Our stay in Mid City and a jam-packed, 1 Day Guide to New Orleans

The month of May kept me BUSY. Ben closed on the house on the 6th, I coached a soccer tournament in Nashville that weekend, we went to two weddings, had a three day lake weekend, and spent the last weekend in New Orleans, which this blog is all about! If you’ve never been to New Orleans, there are a few things you should know right away: it gets next-level HOT in the summer, when walking around the city, you will experience a frequent waft of garbage mixed with the aroma of sweat, and you will learn very quickly that people can be anything they want to be – especially in the French Quarter.

We got in to our Airbnb late Friday night, after attending a beautiful wedding in Plaquemine. We stayed in this cute little studio apartment in MidCity, which is one of the more residential neighborhoods. I highly recommend staying here as a solo traveler or as a couple if you’re ever visiting New Orleans!

 

 

We were about 15 minutes from the French Quarter, and walking distance to several restaurants and shops. On Saturday morning we walked about 7 minutes down the street to Biscuits and Buns on Banks for some brunch. They have everything from breakfast classics to unique dishes like the Crab-cake Benedict with Chorizo sauce (pictured below) that I ordered. After eating, we asked our waiter how to use the “trolley” and he was nice enough not to make fun of us for calling it a trolley. He explained that it was an easy walking distance away, and you can buy a day pass for $2.00 and it’ll get you basically all over the city. Sweating and completely stuffed, we made our way to the Streetcar like happy little tourists.

 

 

The streetcar itself is a beast on its own. It only takes cash, first of all. Secondly, the first one we rode had no AC, and it makes several stops along the way, so if you decide to take the streetcar be sure to add about 40 full minutes to your travel time. It also gets pretty crowded, which makes it even hotter honestly than just standing outside in the sun. Also, when riding the streetcar, remember what I said about frequent aromas of sweat. This is not a good time for anyone to forget deodorant. ANYWAY, we rode the streetcar into the French Quarter area, and walked about two miles down the river and through all the shops and bars and interesting people. There are so many unique bars and pubs and restaurants in the French Quarter, offering beautiful architecture, unique food, and straight up New Orleans culture. You can stay entertained for days just taking everything in. We eventually stopped in at 801 Royal for a drink (and some air conditioning). One  thing that is really awesome about New Orleans is their open container law. We took our drinks to go, and kept on our way.

 

 

After exploring in the French Quarter, we eventually took the Streetcar back to MidCity where we both showered and changed clothes (you’ll want to do this after a few hours of walking in that kind of heat) for the sunset jazz cruise we preordered tickets for. There are a couple different options for the cruise, we rode on the Steamboat Natchez which happens to be the last remaining authentic steamboat left on the river. I decided to wear my lightweight romper and wedges on the boat, and I didn’t have time to wash and dry my hair but a few sprays of dry shampoo did the trick. We bought the day pass to ride the Streetcar, but we didn’t want to risk missing the boat so we called an Uber. We were in front of the river in no less more than 10 minutes. For dinner, we grabbed a sandwich at the food court inside the old brewery right across from the dock and boarded the boat a few minutes early, so we grabbed a cocktail and two seats on the deck railing.

 

 

The sunset cruise was my favorite thing we did on our short little trip, and even though we didn’t opt in for the dinner I think it was worth the $50. The boat docked and let us out around 9:00 pm, and we walked back into the French Quarter and onto Bourbon Street for a small taste of the night life. We wandered into 2 different bars and had a beer at both of them, and that was about as much nightlife as we wanted. In true New Orleans fashion, Ben and I had silver beads draped around our necks by a random dancing guy before we left the last bar. Sunday morning we slept in and headed back to Birmingham early. We didn’t get a chance to visit the Garden District or stroll down Magazine Street like I wanted, but that just gives us a reason to go back! New Orleans is a magical, quirky and culture-filled city with so much to offer. Next time, we’re doing the swamp tours and we definitely won’t make the mistake of referring to the streetcar as “the trolley”.

