When Your Desires Don’t Match Your Circumstances

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Have you ever desired something so bad, but your current circumstances just don’t match that desire? That’s where I am right now. Last week I opened up on Instagram about how I was feeling about this.

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The hardest part has been accepting that this where God currently has me. I have all these desires on my heart for where I want to be and what I want to be doing, but my current circumstances just don’t line up with those desires. I mentioned it on Instagram, but I feel as though I am standing in this hallway and every door is closed. It’s like God has me in this waiting season.

What I mean is, I want to be working full time doing what I love, but I am currently working part time in retail which I really don’t like. Part two to this dilemma is that I am still in bible college which restricts how much I can work.
I want to be married, but we have no money because we are both in college and cannot save money at the moment. I want to find a new job after college finishes but I don’t know where to look for a job- where I currently live, or where Lachlan lives.

There’s a larger number of things I feel frustrated at and they all come back to the same thing- I am still at college. This has been a hard thing for me to be okay with. I love college and when we graduate at the end of the year I know that I will miss it like crazy! But right now, I am super duper frustrated.
Accepting where God currently has me has been a tough pill to swallow. When I chatting with a friend about it yesterday and she made a joke about me being the ‘accepting your seasons advocate.’ I’ve written different posts about accepting your current season and thriving in it and it’s now something God is reteaching me.

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God led me to this verse the other night and reminded me of who He is. In the midst of getting frustrated and trying to make plans happen, I lost sight of who He is. I felt like God wasn’t doing anything in my life right now and although He is (it’s just not visible to me yet,) God is teaching me to never forget the things He has done for me in the past.
His plans always come to pass, that is his promise.

God never gives us anything we cannot handle and He also never leads us somewhere that He hasn’t gone. Those desires that are on your heart were put there by God, but they might be for a future time. Right now, for me, that’s exactly what’s happening. God has put these desires on my heart but it is for a future time and right now He is preparing and strengthening me so that when that time comes, I am ready and I will flourish in it.

I could ramble on forever because I am still processing through this time, so there’s a lot I want to say. But I’ll leave you with this…

Where you currently are, is exactly where God wants you to be for this time. He has given you those desires and He promises to bring those desires to life. His plan for you is good, just as He is.
If you’re feeling like I currently am, know that you are not alone and even if you can’t see what God is doing in your life, He is busy working behind the scenes to prepare you for your destiny.

Keep trusting him, keep praising him, keep pressing in. He is faithful

whitename

3 Struggles Every Blogger Faces

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I love being a blogger! When I first started blogging it was just a fun hobby that I enjoyed doing. But throughout this year I began to pursue blogging more seriously. Over this time, I have discovered that even though I love being a blogger and want it to eventually become my full time job, there are some struggles that always seem to arise that sometimes cause some frustration. I’m definitely not alone in these ones, so why don’t you grab yourself a fresh cuppa and laugh about some of the struggles we often face as bloggers

-Consistently coming up with new content.

Recently I decided to try and upload new posts 2-3 times a week. When I first came up with that plan I thought it was a great idea and I madly wrote a bunch of posts that were ready to be uploaded. But once all of those posts had gone live I found myself completely stumped on what to write for the following week. This is a pretty common occurrence. And all the bloggers said, haaaay!
I can’t tell you how many times I have sat there, staring at my blank page, driving myself crazy trying to find inspiration to write something. And if I’m going to be totally honest, this post was actually inspired by this exact struggle, haha.

-Finding the right times to post.

 Most of my readers are located across America, so I usually look for the most active times for them before I post. But it seems like each time I find the right time to post, it changes again! About 2 week ago I found this super cool app for Instagram called ‘When to Post.’ It analyses your Instagram activity and tells you when your most active times are. It’s such a fantastic app and it would be super rad if they had the same app for WordPress! (If there is totally tell me and I’ll be your new best friend!

-Your friends and family not always taking your blogging seriously.

My favourite thing about blogging is getting to meet such wonderful people through social media. I love chatting with them about all things blogging, life and goals for the future. They have the same passions as me when it comes to blogging and social media, so they just get me. Talking to my real life friends, however, is a little different. Not many of my friends really get it. A couple of them here and there will happily listen to me talk about blogging, but most of them really just don’t get it and generally don’t really listen. There’s no hard feelings though! I completely understand, not everyone is going to be as passionate about blogging and social media as I am, but I am thankful for the few that do take the time to be interest.

