jessiehancock

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Make Your Masterpiece

Did you ever watch the Muppets when you were growing up? One of my favorite characters was Fozzy Bear. He was cute, wore cool hats, and could play some serious piano. What’s not to like? I wanted to play like him, but I didn’t have the resources to learn music. There was an exact moment that shot down the beginning of the piano dream. 

Now it’s your turn. Do you have one? A moment where you went from thinking you could become anything in life you dreamed of, to the precise second a voice crept into your head and whispered lies and doubts about your worth. “You can’t do that, what makes you think that will ever happen,” “You want to be a —?” Stop right here. Now is the time to ask how you handled it? Maybe you were equipped with the resources and confidence to bypass it, so now you’re in an ideal position to help others whether you realize it or not. 

If however, you were anything like me, you were unprepared for it. Why did you let that voice plant a seed in your mind? Who said it was welcome in the first place? Did you chalk it up as part of growing up? Learning how the “real world” works? Humor me for a minute, and let’s play a game of “What If?” 

What if you knew that voice was coming your way? You had prepared for it with a response like “nope, not buying that today.” Say it out loud. If you had said those five simple words, would you be a different person right now? It doesn’t have to take years to identify this little thief of our potential and grab it by the scruff and stomp it under our feet. Picture what it could look like if you started each day with the assurance that you have what it takes to make a mark on this world, to contribute something no one else can provide. Yep, that’s what I believe. Are you ready to believe it too?

If a moment can break you, why can’t you break that moment apart and rebuild?

Just because Matisse painted masterpieces doesn’t mean that no one else should paint because he had the market cornered. If Lauren Daigle assumed that there were enough singers out there, her voice wouldn’t be lifting hearts and minds by reminding them that she has felt their struggles too. What are you doing to share your gift(s) with others? 

Consider Romans 12:6-8: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Can you reach for the far-off goal that you once had or might still have? Do you have other dreams that you haven’t given life to yet? They can’t fly without you, so get moving right along. Only you can make your masterpiece.

Finding Status

Yesterday, we took a family walk when it happened. The sight of those purple flowers growing next to the sidewalk sent me colliding into my past. Back in Hollywood in 1985; it’s a city shimmering with promises of future success-tarnished by the contrast of the walking failures pushing shopping carts down Sunset Boulevard. At ten years old, I know it’s the place to go if you dream of being on the big screen. Like so many before me, I press my small fingers into the concrete handprints in front of Grauman’s Theatre as I imagine the glittery lives of the people who were worthy enough to have their names engraved on the ground. All the colored gowns, the black tuxedos on bended knees, the heels delicately balancing while flashbulbs exploded like hot kernels in a pot. The grandiosity of the place increases my insecurity and self-awareness that I’m not anyone special, just a girl that lives everywhere and happens to be passing through once more.

Across the street from the small motel sits an abandoned lot with some wildflowers growing-not willowy pastels but rather hearty purple masses on thick vines of the stem. Their pop of color emphasizes the drabness of the very place they grow. They must have decided that it was as good a place as any to announce themselves. Sometimes I feel like those flowers, randomly transplanting and trying to perk up. When half your life exists inside an ever-changing room with two double beds and snow-covered ceilings overhead, the locations don’t matter. Seeking freedom from the staleness of the room, I grab a pair of scissors from my mother’s sewing kit and walk over to the small field.

A fragile, almost paperlike texture to the flower surprises me; it’s nothing like the silky smoothness of a rose or even my favorite flower of all, the pansy. Snipping enough for a bouquet, I carry them back to the vault and place them in a clear plastic drinking cup with some faucet water. Such a contrast of color in this dreary room weighed down by the periodic disagreements and the battle of wills; these flowers deliver a small dose of relief. My mother brightens for a moment as she tells me that they are called status. Wrinkling my nose and turning my head sideways to consider the contradiction, I wonder why a flower that grows wild in a field with no one to care for it was ever named status? Isn’t that something people achieve with hard work and recognition from others? Especially in Hollywood.

Although I know now the spelling is different, the flower whose meaning is remembrance still takes me back to the overgrown lot where I first found it. My future was far-off and undetermined, but I could feel the need to carve my own path out of the circumstances assigned to me.

Burning Stars

Burning stars and semi’s flying by,

The hum of the road

Sounds like a lullaby.

Desert lands and a million cacti,

Cold air that bites your face keeps you alive.

Undercurrent of endless drive-

Pushing to be woken up!

Peel away the layers of compromise and redundancy that numb our minds.

Put a torch on a spark,

Watch it explode!

Sharp as a blade.

Zoning in on a feeling,

And keeping it forever.

UNMISTAKEABLE SOUND

Caged and waiting, pacing my square.

My ear to the ground;

Like atoms contained in a jar,

Made to explode and affix.

One unmistakable sound-

Something we can hear 10,000 miles afar.

We’ll come running,

Flying all night through a parade of stars!

Cool mist lands upon our cheeks.

Souls drinking mercy faster than water;

Such a long time coming.

Always tastes sweeter after the heat-

Now, we can breathe.

A THIN LINE

We’ve all got a song

Moving and shaking inside us,

Clamoring for its own voice.

Sometimes we find it easy and strong;

Other lives eroded by silence,

Hearts in heaps like bodies

Decay doesn’t wait for the next day.

You, my friend, must make a choice-

Your spark to ignite or blow away.

A thin line signals the place where you own

The road your life will take.