The Struggle To Start

‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ (Lao Tzu)
but ‘for some of us one mile is harder to walk then 30’( Francine Rivers).


For as long as I can remember I’ve dared to dream.
This beautiful difficult world we live in and life we live,
has always left me mesmerized at the possibilities of what could be.


But the notion of actually starting, has always paralyzed me.


In large part I suppose is due to what  today’s society calls “FOMO” ( fear of missing out).
I wasn’t surprised at all when I read similarly a statistic that stated
procrastination isn’t just because the person doesn’t want to do something,
but rather because the person is experiencing stress
and thus distracts himself to alleviate the stress.


Instead of deciding what to order at the restaurant for example- the stress of ordering the wrong thing,missing out on something better,someone else ordering something better, wasting your money on something you don’t like or could have made at home- leads to the procrastination instead of making a decision and acting on it.


Small ridiculous parallel? Absolutely.
But relatable? 100%


For as long as I can remember fear of missing out on something better, messing up, someone else being better, or failing miserably, has stopped me from even trying.


“What if I fall, oh but darling what if you fly” – Erin Hanson


“ Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” – Babe Ruth


“ Do not only be hearers of the word but doers of the word”James 1:22


“ You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”  Wayne Gretzky


These quotes all have the potential to get you to change your life,
to cut the excuses and take action,
to get started giving you that swift kick you need,
to stop talking about it, and start doing it.
Or they can just remain the inspirational words that they are,
and nothing more.


The past 2 and a half years for me has been an immense internal struggle with these things.


S  T  R  U  G  G  L  I  N  G .      T  O .        S  T  A  R  T .       


Due to fear of missing out,


not knowing where/how to start,


Comparison,


or fear of messing up aka failing.


A constant internal struggle between


every reason why I shouldn’t
VERSUS.
every reason why I should !


Among the deepest struggle, has been the strongest conviction.
The sweetest, most consistent voice whispering.


It’s Jesus, saying,


“Sweet Thressa do NOT waste those talents


cut the crap


Get to getting


I gave them to you for a reason”


I write this because it’s relevant.


I write this because it has the potential to be long lasting if you allow it to be.


May it take you far quicker to learn this major life lesson, than it’s taken me.


Wallow not in the pit of having already wasted so much time,
for “regret for wasted time is only more wasted time”


If you should’ve started sooner,
start today,
today will eventually be sooner.


“Oh but it will take so much time and commitment “
Yes. Yes it will,
but it will be well worth it.
And News flash, whether you choose to pursue it or not,
the time will pass anyway.


“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.

The time will pass anyway.”- Earl Nightingale

You can read this.


Agree.


Be moved
Be inspired.


Tell a friend about that one time something you read that was so on point…


then go back to your life


and your excuses


the moment you finish reading this blog post
for whatever distraction takes precedence.


That’s your decision.
The action you chose,
was to not act.
The action you chose was to distract


This lesson has taken the longest amount of time for me to learn,
BUT it is also among the most valuable of lessons I’ve learned and am still practicing.


I’m still learning it.
I’m still actualizing it.


With every blog post I write,
every picture I choose to take even though there are thousands of others,
every time I give a shot to that new activity that I’ve been yearning to try,
every moment that I continue to choose to add words on this page,
I am learning.
I am focusing.
I am practicing.
I am disciplining.
Yes.
Disciplining
because I’ve learned that
dreaming demands discipline.


To say no to comparison every time it comes bombarding its way into your mind.
To say no to the fear of failure or fear of missing out or fear of messing up every time
because we may fall and fall and fall but
a) God catches us EVERY time we fall,
{woop woop what’s better than falling into his loving safe powerful reassuring empowering arms EVERY time }
b) when you don’t fall you FLY


I urge you to not think or say things like “maybe some day” or “one of these days”
I’ve been there TOO long eagerly waiting for the day
that I’ll just wake up and decide to go full throttle.


Let me tell you something,the only days I go full throttle, are the days I choose to.


Not when I’m fearless.
Not when I feel like it.
Not when I’m creative.
Not when I’m ready.
Not when the perfect opportunity presents itself.


You start when you choose to, period.


It’s as simple and challenging as that.


