Guys, I cannot believe this, but this blog turned ONE this past Saturday. There are only so many things that I can keep up with for a year or more and I'm so glad that blogging is one of them. Blogging isn't only therapeutic, but fun! Not too mention the great community that comes along with it. I love when you guys stop by and when commenting leads to conversations. And then, when those conversations move toward actual written letters with one another. I love the encouragement that we can give to one another and that even though we may be states or nations apart, we still find ourselves in similar seasons of life. Blogging can definitely be another example of how the Church is more than just a building, it's all of us, together, pointing each other toward our commonality, Christ.
I love that each of us is different, but we all learn something unique from one another. Whether we are twenty-something and single, newly married, moms, DIY-ers, small town gals, city dwellers, travelers, explorers, shop-owners, sport lovers, book lovers, whatever it may be. We learn more about each other, more about ourselves. We discover new places we want to go, new things to do, and more projects to take on.
We tweet, we pin, we like, we enter giveaways like crazy, we post pictures and double-tap for hearts.
It isn't always joyous. Sometimes we get too caught up in this blogging life. We wish we had the life of another blogger, wish our house looked like theirs. We long for more page-views and more followers. We check for comments constantly and study analytics intently. Sometimes we get burned out and we want to throw in the towel. We dream of living the life of the "big" blogger, instead of remembering why we started blogging in the first place...whatever the reason may be.
Even if the day comes where our blog makes it big, where the page-views reach 1,000+ daily, our followers exceed 500+, or we're making money...
Let us never stop being real.
Let us never stop sharing our struggles and our triumphs. The highs and the lows.
Let us never be afraid to be real in a world dominated by "perfect" lives on social media.
Let us not ignore the seasons we are in. Let us remember that we are not alone in them.
Let us not miss the life that is happening before us.
Let us not just look out the window, but step foot outside.
Let us remember that while blogging is fun, there is a world waiting for us beyond the computer screen.
I can't believe I've been here, in this space, for a year now. Whether you have been here awhile or only a short time, I'm glad you are here! Welcome. And I still can't believe people actually read this thing.
Here's to another year!
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Jessy over at The Artsy Cajun did this post a couple days back.
One of the things I've been wanting to do lately is notice the blessings and things in my life I have to be thankful for, even the small things.
Alabama Football. I mean, once you attend and graduate from The University of Alabama, college football gets into your blood. Roll Tide.
Books and blue skies take the tie.
Drawing. It's a great creative outlet, even if I'm not that great at it.
Elephants! Not only the symbol for Alabama Football, they are magnificent animals and the babies are just so cute!
Friends! They bring so much encouragement and fun times into my life.
Glasses. Had to steal Jessy's here. Without them, I wouldn't be able to see or enjoy much of anything!
Holidays and hiking.
Journals. I'm addicted to buying fun journals and then filling them up!
Kids and kayaking!
Moonlight and mountains.
Nephews! They bring me so much joy and happiness when I'm around them.
Open roads. Give me a car, good music, windows down, and open roads.
Planes, because they allow me to go to new places.
Quiet Time. It's a special time between me and God, where He can speak to me in wonderful ways.
Telephones. Even though I don't really like talking on the phone, it's another device that keeps family connected.
Underwear. Idk. I couldn't really think of anything.
Vacation. Who doesn't love one of those?
X-rays. Again, idk.
Yellow anything! It is so cheerful and happy. My favorite color.
Zzzz's I catch when sleeping. My bed is comfy, y'all.
Happy Friday, friends! Enjoy your weekend!
Don't forget to enter THIS fun giveaway!
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Job-searching is a full-time job in itself. It's also discouraging. I feel like most of the time I come away from my job searching feeling defeated and highly inadequate. Also, the whole need 2+ years of experience, but you can't get experience without having a job. And the whole, we want you to have a Master's. Getting my Bachelor's was enough money, I don't have the money for the Master's right now. But, you know what could help me get a Master's? More money. And how could I get more money? A full-time job. Because, I'm certainly not going to take out anymore loans. No sir. So, the process (that seems never-ending) will continue. And back to job-searching I go. Enjoy my fake resume below.
