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Category Archives: inspiration

Life is Like a Cup of Coffee

This may fit better with Wise Words Wednesday, but it is Fun Friday where anything can happen!

I sit here in a local coffee shop with the Oklahoma sky raining once again outside. I’m being productive today: making phone calls, scheduling, planning, and getting work done. Then I take a moment to peruse youtube for some motivation when I found this very fitting video.

Life is like a cup of coffee….

Please check it out before you read past this line.

I have recently graduated college, and I’m looking for the kind of life I want to live. There is pressure on getting a good job, there is pressure of making good money, and there is pressure to make an ideal life for myself.

However, I don’t want to forget how to live a good life and enjoy it. I don’t want to become self-focused, especially to the point that I forget those around me, I forget to enjoy the small moments, or that I forget the most important mission of my life: to love God and bring glory to Him.

I will enjoy the coffee despite the cup it is from.

Will you?

-Steph 🙂

P.S. I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you got from the video.

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Broken Vessels

IMG_3349For Wise Words Wednesday, I am glad to introduce my first guest blogger, Brandi Schneider.

Brandi is an incredible person whom I have known for more than ten years now. I know that I can always look to her for an excellent conversation, advice, or real talk. Even if her words rub someone the wrong way, she is always blunt and honest in a way that comes from a truly caring heart.

She works for a nonprofit organization called “Project Semicolon”, and she is a part of the Paradigm Shift and 20 Camp teams. I appreciate Brandi for all that she does, for what a great friend she is, and for her openness in all her blog posts. I hope you enjoy these wise words from her:

We are broken people. We live in a broken world with other broken people and we have a nasty habit of breaking others. Broken things need to be fixed. But not on our own. No no. Our habit for breaking others should be indicator enough that we aren’t in the business of repairs.

But I want so desperately to be in the business of repairs. I try to be. Sometimes I succeed. Oftentimes I fail.

I wonder what, if any, good can come from my brokenness. So much so that I convince myself that nothing good can come from it. So in the frenzy of trying to fix myself, I break others along the way. I don’t mean to. Sometimes I’m not even aware of it.

But as I prepare to lead worship tonight, the lyrics begin to wash over me. “Take this heart Lord, I’ll be your vessel. The world to see your life in me.”

This song is about brokenness. And the grace that is found in and through it.

My brokenness is beautiful to Him.
Your brokenness. It’s beautiful.

We can’t fix our brokenness. And I’m not sure that should be our goal anymore.

The more and more I recall the broken moments of my life, the more I realize that there was such beauty found within them. Like a diamond waiting in the rough. The brokenness created something so beautiful.

Let Him take your brokenness. Let Him refine it, press it, then make it beautiful.

Stop trying to repair something that the Father desires to mold into something beautiful. Stop breaking people along the way. And stop trying to fix them before they’ve found their beauty.

The sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

I pray that you have found some kind of hope intertwined through my words. I hope you close this feeling refreshed and encouraged.

I would love to connect with you, so feel free to check me out over at ohhaiiitsbrandii.wordpress.com or at projectsemicolon.com/brandi-schneider

Until next time,
Brandi

Stories of a Solo Traveler

This last weekend I got to go on an adveimage(2)nture all on my own. Now, I’ve traveled on my own before–really only road trips, but on a plane to Chicago, being all on my own became distinctly real.

Like every trip I’veimage(3) been on, I started instagramming my adventure. That is when I came up with the hashtag: #solotraveler. My mind was racing; this could be really fun! Tips and stories of traveling solo. I don’t do it often; in fact, I very much prefer the company of others being the extravert that I am. Yet, there is something about being on one’s own that can be empowering with the sense of independence and adventure.

