Don’t Stop Moving

20140228_210534Time again I get so wrapped up in success that I can lose the essence of who I am. That child like faith and dreamer begins to fade away and numbers and figures become more important. Today, as I heard the kids playing outside so carelessly, I remembered the possibility of life. I know those who are my age have gone past I want to save the world stage and now its I need to pay my bills. I read on twitter from thirtysomethings telling the twentysomethings –stay in college, it’s not better out here.

For me, I can’t help but still hear my young heart telling me all things are possible. As my generation moves towards adult hood, we must remember that making a difference takes time. It may not happen in 10 years, 20 years or even our lifetime but it doesn’t mean to give up. We shouldn’t allow discouragement to come so easily -overcoming is not easy. Doing something big is not easy. We’ve read all the quotes, we know how to write inspiring text ourselves. We’ve read the lives of those who passed on before us, who believed in doing something bigger than themselves. We made them into heroes as if they were supernatural beings. We forget they were once were we are. They had the desire to the dream for more.

It’s easy to get caught up with the numbers and forget the story were are part of. We forget we are not the main character that the camera follows. We’re part of a community of people who are moving towards the same goal -to see this world a better place. God has made us apart of the answer, we play apart of the solution.

We are to do our part where were at and doing the best we possibly can to live a life of obedience when we hear that voice in our hearts. We can make it so complicated and talk ourselves out of it. The hippies had something there, love, hope, peace but took a wrong turn and gave their lives to drugs. That generation is now our leaders, they’ve learned a lot along the way, and there are some who are still working hard, raising up a new generation to carry the movement forward.

I don’t want to be the generation who just had good intentions but I want to be part of the action that does something. We continue to write in our rooms blogging, Instagram and Face booking hoping were doing something of importance. Time will tell the impact we end up making. We have so much freedom and knowledge, will we waste it? I know that I have to keep the young dreamer heart movement going, I have to keep moving.

A spiritual leader once told me I had the beauty of Esther. Looking back he was probably crazy but his encouragement lead me to believe I can have influence. I can be like all the 30 year olds – logical, pay my bills and minding my own business but I can’t help but want to do more.

And so I continue the journey..

don’t stop moving.

Who Will Remain?

The waves of life are alive and well for everyone. We learn to stand strong but storms happen and at times no matter how well we thought we built our storm proof house, it can fall. The question is, do we will rebuild or leave?

Who will come, who will stay? There have been times when my heart left but my body remained. When I went to go look, I found her asleep. “Wake up sleepy heart, there are lots to do, we have to rebuild!”

I’ve witnessed many seduced by flashing lights and dangerous distractions, never to be seen again. A part of them wants to return but I can see they are afraid to come home, afraid of the broken house they may find.

The Prodigal son was smart enough to realized he needed to go back. Yes he made some big mistakes, hurt the people he loved most but better to live than to die.

I rejoice when I see those who once walked next to me in the journey still in love with their Creator. Its not as common as you think. I even have to be careful for my own love, there have been times when I had to remember my promise to stay and not leave.

To obey Him is more important than success its self.

“But you have learned from him to honor the will of God in everything God gives and in everything God takes away. You have to learn from him that a persons strength comes solely from being united with the will of God. ” – Bonhoffer.

The Speed of Change

Its so interesting when you notice change. Most of the times things seem to stay at a moderate pace. When we are in the mist of life, a part of us expects things to always remain the same; the good and the bad. The friends that surround us, family, pop culture, even the strangers that walk by, we think time won’t change anything. Suddenly you stop and look back. You realize you are in a whole new world, a new time, a new season.

A part of me wants to miss the past. It wants to miss the friends that I was closest to. When I look at old photos, it makes me wish to go back. But I know that world no longer exists, even if I did go back, no one would be there. And even if I stayed at that spot of life forever, I would miss out on the future. I would never get the chance to extend my love and add a new person in to my heart.

The lives of my friends are changing, new songs are being written, new stories are being told, and what seems to stay the same is the love I have in my heart for the Creator. Even though my world is busy, I still think about what I can do for Him. Its been a desire of my heart since I was a naive youth. Now that I’m older I realize what God wants to do in my life is deeper than I imaged.

When I was 16 and wanted to change the world, I didn’t understand that the miracle God wanted to do was inside me. Only now do I see its about character, the way I respond to things, if I’m compassionate, if I’m kind, patient. I have heard the word “meek” all my life but for the first time I looked it up and began to study it. Meek isn’t a character attribute that I can, “work on” but its the state of a heart. I can work on being kind but being meek.. I can’t help the way my heart reacts sometimes.

Change is never easy, no matter how much you prepare for it. Its the beginning of a new season that is the hardest to get use to.  A part of me always misses the winter when spring comes, and misses spring when summer comes but eventually I learn to enjoy the moment I am in. Its the challenge of looking myself in the mirror and noticing the change that matters, is what happens inside my heart. Even though I miss the past life, I have confidence that better days are up ahead.

