My Confessions: Fighting the “Impossible” and Danny Gokey Fangirling #MondayMotivation #DontGiveUp

Confession. Sometimes I feel like a lone soldier fighting for “impossible” dreams. I’m constantly battling the world I see with my eyes and the world I see with my heart. It’s a relentless war of trying to share, prove, and show to others and myself that there’s more beneath the surface. There’s great hope in our future.

When I was awakened by my adorable yet persistent dog at some ridiculous hour this morning, between the whining (from both him and myself) I climbed out of bed with a consistent thought on repeat in my sleepy head, “I know the plans of I have for you, plans for hope and a future.” Now that’s not the exact verse verbatim from the Bible, you can read the whole verse in Jeremiah 29:11 if you’re interested.

First of all, when I wake up in the wee hours of the morning my brain typically is not filled with thoughts other than, “if I don’t move maybe he’ll stop whining and go back to sleep.” (By the way, that rarely ever happens. He knows when I’m awake.) As I stood at the door waiting for my old pup to do his business and come back in side, the thought kept repeating in my brain like a broken record, “I know the plans I have for you, plans for hope and a future.” Well that’s all fine and wonderful but why do I keep hearing this? Especially at four o’clock in the morning when I should be sleeping.

After waking up at a more suitable hour that included coffee and breakfast, I finished reading an amazing book and I think I’m starting to get the message.

Since hitting publish on How I Learned to Shine Again, I’ve been pulled back into the not so fun places of sadness and loneliness. Also, all of the little issues with getting the paperbacks out (to no fault of my designers or my own) has been incredibly frustrating. (And I’m still fighting that battle.) I’ve come to learn when I get in those low places, I have to reach out and find ways to help myself work through the feelings and re-ignite my fire again. Sometimes it involves spending time with my peoples, reading the Bible, listening to music, taking a walk, or writing, but it always includes lots and lots of prayer. This time I think I prayed so much God had to be thinking, “I know, I know. Chill out.” Okay so He probably wasn’t thinking that but I’m telling you if I wasn’t sleeping, I was praying.

I went through my usual “How to Make Michelle Feel Better” checklist but still the funk held on. Every time I’d get close to kicking it, it would return at full force. When this happens it steals my focus from my work and throws it back to my obstacles. It’s difficult to be creative and to move forward when you’re stuck on the negative. And I was really stuck, but I was trying. I still am.

The Friday after my book released I had the wonderful opportunity to see Danny Gokey in concert and even got to meet him! It was just this last spring that I even “discovered” him and his music. (I know. I’m totally late to the party.) His song, “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” came on one of my Pandora stations and left me in tears–the emotions, the words, the music–everything about it felt like me. I downloaded his albums and realized his music is the soundtrack to my heart. It perfectly captures the feelings of my life since losing Chris–the pain and the hope. In writing my book, those songs allowed me to transport myself back and forth from the tough memories to the hope in my heart. And while wrapping up final edits, his latest song, “Rise” gave me the extra push I needed to kick the self-doubt and rally to finish it.

In case you want to check out the songs…

Also, I started following him on social media. I cannot tell you how much his posts with his beautiful wife and adorable children remind me to not give up on the dreams in my heart, to not give up on my always and forever. As humans we need to see real life moments and victories to help strengthen our hope and faith for our future.

While at the concert I realized he wrote a book so of course I HAD to buy it. Again totally late to the game here. I was disappointed that I didn’t have a copy of my book to give him because I’d written about how his music helped me. I’d planned all along to give him a copy, but you know life–things don’t always go as planned. Regardless, I was still super excited to meet him!

14915210_10100263470694919_6084696830045117188_nThis morning, I finished his book, Hope in Front of Me. I read about his struggles, his loss of his wife, and his journey. The love and respect I already carried for him grew even deeper while at the same time it felt as if I was reading my own words–my own story from a different view. I had several, Holy crap! I talk about that in my book, too kind of moments. It wasn’t until the end of the book–those last few chapters the tears hit me.

I was reminded I’m not the lone soldier fighting the good fight of “impossible” dreams, trying to find ways to instill hope, comfort, and healing in the hands of those who need it most. I’m not the only person who’s endured these struggles.

Of course I know that. I know I’m not the only one who has suffered but in reading his victories–personal and professional and the “real life” obstacles that accompany them it allowed me to push away the barrier of isolation again. It allowed my heart to believe it.

I know I’m not the only one with a mission in my heart that people don’t always understand. I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel ready for what my heart is calling me to do. I know all of these things and more but just like seeing your life in black and white makes the pain and loss undeniably real it also makes the love, hope, and healing incredibly real. It reminds us what seems impossible isn’t always the case.

