Improv Blogging + Other Ways I’m Challenging Myself This March

Improv Blogging + Other Ways I’m Challenging Myself This March

Hello! ❤ I’d like to invite you to attend a coffee chat-type update post on my blog on this beautiful Friday! I’ve been making lots of changes on my blog recently, as well as huge positive changes in my real life, and I wanted to let you in on all that’s been happening (and will be happening!) around here.

How I’m Challenging Myself This March

I’m going to be improv blogging this whole upcoming month. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this, especially since I just made it up, haha! From day one of Dreaming of Guatemala, I’ve been a planned blogger, scripting everything down to the simplest of punctuation. I’ve shared before that I’m a perfectionist, and this is quite possibly most evident in the way I blog. (Anyone remember when I kept posts scheduled and publishing the summer I had strep throat, so no one even knew I was bedridden? No one remembers that? Alright haha) So, surprisingly enough, I’m tired of doing this. I’m tired of being such a “great” planner that I stress myself out trying to get everything perfect (insider information: I never accomplish perfection), so I’m going to challenge myself to do something. *rubs hands together* I am not going to write a single ‘post ideas’ list in March (I have so many of these lists, you have no idea), and I’m not going to sit down to ‘brainstorm’ blog posts (which, as a matter of fact, never works!). Instead, I’m going to make up content as it comes to me. This kind of mindset is where my best jokes come from! I don’t sit around trying to figure out how I can be funny in upcoming circumstances; I just keep my eyes open in everyday life settings, incorporating comedy as it fits. So, I’m going to do the same thing in blogging. When I have an idea, I’ll write about it!

I’m going to figure out how I want to blog on Living For His Delight. This is definitely still a work-in-progress, but I’ve been praying about it a lot and I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to understanding where this beautiful new blog fits into my life. I think that to get into writing posts on this site, it will take stepping out of my comfort zone, but I’m fine with that – I’m challenging myself this month!

I’ll be sharing a new blog series on Fridays called ‘Weekly Challenges.’ Today doesn’t count since I’m sharing this update post, haha, so come back next week to see what my first challenge was! I’ll explain more about what this post series is all about then.

I’ll be working out regularly and slowly getting in shape. This is something I’ve been wanting to do since the first of January (I’m quite the New Year’s resolutionist, haha), but a tailbone injury left me unable to exercise for about two weeks, which completely threw me for a loop. Now that I’ve completely recovered from that, I’m feeling more and more like taking control of my lifestyle and eating habits. One way my parents are helping me to do this is by helping pay for gym memberships for me and my brother, which he and I are very happy about! I’m taking it a day at a time, listening to my body and doing as much cardio as I can without injuring myself. My eczema and weak hips have stopped me from enjoying and being able to exercise for a long time, but I’m not going to let that hold me back anymore – I’m going to find out what works for me, showing gratitude every day for what I’m capable of. ❤

I’m going to keep trying new things, striving for progress over perfection. This is SUCH a huge part of my life right now. I wouldn’t call it a goal, since it’s an ongoing decision, but man – this mindset is very close to my heart. Things such as nurturing forgiveness, overcoming perfectionism, and moving out of my comfort zone are my top priority right now.

I’m going to cut back on sugar and make more healthy recipes. *looks around absently* Is this even possible?? Haha! After I got my wisdom teeth out last summer, I developed a sugar addiction post-recovery that still hasn’t gone away. I’m going to read up on how to curb a sugar addiction, because my goodness, I’m tired of feeling guilty about how much sugar I consume. I want to eat what’s right for me so that I can be happy with how I’m eating. I want processed sugar to be a weekly treat instead of a daily one! I’ll probably write more posts in-depth on this subject …

I’m going to focus more of my attention on screen-free hobbies. I mean, I love watching TV, browsing YouTube, writing blog posts, and playing video games, but I feel like I have to give my eyes a break sometimes! There are soooo many things I love to do in my room, and I want to prioritize those things higher up on my list of things to do.

This post was so much fun to write! ❤ I hope that you’re looking forward to March like I am, because I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for it. Let me know in the comments below:

What are you looking forward to doing in March?

