October’s Best Moments

October’s Best Moments

Hi there, everyone! I hope that you’re all having a beautiful day. (: Today, I have a bit of a wrap-up post to share with you! I decided that I would enjoy recapping some of my favorite moments from the month of October, both on the blogging world and in my real life. xx I hope that you enjoy it!

Also, I’d like to wish my followers a happy and safe Halloween! Whatever you guys might be up to (or have been this past week), with costume parties, fall festivals, and other fun fall-ish activities, I hope that you’re all having a great time. ❤ I’m going trunk-or-treating at a nearby church with my family tonight, and we’re so excited about it!

Now I’ll get into the rest of this post. Make sure to let me know in the comments below what your favorite memories from this past month are, as well!

October’s Greatest Moments

Getting back into playing the piano. At the very beginning, the discouragement that teaching myself wouldn’t be worth it weighed more on my heart than the desire to play … but then, something wonderful happened these last few weeks, and I’ve been deeply encouraged, motivated, and inspired once again. I can do this, and it’s going to be awesome!

Blogging daily. The last month that I did this was for the May blogging challenge, and it was so nice to share something with you guys every day! I loved coming up with a variety of posts, and this consistency has been what first inspired different posts that I absolutely loved (i.e. Missions Mondays), and I can’t wait to share more of them in the future!

my trusty planner and ideas notebook!

Spending time outside with my family. From playgrounds to apple orchards to our own backyard, finally getting to enjoy being outside once again has been so wonderful! After the heat and humidity of our summers, the crisp air of autumn is a beautiful relief. Here are a few favorite photos that I’ve taken of our fall adventures throughout October:

a beautiful sky.
little brother and big sister.
a fun photoshoot.
the cutest little sister!!!
playground adventures.

Thank you so much for reading, guys!! Blogging every day of October has been fantastic. ❤ Thank you for following along! I’ll see you guys tomorrow for a new month of blogging adventures!

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx


Missions Monday – Part Three | Inspirational Missions Quotes

Missions Monday – Part Three | Inspirational Missions Quotes

Hi guys! How’s your day going? I hope that you’re all doing well! xx I have another Missions Monday to share with you. 🙂 For the past few months, I’ve enjoyed finding inspirational quotes on missions trips and saving them to my calling board (check that out here, if you’d like!), and I decided to share some of my top favorites with you today! They have been a big encouragement to me over the months, opening my eyes to how the Lord is working in my life and seeing the beauty in this calling. ❤ I hope that you enjoy!

Inspirational Missions Quotes

“We are called to be bold.”

“Never underestimate the power of speaking with love.”

“God has a vision far greater than my sight.” – J.S. Park

“Life is too short, the world is too big, and God’s love is too great
to live an ordinary life.”

“It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.”

“When you love God more than you love the comfort of home,
you will go far.”

“Pay attention to what breaks your heart.
Chances are, that’s where God wants you to serve.”

“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”
– Jim Rohn

“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid.
Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.”

Thank you so much for reading! Weren’t those quotes great? I’d have to say that my favorite one is: “When you love God more than you love the comfort of home, you will go far.” For my life, this is definitely true; I love Him so much more than the comfort of home! It is my desire to follow Him wherever He desires to lead me. ❤

How about you?

Which quote/s were YOUR favorite?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

My Fall Bucket List | Checking Things Off

My Fall Bucket List | Checking Things Off

Hi guys! I hope that your Sunday is going well. ❤ At the beginning of this month, I shared my fall bucket list with you, and over the weeks, I have gotten to check many of those things off! I thought today would be a nice time to look at my progress, and maybe plan to finish everything else in November, too. Let me know in the comments below what you’ve been up to this fall!

My Fall Bucket List

  • Take fall family photos. Done! Whenever there has been any picturesque moment, I have been sure to snapshot it. I’ve shared some of these photos on the post for this upcoming Tuesday!
  • Have a campfire and roast marshmallows. Not yet. Both of my little brothers have made multiple small fires, but I haven’t roasted marshmallows with them yet. I really should!
  • Bake an apple pie. Kind of! I made Apple Crumble instead, which I shared with you guys yesterday. I don’t have enough experience in baking yet to confidently bake an apple pie. But I will, someday I will!

  • Go pick apples. Done! I went to one with my family at the beginning of the month, and we couldn’t have had a more beautiful, fun-filled day. I’m so glad we got to go!

Related Post: Red Apple Barn – Ellijay, Georgia | Travel Series 3

  • Enjoy the nice, crisp air. Definitely! I happily do this every fall; there is no way I under-appreciate the beautiful weather here at this time of year.
  • Go on a hay ride. Done! This was included at our visit to Red Apple Barn, and when the dust wasn’t getting in my eyes (haha), it was a lot of fun!

