encouragement, inspiration, writer, writing

Just As You Are

Lily Chang © 2020

A dear friend and mentor, Nancy, had encouraged us aspiring writers to list expectations and hopes for a writing career and eliminate some that are potential hindrances to writing. For me, a keeper was and is: changing lives for the better.

She followed that up by challenging me to ask friends how they want their lives to change. And so I did. I didn’t give much in the way of directions, because I want people to be able to talk freely. By the way, if I haven’t reached out to you, that doesn’t mean you’re exempt. I’m talking to all of you! And I’m waiting to hear from you.

The one and the same Nancy answered pretty quickly. With her permission, I’m sharing what she had to say:

“I would like to be far more aware of God in all that I do. I have thought and behavior patterns that I know God can transform, if only I fully showed up more often.”

When asking whether she’d mind if I shared her answer, she gave an admirable and honest response:

“It’s humbling for an I-have-to-have-it-all-together (or at least I have to look like I do) gal like me. I don’t have the energy to go for that image any more. Yes, you can quote me, only because I’m sure there are plenty of other people who think that way.”


Not being perfect but feeling the pressure of appearing so isn’t unique to Nancy. She’s spot on there. Others feel the same way but don’t say so, for whatever reason.

I write to show that we don’t need to be “just right.” I hope that’s obvious from the poetry and writing I’ve shared in my posts. 

I’ll share another piece I wrote this morning. It’s likely missing something here or there, especially with metering. But, hopefully you’ll look past that and see what I’ve got to share:


Listening and Learning


Life has been hard,

often putting me on guard.

So much frustration and pain,

sometimes it seems there’s little to gain.

Please, please. I don’t want to be poor in spirit.

That’s not me, not one little bit.

I want to be strong enough to stand up.

Meet people where they are, fill their cup.

No one needs to be perfect to come.

No need to be plastic and numb.

Let’s do life together,

deal with things as they occur.

Listen and learn. That’s the way it’s done.

Actual presence and support offered. Lives won.


Lily Chang © 2020


Another reason I write (as well as take photographs) is, I want to share the beauty I experience in daily life, so that others, you, can enjoy it. And, I hope you will become even more observant of the wonder around you and delight in the small things in life. In spite of how hectic and stressful the day or the week is, I try to make intentional efforts to observe and experience what is around me.

Let me slow down and back up.

Lily Chang © 2020

I’ve had trouble coping with stress lately. How do I know? My headaches going on for three weeks have told me so.

The day before yesterday was the first time I went without one in that time period. Even though Friday had lots of tightly scheduled events, all the kids were off school. No remote or in-person learning. We were outside in the morning, enjoying the fresh air, even though we all had masks on. We got to walk. And, at the farm we visited, we picked out pumpkins and took turns carrying two at a time, some distance, to get them to the car. But we drank in a nice autumn day together, without distractions or stressors. It was a good day. 


Lily Chang © 2020

Here’ s a photo I took on our little excursion.

I don’t want to wait until the headaches and stress are over to appreciate life. The time is now. Why wait?


I plan on sharing more on how I hope to change lives through writing and other activities I do (such as taking photographs, singing, painting), in future posts.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. How would you like your life to change?


Lily Chang © 2020


2 thoughts on “Just As You Are”

  1. This blog is so gorgeous, Lily. I love everything about it. And you! Thank you for honoring me in this way. I hope it helps ALL of us see that our lives are not a performance. Once we focus on our gifts and what is ours to do, we can be authentic in our work too. Nancy


    1. Indeed, our lives shouldn’t be performances. Living as if “All the world’s a stage” has devastating, long-term consequences. You lead by living example, Nancy. I value your authenticity and honesty, on top of your kindness, being loving, insight, wisdom, and desire to be helpful. I love everything about you.


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