Embracing Epic Beginnings

Embrace Epic Beginnings

Six years. That's how long I've had this blog--my little corner of the internet. It all started with Journey to Yes, a post I wrote on December 29, 2008 after watching Yes Man on Christmas Day with the family. Starting this blog was my hope for trying new things and uncovering the unknown one yes at a time. Of course, back then, I titled it TrinaCressDotBlogSpotDotCom, replaced by a couple other similarly cringe-worthy titles.

It's fun to reflect on all that has changed since then. I mean, cloth diapering was a distant thought I hardly believed we'd follow through on, and now we've been there, done that. My photographs have improved, I've done all of my own blog design, and I've created products I would have hardly believed came from me back in 2008.

2008. When I was working full-time for the college from where I graduated. When we had one sweet little one-year-old. I clocked in, clocked out, and dreamed of one day staying home with her (and future kids) and doing work I loved. Somehow, I saw those coming together. Something like at-home writer for Real Simple magazine while the kids played. What, a girl can dream, right?

Fast forward a few years. Six, to be exact. And I'm reluctant to admit my mixed emotions. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of where I am. I'm so in love with my three crazy children and so thankful to spend my days at home caring for them and all of the little details that keep our lives moving while my hard-working husband carries the burden of clocking in, clocking out. I'm also humbled from what has come of this little corner of the interwebs. This place where I've discovered a little piece of God-given creativity that I've spent a lifetime denying.

It's truly wonderful. I'm blessed. And thankful. And I imagine Trina of 2008 would have been thrilled to have all of this. Meanwhile, Trina of 2015 has mixed emotions.

I didn't have the same comparisons back then. Posts about where people have come in their years of blogging are hard for me to ignore. They start around the time I did, maybe a year or so off. And in their more focused time, they've published books and booked speaking engagements. They've paid off all of their debts and finished simplifying their homes. They've created online businesses that have replaced not only their own income, but their spouses, too.

It should be obvious by now I'm describing a "them" only in my head. These fictitious people are hardly human the way I perceive the perfect details of their perfect lives. They started where I was in 2008: broke, exhausted, and ready for a change. Except they got their change. Here we are still broke, exhausted, and ready for a change.

The journey to yes isn't an easy one. Not for this girl, anyway.

All of those things that I'm not, and that lifestyle that we don't have, isn't really the point. I never started blogging to make a career out of it. (I still cringe when people call me a blogger or when real-life friends talk about my blog.) I never imagined it would pay off my debt or make my home all I dream for it to be. So I shouldn't have any disappointments there.

For me, it's always been about the journey. Following the process. There's no end point of arrival here on Earth. That's reserved for Heaven. The yeses here are just tiny little steps in that direction. Not about finding the one Yes to end them all. Just a continuous habit of Yessing. (The one Yes would be Jesus, and even He calls us to live this life and live it well in Him.)

And so, we start over and over. Many of those starts hardly looking any different than the starts before. Until we let time pass, then look back and realize the starts of 2008 (including a little nameless blog) are far different from the starts of 2015 (including a simple blog called Beginner Beans and lots of unknown).

It almost seems as if I'm getting ready to submit my resignation to the blog. I've seen lots of those going around, too. Posts of people (again, starting around the time I did) realizing their work here is done and they're on to new yeses. Quite the opposite, actually. I'm just trying to find words for my mixed emotions. To acknowledge somewhere that while I technically started in 2008, I'm here in 2015 just getting started.

Working out the journey with more words than can fit into a tweet. Allowing the time it takes for yeses to become something of meaning.

Like Joseph from pit to palace to prison back to palace. Years of journey before the story was worth telling. Because Joseph's story wouldn't have been much if it ended in the pit or in prison, would it? I mean, that's kind of depressing and not at all what God is about.

Or like Moses from river to palace to field back to palace. Years of journey evolved to make his story one for the Book. Can you imagine Moses dying in the river? So much for Jochabed's faith, am I right? Or even if it ended after his escape from the palace. Murderer. That would have been it of his reputation. God had bigger plans for his story and there was quite a journey of yeses to get him there.

I could go on. The Bible is full of them. Noah and Jonah, Esther, the disciples, and prophets. So many examples of Yeses. Not just one per person. Many yeses each, over years, and trials, as God worked His power in and through their lives.

That's what I'm here for. Here in this life and on this blog. Working out the journey. Allowing the time it takes for God to transform my yeses into something of meaning. Because it didn't end in 2008 or 2014, and so far it hasn't ended in 2015 either.

How about you? Are you ready to refresh your journey of yeses? To give them to God and renew in your faith in Him that He is making your life mean something?

5 Statements for Embracing Epic Beginnings

I created a little 35-day ebook and journal about this journey to yes called Epic Beginner. I'm giving it away for free to new subscribers for a limited time. Sign-up at the end of this post. Here's a quick snapshot to get you started (from day 1 of the journal). Complete the following statements for yourself. I'll share a few of my quick responses to share a glimpse of where I'm beginning 2015...

1. Things I'm STARTING (or soon will be)...

Better eating. Simple daily exercise. Reading through The Message. Weekly posting here on the blog. Weekly date nights. Dividing my spending money into thirds: Give, save, spend. A couple e-products. Supporting my Main Man's marathon training. Listening--lots of extended solitude to listen for God's leading.

"Are you going to do something or nothing? That is the epic beginner difference."

2. My current or most recurring EXCUSES and FEARS...

Unsure of next right steps. Not making money. Too tired or overwhelmed. Looking like a fool. Being "just a blogger" and not finding real value (connections, service, income, etc.). Missing my real purpose. Wasting time.

"Our fears are often unfounded. Even the craziness of the unknown usually turns out far better than we imagine."

3. My current or most common CHALLENGES...

Waking up with baby every 2-3 hours at night. Still dealing with occasional epic fits from the preschooler. Read: Difficult to muster time and energy to do anything besides basic mothering. Lack of money stressing me out. Too many "good" things consuming that limited time and energy too quickly.

"The grass is greener where you water it."

4. My recent or most regretted FAILURES...

Selling only a couple ebooks (feels like a failure when people ask how many I sold). Resorting to frozen pizzas for too many meals. Not doing date nights or making my Main Man a priority. Wasting valuable writing time on social media. Getting hung up on stuff and not just letting go.

"Your next epic story may not be far off from your last epic failure."

5. My recent or proudest SUCCESSES...

Getting a couple collages hung up at home. Newsletter list at 1,075+ subscribers. Getting positive feedback on Simplicity vs. Getting emails from people that find a couple of my posts on Google. Finding peace in a chaotic season of having a baby and moving. Being asked to speak at a women's retreat this year.

"There is always some success--some reason to be thankful and content--in this moment."

Join the conversation on Twitter or Instagram with #EpicBeginner. Would love to hear some of your responses to the above statements, and journey together in our yeses!


also read:
journey to yes
epic beginner series