Force Quit on your Losing Streak

Almost a month in, and I’ve stuck to the most important of my new year resolutions: to grow in faith. At the end of last year, I was at odds with relationships in my life and wanted to turn everything over to God. Not only would dedicating the New Year to God bring me closer to Jesus, I felt doing so would also give me the answers I needed to mend the troubles I was having.

2017

In order to hold myself accountable, I made a list of 12 people in my life I wanted to either improve my relationship with or needed to forgive; I make a similar list of 12 topics I wanted to focus on, in order to be a better Christian. I decided I would consciously pray each day for the person I dedicated that month to, and would read specific scripture each day addressing the topic of the month.
The list included subjects such as my parents, my sister, specific friends, my desire for a boyfriend, and working to overcome the negative perception of news. Topics included forgiveness, jealousy, worry, judgment, and being enough for myself.

What I’ve learned in my first month is that both mending and growing relationships, with people and God, takes time. I approached the resolution with optimism and was quickly rewarded with lines of open communication between me and the person I chose for January. But praying and reading the Bible does not automatically grant me positive mending every day. I’ve learned this is a process – there will be days I feel I’ve taken a step back. Yet, overall, I feel more complete. In just one month, a peace has overcome me. While I know there will be days and months full of ups and downs in 2017, I also know I have a God that I can always turn to. And as I grow in this journey, I hope to learn how to better listen and hear His voice, in all the times I turn to Him.

 

Disclaimer: I have not stuck to my resolutions to practice French twice a week or practice piano three days a week.

Indulge endlessly in all that inspires your soul. You’ll never get bored.

“When we submit to God’s plans, we can trust our desires. Our assignment is found at the intersection of God’s plan and our pleasures… Each of us has been made to serve God in a unique way… The longings of your heart, then, are not incidental; they are critical messages. The desires of your heart are not to be ignored; they are to be consulted. As the wind turns the weather vane, so God uses your passions to turn your life. God is too gracious to ask you to do something you hate.”

As Christians, we are taught to follow God’s Plan for our lives, and ask for His guidance when we feel lost. Mere months after getting the promotion I asked and worked hard for, I found myself, instead, being pulled down a different, but old and familiar path. So I prayed, asking God for a sign. Days later, I read the devotional above, and knew the path I felt compelled to walk again is exactly where God was leading me.

A year ago, I left my news job in Lubbock to live out my life in Austin. “You’ll miss it,” one coworker told me my final day. Though the possibility of that becoming truth couldn’t formulate in my mind at the time, his words never left me. Now, just 12 months later, I was feeling pulled back into the newsroom. I did miss it.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose is to give it away.” I’m not sure whether to attribute the quotation to Pablo Picasso, William Shakespeare, or some other person, but it seemed fitting, reading it the same week I was offered a job back in news – this time where I feel most at home, in Austin. The process of applying, interviewing, and accepting the offer went so quickly, I knew I was not only following the desires of my heart, but also the path God created for my life.

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

God wants us to thrive, so everyone sees the beauty of Him, through us. I left the news industry because I felt discouraged and distraught, but that doesn’t mean being a part of the industry wasn’t part of God’s Plan; it just wasn’t His timing. I believe God puts passions on our hearts as signs, leading us down the path He has mapped out for our lives. If you wake up each morning and ask yourself what God’s Purpose is for your life, take a moment to think about the scenarios you daydream about, what inspires you, and what persuades you to be a better version of yourself. I truly believe living in Austin and working for the news are two passions God placed on my heart for very deliberate purposes, and at very deliberate times.
And I couldn’t be more grateful that He did.

Happiness to Last

“Is happiness merely a passing emotion, or a permanent state?”
In my daily devotion book yesterday, it explained, both states exist.

“There is happiness that reacts to events (this is temporary and volatile), and there is happiness that overrules circumstances (which is strong and lasting).”

I’ve been asking for happiness for some time now, without realizing there are two solutions to my desire – one less satisfying than the other.

Be happy... not because everything is good, but because you see the good in everything.

Events create temporary happiness: moving to Austin and getting a job. But in the days or weeks after the event, happiness can fade; it’s the lasting happiness that satisfies, and that comes from The Lord.

I think the same principle can be applied to marketing. I’ve been searching for a content marketing position for months, after learning of its lasting effects. I’ve been on job interviews that focus solely on sales and numbers, but that ideology is like temporary happiness. After a few days or weeks, you are looking for your next sale or event to make you and your client happy again.

