The Magic of Mornings

I’ve been waking up at 5:00 am for a while now. I get up, have my coffee, and in the last week, shuffle out the door to the gym. Am I crazy? Possibly.

But.

I love my 5:00 am coffee. I love being awake when all the world is seemingly quiet, when my problems aren’t so big, and when I can rest in the surety that a good life is ahead of me. My thoughts are crystal clear. My faith is at its strongest. I’m confident in my abilities and in the relationships I have with those I hold most dear.

I’m a fan of the magic of mornings.

I like holding myself accountable to a routine that is good for the soul. I like getting on the elliptical or treadmill and listening to a podcast by Joel Osteen or an audiobook of my favorite series. I like making my muscles work and walking out of the gym into the dawn of the day knowing that I did something that, literally, shapes my life for the better.

I love that by the time 8:30 am rolls around, when I’ve showered and had my oatmeal, that I’ve done one of the most important things that any of us can do for ourselves: self-care. Without it, I’m not my best self. And that effects more than me. It effects everyone I run into during the day, but most importantly, it effects the ones I love the most – the ones who deserve my best smile, my best energy, and my best love.

That’s why I love the magic of mornings. The physical, mental, and emotional clarity is unparalleled to anything else I do. If you don’t believe me, give it a try. Give yourself the space to be the best you that you can be. And when your life starts changing for the better, don’t forget to tell me. ☺️

My Anchor

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

It wasn’t that long ago when hope seemed like a far-fetched dream. All I could see were closed doors and disappointments. My mind fought with my faith, and my heart got lost somewhere in the shuffle.

Someone once told me that all a person needs is someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. I was missing all three.

Since the summer began, my life has been in an overhaul of rethinking plans and putting everything back into the hands of the God I believe in so that hope could shine back into my days and steer me forward. And let me tell you that life can have some pretty beautiful surprises in store when you start believing in hope.

Your life may not be perfect but it can be filled with a peace that surpasses understanding. And there’s never been a better day than today to give hope a try. I promise you that there are blessings waiting to be found. So, go out and find them.

Xoxo,

Tasha Lynn

Have a little faith

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I have faith. It should also be of no surprise that I sometimes wonder where having faith has gotten me. Now, before my agnostic friends cheer, my religious friends judge, and my atheistic friends roll their eyes, let me be clear: having faith doesn’t mean not ever having questions. I would even argue that an authentic faith requires an ability to question and step into the unknown where the answers to our questions reside. Hebrews 11:1 says that,

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I always thought that was a cheesy little verse to make us be okay with our answerless days – a fake-it-til-you-make-it kind of thing.

Until today when I started wondering…

If faith is the evidence of things not seen then what is it that we are not seeing that is giving us faith? It almost sounds like an oxymoron. How can nothing give us faith?

The substance of things hoped for.

Let me be a grammar nerd for a moment: “substance” comes from the Middle English and Old French derivative of the Latin verb substare, meaning to “stand firm.” So, what is our faith standing firm on?

Things hoped for.

What does hope mean? Wanting something to happen. And if we go far enough back in the history of language, we’ll find that “hope” has Old English, Dutch and Germanic roots making it a verb and a noun. Meaning that this evidence of nothing that gives us faith is “standing firm” in a verb (action) and a noun (person, place, or thing).

What is my point? If you’re having a bad day or all your questions are unanswered then… what are you hoping for? What or who are you hoping in? What will it take to make that hope come alive? To make that nothing become something?

One thing I know is this: one of the best cures for everything I don’t understand is to sit back and reflect on what it is that I really want, what it will take to get there, and having enough faith to give it a try. Because faith, after all, is believing in something and then doing something about it.

It is my hope that all my questions bring me back to a faith that is okay with not having all the answers. As long as hope survives what I can’t see today then I’ll have the courage to stand firm and keep trying tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

May you always keep the faith. May you always keep hoping. And may you always believe.

xoxo,

Tasha Lynn

Get On With It

Life is hard. It can zap the heart right out of you. In an instant, we can find ourselves stumbling through the day dazed and confused and misunderstood. We can find ourselves heartbroken and longing for home. Or frustrated, and desiring to go anywhere so long as no one knows our name. A fresh start. A new beginning. Some of us are even wishing for a rewind. I get it. I’ve been there. Hell, I am there now. It’s easy to get caught up in an avalanche of thoughts, when the punches of life leave us wondering where it all went wrong. If there’s one thing I’ve learned to do when circumstances seem unbearable, it’s this…

Get on with it.

Get on with living. Get up, kick off the dust, and keep moving. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling sorry for yourself. Do you have any idea what you’re missing out on when you get stuck in your bad day or worse, when you get stuck in your bad life? I’m not denying anyone’s struggle. The struggle is real. But, it doesn’t have to be permanent, and it doesn’t have to steal our joy.

