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.

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God Bless Texas

“I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.”

– John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

It’s been six months since I’ve moved to Austin, and I’m more in love with Texas than ever before. When I moved to Lubbock 5 1/2 years ago, I questioned why all my classmates were obsessed with the state. I didn’t have anything against Texas, but their obsessive love made me defend my belief that it was “just a state,” as was every other state. Nothing special.

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At work a few weeks ago, my boss interrupted me to point out, “the girl from Ohio is wearing a Texas necklace.” The tables have turned.

A week before receiving the gold chained state with a heart precisely where Austin resides, I gushed to my cousins about how great Texas is, in an attempt to get everyone to move to my oasis. The truth is, I’ve become that boastful Texan, proud to flaunt my license and ready at any moment to talk about my Lone Star home.

But I don’t think the expansive landscape is what caused me to fall head over heels; it’s that, this place I call home, is what shaped me into the woman I am today. Stepping out from everything I knew at 18, to come to Texas for school, alone, forced me to define who I wanted to be.

Now, more than five years later, I can look back and see the transformation and growth my life has lived. I am proud of whom I’ve become, what I stand for, how I present myself, and where I foresee myself going next. Discovering myself has brought happiness to my life, and recognizing that happiness makes me want to help others find their happiness, which, spoken like any good Texan, means moving South.

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.

Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start

Change: Finding Who I Am

Today I say goodbye to the place and life I’ve known for the last five years. Moving out of state for college, knowing no one, was one of the best and most liberating decisions I have ever made. It allowed me to find myself and decide how I wanted to live my life.

After switching majors, traveling the state, country and world, graduating, and working a few different jobs, I’m closer to finding my happiness, and how I want to live out the next phase of my life.

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I’m moving to Austin to live out the lifestyle I love. I’ll be surrounded by young professionals like myself, exploring and enjoying life to the fullest; working jobs that teach them new things and spending evenings on the lake, at a new restaurant, or with friends.

I’m looking forward to discovering the city and myself.
Change can be good. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Follow your heart, and follow your head

This month, I will be leaving my job to move to Austin. This is my dream, though doing so without a job wasn’t included in my plan. A friend told me, maybe I’m supposed to go without a job, and after applying from afar for a year without success, I think she may be right. This could be God’s way of making me trust him.

Getting a job out of college in the field you studied may appear to the world that you are “on the right path,” but only you know what’s right for you. While I am thankful for the experiences I’ve had, I’m ready to find a balance in my life. I’m ready to live the life I am supposed to, discovering new things and enjoying each day, rather than simply going through the motions.
Austin makes me want to be a better person. It opens my mind to new ways of thinking. It makes me want to reach out and help others. It makes me want to grow in my faith. It makes want to live an active and healthy life. It makes me happy.

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

Will I fail? Maybe. Does that scare me? Unbelievable. But I am confident in myself, and will trust The Lord.

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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.'”

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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)

What if I want extraordinary.

You can do whatever you want.

I was talking with a friend recently when I had that realization. We were confiding in each other (ok, complaining to one another) about whatever was not going so well in our lives at the time, when she mentioned not wanting to do something. Without even thinking, I responded with, “then don’t.” It was that simple. And that complex; It’s not exactly like I take my own advice on this one.

But it is that simple. Literally, every single thing we do or don’t do in life, we make the choice. You don’t want to go to work tomorrow? Don’t.

Don’t want to go to school? Don’t.
Want to go to Italy? Go. Charge the airfare to a credit card.
Want to move to a new city? Move.
Want to cry? Cry. Don’t want people to see? Sit in your car.
Want to cut your hair? Dye your hair? Do it. Do it again tomorrow if you don’t like it. Hell, shave your head for all I care.

Choices are easy. It’s the consequences that are hard. If you don’t go to work, you may not have work to go to the next day. That’s cool until rent is due.
But what about the consequence of being unhappy because you didn’t make the choice you wanted? That consequence is sometimes harder to deal with than any monetary consequence.

The hustle and bustle of life bogs us down sometimes. “I want to, but…”
But what? What do you want to do?

You’ve heard it before. Life is too short. Go do whatever you want to do, today.