July 21, 2014


I've been meaning to do a more serious (read: personal) post for awhile now. I've been meaning to sit down, listen to some good music, and just type and get everything out of my crazy over-working mind. But for some reason, I've been avoiding it. I think it's partially because summertime feels so light and free and I didn't want to let me mind/heart go to a deeper level.

And the other reason is because it's really awkward to type this stuff up when your family is talking at/about/with you in the same room. 

But I digress. Let's do a little catching up, shall we?

Work, Budgets, and all that. First up, the boring stuff. I've been doing more spending more during the summer since I have time/energy to shop (true story) so it's nice to have a little extra cushion that I've saved from working over the school year. My budgeting system is still being refined, but just writing every purchase down has really helped. Does anyone buy apps for this kind of stuff? I've heard of a few and would love to hear your thoughts!

Photography. I'm a little rusty in the portrait department and I really want to change that. I want to take more photos and just push myself to try new things (all thanks to Pinterest, of course). I'm hoping to schedule a few photoshoots in and in the meantime, I've been shopping for new lenses to ooh and ahh over. Speaking of which, do any of you know anything about Sigma lenses? I've heard they're pretty amazing and am thinking they might be my next big purchase.

Singleness. Well first things first: I'm still single over here, surprise, surprise! And I also still struggle with it now and then (do I sound like a broken record yet?) but I've realized that I need this time to work on my relationship with God. And that I really just need to work on trusttruly believing that He can do all things. And while I have the verses to prove it, it often takes me time to let the truths fully sink in. Does that make any sense? And are you even still reading? 

I'm still writing letters to my future husband, keeping a list of dating/boyfriend/husband standards that I'm going to stick with and then wondering if guys that enter my life are "the one" all while just trying to really just live and not think about it all too much. It's not that I'm avoiding it, but I'm trying to keep myself from dwelling on what I don't have in life right now.

Community. I've been having a lot of deep desires to connect with people--and not just on my blog. I hear a lot of bloggers talking about church families and I can't help but feel the tug to be better connected at my church. I know people through teaching Sunday School as well as people who have known me since I was a kid but I lack the relationships with people who are my age and in my life stage. The fearful side in me, however, falls back on my introversion to take that plunge and take the first step.

Blogging. Well, I'm still sticking with this thing called blogging. I did a last minute update to the old design (click here if you're on a blog reader), took the plunge and bought my own domain, and I'm brainstorming new post ideas (anyone else run dry every now and then?), too. I've also been Skyping with other bloggers and trying to learn new things. I really feel like I've been learning a lot through trial and error and am finally getting to a point where I feel like this blog has found its niche and its home (and amazing community, too!).

So what's up in your life lately? Any new life experiences? Any summer adventures to share? I love living life with you guys and love all that I've learned from you, too.


  1. Community. It's a must. Whenever we're in seasons where we don't have community, I feel like I'm drowning. So as hard as it is, you have to put yourself out there and find some good community.

    1. That makes total sense! I'm still looking for opportunities and such (and praying about it a lot) but I'm definitely going to try and build more of a church community. It's weird seeing as I'm at the church that I grew up in, but it's something that I know is going to be really rewarding in the end. :)

  2. i feel like i am in the same place with community. we are involved in a new church plant, but it has been a struggle to connect with our busy place in life right now. i keep hearing about community but don't feel like i'm quite living it yet.

    1. I so understand where you're at! I'm at the church I grew up in, but it's just hard to connect with jobs and life and all that. But I really want to connect and want to make this a priority and I've been praying for the right opportunities to jump in!

      And that last sentence really got me. I hear about community and the importance of it all A LOT. And I definitely know what it's like when we're talking about blogging, but it's definitely foreign territory for me when it comes to church families. Praying we find community soon! :)

  3. the biggest lesson i learned in photography is to just keep swimming. (you know what i mean!) keep snapping away and taking pictures of anything and everything. getting out of your comfort zone can be intimidating, but when you discover new techniques - it creates new inspiration and talent.

    i'm still single, too, so you're not alone! and i do the same thing - when a guy enters my life, my immediate response is to look and see if he's married and then i wonder if he's 'the one'. but i'm learning that this is one of the enemy's favorite sneak attacks. he's making it seem like something, and then i get my hopes up and he's all like PYSCH. i'm trying to be more aware and have asked God to protect my heart against such things.

    i really like this post! i kinda want to write one like it, because i tried to write blog posts allllll weekend, and NADA. i like the new design, by the way!