It’s the End of the Week… Check in With Your Lover! (+ Dinner details from El Barrio)

A few weeks ago, I shared a post on Instagram about how proud I was of Ben for how he was handling his busy season at work. He has been working 10-11 hour days, coming home smiling, and taking the extra mile to do sweet things like leaving me notes and cooking dinner. I had expected the opposite. I had expected that he would need me, more than ever, to be patient, understanding, selfless, etc. I was in awe!

Last night we went to dinner and hardly spoke the whole time. We went to El Barrio, which can get pretty loud and crowded, so I didn’t think much of our lack of conversation. He stepped outside a couple times to take work related calls, and I remember thinking that he must be so exhausted. I thought about all the effort he puts in, the small things he does during the week to make me smile, how he always thinks of others before himself. Again, just in awe of the person he is!

After dinner, on the walk back to the car, I asked him if he was okay. He told me that he was exhausted, and that since I had been so proud of him for handling work so well, he felt like he couldn’t show me that he was struggling. I quickly assured him that that wasn’t the case, and that I understand completely, but the more I thought about it the more I understood how he felt that way.

I thought I was showing him support and love by telling him how proud I was, but what it eventually did was make him afraid to be anything less than that version of himself. He was afraid to let me down. Everyone wants to be recognized when they exceed expectations, but we need to be told that it is okay to have a bad day, too. It makes perfect sense! I’m so thankful he was able to tell me how he really felt – it reminded me that there are always two people involved in relationships and it’s so important to check in regularly and be aware of what the other person needs, even if you think you already know. Check in with your lover this week…. you never know what you might be missing!

**** Food details: I ordered the Romaine and Lettuce salad with Shrimp (amazing!+so filling) and he had the Ceviche. My salad was so big I saved it and ate it for lunch today (still so fresh and good). I also had the strawberry margarita, which is only available during the summer months! It was more sugary than what I typically like, but overall a good seasonal drink. Luckily, even though our wait was about 25 minutes, we really missed the typical Friday night crowd. They were lined up out the door by the time we were leaving!

In 2018 God said “No” to my career dreams, and I’m thankful

Somehow, here we are again, preparing our recipes for Thanksgiving dinner and ogling at Christmas lights being strung around trees and everything else (too early, bah humbug). This time of the year always has me wondering where the weeks went, where they’re heading and what I’ve learned. I’ve been a college graduate for about 11 months now, and my eventful first year of “adulting” is coming to an end soon. I moved into my first apartment, landed a (couple) job(s), and adopted a dog. I also met someone awesome and turned in my single-gal card after a long streak of guys who were emotionally unavailable and, you guessed it, not good for me. It’s been 11 months packed full of lessons and looking myself in the mirror and seeing Gods hands all over everything. I could take this in several directions, but I want to focus on the role God has played in my career since I’ve graduated.

I started interviewing for jobs in December 2017, a few weeks before graduation. The last three years of my college career I had decided that I would pursue a career in my lifelong passion: writing. Having landed an internship with a magazine a few summers before, continued developing my portfolio by freelancing for them, and having worked for the Alabama Press Association for a year and served as their journalism intern, I felt like I had good connections and a pretty OK resume. I interviewed for an entry level editorial position with a magazine (a dream first job for me) and was devastated when I got the email saying they would not be moving forward with my application.

This was God telling me no, I couldn’t have what I wanted. I didn’t like it.

I applied for countless other media positions without any feedback. The process was draining and disheartening. I changed my resume a thousand times, new formats, new descriptions, less descriptions… I began questioning everything: Should I have changed majors? Should I have done more in college? Did I ruin the interview? Should I go back to school? Somewhere in the middle of my frantic applying and worrying – I realized I hadn’t been praying or talking to God about anything I was doing. I started to pray for guidance, and peace of mind for whatever came my way.

