Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Live out Loud!!!

I once went to a convention (actually it was a SLaHOME convention) that spoke volumes to me.....well, the theme of it did. It's pictured above just in case somehow you haven't had enough coffee and didn't see it! I didn't want you to miss it!

At the time my husband and I were struggling through some decisions that would mean some changes for our family. Decisions that would mean going outside the comfort zone for the ultimate good of our family. And they were changes that might prove difficult. You've probably been there before, right?

The woman who spoke had been through breast cancer, and was a survivor. TWICE. Don't you know those were difficult days for her!....but through it she had learned to seize what opportunities came her way, to choose the best for her life, to make a difference and to live each moment OUT LOUD. She made choices that were not always in her comfort zone, yet allowed herself to be stretched to follow out the steps that were needed to live in those choices. She is a TRUE "southern inspiration"!

So I came home, not only jazzed about my business, but ready to take on the challenge with my husband of moving in a different direction for our family. I came home ready to STOP being frustrated about being stuck in a rut, ready to take on with vigor what was truly going to be a hard choice, and even though it held some uncertainties, ready to face it. With prayer and the help of God, we made some choices and changes that proved to be good for our family. Hmmmm, imagine that!

I will be the first to admit that I move slowly. It is painful to make decisions sometimes, and takes a lot of work.......ummm, I go for the easiest, fastest, least painful route, if given a choice! But we all know that life is hard, and that what we work hardest for often is what we enjoy the most. After all, hard work can be fun, too, right?

So in my retrospective thinking today, I have been questioning whether I am indeed living out loud. Or have I slipped back into survival mode of one foot in front of the other? Those two can coexist, but I think I have grown weary. I need to be reminded of that vigor I felt when challenged to live out loud. I need to live with more intention. (I tend to be a "phlegmatic" type of personality.......laid back, a follower, a whatever works for the moment kind of girl.) But that also means that unless I have a purpose and a set of goals, I am a slug. Yes, a slug...and I don't like slugs. So every now and again, I have to have a little talk with myself, and say "Self, you need to get going again...." We had this talk this morning......it pinches, it hurts, but it's necessary.

I have several goals in mind, and they really are not resolutions, they are more like reminders. Remember you wanted to _____. Fill in the blank.
I have numerous ones to fill in the blank. But I quake to write them down because I have a fear of failure and a fear of being a hypocrite. I don't want to come back and see what I wrote and feel like myself or someone else can say, "But you said you were going to ____". So what do YOU do to combat that? What I need to do is take some baby steps toward a few of these goals and make some progress. Progress begets more progress, right?

Where in the world am I going with all of this? Mostly it's a self-reminder to get myself in gear, but it's also to encourage you that if you have ideas in the back of your mind, let some of them out!! Write them down, consider them, write down the steps toward making them a reality. Don't wallow in doubt, make it happen. Live with intention, live OUT LOUD.

We are not promised tomorrow, only today. In fact, the Bible says that "tomorrow has enough trouble of its own" so live in today. Make your moments count and be intentional. Let this truth be in the fabric of your being a little while today and see how and if it changes your perspective....
What does that mean for YOU?

Edited to add, that I don't think Living Out Loud really is a choice about noise, rather of choices and intentions, and living actively rather than passively, which is really what I am prone to want to do. Thanks for all the fabulous comments, my friends!!


Marla at Always Nesting said...

Wow! Awesome post, even reading it sick with a fever, it's amazing. Lots to think about.

Vickie said...

Suzanne - great post. I needed to hear that this morning. I've been thinking about this new year and what I'd like to accomplish. I've not made resolutions cuz I always break them. Instead I've been thinking about challenges and goals and at least steps in the right directions. Baby steps even.
They've been rolling around in my head, but I haven't actually put them down on paper yet. It's like I don't really have to start on them if they're not written down. I'm a bit phlegmatic, too, sometimes. Now after your post, I'm thinking I'm going to write them down today and post them in my house so I can see them every single day. Hold my own self accountable. I want to make some "strides" this year!

April said...

That reminds me of the Steven Curtis Chapman song..."Live Out Loud". For me, it means to seize the day and don't squander one second the Good Lord has given to me! Thank you for this awesome food for thought, Suzanne!

Just a little something from Judy said...

Living "out loud" is not easy for me. I tend to be one of those who live quietly. This has been a thought provoking post. I do agree that I need to be prompted at times, to live outside of the box...to really live like today could be my last day. Great post!

Jackie said...

Beautiful and inspiring! Thank you

Stacey said...

Wow! I am sitting here trying to wrap my mind around all the ideas that are stirring right now. What a powerful and challenging post.

Another blog I follow talked about having a word for the year. http://www.ordinarycourage.com/my-blog/2010/1/7/that-one-little-word.html

I have been contemplating that for over a week now. Ironically the word I keep coming up with is intention or intentional.

Then I read yours today and there is that word again - living with INTENTION.

I do not think that is coincidence. I want to live with intention and be intentional
...in my walk with God
...in my time with my children
...in my relationship with my husband
...in managing and taking care of our home

and the list goes on. The common thread is INTENTION! Thanks for this great post!!

Nancy said...

"Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently
begin again." -- Henry Ford

If we don’t incur some failure we are not pushing the boundaries hard enough. - Author Unknown.

"It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory, nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
Thomas Edison

A few quotes I have tucked away. :) Thanks for giving me an excuse to look at them again. I needed it.

Richella said...

I really liked this post. That "Live Out Loud" graphic is great!

Mostly I like your idea of reminding ourselves of what we want to do. I am really bad about setting goals. I grew up in a family with a domineering and cranky father, and we just sort of lived from one day to the next--never really making plans, because we were in trouble if we weren't completely adaptable to my dad's whims. Anyway, I don't mean to have a pity party, just admit that I STINK at goal-setting. But I can say to myself, "Remember you wanted to _____?"

Thanks for the (Southern) inspiration!

Tara said...

Hey my friend! Have missed blogging lately. The art weekend wore me out! LOL...
Love the post today. I needed to hear that. I have been feeling that same way. Thanks for the motivations!

Stacey said...

What a wonderful, wonderful post. You and I are so much alike. I'm going to ponder this for awhile. :)

honeysuckle said...

Great post and motivator! Thanks. I am so much like you in that it is easy for me to sit in the back and let life wash over me instead of claiming what I want out of it. I needed this push. There are several things in the back of my mind that are on my to do list and I need to take the baby steps to make them happen. One simple one that I keep putting off is signing up at a gym to start being stronger. It is so easy to sleep in and say I will do it next week and now that I have written it down here, I must do It. Thanks for coming to my blog and leaving me comments. Sometimes my posts seem so boring to me even that I am surprised anyone even bothers to read much less comment. I appreciate that you do. Know that you have helped me today! Many Thanks.

Diana said...


So important to me, too!

Noni at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED your post! This year I intend to move from survive mode to thriving... living out loud, as you said! Just makes my heart sing to know there are others out here who are working to shape, to choose, to create a life that reflects the one God meant for us to enjoy. Thank you!