Can you believe it?! It’s been one whole year since YHVH had me start Voice in the Desert! In all the business and craziness of life I completely forgot! Plus I’m really bad at remembering birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Buuuut, once I did remember, I began to reflect on this past year of Voice in the Desert. I feel like I’ve learned, or at least reaffirmed, so many things about myself through this whole experience. For instance…
1. I really, truly am a procrastinator.
I will wait till the absolute last minute to get things done. For some reason I’ve always worked best under a little bit of pressure. I always earned good grades in school but I found that I usually did my best work the closer I got to my deadline. And doing Voice in the Desert was no different! I find that I am most motivated to write as deadlines approach instead of trying to prep for something a month beforehand.
One thing that usually helps me get my rear in gear is COFFEE! That’s my sub-bullet for #1: I. Love. Coffee. Einstein’s coffee is my absolute favorite coffee in the entire world! I have been going there so often that the lady at the counter has gotten to know me pretty well. And sometimes, when I come in looking desperately crazed and in need of a caffeine buzz, she is nice enough to give me free coffee…but I think it’s more self-preservation and pity than being nice. Either way, I’ll take it!
2. I really hate social media.
It’s true. Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, and don’t even get me started on Twitter. I haven’t entered that world yet and probably couldn’t figure it out even if I did! Social media is great for spreading the word and getting a message out “there” to the world in record time, but it’s also very time consuming. It requires so much effort to always be posting and thinking of just the right thing to say…because no one has ever said anything stupid on social media before.
3. I really enjoy writing.
In college I double majored in Psychology and English and have always known that I wanted to write. By doing Voice in the Desert, I’ve been able to re-discover my love of writing. Yay!
4. I LOVE talking!
As much as I love writing, I LOVE talking even more! For several months I was able to be on the radio once a week sharing my opinions on politics, currents events and religion. It was a talker’s dream! I could talk for an hour straight, uninterrupted, about anything I wanted! I loved it! I stopped hosting the radio show a few months ago but I’m hoping to start producing my own podcasts of Voice in the Desert snippets…if I can ever figure out how to master that kind of technology!
5. I am *really* bad with technology.
And I mean really bad. Although, I will say that I’ve kind of had to get better because of Voice in the Desert. I’ve had to learn how to edit text code, design and create my own pictures, and editing audio clips. But there’s always room for improvement.
I say this pretty often and it really is true: technology and I have a love-hate relationship. Sometimes it’s just a flat out hate-hate relationship. I have the uncanny ability to break pretty much any piece of technology just by simply looking at it! It’s pretty insane. It’s like a superpower in reverse. I amaze my co-workers at my ability to break things in record speeds. When it came to starting the blog, I found myself asking my brother-in-law for help so many times I’m not sure who talked to him more, my sister or me! Thanks for all your help in getting me started bro!
6. It’s really hard being completely honest with people
I didn’t realize how hard it would be to be completely honest with the world wide web. It’s difficult to bare your soul and open up parts of your life that you can typically keep private. In the world of a blogger, you don’t always get this luxury. Of course, you don’t have to share everything…boundaries in any relationship are a beautiful thing. But if you’re going to be honest with people and allow them to hopefully learn from your experiences, you kind of have to share what those experiences are. And it’s not always easy to share these intimate and personal moments. Sometimes it’s embarrassing and awkward and uncomfortable to share my thoughts. You never know how people will take it or what comments they will make…or worse yet, that people won’t even care about what I have to say. It’s difficult to put yourself out there in that way. Which leads me to #7.
7. I’ve felt inadequate more times than I can count.
Doing Voice in the Desert has brought me some really great moments of feeling pride, accomplishment, purpose, and just a generally happy feeling. But it has also made me feel inadequate more times than I can count. I worry that people won’t like what I write. Or that no one will care enough to read. Or that people will have mean, nasty things to say about what I write. Or that I’m not a good writer. Or that I’m not posting enough on social media. Or that I don’t get the news out to people quick enough. Or that I’m properly informing people. Or that my opinions on politics or current events are wrong. And the list goes on and on and on…
One of my biggest worries is that I’m not writing in a way that engages people. That it’s too boring or flat. If you ever sit down and have a conversation with me, you’ll quickly see that I am sarcastic and maybe sometimes a little rude (depending on who you talk to). But when I’m writing, I sometimes have a hard time being the “real me.” And that worries me. I’m so used to writing for professors and grades that I worry that my writing voice is not as “real” and “raw” as it could be. But I’m working on it…so be ready.
