who do you want to be?

Who do you want to be?

In the core of who you are – where nobody sees – who do you want to be?

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It’s a startling question really. To think about all of this. Because the second you start you feel you cannot stop. There is such an infinite reality of things and personalities and characters you can be. There is no limit to the amount of kindness you can grow to hold, no cap on the love that can spill out from your heart, and no stopping the creativity that can flow from your soul.

You hold so much power inside of you. There is so much beauty and potential to grow and become someone and something you never imagined.

I asked myself this question and I’m still scribbling down answers, memories in my head of people who I wished to be like, pictures etched of their joy and kindness and their hearts.

I don’t know where we got so trivial. So focused on the cover of a book. We spend so much time worried about our weight and not enough about how healthy and alive and full of energy we are. We sometimes hate our faces or bodies in the mirror and yet we can’t seem to remember all of the beautiful parts about us. We crave to be seen and heard and known and popular and yet we cannot sit alone with ourselves because our thoughts make our palms all sweaty and we get nervous.

We are beautiful beings bursting with ideas and sentences and pictures in our minds to capture and create and yet we stifle so much of that creativity sitting in front of a screen scrolling mindlessly through accounts of everyone else’s daily celebrations. Somehow we’ve forgotten our own.

We would rather look and see all the ways other people are enjoying their lives than we would embrace the gift that is right in front of us.

Who do we want to be?

I don’t want to be another dreamer who sits still and lets the world take her spirit. I don’t want to be a soul withered from comparison and defeated by my instagram that shows me how monotonous my life is. That is not the person I want to be.

& I think if you are here, you think that too. You don’t want to chase the trivial and float through on empty and shallow visions of what life could be. There is more. You are more. You have so much inside of you, and the world needs to see it. Don’t let it stifle your beautiful words. Don’t let them trample your beautiful art. Don’t let opinions put out the fire that burns inside of you.

Who do you want to be?

You can be her.

Starting now.

15 Quotes to Change your Monday

Nothing fancy here–just a whole lot of words that I love. I hope this collection of some of my favorite quotes inspires you to make this Monday count.

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“My mom said something, ‘you can lie down for people to walk on you and the will still complain that you’re not flat enough.’ Live your life.” -Mature Gambio

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” -Max Depree

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” -John F. Kennedy

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.”

-Roald Dahl

“God’s plan for us is usually where our passions, our purpose, and our capabilities intersect.” -Bob Goff

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” -Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyways.” -Glennon Doyle Melton

“She understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.”

-Sarah Addison Allen

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

“Normality is a paved road. It’s comfortable to walk on but no flowers grow on it.” -Van Gogh

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“A long time ago I learned not to explain things to people. It misleads them into thinking they’re entitled to know everything I do.” -Lisa Kleypas

“Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” -Pema Chodron

“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” -Wayne Dyer

& my all time favorite…

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

You are enough

Do you ever just breathe in and realize right in a single moment, that you are enough? That even if you never did one more thing or accomplished what you want to accomplish — even if you did “nothing” by the world’s standard, that your existence is simply enough? I admit it, I think about it every day: ways I could be a little bit closer to perfect or areas in which I am not doing “enough.”

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I tend to shy away from an idea if I know I can’t do it perfectly. In fact, most often I run from something completely even if I could do it well. Because in my mind, doing something well isn’t worth it if I can’t do something perfectly. What if all that I put into my work isn’t enough for some people? What if all that I am doing is never enough?

It is easy to size up how your life is feeling to how someone else’s life is looking. & even if you’re not comparing yourself to someone else, it’s easy to constantly be wishing you could just be better. It’s easy to believe the lie that you are not qualified to step into a dream or calling because you don’t have yourself perfectly together. It is easy to believe that because you are still learning, you can’t teach others what you have learned. And above all, it is easy to believe that you can never reach a point of feeling like you are enough, because there is always something else you could do or a better version of yourself you could be.

In today’s day and age I think that it is so easy for us to idolize people that we learn from, draw inspiration from, or follow online. If you want, you can curate the perfect feed. You can compose blog posts that talk only about the good stuff, and you can share pictures that are edited to the T. You can show everyone your amazing life, your amazing habits, and your amazing relationships. You can leave out the real stuff. You can minimize your mistakes and blemishes. You get to select your content.

We can get caught in a cycle of always reaching for more, thinking that one more promotion will validate us in our career, that one more person will fulfill us when it comes to relationships, or that more recognition will take up the empty space in our hearts when it comes to what we want to achieve.

But no matter how much you achieve, who you know, or what you accomplish, you will never feel as though you are enough if you first don’t believe it when you don’t feel it. 

Believing the truth about yourself isn’t something you save for the days when it’s easy to do. Believing it starts on the days when your heart feels the exact opposite.

That means today.

Believe this: nothing you can ever do can make you more worthy of this life, more beautiful, more worth loving, or more “enough.” When you let that sink in, you can live fully alive in who you are called to be.

Know that you are enough in all of your imperfections,

& nothing you ever do — or don’t do — can change that.

 

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.

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  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!

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.

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