15 reasons you should start a blog

One of the most frequent questions people ask me on Instagram is whether or not they should start a blog, and if so–would anyone read it or even care? I still have a long way to go, but I sat down today and thought about some of the benefits of blogging and all it has taught me. If it’s been on your heart for a while, here’s your cue to go for it. If you still need some convincing, here are 15 reasons why you should start a blog.

15 reasons why-3

  1. You will connect with incredible people. Simply put, I have met some of the most amazing people online. I have built relationships with them and collaborated with them. The blogging community is an amazing way to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passions.
  2. You will have a permanent journal of God’s faithfulness in your life. One of my favorite things to do is to click back through different blog posts and remember the day that I wrote them. It brings me back to what I was experiencing and how God was working in my life at a particular time.
  3. You will learn to break open and be vulnerable. No one is drawn to a perfect life. The world wants to see that they are not alone in being broken. They want to see that you are too, but that you’ve found hope in your brokenness. No matter what type of blogger you are-lifestyle, fashion, food-they don’t want to see all the perfection. They want to see you. You have to share who you are in a raw, real way, if you ever want to speak to someone’s heart. I believe in brave vulnerability, and blogging teaches it to you like almost nothing else.
  4. You will develop discipline. If you have a busy schedule and have committed to blogging, you will have to find the time somewhere. Whether it’s by getting up earlier, cutting out time wasters or being more diligent in certain areas of your life, blogging teaches you discipline.
  5. You will grow. You will grow in vulnerability, and with that growth you will gain confidence. You will start to care less and less about how people perceive you, not just online, but in real-life connections as well. Not only will you grow as you share and connect with the world, you will also have a journal to look back on.
  6. You will be given amazing opportunities. I will never forget how excited I was as a sixteen year old to get to write a guest post on New York Times Best Selling author Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience. Some opportunities are only given when you take a risk and share your heart. Blogging opens up a world of these opportunities.
  7. You will bring your own brand of beauty to the world. The world needs the beauty in your heart. That no one else can see and no one else. You are the only one who sees the world through your eyes. Letting the world see life through through your eyes is perhaps the greatest gift you can give, because no one compares to you.
  8. You will look at the world in a new light. You will look for the good that you want to share. You will look for the lessons in the mundane and the incredible in the ordinary. You will see life through a different perspective.
  9. You will stand out. Most people are not willing to put who they are online for the whole world to see. It’s scary and risky too. This is why those who decide to do it and do it big are the ones who stick out. In a good way. Leave your impression on the world. As you blog, the part of you that once wanted to blend in will now start to care less and less. Be the one who stands out.
  10. You will be encouraged. One of the greatest ways to remember that God is not through with you is to look back over the past year. Last week I was having a rough time, and thought back to where I was last year in March. I realized that He had grown, stretched, and matured me in ways that I hadn’t imagined possible within one year. Start a blog today and look back next year. God will blow your mind.
  11. You will learn how to create meaningful content. If you’re a college student, I highly recommend starting a blog. I have gained many skills including visual content marketing, social media marketing, visual appeal, graphic design, and more. I still have a far way to go, but it has taught me more than I could have imagined. You will gain so many skills critical to your future career.
  12. You will be given the opportunity to encourage others. This is one of my favorite reasons. We hold the power to encourage or discourage others through the way we live and the words we speak/write. Blogging provides you a platform to share, encourage, and inspire others by building meaningful and lasting content.
  13. You will discover what your passions are. Blogging has been an incredible way for me to discover what I want to do for the rest of my life. I might not have it all figured out, but as you write, you’ll begin to notice a trend. You will naturally write about topics that truly interest you. You’ll write about topics that inspire you, lift you higher, and make your heart soar.
  14. You will be opening the door to incredible potential. There is no limit to how your blog and voice can impact the world. Pursuing your dreams and who you were created to be will only make the world a better place. Write about something you care about, and the world will catch on.
  15. You will be challenged. There is no growth without a challenge. Embrace it and take the plunge.