Somewhere along the way, I applied for a position through a recruiting agency. A few days later, I got a call from a recruiter saying that I had an interview for a marketing assistant position with an insurance company. I was thrilled. The day after Christmas, my recruiter called to tell me they were offering me the position and they wanted me to start on January 4th. I felt like my prayers had been answered – this was my big opportunity.

The next 5 months were unfulfilling and trying. I found myself undertrained, underwhelmed, and unhappy with the work I was doing. My position was essentially a support role for two graphic designers and our workload was sparse – as needed. I wasn’t skilled in graphic design, so I could only assist with the very basic tasks, which included text input, creating some graphs in PowerPoint, spell checking, number checking, etc. I was starved creatively and productively. I felt trapped, because I wanted to do something else but I didn’t have a better option yet. In August, the decision was made for me. I received a call from my recruiter telling me that my assignment was ending the first week of June. There I was, beginning the job hunt all over again.

Right away, I began to pray: “God, please guide me, whatever path you lead me down, just place me somewhere where I can use my skills to make a difference.” I prayed this simple little prayer over and over again, until my heart opened up. I had to prepare for God to lead me. I had to accept wherever He placed me.

I interviewed for a staff writer position with a local newspaper. I felt really good about the interview, he seemed to like me, and he asked to read my samples and we talked about our mutual connections from the Alabama Press Association. I had become very familiar with newspapers during my time working there, and I was excited about the possibility of writing again. It seemed promising, but still, I kept my mind and heart open to all possibilities.

In an effort to explore all opportunities possible, I applied with another recruiting agency. Soon after, I was contacted by a different agency who found my resume and wanted to interview me for a Recruiter’s Assistant position. I was interested, but focused on other options.

I continued to pray. I had a new sense of calmness this time, and I was able to think more rationally and clearly. This time was different because I had decided to let God place me somewhere, instead of holding on so tightly to my dream of working in media. After working at the insurance company, I realized I would be happy in any position where I could reach people, and do something good. I would apply to as many opportunities as possible, open up my heart and mind, and let God decide where I should be.

After two weeks of waiting, I found out I didn’t get the newspaper job. I kept moving forward.

I went on about 3 different interviews from the second agency I applied with, and I didn’t feel like any of those were my “fit”. My recruiter called me after my third interview and asked how it went. “It went well,” I said, “but this wouldn’t be my first choice. I’m waiting to hear back from a few opportunities.” She asked what they were. “Oh! You’re interested in recruiting??,” she asked, after I told her about the assistant recruiter role. “Do you want to meet with me about recruiting for us?! We’re hiring.”

I met with her the next morning, and she offered me an Executive Recruiter position. I took it – and started the next week.

Since then, I have had the privilege of getting to know the other 8 women that recruit there, and they have welcomed me in graciously. I have grown professionally, as I am continuously building relationships with top-level Executives all over Alabama. I have met so many different kinds of people, and I have had the privilege of helping them in their career journeys. I would have never guessed I would get into recruiting, but God knew the impact this company and career would have on my life: professionally, socially, and personally. I am so glad He knows and sees far more than I ever could. This job has fulfilled me and made me a better person.

It is always hard when you work for something and dream for something and then you don’t get it. I spent almost my entire college career dreaming about working for a magazine. I wanted to move to Chicago, live in a tiny, dirty apartment in the city and write. I wanted to write to reach people, to entertain, to inspire, but more than that, I wanted to write because I love it. Writing has always been a me thing. And it makes perfect sense that God would tell me no and place me in a career where my job is to serve other people. I’ve been able to get people in front of employers who wouldn’t have looked twice at their resume, because I can say more than a piece of paper can about a person. I’ve served as a beacon of hope for people when they’ve gotten laid off after 15 years of loyalty and hard work and don’t know where to turn. I’ve served as a new perspective to employers who turn away candidates for one reason or another and then end up hiring that person. I’ve bridged gaps in communication when misunderstanding and human error gets in the way of opportunity. I’ve learned so much, and I’m excited to learn more. How incredibly humbling, that God said no to my dream, and placed me in a position to help other people find theirs.