    1. Oh, comfort zones. Those two words alone could bring about a whole slew of blog posts! Seriously, I've been trying to push myself this year but still find myself coming back to my comfort zones (and excuses) when it comes to trying new things. But I love and am definitely encouraged by what you said--stepping out definitely allows us to try new things, create new things, and learn new things, too. :)

      And I know that not-so-but-semi-discreet look at the left ring finger thing. And I never really realized it until now that it really IS a sneak attack of the enemy. It brings us false hope and it makes us cling to a possible relationship instead of Jesus. Well said!

      And I just read your post and am excited to comment on it--it was a great one as always. :)

      Thanks, too! I wanted a new look and a refreshed clean slate and this seems to have done just the trick!

  4. Love reading these life updates! And I'm with you--community is just so much harder when you're introverted.

    1. Thanks, girl! I actually was second-guessing this random post of sorts so I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. :)

      And I am sooo glad you relate to building community as an introvert! It's been one of my greatest struggles and it's something that I continue to pray about. I'd love to meet more people my age at church but just haven't found the way in to that sort of thing. I had no idea you were an introvert, too! :)

  5. 1.) I've been looking into Sigma lenses too. There are some really, really fantastic deals on my local craigslist (Thank you, Full Sail students!). The only thing I have ever heard is that they don't hold much resale value, but that actually benefits me since I am planning on buying used, and can't imagine myself selling a lens anyway!

    2.) I feel the same way about connecting with people. I'm trying to get involved in a church community as well as make connections within the blogging world, because it recently dawned on me that my closest friends and I are all heading off in different directions (not a totally bad thing) and I don't want to lose my sense of community. Connecting with people fuels my creativity!

    1. Ooh, that's cool! I've heard a lot of people talk about Sigma lenses and it just seems like an interesting thing to try out. I've bought all of my DSLR gear/cameras used (on B+H photo) so I'm thinking trying a Sigma lens used would be a great way to test the waters! :) If you get one, let me know because I'd love to hear your thoughts on them!

      And I totally understand what you're saying. I honestly feel like I know my blogging friends better than most of my friends from high school and college. Blogging has really fueled and filled me in so many ways in terms of community! Most of my friends are also going in different directions so it's really nice to have this blog to connect with others who are a lot more like me than I ever would have guessed. :)

  6. I just finished our budget for the next few months and I have to say - it makes money things a lot less stressful. I tried mint.com for a while and the app but I've realized I like good ol' pencil and a Moleskin the best.

    Also, I love that you took the plunge for a domain! I've actually been thinking about it for a while... Let me know if you have any helpful tips!

    1. Exactly! I'm still tweaking my budget (especially during the summer!) but it really puts me at ease to know that I have an allowance to spend on clothes/random stuff that I want/like. I've never heard of mint.com but I'll look into it! :)

      And I took the plunge and just went for the domain--it was a last-minute and late-night thing, haha (perfect for sticking with a budget, right?). But it was something that I've wanted to do for a year now and just never got to it. And honestly, I am sooo glad I did. It was confusing at first, but I got it to work and it's probably the best investment I've made for my blog (aside from the time it takes to redesign my blog!). I say go for it and if you need any help, I'd be glad to at least try!

  7. Girl, you are just taking ALL of the words right out of my mouth.

    First, I really want to establish a good budget. I'm about to be living on my own again (well, with a roommate, but away from parents) and I need to start doing that now. Any tips or books or posts or anything that you have used or read in this journey?

    Second, and I've already told you this, I'm loving the new space. I love the update and the new domain name! I'm so excited for you that you were able to do that. Hopefully, maybe, one day, fingers crossed, I will be able to own mine. :)

    Third, I am feeling the same way with community right now as well. I do love the church that I've been going to while living back at home. I was a member there in high school and my parents are still members there. I haven't switched my letter from anywhere since leaving college, because I still haven't felt like I've found that place. That next place that God really wants to place me at. Although I love the church I've been going to while at home, there is SO much I'm missing out on community (real community) wise. For instance, I'm THE ONLY 25 single girl in that building on Sunday morning. If there is another one, I haven't met her. And this church is small, I would have seen her! ha! Which brings me to my next point... (did you see that coming?)

