like the ones that blossomed at Green Gables. Gilbert knew that even though Roy Gardner was her chosen man, he still had something that Roy didn’t have: the history of a beautiful friendship. So he capitalized on it and sent her flowers on the day the two of them had dreamt about for years. The sentiment touched Anne’s heart and whose flowers do you think she carried that day?

Guy Tip: Romance has less to do with flowers, chocolate, and expensive dates on special occasions and more to do with remembering shared moments and making much out of the small, simple things in life. And romance isn’t just about how to talk sweet to a girl either. When we say a guy is a sweet talker, we’re usually referring to a guy who knows how to use his words to get what he wants from a girl. That’s not a man, that’s just a boy with a decent vocabulary. A real man can treat a woman with love & respect regardless of whether or not she reciprocates it. Gilbert didn’t give Anne flowers in an attempt to win her back. He was being a friend and saying, “Hey, we made it! Congratulations and good luck!” No shooting stars, no candlelight, no touch, but oh, how very romantic. Why? Because he cared. 

Girls want to know you truly care and it’s your job to figure out how to best show that you do. For some girls it’s flowers, for some it’s good morning texts or a handwritten note, for others it’s a copy of her favorite book or a well-planned date. Actually, I can almost guarantee you it’s a combination of many different things and those may change over the years! Find out what’s important to your girl and do those things even if you don’t get it. Why does it have to be that brand of chocolate? It doesn’t matter. If she means that much to you, you’ll take note and buy her that brand of chocolate. She can open a door and she can hold her own in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter, hold that door open and ask if you can help out whenever possible. Yeah, it takes effort, but if you’ve got a keeper, guess what? That’s right, she’ll take the time to do the same for you. And if she forgets or is going through a particularly busy season, that’s okay, hang in there. You’re going to want her to understand when you’re going through a crazy phase and forget the anniversary of your first date!

And gentleman, if you are already married, this is even more important! Just because you said “I do” doesn’t mean you don’t continue to put your best foot forward. You have to work twice as hard keep her happy now because the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever but romance must always stay alive. There’s no magical age where we stop developing and changing. Like I said before, we change as the years go by. If you’re married, you’ve committed yourself to a lifetime of studying your wife. Be a romantic by doing your absolute best to making her happy and bringing out the best in her.   

7. He loves her

I would be completely remiss if I didn’t highlight Gil’s simple love for Anne. Yes, this whole list has demonstrated how much he cares about her but I have to spell it out just a bit more. 

You can see it on the screen when he looks at her. Jonathan Crombie did that look so well. It wasn’t anything creepy, seductive or even particularly charming, it was just pure love and adoration. He was completely smitten. It started out with a boy’s fascination with the new girl in school. 

“Gilbert Blythe was trying to make Anne Shirley look at him and failing utterly, because Anne was at that moment totally oblivious not only to the very existence of Gilbert Blythe, but of every other scholar in Avonlea school itself….

[He] wasn’t used to putting himself out to make a girl look at him and meeting with failure. She SHOULD look at him, that red-haired Shirley girl with the little pointed chin and the big eyes that weren’t like the eyes of any other girl in Avonlea school.”

Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 15

And then, finally, after years of her implacable hostility, their fierce academic competition turned comradeship, and lots of hard work, and sacrifice on his part, Gilbert finally won.

“[It] was a happy and beautiful bride who came down the old, homespun-carpeted stairs that September noon–the first bride of Green Gables, slender and shining-eyed, in the mist of her maiden veil, with her arms full of roses. Gilbert, waiting for her in the hall below, looked up at her with adoring eyes. She was his at last, this evasive, long-sought Anne, won after years of patient waiting. It was to him she was coming in the sweet surrender of the bride. Was he worthy of her? Could he make her as happy as he hoped? If he failed her–if he could not measure up to her standard of manhood–then, as she held out her hand, their eyes met and all doubt was swept away in a glad certainty. They belonged to each other; and, no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. Their happiness was in each other’s keeping and both were unafraid.”

Anne’s House of Dreams, Chapter 5

 *insert happy sigh*

Guy Tip: If you’re a guy and you’ve made it this far, congratulations! I’m writing this not knowing if any guy is going to take the time to wade through this fan-girling but I couldn’t write this any other way – it flowed so naturally. Here’s my last guy tip:

I’ve been talking about how Gil was patient and waited for Anne for years but I need to add a very necessary caveat. This is a made up story and I get it. Gilbert Blythe isn’t perfect and I get that too. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all Gilbert Blythe Formula and I’m not trying to say that there is. However, the traits that make women swoon over him are very real and you would do well to consider them if you’ve never done so before. BUT! That doesn’t always mean you’re going to get the girl you’ve got your eyes on right now. Montgomery knew how to spin a good story but as we all know, the guy doesn’t always get the girl no matter how much he may ‘deserve her’ or how ‘good he was to her’ or how ‘patient he was’. Sometimes, she’s just not the one. 

‘Getting the girl’ may mean wading through some heartbreak, some loneliness, and some frustration before it all works out. I don’t believe in soul mates but I do think that you should wait for someone who loves you for who you are, and is willing to spend the rest of their life with the good, the bad, and the ugly both people will most definitely bring to the table. 