  • Watch the sunset. Done! Any time we’ve been somewhere with a nice view of the sky, I have enjoyed witnessing the beauty of that vast expanse at dusk. ❤
  • Make a fall craft. Kind of. One afternoon, my mom, brothers, and I did a fall-ish activity where we traced our hands in such a way as to create an optical illusion – and we used fall colors – but that wasn’t the easiest thing to do, and I ended up getting glitter glue on mine, haha! I’m not sure if that counts …
  • Make pumpkin bread. Kind of … my mom made some recently, but I have yet to myself. lol

Thanks for reading, guys! This fall has been amazing so far, and I’m so excited to see what November has to offer in just a few short days. ❤ Let me know in the comments below:

What have YOU been up to this fall?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

What I’m Grateful For – Part Two

What I’m Grateful For – Part Two

Hey guys! Hope you’re all doing well. 🙂 xx A few weeks ago, I posted the first part to this ‘What I’m Grateful For’ series (which you can check out here), and today, I’m back with the second part! Making lists like these are such a beautiful way to see what we value most in life. It takes the focus away from what we want and don’t have, to all of the amazing things that we do have. ❤ If you’ve done a post like this yourself, I would love to read it! Just share the link in the comments below.

Again, this mini series is inspired by my friend Grace’s series, The Little Things!

I’m Grateful For …

  • Games. I love them so much, and they’re a great way to pass the time! There’s a huge variety of different games available to play for free or at a low cost, from board games to card games to game systems to apps. I have a few solo games I enjoy doing by myself, but I prefer playing with my siblings (and parents sometimes, too) more.
  • My phone. There are so many things I love being able to do on it! Aside from the blessing of having the ability to quickly text or call my brother or parents, I also listen to music, watch videos, play games, browse Pinterest, and take all of my pictures with it.
  • Blogging. Quite an obvious one, haha! Blogging is such a beautiful thing. I love being part of this community!
  • Libraries. This one goes along with books, which I mentioned in Part One, but I feel like it’s something all its own. If it weren’t for libraries, I would not have been able to read a fraction of the books I’ve read in my life, as I don’t have the money to buy all the books I’d love to read! I’m so glad that libraries exist.
  • Nature. Any time I go somewhere with my family, you can always find me admiring the trees, taking pictures of any flowers we pass, squealing over any cute animals we come across, and standing with my head back, taking in the vast expanse of the sky. I am fascinated by nature, guys. I can clearly see the Lord’s handiwork in every part of it.
  • Autumn. If it weren’t for this beautiful season, summer would overheat me and winter would freeze me. Haha! Alright, not really, but I do quickly tire of all the other seasons, which is why I look forward to and love the fall so much. The crisp weather, the beautiful decor, the scenery, the fall traditions, the food – what is there not to love?

Thanks for reading, guys! I’ll be sure to put up a Part Three at some point when I can compile together some more blessings. ❤ Let me know in the comments below:

What are YOU thankful for?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

12 Fun and Easy Ways to Grow Your Blog’s Audience

12 Fun and Easy Ways to Grow Your Blog’s Audience

Hey guys, and happy Thursday! ❤ I hope that you’re all doing well. As you can see by the title, I have an awesome blogging post to share with you today!

Informative posts like these really help other bloggers out, and I knew that making my own would be a lot of fun. xx I hope that it can inspire you and be an encouragement, as well; there are so many fun and easy ways to make readers come back to your blog for more amazing content, and the tips that I came up with for today are just some of them! Here are twelve ways to grow your blog’s audience! ❤ Enjoy!

12 Fun and Easy Ways to
Grow Your Blog’s Audience

1. Respond to every comment you receive.

The bloggers who stand out to me as the nicest individuals in the community are the ones who take the time to have conversations with me in the comments! The comment section can be so much more than just feedback on yours or someone else’s post; you can get to know others and make new friends, too. By making sure to thank and chat with those who read your posts is a huge encouragement for them to come back, as they know their responses will always be seen and responded to.

2. Be a regular reader of your friends’ blogs.

When you visit someone’s blog regularly (even daily!), not only do you genuinely get to know them, but you also become a valuable reader to them! Just like with other online communities, bloggers thrive on give-and-take relationships. So, if you consistently reach out to a blogger and show how much you enjoy their blog and their writing, chances are high that they’ll check out your blog, and probably become a reader of your blog, too.

3. Find other bloggers in the Reader that share common interests with you.

Think about the main topics that you cover on your blog. Once you have a good list, add those keywords as tags to your Reader and browse them! I enjoy finding new blogs that write about similar topics as I do on my blog, because then I enjoy reading what they write, and since the writer and I have common interests, we usually both enjoy each other’s content!

