Ambition, Inspiration and the Glorious iPhone 5


I talked with my friend, Wendy yesterday. Everyone should have a Wendy that they can call…especially if it’s this particular Wendy.

I love conversations with Wendy because every time I hang up the phone I think, “Huh. I never thought of it like that.” Yesterday was no different. Somehow, some way (mostly because Wendy and I share the same brain) we ended up on the topic of ambition and motherhood.

“Women like you and I need inspiration,” Wendy said. “Yes, we are ambitious, but for us to feel successful we need more than ambition, we need to be inspired.”

That may not sound super profound to you, but it was highly enlightening to me. Because it’s absolutely true.

I was created with a brain that longs to be inspired. It’s why I love the arts so very, very much. I need music and nature and poetry and prose and photography and sculptures and landscape and history and travel and an overactive imagination. I need to see these things to feel creative.


I need to create to feel imaginative.



I need to be inspired to be a better mother.



But I had never thought of ambition and inspiration in the way that Wendy described them. If I had to rate my ambition level, I’d put myself in the moderate range. I am ambitious only to the point that I feel capable of success. This last year has been a big eye opener for me in regards to my ability to chase my dreams.

I’ve realized my limits this year and I’ve embraced them, freeing myself up to be inspired – not to be ambitious.

And in so doing, I’ve accomplished more in the last year than ever before.



Sometimes I look at the successful women around me and I find myself wildly frustrated at my own lack of ability to make things happen. There are some women who are so wonderfully geared and suited for ambitious careers and lofty goals, and they can still manage their homes without becoming completely unglued.

I am not one of those women. I get very easily overwhelmed and when I’m overwhelmed, the world around me shuts down. It gets foggy and dark and I find myself on the couch eating Nutella off a spoon while watching reruns of What Not to Wear.


It’s not pretty.


But when I feel inspired, I am able to do so much more and I feel a sense of confidence in those goals and dreams looming before me. I need inspiration to function, not ambition. That is how I’ve been wired and I’m learning to be okay with that.


So what does that have to do with the iPhone 5? 

I’m so glad you asked!

I bought one last week. It was an early birthday present to myself and can I just tell you? I’m having wicked fun with this little device. The photography potential of the iPhone is one of the big reasons I wanted one. I love photography. I’m not very good at it, but I love it.

red flower

What I especially love about the iPhone is the ability it gives us to looks at the world a little differently. Instead of dashing past a gorgeous spring bloom, we can get up close and inhale the scent. We can snap a picture and manipulate and play with it until that beautiful flower becomes a work of art.


yellow flower


We can create and creating gives way to inspiration



which bolsters confidence




and before you know it the world is an artist’s canvas just waiting to be discovered.


See? I told you everyone needed Wendy they could call.

So tell me – what inspires you?

Imagination, Creativity and Flying like a Bird

What do you think it’s like to be a bird?

I think it must be thrilling.

Just once I’d like to feel the rush of flying, of spreading the wings and gliding on the wisp of the wind.  If I were to be a bird, though, I can’t decide where I’d like to rest my feathers.  Would I be a mountain bird, coasting from mountain top to mountain top, the valleys and peaks soaring below in harmonious rhythm?  If I were to be a mountain bird, I’d like to be one in Austria for I don’t think you will find more beautiful formations in all the world.


Hallstatt, Austria where one year ago today we stood atop this mountain and I longed for the freedom of flight.

But, I fear the frigid winter air would be too much for me…even as a mountain bird.  So perhaps I would be better suited as an island bird.  What must it be to glide above the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean, the warm, salty air whipping over me as I coast left to right.  If I were to be an island bird, I’d like to reside over Spanish Wells, Bahamas.  Because I think that God shines His Grace upon that island in extra measures.

These are things I think about.

There are some days…many days…when I wish I could unplug from it all.  I dream of a secret garden where I could escape and get lost in the dreams of my mind.  I would wander the twisted flowers and gnarled tree trunks with only the soft padding of my feet in the grass as company.  I would lose myself in the romance of the soft setting, dreaming up far off lands where anything is possible.  My imagination would no longer be dictated and diluted but would be free to run, to fly.

I would be the bird, the free spirit who never grows up, the romantic who throws her arms around her sweaty man with abandon.

These are things I think about.

This week, the kids and I are telling stories – making them up.  We are digging into the recesses of our minds where imagination waits to be stirred.  Robots come to life and trees dance in the breeze.  The grass is purple and streams are made of chocolate.  Grand adventures lie around every corner and over every bridge.  Sometimes, when the oldest is telling his story, Bigfoot makes an appearance.  And tornados.  It’s very exciting.

When the girl tells her stories, they almost always involve a talking unicorn.  It is magical.

When the youngest tells his stories they almost always include the words “booty” and “toot.”  It’s hysterical.

Imagination is the best way to see one of the greatest traits of God Himself – creativity. For inside the mind’s eye, the creativity of the Creator indwells each one of us with the ability to see a little beyond that which is before us.  Mathematicians see formulas that take us to the moon.  Scientists see developments that allow us to see life from a different spectrum.  Poets allow us to hear nature through the fluidity of their pens.  Musicians discover harmonies that speak to our souls and take us beyond the present.

Imagination is where the Creator left His greatest imprint on us…His Image Bearers.

It is inside the recesses of our minds that God gave us a grand bit of Himself.  After all, He had the greatest imagination of them all.  And when we open kids up to this process of creativity, we let them truly come alive.  The challenge is to quiet the Earth around us.  And what a challenge it is.

Would that I could lose myself inside imagination every day where life is not confined to only that which I know but is instead wide open, limitless in reach.  Technology has dulled my imagination, and even that of my children.  But it’s always there, imagination, waiting to be tapped and used.  Imagination leads us into some place new and unknown.

Where I can fly.

These are things I think about.