If your a blogger what reason(s) would you give? I hope these encourage you to take a risk and go for it!

you are right where you need to be

I know you feel like every other person on this earth has found their purpose, and you’re dancing on you’re own two feet to music no one else hears in a swirl of clueless emotions.

beachYou really don’t know what you’re doing here. I mean, life is a little strange isn’t it? One moment we know why our lungs are full of air and our hearts are on fire and the next we’re wondering if we’re good enough to order our breakfast and latte without saying something completely ridiculous about vanilla syrup to the barista. (Please tell me I’m not the only one).

We waver down here. Waver because we are human. And we forget a lot of things. We let our brains get washed out with words that aren’t true. We start to believe what we keep hearing. Then we question what He tells us is truth. Then we go back to what the world is saying. Then we turn around and run back to Him.

You get the picture because your life is that picture.

I think sometimes we get caught up in feeling sorry for ourselves, when the reality is He just wants us to move on and to keep going. He lifts us back up. We’re stumbling through life and every time something knocks us down, it’s an opportunity for us to call on Him. For us to ask Him to pull us back up.  You might be completely confused right now about what He is doing and were He has you, but you are never too confused to simply ask Him to lift your heart back to the place of surrender.

If you want to live a life that is truly full and alive, you are going to have to do a lot of things you do not feel like doing. Sometimes, you will not feel like asking Him to renew you. You will feel like sleeping. You will feel like filling your schedule with anything and everything else to keep you from having to be still with your own thoughts. You will run in this life. Run from anything that reminds you that you need Him. Because your heart knows it’s true, and sometimes it’s really hard to come.

A lot of days will pass where your purpose feels vague. But that does not mean your purpose is vague. What you feel is not indicative of what is true, but what is true informs how you feel–if you let it.

My heart doesn’t hold all the answers as to why our emotions waver, but sometimes late at night, it is full of thoughts and words that I have to write down. I have to write them down so that when I wake up tomorrow and want to choose to believe against what I feel, I have something to go back to. We all need a word sometimes to know that we are right where we need to be.

So here is a word for you.

You are not the only one struggling to find purpose. Our hearts are engrained with a longing to live for what matters. But this world and the emptiness here clouds our minds. We get so caught up in how today feels that we miss the bigger picture of what our lives are meant to be. You do not have to figure out what you want to do in life. Figure out who you are living for, and He will show you.

Your purpose transcends a career or what you “do”–it’s who you are. You are not defined by how successful you become or what job you land. You are not defined by a score on a math test or a GPA. You are not defined in comparison to someone else’s intelligence. Your purpose is to make the name of your King known, and He knows just how He wants you to do that.  He is making a way.

You are not stupid for wondering if you’re enough. We all do. Over and over again. You are not the only one feeling alone or forgotten or left out. I just hope you know that whatever you are feeling tonight, someone else is feeling it too.

You are one of the many. One of the many broken who has been made whole by a love so deep and full that all of life could not contain its beauty.

You are so incredibly loved. He loves you enough tonight to remind you to come back to Him. He wants you to be with Him. He has a purpose for you. You are not an accident. If you can’t figure it out, that’s a good thing. That means He wants you to focus all your heart on running after Him. He will show you in His time. He makes it all beautiful when He sees fit. He’s never failed before, and He is not about to start.

You are not alone. You have incredible purpose. You are not stupid. You do not fall short. You are so incredibly loved

There will never be another you on this planet. Let your passions and gifts and dreams grow and develop and pour out on other people’s lives. Sitting comfortable on what you know might feel good today, but you will regret it tomorrow. You never know who might be liberated when they see you spinning around caught up in a love deeper than all you can fathom.

Throw aside your doubts and step into glorious freedom.

Let the fear fall by the wayside,

Dance to the music that only you hear.

And know that in this glorious mystery there is a peace that comes when you know one thing:

you are right where you need to be.

5 SPRING beauty favorites

Processed with VSCO with c4 preset

1. CC Creamcccream

Super lightweight and moisturizing, this CC cream is perfect for warmer weather. It gives you a sheer cover that doesn’t leave your skin looking orange or caked. If you have naturally freckled skin, it provides enough coverage to even your skin tone without looking

 

2. Bronzerchocolatebronzer

A little bit of bronzer My favorite is Too-faced in the chocolate shade. For a bronzed summer look, use a little on your eye lids in place of eye shadow.

 

3. Gentle Facewashgentle

If you have sensitive skin, or keratosis pilaris (small little bumps on your skin), this face wash soothes, nourishes, and calms. It’s lightweight and scentless to avoid irritation. It makes your skin SO soft.

 

corrector4. Naked Color Corrector

Lightweight + helps correct under-eye circles and dark spots on your skin. Apply a little bit underneath foundation, CC cream, or concealer to brighten your skin.

 

fauxtan5. Self-Tanner

This tanner provides an even, golden finish without drying out your skin or rubbing off on your clothes. It lasts for a week and applies evenly with a tanning lotion glove.

Purpose and Platform: How the two collide

God has given us all a unique platform through which He will accomplish His purpose in us. Something entirely different than everyone else. What happens is that we get so caught up in worrying about our platform that we miss our purpose. We compare our platform (number of followers, page views, job position, gifts, talents) to so many other people’s, when we are called to pursue a purpose.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Why do we chase a platform? Because it’s the part people see. People see our talents. They see our promotions and our gifts. They see where we excel in school. They see how many followers we have. They see how fit we are. If we want to see whether or not a person is “successful”, we often look straight at their platform.

We’ve started measuring who a person is, by how successful their platform has become.

The part of a person we often miss is their purpose, because it’s not as easy to see.

When purpose and platform collide in a way in which someone’s platform passionately gives you a glimpse into their purpose, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s rare to see genuine passion behind something or someone. I think that it is rare because our society has become so focused on how someone appears to us. Purpose is an entirely different side of that someone. It’s the side of their soul. Some can display it incredibly well and effortlessly through their platform. Others? It’s tucked inside, perhaps visible to less people, but nevertheless still there.

A small platform never can negate a large purpose.

Where is your focus? Because God has given you every single thing you need to accomplish His purpose for you in this life. It is beyond your comfort zone. I promise you it will not feel good all the time. I promise you the only way you can discover it is to step out in faith, and consistently do what you have never done. You have to be brave enough to be vulnerable.

But this purpose will not be accomplished through a platform that is like anyone else’s. It will look entirely different. Their platform might be a blog. Yours might be speaking at an event. Their platform might be as a CEO, yours might be as a sister or friend. Their platform might be found in a college degree, yours might be found by doing what no one else seems to be doing. Never overlook the platform that He has given you right now because it’s not what you wanted. It is there, and that is what matters. There are hundreds of platforms in your life, and perhaps one in particular that ignites passion inside your soul.

Quit putting pressure on yourself to conform to an image that He hasn’t called you to. You’ve done it, I know. I know because I have. You scroll through Instagram and just wish your life could look like hers. You spend so much time consuming creativity that you forget to live a creative life yourself. You spend so much time examining her platform that you miss your own purpose. Don’t try to copy someone else when The Lord has designed something so incredibly unique for your life.

In order to accurately compare two things, they have to be made for the same platform. And while our underlying purpose in this life is the glory of God, we are not all made to accomplish that purpose in the same way. We are not all made for the same platform. When you compare, you are comparing something that isn’t even equal. Something that was never meant to be the same. We are distorting the purpose God has for each of our lives by telling Him our platforms should look different. 

This has been hitting my soul like a ton of bricks lately. I hope it wrecks you too, in the best way possible.

Start chasing down the purpose He has for you. If you don’t see it now, keep seeking Him. It’s found there-in His presence.