I still love writing, obviously. I started my blog in hopes that it will serve as a platform that makes admitting “me too” comfortable and freeing. I would like to write more. I would like to reach people through my words and I will always need a creative outlet. But for now, I am thankful that God said no and planted me where He needed me, and where He knew I would grow.

Whether I stay in recruiting forever or find a career in media or elsewhere, I’ll leave that up to God. He seems to know better than I do, anyway.

Taylor Swift Made Me Boy Crazy & Other Lies We Tell Ourselves (A Response to “Here’s What You Need To Realize If Your Ex Moved On Quickly”)

For as long as I can remember I’ve always believed in the kind of love that I’ve seen in movies, that I’ve seen in my parents’ marriage, and that I’ve read about in the Bible. I believe in the whole nine yards: friendship, respect, passion, compatibility, trust, agreeing on pizza toppings, and turning the tv and fan off at bedtime (lol plz).

Recently one of my besties live Snap-chatted a reading of my junior high school journal. Almost every entry began with “I was dating *insert boy I barely remember* but now I’m dating *insert another boy I don’t remember*”. We were entertained for hours and her Snapchat friends probably hate her (and me). It was silly and frivolous and I don’t know why I was so boy crazy, but then again that was around the same time Taylor Swift’s debut album came out -and if we are all honest with ourselves- it had every 14 year old girl shook. 

My boy-crazed tendencies weren’t confined to the pages of my journal – I wrote poetry and short stories centering around relationships, I watched Disney princess movies over and over, and I had extensive check lists for whatever lucky guy would be my “happy ending” (think Zac Efron, High School Musical). From a young age I had unrealistic ideas about how this was going to go down, and I wanted something that I hadn’t even begun to understand yet. But more than anything else, the scribblings in my journal are special to me, because they are some of the only things I have left of the little girl I used to be. They remind me of how much I’ve learned, and how much I still don’t know.

Despite the suggested promiscuity in my journal entries, there have only been three relationships that matured enough to carry any weight in my dating life. All three ended with the guy pursuing another girl almost immediately (on two occasions, simultaneously). I don’t know if you’ve ever been cheated on, or if you’ve ever been broken up with and then replaced almost instantly – but the feelings are pretty similar. Sadness. Betrayal. Confusion. Hurt. Anger. It’s a lot to process at one time, and fellas this is why you might remember some of your exes being “crazy” lol. Emotions are really powerful!

I read an article recently about “What You Need To Realize If Your Ex Moved On Quickly” and I want to share a few of my thoughts. The bulk of the article focuses on how people usually jump into relationships for the wrong reasons right after a breakup anyway and how, as the dumpee in this situation, you shouldn’t feel “forgotten” just yet. They haven’t forgotten about you, they’re just coping with the breakup in their own way. As comforting as this idea may be to someone recovering from a break up, I would like to offer a different outlook.

I was dumped over a text message by the guy I thought I was going to marry. We had plane tickets to California, a trip to New Orleans on the calendar, and I was going to dinner with his family the next night. None of this stopped him from sending me a text that would end our relationship. Nothing about our past, our plans, or our experiences together was going to change his mind. None of it stopped him from taking someone new on a date, only a few weeks afterward.

I had never felt as betrayed and confused in my entire life, and the truth is, I had been betrayed. I was forgotten by the person who spent so many months convincing me that I would never feel that way. I would argue that allowing yourself to believe any other version of the truth in this situation is dangerous. It doesn’t matter if he was dating someone new to “cope” or if he had really found his true soul mate – what matters is that he chose to do something he told me he would never do. He left. And not only that, but he was able to move on to someone else so soon. If he was able to do that, I finally realized that I didn’t want to know what would have happened if we had stayed together. Realizing this and taking his actions at face value is what allowed me to move on.

