My Beautiful Girl, God Has a Plan

little girl silhouette

That day forever changed our lives

You looked so much like your dad

You were a real baby

You were my baby

God had a plan

I loved you, cared for you, the best I knew how

Your curly brown hair, and sweet little smile

You learned and grew, quickly

Spoke complete sentences before you were 2

Reading words and telling stories and always singing

God had a plan

You were quite the little communicator

We would sing and dance and play the day away

Your little car, and your Pooh Bear

and he had to have his best friend, Piglet

God had a plan

As we played and days passed

God saved us

You were my purpose

You were my joy

God had a plan

You loved church, and got to know who God was

You’d sing us the bible songs, you knew them all

Always made lots of friends

Art projects covered our walls

God had a plan

You became a big sister and were so good at it

You grew and learned and I believed you were the smartest kid on earth

None could be as smart as you

You were a giver always working for peace

God had a plan

You became a big sister again

You were the greatest, still

Our days were long, while dad was at work

We’d learn and sing and bake

God had a plan

Your favorite Barbie computer game was your goal at the end of the days

Those days passed fast

Before I knew it you were covered in make up and your attitude resembled something familiar

It was me

God had a plan

Those days passed too and you were still so beautiful

A heart to change the world

You’d sing your songs and share your gift with others

You had grown so quickly, It was hard to understand

But I knew that God ALWAYS had a plan

Then, adulthood came quickly

And I had to let you go

I saw a young lady, who I knew you’d always become

the little girl we’d always prayed for was now all grown up

God had a plan

Your heart, it’s still there

Your voice and your song

Your love for others

your gifts have not gone

God HAS a plan

My baby no longer

My little girl with piggy tails

Those days are vivid, I will never forget

You changed our lives, a world changer for sure

God Had a plan

As you continue in life, a young lady now

I know and I trust that all things will ALWAYS work out

They always did, and always have

God has always been there

HE has a plan

He carried you in my tummy

He carried you while you grew

He carried you through teenage years when things seemed ever blue

He carried you through your transition into adult hood and has never left your side

God has a plan

As you enter a new season, never fear my beautiful girl

For God has always been there

He knows your path, your dreams your hopes

He’s given them to you

Now walk your walk with your head held high, and sing your song,

go change the world, for GOD HAS A PLAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Fear of the Unknown..

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It seems like this is the new normal.

How can this be?

When did it even begin?

Has it always felt like this?

Well, I know I am not going completely crazy, and even though it is all in my head, it is not “all in my head”.

Most days, I feel like this IS the new normal. I wake up feeling fine. Just like my plain ol’ self. I pray. I look in the mirror and think, “See, nothing a good nights rest cannot cure. You’re fine!” Say good morning to my shower and my God all at the same time! I feel like Me. This will be a good day! I will be okay.

I tell Him that I know today will be a good day. I believe it. I proclaim it. I stand upon the mantra that what you think in your mind and heart is what will be.

Routine, as usual. We’re all ready and head off to individual daily destinations and I think, it’s gonna be a good day!

I get to work, routine. Again. Work Routine. Make the coffee. Clean and prep for the day.

Minutes pass by, and slowly I fee lit creeping up…I distract myself. Smile. Encourage. Believe that its’ all in my head. But wait. My head. It’s starting to hurt…

Like falling asleep, or making the slow climb up a roller coaster, it happens very slowly. Then, all of a sudden…BAAMMM. It’s there again. Like an infestation of termites, it starts to eat away at my peace and my head. Now my throat, my neck, and even my chest. What is wrong? What is wrong with me?

How can this be. What is it? Why do I feel like this. It IS all in my head. Is it??

Then comes the FEAR. “What is wrong with me? Maybe I’m sick. A disease? A Tumor? Low Iron? Hormones? Am I dying? What is it? An allergy? Why do I feel like this? Oh my GOSH! Now I can’t breathe.” The fear is worse. The thoughts keep coming. “Oh, my head….somebody, God. What is wrong with me? Now I feel it in my chest too. I’m nauseous. But I can’t throw up. I ruined that reflex years back. You’re strong, you can make it through this. Get busy.”