Mindful Living Challenge – Ending Comparison {Week Eight}

Mindful Living Challenge – Ending Comparison {Week Eight}

“Admire others’ beauty without questioning your own.” – Unknown

Have you ever looked at someone else’s blog and instantly thought it looked better than yours?

I do that all the time.

We are so quick to compare ourselves to others. In nearly every situation we find ourselves in, there’s comparing going on. We either think that we’re better than others, or we’re worse off than they are, and usually it’s the latter that we feel.

It is so easy for us to look around and feel like what we have isn’t enough. I know this because I do it, too.

It makes me so sad when I grow discontent with my blog, fashion sense, facial features, body shape, relationship status, everything I have because at least one person has “more” than I do!

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that comparison is a bad habit, because comparison is our automatic response to interacting with the world. However, it’s what we do with that input that will make or break us.

Just because you don’t look like one beautiful person doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful yourself.

Just because you don’t own the same phone, or car, or clothes that someone else has doesn’t mean you aren’t extremely blessed.

Just because your blog has less followers than other blogs you follow doesn’t mean you don’t have a valuable audience.

It’s hard to be happy with what we have when we’re jealous of the world. I’ve been comparing myself to others for years, and that time spent worrying and fretting has yet to add worth to my life in any way.

There are healthy ways we can strive to be like others.

Let’s allow the people we admire to inspire us instead of bringing us down! Reach high for your goals instead of sitting in one place, stuck in the belief that you’ll never get to where others are. So much is possible if we put our minds to it and refuse to give up. Awesome things take time.

My prayer for you today is that you would not allow what you don’t have in life to bring you down. There is beauty to be found in what our futures hold. ❤

Why I Want To End Comparison:

  • I want to truly enjoy and appreciate my life.
  • I want to be happy for others without being jealous.
  • I want to be motivated by others’ success and passions.
  • I want to be content with what I have.
  • I want to embrace my own style and interests without invalidating them.

Why do you want to end comparison?
Will you join me on this challenge?

“Comparisons make you feel superior or inferior, neither serve a useful purpose.” – Unknown

Come visit my Christian living blog, Living For His Delightfor more inspiration and encouragement!

Mindful Living Challenge – Utilizing The Present {Week Seven}

Mindful Living Challenge – Utilizing The Present {Week Seven}

“We waste so many days waiting for the weekend. So many nights wanting morning. Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life.” – Joshua Glenn Clark

Recently, I decided that I want to begin living in the present moment.

I cannot fix the past. I cannot predict the future. And it hurts so much when I attempt to do either of these things.

However, my mind wonders, what is the alternative?

For a very long time, I have looked toward the future for my happiness. I greatly desired to have things to anticipate and plan for, because if I didn’t, then what would I do with the present?

Learning from the past and planning for the future is something we hardly ever do in balance. I tend to be burdened by the wrong I’ve done, and just as equally troubled by the uncertainty of what’s to come.

However, what if I were to actually learn from my mistakes and set out to be a better person now? What if I were to live in such a way that every day of my life from this point forward would be filled with lasting purpose and contentment?

Both of these things are not too much to ask for; we simply have to change the way we look at our lives.

Where the Lord has me right now is not a mistake. Sure, I’d love to check some things off my bucket list (or even my daily to do list), and there are certainly things I wish I could erase from my past. But all of this is part of my story, and the Lord has called me to embrace it, one day and decision at a time. ❤

I’m going to live in such a way that the present is the best place for me to be. This is where we’re supposed to live, after all! There’s nothing wrong with considering what direction we want our lives to go, but there’s a healthy way to do so, and we all have to find that balance.

I’m making this topic part of the mindful living challenge because this is something I’m really focusing on and praying over at the moment. I hope that it will encourage you to do the same!

Why I Want To Utilize The Present:

  • Living in the past + stressing about the future takes away my present joy.
  • Making decisions now that will positively impact my future is the right way to live.
  • I want to be happy with whatever’s happening on any given day.
  • I want to accept change.
  • I want to learn from mistakes and circumstances and no longer be burdened by them.

