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I love to tell the story!! Giving up? Not an option.

I can't believe January 2020 is now officially over!! After the excitement of any new year, especially a New Decade, winds down & we go back to normal fast-forward, my "year theme word,' (& its meaning) can quickly become out of focus & definitely out of mind. My theme for 2020 Vision is F.A.I.T.H.

Here's what I am holding myself accountable for as I live & love life to the fullest in this brand new decade (from my last post):

Focus on the important action steps to accomplish my real, purposeful goals Attentive to find the "BIGS" in the "littles" regardless of what may be happening Intentionality in that which will positively impact those in & beyond my spheres of influence

Trust not my own understanding, but seek wisdom with others

Have courage to show up with myself visible every day for connection As 2020 began, this self-promise was so very vivid / bold on my heart & I was confident I had this. I included the theme in my quiet time all throughout each day & I prayerfully asked The Lord to light the way for me through to not only deeper understanding, but also toward how my actions, etc., were getting off track, and most importantly, why. So what's my goal? I want to be a storyteller & educator who influences connection, leadership, inspiration, mentoring & building of self along with others. For this, F.A.I.T.H. is my overarching shield to my unique maximum potential performance in each of these.

I have, for me, the best profession & the best place to passionately serve graduate students & alumni at DBU every day. Was my path directly here, right from college, like I always just knew it? If you've read my previous posts, you already know that could not be further from reality. But what is definitely reality, I know the path had to wind & turn the way it has, or I would not be the one here; & I know, too, it has all been part of God's plan & in His timing, not mine. I can only say to that, thank you, Lord, for holding my right hand, & making this Your plan, & not granting me the one I had planned. I can't really separate the storyteller & the educator for they are intertwined & how I am wired, how I view all things. I admit sometimes to not seeing this as clearly as others. Generally, when I'm holding myself accountable for each of my theme components, I do the same kinda things, the same types of processes, no matter how, or where, I am engaged. Many times it starts with, "Lord, am I really seeing, hearing, touching, thinking, engaging, connecting, feeling, etc., etc.," & where do I fall short in F.A.I.T.H.? I have only to be patient for I know there will be an answer, not in my timing, but in His. A passion of mine is to tell stories of the strength & character of women of all ages through my own photography. I break that down further to mean those of whom I can capture images of & who are in arenas (literally), that were until recently, arenas dominated / inhabited only by men. While the actual performances are the ultimate goal, I'm drawn more to the behind the scenes work & arduous preparation that makes those performances possible. I have found women always to have been present, but typically behind the camera, rather than in front of it. For one, I'm incredibly glad to see, times, they are a changin'! A favorite place for me to grab my camera and go is the Fort Worth Will Rogers Coliseum. The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo comes this time of year & I always count the days until it all starts! I admit to a bunch of anxiety that this year, things would be different (& that it just wouldn't "feel" the same). While the Stock Show & midway were all in their familiar places, the actual Rodeo is now in the fabulous Dickie's Arena! Tickets sold at the old Box Office, yes. But the majority of tickets go for lots more money & sold online.

Hmmm...surely this means it's all big business now? Maybe the culture is no longer "as it used to be?" Would it mean I couldn't go in the barns to watch pre-performance preparation up close? Would I even be able to Uber there to get within walking distance?

You can hear it, right? All the reasons why I couldn't. None of the "this is how I can." Clearly, I was falling short of my theme goals already in at least 2, if not more, areas.

Then I heard the voice of my mentor for photography as she said, do you really want to be an artist? What is the story that you want to tell through your images? What is important to be seen through your lens? Take risks & be fearless. You've got this.

I got my keys, my camera & off I went. And I'm incredibly glad as it was an amazing 4 hours!

I loved her focus! Clearly, on a mission in pursuit of excellence.

Her look....we've all been's not all glamor, people.

This young woman! How hard she worked! She was just so tiny & yet there was no end to her energy & reach! Her mom told me she is too young to actually show anything, but they have a friend who will let her do everything, literally everything, short of going in to the arena so she can learn. I loved this. So many "things" all around to distract, yet she was focused on the tasks at hand.

This image is "on the road to the arena," & we've got this. I love the beauty of the animal who has been prepared to perfection, & the tenderness of the touch from the young woman who loved him.

I believe the top image speaks for itself. However, I've come to see that what I love about it & what I find in the culture while I'm behind the scenes at Will Rogers Coliseum, is a sense that giving up? Not an option.

So what are my own 3 takeaways?

1. Goals are achieved from the perspective of "how I can" do this instead of "why I can't."

2. There's not only 1 way to get anywhere, really. Instead search for "the way that can work for me."

3. Assess, adjust, repeat are essential filters to holding myself accountable for accomplishing anything worth doing.

Call to Action:

1. Take a look at your 2020 vision - how's it coming? On track, or need adjustment?

2. Do you have any negative self-talk standing in your way? If so, take action.

3. Share your comments & let's start a dialogue!

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