Please Make Mistakes

During violin lessons in college, my teacher would often say to me, “If you’re going to make a mistake, make a big one.” He did not want me to play wrong notes but he did want me to play with conviction and passion. He knew that people would never pay to hear a halfhearted violinist who made mistakes but they would pay for a great performance.


You may have heard people say, “Sing as though no one was listening.” Do not focus on what may go wrong because it will keep you from reaching higher. Things will go wrong, they always do. That is part of life. Just keep going and, when the inevitable glitch occurs, be ready for it. When overcoming fear of the unknown, preparation is crucial and the same holds true for a fear of failure. Be ready for those things which might go wrong. Have plans B, C, and D laid out ahead of time so that failure does not mean defeat, only a detour. Those around you who mocked your gumption will watch in amazement as you consistently move past stumbling blocks, both internal and external and make something great out of what you have.


Live with passion and courage and your missteps will be scarce and slight. Live with boldness and, when you stumble, brush it off and go again. In these turbulent days, the Lord needs us not to be afraid of failure but to embrace it and grow from it. Getting unstuck requires a little bit of faith and a whole lot of courage. Pack those with you and get on your way to making it happen.

Ode to Unfinished Projects

My life is full of unfinished projects. I am great at a lot of things. I can clean and organize and take care of my family like it’s nobody’s business. What I can’t do is get to my violin daily, take my violin studio to the next level, finish redecorating the family room, fully get my garden planted, finish the mending, work on my website and manuscript, yadda yadda yadda. The difference between the former group and the latter is that the latter tasks take perseverance and consistency. Oh, consistency, where art thou?


I am a superhero at starting projects. I have the drive and determination to get just about anything started, I just really struggle at seeing it through. I didn’t use to be like this. I practiced violin 6 hours a day on top of rehearsals, school work, recreation, and fitness. But now. . . .

I’ll tell you what happened. When projects get tough and really require tenacity and perseverance, I get overwhelmed and discouraged and “find” other things that need to be done. Oops! Can’t get to the garden, we have company coming and I need to clean. Ah oh! There’s more laundry to be folded so I have to skip website building. Darn it.

What I’ve learned from all of this is that I feel a lot better when I just buckle down and get one thing DONE. Finished. Completed. Check. Ta-da! It feels so good to be DONE with something. So, when the going get’s tough, from now on, I’m going to just keep going. Finish it. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Will you? 

Fake It Til' You Make It

Do you know someone who is happy all the time? Sure, we all put on happy faces at church or when we're out shopping. But I'm talking about people who radiate a peace and contentment that you know they really FEEL all the time. They travel through life's ups and downs and never seem flustered. There are just some people who were born with a cheery disposittion.

That is not me. My mind and emotions seem to naturally settle at grumpy and irritable. No lie. Ask my kids. Most days I have to consciously think about how I want to feel if I want that feeling to be good. If I remember, I will stop for a minute when I'm done with my workout in the basement, close my eyes and take a few deep breaths before going upstairs. I put a smile on my face and then start my interactions with others.

This weekend was really busy and we were all together alot. People were grumpy at times, I didn't get to finish my workout yesterday morning, and I ate horribly which all culminated in a bad start to Saturday morning. But as I quickly showered yesterday morning before running a daughter to a horse riding lesson, I thought, "I have a choice today. I can let the day define me or I can define what kind of day I'm going to have." I put a smile on my face and mindfully decided to live in "Happy Calm" all weekend.

Do you know what? I really did feel good all weekend. I stayed calm in the midst of chaos. I spoke kindly when my kids were fighting. I was patient. I took control and felt the Lord bless my efforts.

Sometimes that's all it takes. Sometimes, when we feel awful, we have to plaster a smile on our face and create the peace from the inside instead of relying on the outside to make us happy. Don't get me wrong, I've gone through the ups and downs of this before. It won't last forever but, each time, it seems to last a little longer. You have the same control. You hold the same power. The Lord wants you to be happy and He will bless your efforts to create a life you love. Now, go