A New Chapter.

I came to a big realization pretty recently: I discredit myself.

Here’s what I mean;

I’ve found it hard to show that I am proud of things I can do, things I create, because I tend to think others will view me as being prideful or arrogant for saying what I can do or showing that I’m able to do something well, or, God forbid, that I’ll start to get a big head in the process of just sharing in what I’m good at with the world.

Here are the facts.

I am good at singing. Like I’m actually good at singing.

– I sang all throughout elementary, junior high and high school, a high school   choir kid if there ever was one, took vocal lessons for over 6 years and was classically trained by two incredible voice coaches, one who happens to be an opera singer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, was going to pursue Music Ed and Vocal Performance as a career until God completely changed my mind (that’s another story for a different time), and I’ll be auditioning for my church’s worship team pretty soon (which I’m really excited about!!)

I’m good at writing.

– I have two poems published in an online student publication, I’m working on a poetry book that is currently 83 pages long, and I performed slam poetry at an open mic night in from of European strangers while studying abroad.

But I tend to think that people will think me boastful or prideful for showing and sharing what I’m good at with the world. I’m not good at giving myself credit for what I’m capable of doing.

I have been self-deprecating for a long, long time.

And it’s not like…being humble, honestly. It’s feeling unable to say or do what you know yourself to be good at.

And I realized that it’s because whenever I tried to share things that I know I’m good at in the past, people have shut me down, criticized me, told me that I’m not good enough, or that I should engage in my talents, but quietly and without any fanfare.

BUT,

I have chosen to not care anymore what people think.

I want to be proud of the things I create, and I will show it.

I will claim the talents that God has given me, engage in them, share them with the world, not be ashamed or bashful about them and give God the glory for those gifts if I get recognition for the things I’ve created – not myself.

So look out world – Liv’s coming for ya. Get ready.IMG_4695

 

 

 

Engage

So, here I am, coffee in hand, music playing, looking at these two little boys that I have no relation to, but I love them so fiercely. I love the way they play. I love their imagination, their creativity, their curiosity…it’s incredible. If being a parent feels like this, being tired, playful, and frantic all at the same, then I’m excited for the day when I could have my own kids.

I also have so much more respect, admiration, and appreciation for my own mom.

Spending 8 hours a day, three days a week with these two little rascals is so eye opening to what she must have done while she was a stay at home mom when my sister and I when we were this age. What a handful we must have been.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to engage kids. I keep asking my parents for ideas of things to do because I keep running out of my own. I even created a Pinterest page in the hopes that other people would have ideas on how to spend extended amounts of time with kids this young. I’ve also been thinking back to when I was a small group leader for a group of 3 year olds at my church and what the staff had planned activity wise; Dress up, coloring, reading books, playing with blocks, legos, trains, the whole 9 yards. The only glitch in my situation is that the parents have packed up a bunch of their toys because they are in the process of moving, so I’m at a slight disadvantage. I have no idea how Elementary school teachers do this everyday. Haha. Oh well…

Since coming home from school, I haven’t spent as much time in my bible as I would like. I’ve been nannying a lot, and just recently started working at a second-hand retail store when I’m not nannying or playing Ultimate Frisbee with my dad through a summer league (which by the way is awesome!!). I realized that the free time I’ve had so far I’ve spent doing things things like crafting, watching Criminal Minds obsessively, reading my Jane Austin book…

But I haven’t spent it with God.

I realized sitting in my basement the other day while I was watching Criminal Minds, again, that, while everything I’ve done in my free time so far have been fine things to do, but perhaps the enemy has been using these things to keep me occupied and away from meditating on God’s word. I’ll admit, I was surprised at the thought. It seemed so weird to think that I could be so easily distracted by the enemy, that I was almost as distractible as the 3 year old I watch… my jaw fell open as the show continued to play on the TV screen.

I really don’t have that much free time this summer with everything that I’m doing already. But the time I do have, I want to make sure that from now on I spend it with God first. I want to be more intentional about what I engage myself in, and make sure that what I do is spiritually engaging before I give my attention and energy towards things that aren’t. As good as I have become with time management, I still have work to do regarding how intentional I am in reserving time for growth with God.

I am so thankful that He has been so patient with me as I have been absent in our relationship. He has never left, but I have grown distant, and I’m so thankful that He speaks to me, and that I hear Him when He does.