Speaks To Me Sunday #75

22 Jan

Oh, this is so important right now. 

We must have the courage to stand up for our beliefs. But we must also have the courage to listen to the beliefs of others. Communication is essential. Otherwise, we will always be divided.

It’s scary to put yourself out there, to be vocal about about your beliefs and convictions. Especially if they might not line up with the beliefs of people you love… so I am trying to have a little courage. 

I feel incredibly proud of the people I know that stood up for women’s rights at the Women’s March on Washington yesterday. I thought my heart might burst with how proud I felt seeing people gather all over the world to raise their voices together. It was completely peaceful, totally within our rights, and, from what I hear, full of love. 
And then I started to hear some dissent. And it crushed me a little bit… I tried to read and listen to why others opposed this march. What I kept running into was a lack of understanding. People literally not knowing what this march was all about, but opposing it nonetheless. So if you don’t know, here’s why we march…

Women’s March on Washington:

  • Feminism. Women’s rights are human rights. 
  • Ending violence and gender and racial inequality in the criminal justice system.
  • Reproductive rights, quality healthcare services, accurate sex education, safe and legal birth control and abortions.
  • LGTBQIA rights are human rights.
  • Worker’s Rights that work for women too. Equal pay, access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leave, and healthy work environments.
  • Civil Rights, man! Voting rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, protections for all citizens regardless of race, gender, age or disability.
  • Disability Rights as Deaf women and women with disabilities should be fully included in American life, economy, and culture. 
  • Immigrant rights for the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” 
  • Environmental Justice to protect our world because we have the right to clean water, clean air, and access to public lands. 

So, there you have it. Why we march. Can you read it and not see something that speaks to you? Even if you can’t get behind all of it… Can you honestly read through that list and disagree with ALL of it? If so… I honestly don’t understand. But I suppose that might also explain why we have ended up with President that I also don’t understand. We are not on the same page, we are not understanding each other. But it seems to me that we aren’t even trying. 

So, here I am… trying. I am trying to be courageous enough to share my beliefs with you. I hope you will have courage, dear heart, and share with me too. I will not shame you for speaking your mind or for having beliefs that are different than mine. I will listen to you with an open heart, and hope you will offer me the same courtesy. Maybe then we can build a bridge to reach each other. Maybe then we can move forward with courage and with love into a world we are all proud to call home. 

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Speaks To Me Sunday #74

15 Jan


Gratitude means letting go of what you thought you should have so that you can celebrate all you do have. 

I feel blessed to have so much to be thankful for! Sometimes I get caught up in “future thinking” and wishing I had more. But if I am honest, I have enough. And choosing to be grateful for what I have makes it mean infintely more.

2017 will officially be my year of gratitude. I want to focus my heart and mind on being thankful for all God has given me… for my family, friends, cats, community, health, home, belongings, jobs, dreams, experiences, opportunities, and all the other special things that make up my life.  I have so much more than enough!  So I will practice gratitude. And I do think it is a practice – sometimes it will take a little effort. Ultimately, I believe it will make me more positive and productive, less anxious, a better friend, and a happier person. 

Cheers to a grateful heart in 2017! What are you practicing this year?!

La La Land

11 Jan

Can I tell you a secret? 

I was avoiding going to see La La Land.

I know.

And not because I didn’t think I’d enjoy it. In fact, it’s totally my kind of movie. A musical starring two of my favorite actors – clearly a winner. But I was scared.

I was scared because I am getting ready to leave the real La La Land, and I thought it might hurt. A film that I’ve heard described as a love letter to LA. A film showcasing some of the most beautiful locations in Los Angeles. A film about aspiring artists, struggle in the City of Angels, creativity, hope, and finding your own way. A film that just might tug at the heart strings of a girl who tried to give La La Land her best. 

And I was right. It was beautiful, it was my kind of movie, and it broke my heart. 

I have to give it up for Damien Chazelle and the creators of this gorgeous film because they nailed it. They told my story. The story of every actor who came to LA with a dream – every interrupted audition, every draining day job, every frustrating minute stuck in traffic, every awkward moment trying to promote yourself, every rude question about what you are doing with your life, every ounce of doubt that makes you think “maybe I’m not good enough,” every YES that just might change your life. It’s exhausting! It’s exhilarating! It’s Los Angeles. 

And I’m leaving it behind. 

After almost five years, the allure of LA has dimmed, and I realized I was ready to move on. But then this movie ignited some of the old excitement. It made me question my choices. It made me wonder if I truly gave it all I had. Total gut punch. No one likes to question their decisions once they’ve already been made, right?