612 My Couch
My Mind, AL 36524
LEARNING Holder of Expensive Piece of Paper
The Best University in the Land
Major: Internet and iPhone Technology
Concentration: Blogging, Games, and Such
PC SKILLS General surfing, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogging
KNOW-HOW Candy Crusher Expert
King Candy Land, iPhone
· Creating combos and crushing candies
· Keeping Odus on his moon in Dreamworld
· Seeker of level tips and cheats online
Social Media Entrepreneur
Internet World, Gadget Town
· Tweeter of tweets, some with pictures
· Pinner of recipes, helpful articles, future home designs
· Peruser of timeline feeds, photos of friends, liker of pagers
All Around, iPhone City
· Picture taker of food, pets, and self
· Edits shots with great effects and filters
· Uploads online for all to see
Writer of Words
Polished Arrow, Blog Land
· Blogger of any and all thoughts
· Sharer of photos and life events
· Creator, marketer, and sustainer for business
SEEN, BEEN, DONE Facebook
Totally my fake resume, if you are interested in my real one, visit my LinkedIn profile.
Excited to join in with Paige for an exciting giveaway! Enter below to win a Cotopaxi water bottle and support gear for good! Look below for a word from Paige!
And check out her awesome post today that has an interview with the founder of Cotopaxi!
The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter, and I will announce the winner of this giveaway on June 20th. I will contact the winner via email (if the winner does not respond within 48 hours of the email another will be chosen). Enter below to be a part of this company's mission to change the world for the good! a Rafflecopter giveaway
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The other day, I was having my quiet time in the living room, when I looked out the window and saw a high-school kid run by. A couple seconds later another one came behind him. And then a few more. I realized that it must have been a spring practice for football and they were getting a morning run in. Then came a guy bringing up the back, most definitely the spot I would be in. I went back to my study and all of a sudden heard the sound of lots of feet on the pavement. I looked up and a group of about six or seven guys ran down the street, just a few seconds later they came running back up the hill together again. This time, the kid that was bringing up the back was in the middle of their circle. They were all running together, pushing and encouraging the guy. Pumping him up and cheering him on to finish the run. A perfect picture of community.
As Christians, one of the most important things we have is community with one another. The Bible is full of examples of people living together in community. Some good, some bad. Some influential, some not so much. Throughout my college career, one of the things my college minister would always tell us is that living the Christian life is not something we can do alone. Living the Christian life is not an easy one. We are constantly called to go against the grain. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. We are supposed to live above reproach, live a life that imitates Christ, and glorifies God. We are called to what seems like a giant task, and it is, but we aren't called to do it alone.
Even Jesus didn't carry out the Father's business alone! He surrounded himself with the disciples. Although they weren't always the brightest of the bunch (just like us. ever notice how when Jesus told a story, he usually had to repeat it a couple of times? yeah, he has to do that with me a lot.), they provided him with community. He may not have had a place to lay his head at night, but he did have friends nearby. Not only did he have the disciples, but he was constantly connected with the Father.
As Christians, we are constantly connected with the Father as well. One of the greatest privileges we have is that of communication with the Lord, through prayer. We can approach the throne with confidence, that he will hear us, even when it seems that our prayers only reach the ceiling. But, if I'm being honest, in my human nature and with all my feelings, sometimes this isn't enough. And I think the Lord knows that, which is why he wants us to have community with fellow believers.
When we come together with other believers, we not only are a great force for the advancement of the Gospel, but we are given people that can surround us to do life with. When we surround ourselves with other believers, we find people that understand what it means to walk the Christian life. We find people that are maybe in the same place as us or have been there before. Singles find other singles, married couples find other married couples, widows the widows, single parents other single parents. Even though we learn from people similar to us, we can learn from everyone else as well. The older people in the church can pass on their wisdom to us twenty-somethings and singles can learn from the married and vice versa. Everyone has a part in the body of Christ, without just one, we would crumble and fall.