4. Tag your posts accordingly.

The reason this is so important for your readership is because by tagging your posts irrelevantly (i.e. ‘food’ on a beauty post) and obsessively (60 tags versus 15), you’ll suddenly be getting blog viewers that aren’t even interested in what you blog about, and by over-tagging, you’re risking being blocked in the Reader. On WordPress Support, it says in bold, “The more tags you use, the less likely it is that your post will be selected for inclusion in the topic listings.” Read the rest of this help page here. As you can see, relevance is key!

5. Write genuine comments.

Giving your honest feedback on posts is highly appreciated by bloggers, and through experience, I have learned that the more thought-out your comment is (as well as how lengthy it is!) makes a huge difference. Like many other bloggers, I myself enjoy receiving and reading longer comments more; it makes for more conversation, you can learn more about the person, and comments like that have a positive impact on the person who gets them! Short, genuine comments can be sweet, as well (it depends on the post), but I will always enjoy reading comments with more words more.

6. Give your readers posts to look forward to.

You can tailor this to your own blog and interests! Throughout my months of pretty consistent weekly posting, I have found that having blog series you keep up with, as well as telling your readers in advance about a post you’re stoked about sharing, gives those who visit your blog an awesome incentive to come back! I find myself looking forward to certain days of the week because I know different people I’m following post specific things those days, haha ❤

7. Develop main focus/es for your blog.

Blog readers really appreciate knowing what you typically post, whatever it might be! If you know what to expect from a blogger in terms of topics (that’s why series are fun for readers), it’s easier to follow along with the mood of your blog, because it all goes together. Testing out types of posts to see what people like is a good idea, but I’m still a firm believer in post consistency; when bloggers post random things all the time, it makes their blogs feels scattered and disorganized to the readers.

8. Use photos – utilize all of the free image sites available online.

From my own personal experience as a blogger, as well as watching how many views and comments posts gets, I can safely say that a blog reader is much more likely to read and enjoy a post with photos over one (even on a similar topic) that doesn’t, or only has one. Oftentimes, I don’t have pictures taken that are relevant to what I’m writing about, which is where free stock photo sites come in handy! If you’d like to check these out for yourself, I highly recommend Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash – they all offer beautiful, high-quality photos on a huge array of subjects, completely for free. Some require that you sign up for a free account to download the pics, but all three of the ones that I mentioned don’t require attribution unless you want to give it. They have been a life saver for my blog many times!

9. Mention other bloggers in your posts.

There are few things more exciting in the blogging world than when you suddenly see your name mentioned in the post of a blogging friend of yours, haha! Whether you’ve been included in a blog tag, or they’ve credited you for the post idea they wrote that day, including others in your writing makes your blog so special to them! This isn’t something you have to do, nor is it something I’d recommend that you do all the time, but it is a great way to feature your readers.

10. Give your blogging friends the spotlight.

On my blog, I regularly interview other bloggers, have included bloggers in the summer memories series I did this past month, participated in a blogging challenge with a few blog friends of mine, held a weekend-long blog party, and collaborated with other bloggers a few times, as well! If any of those types of posts would appeal to you and fit your blogging style, I’d like to encourage you to pursue that! Bloggers love participating in blogging events, collab posts, etc – including me!

11. Write helpful / how-to / informative posts.

It is often the posts that readers really get something out of that become fan favorites! Whether you’ve taught them something new about history, or introduced them to an easy recipe or craft, writing helpful posts like this at least every once in a while is a great way to boost readership. Learning something helpful and new (such as what this post provides!) is often deeply appreciated by blog readers.

12. Make your posts interactive.

Depending on what any given post is about, there are some that can be more interactive than others. Prompting conversation by asking a closing question (like I usually do), or by making the post easy for any reader to comment on (i.e. I encourage everyone that reads my Little Accomplishments posts to tell me what they’ve gotten done that past week!) makes your content more reader-friendly.

Thank you so much for reading! ❤ I hope that you could find these tips helpful; even if just one of them helps you, that would be a blessing to me! Getting to 1k followers in less than a year on Dreaming of Guatemala was achieved by following the advice that I have shared with all of you above! ❤

Let me know in the comments below:

Which piece of advice helped YOU the most?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

Trusting in His Timing: A Collab

Trusting in His Timing: A Collab

In the Bible, there are many verses that encourage us to let our faith rest in the Lord. It promises that when we give our all to Him – every dream, anxiety, plan, and fear – He will provide for us in accordance with His will. His love is so beautiful! Through His Word, He tells us that He will give us His peace, and let us rest in the shadow of His wings when our faith rests in Him and Him alone.

But what happens when we want something so desperately that we run ahead of Him, leading ourselves away from His plans for our lives? When we look back at those times in our lives, do we see a good decision, or an unfortunate mistake?