My mom has often said to me “voce e somente 8 ou 80”,
which is a Brazilian saying that conveys the message “you’re either all in or not at all”.


I wanna be all in, everyday.
Dreaming demands discipline.
I wanna make that day today.
I wanna try new things, and get better at the things
that I’ve placed on the backburner and have made excuses for, for far too long.
I wanna live not wondering what if or too bad.
I need to live the words I believe, and the inspiration I write.


No dreams will become actualized,
until I choose to act,
until you choose to act.


You DON’T need to have all your ducks in a row.
You DON’T have to have all your i’s dotted or t’s crossed.
You DON’T have to have all the blanks filled in.
But you, I, we DO need to be all in.


Because that not at all my mother was talking about isn’t gonna cut it.


I write to implement change.
In both my life and yours.
Wherever and whoever you are.
I don’t want anyone to read these words to feel good,
to feel momentarily inspired,
and then walk away.
I want my words to keep you up at night
to keep you tossing and turning,
to reevaluate the way you are living in the day to day.


We are beings that are loved for who we are not what we do


yet we’ve been given such talents


we dare not waste them, nor the time we’ve been given.


I understand first hand that there is this IMMENSE struggle to start,
but what’s worse for me
is the notion of it never coming to be
because of never mustering up the courage to try,
the time slipping away,
and the dreams never becoming a reality.


Combatting the struggle to start STARTS WITH YOU
echoing the words Jesus speaks
time and time and TIME again
because if you’re even a fraction as stubborn as me it will need repeated;


“Sweet (insert your name here)  
do NOT waste those talents
cut the crap
Get to getting
I gave them to you for a reason”


With every word I write and word you read,
you may not see it
but there is a miracle, of dreams coming true.


Someone has dreamed of being able to see,
another has dreamed of being able to read,
another of being able to live in a land where they can read what they choose wherever they choose.
another to read words strung together that empowers them to make changes,
and who knows maybe someone
dreaming for a message such as this, to be the sign they’ve been waiting for to get started.


For me,
there is the sweet and surreal miracle
of writing.
Of dreams being actualized,
in each word I write and you read,
because I chose to start.


Even when I wanted to run the other direction and like a sucker believed every boldface lie.


It maybe a struggle to start
not just the first time,
but every. step. of. the. way.
But my prayer is that you would acquire the discipline
to choose to start actualizing dreams daily.


Despite the time it shall require.
Despite the distraction or excuses,
because the time will pass anyway,
and our Dreamgiver is with us


cheering us on,


holding us ever so close,


despite the struggle to start.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Here are some dreams of mine that I’ve struggled to start but have started & am committing to…
– Improving my photography skills.
– Being more consistent with my writing.
– Becoming fluent in a third language.
– Memorizing Scripture.
– Finding a holistic method of exercise that strengthens + conditions my mind, body, & soul.
( ^ if anybody has a suggestion on some holistic method of exercise that they can’t get enough of PLEASE COMMENT BELOW & share your input because I’ve started by doing some research,
and I have a few ideas, but would love to hear from you and your personal experience. )
What are some of the dreams your struggling to start?
Starting a new job? Becoming a more devoted musician? Startingyour own buisness?
Learning a new instrument? Training to run a marathon? Serving at charities on a regular basis?
I’d love to hear about whatever your dreams are in the comment section below,
I’d love to pray for you to have a rush of discipline that dreaming demands,
despite whatever struggle to start you are facing.
T
P.S. These photos were taken on a frozen lake in the Pocono’s on January 1st 2017.
It was Bri’s, Bruce’s, & Greg’s first time on a frozen lake.
As I mentioned, improving my photography skills is a dream of mine
that I’ve struggled to start for quite some time,
and I feel like these photos are an accurate representation
of some of the joys and flops in

Taking a picture of Brucie

Brucie taking a picture of me

Contemplative Warrior

I love the winter the snow and frozen lakes #elsawashere

This guy was ice skating all over the lake for the entirety of the hour and a half we were out on the lake, it was amazing.

20 years of bringing me laughter, took this pic post talking dreams.

Because sometimes, life is a blur.

