My Life in 2016 So Far

Last March, I wrote a post called What Life Has Taught Me So Far in 2015. Almost exactly a year gone by and my life has completely changed. Since that last post, I’ve experienced 3 major life changes:

  • FINISHED COLLEGE
  • GOT ENGAGED
  • WENT BACK TO WORK FULL TIME

Yeah. Graduation officially happened in September last year but my engagement to the BF and new job happened back to back at the beginning of the year so when I say it’s been a whirlwind, I mean Whirl. Flipping. Wind. And I know you know what it’s like cause these seasons come to us all. For better or worse, everything gets flipped upside down and inside out and you’re left trying to catch your breath and find a new equilibrium. I can happily say however, that this whirlwind is definitely for the better. Still kind of catching up with everything but while the year is still relatively young and while I’ve got a few moments on the treadmill (yes, I’m on the treadmill), let me catch you up on my thoughts on my life in 2016 so far.

I had plans to write some pithy post about what life has taught me but right now, I just need to dump. Nothing profound, nothing special–just simple, raw thoughts. You may pass it up if you’d like, I don’t mind. This one’s for me. I need to unclog my brain and share a little of what’s been going on up there.

Thoughts on finishing college…

I feel like I’ve been working on my degree forever! I took a slow, more unconventional boat to getting my B.A. and now, in my mid-twenties, I can finally say I’ve got a degree. And while I must say it is quite lovely not to come home from work and have assignments waiting for me, my education has only just begun (and best better believe Karen Carpenter is singing in my head right now too). It was during the last year of school when I discovered that there were so many other things I wanted to learn about. Things like content marketing, passive income, writing, neuroscience, relationships, the benefits of reading, healthy lifestyle habits, productivity, etc. My reading list has just gotten longer and longer and I keep thinking, goodness, if I could just get paid to read and research I’d be set! In no way does my degree mean that I’ve arrived. I took some great classes and it’s a great foundation I wouldn’t trade but that’s what it is – a foundation. And a foundation is only worth something if you build on it. So even though I’m done with college (for now, anyway) I’m continuing my education. I’ve just shed the assignment deadlines :).

I don’t have as much time as I’d like with a full time job but one of my goals is to really take time to further my personal education, to indulge in the things that spark my intellect and creativity.

Being engaged to your best friend is the most wonderful thing ever 🙂

I was thrilled when the BF asked me to marry him. Being engaged to my best friend is the coolest thing and I love it. I truly love the man more and more every day. However, this new phase of our relationship does have its own set of difficulties that I wasn’t anticipating. Nothing bad, just challenging. We live over an hour away from each other and mostly only see each other on the weekends so finding time to get things done is sometimes tricky. We’ve got different priorities and navigating through and coordinating our own processes and procedures, if you will, is uncharted ground for me. And while sometimes it feels like the wedding is so far away, the days are flying by at such a pace that I feel like I’m never going to get anything done! That’s why I’m so thankful that God gave me a man who is not only a sweetheart, he’s also reasonable, understanding, and not high-maintenance. Cause while being engaged is all very romantic, it’s also a time when you’re forced to think practically and seriously about the future. We’re building a life, after all, not just planning a wedding. Being engaged to a man who gets all that and helps keep me balanced is such an incredible blessing!

HE ASKED SHE SAID YES
HE ASKED SHE SAID YES

New jobs are like new mission fields.

If there’s one thing I know about jobs, it’s that you’re not there just to make money. When you spend the bulk of your week at a place with a group of people, you have one very important responsibility: shine a light so that people’s lives are made better because you were there to be a positive influence for God. I believe that if you let Him, God will hand pick your place of employment, not just so you can pay the bills, but so that lives can be touched-yours included. I love the people and environment of my job, I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. My goal for however long I work at my office is to stay positive, work hard, and be His hands, feet, and voice. It’s not easy, especially when the day is stressful but I count it a privilege and I’m every grateful.

And for now, that’s all she wrote! I’ve been hard pressed to find time to write this year and I’m working on finding a new groove. I’ve got so many ideas for posts and things I want to share so I will get it together eventually. In the meantime, I’m going to take it all one day at a time, allowing God to lead and things to fall in place in His time.

Y’all enjoy the rest of your day <3        

5 Books to Read to Jumpstart the New Year

Looking for some inspiration to get you going this year? I read some great books last year that challenged both my faith and creativity and motivated me to pursue good work and cultivate a deeper devotion. If that’s what you need as you work through goal setting and resolutions, then consider the following titles. These are great books to read to jumpstart 2016.

5 Books to Read to Jumpstart 2016

(this post contains affiliate links)

Start by Jon AcuffStart: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work that Matters by Jon Acuff

I love Jon Acuff! In Start he challenges you to face your fears and pursue awesomeness. We all want to do work that matters in this world and that can only happen when you determine to ditch the mundane and start on the journey to awesome.

I HIGHLY recommend the audiobook (or any of his books on audio for that matter) because Acuff reads his books really well and it’s an extremely entertaining listen!

The Art of Work GoinsThe Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do  by Jeff Goins

Jeff Goins is another of my favorite authors and in his latest book, he talks about looking at calling and creativity and what it takes to pursuing what you were meant to do in life.

When you can take a passion, that thing that you wake up dreaming about every day, and pair it with the mission to to fulfill the needs of others, you’ve got something wonderful. But it takes rising above the status quo and chasing something more than what society expects of you. No gimmicks here. Just hard work, passion, and a love for your fellow man. I read the hard copy I have (which was great cause I did much underlining!) but you can get the audio as well. Goins reads it himself and it is a pleasure to listen to as well!

Tortured for ChristTortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand

Okay, so let’s shift gears to something a bit more intense. I lie — way more intense. I listened to this as an audiobook and amazing doesn’t do this book justice. I’m going to take the liberty and assume that your spiritual life could use some bolstering. Mine always does.

I don’t spend enough time truly considering the religious freedom I enjoy and what Christians have suffered and continue to suffer for the cause of Christ. Don’t start another year forgetting what being a Christian truly means. Start off the year with a spiritual awareness, humility, and boldness to live for Christ in all you do. This book isn’t for the faint of heart but I HIGHLY recommend it. It will give you a series kick in the pants and should send you to your knees in prayer.

Radical David PlattRadical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt

This is another kick-in-the-pants kind of book. Not quite as intense as the previous title but inspiring nonetheless.

It’s easy to get comfortable in our microwaved, mega-sized, over-hyped, suburban church culture. But is what we have what Jesus had in mind when He was here? No doubt our experience is worlds different from that of the 1st-century church.

This year, take a counter-cultural look at your Christian experience and challenge yourself to embrace the walk Christ set out for us. I listened to the audiobook version of this one and it was quite enjoyable!

Make it Happen CaseyMake it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take a Leap. Live on Purpose by Lara Casey

This one’s for the ladies. Casey tells the story of her life before she truly got a life. I remember listening to this audiobook in the car and thinking “Yes! I so needed this!”. Life is full of surprises and takes turns that we couldn’t have anticipated. Living in fear isn’t the answer. Embracing purpose and taking chances, trusting God leading and timing is the way to live a meaningful life. If you’re nervous about starting something new, if you’re tired of being stuck in the mundane and don’t know how to get out, if you need encouragement and the assurance that you’re not alone, then read this book. If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a heavy audiobook listener and can definitely recommend this one!

Lara Casey also has a great website with some great products that are definitely worth checking out!

What titles do you have on your book list this year?

Happy Reading! 


The blogger at Purple Ink Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com


The 2016 Reader's Notebook Page

My 5 Simple Rules for the Best Morning Ever

It’s the first Monday of 2016. How’s it going so far? Did you start off on the right foot or get up on the wrong side of the bed? Don’t worry if you’re still adjusting to your after-holidays-back-to-reality routine. It’s still a new year and you still have plenty of time to take charge of your morning.