There is so much peace to be found in waiting on Him. ❤

Hi guys! I hope that you’re all having a beautiful week. 🙂 ❤ I have an absolutely amazing post to share with all of you today! Christ, Crafts & Cuisine and I have teamed up to bring our readers a collaboration on trusting in the Lord’s timing! Because we have different styles of writing, which I think is so cool, she has shared some of her beautiful poetry on this subject, and I have written a devotional. You can go check out her post here, which I highly recommend that you go read! ❤ Once you have, let’s get right into my post. x

Trusting in His Timing

Recently on my blog, I shared a post talking about being happy in the waiting. It’s about exhibiting patience during times of trials and delays and, as the title suggests, finding joy in those chapters of our lives. But have you ever experienced a time where you’re easily able to give solid advice to someone else, then proceed to excruciatingly struggle to take it to heart yourself? I’m not sure why that happens, but I am a sad victim of it. I wrote that post, and then when the next season of waiting presented itself, I didn’t know where to turn.

Maybe I should turn back to that post.

Related Post: Cultivating A Joyful Life | Happy In The Waiting

I recently found out that I am not at a good point in my life to be finding a place to work. For various reasons (but especially that of my family’s situation), it truly won’t work out for me to be off working part-time, or even finding a position for the holidays. This made me so sad because I’ve been looking into jobs and applying at various restaurant and store locations for the past nearly two years. When it was continually apparent that this was not part of the Lord’s plan for my life, it kept agitating me and making me sad. Sometimes, I felt like it was something I was doing wrong (i.e. not knowing which place to pursue work at), but that wasn’t the root of the problem. When something isn’t meant for me, it is impossible, regardless of how I go about it, to attain that thing.

I am still, at this moment, feeling poorly about not having a job. It’s the reason why I was inspired to choose this topic to cover for this collaboration. ❤ However, jobs (or lack thereof, lol) isn’t the only thing I want to discuss.

I would love to go deeper in this post by covering ways to focus on the good. These times in our lives require great patience that most of us don’t easily possess or attain. Below, I have listed some ways to strengthen your patience – ways that can help us stay centered on resting in Him and let our patience be found in the peace that He provides for us. ❤ I hope that you enjoy!

Ways to Strengthen Your Patience

during times of waiting. xx

— Focus on the positive aspects. It is often easier said than done, but if you put effort and determination into it, this really would help. For example, if I’m optimistic about my situation of not being able to get a job yet (instead of just being sad about it), I can see that this will give me more time to spend with my family, as well as be with the Lord, write blog posts, travel, and pursue my other interests! Not to mention, by waiting on this, I’m following His plans for my life, which is a beautiful thing to be doing. Even though it’s hard to put down something I want so badly, it is so much more wonderful to know that it’s what He desires. ❤

In what ways can you positively think about your situation?

— Be willing to see the situation from a different perspective. From where I am, it definitely looks like the proper time to get a job. I’d enjoy working, and I’d definitely appreciate having the extra cash (haha), and that new life experience just sounds amazing. However, I know that the Lord has a beautiful plan. He knows that my family needs me right now, and He understands exactly how I’m feeling about it, too. I tend to think that He takes or adds to my life without understanding what I’m going through emotionally, which is not at all true. If you feel the same way sometimes, let me be the one to tell you that He knows exactly how we feel, and it’s His desire to bring us peace – if only we will trust in Him!

Can you look at your situation from another angle?

— Trust in His infinite knowledge and wisdom. This goes along with what I already mentioned above, but I’d like to add another point to it: from where we are (currently experiencing the hardship), it’s hard to look at it from the future. Impossible, in fact. lol What I mean to say is that it’s difficult to see the situation in regards to how it will affect and change our lives in the future. We don’t know what would happen if we were able to pursue the thing we’re having to wait on, when in fact the reason you’re waiting is either because you’re not ready, or the circumstances aren’t exactly right, or the Lord desires for you to learn to trust in Him. There are various reasons why you might be waiting, but those are just a few. Just know that He is truly worthy of our trust; He doesn’t put us through any hardship without there being beauty in it.

Remember how this time of waiting is impacting your future.

— Use this time to grow closer to Him. It may be hard to do at times, especially if we’re feeling stressed or increasingly impatient, but allowing Him to work in our hearts and draw us nearer to His is truly the most beautiful thing I have ever and will ever experience. ❤

Allow Him to draw you close, for He cares for you.

I truly hope that this post could inspire and encourage you! If you’re going through a situation like I am – waiting on the Lord’s timing on something, even when you desire to have it now – please know that you are not alone. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for us … in His perfect timing!!!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Make sure you go visit Christ, Crafts & Cuisine 🙂 ❤

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx