halfway flashback : january

I wrote this post in January and I think it might be one of my favorites from my whole time as a blogger so far. The phrase has stuck with me, too. It’s still written on one of my living room chalkboards!

(Someone call Hallmark. That title sounds like it was born to be a Made For TV movie. That should stop me from continuing this post…but it won’t. Here we go!)

For the life of me, I can’t remember where I found/heard this quote, and every search I’ve tried in an effort to find it again has come up empty. But recently, in an article or interview or something related to having good posture, the interviewee said this,

“You should try to walk like an exclamation point, not a question mark.”

She was referring to not hunching over, as per the curved top of a question mark, but what she said is bound to stick with me for a long time. For me, she was speaking to an issue much deeper than standing up straight. She drove an arrow straight through my Achilles heel.

I do walk like a question mark. Because I think like a question mark.

Sometimes it’s inconsequential. As in,

“Did I just trip? Over air? Again?”

Yes. Yes you did.

But most of the time they’re more pointed questions. As in,

“Am I doing this right?”

“Do they like me?”

“Are my dreams unrealistic?”

“Am I good enough?”

Confidence is definitely not my strong point. There is nothing I’m more confident about than my lack of confidence. I don’t just question certain aspects of my existence, I generally feel as though I am altogether questionable. As a person of steadfast faith in God, with a laundry-list of scriptures that refute having a questionable worth, and a pile of tangible evidence to the contrary…one would assume this should be a non-issue.

And yet (and it’s a big AND YET…) it is. I’ve been plagued by crippling self-doubt for as long as I can remember. I’d give you examples ranging from elementary school to the present day but they all end in me being…wait for it…crippled by self-doubt, so they’re fairly anticlimactic. Suffice it to say: I’ve gone more than a few rounds with insecurity.

And I’ve prayed, OH LORD, I’ve prayed, that it would just be taken away and given a makeover. That in a half-hour TLC special my lack of confidence would be shampooed, blown dry, and transformed into radiant self esteem. But it doesn’t seem to work that way. At the the of the day I’m still completely unsure of myself, no matter how much I try to will or wish it away.

This year, instead of pleading to win the battle, I’ve just given God the daily wars. I’ve started praying that somehow, God would use all of these unfounded doubts for his glory. I still hope that at the end of the journey I’ll emerge with a Christ-centered confidence that cannot be shaken. In the meantime, I’ll be happy to simply be faithful in this era of life. The one in which I trip over my words and flat surfaces on a daily basis.

But I’m also going to make a concerted effort to be an exclamation point, not a question mark. Not just to stand a little taller (which is a bonus regardless for someone who hovers just over 5 feet), but to really LIVE like an exclamation point (!). To turn, “Will this work?” into, “This will work!” To stop thinking, “Can I do this?” and start thinking, “I can do this!”

(Please note that this line of thinking also lends itself to other endeavors. To wit: “Should I have that brownie?” becomes, “I should have that brownie!” I’m already loving this new psyche.)

But seriously, I’m really going to focus on changing my punctuation. Because even if it’s hard to wholeheartedly believe it at first, I’d rather live with enthusiasm than with doubt. Doubt only sees the fear of what might be impossible. Enthusiasm sees the joy of what can be possible. Isn’t that the preferable option?

I don’t think there is a better current example of this theory than Tim Tebow. By the media’s standards, he has no reason to be confident. Even by football standards, his confidence had to waver a bit after homeboy put up a completion percentage and total QBR in the twenties during the Broncos regular season finale. He had to have had some doubts about his abilities.

Didn’t he?

No one gave him even the slightest chance against the Steelers in last night’s wildcard game. It wouldn’t just have been easy, it would have been normal for him to think, “We backed into the playoffs. We’re playing the defending AFC Champions. We’ve been clobbered by three weeks of crucial injuries and crushing defeats. Maybe I can’t do this. What if it’s really impossible?”