“Okay, so let’s try and figure this out. What have you changed? What’s different about how I feel? What could be the root. Did you eat something? Not eat something? Oh yeah, I grind my teeth while I sleep. Maybe that’s it. But wait. I am at a heightened stress level, EVERYDAY as well! Maybe it’s stress, but I am not REALLY stressed at the moment. This can’t be normal. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? MY HEAD? What’s wrong with my head?”

Well, after what seems like months of this, and a cancelled appointment, I have scheduled another appointment. In one week I will go to the Doctor. I will not cancel it this time. I have to know.

Now, I must say that because of the nature of my symptoms, and their locations, I am terrified! I tend to think the worst out of fear of losing my life. Yes, I have that fear. I am not afraid of the afterlife, or meeting my “maker” (No offense, Lord. You know I love You!!) I’m just not quite ready to be done with my current life. I love my life, now. My husband. My kids, my new son. I will be a grandmother someday and if something is wrong with me, like, seriously wrong, I could miss all of it. My future. Our dreams. We have plans. We’re doing better. We’re on a different road. Again. A better road. The best we’ve ever been on. I don’t want something to be seriously wrong with me.

“God, can’t you hear me? Why aren’t you taking this away?”

Well, in the midst of all of this I am gonna hang in there 1 more week. I refuse to go to urgent care. I will wait and see if maybe it will get better. Today is a new day, right? It will get better!

As I sit at work everyday, lately, and contemplate what it could be that is causing me to feel this way, I am continuing to trust. I know that God hears me. Not only does He hear me, but He knows why I feel this way, and what will happen in my future. I have to trust that through anything, even in the worst case scenario, HE HAS A PLAN.

These days feel like a lifetime. My head hurts. I’m sick. I’m dizzy. I smile through the pain.

One week. It will be here soon. Until then. I will remain hopeful for tomorrow. I will work, moment by moment, to not be consumed with the fear. I am letting go. Here it is, Lord. It is yours…I will not fear the unknown, because you already know it. You are in control, and yet again, I am letting go. I fall in your embrace. I trust, that ultimately, You have a plan. A purpose. I am yours. I will not fear the unknown. I am yours. My life is Yours. My Family is yours.

So, I will write. I will smile. I will be a wife and a mother and a friend and the secretary that I have been called to be. I will love my husband and thank God for Him and our family. I will do homework with the kids. I will celebrate our daughter’s birthday. During one more week of this, I will endure this pain. If and when they find out what is or is not wrong with my head, I will trust. I will not fear. It’s all in His divine plan.

I will not fear the unknown. He already knows it. He is God. I am not.

Pray for me.

Leave me a comment. I will pray for you too.

As the days go by, I will update you…

Keep in touch, I know I will.

~Be Free!

Suffer Through the Pain.

One of my all time favorite movies has many one-liners that we love to quote around our house. Well, our kids don’t quote the movie, but my husband and I do. Buttercup says to the man in black, “You mock my pain.” “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”-Man in Black (a.k.a. The Dread Pirate Roberts)

Now, I’m not trying to sell you something. I promise. I will, however share my story with you in hopes that it will be a source of encouragement.

The movie, The Princess Bride, is full of funny, quotable, one-liners. But this one is fitting for this season. “What?”, you say. “Another season of pain. Come on, Julie, get over this already.” Well, believe me, I empathize with you.

As you have probably experienced, life has many ups and downs. There are good days and there are bad days. There are days when I feel like I’m doing good, and days when I feel like I’d rather not take another breath because it’s just a reminder of the pain.

You may say to me, what do you know about pain? Have you been diagnosed with cancer? Have you lost a loved one due to tragedy? Have you suffered endless persecution at the hands of others due to your faith? Well, as I may not have experienced all of those tragedies, and some of those are extreme, I would never try to negate the type of pain that could be induced by those types of experiences either. Just as I’d never minimize those types of pain, I’d never want the depth of my pain to be minimized. Pain, regardless of it’s source, is real. It can be brought on by many different circumstances, and it hurts. 