There’s a whooooole pile of struggles that bloggers face, but through all of the struggles and challenges we can sometimes face, we are doing what we love and are passionate about and that’s pretty great. There’s going to be struggles no matter what we choose to do in our life, but if we’re doing what we love, those struggles just help make us stronger and more determined to keep on going.

So girl, keep on doing what you love! You’re awesome!

whitename

How to Have a Killer Instagram

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Everyone loves Instagram. I know I do. Instagram is the one social media platform that I spend most of my time on. I never used to like it, but once I started blogging I found it was an excellent way to connect with people when I wasn’t posting blog posts.
I’ve had Instagram for a couple of years but it’s only really been the past year or so that I actually started picking up my Instagram game. Over that time I have learnt number of different tricks that really helped my Instagram go from ‘meh’ to ‘yeah!’

I’m not claiming to be an expert, or the best at Instagram because I’m not even close, haha! But I do know that, over time, I have formed my Instagram into a welcoming and enjoyable place for people to visit and I simply want to share what I’ve learned so you can also grow your Instagram into a place that you and your followers enjoy visiting.

So, after all of that, let’s jump in!
P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram 🙂

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First things first…
Take your Instagram off private. Personally, if I go to check out someones Instagram and they have it set to private, I will just click the back button instead of the follow button. I want to know the kind of content that people are posting before I follow them. Why not let people connect with you and enjoy your content even before they hit the follow button.

Secondly…
Choose your “theme.” This one is pretty important. I used to just post whatever photos I felt like posting. None of the photos matched, or complimented each other at all and it was pretty messy. I played around with different types of photos to see what type of theme I was going for and eventually found one I loved and other people really enjoyed. Let me show you what I mean:

 Before:                                                                      Now:
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I didn’t really know what I was doing in the beginning, I just posted things. I didn’t have any consistency happening and it looked quite messy. I discovered that the framed look just wasn’t working for me, so I went back to the original square images. I figured out what images complimented each other and stuck with that.

Thirdly…
Image quality is a big contributor. I stopped taking photos from the Instagram app and went straight to my camera. I also stopped using the Instagram filters because I didn’t really like them, haha.
Taking good quality images requires good lighting. Natural lighting is the best. Your camera will take better quality images if the lighting is right. Play around with it and see what works for you, have some fun with it!🙂
Another tip in taking good quality photos is the angle. Birdseye view is my favourite (as you can probably tell, haha!)
As I said above, I stopped using the Instagram filters, mainly because I didn’t find them very flattering and they didn’t fit the look I was going for. I now use an App called ‘ColorStory’ which you can grab from the App Store. You do have to pay for filter packages, but it’s under $2.00 for each package, or you can grab the whole lot for roughly $12.00. This app is so great and it’s the only app I use to edit my photos.

Last but not least…
Write captions that people can engage with and relate to. Most of the time I will share things that God has put on my heart to share, or a lesson I’m a learning. Sometimes I’ll just be honest about where I’m at and things I’m struggling. But it doesn’t have to stick to that. Sometimes I share a funny story that relates to the image I posted. At the end of the day, I’m human, you’re human, we’re all human. People want to feel like they’re connecting with a human, not a robot. I’ve connected with so many wonderful people this way and have been able to create a family that I really love and really enjoy connecting with.

Ultimately, I don’t think Instagram should just be a place to share photos. I really believe in using it to create a community of people who enjoy what you have to share with them and you also enjoying what they have to share. I believe it’s a place to build community. Encouraging, building up & speaking life through social media is what I’m passionate about🙂

But having your Instagram feed on point is a pretty big bonus too. Instagram feed gotta be on point😉

whitename

My Favourite Self Care Tips

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Self care is so important and sometimes you just have to take some time to focus on caring for yourself. I am constantly on to go between blogging, work, church life/commitments, college, having a social life and spending time with Lachlan. Taking time for myself doesn’t happen a whole lot these days, but when it does, oh boy is it grand. If you spoke to me a couple years ago I would have said self care is silly. But late last year I was in a very dark season that I actually had to stop and take care of myself before I completely fell apart. When I say I had to stop, I mean people around me made me stop and take care of myself, haha!