He definitely could have gone that route. Been the question mark. And no one would have blamed him for it. But did he?

Well, HECK no! If this isn’t the personification of an exclamation point, then I’m not sure what is:

title

[ photo : denver post ]

What did he have to say after the win?

We just kept believing.

Apparently so. And look at what has happened so far as a result! And who’s to say how much further they can go!

And how different would everything be if there was even the smallest margin left for question marks instead of exclamation points?

We’ve each been given a unique purpose. World famous professional athlete or unknown local blogger  – the status makes no difference. Our job isn’t to doubt or question our purpose, but to get excited about it! I feel like I’ve been given something visual and something verbal. But I’ll never make a difference with those abilities if I continue to ask, “God, can you really use me?” instead of proclaiming, boldly, “God, you can really use me!”

If I ever decide to tattoo a verse to my forehead (and it’d be great if you all wouldn’t let me do that), this would be a good candidate:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

[II Timothy 1:7]

Amen.

Go forth, and be ye excited? excited!

(Update: being an exclamation point pays off. Thanks to the wonderful people at Tebow’s Eye Black, an insightful blog about all things Tim Tebow, you can now read this post on their blog as well. Thanks, Tebow’s Eye Black!)

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good things : discoveries

Recently I’ve discovered a few wonderful things. And they are:

1. NFL Network on Hulu

Um…HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS??? There are no words. Well there are words, and they appear in the picture above. They say, “Need a break? You have been watching for more than 3 hours.”

Oh.

Well, then.

In my defense, I have no defense. I just love football way too much.

If you’re looking for me between now and September, you know where I’ll be.

2. New Old Soap

I ran out of bathroom soap. Which is only half true, because I have plenty of other soaps that would have no problem making themselves useful in the bathroom. What I really ran out of was eucalyptus mint foaming soap…and I really prefer foaming soap in the bathroom and scrubbing soap for the kitchen because I’m just one big freak. I was just going to use my back-up kitchen soap in the bathroom…but had a stroke of genius instead! I pumped some of the lemon scrubbing soap into what little remained of the eucalyptus soap, added some water, and gave it a good shake. And lo and behold, I now have lemon eucalyptus mint foaming soap that I like even better than the original! (In no small part because I feel like this is a great discovery for all of womankind. Really…just think of the possibilities!!!)

3. Fresh Greens

For the record, don’t believe me when I say that something changed my life. Because it happens often. And while true, it usually doesn’t carry the weight of what most people define as life-changing.

But really…fresh greens changed my life this weekend. And you can take that one to the bank. Or to the farmer’s market, where I purchased said greens.

PEOPLE. OH MY WORD!!! I didn’t think that I could love salad more than I already do. But buying fresh spinach and arugula changed everything. It was like going from Sunny D to fresh squeezed orange juice. So crisp! So fresh! So flavorful!!!

I then proceeded to make six salads. For myself. For the whole week. I’m not even kidding.

Sometimes, when I’m in the kitchen, I’ll pluck a few leaves of spinach from the bunch just to snack on because they’re that good.

Oh my word. Totally life changing.

4. Homemade Sound System

That insert on the chute of the food processor? Perfect for holding an iPhone playing Pandora and amplifying the sound x 100. I had many a kitchen jam session this weekend.

Clearly, because there was so much to celebrate!

Two thumbs way up for unexpected goodness all around.

inspired : 4.1.12

i’d really like to read this : you’re already amazing

what a sweet surprise party thrown entirely by this 5th grader’s friends!

unbelievably gorgeous food photography by what katie ate

an ideal day of eating

loving this blog : beautifully rooted

i want to order this entire etsy store : printable scripture

the always inspiring ray lewis:

beautifully bright spring colors at this seafood boil party

you ARE going to do great things!

gorgeous wedding videography from blueberry fusion via southern weddings

ten things teenage girls should know

unbelievable engagement session from love the schultzes

pin of the week:

truth

pinned here via here

inspired : 3.25.12

this birthday party is beautiful!

elizabeth ashleigh, you are a gem.

terrific wrap-up of tim tebow’s time in denver by woody paige

and speaking of our friend tim, love this video he did for nascar

oh. my. goodness. the packers signed JEFF SATURDAY!!! i can hardly believe it!

