What’s Your Word?

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

The past is very important. Of course it is! It’s the path we’ve taken to get to where we are today. There is value in the past. Value in learning from the mistakes we’ve made (and we’ve made mistakes.) Value in celebrating the magic we’ve experienced (and there sure was some magic!)

I’m someone who easily forgets and yet somehow I still hold on with both hands. I hate to admit that I find myself dwelling on those darker, harder, sadder, angrier moments occasionally often frequently. The ones I shouldn’t hold on to at all. Sometimes I get bogged down with the beautiful moments too. Trying to recreate the past. Instead of allowing new moments to be created, I’m too busy trying to relive moments that have come and gone. But they were just that good! Shouldn’t I want to find that happiness again? Isn’t that a good thing?

The thing is, this is rather a new revelation about myself. I didn’t realize I did this. At least not to this extent. WOW. That mirror can be a hard thing to look into sometimes.

Instead of lamenting this…well…lamentable behavior, I’m actively choosing positivity (it’s sorta my thing!) I choose to inspire myself to be better. No one else will work as hard as I will to inspire the future I want to see for myself. NO ONE!

I won’t recount to you my hardest trials and biggest triumphs of 2015. You can go look to past blogposts or my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the cliff notes. There was good…there was great (birth of my nephew deserves a shoutout!) There was bad…and there was certainly ugly with a capital UGH!!!

Forget all that! I’m walking forward…no…running forward. I have big, bright moments in my future and I’m eager to get to the good stuff.

I’ve mentioned to you, gentle reader, that I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. And I don’t. Resolutions tend to be about changing ourselves. Temporary solutions that don’t last longer that mid-January or if you’re really lucky February even. The truth is, I don’t want to change who I am. I like me! Moles on my face and all!

I want to inspire and allow me to become my best self. So instead of a long list of character flaws that must be changed immediately, I pick a word. A word I want to live out in my daily actions for the whole year. Sure, somedays I’ll fall short. Other days I’ll jump high and long and clear the hurdles. But the point is, I’ll be trying. Me…this unholy mess of a girl.

In the year 2016, I Liz Tailor, choose to live FREE!

Free in 2016 New Years, Same Nerd

-Free from my past actions.

-Free from unrealistic expectations.

-Free from debt.

-Free from negativity.

-Free from judgements.

-Free from convention.

-Free from borders and boundaries.

-Free to create.

-Free to live.

-Free to love.

-Free to travel.

-Free to come back home.

-Free to share.

-Free to inspire.

-Free to write and sing and run and fall.

-Free because I serve a MIGHTY GOD who “knows the plans for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

freedom in 2016 New Year

Part of discovering what it truly means for me to be free, I also want to explore how I can help those who aren’t blessed with the freedoms I have. Human Trafficking is a cause that has long been on my heart. So I hope you’re ready to hear about my journey to learn more. And perhaps the causes you are passionate about will take a front seat this year as well!

Tom Petty Quote "Freedom"

I hope you join me in choosing a word to live by instead of unrealistic lists (I know that up there is a list, I like lists) that you cannot ever hope to live up to. And I hope with all my heart that you find what you’re looking for in 2016!!

What’s your word this year?

What I Feel vs. What I Know

I’ve been reading Jamie Tworkowski’s, founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, book called If You Feel Too Much. And I’ve been taking my time with it. Every page I read, I feel like I need to savor it because there are gorgeous profound truths in the pages of this book. Things that Jamie went through that speak to my heart, especially as I go through this transition. And so it’s taking me months to read a book that would normally take days. But I don’t want to rush the words.
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And in one of the chapters Jamie pits What He Feels against What He Knows. So the title of this blog post is pilfered from his book. Borrowed, really. So, thank you Jamie! Thank you for your words. For the difficult things you experienced so God would give you the words that you are now giving to me.

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Here’s What I Feel versus What I Know at any given moment in any given day…

I feel sad. I know that it’s temporary.

I feel happy. I know that’s temporary too.

I feel like I’m bad at everything. I know that I’m not.