That was a big lesson for me. I learned how important self care actually is and how much it benefits you. There are a few things that I really enjoy doing for myself that help make me feel refreshed and alive again. Generally I like to take at least a couple of hours to myself each week and do something for myself.

So let me share with you my favourite self care tips🙂

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1. Buy yourself one nice thing.

This is my number one point because it is my favourite. Anyone who knows me will tell you I love buying things! This year though I have had to drop back in the spending department because I simply cannot afford it. But sometimes self care looks like making yourself to feel better by buying one new nice thing for yourself when you’re feeling down. You just can’t not be happy when you walk out of a store with something nice.
It might be a cute new top, or dress. It might be new make up, or a cake to bake for yourself. It might be that book you’ve been wanting for a number of weeks. Whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself, go get it. There’s no harm in allowing yourself to purchase one nice thing.

2. Take a long bubble bath.

Our old house didn’t have a bath, which was pretty sad. But we recently moved into our new house that has not only a bath, but an outdoor spa! I’m pretty excited about it.
But there’s nothing more relaxing than laying in a hot bubble bath, with relaxing music playing and a beverage of your choice in your hand (for me, its coffee. Always coffee.)

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3. Fill your room/house with some fresh, pretty blooms.

I’m obsessed with fresh flowers. I love them. They have the ability to make a room look fresh and beautiful even if they’re just sitting in a corner. I don’t know what it is, but they also make you feel fresh and beautiful too. I can’t not feel good when I’m walking out of a store with some fresh flowers in my hand! I think it’s their bright, happy colours.
I actually really appreciate it when people buy me flowers, but it doesn’t usually happen, so I’ll just march myself down to the store and buy a bunch of fresh flowers for myself.

4. Sleep/rest

If you’re like me, you’re probably always exhausted. I generally don’t sleep well at nights and I will always have stuff on during the day, so I’m always exhausted. I’m pretty sure I now have permanent bags under my eyes, haha! But for reals.
I don’t handle exhaustion very well and I will usually reach a point where I can’t take it anymore and I will completely break down. I’ve learned that when my body needs rest, it needs rest! It might look like going to bed earlier that night, or taking a nap during the day. Sometimes just laying in bed resting, not sleeping is really helpful too.
If you know your body is exhausted, listen to it. Take some time to rest so you don’t over work yourself.

5. Take yourself out on a date.

This may sound silly to some, but it’s actually really great! Date yourself! By that I mean, take yourself out somewhere you would enjoy. For me it’s (wait for it) cute cafes. Sometimes I will just go find a cute cafe around the area, drink coffee and people watch.
Other times it’s going down to a park, or a look out. You know the places you enjoy visiting and the things you enjoy doing, so do that for yourself🙂

What do you do to help care for yourself?

whitename

Using Social Media for Good // A Guest Post

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For a while now, I have been appalled by what I see on social media. Anyone else?

There’s constant arguing, an obsession with nudity, and an infinite number of people talking about how awful their life is. And it’s no surprise, really.

We live in a world that does not know God. They are angry, they are hurting, they are held captive. Even we as Christians sometimes fall back into captivity- whether in sin, in hurt, or in fear. So it shouldn’t shock us that when we are scrolling through social media, we see sadness, anger, hurt, and fear leaping it’s why onto our feed.

For the Good

Want to know a secret though? We can use social media for good. No matter what other people are posting, we can be a light and post positive things- things that make God’s name great, and things that encourage others.

And don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to be fake (nor should you be). It’s ok to say you’ve had a bad day, and it’s ok to share your feelings. But I do think that if at all possible, we should still lean towards positivity in our posts.

How to Post for the Good

I’m a girl who needs examples…anyone with me on that? It doesn’t help me if someone just says “lean towards positivity in your posts”. I need an example to back that up. So just in case you’re like me, here is an example of how to stay positive and bring things back around for good.

Scenario: You’ve had a horrible day, you’re feeling super-cranky, and you’re extremely angry at your significant other. When you post on social media, you can either choose to make life seem miserable, or you can choose to give glory to God.

It would be easy in this situation to blast your significant other, complain about every detail of your day, or talk about how horrible your life is. But why do that when there’s already so much negativity in the world and online?

