Oh man. Hi, Reader. How are you?! This post is a long time coming. But it is being written for the one who finds his or herself in the same position that I am about to outline here. It’s a position I feel a heavy […]
Frustrated is my word of choice. I am overwhelmingly frustrated. I’ve read every blog post about hypothalamic amenorrhea. I’ve spent months eating as much as my insides could take without exploding and remaining sedentary. Then I’ve tried adding in light exercise, eating high high fat […]
Happy Monday, y’all!
Today’s post marks the first of a month-long Monday series I am starting called “Suffering for Righteousness.” I am starting with a light topic, and planning to delve deeper into the mystery of life with Christ – a life in which suffering is counted as joy.
I am a passionate person.
I always have been.
So, when the God of the universe revealed Himself to me as a Living God in Jesus Christ, who was eternal, who had died for sins so that we could actually live FREELY FOR HIM, my first instincts were to tell the whole world.
Forgetting that other people might not believe this, nor have any context, nor be in any position to hear it. Forgetting, at first, that I might be met with anger or hatred or downright denial.
Most of the conversations I have engaged in that have been prompted by others about my faith – which I am very open about – have been really wonderful and respectful, most importantly.
But, sometimes, especially when engaging with someone I am very close with, these conversations are NOT very respectful. My humanness and selfishness takes over.
“In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 PETER 3:15
This verse quieted my soul, and drew me to my Father. It reminded me that, even if the CONTENT I am speaking is Truth, and biblically sound, it is made FALSE if I am speaking it in opposition to this verse – without gentleness/respect.
Sometimes, my pride is mistaken for Jesus’ righteousness. Sometimes, my anguish in wanting others to know the eternal promises of Jesus that result in great joy and purpose where this empty, blink-of-an-eye world offers nothing eternal results in… anger. Tears. Emotion. Frustration.
Taking these human emotions to the cross is amongst the most difficult parts of my “self” to give to Him, because they are easily masked as “Christ-like” emotions.
Now, dear reader, if you are reading this and are not a Christian – aren’t these words such a good reminder in your mind, too? Essentially: KNOW what you believe and why you believe it, soundly. Be prepared to support your faith and beliefs – but always with gentleness and respect.
And, for me, in this way I am “revering Christ as Lord.”
A prayer for the passionate Jesus-follower, whose pride gets in the way of Christ’s gentleness:
Lord, I love You. I want to represent You, honour You, and glorify You in all of my words and actions. Holy Spirit, show me what that looks like, especially with those who do not know you, and who downright don’t believe in You. Remind me that You love them more than I ever could – incomprehensibly so. Remind me that Your timing is perfect, and mine is incredibly flawed! Jesus, more of You in me. Amen.
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Happy Monday! Does anyone else write stories in their minds? The place most conducive to “Story-Writing” in my thought-life is the cafe I work at, Smile Tiger. […]
Today, Johnny and I are 80 days out from our “I Do’s,” and I could not possibly be more excited.
We are also just a few weeks shy of seeing each other again for his regional soccer tournament, and less than a month away from being done with long distance forever.
In case you’re new to the blog, this post provides insight and advice from both Johnny and I on our years of long distance.
I recently put out a question via my Instagram about what interests you most in reading on the blog. An overwhelming majority loved reading about my relationship with Johnny– and, specifically, how we have navigated long distance and “made it work.”
Here is the thing about long distance (since this will probably be my last ever post while I’m in the midst of it):
If you are dating a person worthy of your time, investment, and relationship with, long distance should not be a problem.
You should not have concerns about their loyalty, truthfulness, or intentions, and if you do, we are way beyond the issue of long distance. Unless those concerns come from past hurts that genuinely have nothing to do with the person you are seeing, you need to take some time to seriously consider/pray into your reasoning for relationship with this person.
If you are in love, aligned in morals and intentions, and open with each other, the sacrifice of long distance will not feel so much like a sacrifice, but rather a necessary, non-negotiable experience. If you are led to different places/paths at the same time before you are married, pray about it, and have confidence in your relationship, this distance should not be any object in your relationship.
Now, in saying this, I do not mean that the distance isn’t difficult. Painful. Emotional. Challenging. The hardest thing about it for Johnny and I has been simply MISSING each other, aching for each other, as we are truly best friends, and love being with each other very much.
So, naturally, the way we have “made it work” has been in much, much prayer and dialogue. In feeling confident and continuously led that we are better together than apart, and clinging to the knowledge that the distance was temporary. In focusing on all of the positive things that distance brought, like road trips, heightened excitement and anticipation when we got to reunite after long stretches of time, and the best communication possible. Like the opportunity to work through a challenging circumstance so early on in our relationship, in order to work together through tough decisions and emotions. And, ultimately, because our relationship is not about me, and because we love each other, we support each other, and pray into each other’s situations.