I feel like I don’t have a whole lot to offer this world. I know that I do.

I feel fat. I know that I’m not and that there are people who actually struggle with obesity or eating disorders and I am not one of those people. So I know that my insecurities stem from a place that is not worth validating.

I feel like I’m not enough. I know that I am just enough or else there would be a whole lot more of me to go around and there isn’t. So I must be enough.

I feel like I’ll never fall in love. Or worse…no one will ever be able to fall in love with me. I know that I am the only thing standing in the way of that happening.

I feel like God made a mistake when he mixed the ingredients that make up my brain and the very essence of who I am. I know that He didn’t, because God doesn’t make mistakes and for some beautiful, unknown reason He chose to make me.

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What we feel and what we know are constantly at war. We are not meant to move with the emotions that come and go. Ebbing and flowing like the tides on the shore. They are as inconstant as the wind. And in Florida, the only thing you can count on is that the wind is there, but never which way it will be blowing,

We are meant to move with the knowledge and discernment that only Christ can offer. Even when we don’t feel Him there…He is. Even when we don’t feel strong…we are. Even if we think we can’t carry on…we will.

If we allow what we feel to dictate our actions we will always be ruled by the flaky, unpredictable self. And God asks…no He demands more from us.

So I feel like I don’t know what’s coming next. But I know that if I’m listening, I won’t need to.
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5 Fandom Friday

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Today’s 5 Fandom Friday topic is 5 Songs That Have Changed Your Life. This is a hard one, only because 5 seems like such a small number. I’m a singer/ songwriter and music is such an integral part of my life. It’s difficult to narrow all the music I love and listen to down to 5 important songs. But The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick get what they want. So here goes…

#1 – American Honey by Lady Antebellum

Country music is my one true love! And this song holds a very special place in my heart. I went through a very rough time a couple years back. I sort of lost myself and was doing things that weren’t representative of me. People tried to talk to me and tell me, but I couldn’t hear them. Until my friend Jared sat down and told me that I was like American Honey. And that I needed to get back to the person he knew me to be.

He really saw me in a moment when I couldn’t see myself. And this song really anchored me back to the person I truly am. Someone who isn’t jaded or influenced by the world. It’s not a song that is particularly inspirational or life changing by any means, but it has become a favorite and will always hold a very special place in my heart!!

#2 – Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United

Country music may be my one true love, but Christian music is the cry of my heart. Christ is at the center of everything I do. And I don’t take a lot of time on my blog to express that. But it is so true. Some music expresses that longing for a Savior so beautifully and this is one of those songs. It’s a relatively new song, but it is one that makes me lift my hands and brings me to my knees. “Where feet may fail and fear surround me. Your sovereign hand will be my guide.” That’s such a powerful statement that I try to remind myself of each and everyday.

#3 – Sunday, Bloody Sunday by U2

U2 has long been one of my favorite bands. The Edge is my imaginary boyfriend!! Music is a powerful medium to tell stories and elicit emotions at the same time. It has the power to challenge and convict and still be really, really catchy. This song was written about the “Bloody Sunday” conflict that happened in Northern Ireland on Jan. 30 1972. What a powerful use of music. U2 is a very political music group and they take the opportunity to be involved with projects and topics that they feel passionately about. I imagine this conflict was keenly felt as they are a group of talented Irishmen. I love when a song is about more than just music.

#4 – Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty

People always fight me on this one. Look, I love me some Tom Petty. But it’s the John Mayer cover of Free Fallin’ that really gets me. It’s my go-to karaoke song these days. And it’s a song that just feels like home to me. It’s perfect for road trips. It’s perfect for weddings. It’s perfect to listen to on a crowded subway. It’s basically the perfect song! And I stand behind my love of the John Mayer version. It’s a little more soulful, a little more hipster. If I was stranded on a desert island, it’s one of the songs I’d have on my playlist because I can listen to it on repeat and never get bored!!

