let your heart take courage


i am afraid of spiders.

i am afraid of flying.

i am afraid i am not good enough.

much of my life has been defined by my fears.

ever since i was a little girl i’ve been afraid.  the green drapes in my bedroom were the same color as the wicked witch of the west (I’m certain), someone might break into the house, airplanes just do not make sense, and what if I am not doing enough?!

i’ve made many decisions based upon fear.  i’ve answered opportunity over and over again with a “no” based upon my calculations of what could happen and what might go wrong.

other times, I’ve taken the advice to “just do it afraid” (thank you, Joyce Meyer) and managed to sweat my way through things that terrify me.  as i’ve gotten older, i’ve found that regret feels worse than fear and i’m finding, that i’d rather feel fear than regret. i’ve used this thought to filter more recent decisions.

last spring, i sweated and breathed deeply for 8 hours on a plane over the ocean to go on an overseas trip that i didn’t want to regret taking. it was during that trip that i was chased down with the truth that…

C O U R A G E  is there for the taking.  

Psalm 31:24 says, “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for, hope for and expect the Lord!”

the truth is, it’s not a matter of mustering up enough courage or finding it, its just a matter of taking it.  and notice it starts with, “LET your heart”…..”take courage.”

letting your heart take it is the starting place.  allowing yourself is the place where courage grows.  so let go. let go of what you think you can or can’t do (or, what others have told you can or can’t do), who you are, who you were, and who you are afraid to be and LET your heart (your true self) take courage.  take courage to be who god has created you to be.  live and enjoy the life he has designed for you!

*this is a post i wrote for original.  you can read the rest of the post here (. . . .sometimes we take courage + start to sink)

more soulfull posts here (and, a bit on peace).


5 Ways to Encourage Other Women

Need encouragement? Me too! We all do. Sometimes it’s easy enough to encourage or share a kind word and other times it’s trickier and it takes a deliberate effort.

I want to share a few simple ways you can uplift, and check-in, on your sisters and friends.

If you follow me on Instagram (that’s where I share daily–let’s be friends!) then you saw that I wrote about a controversial event this week regarding a particular woman teaching/preaching the gospel. I won’t rehash it all here (because you can read the original post and join the conversation here), except to say that I addressed a public incident that involved jeering, belittling, and mocking a woman (an amazing woman with ABUNDANT fruit in her life). Sadly, the facts of life are that she’s not the only one. I imagine that so many of you have privately experienced scenarios similar to this, in that you have been accused, belittled, mocked and verbally abused–I am so sorry.

Most everyone we encounter is fighting some kind of battle that we are unaware of and, as we know, there is no shortage of tearing others down in today’s world. So let’s be women that are concerned for the well being of others by checking in and building each other up, as much–and as often–as we can. Here are a few simple, yet meaningful, ways to add value to others:


5 Ways to Encourage Other Women


01 / Ask . . . “Are you OK?”

Here is what all of us want . . . to be seen. You might not always be met, in return, with vulnerability–so many are going through things in which they cannot or do not want to discuss. But I guarantee the person on the receiving end will know they are seen and that someone is concerned about them and their life. I’ll be chatting a little more personally about this with my e-mail friends tomorrow (are you on the list?). You can join my e-mail friend’s group here.


02 / Tell them the gifts/good/fruit you see in their lives.

Do you ever think things like: “Wow, she is such a great mom, communicator, friend….” “I love her style, compassion, tenacity…..” “I really notice a change, growth, a job well-done…..”

I do..I  think these types of things and don’t think to say them. Instead of thinking about or comparing ourselves (woah, yes, I said it!)  to another’s strengths or accomplishments, let’s call them out and say what we see–acknowledge–and encourage.


03/ Be with them in celebration or tears.

Be there, in any kind of weather. Don’t be a fair-weather friend. Be the first to celebrate with them in the good times and the first to show up with tissues and soup in the hard times. Don’t be jealous of their success and don’t be afraid of their pain–just be there!


04/ Share what you’ve got. Insight, wisdom, time, connections.

You’ve got resources. Yes, you. We all have something that could help another with exactly where they are at. Don’t be stingy with what you have, what you’ve learned or who you know. Share the love. You wouldn’t be where you are if it wasn’t for others coming alongside you.


