It’s Time for You to Shine Bright

For so long, I feared my own voice and BIG personality. I still struggle with it at times today, but this weekend Amanda Baker shared a poem that was about something totally different and yet spoke to me about how much we fear shining bright while others are waiting for the light we give.

I am a woman with a B I G personality and that has caused me a lot of stress over the years because it felt like that was a bad thing. When I am in groups and I am talking while others are quiet, I can struggle with self-doubt and negative inner talk. “Why do you talk so much. No one cares what you have to say.” But then I will get a message from someone about how what I shared helped them, or asking me for the resource I mentioned, and I realize that my inner voice is the inner child I quieted for so longer speaking up because of fear, shame, and so much more. I broke up with allowing those emotions to control me and it has been so much better ever since.

“Your secret is how bright you are” -Amanda Baker

Someone out there needs your voice.

Someone out there is waiting for your story.

Someone out there will change their life the moment they watch your video, hear your song, read your blog post, show up to your class, or read your book.

BUT, you have first be willing to do the work to show up in that way.

Being in the spotlight is scary. I get it. I HATE IT. As I’ve shared, it can be overwhelming how many negative self-talk statements will show up in my mind at times. But, I’ve learned that taking a moment to let the spotlight shine on me so I can share what God has gifted me to say takes the FOCUS OFF ME!

Yes, really. Because when I let him move through it, it isn’t about what comes out but what the other person receives. It is about the message that He has for the reader or the listener. It is about the way He wants to show up for someone else. The only part I have to play is to do the work.

Whether you believe in God or not, I promise you He has work He is ready to do through you if you will shine bright. He has worked through people throughout history that didn’t see Him as the God of creation. And when you do believe in Him, please don’t believe for a moment He won’t work through you to touch folks who don’t believe in Him.

The point is for you to show up, stop fearing who you are, and SHINE BRIGHT. The rest will happen because of your willingness to use what you’ve been given!


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Poetry: The Dance

She walks in,

beauty surrounds her,

love abides within.

While the music blares,

she looks around the room.

He sits alone in the corner,

darkness hovering around him,

hatred covering his heart.

Hush…the music quiets…

He walks over to her,

“May I have this dance?”

All eyes are on them as they dance,

two walks of life meeting in a common ground,

gracefully moving to the rhythm of their spirits.

The music ends; they let go,

in a rush to leave on the outside,

never wanting to let go on the inside.

Yearning to say another word;

yet afraid to speak for fear of rejection.

They part ways, looking back for only a moment.

He walks out,

beauty surrounds him,

love abides within.


I wrote this version of this poem in 1999 to share my belief about the way people we meet influence our lives. Sometimes we walk into a room unknowingly about to find someone who will change our lives for the best, a person we will become great friends with, or the love of our lives. Other times, we are that person to someone else. Take time today to think of those individuals who you have “danced” with and think of the influence they had on your steps after that moment. Whether it was an intimate moment of deep conversation, a shared laugh over coffee, or a glance across a bookstore, there are people every day who help us become better and take away those “dark” places and the hatred that sometimes sneaks into our lives.

I’d love it if you’d reach out to some of the people who you’ve danced with and share how they’ve impacted you positively. I’d also love it if you’d take a moment to send prayers, good thoughts, or even a letter of forgiveness (if you have it within you) to those who hurt you. Every person in my life, whether good or bad to me or for me, helped me become who I am today. From my oldest daughter’s father to the friend from high school who told me a few days ago how much my life today inspires her because of how I am using my gifts to help others, every person I have met along this path has had some form of impact on my life. I could never list them all, but I am truly thankful that the bad experiences didn’t kill me and the good ones made me stronger. Because of that, I now let people know how I feel about them being in my life.

Music & Musings: Oceans

In the Music & Musings series, I analyze songs I’ve heard and have been thinking about. Sometimes the thoughts are more reflective in nature and other times they are creative, thinking through the people in the song. I never really know where they will go. I give myself 5 – 10 minutes to explore the song so I don’t go too far down a rabbit hole, but can get far enough in that it can elicit thought from others.

In this post, let’s explore “Oceans” by Hillsong UNITED. You can listen to this version below if you’d like to focus on hearing it, or you can scroll to the end for the version with lyrics if you want to read the lyrics.

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Poetry: 3:02 AM

I can’t forget what you fail to remember.

~Shell Vera, 3:02 AM

I have been playing around with a new poem based upon a thought I had one day, “I can’t forget what you fail to remember.” I can go a few ways with this thought but this is what’s coming out so far.


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Poetry: Wondering

I love when I can look back at poetry from decades ago and see how far I’ve come from who I was at one point. I wrote this poem a year before my marriage ended. I was struggling with the longing to serve Christ and be true to who I was built to be but with the pain of knowing that I never would be able to live free of hypocrisy because of the life partner I chose and all our behind-closed-doors secrets.

When you wonder why a woman stays, you forget that she doesn’t always believe all of her options exist. From where she sits, most of the time she truly believes the only ways out are her or the person she is being abused by dying. This is an inside look at the thoughts of someone who loved Christ, loved her husband, loved her children, and yet hated waking up each morning because it meant being a hypocrite for another day since she had to pretend to enjoy her life.

If you are here, please call someone and seek help. There ARE ways out and you can do it safely.

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Fireside Chat with Jeff Harmon of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting

More than a decade ago, I met Jeff Harmon through a The Go-Giver group. (If you didn’t already know, The Go-Giver is one of my favorite books ever.) We had a call and my business name changed within a few years. He never knew that until the day we recorded this fireside chat. I am excited for you to hear this chat because Jeff is someone I’ve followed for years and have really enjoyed learning from and watching grow as a business leader and influencer.

There was so much to take away from this chat depending upon where you are in life. We cover a few points, such as:

  • bringing faith and business together so you can share who you are without fear of rejection,
  • relationships in business and the importance of seeing the human behind the transaction, and
  • the importance of a “Just Keep Going” mindset when facing adversity.
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Poetry: 3:33

A poem I wrote while unable to sleep. Gotta love when your mind begins overthinking something you thought you were well over!

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Impress Yourself: Permission to Rest

I want to talk to those of you who have been hustling, grinding, and trying to get everything now but need permission to rest, to lean into who you are and make your path clear, to create a life you love without feeling like that means everyone else has to love it too. This is for you. It’s long but it needs to be said and you need to hear it.

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Living Your Life Intentionally

Back in August and September, Beth Perry and I sat down to talk about the importance of continuously evolving. I was finally able to piece the videos together to share with you last night and was so inspired by our conversation. I hope you enjoy it as well.

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Poetry: Willpower

While working on some prompts from the IG poetry community, I thought it would be fun to pull out some old poetry that has been sitting on my hard drive. This one is from 2007. More than a decade later and it’s appropriate I found it now as I’ve been struggling to stick with my positive eating habits.

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