I admit there are times where I don't want to be around people (its the introvert in me). There are times I would much rather try and figure things out on my own and not let people in on my problems. There are times where I don't want to hear about other people's problems...or triumphs. But, it never fails, the more I seclude myself, the more I'm making myself be alone. And this alone is not nice like the other. This alone is empty of all encouragement. Yet, I have a God who loves me. And in the midst of being alone, I can hear him calling me back. Out of the darkness and back into the world. Back into community.
A community of believers. Friends who truly care. Friends who understand the seasons that I'm in. Friends who encourage. Friends who love. Friends who point me back to the cornerstone of our community. Christ.
We all need people who can come behind us and help us up the hill. We all need encouragement. We all need community.
A Few Verses on Community
"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" Psalm 133:1
Linking up with Chantel and friends again for the Jack of All Trades Link-Up!
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Okay, I'm going to try and not put too much into this post. But, I will admit that it is going to contain a little bit of everything. Enjoy, skim, or just look at the pictures. :)
Paige and I have been following along with the 52 Lists Project since the start of this year. The lists have seemed to stop, so we came up with some lists to keep it going. Feel free to join in!
Moments Photo Challenge | Days 1-5
This is an Instagram photography challenge hosted by Rachel. Check out my photography page for more info.
Follow me on Instagram to see more photos. Let me know if you are joining in!
I love this link-up that Aimee has going on! I wanted to link-up again this week and share this photo I took earlier this week!
To me, this picture gives a perfect description of what summer days are like in the South.
Bright sunshine and blue skies one minute, followed by a dark cloud and thunder the next. I got to capture both in one frame!
Brainstorming | Link-Up Idea...
An idea for a new link-up came to me the other day. I'm still hashing out details in my head and on paper to see if it is something I really want to do. But, I'm excited about the idea and to see what might come out of it. I'll definitely keep you all updated! Be on the lookout for more soon!
ICYMI This Past Week:
Linking Up with Aimee for Finding Beauty Today!
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I'm so looking forward to the day I have my own place again. When I got my first apartment while in college, I was so excited to decorate it just how I wanted. I also didn't have a roommate, so I got to choose all the decor and what pictures to hang or what I didn't like. Kirkland's was one of my most favorite places and I didn't dare step into Target's home area. Browsing through houses on Pinterest is also one of my favorite ways to pass time. Not too mention before and after makeovers. I LOVE them!
Since I don't have my own place quite yet, I've been trying to make my room here at home a little more my own. Right now, most of my stuff is in storage and my room here at home is part room, part art studio for mom. Not too long ago, we were able to do a mini-makeover to the room. I loved the way it turned out. We didn't do too much, but it definitely became more my own. A place where I can relax and actually feel at home. Check out my bedroom makeover here.
My favorite part of the room is the wall that has my California map. Pictures of it have floated around this blog a bit. I love maps, so I'm just in love with it. Well, lately that little area has gotten a couple more additions. I love fresh flowers! When I had my apartment in college, I would splurge at the farmer's market sometimes and get fresh cut flowers for my place. Plants just brighten up the place so much! Well, I wanted something in my room that wouldn't only brighten up the place and make me happy, but a plant that would last a little longer than flowers do. Enter succulents! Mom and I were at the store yesterday and she picked up tons of flowers to plant outside and I picked out a couple of succulents for my room. I absolutely love them! This little area of my room is full of blue and green pastels when it comes to color. My bedspread is also a light blue and white. I love these colors together, light and airy. Well, the color of the succulents with the creme of the potholder go perfectly in the room! The other addition is the "It's a wonderful world" sign hanging beside the map. Again, the colors go perfectly. I picked up the sign at Cracker Barrel! When I found the sign, a woman who worked there asked if I liked to travel and Mom told her about all the places I had been. When I decided to get the sign, that same woman came up to me, hugged me, and said, "I'm glad somebody like you is getting this sign. It was made for you. Never stop having adventures." I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. For the rest of my life, I hope I can keep having adventures!
Do plants or flowers make you happy?
Do you enjoy gardening with a green thumb or do you have no luck when it comes to green things?
Linking up with Shannon for Write Yourself Happy!
