Fight in the Shade

One of my favorite movies is 300.

 Maybe its the chiseled, airbrushed abs. Maybe its Gerard Butler. Maybe its just the story of true grit that really captures my attention. I also have a true soft spot in my heart for the word “Spartan” since I have ran a few Spartan Races in the US. All I do know is that there is one scene that struck me and inspired me to reprogram some of the negative thinking I have unfortunately adapted. 

The Persian emissary arrives to convince the Spartans to surrender and tells them, “When we attack today, our arrows will blot out the sun!” King Leonidas responds, without fear: “Good; then we will fight in the shade.”

Then we will fight in the shade.


What a mindset. Sometimes when life gets hard, I find myself wanting to crawl in my bed. Fully surrendered. Ok, life. You got me. I give up. I give into my depression. I give into my negative thoughts like, (dear Lord, bear with me) “you are too stupid” or “you are not good enough” or “you are not____” fill in the blank. Am I right? I feel we all have our breaking point to where we find ourselves less than motivated to keep going. We choose to sulk instead of pulling a Taylor Swift and “shake it off.” The words of others sometimes strike a chord within us because it directly lines up with the exact thoughts we have about ourselves. We attempt to run away, tail between our legs, and beg for the whole world to just take a minute while we pull ourselves together. 

Should we really allow ourselves to be defeated before we even let ourselves attempt to succeed? Although the Spartans knew they were fighting an uphill battle (literally and figuratively) they did not let their minds be convinced of anything but fighting the good fight. Take a look at David in the Bible. The all too well known story of a giant, Goliath, who was almost 10 feet tall was defeated by a little shepherd boy who literally took a one in a million chance. Without doubt. He kept going forward despite the odds. Despite all the mocking on the sidelines. Even from his enemy. Even though no one believed he could, he defeated a giant with one small stone and cut off his head (1 Samuel 16-17). David attributed his success because he had God on his side. A literal example of God showing the world that even the scariest of circumstances have no match for the person with true grit and a strong mind.

He will cover you and completely protect you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and wall. You will not be afraid of the terror of night, nor of the arrow that flies by day… 

-Psalm 91:4-5 (AMP)

When life seems to be against you, it does not mean you are somehow deserving of punishment. Everyone goes through trying times. Sometimes the hardest thing to do will be getting up and walking out the door. To whatever it is. A job you hate. A hearing. A funeral. A hospital. A family meeting. Whatever it may be. Whatever arrows may be flying at you. Continue forward each day. Do not let your circumstances define you. You will make it. Embrace the discomfort of growing a little character. Fight in the shade. It will save you money on sunscreen anyway. 

❤ A

A New Creation

home gardening young rucola
Photo by Kaboompics .com on

Beauty Among Ashes

About a year ago I discussed with a dear friend at work about forming a blog. We sifted through names and ideas and I set a goal to launch my blog at the beginning of the year. New year. New me.  Well here I am, at the end of 2018 FINALLY making my first post. FINALLY having the courage to type what has been so raw and so real to me.

When I prayed about my blog and how it could reach someone, the words “beauty among ashes” kept repeating in my mind. You see, I have come to a breaking point in my life. Several actually, within the last year, since I declared I would vulnerably share my story. All these breaking points, the shattering of me, like delicate glass hitting the counter have left me broken. Not the same. I cannot fill my cup with the things I used to be able to fill it with. As every time I tried, my poorly put together version of myself springs a leak. Broken. Shattered. Parts of me were so broken that the remnants are simply dust. Dust and ashes. You cannot glue that back together.

As I have reached the very end of myself, to the point where I sorrowfully prayed for hours, on a tear soaked pillow, God has shown me through His words and the encouraging words of others: “I am the Potter”. Yes, this dust I find myself grasping only to see it slipping through my fingers is the very thing that God wanted for my life. I am currently reading Lysa TerKeurst’s new book: “It’s Not Supposed to be This Way” and I love her analogy that God utilizes that dust to form clay.  From that clay, He can mold us into the very thing that He wants: in His likeness. If I just let Jesus take that dust, He can make clay of my life. Just like He spit in the sand and put his self-made mud (yeah, kinda nasty, I know) on the blind mans eyes so he could see, Jesus is doing that to my life. To YOUR life. Beautiful brush springs up from the very places fire destroyed. The ash that resulted from a very powerful element acts as a fertilizer to bring new life. To start over.

So, for this very first blog post. I hope all of you, whoever you are out there, join this journey of life with me. I hope I can encourage you in your broken places. I hope that my story and sadness reach your heart so that, you too, may rise and embrace the beauty among the ashes.

❤ A