8. I’m blunt.
People who know me know that I can be quite blunt and opinionated, but I think since I started doing Voice in the Desert it’s gotten worse. Sometimes I feel like I should just wear a BIG button with every single outfit warning people that “I’m a horrible person.” That way they can’t be mad or surprised when I say something that others consider rude; which happens a little bit more often than I care to admit. Personally, I don’t think some of the things I say are rude…I just don’t see it. I think I just have incredibly nice friends. I have one friend in particular who I am convinced is a SAINT (or whatever the Jewish equivalent to a saint is). She would have to be to put up with me! Seriously, she would give Mother Theresa a run for her money. I think the only reason Mother Theresa would win in a contest between the two is because she’s older and has had more time to do good things. So basically, if Mother Theresa wasn’t a cheater, my friend would definitely win!
In all honesty, I am a really nice person…I just have a lot of opinions and I like to just get to the point. Plus, I think people are WAY too sensitive these days. They are so easily offended. But this isn’t a bakery…I don’t sugar-coat things. I will say that one thing I try to never do is say things about someone personally or something that would truly hurt someone’s feelings. That’s crossing the line in my book. But, if you want the honest truth, I’m your gal. Sometimes you just gotta say “the baby’s ugly.”
9. I am more courageous than I knew.
It takes guts to stand up and speak the truth. It’s not always easy to speak the truth and go against the grain. There are days when I feel tired and want to throw in the towel. It gets hard to be the one who always looks crazy in conversations because I’m the only one who believes this way while there are 3 or 4 others who think the same way, so naturally I must be the crazy one. The truth isn’t always the popular thing to say, or the easy thing to say, or even the politically correct thing to say. But I’d rather speak the truth and reach the people who are desperately seeking Him than to give a cookie-cutter, feel-good, lets-all-just-hug-and-get-along message that is shallower than a New Mexican rain puddle and is just as useless. But I suppose that in the end, it’s worth it.
10. It’s ok to not be ok.
It’s ok to not be perfect or get things right all the time. I don’t always write perfectly. I split my infinitives and end sentences in prepositions. But I’m learning to give myself a break. Part of my goal with Voice in the Desert is to be real and honest with people. So sometimes I write as if I am sitting and having a conversation with someone. The results are split infinitives and sentences ending in prepositions. Deal. With. It.
But even in the bigger things in life, I’m learning to give myself a break and not be so hard on myself. I’m still learning that there is more than one way to crack an egg. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a plan. I knew what I would be doing and what my life would look like. But I’ve had to learn to let go and let God. I’ve learned to open my hands to God and let Him lead me where He wants me to go. That means that all the plans I have made for my life have “fallen apart” and new plans, better plans…scarier plans…have taken their place. And that’s ok. It’s not always easy and most of the time I have no idea where I’m going. But I take comfort in the fact that He does. There are just some days when you feel like you just can’t get it right. And then I remember that the pen is in His hands. And even though my hands are empty, my heart is full.
11. I’m excited for the next season of Voice in the Desert!
I don’t do too well without a plan or an end-goal in mind, so this one is particularly huge for me. When I started Voice in the Desert a year ago, I had no idea how long it would last or how it would turn out. One year later I still have no idea how long it will last or how it will turn out! But I’m excited for the adventure and I’m humbled that YHVH considered me for the job! Let’s see how far He will take this!
12. I have THE best bunch of family and friends behind me!
This is by far the most important thing I have discovered in this year-long adventure. Ok ok, I already knew I had the best family and friends a person could ask for, but this year has really confirmed that for me. Not every family member or friend agrees with me 100% of the time…even though I’m always right. But during this past year, despite our differences, they have supported me and cheered me on as I have answered YHVH’s call.
The beginning of this season was a little scary and I had no idea what I was doing. I remember the first night I went on the radio. I was a nervous wreck. But my mother and sister and grandmother and friends and church people made it easier because I knew they were rooting for me. I’ve had friends be guests on my show and come down to the studio just to sit with me while I do the show so I don’t feel completely crazy talking to myself. There are those who will proof –read my article before I publish them and would go through my radio notes with me telling me what to cut and what to keep, even though I did more keeping than cutting. And even though I’m still learning, I know that I have my family and friends who will stick by and support me no matter what.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. I’ve seen so many others who don’t have the unconditional love and support from family and friends like I do so I know that I am completely blessed by the people in my life. We don’t always agree, but we always love and encourage. For all your love and support, I am truly thankful and could not have done this without you. I am blessed beyond measure because you are in my life.
And to all the readers and listeners, THANK YOU! I could not have made it one year without you all! For every “like” and “share,” every comment, and email, thank you. Your words of encouragement have always been like water in the desert. You have no idea what they mean to me and what they do to uplift me.
13. YHVH is in control.
He’s the One running the show. I’m just the big, loud, blunt, sometimes-unintentionally-rude Voice in the Desert. To YHVH be the glory!