I don’t care that it’s easier said than done.

I’ve had to pull myself up out of the pits more times than I can count. Like the time that everything I ever hoped for had shattered at my feet. Or, when three close relatives died within six months of each other, and I no longer knew how to breathe. Let’s not forget the romantic, and even platonic, relationships that left me believing that being alone is better than the revolving door of people who disappoint. But, I do know that I’m not alone in feeling this way…

And so, we’ve got to take our crestfallen hearts and move on.

One day at a time. One hour. One minute. One second. Put one foot in front of the other, and get out the door, and get on with this business of living. When your heart is broken and things didn’t turn out like you thought they would – that’s when it’s most important to stitch yourself back together and remember what makes you… you.

Call an old friend, meet up for dinner, and laugh. Ask that guy or that girl out on a date. Watch your favorite movie. Read your favorite book. Go for a hike in the mountains or a swim in the sea. Figure out why you love the things that you love so much.

And, get on with it.

Get on with living. Get on with loving. Get on with moving forward. I don’t care what’s happened in the last ten years. Okay, maybe I do. But, I care about what will happen in the next ten, or the next fifty, a whole lot more. So, get on with it. Whether it works out, or it doesn’t, at least you’ve tried. Because someday, one of those “tries” will work out, and when it does, you’ll be glad you kept failing forward.

xoxo,

Tasha Lynn

From these dead doubts

But Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope.

Is there anything more relatable in literature? Not for me, there isn’t. Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is one of the greats. Every time I’ve read it that quote resonates deep within me. He goes on to stay that,

Me thinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death. Me thinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. Me thinks that in looking at things spiritual, we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water, and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air. Me thinks my body is but the lees of my better being. In fact take my body who will, take it I say, it is not me…

I think it is profound to suggest that in the darkest moments of life, when even my faith seems dead that it is there, at the end of myself, that I find my strength.

After all, there are blessings in disguise when hope is lost.

Is that cliche? Of course. But, that doesn’t make it untrue. Every time something crazy, traumatic, and unforeseen has occurred in my life, good has always found its way to the fore front. Hope has always risen from the ashes to remind me that better days follow bad ones.

Perhaps that is why Melville’s writing resonates in my soul. He captured in words what I have never been able to express: that when faith in a good life fails me, when bleakness seems guaranteed to be on the horizon, it is then that I find that everything I need is already inside of me. My questions cease, and I can see beyond whatever it is that I’m going through.

From these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope…

May you always put your doubts to rest and trust in a bright future.

xoxo,

Tasha Lynn

Thankful: Thirty Days Without Social Media

Society makes plenty of room for social media and not enough room for the tangible presence of those we love most. While we are busy scrolling feeds, checking likes, and counting followers, we  rarely connect with the faces we glance passed every day.

For my own part, I was addicted to social media. My head was buried in a screen instead of taking in the world around me. Worse yet were the not-so-subtle comparisons from my hot-mess-of-a-life to the perfectly crafted status updates of friends, family, and people who had become all but complete strangers.

Something had to change.

And so, I quit social media. Cold turkey. No warning. No attention grabbing shouts from my keyboard. No more FaceBook. No more Instagram. No more Snapchat.

That’s when the magic happened.

That’s when the dull, dim light of a cell phone turned into a splash of life that I could taste, and touch, and see. For thirty days, I disconnected from the internet. By doing so, I discovered a joy that had been missing from my life.

Social media has become ingrained in our society. There’s no denying it. So, what was it like to disengage?

It was freedom.

Freedom from falling asleep reading messages. Freedom from waking up reading feeds. Freedom from the constant call to always be available. Freedom from wishing my existence was more than it was, and in turn, appreciating it for what it is.

It was gratitude.

Gratitude for every day that I wake up with the chance to start over, do better, and be better. Gratitude for good times and for laughter. Gratitude for bad times and for when I’ve fallen on my face unable to stop the tears. And, gratitude for the faith that sustains me.

Most of all, it was participating in this crazy thing called the human experience. 

It was falling in love with life, all over again. It was making phone calls, and coffee dates, and dreams a reality. There was time for reading books, dancing silly, and saying “hi” to the passersby at a local park. It was breathing in the air around me to remind me to breathe out the love within me.

It seems ironic to return to social media with a post about how wonderful it was to live without it… I’m not saying to abandon it. There is good to it, after all. For someone like me, with friends and family who live far away, it is an avenue to keep communication alive.

Maybe this go around, if I’m lucky, if we are all lucky, we can remember to look up from our scrolls and be reminded of the tangible side of existence. In the end, it’s the things we can touch and see and taste that remind us how beautiful it is to keep in touch.

xoxo,

Tasha Lynn

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