There’s always talk about girls saving themselves physically and emotionally for Mr. Right, but guys have hearts too. So don’t be in such a rush when you see a pretty face. I think that a lot of times, guys really mean well but y’all don’t give it enough time. Sometimes, even if she is the girl for you, you’ve just gotta wait. But a good woman is always worth waiting for, guys, I promise. 

Be a hard working, patient, class act dude who’s making himself a whole person with a full life and you’ll be worthy of a keeper. And when you get her, take the time to be romantic and love your sweetheart for who she is and I guarantee you, she’ll be one lucky gal!    


I went on longer than I originally intended. I was even considering a Part 2. But here it is and while I don’t know if Marilla Cuthbert or Rachel Lynde would have altogether approved of such fan-girling, I’ve throughly enjoyed it!

If you’re a die-hard Green Gables fan, leave me a comment and add to my list. Why else do women love about Gilbert and what other guy tips can the gentlemen in your life benefit from our favorite boy-next-door?

If you’re a guy and you finished this post, I have two more things to say to you:

  1. I hope you’ve gained some insight into the female sentiment.
  2. Thank you.

Y’all have a great day 🙂

P.S. For all y’all movie watchers:

“Christine was engaged to somebody in her home town. I knew it and she knew I knew it…I knew college gossip credited us with being in love with each other. I didn’t care…There was nobody else–there could never be anybody else for me but you.”

Gilbert, Anne of the Island, Chapter 41

And that is how the line is supposed to go!


 

If you’ve never read the books and you love the movies, I highly recommend reading the whole series! They’re beautiful stories and you won’t regret it! You can purchase the entire 8-book series HERE

Aaaand if you enjoyed this post, you may also want to read 4 Things Girls Need to Understand (Why You Don’t Deserve the Guy You Want)  which is my bookend post for the ladies!

Confessions of a Homeschool Veteran: Would I Do It Over Again?

I’m a homeschool veteran.

Almost two decades after my parents took me out of the traditional, private school system, I can look back and say that I’m blessed with a great academic story.
CONFESSIONS OF A Homeschool Veteran 2

In my last post, I addressed the myth of socialization when it comes to homeschooling. As an adult, rarely ever get the socialization question anymore (thank goodness!) but I do get this question quite often:

Did you like being homeschooled?

In a word – yes.

I’m so glad my parents decided to homeschool the Bro and me. In my opinion, I think it’s one of the best things they did for us and I am forever grateful!

However…

there were days when I hated it ><.

Oh my goodness, there were days when my Bro got on my nerves, my parents got on my nerves, and when I most certainly got on all of theirs. Days weren’t perfect, circumstances weren’t always ideal, there were annoyances, irritations, and messes. It’s the stuff of life and we certainly had our share.

I’m not completely sure but I feel like there may be a misconception that if a family is homeschooling then they must have their act together and get along all the time. This is simply not the case. I don’t know every homeschool family but I’ll bet you that even though they most definitely love each other, there are Mondays, late days, rainy days, sick days, grumpy days, won’t-shut-up days, bad hair days, and every other day in-between. Every family has their struggles, pet peeves, arguments, and challenges, and homeschooling families are right there in the trenches with everyone else. The difference with homeschooling families is that they have to figure out how to spend a whole lot of time learning, playing, and working together through the messy stuff that is called family life. There isn’t an escape to traditional school or day job – you’re stuck with one another all day long. I’m not going to lie, it was a drag sometimes.

BUT! There were so many more wonderful days! Lots of experimenting in the kitchen, inventing games, dressing up and putting on shows, reading stacks of library books, bike riding, painting, sewing, music lessons, story writing…. these were sweet, sweet years. I’m not saying that traditionally schooled kids don’t get to do fun stuff, but I will argue that homeschooled kids have more time to dig into their hobbies and passions – a fact for which I am grateful!

Of course, homeschooling isn’t all fun and games. We had to work hard too. And here’s where the essence of home education comes out. Everybody learns differently, no two students are alike. When done right, homeschooling gives students the freedom to work at their own pace, excel in the subjects they are naturally good at and hone in on those they find more challenging. I’ll talk about this a little more in my next post.    


So, if given the chance, I would do it all over again. Are there things we wish we had done better? Of course! Who doesn’t wish that? No one can look back and say that they’re satisfied with every single thing they’ve done, that they handled every situation well, that they made all the right decisions or took advantage of every opportunity. Homeschoolers are no exception.

I’m thankful to have been homeschooled with all the ups, downs, twists, turns, and bad days. It’s an adventure I wouldn’t trade for the world and it’s given me the freedom to grow into the person I am today.

If you homeschooled your kids or were homeschooled yourself, would you do it over again? What would you have done differently? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Confessions of a Homeschool Veteran: The Myth About Socialization

I’m a homeschool veteran.

I can say that because my mother started homeschooling me and the Bro when I began the second grade. I’m so glad she did. Granted, this was back in the mid-nineties and my little, second-grade self didn’t know what homeschooling even was and the thought of leaving my friends was quite alarming. But I quickly settled into it and grew to love my new lifestyle.

