When Intentions Aren't Enough

Well, hey there, Blog! Haven't seen you in a while!

Can I confess something though?  I didn't miss you.  Yeah, the truth hurts sometimes, but I'm not one to skimp on honesty. 

I had the most amazing summer of my life.  By far.  Between traveling overseas for the first time in my life to see and experience some of the most beautiful, spectacular things that I have ever seen or done and being challenged physically, spiritually, and emotionally constantly at camp for two weeks, I had plenty of blog material, let me tell you. 

However, sitting down and typing out all that I had seen, learned, and done over these past few months wasn't on the top of my to-do list. In fact, it was more hastily scrawled in the bottom margin of my list as an after-thought. You know, the thing that you always leave for last and never actually get done? Yeah, that was blogging for me. 

You see, my blog hasn't really turned out exactly the way that I had envisioned when I was poring over names, color schemes, and facts about me when I brought this blog to life last winter. I had ditched my previous blog for two main reasons: 1) It was a travel blog and traveling isn't something that I do frequently enough to make my content interesting and enjoyable for me to write about and 2) I started to care more about the comments, the views, the followers, and the connections that I was making more than anything else. 

And that's not the way I wanted it to be. 

However, I've watched myself get too wrapped up in all the glam and glitz of blogging again instead of being who I want to be. 

Initially, this blog was dedicated to all the beautiful things in my life. The little details that would usually go unnoticed, the big events that rocked my world, and all the amazing things that God was teaching me as I worked to draw nearer to Him.

Instead, I've found that once again, I'm much too concerned with gaining more Twitter followers, commenting on other blogs with the purpose of gaining readers instead of genuinely wanting to share some input, comparing my blog's design to other blogs, and all together NOT focusing on the beautiful things in my life. 

Good intentions are just that: intentions. No matter how many times I tell people that the reason I blog is to show the glory of God, I am a big, fat liar. And that won't change until I make my intentions reality. That means that some changes need to happen around here. Intentions need to become action to become results. 

This summer I was faced with the question of what is keeping my faith from thriving rather than simply surviving? Although it was posed to me weeks ago, it is still up there, rolling around in my brain. 

I found the answer recently after reading Seven by Jen Hatmaker. If you aren't familiar with the premise of the book, Jen, in an attempt to rid herself of all the excess in her life, embarks on a seven month challenge where she seriously alters one area of her life for a month at a time. For example, the first month, she attacks the area of excess food. For an entire month she only eats seven foods (chicken, sweet potato, apple, and spinach are among three other foods that I can't recall). 

Yes, you read that right. For 30 days, this woman limited her diet to seven foods. I think I've passed that already just today and it's only 10 am! 

Throughout her mission, Jen learns what it's like to truly purge the excess stuff in her life that is distracting her from a thriving relationship with Christ. Although not everything in this book made me nod in agreement, the overall message made me stop and reflect on all the materialism in my own life that is keeping me from loving Christ passionately and to the fullest. 

You may have guessed by now that this is the start of an excess purge. Effective immediately both in my life and on my blog. I don't think that I'm going to be cutting my foods down to less than the number of fingers I have, but I do know that things are going to change. 

It's looking like this for my blog at the moment: no Twitter, no Google Analytics, no more blog design updates (unless I actually am in the mood to, not to keep up with the Jones), no "filler posts" that I write just for the purpose to keep the page views coming, and no following blogs just to get followers. I'm weighing the pros and cons of turning off the comments and taking my blog off of Bloglovin' too, so those changes may be happening in the near future. 

Whew. When I said change, I meant it.

I'm excited for this blog to be what I intended it to be: a place for me to record the ins & outs of my life. No glitz, no glam. Just the raw, real me. 



"Help!" - My Running Playlist

My running playlist needs help.  Sometimes at night I can hear it screaming for an update through my headphones across the room.  It's a desperate situation.

I'm afraid that it's all my fault though.  I've neglected my most-used playlist for way too long while other lesser important playlists received my full attention.  In case you're thinking that your playlist is in pretty bad shape too, let me share a few gems that totally get me pumped to hit the pavement (sarcasm, much sarcasm).

Here, we have a great tune for the heat of a run.  You know, the moment when it's getting tough, but you're ready to take anything that is thrown at you.  So intense.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, gets my legs going like some good ol' Lizzie Mcguire. 

Okay, next! A great song for when you don't feel like going anymore.  Your legs burn, you're doubled over and chances are, you're moving at appx. 2 miles per hour. For this situation, there's no option better than having some Gretchen Wilson reverberating in your ears.   Redneck Woman, anyone? 

If you're not pumped up to the point where you want to lace up and head out the door right now, let me give you one more song from my playlist that is sure to do the trick. Ready or not, it's coming!

That's right, some classic Shania.  I don't know about you, but all that cheetah print that she's rocking DOES impress me much.  Oh, 90's fashion, how you humor me. 

All joking aside, you now know how rough my running playlist has been treated so I'm trying to repair the damages that my poor music selection (freshman year, I'm looking at you) have inflicted.

I want to know what YOUR favorite song(s) to workout/run to is/are.  Sure, I've googled "songs to run to," but I don't really love a lot of the suggestions that I've seen.  I'm turning to you guys to be my DJs because I'm nearly positive that you have better music taste than I did whenever I last updated this list. So let me know because I would love to get my playlist up and running (so punny!) again!