    Fourth, I'm still single as well. And I really want to stop saying "still." I'm single. Just coming from my own heart here: when I say "still", I feel like I'm saying I'm disappointed in that. And while there might be some days where I am unhappy with it, I know that this season is still upon me for a reason. And not a bad reason. There is truly good coming out of it, because it is coming from the Lord. And I can see the good. I can clearly see the roads that the Lord is walking down and where I need to be following. I don't want to lose that by saying, "oh, just still single over here." But, I do admit, I still see a nice looking guy every now and then and can't help but wonder. ;) I can't imagine how giddy and ridiculous I will be when/if the Lord brings a man into my life. Lord, help him. ha!

    Just remember that you are not alone, friend. Never, not even for one little bit. :)

    1. So glad you can relate, Jess! I was second-guessing this post and wondering if it was blog-worthy enough to post but am glad I did because I think it was just the post that I needed to share. :)

      And I'm still working on my budget--so no great help yet. :) I honestly am just writing things down and setting monthly allowances for clothes/misc. stuff that I want but don't need. I'd love to have an app so I can do this on the go (or right after I leave the store), but haven't found one yet because I'm a little wary about putting it into an app I haven't heard of.

      And what's this you're saying about moving out? That's exciting!!!!

      Thanks for those sweet words about my design and such! The domain purchase was a last-minute late-night thing but it's a purchase I've wanted to make for my blog for a LONG time. It took a little while to transition things and make sure links would redirect, but it was all sooo worth it. It just makes me feel a little more legit, you know? And it makes it a little less confusing now that my URL and blog name match. :)

      And girl, that's pretty much where I'm at at church. I'm still at the church that I grew up in and while I loooove it (I really do!), I feel like I'm missing out in terms of community. I'm praying we find the right place to connect soon! :)

      And that bit on being "still single" so rings true to me, too. I still waver between being happy in this season, but I'm at a point right now that it's something that I need to enjoy because it's something that so many people don't--you know? I'm no where near being perfect, but I do feel like He's refining me if that makes sense. I feel like I'm growing and I'm grateful that while it may be slow, something IS happening.

      And girl, I wonder, too. I wonder a lot, haha. :)

      And thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone, too. It's reallllly nice to hear those words. :)

  8. I've started writing down all my purchases too. Especially since I've been on a tight budget lately. I think it's such a good idea! I know what you mean about connecting with a community. It takes effort and sometimes it's hard for me to get involved, especially during the lazy summer months when I'm not in my normal routine. I hope you can connect with more people and find a community! Also, loving your design update!

    xo, gina

    1. Thanks for all of those sweet words, Gina! I really like being able to keep myself accountable with my purchases by writing everything down. I also love that its nice to visually see to see where all my money goes, too!

      And community definitely takes effort! I've learned a lot about building community from blogging and am hoping I find the right place to start that up in my church, too. :)

      And I'm glad you like my design! I've been meaning to at least clean up the place and simplify it and am glad you like it--it means a lot coming from someone with an eye for design like yourself! :)

  9. what you said on singleness - on point.
    I just had this conversation with my aunt last night "do you trust God with your singleness?" "well yes" I replied "it doesn't sound like you do" she said gently - ahhh my trust is so out of the window in this department and I don't know why!

    let me know what you hear on these sigma lenses!
    community - go for it. I know you're introverted, but there is nothing more beautiful than just saying "yes" through the fear and trying something new. Christian community is so important, so needed, so necessary, so definitely get involved.

    also, we need to Skype again ASAP its been too long.

    1. Ahhh, your aunt sounds amazing and so wise. My goodness, having someone ask me that would hit me so hard and I would likely tear up because more often than not, I question how much I truly trust Him with my singleness. And how I hold onto it so dearly instead of giving it up to Him. I, too, wonder why I hold onto it so tightly--especially when it's something that I'd like to give up (if that makes sense).

      And I'm praying for opportunities to meet more people. I know that it's something I want and it's been on my heart for a year now and I'm just praying that I find the right place to meet people and just build relationships (and meet new people!). :)

      SKYPE DATE. Yep, we need another one ASAP. I want to hear all about your trip!


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