Why do you want to utilize the present?
Will you join me on this challenge?

“I am learning every day to let the space between where I am and where I want to be inspire me and not terrify me.” – Unknown

Come visit my Christian living blog, Living For His Delightfor more inspiration and encouragement!

Mindful Living Challenge – Being A Patient Driver {Week Six}

Mindful Living Challenge – Being A Patient Driver {Week Six}

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” – George Carlin

I am one out of the millions of drivers in the metro Atlanta area.

That fact alone has exposed me to a LOT of different situations on the road in my nearly four years of experience with driving. Much of that experience includes distraction, aggravation, uncertainty, and who knows what else, but one thing’s for sure: driving brings out the worst in people.

It is so easy to get frustrated at the person in front of you when they’re taking their time (either willfully or not) to keep moving. It’s also easy to spout off at the person who just broke a ton of traffic laws right in front of your eyes, cheating dozens of other drivers by recklessly maneuvering their way to the front of the line.

Busy roadways are a battlefield, both physically and mentally.

I’ve always had this thing for long drives. I love it when there aren’t many other people around, you can go the speed limit without a problem, and you get to have enjoyable conversations with whoever’s in the car with you. However, dealing with road rage and slow drivers on a regular basis has slowly but surely impacted the way I look at other drivers.

Most of the time, I’m just trying to stay alive, but when I let my emotions get in the way, I negatively respond to drivers who make unwise decisions on the road that we share.

It is so easy for me to fall into the habit of lashing out, simply because something (or someone) frustrates me. It’s the response my mind gravitates toward – it’s easier to say, “What the heck was that?!” than: “I’m just glad no one got hurt.

Our roads would be an infinitely safer place if everyone’s main goal was to make sure everyone stayed alive.

When I get upset at other drivers, that instantly puts me at risk. Emotional turmoil is one of the biggest dangers in driving, because if you’re upset about something, how much are you really thinking about the road in front of you?? That’s why staying focused on being a patient driver should be the #1 goal for all of us drivers.

This blog challenge is all about reminding myself (and anyone else who would like to follow along!) of the simple things we should continually be mindful of. These topics are, for the most part, present in our everyday lives, yet we don’t end up thinking much about them. They are little things we could work on that don’t seem like much by themselves – until we add all of them up. That’s when they become a big, combined issue!

If you have any ideas of what topics I could incorporate into this challenge, I’d love to hear them! Comment below or send me a message – I have to come up with 52 posts for this challenge, so I’d appreciate the help haha

Click here if you’d like to check out the last five posts in this series.

Why I Want To Be A Patient Driver:

  • I want to set a good example for my younger siblings.
  • I want to make my experience driving as safe as possible.
  • I want to be understanding of people instead of immediately judging.
  • I want to be more mindful of everything I say.
  • I want to be a safe driver.

Why do you want to be a patient driver?
Will you join me on this challenge?

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” – Anonymous

Mindful Living Challenge – Giving Genuine Feedback {Week Five}

Mindful Living Challenge – Giving Genuine Feedback {Week Five}

“There is something really powerful about people who are genuine.”

I absolutely love genuine people.

When I share something that’s on my heart with an individual and they light up in response, there’s scarcely a better feeling in the world.

When you know that someone else loves and cares about what you care about, there’s magic in that. It often further validates how much you care about that thing, knowing someone else is so supportive of you and honestly cares about your feelings.

It blesses me so much when I have conversations like this with others, but I scarcely think about responding in that same way myself.

Do you know how much of a blessing I could be to someone else?

Maybe it springs from my long-term social anxiety, but I’ve always struggled to be enthusiastic in my responses. I’m not sure why, because I’ve been happy for someone plenty of times before, but I hardly ever show it with the enthusiasm I’d love to give them.

Just like I wrote about for week two of this challenge, there are simple gestures that end up being hard to express simply because we’re not in the habit of doing them. I know that for me, maintaining eye contact and giving genuine feedback are just two of the things I’ve struggled to do consistently for a very long time, even though I desperately desire in my heart to do both.