Relationships are weird and hard and they can get messy. I’ve learned a lot from mine and I chose to share all of this because I know that it’s something a lot of people deal with. My advice to anyone going through a break up, reading into what they’re doing, what they’ve said or who they’re with – let yourself be sad, angry, confused. Talk it out with your friends until they can’t stand it anymore. Cry until you don’t want to cry anymore. And then let their actions paint a new picture of who they are to you now, because at this point, that’s the only truth that matters.

I have no hard feelings toward that guy, or the other two guys from the relationships I mentioned. If I’m being honest, those relationships were going to end whether it happened when it did or later down the road – we weren’t right for each other and God has better plans for all of us. And also, if I’m being honest, I was boy crazy long before Taylor’s album came out.

If you (yes, YOU) ever need someone to confide in, I’m your girl.

Xx Kayla

My 5 Favorite Self-Care Practices For When Life Gets Icky

As far as self-care goes, it’s been a rough month for me. My temporary job ended unexpectedly, without warning, two months before the agreed end date. So, at the beginning of June I frantically jumped back into the job hunting game and it’s been an emotional whirlwind, to say the least. I’ve gone from regretting my degree and ultimately, my whole career path, to sudden bursts of energy at the call for an interview, only to receive a “we really liked you, but chose someone with a little more experience. We will keep you in mind”. As thoughtful as the gesture may be, that response can be maddening.

 

To be honest I haven’t done the best job at taking care of myself during this moment of my life, and it’s been bad for more aspects of my life than one. But when I have taken the time to slow down and check in with myself, it’s made a world of difference for my mental and physical wellbeing and ultimately, for my situation and relationships. If you find yourself in similar mindsets or situations, try these 5 self-care practices below that always help me.

 

 

Clear Your Calendar

If you’re anything like me, you might overcommit sometimes to people and events without considering what you need, or thinking about your schedule. I had to learn to get comfortable with not telling people yes right away, and here’s what I’ve learned: they appreciate it more than a false yes, and it makes you feel better in the end. Instead of saying yes right away, or even maybe, just say that you aren’t sure what you have going on yet, and you’ll let them know. That way, the ball is in your court and they are already expecting that you might not come. On the same note, if you have already committed to something and need to sit this one out, please do that. You are in charge of your schedule, and you are the only person that can manage your wellbeing. No event or person is worth compromising that for.

 

 

Treat Yourself

I have found that certain treats or “extras” go a long way in boosting my mood and overall mental state. For me, this can be a good beer at the end of a long day or an ice cream cone from McDonalds. This can be something like getting your nails done, eating a snickers bar or buying flowers for your place. Basically, just a small pick-me-up that can remind you to take a moment to appreciate the little things you love.

 

 

Get Outside

I have always personally felt most peaceful when I’m outside, but studies have shown that nature provides significant improvements to mental health. This interesting article can tell you more sciencey things about it. Something about my bare feet in the grass, listening to the birds talking, and witnessing nature existing, totally uninfluenced – makes me feel like maybe I am okay, after all. Nature reminds me that I am connected to all of its wonder and beauty, and it reminds me that I belong. I recommend taking a short hike, or walking through a trail because I always feel best when I get moving, too.

 

 

Get On A Yoga Mat (I Know – Just Do It)

I just mentioned this, but moving is very important in order to feel good. It isn’t always easy to convince myself to go to the gym, so I usually settle for the air-conditioned space in my bedroom floor where my yoga mat goes. I usually use “Yoga By Adriene” vidoes on YouTube. She has hundreds of different practices recorded and they are very easy to follow and many of them are perfect for beginners. At the end of particularly hard or draining days (and sometimes just because) I love taking my “longer” bedtime routine. I’ll take a long hot shower, wash my face, moisturize, and settle into my sleepiness and then do Adriene’s bedtime yoga practice. It’s about 15 minutes and makes for some DADGUM GOOD sleep.