#5 – Secret Garden by Bruce Springsteen

I’m not one to cry very much. But when I need to let the tears go, I put this song on.The lyrics of this song feel like they were written about me. And I love when a song hits you between the eyes like that. I first heard it years ago around the time when Jerry McGuire came out (makes sense since it’s the theme song to that movie!) And I think I bawled for a good 2 hours. I can’t really listen to it on repeat because it does have such gravity in it’s lyrics, but it’s gorgeous. And Bruce is The Boss of course. So you really can’t go wrong with one of his songs on your list!!

What songs have hit you between the eyes? Lately or in the past. Let me know!!

2014: A Year in Review

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It’s funny how fast things can change. January 2014 started out hopeful. I was on the verge of starting some new projects. I had finally abandoned making resolutions that I was never going to live up to. I had accepted New York as my home (which was a very big deal.) I had a new hairdo (picture above.) And overall I felt really good about the year. I’d chosen the word Bold to start my year off and I was already on track to make that word a reality!
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But things change. I was in a blind spot and I couldn’t see what was about to happen. After an entire year to process these events, I won’t rehash them now. I’ll only tell you what came out of this very dark time in my life. And after these things happened, I didn’t think I could ever be Bold again.

Prior to what I can only describe as a life-changing moment, I had begun to rely on myself and my own ideas and dreams. Which can be big and beautiful and wonderful. But nothing I dream up comes from me. It all comes from God. And I had forgotten that. And when we forget such important things, God will take any opportunity to make sure we remember. He took my pride and allowed it to be torn away. He took the things I thought were true and allowed them to be turned upside down. He stripped away the people I had always trusted and turned to for everything and instead reminded me to turn to Him first and foremost!! And I am better for it.

After January, I sought out a Christian counselor and got some wonderful help. It was not the lowest I’d ever been, but I was pretty low. And I just have to say that if you are facing a challenging season of your life… go get some outside help. You cannot do it alone. Turn to God and then turn to the leaders you know and get the help you may need!
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8 weeks of counseling helped me to clarify a whole lot of things. 8 weeks of counseling helped me find out what it means to be truly Bold. 8 weeks of counseling taught me that I can’t do it alone, I can only do life with God at my side. My pride was overwhelming before that. And after that, I knew that it’s only in my weaknesses that true strength can be found.

I started writing more music. I started working on the scripts to what is now my fun and awesome web series. I started writing children’s books again and coming up with a million more ideas for my future. But all with the confidence that “I can do all through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13) Something I knew long ago and only had forgotten.

I wrote a song last year that I was able to share with some friends. Up until that point, I had written hundreds of songs that I never shared with anyone. But Christ allowed me to find my Boldness. God laid these lyrics on my heart and I want to share them with you all. And if you ever want to hear what it sounds like, I’d be happy to sing it for you.

Bring Me to My Knees

Bring me to my knees. Cause in my strength I fall.

It’s only in my weaknesses. That I give You my all

When I stand up on this mountain top I lift my eyes in praise

But the valley is where I learned to pray

When the water’s rising over me My soul is all but lost

That’s the time when I turn to you the most.

(Chorus)

When I bow my head to praise Your Name, Your grace, it covers me

When I step outside that grace I cannot breathe

But You reach Your hand back down for me

And pull me to Your love

And You whisper, “Child, I am enough”

(Chorus)

Jesus, Majesty! I bring my offering

Only to You I sing.

Jesus, Majesty! I stand on the mountaintop

My heart is Yours, Lord I lift You up.

2015 is starting out beautifully so far. But I know that nothing lasts forever (except Christ’s love, of course.) Tomorrow, things could fall apart. Tomorrow, tragedy could strike. But no matter what happens, I know my faith in Christ will see me through. I have been blessed with people who watch and enjoy my web series (if you aren’t watching yet, Click Here.People who read and enjoy my blog (if you aren’t reading yet, Click Here.) I’ve been blessed with a bevy of new ideas for the year to come and have chosen the word Today for my word of the year. As in “Seize the day” “No day but Today!” “Give thanks for this is the day the Lord has made.” And I can’t wait to see how God blesses this word for my life as well as this year! So stay tuned, cause I am determined to love life even more than I love it right now!!!
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So… what’s your word?