Now, I’m about to finish my BA and starting to think back on my educational journey.  What do I have to say now that I’m reaching this landmark in my life?

A lot.

This will be a series of posts about my experiences as a homeschooled student. Yes, there are misconceptions that I’ll address but there are also points of interest that I can share now that I’m an adult and have been through it.   

This is Confessions of a Homeschool Veteran.

CONFESSIONS OF A Homeschool Veteran 1 (1)

You can guess from the graphic what topic I’m going to address first. Yes, I’d like to bust a myth:

Homeschoolers and socialization.  

This has got to be the most popular myth about homeschooling. All my life my parents were asked all kinds of questions like, “But do your kids socialize?”,  “Aren’t you worried your kids won’t be socialized?”, “Do they have a social life?”

In one word – YES!  Yes to all of those questions.

Let me explain something that I think people who ask these questions seem to forget. You ready for this?

Everybody worries about socialization. Period. 

I don’t think there is a parent on this planet with a school-aged child that doesn’t worry about their child’s social life no matter their schooling situation. I mean c’mon, you remember what it was like to be a kid, right?  It’s hard to make friends. It’s hard to keep a stiff upper lip when no one wants to sit next to you at lunch. It’s hard to find your place in a group. Guess what? Traditionally schooled kids have socialization issues too. In fact, let me be so bold as to say that traditionally schooled kids have potentially more socialization issues than do homeschooled kids. There are a lot of reasons for that but this isn’t the post. I think we all know enough about peer pressure, bullying, cliques, and battered self-worth to get the picture.

Just because a child doesn’t go to a traditional school doesn’t mean they can’t be socialized.  And by the same token, just because a child goes to a traditional school doesn’t mean they’re properly socialized either. I mean, heck, adults have socialization issues! We learn a thing or two about communicating as we age but we can be just as socially awkward as we were when we were adolescents. We’re all different and our educational situations don’t necessarily determine our social comfort levels. It’s something we all have to learn and some of us are naturally better at it than others. 

Having said all that, I’ll admit it, there are some socially awkward homeschoolers out there. But just because you may have come across one of them, doesn’t mean that’s how the rest of us are.  Don’t lump us together, please. Homeschoolers come in all stripes and types and I know that as human beings we naturally stereotype cultures and sub-cultures, but just like not all black people like fried chicken, (yes, I went there and yes, I’m half black) not all homeschoolers are socially awkward. Back off the stereotypes, don’t be so quick to make assumptions, and get to know a homeschooled student before you make a judgement call.  


Whenever I hear the socialization myth, I laugh cause I think it’s so ridiculous. Let me just say, I have never once been told that I have a problem socializing. The Bro and I were involved in extracurricular activities as kids, we’ve always been active at church and have never lacked friends. I grew up being able to have conversations with people my parents’ age and older and liking it! And while homeschoolers are quick to say that the average, traditionally schooled child isn’t capable of doing this, I’m slower to make that judgement call because everyone is different. There are great communicators from every educational background and I don’t think anyone really wants to be negatively defined by their education anymore than I do. 

We should be defined by what we do with our education, not by how we got it. 

EducationDefinition

So, next time you meet a homeschooled student, don’t let the question of socialization be the first thing to pop out of your mouth. Do like everyone else and ask them about their favorite subject. Believe me, they’ll tell you!

April To Do List

april

 Why hello April!  So nice of you to arrive!

1. Establish a Sleep Schedule and Morning Routine – I keep failing at this and I refuse to give up!  My plan is to go to sleep no later than 10 o’clock and rise no later than 6. After I get that down, I’m going to switch to sleep at 9 o’clock and waking at 5.  And while I’ve been working out faithfully, my devotional time continues to be at sporadic times.  Sooooo…

  1. Wake Up
  2. Devotions
  3. Work Out

If I can just establish these 3 things, my days would fall into a better pattern.  I’m not sure why this is so hard but it is and I want to get it together already!

2. Read/Finish at Least 5 Books – Audiobooks, audiobooks, audiobooks, baby!  I have several titles to get through besides whatever print books I can manage to sit down with.

3. Try 4 New Juice Recipes – My family’s been on a juicing kick that we’ve no desire to let go of.  My mom’s got this great juicing recipe book and I want to try some new combos!

4. Establish Writing/Blogging Schedule – This is pretty self-explanatory.  It goes along the same lines as establishing my morning routine – I need a writing routine!

5. Catch Up on Book Reviews – I’ve been behind in book review since 2013  – oh the shame XD lol.  Over on my book blog, I made the goal to blog about every single book I read this year and I pledged to read 100 books in 2015.  Yeeeeeeah.  Let me just catch up on the books I’ve read so far this year and back track as much as possible.    

6. Recipe Binder – I started this project last month and need to complete it! 🙂

7. Update My Resume – Self explanatory.

8. Get New Calling Cards Printed – Back in the day, people left their card when they went calling on neighbors or potential associates.  It bore their name and information so the person who was called on knew who had been by and how to get in touch with them.  A calling card is like a business card but for an individual who doesn’t own or represent a company.  It has your name and whatever information you want to give people so they can get in touch with you!  I had some made a few years ago and they need to be updated.