BE BRAVE

BE FEARLESS // BE BRAVE

I have yet to master the art of closeups

I have however mastered the selfie

Teaching the prima ‘andamos todos iguais’

Not so much the New, but the Auld

2      0      1       7
Standing beside friends and family, 
beside friends who have become family,
beside family who you’ve realized are some of your best friends.
Looking back on old days past.
AULD LANG SYNE
Listening to the roaring crackle of the fireplace.
Celebrating all the precious moments we’ve experienced that can not be rewritten.
Popping bottles of champagne.
Toasting cheers to the times gone by.
AULD LANG SYNE
Times that make us better;
the days we were at our highest of highs or our lowest of lows
we are loved just the same.
And when we remember them
we remember our humanity
our frailty
our strength
our failures
our triumphs.
We remember how atrocious humankind can be
but also how compassionate generous and magnificent they can be.
AULD LANG SYNE

We recall how quickly time is fleeting
we quantify a year
12 months
52 weeks
365 days
525,600 minutes
We come to terms with the reality that 
a year 
can be simultaneously
 devasting and rejuvenating
 challenging and exhilarating
exhausting and rewarding.
We are embellished in white (as is customary in Brazil)
and as the clock moves closer to midnight we 
raise our glasses,
begin the countdown, 
shout Feliz Ano Novo,
kiss and hug the one’s we love
&
sing.
That as we approach the days ahead
we would take a cup of kindness yet 
not forgetting the people who got us through this year
not forgetting old times gone by
AULD LANG SYNE
So Cheers to Old Times Gone By 
who’ve made us who we are thus far,
& Cheers to  New Times Yet to Pass, 
who’ll help us discover more + more of who we were destined to become.
AULD LANG SYNE



Click -> Here beginning at the 45-second mark 
and ->  here beginning at the12-second mark 
to experience two of my all time favorite renditions of Auld Lang Syne.
I would love to know your all time favorite rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
Please share it with me in the comment section below so I can get acquainted =)

Two Christmas’

Two Christmas’.
I’m not sure how long Greg and I will be able to do two Christmas’,
but so far we’ve enjoyed this little newfound Christmas of ours.
You see for the past 5 years of Christmas’ together, we’ve done:
Christmas Eve Candlelight service at the church I grew up in,
followed by ” traditional” Christmas Eve dinner at my mães house,
(I say “traditional” because tradition is relative.
Bacalhau, Paella, Frango Galinhada, e o óbvio Arroz.)
followed by singing happy birthday to Jesus,
followed by a birthday cake + champagne toast to the King,
followed by a countdown to midnight tearing all the previously gorgeous time consuming gift wrapping to pieces,
followed by a coconut flan,
followed by a 1am departure to PA in order to Christmas morning at Greg’s parents,
pit stopping at Dunkin Donuts for some cafezinho get us to PA.
Christmas Day we’d wake up around what we night owls  would usually deem atrociously early,
but not on Christmas morning.
Even we night owls wake up  as giddy as kids on Christmas morning,
because of two words: CHRISTMAS morning.
The good in that first word far outweighs the bad in the second.
Then we would consume all the fresh out of the oven monkey bread,
hear Greg’s dad read the Christmas story – the Jesus one not to be confused with the santa one I thought he was gonna read- after breakfast..
Then, slowly but lovingly, opening  gifts from one another.
It was such a contrast to the fast paced  high-energy gift opening from the night before,
but it was such a sweet balance.
Later that day we would have Christmas dinner at Grandma’s & Grandpa’s, where I laughed more than I ate , which if you know me is saying a lot.
THIS YEAR, we switched things up a tad by spending the night at Glenia’s,
then making an 8am Dunkin Donuts stop,
followed by Christmas brunch with Mom, Dad,Alexa,Josh, and Grandma,
exchanging gifts all the while missing Ashley + Grant,
& hitting the road to have a little Christmas at our house.
Our little 801.
Chinese Christmas Chicken for Dinner ( a new & DELICIOUS tradition).
Life changes.
The traditions change.
Insider tip for ya, it’s not the traditions that matter,
it’s the people you’re sharing them with.
These Christmas traditions are such a blast,
but it’s inevitable that with the help of
time
life happening
relocating
adapting + adjusting these traditions will become essential to preserve the only tradition that matters,
GATHERING with the ones we love.
Make the tradition of GATHERING with the ones you love you’re favorite Christmas tradition.
So that no matter what life throws our way,
no matter what inescapable life changes take place,
you could ground yourself in the truth that
The best tradition
The best gift
is to be with those we love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve

Do you remember your favorite Christmas?
Was there a year, or a gift that stood out among the rest?
I can’t say that I have one. 
I will say that every Christmas Eve, I remember what I feel.
I feel incomprehensible joy,
unparalleled peace,
and no matter what happened during the year, 
I feel wrapped in the gift of love.
My family has always done an impeccable job of driving me crazy,
but they did an even better job of assuring me I was loved.
Every Christmas season, when the time comes to celebrate the birth of Christ, 
I am thrilled to spend time with family.
Though there is pain there is joy.
Though we experience arguing we also experience peace.
Though we experience making mistakes we experience forgiveness.
Family is the first place where I learned about love.
Where I learned grace .
What it is to love no matter what.
Whether your brothers ruin your Barbie tapes
or whether you’re calling your brothers mean names
or whether you have to make amends with your mom for the hundredth time
 because your attitude is out of control.
And to always be met with love
To always be held.
Amidst the noise and chaos in this world,
where darkness, despair, and hopeless come ruthlessly after you
there is a place,
there is a people
where we are first introduced to being wanted
where we are first afforded the luxury to be ambassadors of
peace, strength,love, hope, unity, and joy.
Each year when Christmas rolls around I think about family
My utterly flawed & utterly fabulous family.
How the hardships and miracles refined us, and brought us together.
I think about His family.
How God used the utterly flawed and utterly fabulous,
in the very lineage of Christ.
I wonder how baby Jesus felt that night so many years ago,
 that first night in that cave in Bethlehem, 
Incomprehensible joy? Unparalleled peace?
Mary was most definitely in pain,
and I can only imagine Joseph was stressing out!
But oh the love
to be wrapped in love.
Once the chaos stilled, and the Savior was born, and they all took a deep breath,
and they cried tears of joy,
the Savior was born!
As they wrapped themselves in each-others arms
and held the Savior
who holds us 
and stills us
and laughs with us
and wraps us in His loving arms,
they became family.
Cheers to the gift of Jesus & the brilliant gift of family.
Go do yourself and wrap a family member in your arms today and say
” I know I probably drive you crazy, 
but more than anything 
I hope you remember this embrace
on the suckiest and best of days
rest assured I LOVE YOU. “

                                   

Christmas Card 2016 : JOY

Every year growing up, immediately following the Thanksgiving church service, my family would take our Christmas picture for our annual Da Silva Christmas Card.
I’m an Irving now so you best believe I carried the Christmas Card tradition over to Greg and I.
Only difference being instead of using a picture taken on Thanksgiving,
Greg and I decided to use our favorite picture from that year.
In 2014 our Christmas card was a picture of us on our wedding day, that said Married & Bright.
In 2015 our Christmas card was our first family photo;Greg, Me, & our pup Lady. Happy Pawlidays.
In 2016 our Christmas card features a photo of Greg & I sans pup and sans pun, but full of JOY.
Yes, primarily because we were in a beautiful secluded island in the Bahamas called Bimini.
But also because that picture depicts pure JOY.
Shouldn’t our JOY on Christmas, and every day 
look a little more like Greg and I in that Christmas card ?
May God’s Greatest Gift be our greatest JOY.
No pun. Just truth. Pure Joy.

 Jesus is our JOY.
In the words of Ann Voskamp,
 ” We are most prepared for Christmas when we revel in His presence as our greatest gift”
Revel in His presence dearest reader.
He is our greatest gift.
HE is our greatest JOY.

                                                             “You’re the JOY

The song in my heart

The hope of my soul
In the shadows
In the sorrows
In the desert
When the pain hits
You are constant
Ever-present
You’re the song of my heart

[x2]

You’re the joy joy joy lighting my soul
The joy joy joy making me whole
Though I’m broken, I am running
Into Your arms of love
Into Your arms”