05 / Pray for them, but also with them.

Pray for one another-YES! If someone comes to mind, it’s probably for a reason. Say a prayer. Better yet–call or meet up with a sister or friend and pray for them and with them. I know it sometimes feels awkward at first, but it will not only strengthen the one you’re praying for/with, but it will also strengthen your friendship and you!


If you want to receive my emails (which I try to send weekly) then simply enter your e-mail address below. It’s where I can share in a more personal and open fashion. As always it’s packed with encouragement and inspiration for your everyday life! xo. T



wear it * courage + a scarf


this is my new genet scarf.  i’m pretty in love with it.  i love the colors.  the pattern.  the comfort.  and the courage i wrap myself in when i wear it.

yes, courage.  courage is a constant theme for me.  i’m always looking for it.  praying for it.  hoping for it.  wishing for it.  pondering it.  and lately, taking it.

most of the things that i’ve done, seen or been apart of that have been monumental in my life, i’ve been slightly afraid of.  you know the chances, opportunities, and situations that your heart screams yes to but your mind talks you out of.  this is how i seem to deal with anything and everything that is great, good, and full of potential.  me, myself, and i usually do an exquisite job of convincing, “no you can’t do that.”  i’ve taken many passes on opportunity.  adventure.  change.  and, on living life, really.  but lately, my heart has been whispering louder than my chatty mind.

i have a pretty amazing opportunity ahead of me.

little did i know that blogging about a scarf last fall would have me crossing the ocean and two continents to ethiopia this summer.

in august, i’ll be joining a group of bloggers and traveling to africa with fashionABLE and Mocha Club.  we will be blogging real time and sharing stories about amazing women that make these very scarfs and in doing so are making a better life for themselves and their loved ones.  finding and taking courage themselves.


i took the courage to say yes to ethiopia.  and, i’m honored, thrilled and so excited to go!!  but, if i’m honest, authentic and real with you than i can’t leave out the part about being a wee bit scared in the actual going.  i’ve been to africa before.  i’ve traveled near and far, many times and again.  maybe it’s the far factor?  far from my loved ones.  far from life as i know it.  and a far way on a plane (those that know me well, are probably in shock that i’m going just based upon the flight alone).  but this is one of those things (opportunity, just isn’t even the right word), that i know i’m supposed to do.  one could call the invitation coincidence, luck, or even chance.   but i don’t think those words work.  i just know, in my knowing, that this trip, is on my life map.  that the stories of the women that i’m going to meet (and share with you) will be a part of my story.  i’m not sure how all the dots connect but i know they will.  and so . . .  i’m going.

i’m going in the strength that i have.  and that is enough.


we only learn courage by couraging (as brene brown says).

i’m going to find, take, and learn more courage on this adventure.  i’ll take it in the going.  i’ll find it in the women i’m going to meet, who are no doubt brave in ways i’ll never have to be.  i’ll learn it by my traveling companions who will be new friends and have stories of their own to share.  and, then i’ll do some sharing.  i’ll share their stories.  the adventure.  the couraging with all of you.  and beyond that type of sharing, i hope to, in some way or form, share courage with those i meet a long the way.

while i was in london, i heard someone say, “we spend our courage in life, so we constantly need to be encouraged.”  as you are spending your courage away (in big and in everyday kind of ways) i hope these words encourage you.   that whatever you are up against, jumping towards, or saying yes to, that you will go in the strength that is yours.  it may seem like not enough (it always feels that way).  but when you do the thing, you’ll be taking the courage you need and find yourself couraging more and more (yourself + others).

there is more to this story.  more to share and more to, yet, be written.  i hope you’ll follow along.

xo . trina

and if you are feeling dis-couraged.  tired.  worn.  cold, even.  maybe get your own genet scarf.  wrap yourself in strength.  warm yourself in knowing you are not alone.  that someone an ocean away is finding courage, themselves, in making that very scarf.

p.s.   you can follow along on our travels by keeping up with this blog + following the hashtag #blogABLE

photos taken by my little la la!