9. Spring Clean and Organize My Bedroom – I’m not sure why but I feel like my room has gotten smaller in the past month or so and it’s driving me nuts!  I need a new desk situation and some more storage.  I also need to go through my clothes and get rid of stuff I don’t wear anymore.  It’s so easy to keep pieces cause you may wear them again someday.  But seriously, dude, if it’s been hanging there and you NEVER wear it, then give it away so at least someone else can and you gain space for things you actually use.

Recurring Goals

  1. Work out daily, M-F
  2. Blog at least twice a week
  3. Practice piano for at least an hour daily

This is my longest list so far this year and I’m determined to get an A at the end!!  Here we gooooooooo!

The Stuff of a Successful Life

When you hear or see the word ‘success’, what comes to mind?  Money?  Your byline on the front page?  A happy family?  A rise on the corporate ladder?  Success means different things to each of us and there are a myriad different roads to that success.  And while I’m not an expert in this area, I have learned a thing or two based on the little victories in my life and various pieces of advice I’ve received.  Tucked into the pocket of my adulthood are 5 things I think are woven into the tapestry of a successful life.

There are things you have to do or be in order to be a writer.  And there are things you have to do or be in order to realize success in your life.  These 5 life tips are written in terms of being a writer cause it’s my niche and I think the principles are all the same no matter what you’re pursuing in life.

Success-Writer

 1. In order to be a writer, you have to be a reader.

A writer who doesn’t read, is like a cook who doesn’t eat or a musician who doesn’t listen to music.  If you want to be a writer, a composer of sentences, you’ve got to read.  And not just read but read well.  Don’t just read one kind of book, read broadly and outside of your comfort zone.  Allow yourself to mature, learn and grow as a reader and that’s one of the ways you’ll mature, learn, and grow as a writer.  Get to know style, structure, and voice.  Stretch your brain with subjects that you may not be naturally in to.  Challenge yourself with topics that you’ve always been interested in but didn’t think you were ‘smart’ enough to understand.  This takes some work but it’s worth it.

While I think that reading is important not matter who you are, the principle also holds true when it comes to your actual life’s work.  Submerge yourself in those things that will enhance your talents.  The more you engage in your talents and passions, the better you understand what it means to be whatever you want to be.  No matter what kind of work you do, don’t be satisfied to know just what your job requires.  Familiarize yourself with the context in which you work.  It will help you do your job better, you’ll become a better conversationalist and you’ll set yourself up for upward mobility in your organization.  Just remember: cooks eat, musicians listen to music, and writer’s read.  What do you do?

2. In order to be a writer, you have to write.

So, if you’re going to be a writer, you have to write.  Well, DUUUUHHH!

Lol.

Sometimes it’s not that simple.  Writing is hard and there are times when it’s more simple not to write.  But the desire doesn’t go away–so you have to do it!  Saying ‘you have to write’ means that you do it even when it’s hard.  Just because you’ve got a passion for something, doesn’t mean it’s going to come easily.  Having a passion for something means that even when it’s hard, you keep doing it.  

Same goes for anything else in life.  If you want to succeed at something, you have to do it.  You don’t wait around for ideal circumstances, you don’t wait until you know better, you just do it.  And you do it when it’s hard and you don’t want to. The BF once told me that this is what separates the boys from the men – the ability to keep doing something when it’s hard or you feel like it’s not worth it anymore.  The stuff of success is doing the hard things no matter what.

Note: I have to add a caveat – this doesn’t mean that you do things thoughtlessly or recklessly, without consideration.  But sometimes, we sit around and daydream about what we could be doing, despairing that we’ll never get a chance to do this, or be good enough to do that.  Sometimes opportunity doesn’t knock, you have to find it yourself.  Be prayerful and considerate of your options but don’t sit around and wait for easy – be purposeful and just do it!  

3. In order to be a writer, you have to be vulnerable.

Writing is putting your heart on the page and hoping no one steps on it or rips it to shreds.  It takes a lot of nerve to be that transparent with your thoughts.  And it takes a lot of guts to be okay when someone doesn’t like what you have to say.  A writer has to care more about writing and what she’s writing and less about what people think about it.  The ability to be that vulnerable is tough but it’s necessary.

There are times in life when you just have to be vulnerable in order to get anywhere.  Asking someone out, going on a job interview, striking up a conversation with someone who probably wouldn’t normally talk to you.  That first step, that first move – these are moments of vulnerability cause you don’t know what’s going to happen and your feelings may take a hit as a result of your actions.  But let me tell you something. Risking your pride and your feelings is a part of maturing and growing as a human being.  There’s no growth where there’s no risk and where there’s no risk, there’s no success. Care enough about your goal to take chances and be vulnerable.

4. In order to be a writer, you have to be willing to listen.

Confession – I struggle with this.  As a word lover, I’m too quick to speak and even slower to listen.  It’s really not cool and I have removed my foot from my big mouth on many, many occasions in my short life.  But listening is an important quality in a writer.  And not just when it’s your turn to listen in a conversation, but just in general.  Be aware of what’s going on around you.  It could spark your next blog post or start an interesting conversation.  You never know!

The same holds true in life.  Sometimes you really don’t have to talk.  If you’re like me, you have a zillion thoughts going on at once, multiple tabs open and comments on the ready.  But just because you have something to say, doesn’t mean you have to say it.  Practice listening.  Wait for people to finish their sentence before you respond and think about what you’re going to say (my parents just heard the hallelujah chorus in their heads and have no idea why!).  Maybe this isn’t an issue for you, but for all y’all fast talkers out there, be slow to speak and quick to listen.  Believe me, people will appreciate it!

5. In order to be a writer, you have to love it.

A writer doesn’t write for the sake of being a writer, a writer writes because she can’t help but write.  This quote says it best:

If you can quit, then quit.

In order to be a success in any area of you’re life, you have to want it enough.  If you you’re going to invest your time and effort doing something, make sure you love it.  This doesn’t mean quitting your day job, abandoning your responsibilities, or ditching your commitments simply because you don’t love them.  Life comes in seasons and everyone has to pay their dues or do things simply as the means to an end. Whatever you’re working towards, love it enough to use those things that you may not love, or even like, as learning opportunities and stepping stones along the way.


Success, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder.  One may look at the family who drives a old van and always seems to be struggling financially as not successful until they see the joy of the children, the contentment on the wife’s face and the spring in the husband’s step – that is priceless.  

You’re not here to please everybody else, just One Person.  When God looks at you, you want to be sure He likes what He sees you spending your life on.  He created you with a specific purpose in mind.  That purpose doesn’t necessarily mean something seemingly grandiose like mission work in a foreign country, leadership in a far reaching ministry organization, or a best selling book.  Sometimes that purpose looks more like faithful service in your local church, witnessing on the job, or raising children that love the Lord.  The stuff of a successful life is deciding to do whatever it is that God placed you on this earth to do no matter how hard it is or how much it costs you.

The stuff of a successful life is


I don’t know what challenges you’re facing this week, but I do know one thing – God’s got your back.  He has a beautiful, unique purpose for your life, better than anything you could ever hope for or dream of.  Don’t chase the world’s standard of success.  Embrace God’s great plan for your life and work diligently to become all that He created you to be!

Have a blessed week, y’all!

Elyssa

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March Report Card

It’s April, yo!  And that means it’s time for my report card for March.  In case you didn’t know, I write a to do list at the beginning of every month and then grade myself at the end of the month to see how many things I actually got done.  You can check out my to do lists and report cards on the sidebar.  For now, let’s take a look at how I did in March!

March Report Card (1)

  1. Plant the Garden F.  This isn’t really my fault (yes, with the excuses).  We had some landscape issues, and weather funkiness, and…okay so maaaaybe I could have tried harder. *SIGH* I’ve got plans to get some stuff later this week or early next week.  Because of the lateness of the season, I’m going to stick to mostly flowers and herbs.  As for my goal, yep, March was a fail.
  2. Read 3 Books – A.  I did manage to finish several titles last month.  I finished a print book I started in January (Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman), one audiobook that I started two years ago but dropped and never finished (A Time to Kill by John Grisham), a whole book on my Kindle (Rich Mom Home Business Startup Bible by Renae Christine, one of my all-time favorite YouTubers), and Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby 8-book series on audiobook (it was a lovely trip to my childhood).  Thank God for audiobooks!
  3. Learn 1 Song on the Piano – F. This didn’t happen in any shape or form.
  4. Start a Recipe Binder – C. I’ve started intentionally collecting recipes and planning the binder organizer but haven’t put it together yet.
  5. Spring Cleaning Challenge – F.  It really has just been downhill, y’all, oh man.  This didn’t happen either.

Recurring Goals

  1. Work out daily, M-F – A. I have been working out faithfully, thank you very much!  I’ve skipped maybe a day or two but my sore muscles testify to that well-deserved A!
  2. Blog at least twice a week – B. I lost some time transitioning to this site.
  3. Practice piano for at least an hour daily – F. Yeah, didn’t happen.

I’m not even going to go through the motions of calculating my grade, I failed.

Not dwelling, moving forward!

I’ll be posting my April To Do List tomorrow!

Happy April, y’all!

Elyssa

Monday Morning Gifts

It’s Monday morning, y’all!

This is so not the post I planned on writing but I was grappling with a school assignment last night till the wee hours of the morning so that kind of threw a kink in my plans. But! I have determined to blog on Monday mornings and I will do just that.

There are gray skies overhead in my neck of the world but, surprisingly, despite my lack of sleep, I’m feeling more energetic today than I’ve felt in many a Monday AM. So I thought I’d give you some presents and spread some Monday cheer :).  We all need some inspiration and motivation to get us going, yeah?

First, a song.

Okay, another song cause I couldn’t choose!

Second, one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

“To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.

Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob,
And speak, O Israel:
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
And my just claim is passed over by my God”?

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:25-31

I looooove these verses cause they remind me of the greatness of God and His watch care over me.  He gives strength to the weak and they will not grow weary.  Thank You, Jesus!! 🙂

Third, a resource.

I’m really trying to change my sleep schedule and be early to bed, early to rise.

(That way, these Monday morning posts will be for real in the morning, like at 6 or 7!)

Late nights are such a hard habit to break but I’m determined to get it together.

Last week, I found this really great podcast that I’ve been listening to and it’s giving me another push toward my goal of a better sleep routine and increased productivity. So far I reeeeeally like it so you might want to check it out too!

It’s called the 5 AM Miracle hosted by Jeff Sanders and you can find it HERE on his website or subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher or where ever you listen to podcasts.  Check it out and let me know what you think!


I don’t know what you’re facing this week, but one thing I can guarantee you: God’s got your back.  Whatever you’re dealing with, whatever obstacles your facing, whatever circumstances feel overwhelming, He’s got you and He will not fail you.  Give it all to Him and rest assured He will lead you through.

Have a blessed week, y’all!

Elyssa

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How To Stay on Top of Your Game When You’ve Lost Motivation

With two and a half months away from the end of my degree, and I kid you not it’s a wonderful thing to be so close I can almost taste it but it’s also hard to keep myself motivated these last few miles.  You know how it is when you’re working out and you’ve only got a few more reps, a few more seconds, a few more steps to the finish line and if you can…just…keep…moving…just.a bit…..longer,…you’ll *panting, catching breath*…make it!  Yeah, that’s pretty much where I’m at at the moment.  Motivation to keep up the pace is slowly ebbing away and I do more daydreaming about being done than I do actually doing the work to ensure I finish well!

No matter if you’re nearing a particular finish line, you’re trying to stay afloat in a daily grind that doesn’t seem to have a definable game plan, or your gearing up for a new project or adventure, staying on top of your game can be super difficult sometimes.  Too often, motivation requires motivation.  That’s like a whole other brand of energy and where are you supposed to get that??  As I near my educational finish line and gear up for life after college, I’ve recently tucked a phrase into the pocket of my adulthood to keep me pressing forward –

Want it. Claim it. Do it.

I uttered these words during a conversation with the BF a while ago and liked the way they sounded.  I wrote them down and liked the way they looked too.  Motivation to get or stay motivated requires a starting point.  These words have since become a way to find that starting point and run with it.  Here’s how I break it down and apply them now.

How to Stay Motivated

WANT IT 

First, you’ve got to decide what exactly you want to do.  Are you trying to shift gears into a new wake up/work out routine?  Are you trying to find ways to boost productivity at work?  Maybe you’ve got ideas for a new start up or you’ve got a business plan to rework.  Are you trying to make time for a new hobby or take up an old one?  Are you trying to stick to a study schedule to ensure that you turn in your work on time and never have to race to meet a deadline? (Oh, me! Me! That’s meeeee!)  Write it down. Make a list.  Write down what you need to do in order to finish a project.  Think about what’s necessary and what may be extraneous or unneeded.

When I was planning my new blog and a couple of the other projects I’ve got simmering at the moment, I spent a lot of time sketching out my ideas on big white poster boards in different colored markers.  I scrapped poster after poster until it looked the way I wanted it to.  Physically writing things down and mapping them in bright colors is how I plan things out.  You may do just as well with a legal pad and a No. 2 pencil or a stylus on a smartphone app.  Do whatever works for you in order to get your thoughts out of your head and in front of your eyes.  But definitely WRITE IT DOWN. Want it in print.The more you see something, the more you’re apt to pay attention to it.

When it comes to plans for our lives, always pray and ask God if this is something you should pursue.  We may want something that He may not want for us.  Make sure that you’re following His lead and not just grasping at things that don’t have a place in your life. You may need to get someone else’s trusted opinion.  Depending on what ‘it’ is, you’re going to need varying degrees of counsel on the matter.  There’s an obvious difference between changing up your morning routine and choosing whether or not to accept a new job offer.  Whatever the case may be, take the matter up with God and seek His wisdom and leading.

CLAIM IT

Here’s where I usually fall off the wagon.  I want a lot of things in my life but I don’t claim them.  I don’t talk about my goals.  I don’t think through the action steps that are necessary to make ‘it’ happen.  I don’t plan, strategize, or make time.  Sometimes I don’t think enough of my wishes to make them come alive in my everyday.  After years of wanting and wishing, I finally decided that this kind of lax behavior wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

When I settled on Purple Ink Studios, I started talking about it like it already existed.  I treated it like it was already a part of my life.  I revved up my blogging research, wrote down my ideas, and made plans to make changes to my social media.  Purple Ink Studios existed to me way before the blog went live.  It was scary cause I didn’t know what I was doing some of the time, but I knew it’s what I wanted to do, so I claimed it.

Once you’ve decided you want something, treat it like it’s already  important even if you’re still at the drawing board.  You don’t have to know what you’re doing for it to be meaningful.  Do your research.  Create space to make ‘it’ happen.  It may require giving up something else or reprioritizing.  This is where you evaluate if this is something you really want to do.  We make time for things that are important to us.  If you want it badly enough, you’ll claim it as your project, goal, or lifestyle change.

DO IT

Now you just have to do it.  Easy peasy, right?  Nope.  This is the hard part.  Now you have to put everything into action.  It means changing up your schedule, acquiring a new skill, breaking a bad habit, taking on a new one.  Whatever ‘it’ is that you’re trying to do, if it’s something new, it’s going to take time to get a rhythm going.  You’re probably going to fail once or twice or ten times before you get where you need to be but don’t give up.  Just keep doing it.

One thing that’s so important to remember and it’s something I wrote about in my post, What 2015 Has Taught Me So Far, you have to allow yourself some grace for when you goof up.  Mistakes are a part of life.  We don’t have control over everything so we do the best we can with what we’ve got and when we fall, we pick ourselves up and keep going.  There’s no shame in failure or missteps, but there is shame in giving up simply because ‘it’ was too hard.  You’re better than that.  The path to success isn’t lined with daisies or *insert preferred flower here*, it’s lined with hard work, discipline, and experimentation until we find what works best.

Remember, if you want something badly enough, you’ll claim it and do whatever it takes to make it happen.

If you want something -CTT

So, have you got some goals floating around in your brain but you haven’t quite committed yet?  Or maybe you just need a push to keep going down the path you’re already on.  Start doodling to figure out what exactly what you want.  Do your research, ask around, talk about it, pray about it.  We all need change every once and again.  If something’s tugging at you and you want to make a move toward life improvement, go ahead and really want it.  Then claim it.

Then do it.

Happy Tuesday afternoon!!

3 Things God Absolutely Loves About You

You know the opening line in the beloved song, Jesus Loves Me:

Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.

If you’ve had any church upbringing, you’re familiar with the truth of God’s love for His children.  But have you ever thought about what exactly about you God loves?  The fact that we are created in His image (Genesis 1:27) and knew each of us before we were born (Psalm 139:13-16) says plenty about His love for us. And the fact that He sent His only Son to pay the sacrificefor our sins tells us that we mean a great deal to Him (John 3:16). But have you ever thought what about you God loves?  We’re each different and God knows us on levels I can’t even fathom but I can guarantee you I know 3 things that God absolutely loves adores you!3 Things God Loves About You

1. Your personality

The way you can brighten a conversation with your sense of humor.  Or the way you can ease a tense situation with your calm, matter-of-fact nature.  You’re great at talking to kids.  Or you’re great at negotiating in meetings.  You have a knack for encouraging people when they’re down.  You know just what to do in an emergency situation.  You’re unselfish.  You know when to take charge. You follow directions well.  You’re dependable.  You’re fun to be around.  Whether you’re adventurous, creative, quiet, thoughtful, studious, imaginative, practical, stoic, free-spirited or a combination of all of the above, no matter your personality profile,  God loves those things about you that make you YOU.  He created you to be the only version, the only collection of your unique personality traits around.

(Note: Personality and character are two different things.  You may have a great, sociable personality but have a bad attitude, or a quick temper.  Or maybe you have a great sense of humor but only tell crude jokes.  Or maybe you have a way with words but you use them to cut people down rather than build them up.  All that not-great-stuff about yourself has to do with character, not personality.  When you bring those character flaws before the Lord and ask Him to help you work on those weaknesses, He will and the beauty of the unique personality He created you with will shine through in its best form and you’ll be a fabulous witness for Him!)

2. Your beauty

Hey, I don’t care what you may have heard in your past or what you may be hearing now.  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Period.  Why? Cause God created you and God doesn’t make junk.  The world has a cast system of beauty and we think that if we don’t look like the photoshoped-beyond-reality models on magazines, the stars in movies, or even that person in the checkout line at the grocery store, we haven’t achieved a desirable level of good-looks.  Stop comparing yourself to other people. You are a beautiful, made-in-the-image-of-God person and He loves that about you.

-Stop comparing yourself to other people

Are there parts of you that you need to work on with some good ol’ fashioned exercise and healthy eating?  Go for it! Are there colors that work best with your skin tones and clothing styles that look fantabulous on your body type?  Check them out.  Are there haircuts that look great with your face shape and hair type?  Look into it.  Focus on what works best for you.  Make the best version of you, not a second-rate version of someone else.  You have something fabulous to show the world because God created you to be beautifully, uniquely YOU.  Don’t trash your brand of beauty to chase some cooked up version the world keeps shoving in your face.  God loves your beauty – embrace it!

3. Your talents

You are really good with a paintbrush and colors.  You’re fantastic with numbers and problem-solving.  You play a mean bass guitar.  You’re a great speaker.  God loves that about you!  You’ve got a green thumb.  You’re a master in the kitchen.  You’re really good with kids.  You can sew or knit, or build stuff.  You can diagnose a patient, talk someone through a crisis, or manage a highly intense situation.  God loves that about you!  Just like personality, God gave us talents to be explored, cultivated and used for His glory and the good of others.  Even if you have talents that you think nobody else notices, they’re important.  Maybe your talents are mainly behind the scenes rather than front and center stage.  God sees them and He has entrusted those very important talents to you for a reason.  No matter where you’re gifted, develop those things and use them so you don’t lose them!  God loves these things about you and He gets a kick out of you doing those awesome things He created you to do!

There you go!  Three things about you that God absolutely loves.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God on purpose and He loves you with an everlasting love that will never fail you.  I don’t know what you’re facing this Monday morning but whatever it is, know that you can stand firm on the truth that God loves you and you never have to face life alone!

Have a fantastic week!

