I've had a handful of people approach me with questions surrounding my work, life here in Nashville, etc. in the past few weeks, so I thought I would take an opportunity to share answers with anyone reading my blog. I've taken a month long hiatus from social media and will most likely delete most of my accounts in the near future, so this will be the main platform for updates.
What are you doing now? Do you love your job?
Let me start by saying this topic has been a struggle of mine for quite some time. I was highly motivated in my school work and became consumed in college with trying to figure out the perfect job for my personality and skill set. I was always out to prove myself as the best. Through endless counsel and prayer, I'm able to openly talk about my career without feeling the tension of competition or comparison. It's a really sweet (and less stressful) place to be!
I am currently a project manager at a fully integrated creative firm here in Nashville called GS&F. We specialize in branding, web development, photo/video, user experience, and a whole lot more.
Do I love my job? Well, love is a strong word. A more appropriate answer...
I have the opportunity everyday to work in collaboration with creative, inspiring, and supportive co-workers. I have the opportunity to learn on a consistent basis. I have the opportunity to help lead people in small ways. So in that respect, yes, I do love my job! But it's not my day-to-day work that fosters the love.
On another note, I'm diving into the beginning plans on a side hustle here in Nashville with the help of some close friends. Food related, naturally! I am always preaching to others you can't find true value in your job, which I believe wholeheartedly, but lately I've been finding myself searching for it in my day-to-day work. Go figure. So I decided to take a little of my own medicine and jump into a passion project to remind myself work doesn't always have to feel like a drag.
Why did you decide to move back to Nashville?
People. My Church. Lifestyle.
These were the main three factors I thought about when deciding on next life steps. I took a 3-month "sabbatical" as I like to call it before moving back. What most people don't know is I was starting to interview in Chicago/search for apartments when the answer to head back to Nashville became clear. It wasn't clear in the ways you might think-- I didn't yet have a job or living situation set up in Nashville. I hadn't even submitted any applications! By the world's terms it was incredibly up in the air, but my heart was so at peace with being there again, I knew it would work out. Last winter I felt so close to the Lord, listening to my heart seemed like the best move. And looking back, it was!
Sometimes we make answers a lot more complicated than they need to be. I had a community in Nashville, I loved my church family, and the laid back lifestyle was more appealing to me than big city life. I got caught up in a life I thought would be fun compared to what my heart really desired. Nashville was it, and within one month of making that decision, I had a job and a place to live.
Is it hard to be single and far away from your family/friends/etc?
The answer is yes, but I've learned to embrace this time of life without resenting where I could be. If you're currently in a new place, I'm here to say community can take a lot longer to build than you would think, so be patient with yourself and others! I'm the poster child for jumping in and wanting things to feel deep and intentional right away. People need time, discernment takes time. Thank the Lord above for Facetime!
Marriage is a next step some of us grow up thinking we're owed. At least, I always did. Yet I haven't done much in my life up till now to prepare to be a wife, so that's been a focus of mine lately! I've started to pray for my future husband, for his current life now without me. I've been reading what scripture says about marriage and how to date well. How can I continue to live my life to the fullest now, growing in my relationship with the Lord, so I can be a loving spouse in the future?
And above all, desiring God needs to stay higher in priority than desiring marriage. In that order, things will fall perfectly into place, whatever that may look like. I've been finding comfort lately in ending my nights with a podcast, a chapter book, scripture, journaling, you name it. It's a great way to get out of my own head when I begin to worry about my timeline for marriage. My main takeaway every time is it's just not about me. The worry starts to melt away and I begin to love others better when I'm confident in the Lord's promise to give me the best.
What are you most excited about in the coming year?
This was one of the toughest questions I received this past month for many reasons. It's hard for me to think too far ahead, but my small group popped into my head right away. For the first time in my life, I've had consistent commitment to a small group over a period of several months. There is such sweetness in committing to people and doing life together!
We've had the summer off, but we'll be starting up small group again next month. This fall we are diving into the Book of Samuel 1. Have I mentioned how much I love my small group gals? They are beautiful, strong, loving, kind women of God. I am so fortunate to help lead them deeper into what's already been planted inside them. Before this small group, I was part of a small group with much more diversity-- men, women, single, married, divorced, young adults, parents, etc. I was concerned about joining a new group of all women in their 20s. Thankfully God has proved me wrong, blasting away my expectations for a small group and showing me grace in the midst of it. I'm sure my women probably don't realize how much I am learning from them! They have endless energy, constantly socializing with the general public. I applaud them because, let's be real, I typically go to bed by 10:30pm. They've pushed me to get out more which is (most) always appreciated. I just love them.
So to answer the question in a more succinct manner-- I am most excited to grow where I have been planted this year, to keep living alongside people here in Nashville. Oh, and I also wouldn't mind a few fun trips away in the midst of all the planting, growing, and such. Always. Duh.
When did you become a Christian?
I grew up in a Christian home, attending a Lutheran school pre-k through 8th. Even with that foundation, I would say I didn't enter into a true relationship with Jesus until my sophomore year of college. I didn't play basketball my junior year, a huge source of value for me, which catapulted me into a year of identity struggle. Yet the absence of a full-time sport created room to love the Lord in a way I hadn't before. He brought people into my life-- to love me, to pray over me, to encourage me. Even some of my teammates, who I felt I had disappointed by deciding to walk away from the team, surrounded me with friendship. Through my community, I started to fully understand the power of God's unconditional love and the importance of surrender in my faith. When I started to let go of the need to perform-- in sports, in school, in relationships-- I began to see Jesus as the biggest need of all.
Now don't get me wrong, there are mini-moments when I drift into the gray area of questioning, well, everything. Every decision, every action, every word. Sometimes I feel like I'm still sweeping up pieces of broken plans and trying to make them fit together, for the past to make sense, when I just need to throw them away and let God start working on a new picture. I believe God even takes broken pieces of past plans and writes them into future ones.
I also had someone ask me the other day if my blog was specifically themed as "Christian." To me, there is no separation between me and my faith. It's all blended together as one. Where there is Christ's love, faithfulness, and grace, there is my life story! So there ya have it, folks.
What are your favorite books?
Uummm... where do I begin?!
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (historical fiction)
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (historical fiction)
The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas (dating/marriage)
The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller (dating/marriage)
Scary Close by Donald Miller (Christian)
Yes Please by Amy Poehler (autobiography)
None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different Than Us by Jen Wilkin (Christian)
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (historical fiction)
A Peculiar Glory by John Piper (Christian)
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (children/fantasy)
Safely Home by Randy Alcorn (historical fiction)
Sum It Up by Pat Summit & Sally Jenkins (autobiography)
What type of camera do you use?
I've used a Canon Rebel t6i with a Canon 55-125mm lens for the past couple of years, but I just upgraded to a Canon 6D with a fixed 50mm lens. If you're just starting out, the Rebel is a great way to go! I highly recommend checking out MPB for refurbished models.
and that's that!