Last week I got to travel to Nashville, TN (home) & reconnect with four amazing leaders of the United Methodist Church (George Aceveda, Jacob Armstrong, Rachel Fast Billups and Justin LaRosa) for an Advent 2015 book project entitled "Sent: Discovering the Gift of Hope at Christmas." We were first together in October 2014 sharing stories, brainstorming, praying together and envisioning what this book offering would be. Honestly, it was a bit surreal to be together again last week to film small group videos for our book. (It will be available for purchase this fall through the United Methodist Publishing House.)
When I first began dreaming of LAR Art Studio and the life I was re-imagining for myself, I timidly named that I wanted more opportunities to write and grow as a writer. Within a week of taking a leap of faith, a leap of embracing life as a full-time artist/creative & living out of my passions, I received a call inviting me to be a part of this project. I laughed a bit, then turned to my partner, Cleve, and said, "You are not going to believe this!"
It was one of a few desires of my heart I'd had the courage to name out loud & own that, out of no where, seemed to be there for me to receive. There is power in owning who are and naming what we desire, even though it does not always unfold the way we want. There have been things I have named that have not come to fruition yet; I have even gotten a couple of nos, not yets, & maybes as I have pursued my dreams the past few months. There have been days when self-doubt and insecurities have gotten more attention from me than they need to. The hustle is like that, I guess...
Through it all, however, I have learned it is important to:
be still enough to listen closely to the heart,
allow Love to motivate & ground you,
be honest with yourself & others,
surround yourself with people who can help you remember who you are on days you forget,
& muster up the courage daily to own who you are becoming.
I have discovered that doing these 7 things consistently open me up to receiving opportunities I had not even imagined for myself, and allow me to grow through the the challenging and dry times. They truly awaken, strengthen, and free the soul.
Lanecia A. Rouse Tinsley