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What Life Has Taught Me So Far in 2015

Once upon a time when I was an adolescent, I was under the vague impression that there would come a time when I’d have it pretty much figured out.  You ever think that when you were younger?  You feel like there’s got to be a time in life when you’ve got the answers to your most important questions and you’ve reached a sort of life groove?

Yeah, hasn’t happened yet and I’ve since come to the conclusion that it never will.  Life isn’t meant to be fully understood because it’s constantly changing.  While sometimes this is quite frustrating, overall, I’m glad that this is the case.  As the first quarter of the 2015 comes to a close, I think about the things I’ve learned in the past three months.  I’ve come to terms with a thing or two about my life and what I want it to be and what I don’t ever want it to be.  These are lessons that I want to carry with me through the rest of the year  my life.  They’re not new concepts by any means but I’ve consciously tucked them away into my adulthood for safekeeping.  Sometimes, you have to learn a thing more than once before it sticks.  As I embark on this new blogging chapter, here’s what I’ve got so far.

2015 Has Taught Me

You should never, ever, ever stop chasing what you feel called to do.

If there is something that your very being longs to do, something you feel God has placed a passion in your heart for, chase it.  Chase it with everything you’ve got.  God put each one of us here for a reason. Period.

I’ve learned that as long as your life purpose is to glorify God in all you do and seek after His heart, He’ll show you for what purpose your passions and talents were given to you.  Don’t ever lose sight of that. Ever.


There are too many things to explore in this life to be satisfied with the mundane.

This is something I struggle with because there are Mondays and gloomy skies and lethargic mornings where all I want to do is stay under the covers for just 15 more minutes, please.  I don’t want to drag my feet; I want to hit the ground running.  And even though there are a lot of awful things going on in this world – some of it we see and much more that we’ll never know of this side of heaven – Earth is still in the hands of her Creator and He’s still in control.  There are so many things to learn and explore and try and create and think about and discover and pursue.

I’ve learned that life is much too short and too precious not to embrace with your whole entire heart and if you don’t make a conscious effort everyday to not be satisfied with normal and mundane, life will pass you by and you’ll wake up one day wondering what happened!  I’ve learned that as challenging as embracing life fully can sometimes be, I know what the results would look like if I just treat every moment as an opportunity to learn, give, and move forward.


Chances, risks, & mistakes shouldn’t paralyze you.

I’m not a risk taker.  Most of the time, I like staying within visible parameters.  If there is a chance that I’m going to fail, I’d rather stick to where I’m comfortable.  What I’ve come to terms with seriously for the first time in my short life is the fact that IT’S OKAY TO TAKE CHANCES!!!  It’s okay to jump without a safety net sometimes.  It’s okay to make a mistake.  It’s okay to get your hands dirty, to speak when you don’t exactly know what to say, to walk through a door when you have no idea where it’ll lead to.  Take a deep breath and give it a shot.

I’ve learned that I need to chill out and let myself take a chance every now and again.


You don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Just keep moving forward with what you do know. 

This is just a continuation of the last one.  I like having everything lined up in front of me.  Perhaps this is why I’m particular about the books in my bookcases and why I color code the hangers in my closet.  Perhaps this is also why I have a hard time when it comes to making something work from a mess.  I like to have certain things just so before I dive in and tackle a project or task. However, there are times when it is chaotic and you just have to run with it.  There are times when you have to step forward even when all the bullet points are not there.  There are times when there isn’t a map and you have to figure it out as you go along.  While I’ve proven myself capable of this in some areas, there are other areas where I can’t seem to get it together.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to not know exactly what you’re doing yet.  Forward motion of any kind is much better than standing still and just waiting for the right conditions.  Granted, sometimes waiting is prudent – God sometimes asks us to wait – but sometimes you can’t afford to wait for ‘right conditions’, you have to do something in the interim.


Just because it didn’t work out, doesn’t mean you failed.

This is the hardest one for me to be okay with.  I’ve failed so many times at this blogging thing.  I’ve started so many projects that didn’t sail or didn’t work the way I wanted them to.  And yeah, I know that it took Edison a zillion tries before he got the lightbulb to work right and I know that L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables was rejected numerous times before it was finally published but there are days when failure and the fear of failure have been overwhelming and I feel like stuff isn’t worth pursuing anymore.  I mean, wouldn’t it be better to just content myself with those things that will ensure as much stability as one can have in this life?  Why try again at something that you’ve proven you’re not good at?

I’ve learned that Edison was right when he said that his failures were only the ways in which the lightbulb would not work which brought him that much closer to figuring out how it would work.  I’ve learned that trying again and again and again is part of the growing process.  Anything worthwhile takes hard work – sometimes that means picking yourself up where you failed and starting over again.


As you can tell, there’s an underlying theme of fearlessness and perseverance and embracing life.  That’s because these are things I failed to focus on last year.  Yes, I worked hard at my day job and school but I didn’t push as hard for excellence as I definitely could have.  This year, I’m determined to change that.  Three months into the year and I feel so much better about life than I did last year at this time.  I don’t have everything figured out but that’s fine.  It’s a work in progress!

What has 2015 taught you so far?

Stay blessed 🙂

Elyssa