 

 

Watch A Good Movie

I always love a good movie, but I especially love them when I’m feeling overwhelmed with my own life and situation. That sounds depressing, but I usually finish the movie with a new perspective or a gained insight to my own situation that I hadn’t considered before. Other people’s stories often do that – they can inspire you! (Sometimes I get a good, long sob-cry in and that can help, too LOL) Some of my trusted, tried-and-true movie choices are Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Eat Pray Love, Wild, and The Devil Wears Prada.

 

 

There’s nothing wrong with making yourself a priority, and in fact, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to take care of anything else – that includes your relationships. Everything in our lives stems from our ability to sustain them, and that means we need to be in our best shape. We owe it to ourselves, and our loved ones, to be the best, happiest version of ourselves.

 

I want to know! — What do you do to take care of yourself?

How I Knew I’d Found My Person (As told by 6 of my best friends)

I’m not sure how or when it all happened, but most of my friends are either engaged or talking about getting engaged. Now, as a person who has been extremely single for months on months on months, I understand if you rolled your eyes at this title and didn’t read any further. But if you are single and have read this far, I’m assuming you’re just as curious as I am about people and their love stories. I love to read about love stories, talk about love stories and write about love stories. I love love, and I have ever since I was able to understand the concept. The concept being: two people meet as strangers and then somehow down the road, arrive at the decision that they want to do life together for the rest of their lives. Amazing. I have always been curious about how people know they’ve found “the one”, and in an attempt to get rid of the age old response of you just know, I decided to ask my friends for better answers.

Let me introduce my friends and their relationships:

(I’m changing names to protect my galpals)

Sarah + John: Sarah and John have been dating for about three years, and recently got engaged. They met in college and have seemed pretty smitten from the very beginning. When asked how she knew she wanted to marry John, Sarah said, “I was with him and his family and I saw how he was around kids and that honestly seemed the deal. We can talk for hours and have so much fun together all the time and we never fight. We may have disagreements but we are able to talk through them without really arguing.”

 

Rebecca + Oliver: Rebecca and Oliver started dating during their senior year of high school, and both went to the same college. Their relationship made it through four years of undergrad and is still going strong. They have been together for 5+ years. When I asked Rebecca how she knew Oliver was her person, she said, “I’d say that I knew he was someone I could see myself marrying because we have the same sense of humor. He always makes me laugh. It was further confirmed when we met each other’s families and I could see him fitting in with mine and see myself fitting in with his family a lot. Through the years we’ve set similar goals and expectations of how we want to live our lives and it seems to match up pretty well.”

 

Luke + Sophie: Luke and Sophie met in college, and first connected on a dating app. They have been together for about a year and a half. Their relationship has withstood months of long distance, and even a language barrier. They recently moved in together. When I asked Sophie how she knew he was the one, she said, “When he saw strength and life in me when I was weak and powerless. When he gave me hope and a future in a time when I thought I would not have either of those. When he stayed through the worst of me, while still loving me like I was the best of myself.” 

Jennifer + Brandon: Jennifer and Brandon started dating in High School, and ended up going to the same college. They spent 4 years of undergrad together, and recently got engaged. Overall, they have been together for 4+ years. Jennifer was very adamant about her answer that she “just knew” but I finally got her to expand on that and here’s what she said, “It’s a difficult question to answer and it’s not just one thing. It’s a compilation of our journey, our story. Us in general. I knew early on that we would end up together but how that would happen was unknown. I love him for so many different reasons and there wasn’t just one day when I knew. It’s a feeling. Something you can’t describe. You just know.”

 

Rachel + Joseph: Rachel and Joseph went on one date and then didn’t speak again until they ran into each other at a bar, two years later. The rest is history. Rachel says, “Everything with him is just different. Way better. I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to love anyone else.”