I needed to read that book just like I needed to wake up with that broken record thought spouting hope for my future. I don’t understand how or when but I know the dreams in my heart will happen. I’m not stuck, I’m still moving forward even if I don’t always know where the next step is going to land me.

And so are you. Sometimes it feels like nothing is happening and we’re stuck in the troubles of today while worrying that the what if’s of tomorrow are only going to make things worse. I know how hard it is to put faith and hope into the good possibilities of our future and I’ve seen and felt first hand miracles in my own life. How easily we forget miracles. How quickly we believe we’ve already received our life allotment of magical moments. I’m going to keep believing in my always and forever’s (that’s right I’ve got more than one dream.) I hope you find it in your heart to keep hoping and moving towards yours.

If you’re interested in Danny Gokey’s book, here’s the Amazon link–> Hope in Front of Me

And remember never give up on your always and forever.

#MondayMotivation #DontGiveUp #BookLove #MyConfessions


I Know Your Not So Secret Superpower ;) #WordsArePowerful #ShareTheLove

When I published Soul Survivor I remember saying numbers are safe but words, words are risky. I was referring to stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing my words instead of my number skills. Numbers, math, and accounting that stuff is second nature to me, BUT words they take a lot more work and include so much more feeling. I can hide behind numbers but when words hit the page you’ll always find a bit of my soul there. Sharing your soul, that’s not being vulnerable or anything. No biggie. *insert MAJOR sarcastic eye roll* Talk about frightening business!!!!

On the flip side, words can be liberating and healing. Our words, spoken and written hold great power over ourselves and others. How many times have you thought “I wish I would’ve said that” or “I really shouldn’t have said that?” Yesterday I had a moment of “I really shouldn’t have said that.” I didn’t even say the mean words directly to the person and I still felt incredibly guilty about them. The words I spoke were out of hurt and disappointment but they were harsh. I don’t want to be that kind of person, but in that moment I was. And that disappointed ME. :/

Typically, I have more “I wish I would’ve said that” moments than the other. While those don’t sting quite the same way they still bother me. When I’m in a deeply emotional conversation my words don’t always roll out. I’m just not wired that way. I’m a person who needs to listen to the speaker and store their words (and my responses) for a later time after I’ve been able to think them over a bit. There’s nothing more annoying to me than thinking I should’ve said that or I should’ve asked this. I hold my words but watch out when I’m ready to let them roll. I’ll have a lot of them. 😉

You can see in both circumstances those words hold serious power!

Writing is scary. Telling someone your true feelings is terrifying. When I write both are fully intertwined. I cannot separate the two and when I try to filter myself the words I type are flat, lifeless, and boring. Three things I prefer NOT to be. When I write something, when I say something I mean it deeply. I’ve thought about whether it’s a fleeting feeling or a strong steadfast emotion before I let it out. I never want to be a flighty, flaky person. I want to be a balanced, calm, unwavering woman. I take pride in following through on my words and meaning what I say.

You can see how when I say something hurtful it takes me time to recover, but I’ve learned to forgive myself and the hurtful words of others—both are equally difficult. Right now I’m working on forgiving people who most likely have no idea how much they’ve unintentionally hurt me. It’s an active process. I want to grant forgiveness because I want to be forgiven for the times I unintentionally hurt others. You get what you give, right?

Words are powerful. They have the power to bind us or to free us—and they can do the same for others. With the negativity that’s constantly in our face and in our heads, we have to take an active stance to fight it. Stop sharing the negative stories on social media. When you do you’re giving it power over YOUR life and the lives of others. Stop imprisoning yourself in a place of worthlessness. Look in the mirror and see your potential NOT your failures. See your beauty and NOT your flaws.

When you focus on the good things, the bad things lose power. Once you do those things for yourself you can empower others to see the wonderful things within them. Speaking words of encouragement and positivity helps bring light to the darkness.

When you give kindness and love freely, it will make its way back to you. It is true you reap what you sow. The world needs more shine and sparkle and we can fill this place with it by sprinkling compliments and compassion wherever we go. And most importantly don’t forget to afford yourself the same love you share with others.

I bet you didn’t realize you had a superpower, did you? Your words are just that! Remember to focus your powers for good and not evil today. It’s time to fill this world with superheroes! It will make fighting those pesky villains of darkness and deceit as simple as flicking a bug off your shoulder. Oh and don’t forget to pick out your cape. I’m thinking mine will include sparkles. How about you? 😉

#WordsArePowerful #ShareTheLove #BeASuperhero #SeeTheGood #LoveHugsAndSunshine