As I share one of my favorite quotes from the Princess Bride, let me also share another one of my favorite quotes. This one comes from a really good book that I read, occasionally. “I have told you all of this so that you may have peace in me. Here on Earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” This comes from the “Good Book”, and it is a direct quote from the man himself. Jesus. 

What does He mean “take heart”? Take heart! How am I supposed to “take heart” when my heart feels like it’s convulsing in my chest. Take heart, when I feel like I cannot take another breath. 

Well, let’s talk about this for a minute. This verse comes form the book of John. The whole chapter involves Jesus talking to His disciples and it is about how He will leave them and how they will have to deal with it. How He (Jesus) will have to leave in order for us to be comforted. Comforted from what. Life? Life’s trials? Yes. These men would go on to suffer many trials, and much pain. It’s almost as if in order to receive comfort, one must first endure pain. In what other way could one swim in the comfort unless you first knew the sting and agony of drowning through the depths of pain?

Well, I am here to tell you that through all of the pain, there is hope. There is a purpose. As I go through this life I realize that these trials are necessary to build character. I will not sell the lie to you that you can live a pain free life, that is impossible. Although life, at times may be “pain”, it can be overcome. You can take heart, and in taking heart, you can take your heart and tell it that things will be okay. You can trust that even through the pain, the hurt, the trials, you can endure, and make it through. When Jesus states that He has “overcome the world”, I think we wants us to understand that this world and the pain that comes along with it will one day be gone. He is much greater than this life that we live and this life will one day pass away. The circumstances that surround and make up ones life will one day be just a memory someplace. It’s what we do with these that make the difference for eternity.

Take heart, He has overcome. This life, though it may have some painful situations, will one day pass. Enjoy the moments that are pain-free, and know that the ones that are full, maybe even overflowing with pain, will pass too. You can endure and you can have peace that can consume any attempts at understanding the pain. Peace, in the midst of the storm. Not due to ignorance of the rains or the winds, but a comfort that the sun will always outshine the storm. A comfort that the storm has a purpose, even when you cannot see it.

Take heart. The same man that has overcome the world, has given us His spirit, and through that spirit, we can sail through this life and endure its storms, knowing full and well, that in us taking heart, we are being made into His image. Every moment passes, ushering in new moments. Remember, it will pass. Four steps can help. 1. Take a deep breath. 2. Exhale. 3. Trust. 4. Repeat. Now trust in a bigger purpose. Take heart. He has overcome and because He has overcome, so can you!

~Be Free.

Sometime in 2013…

One day you wake up and you realize that you are no longer in your twenties. Your kids are older, your husband has grey hair, and that older looking woman in the mirror with those faint wrinkles, smile lines, and an extra 30 lbs. looks familiar but yet you don’t know who she is. This was me. I woke up at thirty five, and realized I needed to re-evaluate a few things in my life.

What used to be a priority in my life in my twenties, no longer meant a whole lot of anything now in my mid-thirties. The house was never clean anymore, the bills kept coming, and my kids no longer needed strollers, diapers, or me for that matter. So I thought.

I realized, once I turned 35 that I was not getting any younger and I really wanted my life and the rest of my years here to mean something. I always thought I wanted to do something great. You know something so huge that the whole world would see it and be like “Wow, look at her and what she did with her life, she’s amazing!” I thought by 35 I would have done that. I hadn’t.

So, I did some “soul searching”, so to speak. Tried to evaluate what the new priorities were in my life. I came to this realization. We only get one life. Every day adds up to create the lifetime that you get. It’s in those daily moments that you achieve something great. It’s in those moments of doing homework, or cooking dinner or driving to school, or going to the grocery store that make up one’s life. It’s those little moments that we only get one of, that we become great! Share a smile, a hug, an encouraging word, or even silence. We have the opportunity every day to make a difference.

I love my family, they are my passion. I want them to know that they are one of my greatest accomplishments, and that I am proud of them. But a midst my passion to help them realize the important things in life, I have also learned that my passion is two-fold.