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Today's post is inspired by Amy's post, where she got the idea from this post that Kiki mentioned once on her blog.
I'm a big lover of books, that really isn't a secret. The two storage drawers under my bed are filled with books and I have a giant tub in storage full of books that are dying to get out and be on a shelf again. Since I'm living at home right now, I don't have room of my own to spread them out here and there or have a room that is solely devoted to my books. My dream house definitely has a small library with a giant over-sized chair in it. I'll probably live in that room alone if it ever comes to being.
When I had my apartment at college, my coffee table and side table had a couple of books on them for when company came. My favorite was a photo book I made of landscape pictures that I had taken while living in New Orleans. It is full of the architecture of the city, the people, downtown, uptown, and everywhere in between. One of my friends even thought I had bought it while down there! A compliment I was very excited about. The day it comes out of storage, I will definitely share it with you guys! Now, I do not have a coffee table, but I do have a side table in my room that has a nice little collection of books. They all have one common theme as well: California.
This is one of my favorite parts of my room, when I found this old map of California at an antique shop I knew I needed to have it. I have a serious thing for maps. It's the perfect compliment to go along with those books down in the corner.
This was one of my most favorite series when I was a kid. So, when I discovered this whole box set at a consignment shop, I knew I wanted to snag it! Sadly, I always forgot to go back and pick it up. But, my mom surprised me with it for Christmas! It was one of the greatest gifts ever!
I found this old children's hymnal in a thrift store, mainly with the intention to do something fun with the pages. I went through and found some of my favorite hymns and then framed them around my room.
I acquired this book when I was cleaning out a room at church when in Tahoe. After visiting San Francisco for the first time, I fell in love with the city. This is an old travel book that has information all about the area around San Fran up to the Oregon border.
This is one of my favorites! I came across this book when browsing through a thrift store in Tahoe. John Muir was a naturalist, author, and one of the earliest advocates for the preservation of wilderness. He fought hard to preserve Yosemite Valley and for that I will always be thankful. If you ever get a chance to visit Yosemite or any of the Sierra Nevada area, do it! It is some of the most beautiful area I have ever seen. I'm looking to read this book entirely this summer.
Just for fun, here are some of my most favorite quotes by John Muir:
"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark."
I picked up this book when I visited Alcatraz in 2012. I'm also a big fan of museums and historical places. This definitely is one of those places. First, you get to take a ferry ride in the Bay to "The Rock." Then, you can take a self-guided, audio tour of the old prison. Some of the world's most notorious criminals were placed at Alcatraz, like Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Going into that place you literally step back into time. This is an interesting article to read to learn more about Alcatraz. #5 was one of the most interesting things I learned on my tour to the island.
National Geographic is by far one of my most favorite magazines! The ultimate dream would be to have an article and my photography in that magazine. Oh, to dream! I also love the Traveler magazine, which takes you all around the world and gives perfect ideas for places to see and things to do on your next trip abroad. This one had a special article on San Francisco, so naturally, I kept it and it made it's way into the side table collection.
This book is by far one of my most favorites in this whole collection! It is all about San Francisco, written in the 60s. The pictures are all black and white (love!) and there is a grid of the city on the inside covers. It is fun to see how the city has evolved and grown since these pictures were taken. But, the beauty has always been there. Just look at those photos of The Golden Gate Bridge! Swoon!
Books I Hope to Add to the Collection
Another favorite side table book I have is 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List. There is also a second edition out now with more places added! If I even get 10 of these places marked off my list I would be happy.
The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge.
And these Disney Art books: The Art of Tangled, The Art of Brave, and The Art of The Princess and the Frog.
And Jimmy Fallon's Thank You Notes 1 & 2.
What are some of your favorite coffee table books? Do you love travel guides or books on one particular place?
I'd love to know what is on your table or night-stand!
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Meg over at Me with the Three posted this fun little Q&A on her blog the other day. She passed it on to anyone who wanted to participate! I love doing these kind of posts, because it's just another way for us to get to know one another. Plus, this q&a had some unique questions, so it really stuck out to me! Here we go!