on taking courage

take courage via la la lovely

i had this post and that post but no post seemed right today.

yesterday, as i drove to ikea, in a giant white pick up truck, to buy patio furniture for my husband to put together, other peoples lives were being pulled apart.  i’m sure your heart is aching with each sound of the newscasters reports.  and the ache of those who have lost loved ones can’t be put to words.  i haven’t even been able to turn the tv on, other than a blaring episode of peppa pig, as i sometimes just can’t take the visuals of devastation.

how to do you handle hard times?  do you hide out?  do you take action?  do you divert your attention?  i sometimes do a little of each.  i hug my loved ones a little tighter and pray throughout the day.


hug your babies today.  squeeze your loved ones.  take a deep breathe.  whisper  prayers.  pay attention to the little things.  give however you are able and take courage.

sometimes we just have to take it.

take it for yourself and whatever trial you are facing.  take it for a friend who can’t find it for themselves.  take it for today, because today is really all we are promised.  take it for your little ones so they know it is there for the taking and where to find it.

and, once you take courage you can take action.  that’s how it works.  whether that is saying a prayer.  giving a donation.  making a meal.  taking someone in.  or whispering words of encouragement.

so lovelies, take courage and take action.

i’d love to hear how you do your taking.

a few ways to take action to help the victims in OKC, even from a distance, are through these wonderful organizations :

American Red Cross– Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, donate online, or donate by phone at 1-800-RED CROSS.If you’re searching for a missing relative, check Red Cross Safe & Well site. And please register if you’re within the disaster region. The site is designed to make communication easier after a tragedy like this.

Salvation Army– Donate online or text STORM to 80888 to contribute $10 to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts or make a donation by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY. If you’re sending a check make sure you put the words “Oklahoma Tornado Relief” on the check, and mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK., 73157.

Operation USA– Donate online, by phone at 1-800-678-7255, or by check made out to Operation USA, 7421 Beverly Blvd., PH, Los Angeles, CA 90036. You can also donate $10 by texting AID to 50555. Corporate donations of bulk quantities of disaster-appropriate supplies are also being requested.

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief– This organization says donations will “go straight to help those in need providing tree removal services, laundry services and meals to victims of disasters.”  It is requesting monetary donations (It says clothing is NOT needed).  Send checks to: BGCO, Attn: Disaster Relief, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK., 73112.

image : artwork by landon metz (if you are in need of some beauty today his artwork is gorgeous + soothing).


the heart


seems like today i have many words wondering around, but no good way to string any sense together. they seem a little fuzzy in the middle and razor sharp around the edges.  blurry and boring as brown and crystal blue clear.   but, even in not knowing what to say, here i sit, fingers click clacking away, eyes starring at the bright screen, hoping something shiny will come of this letter and that.

it’s funny cause i feel like lately i’m decoding some business of the heart.  i haven’t quite cracked it yet and probably never fully will.  hearts are to be guarded.  hearts are to be open.  hearts are broken.  hearts are homes.  we hide things in our hearts.  we share our hearts.  hearts carry.  hearts hold.  hearts are heavy.  hearts are light.  hearts grow and hearts can grow cold.  life (and the course of it) flows out of our hearts.  and, life stops when our hearts do.  but, lately what i’ve been noticing is that our hearts have the ability to let.

let your heart take courage.

do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

i’m not sure the state of your heart.  whether it’s brittle and broken or flowing over full.  open and guarded or closed and cold.  the past few days mine has been feeling a bit troubled and i’m guessing some one who is reading this may be feeling the same way.  so for you and for me . . . do not let your heart be troubled, dear one, neither let it be afraid.  but, do let your heart (give it permission) take courage.  courage for today.  courage to let it heal.  courage to love again.  courage to be loved.  courage to forgive.  courage accept forgiveness.  courage to find its next beat.  and, it’s next and it’s next and it’s best beat, yet.

xo . t

Trina McNeilly

Trina McNeilly is a writer and founder of La La Lovely, where she has been blogging for nearly a decade. With an eye for beauty, Trina finds inspiration in styled spaces, other times in the broken places and everywhere in between. Through soulful writing in the voice of a trusted friend she shares her finds and all about being found.


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