 

Sam + Kate: Sam and Kate met through mutual friends and their almost two year relationship has been long distance. Kate says, “The cliché but honest answer is that I just knew. My relationship with him was different than any relationship I have had before. Whenever I dated someone in the past I would always have my eye out for something that could be better and when we started getting serious I didn’t want to keep looking because I realized there wasn’t anyone better for me than him. He also checked all the boxes: easy to talk to, attractive, funny, outgoing, etc. God also gave me some signs that have led me to believe that it is His will that we are supposed to get married. I think that last part is what makes doing long distance bearable.”

 

So there you have it. Six people who have chosen their person, and their explanation of what made them do it. A couple recurring things I notice in my friends’ answers: one being the realization that the relationship they have with this person feels different than any previous relationship in a very significant way, and another being compatibility between families. As someone who loves words and details and wants to explain and talk about everything, it can be hard for me to accept an answer like “When you know, you just know”. But maybe it really is that simple. Maybe thats the point. What do you think? Do you really just know? Are some concrete factors non-negotiable when it comes to marriage? I’d love to hear your opinions and stories!

God Gave You The Sunrise This Morning, Now Paint The Rest: Thoughts On Finding Your Purpose

I was talking with a friend recently who told me he has known he wanted to be a coach since he was a kid. He graduated college and quickly jumped into a career coaching youth soccer, and he has impacted so many lives over the last several years. He felt that coaching was what he was called to do, and he chased after that at full speed.

He shared with me that he was given the opportunity to change career paths to something outside of coaching that would give him a more stable schedule and lifestyle, and he was debating whether or not he should take it. He seemed excited about the idea of a new challenge, and a more stable schedule was clearly something that he desired. Even so, I could tell that he was hesitating to make the decision. He was afraid of making a mistake that would take him off of the path  he was “supposed” to be on in his life. He was afraid of taking a wrong turn that wouldn’t lead him home.

I think people believe that they have more power over their life than they actually do. We can get so caught up in worry and stress about finding our life’s purpose or ruining our life’s purpose or not finding our life’s purpose – when maybe, our purpose isn’t anything we do but it’s in who we are. My friend has a passion for coaching, a passion for helping, and a heart of pure gold, and those are things that will carry over into anything that he does. Those are things that will show up in his purpose. No decision he makes is going to change that.

We all wonder if we are where we’re supposed to be. In life, in our careers, in our relationships. We all want to feel like God has painted a canvas with our names on it and that it looks like the life we’re living. We’re afraid that we’ll pick up the paintbrush and ruin the picture.

But I like to think that God paints the background and then hands us the brush. I like to think He’d say, Here, I gave you the sunrise this morning and a place to be – now it’s your turn. Use what I’ve given you.

 I believe that God wants us to fulfill the desires of our hearts. I believe that when there is a stirring within your heart to change, or to act, that’s God supporting you with a fist bump and a raised sign that reads YOU GOT THIS. I don’t think it matters so much what we do as long as we are using our God-given gifts to do it.

If we give all the power to a position, or a job title, to be our ultimate life’s purpose, then we are not taking ownership for what we have to offer. I think your life’s purpose lies within you, like a secret weapon you can use practically anywhere you go. It’s the intangible things about you that make you who you are. It’s in the way you choose to show up, and how you love people. At funerals, nobody sits around talking about how great of a businessman or nurse people were – they may say that – but what that really means is that they loved people well. They found a way to do their job in the best way, while honoring people and showing up.

If you are unhappy with any part of your life, please, please change it. Cut off that negative person, quit your job, move. When I realized that I can’t screw up or find my purpose in things here because it was already given to me by the One who created me, not my job title, situation or the city I live in, my life began to make a lot more sense. Maybe we just need to know who we are, and show up tomorrow. Have courage, and don’t be afraid to pick up the paintbrush.

Xx

-Kayla