I now not only realize that it is important for me to cherish those moments and make them great for my family but also in this big world. My greatness can be shared every day. When I share a smile with someone at the grocery store, or hold a door open for someone or have a better attitude at work, I am making a difference. I may not have a huge platform to stand on, but I can make a small difference in someone’s life, moment by moment. All of those little moments will add up and create my life, as a whole, thus, making every little moment count as greatness.

I may never receive a Nobel Peace Prize, become President, or own a fortune 500 company, but, in my daily life, I can make a difference. I can love my family and cherish the moments I spend with them. I can be passionate about my job, even though it is not my dream job, nor where I want to retire. I can share a smile with a stranger, be kind to someone who in the moment may not deserve it. I can have passion for my family and for people regardless of what the task at hand is.

We can all be great, where ever we are. We can be great in our families (our children still need us, regardless of how old they are), in our jobs, or at the grocery store. We all can make a difference. We all need a little kindness. I may not change the world, but I can change me, and in changing me, I can make a difference for those around me.

Aside

Struggles.

Struggles.

We are all human. The bible is abundant with examples of those who struggled with their flesh. If you live on this earth, and were not born with translucent appendages that carry you to and fro, you are probably prone to struggle. I am no angel either. 

On the contrary, I am not on the opposite side of that spectrum. I refuse to accept that I am a part of the demonic realm. (Regardless of what number is on my driver’s license. I will expound on in a blog post at a later date, I’m sure.) I struggle, not because I’m on God’s “opposing” team, but because I was born into a sin nature and I occupy this “earth-suit” that we call our flesh.

Now, I am not making an excuse for the shortcomings that I find in myself, but rather pointing the fact that we are each in need of God’s assistance due to the inadequacies that we may have. None of us are immune to sin, or the sin nature. Each of us has a predisposition to certain things. One may struggle with overeating, while another has struggles with lust, or hatred, or forgiveness. We each have our weaknesses, each with our own unique battles to win. None are exempt. Though they may vary in type, we all have them.

I am one of those who seem to have always had a battle that I am raging against. Whether it be a a small, seemingly insignificant battle or on a larger more detailed scale, It seems there is always something. I often wonder, when will reach a place in life where I never struggle? Will that day ever come? Will I always have a struggle? The answers are, no, I will never reach a place where I never struggle, that day will never come. Will I always have something to overcome? The answer is an irrevocable, YES!! 

So, as I share on this topic, I figure I can confess one of my struggles. For about 20 years, i battled with an eating disorder. Over the duration of those years I would win and lose many mini-battles. I would cry out and I would stand on God’s word, and yet I would fail. Over and over again. I failed. I had faith that ultimately, one day I would win the war. It was a long journey. It hasn’t been easy. It was a daily struggle, hourly and minute struggle at times. Looking back, I see that although it took so many years to finally “break Free”, and I do believe I have won that “war”, I still have my predisposition to that particular sin, because I live in my flesh. Until the day I die, I will have to train it, and tell it who is in control. For the rest of my life, I will have to trust that God is the one who helps me when I am weak. My struggle may not be like it once was, but that is because over time, with little victories we learn how to depend on Him, and not in ourselves. Over time, I have learned how to overcome.

Through all of the days of this struggle, I’ve come to this understanding. The greater the struggle, the deeper the victory. If I overcame this on my own, I would have no need to trust God daily to help me through it all. When I think I can overcome any particular struggle on my own, it’s then that I fail. It’s only when I relied on God’s strength to carry me through my food weaknesses that I would actually find my true successes. Have I arrived? No. But, I no longer battle every single moment of my day. Some of the greatest wisdom I have gained is that of being honest with myself about the areas where I struggle. Not denying my shortcomings and where I need help, but, realizing and trusting in His ability to strengthen me through them. Throughout my lifetime, I will need His help. I’ve learned this. When you learn to overcome, in Christ, you gain momentum, and confidence. You learn how to become an over-comer and you learn that you CANNOT have a lifetime of overcoming your struggles without His strength! 

