Monday Motivation Moment: Why We Must Keep Going, No Matter What 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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I woke up Saturday and Sunday morning greeting bleak skies and a thin blanket of ice delicately masking trees and grass. It’s the kind of weather which drives me to retreat under covers (as long as our daughter Nai will let me) and grab hold of leggings and boots.

And, well, friends, these last few years have remained full of challenges and disappointments. I sometimes struggle with gnawing depression and doubt, yet each time these feelings threaten to obscure my vision, God sends a word either through a song, conversation, preached word or a physical sign (mine is deer) I pray to see daily.

Wisdom from an Email 

Yesterday, I heard this message loudly after clicking on a link from an email sent by Jonathan Morrow, renowned blogger and social media strategist: “keep going, pushing, no matter what…”

The longer I ingested his words about following your dreams relentlessly and shutting out negativity, the more determined I became to start blogging again. Yes, school took up lots of time this past month, but let me stand in some truth with y’all. I hit a creative slump.

I could post on Instagram for the blog, but somehow I couldn’t push myself to write here. Frankly, I spread myself thin, and all I craved was sleep or escape in those rare spare moments.

But if this is what I love doing (and I do), being present, communicating and interacting with you all in this space has to become a priority, too.  Writing, for me, is a lifeline. And when I am shut off from it, part of me begins to wither.

Circumstances Do Not Define Us 

Jon has a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which makes his body weak; he cannot move from the neck down, and yet, he founded a successful blog (On Moneymaking), sold it for five figures and is an Associate Editor of Problogger, one of the most popular blogs in the world.

Consider this… He speaks his thoughts into a machine because he cannot type them out. This didn’t deter him from excelling in blogging, social media strategy and developing courses to help his fellow writers. And oh how these words resonate deeply:

Because listen … I know it’s horribly cliché, but if I can quit my job, risk the government carting me off to a nursing home because I can’t afford my own healthcare, convince my poor mother to abandon her career and drive my crippled butt 3,000 miles to a foreign country, and then make enough money to support myself, my mother, my father, and an entire nursing staff using nothing but my voice, then what can you accomplish if you really set your mind to it?

My guess: pretty much anything.

No, it won’t be easy. At some point, I guarantee you’ll want to quit. I guarantee people will treat you like you’re insane. I guarantee you’ll cry yourself to sleep, wondering if you made a horrible mistake.

But never stop believing in yourself. The world is full of naysayers, all of them eager to shout you down at the slightest indication you might transcend mediocrity, but the greatest sin you can commit is to yourself become one of them. Our job isn’t to join that group, but to silence it, to accomplish things so great and unimaginable that its members are too awed to speak.

After I reached the end of his article, I thought, what the heck is stopping me? Me. I am! Maybe you are, too? Far too many of us allow fear of failure and suffocating feelings of inadequacy to stifle our dreams.

The good news?

You and I can get out of our own way.

When the negative thoughts and words come (as they will), counter each one with affirmations, begin to speak the language of possibility, call those things not as though they were (Romans 4:17).

Keep pushing. Keep going.

Victory is already yours.

Inspiration For Your Ears & Soul: From Singer Lauren Diagle to Healing and Faith  

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Artwork by Ainsley Jordan via at Our Words Collaborative
Artwork by Ainsley Jordan via at Our Words Collaborative
I took some time off from blogging. My mind and body needed the rest. And quite honestly, I wrestle with mild depression every now and then. But I am back, determined to rise above the obstacles. Of course inspiration from around the web never stops.

Thrilled to share some of it with you today:

I recently started writing with an awesome team of writers over at Our Words Collaborative, where we share daily devotionals rooted in our faith journey. So many beautiful words of love and light. You can catch up on all past writings here.

Lauren Diagle’s powerful reminder to trust God, no matter what the situation looks like. And her beautiful song on surrendering our hearts to Him.

I have prayed for God to send me a sign of needed healing and deliverance, and I asked for deer. I now see them everywhere. (“He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.” Psalm 18:33) Recently I googled the meaning and stumbled across this lovely blog post.

My good friend Nellie over at Adalmar Life (and our new contributing-writer-at-large), recommended this deeply personal and profound book, Wild and Free: A Hope-Filled Anthem for the Woman Who Feels She Is Both Too Much and Never Enough. I cannot put it down. Such depth and beauty…

Becky Dvorak is a powerful healer and teacher of God’s word. Her e-newsletters always lift my spirits. This piece speaks about renewing our mindsets to receive healing.

Bishop T.D. Jakes on dealing with pressure , and seeking authenticity over allure of images.

Lessons one Mama entrepreneur learned from her 13-year-old son.

Are We Too Busy For Friendship Now? 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo via Unsplash

Last week, one of my bestie’s, Shan and I, hit Red Emma’s. It’s the first time we have really hung out alone (she’s usually over to the house with me, Kes and Nai).

As I took in her delightful energy, my heart overflowing with joy, I noticed in this crowded coffee house, half the folks  were staring at laptops, many while with friends. And this blog post title popped into my head: Are we too busy for friendship now?

Let’s face it. Many of us are overcommitted and exhausted. Friendship takes work and it’s easier to scroll someone’s FB, Twitter or IG feed, send intermittant text messages, and pat ourselves on the back for staying in touch. But is this friendship, or social obligation?

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

– Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

As we grow older – the life partner comes, our babies, career, etc. – and it becomes tougher to maintain friendships or cultivate new ones; yet I find authentic connection with another person to be utterly divine. It nourishes my soul, opens me up to novel ways of seeing the world.

The other day, I called a  good friend. We usually text or email, but I yearned to hear her voice, contagious laughter and imagine her smile as she spoke. So I picked up the phone and dialed. Funny how what is old becomes new again, huh?

I could hear the surprise in her voice as she gently joked about the rarity of my calls (being a Mama of little one can create some distance in your friendships). Still, after sitting with the depth of those words for a few days, I began wonder if collectively, we have allowed the noise of this world to overtake genuine friendship, and the beauty of human interaction. If we text or email frequently, can we also commit to a call or lunch? Are settling for becoming  acquaintances instead of cultivating authentic relationships?

Earlier this week I talked with an old college friend. She reminded me about us getting together; one of her friends had passed away of a heart attack before they were able to reconnect. None of us knows how long we have I thought as she lamented his passing, partially still in shock.

Making the effort to momentarily climb up from the dizzying lists of growing tasks in our own world is difficult, and at times, spending an afternoon with a friend feels luxurious, but the reality is it is not.

You and I need one another, beyond status updates and stunning Instagram feeds. We are created for fellowship and community. Do something for #tbt today – have a conversation with a friend, make plans to meet up in person, and then turn  off your laptops, iPads and phones. Rediscover each other in those quiet spaces.