1. What is your favorite quality about yourself?
My ability to adapt to change. For some, change may scare them to all end, but I welcome it. There have been lots of things that have changed in my life, and while not all have been good, they have all taught me something. It's allowed me to adapt more quickly when things to do come up. I'm strange in the fact that I do like a routine and enjoy it, but eventually I will get bored and need something new. Too long in one place or in one routine and I get restless.
2. Briefly explain the name of your blog.
The name Polished Arrow came about in a couple of ways. One, when I moved to Alabama, my dad got me interested in archery and I fell in love with it. It's such a fun sport and I really feel like I missed my calling to be in the Olympics. ha. not really. Two, there is a verse in Isaiah that says, "He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver." One study bible said this verse was a metaphor for "the effectiveness of the word." And how the word is sharp, like a sword, penetrating us with its words. Words are powerful and I want to use them to speak truth, life, and love. Check out this post for more on why I chose this name.
3. What is your favorite thing about the city or state that you live in?
I was born in Memphis, so when my Dad told me we were moving to Alabama when I was in the eighth grade, I didn't really know what to think. My perception of Alabama was that it was nothing but small towns and wide spots in the road. Well, that is true of where I live, in my small town. But, because of it's size, I knew almost all of the 75 people in my high school graduating class, people knew me by my mascot name (and still do), and I got to know the simplicity that is small town life. Then, there are the cities, where you can visit the big stores, go to the movies, explore museums. In the northern part of the state there are mountains, rivers, and hiking and in the southern part there are rivers for fishing, rich history, and beautiful beaches. Also, I got to attend The University of Alabama, where I learned that tradition is important and college football gets in your blood.
4. What is the best book you've read recently?
I recently finished I Am Malala. It is the story of Malala Yousafzai and her family as they experience terrorism in their home state. Malala herself was targeted by the Taliban, and shot at the age of fifteen, as she is an incredible voice in fighting for her and all girl's right to an education. It's an empowering story of a young girl who refuses to be silent.
5. What made you start blogging?
I started my first blog awhile ago, just as an online journal and to keep up with adventures. When I started this blog, I had just moved back from California and needed an outlet. This space again became an online journal of sorts, a place to share my photos, build community, and document life as a single, twenty-something. I recently did a post on my writing process and finally came to the conclusion that I am a laid-back lifestyle blogger.
6. What is something you think you are really good at?
I would say capturing, remembering, and enjoying the simple moments. I remember the weirdest of small details, but to me those are the ones that make the moments and memories sweet. I've been told that I have an eye for photography and sometimes I do manage to get a great shot, but I'm by no means a professional. I'm also better with written words than speaking them. My thoughts make way more sense and come together a whole lot better when they are written down.
7. What is your dream job?
My dreams change a lot. There are lots of things that I would love to be able to do one day. Let's just name a few. Photographer, writer, full-time missionary, travel blogger, photojournalist, graphic designer, teacher, non-profit worker, child and teenage counselor. There is one dream that I have that right now that I never thought God would place in my life. It's something I never really thought of before and still seems silly to say out loud. So, I'm going to keep it to myself for a little bit longer. But, I think it would be one of the best jobs in the world.
8. What time of day do you feel most creative?
Definitely mid-morning and afternoon. This is when I usually have the most time to set my own schedule and I'm alone. It helps me to organize and brainstorm what I want to do for the day. During this time is when I write most of my posts, organize social media, and clean up the blog. Sometimes I get the urge to write at night and will crank out a post or two then.
9. What food could you eat every day and never get tired of?
Popcorn or ice cream sandwiches.
10. Name something you would like to accomplish in the next year.
Land a full-time job, that I actually enjoy, that is all I ask. Or live the life that comes with that dream that God has placed on my heart right now.
Did you enjoy this Q & A post? Hope you learned a little bit more about me.
Now, I would love to learn more about you! I pass the challenge on to you all.
If you do this same Q & A, make sure to let me know and leave your link in the comments below!
I'm very excited to be linking up for the first time ever with Chantel and her Jack of All Trades Link-Up!
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