It is so immensely rewarding to excitedly congratulate someone when they’ve accomplished something important to them. I know all too well what happens when jealousy or indifference gets in the way of a beautiful response, which is why I desire to make this change all the more.

Among many of the other little changes I’m currently making in my life, providing others with feedback from my heart is something I’m working on in 2019. I can’t wait to see what will happen when I put in the effort to show others how much I love them. I know that it will beautifully bless my life.

Why I Want To Give Genuine Feedback:

  • I love seeing others’ faces light up when I care about what they care about.
  • I want to be able to be part of others’ joy.
  • I definitely appreciate receiving genuine feedback myself.
  • I enjoy hanging out with people who respond positively to the people they love.
  • I want my family and friends to see me as someone who’s actually interested in what they have to say.
  • It makes me joyful to make others joyful. ❤

Why do you want to give genuine feedback?
Will you join me on this challenge?

“Surround yourself with people who are more excited for your birthday than you are.”

Liebster Award {Ceremony}

Liebster Award {Ceremony}

Three awards in one post can definitely be considered a ceremony, because my answers got quite lengthy. Haha, I hope you enjoy reading! This post was made possible by Maysa, Ara, and Hanne – you should go check out these lovely girls’ blogs if you get the chance!

Liebster Award {Ceremony}

The Rules

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you for this award.
  2. Answer 11 questions the blogger gave you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs.
  5. Notify them.
  6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

(I’m going to give eleven facts total instead of thirty-three, because who has time for that?? hah)

11 Facts About Me

  1. Nearly everything out in nature makes me sneeze.
  2. My favorite emojis are the laughing one and the two little pink hearts (especially when they’re combined!).
  3. I loooove maps; I currently have three on display in my room!
  4. I have more notebooks and other stationary than I can use.
  5. I love dancing and would love to learn ballroom dancing someday.
  6. I’ve never worn a hoop skirt, but I really, really want to.
  7. I adored reading the Garfield comics growing up.
  8. I have a small collection of Folkmanis puppets.
  9. Writing letters makes me very happy, but I don’t have any pen pals.
  10. I quote songs and movies probably more often than I have normal conversations.
  11. I can barely think of anymore facts to give about myself because I’ve shared so many recently.

Maysa’s Questions + My Answers:

  1. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ireland! I’ve been saying this for years, and I’ll probably keep saying it for many years more haha
  2. What is the story behind your blog name? One week before I created this site, the Lord gave me peace about my future in regards to missions. (see here) I was thinking so much about Guatemala at the time, so it made sense for me to incorporate it into my name: Dreaming of Guatemala!
  3. Do you have a summer winter goal? If so, what is it? (I’m answering these questions so late, I’ll change it to ‘winter,’ welp.) I’d love to see snow this winter, but I can’t exactly control the clouds, so I’ll just hold on to hope haha
  4. What are your top three song obsessions right now? ‘Happier’ by Marshmello & Bastille, ‘Centuries’ by Fall Out Boy, and ‘Wait It Out’ by Jamie Grace. The difference in genres is killing me.
  5. What stresses you out the most throughout the year? Probably my fear of getting sick. But then, when I’m actually sick, it isn’t as bad as I think it will be. I SHOULD GET A HOLD OF MY EMOTIONS.
  6. What is your dream job? Stand-up comedian. *flashes you a funny grin*
  7. How long have you been blogging? Since I was eleven, so that’s eight years. WOW.
  8. Do you have a t.v series that you just can’t miss? Nothing currently airing, but I Love Lucy is a show I’ll always come back to.
  9. What is your favorite thing to do (other than blog)? Sing. Why? I don’t know.
  10. What inspired you to begin your blog? I had joined a site called HomeschoolBlogger when I was ten, and the main idea of it was for everyone to have their own blog. I don’t have that blog anymore, but it definitely put me on the blogging path haha
  11. Is there a quote that is special to you? Oh goodness, so many. Here’s one: “Let go of the illusion that it could have been any different.”