(tim, we wish you were headed our way too.)

and one more nfl related entry…this video is priceless

oh my WORD…can i move here immediately?

more lara casey wisdom : anything is possible

anything named “healthy breakfast cookie” is a win in my book

pin of the week:

i can’t get over how adorable this is!

teddy bear toast

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good things part I : why tebow to green bay makes sense

I have three good things to share today. Because it’s just a good day! 70 degree weather in March will do that. Stay tuned for parts II & III later today.

But first on the list: a 7am epiphany.

I was listening to Golic and Skip Bayless debate where Tim Tebow will land now that Peyton is headed to Denver – Jacksonville sounds like the popular option. But really, it seems like they’d just want him as a way to garner revenue, and I think Tebow deserves more than that – as a player and a person. So I started to wonder about other destinations. And while I was stirring cinnamon into my oatmeal, I thought…

OF COURSE Tim Tebow should go to Green Bay!

And then I threw a bunch of other things into the bowl and ran straight to my computer to email Mike and Mike before I left for work.

This is why I think Tebow to Green Bay makes a lot of sense:

1. Clearly, he wouldn’t be the starter. But he could be mentored by Aaron Rodgers – which worked out well for Matt Flynn.

2. Speaking of Flynnsanity – GB is now in need of a good backup QB (sorry, Graham).

3. GB could also use some options at running/half/full back.

4. Ted Thompson LOVES to bring in guys like Tebow – unconventional, ready to work, primed for development.

5. Mike McCarthy and Tom Clements are great at running a creative, unexpected offense.

6. Green Bay seems like a place where Tebow would want to play; it’s the type of down to earth, blue collar, historic organization where he could fit right in.

7. How much of a circus are you going to get in Green Bay? The lack of bright lights would probably be appreciated by everyone – Tebow, the Packers, the fans, the NFL at large, etc.

I think it’s a great fit. What do you guys think?

inspired : 3.18.12

(Whoops! I got caught up in Making Things Happen yesterday and never posted this week’s Inspired list. Just consider it an extension of the weekend, and who doesn’t need some of that on a Monday morning? Enjoy!)

the green straws, the “love is brewing” favors, the lampshades hanging from tree limbs…what’s not to love about this wedding?!

and speaking of southern weddings…i was OVERJOYED to find out i was linked to this week’s SW weekly round-up! thanks, ladies!

loved this article on matt flynn; congratulations to seattle on signing a great qb!

oh. my. word. ALL of whole living’s pinterest boards are amazing!

SO excited to see the peanut principle at the public market…the honey roasted peanut butter is amazing!!!

the bottom bins of my refrigerator are overflowing with grapefruit, blood oranges, honey tangerines, and mineola tangerines. you might say i’m on a citrus kick. thank you, florida!

this insightful article struck a chord with a few things i’ve been thinking lately. look for a longer post about this soon.

i can’t even put into words how happy this makes me. food + color + photography?! my brain is bursting.

love these rules for a happy marriage

cocoa buttermilk biscuits with brown sugar cinnamon butter. need i say more?

annie does it again : chocolate oatmeal moon pies! oh my goodness!

this recipe! this video! i couldn’t love it more!

pin of the week:

(this watermelon tabbouleh salad is calling. my. name. oh my word.)

