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I know what I said….

in lifestyle

“I desire to more clearly and confidently get my direction, my passion, my ideas, my motivation, from Jesus, from my loved ones, from trusted counselors, not from what and how others are appearing via Instagram, ” I shared.

“I hope to no longer be distracted during a great moment, because I’m trying to find a way to document it well or beautifully,” I wrote.

“I am passionate that this is a faithful choice with the Father and will make space for more growth spiritually and experience of Him,” I said.

And praise be to God, all these things have become reality, even in 5 short (short?) months.

I dove headfirst into discipleship. Began teaching middle school girls sunday school and mentoring a young friend each week. New friendships were found and cultivated, full of laughter, discovery, and excitement. I looked up from my screen in the grocery store or restaurant, and saw people more clearly. I asked questions, and listened. I laughed, prayed with, encouraged and shared my own deep feelings. I’ve discovered a deep love and fascination with people and their stories, that’s probably been a small seed my entire life, but is now a full-blown flower.

Oftentimes, I wouldn’t carry my phone on me, because the compulsion to share or document a moment was removed. I said more “thanks” under my breath to Heavenly Father than ever before, because the fullness of a moment took up all my senses. I allowed the weight of a joyful interaction or sad, confusing situation to sit, instead of escaping to the distraction of scrolling through a feed. I love capturing moments with my camera – it’s truly one of my favorite hobbies – but the freedom of not chasing down a particular instance, but to simply enjoy it, was amazing. What I did document, I discovered a desire to pair it with conversation or memory, not to share it with the world.

And the greatest of all, like I hoped and prayed, more space was made for spiritual revelation, and presence of God. Wowzers. I have encountered Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit in new ways, unearthing treasures and growth I wasn’t even aware I needed or desired. I’ve learned new things about myself, even a few painful realizations that begged for His healing and touch.

I asked, and He is faithful. Graciously and lovingly chipping away mindsets that were unhelpful, weighed me down, and distracted me from Him and abundant life.

In case you’re wondering, I will continue not posting or checking my social media accounts, but I would like to jump back into public writing with this blog.

I didn’t realize how much I would miss it, though the break was super healthy for me. But in the words of my kind and encouraging best friend, “You have a gift. Why keep that to yourself?”

Having an internet following for this blog, being known for writing good content, or even validation by kind words from friends are not the goal. Focusing on those things only cause me anxiety, and they tempt me with the lie that success and reputation are more important than treasuring God wholeheartedly. NOT a good place for me.

One desire is 1 Peter 2:9-10:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

I hope to do this with my life – proclaim the goodness and greatness of God – but writing is a pastime I enjoy. This blog is another way to speak out for Him, to tell anyone who reads of the night-and-day difference He made, and continues to make, for me. From nothing, to something. From rejected, to eternally accepted.

The struggles, the joys, the lessons learned, the funny stories, the sad realities — He is the greatest adventure and romance, always.

Another goal is to refresh and be present in my small corner of humanity with words, whether they are mine or another’s.

So here we go… 5ish months of a much-needed, uplifting, marvelous blog break, but I’m too excited not to write here.

2017, the year of no internet posting

in faith / lifestyle

I’ve devoted more time and energy to screens instead of faces for a long time. By God’s grace I have always held it in good balance. I haven’t idolized social media as a way for validation or affirmation. I know who I am in Christ.

But, in a social-media age, it’s even easier for us to be disconnected or disengaged people. People can follow us or friend us without really knowing us. Relationship connections are easy, but if we aren’t careful they can become quite shallow. We now can build a platform or become an influence in others lives just by amassing Twitter and Instagram followers.

I certainly don’t view social media or any form of technology as inherently bad, of course. They can be creative outlets and fun interaction, and they can certainly be used to glorify God, but in this current season, I cannot underestimate the great value of a faithful life lived on the ground and in the ordinary.

This year, 2017, I want to love and know Him more — more completely, more fully. I want to be present for the people around me; to love and listen to and be in the trenches with them better. I want to dig deep into His purpose for me since He knit me together: to radiate and present His glory to the world and to enjoy Him forever.

This is currently a good decision for me, this is not meant to lay on guilt or conviction, that’s not my job. We each have our decisions to make and lives to live.

For me personally to get what my heart longs for, it means a change in where I invest my time, specifically time on the internet, specifically time prioritizing the creation of encouraging, creative, appealing, and helpful online accounts.

Read more…

jewelry highlight: fair trade winds

in lifestyle

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Just a little Thursday pop-in to say how much I adore my new peacock earrings from Fair Trade Winds.

Fair Trade helps socially and economically marginalized people all around the world.  The most significant way Fair Trade creates opportunity is by providing access to the global market.  This process gives producers a chance to break the cycle of poverty and provide sustainably for themselves and their families.

how I plan on living more fully

in lifestyle

heartnatured.com

I plan to take my camera everywhere and take a lot more pictures.

I already have a wild passion for capturing moments and taking photos of people, but I have barely scratched the surface. I want to carry my big camera around more often, instead of simply using my cell phone. I want to capture the beauty in the mundane, and capture clearly the smiles of my loved ones.

I plan to go on more walks with my people.

Especially with the weather cooling off, I have found this fondness for walking. With my husband around our neighborhood, with my mom around our church campus, with my friends around a local park — super fun to catch up and also get our heart rates up.

I plan to journal every day.

Whether it’s two lines or two pages, I want to give myself the space to write and think. Not type, but write. Doodle.

I plan to love my body better.

I inherited dry skin, and it get 5x times dryer in the cooler weather. So I plan to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. I also have this bad habit of never taking my makeup off. I don’t wear a ton of it, but it can’t be good for my skin. I also plan on combatting my sluggish feeling of late by saying no to sugar and processed foods for a little while. Here’s an article to back that up.

I plan to stop looking at a screen at least 30 minutes before I go to sleep.

I think it’s a proven fact, but the brightness of a screen cannot help my brain get ready for a good REM cycle, right? It’ll be tough for me, if I’m honest, but I think good for me.

I plan to listen to the Bible more often.

I have only done it occasionally, but the past few times I’ve been driving and listening to it, it took on a different meaning to me somehow. Is that weird? Possibly. Oh well, I’m going to roll with it. Let the stories of Jesus and people like Moses, and the beautiful Truth of the Psalms or a book like Ephesians wash over me like a river of light.

Seems like a lot of things, but they are each changes I can easily make, if I make up my mind.

“What matters is not what I have been, but what God is making of me. When I realized, I began to feel secure in God’s work in my life. I do not know future, but I know God. I know that He will conform me to the image of Christ in particular ways so that Christ will be glorified and my service for Him will be complete.” T.W. Hunt
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