Ara’s Questions + My Answers:

  1. If you could take a trip anywhere, where would you go? Oh wow, girls, your first questions are pretty much the same lol! Since I already said Ireland, I’d go somewhere new in Tennessee. (I’ve already been a few times.)
  2. What TV shows do you like watching? Pretty much any sitcom that I can get a hold of the blooper reels. Seinfeld, Mork & Mindy, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc.
  3. Do you have a favorite holiday? Not really; I love all the ones I celebrate with my family.
  4. Is it Pee-can or Peh-cahn, or do you say it differently? PEH-CAHN. I about lose it when I hear things pronounced starkly different from how I do, haha
  5. Do you want kids when you are older? Yes! My dream number is four, but hey, I’ll be happy with all the kids the Lord gives me. (Unless it’s like eight of ’em, or something … uh … )
  6. Where do you want to live in the future? Possibly Tennessee, but I’d also be happy to stay in Georgia. (Although if someone ever offers me a hamlet in Ireland, I’ll take that and leave my entire life behind.)
  7. What is your favorite pastime? Blogging is definitely a big one, but I also love watching movies.
  8. Are you an avid reader? Yes … ? Lol, I used to be, but my interest in books has dwindled significantly over the years.
  9. What are 5 random words you think of when looking at the ceiling? Oh, uh … ‘design,’ ‘blank,’ ‘clouds,’ light,’ ‘nothing.’ Do I have an empty brain?
  10. What makes the best house color? For the exterior, a dark earth tone with lighter earth accents. On the inside, whites and blues are very inviting, but it’s also nice to have themed rooms.
  11. Pickles or olives? Pickles, all. the. way.

Hanne’s Questions + My Answers:

  1. What is your favorite winter tradition? Praying for snow. *sad laugh*
  2. What is your favorite quote? Here’s another one: “Choose people who choose you.”
  3. What is the book you read most recently, and what did you think of it? ‘Leading With My Chin’ by Jay Leno, and it could have been so much better than it was. lol
  4. What is your favorite board game? I love so many, don’t make me choose!! If I had to, I’d say Clue.
  5. What’s a name that you love but won’t ever use for your kids? I’ve loved Lysandra for a long time, because it reminds me of a Shakespeare character. I wouldn’t name my kid that, though; I just liked it for a book character haha
  6. If you could learn one physical activity and do extremely well at it, what would it be? Probably some form of dancing, like ballroom or hip-hop.
  7. What is your favorite brand? I’m not sure … I love Nike!
  8. What is your favorite trait in a friend? Just honestly being a nice person. If you’re my friend, I shouldn’t have to start all the conversations, suggest all the get-together’s, etc.
  9. What is your secret talent? Well, if it’s my secret talent, then why would I tell you? *tosses you a lazy grin*
  10. If you could meet one person that’s currently alive, who would you meet? Jay Leno.
  11. What was your favorite moment of 2018? When I was awake enough after my wisdom teeth surgery to realize that I had gone through with it, and would never have to face that again!

My 11 Nominees:

  1. Amber @ Amber’s Reads
  2. Autumn @ Autumn’s Angle
  3. Isabel @ Chasing Fantasia
  4. Abbie + Soph @ Coastal Twins
  5. Talia @ Dream Pray Believe Blog
  6. El @ ElatedBooks
  7. Grace @ Girl Talks 31
  8. Kaelyn @ Kaelyn’s Life
  9. Shannon @ Kittyp0p
  10. Kiwi @ Kiwi Katastrophes
  11. Penny @ pennygirlonline2002

11 Questions For My Nominees:

  1. What do you love most about blogging?
  2. Your favorite old TV show?
  3. What’s something you’ve always wanted to do?
  4. What blog post are you the most proud of writing?
  5. What’s your favorite word?
  6. What’s one thing your mother/father taught you that completely changed your life?
  7. What’s the last text/email/comment you sent?
  8. What energizes you and brings you excitement?
  9. What are you the most grateful for today?
  10. What’s the most beautiful compliment you’ve ever received?
  11. What do you love about your physical appearance?
(Oh my gosh, I’m overwhelmed by all the elevens in this post haha)

Thanks for reading!