While ultimately business growth is viewed from a numbers standpoint, content marketing works to grow businesses by creating relationships with clients. This is accomplished by writing blog posts or ebooks, creating videos or infographics, and attracting clients with a clean website.

All these content marketing strategies show transparency and build trust. Because of that trust, clients are more loyal and the numbers follow. This is a stronger foundation to build businesses on, and will create a lasting happiness for both you and your client.

Moving to Austin was great, but living here is what keeps me happy each morning. Getting a job will be great, but growing and learning in the position, creating friendships, and meeting goals is what will keep me engaged and happy walking into the office each day.

Lasting happiness comes from knowing you are following God’s path, and you are in the right spot for the time being, even if you aren’t happy at the moment. While I wish I had a job right now, I feel satisfied knowing that moving to Austin was the right decision. This weekend presented overwhelming tasks at times, but when I asked myself if I regretted the decision, it was a resounding “no.”

The happiness I experience from moving to Austin will last, and I believe more lasting happiness will come my way.

Go.

What does your heart tell you?

“There’s a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, “Dear saint-please, please, please… give me the grace to win the lottery.” This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated statue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, ‘my son-please, please, please… buy a ticket.'”

image14 (3)

I love quotations, and I love the book Eat Pray Love in which that one was written. As a religious and spiritual person, I pray to God each day, throughout the day, asking for guidance, and lately, I’ve been needing lots of guidance.
I’m preparing to embark on a new life adventure, and I realize more than ever my need to trust The Lord. But as an independent and strong-willed person, trust and patience don’t come easily. Turning to my parents for guidance, I asked them how to balance trusting God with responsibility. I don’t want to be so consumed with getting things in order I forget The Lord’s place in my life, but also don’t want to live reckless or irresponsibly. Separately, they both quoted the same scripture: “God helps those who helps themselves.”
God gives us the means in which to do things, but wants us to go out and make a life for ourselves. So that I will do.image12 (4)

A Lasting Effect

“Everything is historic, because it happens and then it’s history.”

That (or something like that) was a direct quotation from a co-worker today, joking about how many times the word “historic” was used when predicting the snowstorm along the Northeast coast earlier this week. Turns out it wasn’t so historic for most residents, but if you break it down, sure – everything is history after it happens. It doesn’t have to be distant or ancient history to matter.

In the news business, someone once told me, what we are doing is recording history. Years from now, we can look at old newscasts and relive this day. When you want information about something, you can look it up in a newspaper, search the topic online and see how news stations or social media users covered it.
Looking at my job from the perspective that it’s more than just a daily newscast was significant. It puts more pressure on me to produce shows that mean something later, but it’s also more rewarding. The work that I am doing now could be used to inform generations not yet born.

We all know it’s important to record history so we can learn from it. I’m happy to be a part of something that lasting.

The Changing field of Journalism

One of the really cool things happening in the world today is the change in journalism. A lot of people thinking journalism is dying – or at least professors think people think journalism is dying. It is brought up in almost every one of my classes, as all of us aspiring journalists plan on entering the work force in just a few short years.

But journalism is not dying. I attended a conference yesterday where the guest speaker, Bill Seitzler, said that there is still a need and a want for information, and there probably always will be. The form that the information is presented in and the method at which the information is delivered by may be changing, the the information and the need for information is not.

If you know anything about traditional newspapers, you know that the news and the advertising departments are kept separate, or are supposed to be kept separate. You don’t want a journalist writing about a company or person, just because they are giving money to the newspaper.
Today, we see more and more news places integrating the journalism and advertising departments. Journalists realize that without advertisements, our business could not afford to run. One of my professors this semester calls this “Building the brand.” Journalists still do not want to write bias articles based on who advertises with a company, but we are starting to realize that advertisements and advertisers play an important role in journalism.

The type of news that is reported is changing. Hard news is still covered: investigative news, courts, police stories, obituaries. But much more entertainment and cultural news is now being reported. I think this is a great thing because it opens the audience up to so many more people, including younger people. News is often thought of as something older people watch, or something people with more responsibilities become interested in. But providing news about the new restaurant opening or the popular musical band coming to town invites younger crowds to watch and pay attention to the news, as well.

I applied for an internship that performs many journalistic duties, but is not solely a news-gathering company. In order to get course credit for the internship, a group of faculty and staff have to vote on whether or not they believe it to be journalistic or not. I do not know what they will decide, but they may allow it to count based on all the changes going on in the field of journalism.
In order to inform and reach people, journalism has to be able to relate to them. I think it is a great thing that journalism is keeping up with the current viewpoints of what people want.