There is a Season for Simple, There is a Season for Complicated

One of the lessons I have been learning over the last couple of years is that there is a season for everything. Years ago I just thought on a shallow level about God's words on this. Like "Well yeah, that makes sense. Moving on...". But in reality this is a rabbit whole of wisdom that seems truly bottomless.

As a male I see something and I want to fix it and move on to the next thing. Yet this is not always (could argue rarely actually) how The Lord handles things. Sometimes He is slow to act, other times fast. Sometimes He showers a person with unbelievable mercy, other times the harsh cruelness of the world is allowed to bite and bite deeply. It was here that I started to learn.

There is a season for simple, there is a season for complicated.

Sometimes things are simple... sometimes things can be simplified. Sometimes things can be seen as black and white. But there are also seasons for recognizing that life is very much complicated and messy. Neither are wrong. Neither is always the right choice. "Why not!?" You might ask.

Because of time. Time changes the equation. For instance. What is the right thing to do? "well duh it's ____". But then the question comes up. "Ok, but when should I ____?". This is where it gets complicated and messy sometimes. Because not every situation has a right thing that should be done "right now". The story of Joseph has a bit of that in it. But the story of Esther really shines here. She was supposed to speak to the King, but didn't immediately as Mordecai pressured her to. For whatever her reasons. Be it fear, waiting on the Lord, whatever. She didn't speak to the King immediately, and instead did so after fasting. And it all worked out exactly according to the Will of the Lord. Which means it all worked out perfectly.

For me personally when I hit my knees everything became so clear. Black and white. Right and wrong. Good and evil. Those are simple things. And those are indeed true things. Yet as the years of time weather my mind and soul I learn there is a season for everything. I wish it was all so simple, so black and white. But life between humans is rarely so simple. Love is simple, yet we all know just as well that love is far from simple. It's messy and it's complicated. More and more I realize this truth applies to many... if not all situations. So to be clear, I don't "understand" this fully, not by a long shot. But I am on the journey to understanding it a little more every year. And the greatest thing that I learned, funnily enough while writing this post is that:

There is a season for simple, there is a season for complicated.

And the only right answer for both seasons is Grace.

The Practice Journey

Slowly working on practice. Hoping to get an actual comic out soon. But life is complicated, heh. And it all happens at His timing, not mine. And thankfully so since my timing has a long track record of being really bad.

Where the Real Culture War is?

While the media wants us to engage in cultural war, 'left' vs 'right' the reality is the war is 'center' vs 'extremists'. Which are both 'right' and 'left'. The extremists are trying to control the masses.

America is not racist, but there are still plenty of vile, hateful racists running around

America is not sexist, but there are still plenty of abusive sexists running around

America is not violent, but there are still plenty of unstable people running around

America isn't oppressive, it's one of the most free and safe countries on the planet.

Eventually when the common citizens get tired of it, they will stand up against the self righteous, self important people who think they represent the good willed, hard working, multi cultural masses of every day citizens.

When we get tired of the aristocracy (leftists)
When we get tired of the insane hatred (alt-right)
When we get tired of the violence (leftist)
When we get tired of the social cast systems (alt-right)
When we get tired of the 'you're too stupid to understand, just shut up and think what you're told to think' (leftist)

When we've had enough the harbor (media) will once again be filled with tea (rejection of tyranny).

Sadly that train cannot be stopped now. Both extremists won't back down now. But that just means we are racing towards change, and freedom will come again. 

The answer is not to take a side. The answer is to lock arms with the good, hard working people around you every day and stand strong, as proud Americans and not allow any group to form a lordship over our lives, over our thoughts, over our children, over our beliefs.

The Practice Journey

Hopefully sit down for some drawing later today! Gotta keep my forward traction going!

You Are Only as Strong as You Are Honest

This weekend Pastor Craig Groeschel made a powerful statement.

"You are only as strong as you are honest." - @Craig Groeschel

Deep truth in there. Because lies, deception, secrets, manipulation all eat away at our innards. They weaken our minds and hearts. They distract us from the good things in life and fill our lives full of anxiety and fear. Constant thoughts fill our heads, all swirling around the things we aren't being honest about. It's a stressful, crazy thing to maintain; dishonesty.

Many times we feel that being honest will make us vulnerable or weak. But in reality it only impacts how others view you. And that only matters if you value their opinion of you over your own, or more importantly The Lord's opinion of you.

You see if you are solid in who you are, regardless of what you have done wrong (caveat: and you're trying to stop and change and overcome because you have remorse, because you don't want to live this way, and you want out of the cycles of destruction), then those peoples opinions won't matter. Sure it sucks facing the music of what you've done. I have an entire life novel of facing the music, facing the consequences of my bad life choices. And many a person would look down on me for those past choices. For my past mistakes. Or present ones for that matter.

I could (and probably should...) write an entire post on how to get to that place of not caring about others opinions. But for now just know that there is immeasurable freedom found in being honest. White lies, big lies, little secrets, big secrets, size and / or type doesn't matter. They all pay the same dividend: Weakness. 

"You are only as strong as you are honest." - @Craig Groeschel

The Practice Journey

Not happy with these but I can see the practice is paying off already! Excited to keep putting more and more time in for more improvement!

Anger, Bitter and Numbness

Not a long post today. Just a realization.

When bitterness and anger turn to numbness the deception is that the anger and bitterness are therefore gone. The reality is that the numbness has covered the anger and bitterness over like a blanket. And one day when the numbness wears off we are confronted with that unresolved anger. And it sucks.

The good news is when it arrives, you can finally deal with it. Express it. Release it. Forgive and finally abandon it on the roadside as you drive away.

Healing is worth the fight.

The Practice Journey

Such a weird moment when you look at something you drew and realize you aren't horrible at this... While I am not happy with 99.9999% of my drawings, once in awhile I do something and I am happy with it. Today is one of those days. Take the 4th image below, the character at the furthest left. I am actually really happy with that, at this stage. And I actually feel I have talent somewhere to develop. How good can or will I be? No idea, but I can honestly and genuinely say I don't feel I suck!

How Do You Get Yourself Motivated?

Right out of the gate. I am struggling to focus on this very post to get it done. It's Saturday morning and my mind wants to drift to other things, like chores and errands for the day. As well as just wanting to relax and sit down with some entertainment after a week of working the day job.

Oh the irony of writing something about getting motivated... while struggling to get motivated to write about... lol

I have heard many people, many books, many lectures talking about motivation. And if I am being transparent it's a muscle I have never developed. Quite literally I have, after decades of time on Earth, no strength to motivate myself. It truly is an emotional muscle that has to be worked, stretched and grown through a ton of effort. Sure I function at my day job and get things done. But that is because it's my job, an obligation, else I don't get paid. heh. You cannot be a good person and expect to have money, without working for it. That would be serious selfishness.

My issue is that while there are countless voices and pieces of media out there about motivation. No one seems to actually talk about how you get to motivated from unmotivated. They talk about everything else. But not how. It's a common problem, lacking the how in the message. And that is something I hope to tackle here with my comics and writing.

Funny thing is I found an answer to the how, it's really simple to.

Change what you are looking at

You see... motivation is a force, a forward motion to getting things done. But motivation isn't the source of the motion as we might think. Motivation is the middle layer between the source and the desired action, emotionally speaking. The source is your desire. Whether it be your passion, or your need. Or perhaps your responsibility or your curiosity or any other emotion. Doesn't matter which it is. What matters is that emotion is your source, is your fuel.

If you stop trying to 'motivate yourself'. If you stop looking at your 'motivation' or lack there of and start looking at the feeling beneath what you want to be doing, you will find something amazing. For me I am passionate about helping people, communicating, creating and getting my ideas out into the world. But in truth I cannot 'motivate' myself for the sake of 'motivation'.

I cannot look at my current amount of 'motivation' and get traction. But I can look at, quite literally turn my 'eyes' to my feelings (yes I know this isn't always easy guys, I am with ya in that fox hole!). If I focus on how I feel about what I am doing, how I will feel accomplishing this task. If I focus on the why I want to do this I suddenly start to build up a fire of passion, energy, and desire. And that fire gives me motion, gives me traction, gives me... 'motivation'! I am quite serious about turning my eyes towards it.

Are you struggling with sliding into entertainment or the busyness of life while wishing you were getting something done? Stop right where you are. Stop looking at the tasks, stop looking at your progress or lack of progress, stop looking at whether you feel 'motivated' or not! Literally stop yourself in your own tracks. This isn't a metaphor or an 'idea' to stop. I literally mean stop moving, stop what you are thinking about and change your focus to why you want to...

Note: this post was not published until evening

The Practice Journey

If you imagine growing in your art, whether it's drawing, writing or digital media, as a road trip from New York City to Las Vegas. You know in order to arrive in Vegas you have to drive each and every mile. You can't skip miles, there is no teleportation (well, kinda... but that's a separate conversation...) If you stop on the road and refuse to drive forward you know you'll never actually arrive. 

Practice is exactly that. If you don't practice you're that car sitting on the side of the road wondering why you never suddenly arrive in Vegas. You're upset that you're not as good as you know you could be. But you're the one refusing to start the engine and drive another mile.

So going forward I am going to look myself in the mirror when I don't practice for a day or two and have a good honest talk with myself.

"Keith. You're the one refusing to move forward. You cannot expect to get where you want to be if you refuse to move forward. Can't move forward by standing still. Can't get better if you don't practice. Now, lets get crackin'!"