Tabbouleh with Watermelon: Watermelon replaces the traditional tomato in this Middle Eastern salad, giving it bursts of sweetness. Goat cheese, another new add-in, provides creamy contrast, Wholeliving.com #healthylunches

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(ALSO : Public Service Announcement – I tried to love the spring colors/design I chose for the blog a few weeks ago, but I just wasn’t feeling it. So I switched things up again and I’m MUCH happier with the results! I love it!!! If you’re reading in a Reader, come on over to the main site and check it out! Again! :))

beka stays real : ten things

  1. I’m glad I turned the Duke/UNC game off with 10 minutes remaining because I was “going to bed,” wrote this instead, missed this as a result…and ended up not going to bed for another hour after the game had ended.
  2. But at least that proves that there are some legitimate sporting events going on now that football is over.
  3. And then there’s this. Can’t wait to see where Linsanity leads…love watching his story unfold!
  4. But really…watching every single Sound FX clip and obsessively following the NFL Films blog is what is really going to get me through the off season.
  5. This book is one of my favorites. I snuck it into the kids’ picks at the library yesterday. At least we can see snow in a book since apparently it’s never actually going to snow here this year. (I’m not bitter.) (Oh wait…yes I am.)
  6. If eating half a baked sweet potato and a defrosted slice of shoo fly pie for dinner is wrong then I don’t want to be right.
  7. But seriously…what I wouldn’t do for a Papa Murphy’s up in this joint.
  8. Or at least a Chick-fil-A.
  9. I’m still thinking about San Diego. Where they have Papa Murphy’s and Chick-fil-A. And Jamba Juice. And In-N-Out. And Pinkberry. It’s an embarrassment of riches, really.
  10. This weekend, there will be baking. Amen.

beka stays real : top ten super bowl thoughts

I really think that yesterday, as a whole, was one of my favorite Super Bowl Sunday’s. Here are my Top 10 Super Bowl Thoughts:

1. Exceptional pregame coverage by NBC Sports. As in so exceptional we (and by we, I mean I) asked my dad to go pick up take out instead of going out for lunch during the Road to the Super Bowl (which was an NFL Films presentation, but still). Priorities, people.

2. Aaron Rodgers, please never leave Green Bay. But if someday in the far and distant future you are no longer playing QB for the Packers, please go into broadcasting. You are a natural.

3. The Steve Gleason Story. You will be better for watching this:

4. Absolutely loved Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of the National Anthem. Sing it, girl! And the simple drums in the background were just perfect.

5. When Tom Brady threw the ball while in the end zone to no one in the middle of the field…we all kind of looked at each other and wondered…safety? Yes, a safety to start a Super Bowl. The five people who placed a prop bet on that are probably very happy…and very rich.

6. Bradshaw’s “I should score oh wait maybe I shouldn’t” roll across the goal line was one of the weirdest things I’ll remember from any Super Bowl, ever.

7. As for the many Patriots’ dropped balls…the Packers can give you their therapists numbers, I’m sure. But overall, an outstanding game in all respects. Love when it comes down to the final drive. Love the passion and respect both organizations displayed. Great, great game.

8. I live on the middle floor of a three level apartment building. Lucky for my neighbors, my mom has no verbal/physical control over her actions during football games. She spent half the game shushing herself, going from “OH YES!!!” to “Oh, sorry!!!” in the same breath. At least I know I’m my mother’s daughter.

9. Loved this commercial:

10. And this commercial:

11. Bonus thoughts. I’m thankful for the following: a) Quickish. b) Everyone who worked so hard to end the lockout so we could get to experience last night’s game and the 2011 season in it’s entirety, especially since it was such a good one. c) Miscalculating how many points were needed to claim the Family Fantasy Title…and winning by one point even though I picked the Pats! d) Popcornopolis.

In closing, Peter Tebow said it best via Twitter: “So, football season is over… #whattodo”

Amen, brother. Only seven months until preseason…

inspired 2.5.12

steve martin on success (and banjos)

i want to make 800 of these journals

so inspired by coach wooden recently

i just love this couple! beautiful wedding!

are your excuses more important than your dreams?

i stumbled on this old post and remembered a few important things that i’d forgotten

loved this witty live blog covering the nfl honors

congratulations, 12!

pin of the week:

Valentine's Day Egg

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