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Here’s a way to make things more positive while still being authentic:

“Today has been rough. I’m tired, I’m frustrated, and I just want my bed. But there is so much good to look at in life. My bad day will pass and God is still good.”

Now, some people may think this sounds cheesy, but honestly, little social media posts like that could change people’s perspectives. If there were more posts like that on social media, people would find it a lot easier to focus on the good in their lives. Cheese or no-cheese, positive is better.

The Bible tells us that we need to do what we can to encourage and build-up others. Social media is not excluded from this principle, and we need to remember that next time we are about to post or share something.
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Kristin Cook is the author of The Peculiar Treasure- a blog that is all about having the courage to be the peculiar people that God has called us to be. Kristin wants everyone to see that we all are a little bit odd- peculiar- and God uses that to do great things when we trust in Him.
You can check out her blog here!

Date Day + Outfit of the Day

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Today Lachlan and I celebrated 5 months of being together. And yes, before you say anything we are that lame couple. We don’t normally “celebrate” monthaversaries, usually just we would just write each other a cute note, or letter. But since this month it landed on a day that we both had off we decided to go out and do something nice together.

We both love scouting out new coffee places and the other day we found a place in Brisbane that makes rainbow art coffee! We stalked their Instagram and decided that we just had to visit! So this morning we got in the car and headed off to find this amazing place. We were not disappointed!

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After coffee we decided to head over to the Botanic Gardens and explore around there for a while. I love all things flowers, so of course I loved it!

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Denim Jacket from BigW (Aus)
Black Maxi Dress from Kmart (Aus)
White Flat Sandals from Spendless (Aus)
Navy Handbag from ForeverNew (Aus)

You shop the look here with ASOS.com

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How I Stay Motivated

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We all have those days where you just don’t feel like yourself and motivating yourself to do what you need to do that day seems impossible. I’ve had a lot of those days recently. Between college, moving house, blog planning & working on an upcoming project (which will be announced next week!!) I have been completely exhausted and killer headaches have been an everyday event. Trying to motivate myself to stay on top of things has proven to be difficult, but not impossible!

Here are some helpful tips to make motivating yourself on “off” days just that little bit easier…

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One: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge coffee addict! Actually, you don’t know even need to know me personally, just scroll through my Instagram and you’ll find out yourself. But it isn’t just the heavenly taste of coffee that I love, even though that is great. Coffee helps keep me alert so that I can stay focused on the jobs I have to get done.

Two: Get dressed and get out of the bed.

Blogging and having an online business means that a lot of the time, I’m working from home. Although it is great to be able to work from the comfort of your own home, motivating yourself at home can be hard. I often find myself sitting in my bed, still in my pyjamas, trying to get some work done. But most the time I don’t get much done and usually end up curling back up into bed. I found that getting up and “getting ready for work” really helped motivate me to get it done. Instead of sitting in bed, I move to my desk. Instead of being in my pyjamas, I get dressed and do my make up. This gives me the sense that now I am ready for work and there’s no way I’m going back to bed.

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Three: Get out of the house.

This is more a side point for the tip above. Sometimes, even though I’m at my desk, I still find it hard to be at home and still keep motivated. That’s when I’ll usually grab my computer, head over to a local cafe (one with free wi-fi of course!) grab myself a coffee and get my work done. I’ve found that I usually get double the amount of work done when I’m out than what I would have at home. I don’t know why, but being outdoors and around people helps keep me motivated. Currently our favourite cafe is called Book Face in Springfield. It’s a book shop and cafe and it’s pretty wonderful.

Four: Set deadlines for yourself.

Being a Social Media Manager, I usually have deadlines set anyway because a client will need something done by a certain time or date. But when it comes to blogging, I have to set myself deadlines for when I need to upload new blog posts and have them planned so I don’t fall behind. This is a new thing I have learned as I recently started pursuing making blogging my full time job. I sat down and planned how many posts I wanted a week, what I was writing about and when I needed them completed and uploaded by. This helped motivate me to get them done so I that I didn’t forget and then realise I haven’t uploaded all week (like I have done before!) Setting deadlines for myself really helped keep me motivated in keeping on tops of things.

What are some things that help keep you motivated?

whitename