Right now, I’m working on my 2016 early to bed, early to rise goal but last year, I locked down a routine that, when followed, makes for my best mornings. It’s nothing special or new but it’s simple and it works. As you settle into this brand new year, make sure you’ve got your morning routine locked down. It may take some practice to make it habitual but it’s totally worth the work! Need a place to start? I got you. Ready? Here are My 5 Simple Rules for the Best Morning Ever.     

the mornings hours are so important and worth the extra investment. Kick your day into gear with these 5 simple rules and have the best mornings ever!

1. Don’t Hit Snooze

This is my WORST morning vice–I ALWAYS hit the snooze button! It’s the most difficult habit to kick! When your alarm goes off in the morning, don’t think–just get out of bed. On a good morning, my alarm sounds, I get out of bed and make a beeline for the bathroom before I can think about how comfy and warm it is under the covers and I need just 5 more minutes of sleep! Don’t Hit Snooze people. Go to bed early, and get up and get going when the alarm goes off.  

2. Water Your Mind and Body

Once I’m up and sweeping up the cobwebs in my head, I grab a bottle of water and start hydrating my body. Water is purifying, renewing, and invigorating. If weight loss is a goal for you, water first thing in the A.M. will help aid that process. Don’t shock your system with cold water, stick with room temp or even better, warm water with lemon 🙂 The vitamin C in the added citrus will give an immune system boost and promote healthy glowing skin too!

3. Pray & Read

Now you’re up, your mind and body have been hydrated and refreshed and now it’s time to fuel up spiritually. Sitting at the feet of Jesus for some time in prayer and in the Word is THE best thing you can do for your morning. Now, it’s important to note that reading the Bible and studying the Bible are two different things. You may only have time for some prayer and reading in the morning and then Bible study later on in the day. Spiritual growth and maturity doesn’t happen just by reading some passages of scripture or a few pages of a devotional book. Maturity in Christ happens when we study His word. But that’s another post. Whatever you choose to do for your morning routine, do set aside some time for prayer and the Word. Just as water refreshes your mind and body, the Words of God will refresh your heart and soul. 

4. Get Moving

I love working out in the morning! Working out in the evening is a great way to decompress and destress but morning exercise is the best way for me to fully wake up and get going. If you think fitness isn’t your, then experiment. Just because your friends are into something doesn’t mean you have to be too. Try new things and find something that you enjoy. The more you like your work out, the more you’ll engage consistently.  

I actually find it easier on myself to exercise before my quiet time. I’m less likely to fall asleep while reading and praying cause my mind is fully awake after working out. However, it is also easier to get distracted. I make sure that if I work out before I read my Bible, I don’t check my email, I stay off most social media (unless I’m posting), and I keep my music or audiobooks spiritual and inspirational. That way, by the time I sit down with Jesus, my brain’s not already cluttered with worldly things. 

5. Feed Your Mind and Body

Okay, by this time I’m super hungry. I haven’t eaten yet cause I want to give the water I’ve been drinking time do it’s work in my body. I find that when I follow this kind of schedule, by the time I’m ready to eat, I’m less likely to eat junk. Your body needs a good, solid breakfast to continue the day on the right track you started on. Your mind and body will function only as good as you feed it. Make sure your giving yourself proper nutrients to help your body recover from your exercise as well as aid your mind in tackling the challenges of the day. 


Morning routines are challenging because life is unpredictable often gets in the way. But even so, A.M. routines are essential to keeping life simple & highly productive. Without a routine, you are more likely to get distracted and derailed and the less productive. It may take some painful, sleepy practice. It may mean altering your evening schedule so you can get some extra sleep. It may mean sacrifice. But the mornings hours are so important and worth the extra investment. Kick your day into gear with these 5 simple rules and have the best mornings ever!

Happy Monday!