I used to get so excited about growing up. When I was a teenager, I always felt a little different than everyone. (Didn’t we all feel that way?) And I would day dream about the day when I was living the perfect adult life. I would finally have it figured out, ya know? Life. I’d still be unique and different but I wouldn’t be afraid of it. I wouldn’t be uncomfortable. I would be confident and self-assure. I really wanted to just, “skip ahead to the part where I’m awesome.”

On came college and I joined a vocal ensemble that traveled constantly. The group was extremely challenging both vocally and spiritually. The group gave me a sense of purpose and the music brought me so much joy. But I was a bit disappointed to find that young teenager with her concerns still inside of me. “I’m still here..” she whispered. Little Alyssa was still there with all her fashion faux pas and the filter from her mind to her mouth was still missing. “Why are you here?!” I wondered shouted.

I had good grades, wonderful friends and was in love with an AMAZING dude (aka Joel Randy Landy my huzband). But why oh WHY did I still feel so strange sometimes? So insecure? Why did I have LITERALLY no clue what I was doing with my life? Why did I still feel like I hadn’t arrived?

On into married life and the story was the same. I’d learned to match my clothes better. I had a better grasp on the meaning of true love. I paid attention to politics more. But in those quiet moments where I wished I was a better time manager, a better cook, more patient with Joel…ah, there she was. “I’m still here…” she practically smirked. Yeah, you’re here and you’re incomplete and you STILL don’t have it all together. “I’ll be a mom one day and then surely I’ll have it all together!” I told my inner self.


One thing I’ve learned in the last 26 years of my life,  you take yourself with you. As you age, as you travel, as you date. I’m sure this has been said before. Joel has been reading a John Maxwell book called 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. He read this quote to me and I LOVE it.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”

I’m always waiting to be more organized. More productive. More intentional. But apparently it’s not just going to happen. With age comes a certain degree of growth from experiences you have. But character- that takes time. Good habits? Those take lots of time. Daily, consistent time.

So here is my challenge to you, reader. All 5 of you. All 50 of you. 500? Sorry, I’ll calm down. Let’s acknowledge that as long as we are breathing, we have the ability to grow.Who do you want to be? What do you want your relationship with your spouse to be like? What are some career accomplishments you’d like to achieve?

And what are you doing on a daily basis to get there?

OH, and be patient with yourself in the meantime. That little version of yourself on the inside has come a long way.