The platform will follow as an overflow of the passion inside your heart, when you discover who He has made you to be. Don’t waste more of your time in self-pity, always wishing your life could look different. Embrace the platform He has put before you today. Let His purpose for your life guide you. And never de-value who you are because your platform is a different size than someone else’s. He’s not looking at numbers or talents or gifts. He’s looking at how faithfully we use what we do have. Bring your two pieces of silver and give them to Him. Your platform might even look as small as two loaves of bread and a few fish. But that didn’t stop Jesus from using it to fill five thousand people. Any platform will be used by Him if placed back inside His hands.

Take your simple thoughts, your dreams, your pictures, your passion: place it in His hands. Watch Him bless it. Watch Him feed thousands of souls. And watch Him get all the glory, because it’s His.

Quit comparing your platform.

Start pursuing your purpose.

and somehow, we find acceptance

rejection is an acceptance.

an acceptance into who you were meant to be.

an invitation to step into the embodiment of the space you were created to fill.

an ushering in of something beautiful.

2-26-7I promise you this:

you can leverage pain into passion.

you can leverage loneliness into love.

you can leverage rejection into acceptance,

if you make a choice.

I know it’s hard to see it now. I know you don’t understand where He has you. I know their words-or lack of-hurt.

I don’t know how you feel. I’ve never walked a day in your shoes.

but I see your pain. we have to acknowledge it. we have to own it as our own.

and tonight-

this short word is for all of us, because it finds us all at one time or another:

you are not labeled by rejection. you are invited into the arms of a God of acceptance.

a life without rejection is a life without acceptance. you cannot have one without the other. you cannot know the height of one without the depth of the other. you cannot know the fullness of your God if you haven’t tasted the emptiness of everything else. & that is juts what rejection shows us.

if everything worked out, you would never know what was right for you.

don’t minimize your pain.

if you need to cry tonight, cry.

if your dreams are shattering tonight, cry.

if he walked away, cry.

if a friendship is broken, cry.

if they said no and your heart was set on yes, cry.

but wake up and know in your heart that this is the ushering in of your purpose–of who you were made to be.

and somehow, when the world tells us we should stay in the depths of rejection, we find the strength to reach for acceptance.

because acceptance has a name. and it’s name is Jesus.

a fresh start | arbonne 30 days to healthy living

Fitness has always been something I am passionate about. Ok maybe not when I used to get five minutes into a run, cramp up, and start crying. But once I overcame the initial hate I had for exercise, I became addicted.

rememberlol

The 16 year old me spent way too much time thinking about what she ate and how it would affect how I looked. The 19 year old me feels completely different. And it’s because my perspective has changed.

There’s a balance between taking care of yourself and becoming consumed with something, and I’ve swayed back and forth between those two often.

I chose to do the detox because I felt like I had been at the same point for the past year. I wasn’t noticing any results. I’d workout a ton but I never noticed any difference. I was drained from school and had tried adjusting my eating but couldn’t find consistently. I wasn’t eating awful, but I knew I could do a better job of being more disciplined and taking better care of myself. When Arika shared a post on her Instagram about the detox she was doing and the results, I was in. I bit the bullet and ordered the kit before I even really knew what I was getting into.

The first three days were rough. You cut out coffee, dairy, gluten, sugar, and more. I took 3 naps in those first few days. I had a pounding headache from not having caffeine. I think my body was in shock.

But by the second week of eating whole, real foods, greens, vitamins, healthy proteins, healthy fats, and really yummy fizz sticks (my FAVE), my body adjusted and my energy was next level.

One of the biggest differences I noticed was my ability to concentrate. My body and mind were alert and awake, and I didn’t feel as though I was lagging. I felt more energized than ever.

My cravings changed and I find myself wanting to eat healthy foods and fuel my body with what will energize it.

I went into it focusing on weight. I came out of it not even caring to step on a scale. It’s about so much more than weight. I feel more confident than I have ever been because I know I am doing everything I can to take care of my body. When you do something you’ve never done, you realize you are SO much more capable than you think.

This clean eating program showed me that health is so much more than how we appear. It’s how we feel + it’s who we are. I am so thankful for this challenge. If you’re looking for a way to jumpstart your fitness journey, I highly encourage you to jump on board. Most of us have no idea how incredible our bodies can feel.