So, for me the question is, why? The answer to that question is; because if I ever reached my place of completeness, I’d lose my need for an almighty God, in whom my flesh is so desperate for. Struggle keeps me humble. Struggles keep me needy. Without the need for my savior to help me through, I become my own savior, and thus nullify what Christ did for me on the cross. When He died that day, He did it for you, for me and for our struggles that will occur during our lifetime. He died for our struggles, and has given to us through His blood the ability to overcome, and trust in His strength. There will never be a day in which we are not in need of Him. The struggles help us to remember to abide in Him. Apart from Him we can do nothing that lasts, but in Him, we are more than conquerors and we can overcome, again and again. Not in our strength, but in His. Praise be to the God who delivers us from this body of death. Praise be to the God who gives us the strength to overcome!

If every you feel the struggle coming down on you, in any area, know this: You are not alone. There are many examples throughout the bible of those who struggled and yet overcame. Life, this real life, is full of people just like you and I who have struggled. Trust not in yourself, but in Him. He will never leave you, and He will be with you through every failure and every victory. You may not struggle with an eating disorder like I did, but wherever it is you are struggling, trust that He is there with you and will remain with you, until the end. Wherever that end may be. 

(Philippians 4:13-I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.)

Here’s a little “real life” from one of the greatest Christ followers, ever, the Apostle Paul. He lived in an earth-suit, and he knew the struggle.

(Romans 7:15-25-I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!)

(2 Corinthians 12:9-And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.)

If the Apostle Paul struggled and overcame, so can you and I!

You my friend, are an over-comer. You can do this. Whatever it is, you can do it. In his strength, you can overcome!

If you are struggling, reach out to an almighty God who is always available to help you through. 

You got this! 

In His strength.

Believe in Him who will give you the power to overcome. Again, and again. 

# 3 Remaining Positive.

How does one remain positive in a world of so many negatives?

 

I was going to go someplace very different with this post when I first typed in the title, but, since I started last night (the thoughts and the title) I have gone to service, served in the nursery, lead a bible study and watched a very thought provoking movie, which I believe was all directed by God’s Holy Spirit. So, I am going to switch gears just a bit.

I will stay inline with the topic, but, I’m taking it in a direction I didn’t think I would, initially.

This world, the things of this world, sometimes the people in this world, we can all be full of negative actions, thoughts and consequences. How can we remain positive in a society that is so overcome, and infiltrated with negativity?

Well, I for one, have learned that we need to redirect our focus. Although the world around us seems to be on a downward spiral toward our own doom, we can remain positive by changing how we view life, people, society, or anything for that matter. If we choose to focus on the negativity that surrounds us, then that will be all that we see.

If we try and view life through the lens’ of God’s eyes and attempt to view how He see’s things, our thoughts toward things can change. Negative situations may just be opportunities for us to shine the light of Christ. To cover others sins with forgiveness and love. To give hope to those who have lost hope. To point them in the direction of the one who changes lives, and how we can view our lives.

We are called to be salt and light. Matthew 5:13
[ Believers Are Salt and Light ] “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

It is our responsibility as believers to point people to Jesus. When we allow circumstances to dictate our optimism and our feelings, we are in direct opposition to our responsibility. Thus we show our emotions, and our feelings, and we take the light off of Him and we place it on us instead. That scripture doesn’t say, you are the salt of the earth when everything in your life is going good. It doesn’t say you are the salt of the Earth when you feel like it. It simply states “you are”. There are no conditions.

Regardless of what the world throws at us, we should remain optimistic. We cannot succumb to the temptation to throw out the Hope that comes from knowing God’s word, believing in it and trusting it as the final authority. To remain positive in the midst of contrary behaviors is an opportunity to point others to Christ.

I don’t know about you, but when I am surrounded by negative people, family, co-workers, or negative circumstances, its all too easy for me to let go of that hope and jump right on that wagon of despair. But, we can overcome these feelings with truth, the Truth that comes only through the word of our Lord Jesus.

Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Remaining positive is possible. It may not always be easy, but, it is possible.

Hebrews 10:35
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has a great reward.

Both of these scriptures end with a benefit. We shall “reap”, and have a “great reward”. Does that mean that everything will end the way we hope. Contrary. In the end, we will have remained true to Christ believing in His word, no matter what. We will be strong, and trust that ultimately, His plan is for us to become more like Christ. Things may never be perfect around us, but we do serve a perfect God who promises to always be with us, regardless of the negativity that is in the world.

Deuteronomy 31:8
And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

As He constantly told the Israelites, He too, will never leave us. He will be with us in the land of negativity.

Let us remain positive. And in those times when we feel as though we cannot, He will be our strength.

2 Corinthians 12:9
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

I cannot change a lot that goes on around me but I can change my attitude towards those things.

I want to remain positive, knowing that ultimately, all things will work together for my good and His glory. I want to be about His purpose.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

May we all go out and shine His light, regardless of where we are.

Hopeful42morrow

#2 Day 3

Today we had to research some superstars. What can we learn from the people who have blazed the trails before us? What can we learn from those who have stepped out of their comfort zone and accomplished their dreams?

Well, one thing I’ve found to be true, and no, it’s not rocket science, but I guess it’s just starting to sink in like never before. I think it’s grounding itself in my mind and being, now, because I never really believed I could do so much more than what I was doing. I always thought I had to just follow those who were great and mimic what they did. Never really becoming great myself, only a replica. The more I see this the more I know it to be false.

The one common thread that weaves all “greats” or predecessors together is that they were the firsts. Yes, they had people to look up to. They had their inspirations, motivators and people they wanted to be like, but they had to be first.

Today as we were driving home from work, I read a segment in Jon Acuff’s book, Stuff Christians Like, called “Confessing Safe Sins”. There were two sentences that caught my eye. “It’s so much harder to be first. Someone has to be first and think it has to be us.” This resonated in my mind and reaffirmed what I had been thinking about earlier.

Earlier in the day I had these thoughts. Why is it I have to be the positive one, all the time? Why is it that I have to be the encourager? Why is it that I can’t depend on certain people the same way that they depend on me? I don’t want to always be the one leading the parade of happiness. I want someone to encourage me.

So, these were my thoughts. The problem with these thoughts are numerous, yet their truth is simple. I have to be first. First to take a step. First to let go of fear. First to venture out and do something that maybe no one else has ever done. The first to see the glass half full rather than half empty.

Don’t get me wrong, we can learn, grow and gain wisdom and insight from those who have gone before us. But, somewhere, somehow, we have to take that step. We have to leave the land of familiar. We have to be the first to run, write, go back to school, and believe in ourselves. We have to take the first step. We have to encourage, even when we feel like we want someone to encourage us.

We all want to quote the great thinkers and motivators, but who’s to say that we too can’t create “deep thoughts” Who are we to limit and leave the awesomeness to only those who are already in the grave?

It’s time, STARTERS, that we believe we can have a great idea. It’s time we believe that we can write that book we’ve always wanted to write. It’s time we believe that we can be the father, mother, friend, leader, teacher, or speaker we’ve always dreamed of. We can do it. We can be the first.

Like Jon said, “Someone has to go first, and I think it should be us.”

I agree.

No one in my family has ever been first, but I am going to change those statistics. I will be the first to accomplish more than just the status quo. I will be the first to dream big. I will be the first to believe that I was created for a greater purpose. I will be the first to believe that I was made to be more than just average.

Not because I am anything awesome, but because I have the ability to be awesome and help others believe that they too can be awesome.

We can flip that switch from average to awesome, and thanks to a fellow “learner” and a newfound inspiration of mine, I am learning how to do so.

It’s time. Average is average. Awesome is awesome. Let us go out and be more than what we ever thought possible.

If all of those before us could conquer their fears and take the first steps to becoming awesome, then we can do it too!

We all have the ability to be awesome. Don’t be afraid to be first. Just do it!