Anyways, here are my first few tips based on my solo trip to Chicago:

  • Don’t be afraid to travel solo, just be wise about it. Preplan, be confident, and avoid dangerous situations. For example, I got to my hotel right before sunset to avoid being on my own walking the streets of Chicago at night.
  • Headphones are always handy-plane rides, bus rides, talking on the phone while looking at google maps, and fitting in (often times in big cities, such as New York City and Chicago, locals alone have headphones in.
  • Never forget gum when flying. My ears have suffered :/
  • Never be afraid to chat with your seat buddy on a plane because you could always make a new friend. If it doesn’t go well, resort to headphones.
  • Research great apps for your trip. They can save you money, save you time, and overall make your trip smoother. For example, the app “citymapper” made traveling around Chicago such a breeze to the point that I got asked for directions.
  • Lighten the luggage is smart. I was only on a two day and one night trip, so I managed to get all my stuff and the workshop in one backpack. It helped when I couldn’t check into my hotel for hours after landing in Chicago, and gave me the chance to I explore the city with just my backpack.
  • Invest in a good backpack. It is helpful to only be responsible for a backpack, so you might as well get one that lasts for a long time. Also, a backpack can also help one fit in. I got asked for directions by someone because I looked like a local university student. Made my day 🙂
  • Be wise on what you pack. The minimum if you can. I try to stick to carry on only when flying, and for a woman, that is hard. An excellent tip I’ve received is stick to one color scheme. I focus on a neutral–black or brown–and work around that (expect a packing post eventually 😉 )

That’s all for now. Do you have any traveling tips or stories???

-Steph 🙂

Teamwork in Theatre

Alright, in case I haven’t told you…I LOVE theatre. I love it for so many reasons, but one of the top reasons is the teamwork required in theatre. It is true. A theatre company is a team. It is a family. Sure, it can be a dramatic crazy messed up family at times, but still a fantastic team. 

You see, I’ve had the chance over the years to be a part of many productions and one incredible theatre company. Every time, it amazes me how all these different types of people can work together to create something wonderful. And seriously, it takes every single role to put on a production well.

Let’s analyze the team, shall we?

  • Actors-memorizing lines and blocking, attending countless rehearsals, and responsible for bringing characters alive.
  • Directors-responsible for a vision for the production, guiding actors through the script,
  • Stage manager-managing everyone during a show: actors, running crew, all the cues
  • Design team- Set designer, Light designer, Costume designer, Props designer, Sound designer.
  • Work crew- those who assist in building or creating what the designers have designed.
  • Running crew- those who help back stage during a show: stage hands, sound operator, light board operator, etc.
  • Front of house- ushers, house manager, and box office.

And often, people have to fill multiple roles. An actor could also be assisting with building the set, or a costume designer may be running the box office. People come together because they are passionate about the art of theatre just like how any IMG_4821team is passionate about their sport or an a cappella group about their music. Every role is so essential. Without one person or a person not fully playing their part, the whole system could falter. Got a light person who isn’t paying attention, cues could be missed. Got a lazy actor who misses his cue to come on stage, you may end up with an awkward situation on stage. Every role relies on the others. An actor relies on another actor to say their lines on time, on the stage manager to call the right cues, on the usher to get the audience seated in an orderly fashion so no one is a disruption to the show.

I have also seen a theatre team come together in crisis:

  • An actor dropped out. Alright, put in the understudy and help them get caught up.
  • The set isn’t finished. Everyone–director, actors, crew, designers–comes in one day and works for hours to get everything finished.
  • Something broke. Alright, who can fix it? What do we need to do?
  • The lights are not working before a show is about to start or a group is late so the show is delayed. With a children audience at that! Actors improve entertainment during the delay.

Excellent team members in theatre, from my experience, tend to go above and beyond their role or duty.

A theatre company is also a supportive team. The world/career of theatre is a competitive one. However, I have still found that in a theatre company there is always support, advice, and encouragement. They support your success inside the theatre company and outside of it. They support the theatre aspects of your life and others. 10675616_897538056924280_8769389562425829333_nI’ve had a theatre company promote my fundraisers for missions, celebrate my accomplishments in college and in life, and encourage/support my decisions.

Bottom line, most important teamwork lessons I’ve learned in theatre:

  • Every role is essential. So play your role and encourage/appreciate others.
  • Know when to lead and when to take direction.
  • Always be prepared to help even in areas that are not your role.
  • A positive attitude can go a long ways 🙂
  • Remember to focus on success for the whole team/production.
  • It is incredible what a team can do, create, and accomplish when they share the same passion and different strengths.

I love theatre! I love the theatre company I got the opportunity to be a part of. I am so thankful for that team, that family–for their support and for how they have helped me become both a better team-player and leader.

-Steph 🙂

P.S. Have you learned anything from theatre? What organization, club, or situation has taught you the most about teamwork?