Again, because our relationship is not about me, I don’t fret about missed dates or anything that comes with having a next-door-boyfriend, but look with joy to all the things that Jesus is glorified through in our long distance, and all that we have learned together that will without a doubt help us in our marriage, and for the rest of our lives.
Tangibly, though, how do we “keep things alive?”
We communicate. We tell each other what is on our mind. Even the little things. But we also do not put much pressure on communication. We’re at a point in which we understand our balance of intentional, sacrificial effort/each other’s schedules. But, the reality is… we both WANT to be texting each other/talking to each other all of the time. We’re pretty darned in love, if you can’t tell.
We sacrifice. It’s easy to overlook Skyping as something that isn’t like a planned date, but once we’ve set one (we’re casual about it– we don’t have a certain number per week or anything, as we both like the spontaneity of it and respect our very different schedules), we stick to it. We look so forward to these. Yes, sometimes it’s hard not to just stare at each other in frustrated longing, but it’s just like hanging out for real, if you set your mind to it ;).
We ask forgiveness. We have run into issues. We have let each other down. We have each failed. But each of these times, as we’ve sought each other’s forgiveness, we’ve been able to see as opportunities to improve, through and for Jesus. Something Johnny does so well is ask forgiveness, intentionally, humbly, and genuinely, when he has done something wrong. I have learned so much about the importance of this through his example!
It’s been a while since I’ve had even a moment to update you here, but today I am finally able to sit down and write a bit about something that has been on my heart to share for some time:
Multiple Streams of Income.
Since graduating uni a few short months ago, I have experienced drastic changes that have been both challenging and wonderful. I’m engaged… went from moving back in with my parents after years of living with my best friends to soon moving into what will be my first home with my almost-husband… I went from working in customer service, full-time minimum wage, to freelancing for multiple clients as a writer, barista-ing at a professional coffee roaster’s, teaching tap and hip hop to kids ages 6-11, and having one almost full-time client whose office I am in for half my working hours of the week.
It’s been absolutely stinkin’ FUN, and absolutely stinkin’ overwhelming.
I have had extremely high “highs,” as well as some scarily low lows, as I’ve navigated what this season of my life looks like. I’ve wrestled with my calling, I’ve dreamed more than ever about house decor, and, ultimately, I’ve become more confident than ever before in my life.
I have really and truly loved having multiple streams of income, and getting to do so much of what I love and what I am gifted for, but there have been challenges too.
Today, I am sharing my top tips for managing multiple streams of income.
Keep a strict calendar.
I’ve always used a planner, and love using them, but I used to schedule my time only vaguely. In my current season, I absolutely MUST write everything down by the hour, or else I am bound to affect someone else in a negative way. Part of the service I provide as a freelancer involves my time efficiency, and I am proud to say that I always complete projects prior to their deadline. It is so important to me to be timely with my projects, as well as completely courteous of my clients’ time.
Figure out how you want to manage your invoices, and keep them organized.
This is definitely a skill I am still working on. My invoices are organized to ME, but if someone else looked at them, they would probably freak out a little bit. I do have a record of all my payments and invoices, and keep them in one place. Freelancing can mean that it is difficult to budget accordingly, because your income can change extremely drastically from one month to the next. This is why keeping a record is helpful, in order to understand your average income, and establish an estimate based on how much work you will complete in the next month.
Stay on top of the “little things.”
For me, this means planning my dance lessons well in advance (and writing them down!), mapping out everything for each of my writing projects from research to creation to proofing, and keeping track of when I need to do personal things, like errands and other tasks. Staying on top of these things, aka planning them and writing them down, helps me to avoid stressing about when and how I’m going to get everything done.
Don’t take on any projects or clients that don’t align with your values.
This is huge, and it’s one of the beauties of freelancing: LEARN TO SAY NO. No client whose morals don’t align with yours is worth money. Your craft should not just be about your income: it should be a source of joy, and, most importantly, a valuable service. But no one is serving anyone when they disagree with the morals or content.
Establish your boundaries, and maintain open communication with clients.
Setting boundaries in terms of your working hours, discounts, rate increases, and amount of communication with clients is so important– and these need to be communicated with your clients, too. Maintaining open and flexible communication is important, but, as the contractor, the boundaries you set must be respected.
Remember– life is not about money.
When you work for yourself, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the income, the excitement of an increasing rate and increasing volume of clients, and the fact that you’ve MADE IT as a freelancer in first place. But, if there is one thing I have learned since I’ve started doing this, it’s this: I want this to be about excellent customer service and excellence in my craft, as well as making genuine human connections.
I don’t think freelancing is my calling, but I am grateful to be learning about it and growing in it in this season while God has me here. And it gives me nothing but joy to share what I’ve learned, in the hopes of helping any freelancers or aspiring ones to find their rhythm and love what they do, too.
Here’s what they don’t tell you about eating disorders: They’re usually pretty innocent at first. An endeavour to “be healthier.” When my restrictive illness first developed when I was fifteen, I never would have considered that I might still be terrified of white flour and […]