So things are changing, the question is, What are you going to do about it? Sit and miss the past? Or stand up and dare to overcome the new challenges that you face.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Is. 43.19

dare to overcome.

Locations of photos: Barstow, Ca

Book: Pursuing Christ. Creating Art.

I couldn’t help but compare the book Pursuing Christ Creating Art with the Imagine How Creativity Works. By the first few pages,  I figured out it wasn’t about being more creative but instead about the heart of the artist.

Even though you may be a different religion, I truly believe an editor/artist has to have the right heart for the project, any project. You gotta care about what you are creating. An assistant editor once tweeted me, “Art from the heart.”

I read most of the book on my flight to Vancouver. This book  found me at the right time. The author’s occupation is an independent film maker, creating sermon illustrations and other type of videos for churches. Therefore he was speaking in my language.

“An artist is a heart condition, not a job.”

“…art finds it’s truest purpose when it’s creator attempts to make visible the invisible.”

“I honestly believe beautiful art can change the world.”

I must admit at times working for church, I felt like I was doing God a service. I would often refer to myself as a Martha. Martha was a women in the bible who was busy preparing dinner for Jesus while her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to him talk. Martha is known for getting upset with Mary for not helping. I’ve always understood Martha’s heart but I’m finally coming to understand Mary.

“We don’t create art for God. He  doesn’t need it. But He dreams of creating art with you, for the world.”

Since I don’t have an official title to my name anymore, I related to the identity chapter. When people ask me what I do, it takes me a while. I say something different each time.

“identity is the person you are. Regardless of your actions. Take your actions away – both good and bad – and whatever is left is your identity. And there’s only one identity that has any value. A child of God.”

I know I learned this as a little girl in Sunday school but reading it on my flight to Canada it felt even more true. I thought my identity was what I did. I also misunderstood freedom.

we tend to believe freedom is- the ability to do whatever we want, whenever we want.”

“Real freedom is the ability to tell Gods story with your unique voice.”

Reading this artist definition of freedom spoke to me. It was the kind of freedom I’ve been searching for.

“we can use our freedom as an opportunity to serve – to live large into the lives of others.”

I was being challenged by each line, challenged to be honest with myself, to admit my wrong turns in my thinking and to admit change within myself.

“it’s hard to pursue Christ in the mist of pursuing my own fame.”

“we must be careful that we don’t love our dreams more than other people.”

“the art we create cannot be our salvation. And when we ask our art to save us in any manner, we’ve created something more than art. We’ve creates an idol.”

“humans have no control over their dream outcomes.”

“I am going to plead with you not to give up on your gift. On your art you have been uniquely designed to create.”

“Never stop sharing the beautiful Story through your art.”

“platform only displays skill level, not heart condition.”

I wanna create stuff that matters. Its a desires that ever artist has. Reading another’s artist experience can help us navigate through our own travels.
That’s what I hope to do when sharing my journey with you. 🙂

His Exchange Rate

During my drive home, I began to think about how different my life will be in a few days. I’ll be leaving a job I love. Why you ask? Because I am crazy. At least this is what I’ve told myself. The real reason is I know God’s exchange rate is awesome.
I started to remember of all the times I’ve held on to something tight and when I finally gave it to God, what He did with it.
A very hurt heart – When I gave it to God, He help me discover my creativity which brought me healing. It also led to studying graphic design and digital editing.
My desire to go to Bible College in Texas – Years passed and nothing came about. He then showed me Hillsong in Australia that had a theology and media program. I lived there for a year and a half and worked as an editor.
Hating my hometown and wanting to live in Australia forever – He placed me in a job that was about loving and caring for people in my hometown. At The Rock Church I learnt what it was to have His heart beat. I also discovered photography, my love for film making, leadership skills, and most of all confidence.
Worrying about what I’m going to do next month – Peace. He will lead me to the perfect job, as long as I keep following His guidance.
I now believe that I can do any job I put my heart into.
Though I don’t have another job lined up I know once I hand over this position to a new editor, God will continue to show me His awesome exchange rate. I’ve been saving up and preparing for this transition for a few years now, it’s time to take that step of faith and go for it.
After I thought all this I looked up. The sky was full of the most beautiful colors I have ever seen. It was like a painting. Can you believe this beautiful exist in the mist of our crazy world?

First Name Problem, Last Name Solution

I heard a poem on a podcast a month ago that has since stayed with me. I found it fascinating and powerful.

