“Fall harder. Rise up better.”

Image courtesy of designbolts.com

Image courtesy of designbolts.com

My husband and I recently moved.

We left the Lake (where we’d been showered with peace, perfect sunsets, and night skies so bejeweled I swore I could reach up and pluck the stars from the velvet welkin) and returned…

to. the. suburbs.

I was much more accepting of the move than my more-often-than-not better half.  In my head and heart, it was a need more than a want (a necessary evil, if I’m being soul-scrapingly honest).

Sure, we’d had great experiences there, but then it was inhabited by people without character…

without heart.

And I feared that their toxicity had somehow crept into the nooks of our home and seeped into its structure, just lying in wait to emotionally slime us, to beat us down and to challenge our gratefulness and belief in blessings.

Another thing left behind (other than my father and his fiancee, who certainly trump sunsets and stars) was our church.  While we weren’t nearly as involved as we’d have liked, we felt supported, loved and safely held in the arms of the congregation, especially by our Pastor, Bob.

With the hope of finding another congregation to call home, we began our Church Hop yesterday.  We attended service at an old church with a new name.  The people were different.  The music was different.  The feeling was different.

Nearly everything was different.

My husband leaned over less than halfway through and whispered, “Do you like it?”

I stared straight ahead and shook my head…


No, I didn’t

Shortly after, the lights were dimmed and a video was played.

It was about dreams.  How we live for them.  Then abandon them (before they can abandon us, perhaps).

And a string of words appeared on the screen…just before the tears appeared in my eyes:


Fall harder.  Rise up better.


I don’t know about you, but I have always been terrified of failure…

Failure as a wife, daughter, sister and friend.  Failure as a writer.  Failure as a want-to-be mother.  Failure as a student of books and, more importantly, life.  Failure as me (insignificant and yet very significant (to a select few) me).

FEAR is a powerful word; it is also a powerful emotion.  Powerful enough to emotionally and physically immobilize us (if allowed).

Truth be told, I’ve made countless decisions out of fear.  The fear of falling hard and rising…





No.  More.


The time is now for living and loving hard.  Falling harder.  And rising up better.

For not allowing fear to numb us, but to stimulate us.

For not allowing failure to define us, but to refine us.

For not allowing rising up to frighten us, but to empower us.


We still may get emotionally slimed (odds are good we will).

But I’ll be ready.

And will rise up better.


My hope is this:

that you will too.

  One thought on ““Fall harder. Rise up better.”

  1. Jenae
    November 5, 2013 at 4:58 am

    Truth simply and powerfully spoken! Amen to each word so carefully typed….. thank you.

    • November 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks for reading, sweetie. Hope you took something away…

  2. Janelle
    November 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    We recently found a new church…it’s been wonderful. We were in a bad place before and then we found this wonderful place (believe it or not, it’s Catholic too!) So you are right on point…

    • November 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      Thanks, J. I’m so happy to hear this and hope we can find a place as wonderful as yours.

  3. November 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I hope you can find a church that can help you through this. I attend a nondenominational church I Christ. Love the people there. They are my family. They helped me get through the miscarriage and have been by my side. I used to be catholic and I never found that type of love or family feel with them.

    • November 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Thank you for thinking of us. I’m sure we will find a church eventually, though it may take some time.

      I have also decided to attend a support group for pregnancy and infant loss. I’ll think it’s a step in the right direction and hope that I’ll be able to strengthen my network of “hollows” that have experienced such losses.

      Thank you again.

  4. Sherry Beren
    November 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Again, beautiful! You should read the book Broken Open, I am reading it now and it is wonderful……Sherry

    • November 8, 2013 at 1:13 am

      Thanks for the read and the suggestion, Sherry.

      I’ll look into it…

  5. Kim
    November 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Beautiful & Inspiring! Thank you, this is what I needed right before taking a big leap and making a major change in our life.

    • November 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      So glad that you visited and that you took something with you.

      I can’t wait to hear about all the changes…

      Thanks again for stopping by, love.

  6. serialphotographer
    November 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Dani

    my first time of dropping by, I must say you have a delighful way with words, all of which I am sure touch most if not all of your readers.

    It is clear that you write from the heart and your messages contain very powerful prose,I hope your move and search go well. I note that previous respondents have suggested a novel for you, I would wholeheartedly recommend The Shack, extremely thought provoking and beautifully written.

    I will certainly drop by again and look forward to reading your subsequent posts.

    • November 10, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      What a lovely message.

      Thank you.

      I agree with you about The Shack. I try to read it once a year and always find something new and deeper with each read.

      Thankful for your visit,


      • September 4, 2014 at 4:19 am

        sometime when it is just us girls talking, I have some stories about the person who wrote the shack…and me

  7. November 17, 2013 at 12:25 am

    One of the greatest discoveries I’ve made so far [and I had to learn it early, as my chosen profession was teaching] was that failure is poorly named. The word makes it sound like a bad thing.
    It isn’t, it’s necessary.
    Humans learn best [and fastest] by stuffing up.
    Children know this [until they fall under the influence of parents or teachers who are terrified of ‘mistakes’]
    Children make a thousand mistakes a day and bounce right back up and move forward….. they just learned something.
    Young dogs do the same thing. They, like children, are hardwired to learn, and mistakes speed up the process.

    I love your blog name.
    My mum nicknamed me ‘spider’ [long story], and I am fascinated by these amazing and misunderstood creatures.

    • November 17, 2013 at 12:34 am

      Terry, thank you for your visit and your insight into failure.

      I’m glad you like my blog name (and would love to hear the “long story” about Spider sometime).

      My thanks again…

  8. January 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    It takes a lot of courage to face our fears. I think you’ll do well in 2014 at rising up to face yours. I hope I can do the same…

    • June 18, 2014 at 3:07 am

      I hope you are, Steve. I hope you are.

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