Thank U, Next.

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Thank you to my family for never giving up on me. Thank you for my California friends for loving me beyond convenience. Thank you, home, for the countless hours on the phone. Thank you, California, for shinning your sun upon my darkest nights.

2018 taught me love,
2018 taught my patience,
& how to handle pain.
It turned out amazing.
And for that I'll say
Thank u, Next.

Ready for this next year!

XO,

M

Change

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The past couple blog posts I have been hinting at major life changes. I have been hesitant to share completely what has been going on because, it involved other people that I had yet to talk to. Anyways, it is time to share all that has been going on.

At the beginning of July, I went home to Ohio for a vacation. When I was there I had a beautiful nephew born and I got to spend a lot of time with my adorable nieces. Being surrounded by family really pushed me to reevaluate my life. Since I live over 2,000 miles away from my family, I really want to make sure that I am all in to where I am living and what I am doing.

When I was home, I realized that I wasn’t feeling happy. I have a super blessed life, but my heart wasn’t fully alive. I began to question my college major, my job, my friends, my relationship, everything. I, normally, feel really passionate about life, so there was something that needed reevaluating in my life.

I began doing a lot of research about majors and careers. I, even, looked into going to different universities. I struggled to find a place of peace within a degree. After multiple days, multiple conversations, I found some clarity on the choice of a degree (see this post on how that decision was made). I decided to pursue a degree in sociology.

Once that decision was made, I felt the chaos of reevaluating my life let up a bit. But still, I questioned the other aspects of my life.

When I returned to California, I struggled to reconnect to my life out here. I only felt a lot of anxiety and confusion. I felt alone and scared. I knew that the best way to combat loneliness is to open up. I knew I had to be vulnerable. I opened up to my boyfriend and some of my closest friends. Seeing their instantaneous support blew my mind. I knew I had great friends, but I thought I was being crazy.

I mean, for a long time, working for the church was my dream. I dreamed of having this job, and now I was considering quitting?

My friends and boyfriend were overly supportive of my dreams. They encouraged me to chase after my heart and to pursue things that make me feel alive. So, I took the next step. I talked with my mentor and boss.

I told her how I was feeling. But, I ensured her that I would end my time well and that me leaving would not be sudden.

I had no idea. 

One week later, another one of my bosses pulled me aside and told me that for financial reasons, I might have to be let go.

My mentor/boss and I talked and decided to pray in order to decide if she should fight for my job.

I began talking and asking my support system what to do. Asking if this was all coincidence or what to do. My entire support system agreed that this was not a coincidence. They agreed that this was probably the right step for me.

The next day, I was laid off from my job.

How wild is life?!

So now here I am, mourning the loss of my job.

Yet, embracing the unknown of the future.

This all happened so quickly. I am shocked, thankful, and confused. I do not know why this all happened or why it happened to fast, but I do feel like this is what is best for me.

But now, I am trying to find who Maranda is separate from this job, separate from conventional ministry, separate from this place. Who am I? What am I passionate about? How do I spend my time?

I am in this breathtaking space of rediscovering who I am. Remembering who I am without this place. So, I am taking a step back to decide where I will place my focus.

What are your top priorities in life? What is most important to you? Let me know in the comments!!

XO,

M

Balancing Act

Blog Post

Recently I have had kind of a bit of a rough time. We are two month in to 2018 and this year has been a challenge. I think, to sum up the year in one word so far would be balance. I have been learning to have balance at work, my personal life, my emotions, and basically everything else you could have to learn to balance.

Unfortunately, finding balance isn’t easy. But the lack of balance is even harder.

My process in searching for balance has looked a lot like me learning where I end and where my surroundings begin. My surroundings have been raging. There have been a dozen different things in my surroundings that have begged for my attention. The bummer thing is that I have given my attention, time, and energy to my surroundings. And, when I list out the things that have taken my attention externally, I understand why I have done what I’ve done. My friends, family, work, and adulting responsibilities are valid things to give my time to. But I think my problem is that I have given the best of my attention, time, and energy to these things and have given myself the left overs of my attention, time, and energy. THAT is my problem.

In January, I was really struggling with overthinking. I needed balance between the things I loved and my responsibilities. I was really caught up in my performance as opposed to celebrating who I was. I was searching for places and moments of failure. I was always looking for my boss, friends, and boyfriend to be disappointed in me. It sucked. And I felt consumed by the emotion of it all. I was crying often and became consumed with fear. But then I finally got my head out of the ground and realized that there was sunshine in the sky. I had forgotten the necessary balance needed between my innate value and my desire to grow. It took me way too long to remember that I am worthy, simply because I Am. I had forgotten that it isn’t about performance or what I can accomplish, but it is about enjoying my life and celebrating my growth. But I also had to remember to respect and honor everyone else’s responsibility to communicate with me if there was a problem. The only thing I can do is be the best version of my self– which includes asking questions for more clarity, being honest and vulnerable with my feelings and fears, and, lastly, allowing myself space to blossom to my full capacity.

And then came February and I really began to recognize the amount of distractions surrounding me. I watched myself get caught up with these nonsense things. I saw myself go from activity to activity and they all required me to pour out. I was pouring out my time and energy and I would return home with nothing left to give to my own heart. I had lost the balance of getting filled up and pouring out. I had lost my balance of valuing myself. I felt disconnected from myself and I felt a bit numb. But I realized what I was doing. I realized that my heart had not been given the time to express or breathe.

So where is balance and how do I find it?

One of the biggest keys is giving the best of my time and attention to the things that should have my best. For me, that means taking time to sit and connect with my heart and connect with The Lord. Then– my close relationships should get my time. And then comes all my other responsibilities. It is too common to give your best time and your best amounts of attention to work, yet work isn’t the most important thing that we have in our lives.

I think another thing that is super important is writing out your priorities. For me, this looked like writing out that my priority was to be the best version of myself and to strive for growth but not be consumed by it. It, also, looked like me writing out which relationships are most positive towards my heart and well being. In my moments of lack, I prioritize the relationships that fill me up.

Lastly, as weird as it might seem, I allowed my heart space to breathe. I verbalized (yes, out loud) that my heart was free to feel, free to need, and free to speak. I gave my heart space to be true to itself–which is actually allowing true Maranda to have space.

Doing these three things really helped me to find my balance (or at least move towards balance). It is allowing me space and time

Have you been feeling meh? What has 2018 been like for you so far? I would love to hear in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

XO,

M

PS: What are your thoughts on the new design?! Let me know!