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My 2018 Word of the Year | Courage

Hello, 2018!!! I feel like this is going to be a great year! Each January, I decide on a “word of intent” for the year. My word of the year for 2018 is COURAGE.

After much thought and prayer, I’ve realized that fear is holding me back in several areas of my life. There are too many areas where I lack courage. Often, it’s fear of failure. Sometimes it’s fear of success. At other times, it’s just simply being afraid of the unknown.

This is not a effective way to live a life that’s productive. I believe in living intentionally and making my days matter. And God does, too. Over and over in the Bible, people are told to be strong and courageous. To be brave and and act with courage.

I want to be brave in so many aspects of my life.

I want to have the courage to be honest with myself. This includes regular self-evaluations and digging deep–no matter what may be uncovered. It means being willing to face up to who I am and what’s going on in my soul. It means having the courage to let God purge things, teach me, and work through difficult things so that I come out better on the other side.

In addition, I want to be brave enough to go where God leads me. That can be scary, but I want to trust Him enough to step out in faith….even when the outcome is unsure.

On the flip side, I want to have the courage to step away from things that God does NOT want we to do. And they could be good things in and of themselves…..just not for me. I’ve come to realize that if it’s NOT God’s will for my life, then I don’t want it! My I have the courage to actually live that out day by day.

I also want to have creative courage. In fact, creativity itself takes courage. I seek to be brave enough to forget about what everyone else is doing in photography and do ME. To listen to my voice. To let my work be an extension of me. To not worry so much about what other people think.

I also want to be strong enough and courageous to live openly about my faith. I know some will scoff and reject. Others will just roll their eyes. A few may be outwardly critical. But God is everything to me. And I have to be honest about that.

starting off 2018 with courage

Yesterday was New Year’s Day. DAY 1/365 if you like to count things.

I made the conscious decision to do some studio photography. I’ve done a little in the past, but I’ve never put a lot of time into it. It’s not that I don’t have the equipment, because I do.  I even have a couple of backdrops that I hand-painted this past summer.

What was holding me back?

Fear.

What if things didn’t go well?

What if I couldn’t get the posing just right?

What if I didn’t like the results?

What if it was just a straight-up FAILURE?

“When I lost all my excuses, I found my results.” Truth.

the outcome

I faced my fears yesterday. I did the studio session. (Gracie was a semi-reluctant model.) And I LOVE the results!

Here are a few of my favorites.

Jacksonville studio photographerimage to pinterestJacksonville studio photographerimage to pinterest

 

Success breeds success.

And, you know what? Because I faced my fears and found success, I’ll be more likely to choose courage next time.

Failure will eventually come, but it’s one of the best teachers. If I fail and learn, it’s still ultimately a WIN.

I’m looking forward to 2018 being a year of COURAGE.

How about you? Do you have a word of intent for 2018? I’d love to hear about it!

My word of intent for last year was explore.

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