Make It Happen – It’s Now or Never

A Personal Post

Lately, alone at night, I lie awake thinking about how the lives of everyone around me will be different when I see them again — if I see them again. I have to admit, it’s nice having something to lose — something worth missing.

It seems harder the second time around. When I first moved away from home, it was easy because I was angry, bitter and resentful. In 2008, I had made it my mission to leave everything behind. But things are not as they were then, so I find myself pining for a new start, but also wanting to take everyone and everything with me.

I’ve lived a broken life. I’ve fought and fought through countless abuses, various neglects and abounding rejection. But I’ve come to understand that life is made up of good moments and bad moments; all are worth living.

South Dakota isn’t just a place to move to or just a place to start over, but a place to grow in – a place to develop into the person God’s always intended me to be.

Getting to this part of my journey has been the toughest thing I’ve ever done, but I know there will be many more things that will get in my way and that will try to stop me from achieving what God ultimately wants for my life.

It’s time for me to rediscover who I am while taking everyone else along with me in my heart. It’s time that I make things happen- it’s now or never.

 

Contemplating South Dakota

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt settled. I feel comfortable, but not settled. I feel secure, but not settled. Where I live feels familiar, but I’m not settled.

Friends of mine, L & J, currently live in South Dakota and work as residential staff at an American Native school. They absolutely love working with students from native backgrounds and have encouraged me to look into applying for a job at their school. For more than a year I held onto the idea of possibly applying, but I never took the thought seriously — until last week.

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Students in regalia at a pow wow.

My friends encouraged me to apply once again, but I was hesitant. I didn’t want to contemplate moving to a whole other state again. I didn’t want to think about the emotions associated with leaving family and friends behind. I didn’t want to think about starting over.

What helped subside those thoughts and emotions? A message about obedience.

I had to stop and ask myself, what would God want me to do right now? What does HE want to do with my life? It was after hearing that message that I understood that my life is not my own and I need to gain a new perspective. I’ve been sitting too long in my comfort.

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Badlands National Park, South Dakota

So, I can’t believe I did it, but I applied. I have the potential to be living in South Dakota less than a year from now working with awesome kids! I am terrified, but I am also excited at the prospect of CHANGE.

I write all of this to say, no matter the outcome of this adventure – whether it stops at the job application or if I end up moving to SoDak – if you dare to step out in obedience, you might just surprise yourself.

@brittwillwrite

If You Have a Gift, Use It!

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By Guest Writer – Marie Ontermaa

Something my mom once said to me was quite impactful, “If you have a gift, use it!” It’s true! If you know you are gifted to do something, if God has given you a propensity, an ability, and an innate desire to do something, whatever it may be, then do not hide it! Rather, use it!

When I was younger, in my teens and even as a child, whether or not people knew Jesus always concerned me. I always wanted to talk to people about Him. However, as I got older, I became cautious, not feeling equipped or able enough to explain why I believe what I believe. In short, I was afraid! But still, the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit consistently nudged at me to speak–He promised that when I opened my mouth, He would fill it. I had to be obedient! I wasn’t supposed to listen to the voice of the enemy, filling me with fear, because scripture says that “God has NOT given us a Spirit of fear but of power, of love, and of a sound mind!” In my hesitation, I began to step out and be obedient to the voice of the Lord, talking to people–even strangers, about Him, and something wonderful began to happen! I noticed that when I stepped out in obedience to Gods voice, in that moment He WOULD fill my mouth! I would notice words tumbling out–edifying, powerful, God-words–pouring out of my mouth, all because I took a step of faith, a risk, and obeyed a nudge the Holy Spirit gave! And it was amazing! I could take no credit because I knew it was not me! Rather, it was the gift, the grace, God had put on my life!

“I had to be obedient!”

Really, walking in step with the Spirit is wonderful and fills me with joy, and truly, that is how EVERY believer can feel! The commands of God are not burdensome, rather, the joy of the Lord is our strength! Truly, he equips those He calls.

Thank you for reading,

Marie Ontermaa

Visit Marie’s site to see more of her lovely writings!

Handlettering Hobby to Big Business Idea

Obviously, as a child, we’re all taught how to read and write. Well, I wasn’t so keen on learning to read, but I loved writing and drawing. I was always a strange, imaginative child with wild stories and fun tales. There was no stopping me once I learned to write all of those crazy stories down! I became a mini illustrator and author to my own ideas and I would adorn my bedroom with drawings of my latest work.

But…

Like with all things, I grew up and lost my fervor for being wildly creative. Somewhere along the way, while growing up, someone told me to stop being the way I was and shamed me for who God intended me to be — this wild, charismatic, quick-witted, imaginative person. And I must have listened, because I stopped being all of those things and I stopped being me.

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A church friend holding a handlettering piece I did for her.

It’s only now, just one year shy of being 30, that I have begun to rediscover ME.

Part of this rediscovery portion of my life, is getting back into things I love — like handlettering. Using anything from a brush to a calligraphy pen, I appreciate the ease of each pen stroke coming together to form multiple letters to make one word.

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Handlettering is a soothing hobby I’ve come to admire.

I began a journey about a year ago in handlettering. I started out with the #30daybiblelettering challenge on Instagram. In the beginning of the challenge, I was perplexed. I couldn’t get my projects to turn out clear and artistic. It ended up looking like a four year-old drew my work! Really, I was relearning an old hobby that I had put away many years ago — it was time to retrain myself and learn it all over again. So slowly, over time, I got better and better at the challenge. By the 20th day I was in love with handlettering. I found myself sharing my ideas, following other handlettering gurus on Instagram and finding myself. I found ultimate joy in what I was learning to do.20161203_122554

I began getting feedback from my photos I shared on social media and started to wonder, “Could there be a business idea here?” I thought my dream of building a business based on handlettering was odd, but I don’t think that anymore. It is now my goal to do something with this talent I’m building, God willing.

Thanks for reading,

@brittwillwrite

The Lost Deserve Our Attention

I’m reminded that,

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

and THIS is what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ. This article about the Cornerstone Community Church in Kensington, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, hits too close to home, but it’s necessary to understand that the church is not only full of happy-go-lucky people. Desperate and hurting people are in the body of Christ and this church is doing their best to reach them. It has me asking, how far would I go to seek out the lost? Could I attempt to do what this church does every day?

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Photo by Joseph Kaczmarek

I try in my personal life to be an encourager, but I could do more…I could do so much more…

@brittwillwrite

Writing to Be a Writer

There’s an old saying “always a bridesmaid, but never a bride”, well I have always felt the same way about being a writer — like I was writing, but never a writer.

Odd, I know.

I’ve been unsure for the past few years about my writing capabilities, but I stuck to it and God has blessed my ability to endure through this annealing process. I’ve been stretched beyond what I thought was possible for me as a writer and I can’t wait for the road ahead.

Tonight, I was published in the bilingual magazine El Palo.

For certain, I’ve learned that there is no certainty in writing. Meaning, that the path as a writer can be an ardent journey filled with turbulence mixed with a bit of extraordinary moments that lead to new and exciting opportunities.

For those that are writing and for those that may write in the future –don’t quit. Keep progressing in your discipline and learn as much as you can.

One day we may even get to read your words…

…how extraordinary that would be.

@brittwillwrite