I’m the reality of your every day life. I am many name, many faces, many shapes, and forms. I come in every size and color. I am blamed for more failures than anything or anyone else. I am no respecter of person. I do not play favorites and I never choose sides. Within me are invisible seeds of greatness and immeasurable fields of frustration. What you chose to do with me will make you better or bitter. The people that don’t want me the most inevitably have the most of me. The great paradox is, that I will never go away. Yet I can show anyone a better way. Without me there will be zero chance of success. In fact, I am the driving force behind all achievement and progress. The better you get a dealing with me the better you, you will be. Its not a matter of if you will face me but when you will face me. And with that, let me make you a guarantee. I will be in your face everyday. I am the one thing in your life that has the potential to help you think bigger, be better and do the impossible in every area of your life. Unfortunately, until you met me everything is fine and like most people say “It is what it is.” Those people by the way do not know the power I have to make their potential a reality. The most important thing about me you need to know is that I am waiting everyday to be used by you, or in worst case scenario to be used against you. Who am I? I am your Problem. And in case no one ever told you, my last name is Solution.

In 2012, I’m not sure what’s going to happen and where I will call home. I know that I am doing what most have only dreamt of doing. I will start my journey to become a film editor. This poem has encouraged me and hope it helps you as well.

You can hear the complete podcast and series from The Abundant Life Church in England here.

Quote: Sharing a Part of You

I recently asked a friend about writing short stories and publishing them publicity. He had a great responds:

“It feels really personal writing like that, when you express yourself creatively. It comes from a real place. You’re saying more about yourself than anything else..it feels like anyone reading it can read a part of me.”

Every artist feels this at a point; the fear of sharing their work. It’s powerful when we overcome that fear.
When we share our work with each other we then are able to share our feelings.

And talking about feelings can create an interesting dialogue.

Poem: Make Up Your Mind

That awful feeling of failure,

knowing that you tried but yet it wasn’t good enough.

The amazing feeling of praise,

proud of the battle that was won.

What to do when the bad days happen,

when it seems like the storm has landed on top of your head.

Yes, remember the good days that have pasted,

but know there are more yet to come.

Don’t get stuck walking in the circles,

instead, be honest with yourself and the world.

Let yourself DREAM again…..

Listen for His voice.

Make up your mind to keep walking towards your destiny all the way to eternity.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Tim 4:7

You’re Almost There

There was this song I fall in love with a while back. My friend and I would share it with each other at the end of the night. It’s called “Goodnight” by Jeremy Larson.

Today someone responded to a comment I had left on the youtube video. I was surprise at my statement.

I wrote:

I love hearing “you’re almost there”.. I just wish I knew where I was going.

I wrote that seven months ago. To think, seven months ago I had no idea where I was going. Now I am certain of the destination for the next few years of my life.

I haven’t heard this song in months, and the past few days this “lost” feeling has haunted me. Randomly, when I am watching a movie I get the thought, “So you’re really going to leave your family and live alone in a strange city?” I begin to think of all the questions I’ve been asked the past few weeks.

How? Why? Where? When?

To all those questions I want to say ,”I don’t know.” To be honest moving far away may fail but it would be a bigger failure if I didn’t even try. I know Vancouver may be a strange city now, but when I am there I know it will become home. There is a big question mark in that city, and the adventure is finding out what the answer is.

Hearing this song tonight was perfect. I needed to hear it

Remember, you’re almost there.

“…hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” Romans 8:24

What matters

I bought a photography course from Creativelive of famous photographer, Zack Arias.  During his introduction he said somethings that stood out to me.

We want to be the photographers that master the medium, not let it master over us.

Photography will take everything from you, it will take your time, money, family, your credit score, if you let it. Its’ a wild beats.

The Balance: We have families, we have lives. Photography is everything but no it isn’t, photography is stupid. At the end of the day, its just a job, we’re not curing cancer, but its the only thing I know how to do.

When my nephews visit they light up my world. There have been times where I am working on my computer and David the oldest says, “Monica, come play with me.” Or my mom ask, “Do you wanna put Jacob to sleep?” At those moments, what ever I am doing becomes meaningless. The past few weeks I have only been taking photos with my film camera of life. I felt like I needed a break from “photography”. I know a creative break will help improve my professional work.

Life is full of joy, we just have to stop and notice it.

A clip of Jacob. I love his reaction to the sunlight.It’s as if he is seeing it for the first time.

The Purpose

I often wonder what people think my motives are. A few weeks ago I was praying about life and I wrote this down.

The purpose of my blog, isn’t to make my name famous or known but to make it a place of encouragement and inspiration. I don’t want people to just look at my potential but to see their own, that if I can, they can, you can. I am a tangible goal that is reachable, but I work hard and realize life is a growing process. My blog is where I am able to be me and hope other find a place where they can be themselves too.

Be creative with what you have. May money not be your goal but never sale yourself short. Use your gift and fulfill your destiny. Remember you are apart of something bigger than you think. Know that your best work is still up head.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverb 4:23