But I’ve been doing it – reassessing, going over all the options. Driving myself mad. But you know what? The same truths that brought me to the original decision to leave… they’re still true. I love the idea of LA. The real LA? It’s not the same thing. It’s easy to romanticize, sure. Like in a gorgeous movie musical that looks like a glorious dream sequence from one of the classics. (Good job, Mr. Chazelle.) But it’s not the reality, it’s not what it feels like day to day. Truthfully, I never fell in love with Los Angeles, the city. I loved things about it… good friends, the gorgeous view of the San Fernando Valley from Universal that will forever be etched in my mind, passing movie studios every day on my way to work… at a movie studio, new opportunities to explore all the time. There is a lot to enjoy. But it never really became my home. And as much as I love adventure, I also need home. I want both. 

So, we are closing this chapter. And it’s bittersweet. But just because I’m leaving LA doesn’t mean I am leaving my dreams here too. They have grown, expanded, shifted. Yes, I still want to be an actress. That will never change. But I want to get back to my roots – the stage. I want a fantastic theatre community where I can invest myself. A place where I might truly be able to impact people. I also know the Southern market for film and television is booming. Hollywood is not just in Hollywood anymore – not really. So, I can keep looking for my shot. Even more, I want to focus on relationships, family, community, and the things that were made so much more challenging in LA. Quality of life. I want to thrive instead just surviving. And Nashville feels like the perfect place to do it. How exciting! 

I might be leaving the City of Stars, but it will always be a part of me, a risk I’ll never regret taking. And maybe one day we will be back,  but for now I will just be thankful for the opportunities, experiences, and even grander capacity for dreaming that I found in La La Land. 

Speaks To Me Sunday #73

1 Jan

#Hello2017 

I am a girl who maps out situations and stories. When I make plans about the future, I vividly imagine how things will turn out. What I will say, how others will respond, where we will be, how the whole scene plays out right down to the happy ending. It’s the way my mind works. It can be fun, but it can also be heartbreaking when things don’t go as planned. Especially when some of my plans are actually desires that I don’t have total control over. My stories get sunk, and I am left feeling disappointed, desperately trying to write a new one. 

January 1st, 2017 has not played out how I envisioned. I have spent some time today feeling defeated. I wanted a grand start to this new year! Wouldn’t that be a story to tell?! Well, it’s not my story today. 

And I felt bereft. Like something was taken from me. 

I was still feeling down when I got home from work, and I found a present from the sweetest husband in the world. (This is the second year in a row he has surprised me with a New Year gift… I’m liking this tradition. 😉 Thank you, Babe!) He reminded me that it’s not too late to start 2017 in the right way. (In fact, it’s never too late to start again, in my opinion.)

And truthfully… 

 Maybe the problem isn’t with the story. Maybe it’s me that needs a little change. Maybe I need to let go of my imaginary pen. Maybe I need to let the moments come as they may. Maybe I need to live in them. Maybe I need to trust that God, the most incredible author of all, will write my story… the same way he has for the last 28 years. Maybe I need to say YES to that. 

So, this year I am saying YES…

To living in the moment

To embracing the unexpected

To new adventures

To listening more completely

To releasing what I cannot control 

To loving others better

To being grateful for the wonderful story of my life, written by the creator of all things. 
What are you saying YES to this year?!

Side note: I have yet to read the book, but I’m feeling inspired by it already. I’ll let you know how it is! I love me some Shonda Rhimes. ❤ 

#SpeaksToMeSunday 

Speaks To Me Sunday #72

25 Dec

Merry Christmas to you! 

This holiday season I feel like my favorite Christmas hymns have been impacting me in big ways. The lyrics I’ve known since I was a child are striking me like I’ve never heard them before. Maybe I just wasn’t listening. Well, I am now. And my heart is not only full, but open.

I have always loved “O Holy Night,” and it’s also my husband’s favorite. That one especially has stuck with me the last few weeks… God appeared on this earth in the form of Jesus, and we knew then how much we were loved. The Almighty God sent His only Son just so he could be with us. “And the soul felt it’s worth.” My worth is not determined by what I do, but the truth that I am a beloved daughter of the King. That is certainly something to be celebrated! 

Remember that you have worth. You are so loved. That is the reason for this season – Love is here.

Merry Christmas!

Speaks To Me Sunday #71

4 Dec


Waiting.

I don’t know anyone who enjoys it. 

I feel like I am doing quite a bit of waiting these days, and to be honest, I am struggling. No one who knows me would call me patient anyway, but this particular waiting… It’s been hard. 

Today I read this and felt it right in my gut. “Enjoy the beauty of becoming.” I had never really thought about uncertainty also meaning possibility. Once a thing becomes certain, there’s no changing it. I’ve always liked the solidity of being certain, but it’s also incredibly final. Immovable. Now, I am realizing there is something undeniably beautiful about possibility, and so I guess… waiting, changing, becoming. I pray God helps me to trust the wait. It could be one of the most beautiful becomings of all. 

Speaks To Me Sunday #70

20 Nov


😂😂😂

Right?! 

I don’t think I have to explain why this speaks to me. 

I have some big things going on in my life right now (more on that soon!), and mostly, I just needed a laugh. And some wine. 😉 

Cheers to all of you!