April 2017 Goals

Happy April, friends! I am so pumped for spring! This month I have decided to share my monthly goals on my blog instead of hiding them away in the notes of my iPhone.

I love setting goals for myself and after seeing how encouraging you all were with my 5 year plan, it seemed like a great idea to share this as well.

Monthly goals are a great way for me to break down the bigger goals in my 5 year plan to ensure success. Here are my goals for April 2017 broken down into categories…

Running

  1. Bring my mile time down to 10:30.
  2. Run a 5K race.
  3. Run 5 miles consecutively, either on the treadmill or outside.
  4. Find one new place to practice running outdoors.

Blog & Novel

  1. Make a new printable for the Freebie page.
  2. Establish 2 more character profiles for my novel.

School

  1. Finish officially declaring my double major. April 25th 2017
  2. Take the foreign language placement test. April 19th 2017

Faith:

  1. Finish 2 books in the bible.
  2. Serve at least three times at church. April 15th, 2017

I will come back as the month goes on and bold my goals as I meet them as well as write the date I accomplished it on. I would love for you all to keep up with me and also share your April goals with me. I know you can accomplish everything you would like to, and then some! Please comment with links to your goals or direct message them to me on Instagram or Twitter! I’m thrilled to see what you all have planned for the month. Please also feel free to find me on Pinterest and follow me on Snapchat @christianoncamp.

I pray that your is successful and productive in every way possible. Remember that you are made in His image and you are capable of much more than you ever imagined! I can’t wait to see all that we accomplish.

Sending blessings your way,

My First 5K Experience

I initially became interested in running seeing people on social media beating their running times and competing in runs. This past year, I started to care more about health and fitness and recalled that a friend of mine had suggested I download the Couch to 5K (or C25K) app to structure my cardio workouts. I downloaded the app without any real intention of finishing it. I was honestly intimidated by the 8 week program but I surprised myself by completing it in less than 6 weeks! This is possible because each “week” of the app is 3 days long so every week I completed 4 or 5 of the training days. At this same time, I was also doing some strength training and following a high fat, low carb/ketogenic diet. The app was incredibly helpful in preparing me for the 5K and building my endurance. I finished the training a few weeks before the 5K so I started working on getting my mile time lower in the meantime. But, I did much better following the structured plan of the app and actually wish it had lasted longer. If you are a more experienced runner, they also have a 10K app that I plan on starting towards the end of 2017.

Growing up, I constantly told myself (and others) that I “can’t run” and I’m “not a runner”. Looking back now, I see that it wasn’t that I couldn’t run, I simply didn’t want to. I also realize that at that time I believed running to be a physical process more than a mental process. Boy, was I wrong! Now I see that running is 75% mental and 25% physical. This may be different if you have some kind of disability that prohibits you from running but, for the most part, running is mental. Running teaches you that you are so much more capable than you believe you are and that your body is amazing. I never thought I could run 3.1 miles straight or even 2 miles for that matter. This was mostly because I had never previously had a desire to or challenged myself physically to run any distance. In 2016, I finally started to believe in myself and my ambitions to eat healthier, run and lift increased tenfold.

So, I ran the Gasparilla 5K on February 25th, 2017 with over 30,000 other runners and I can confidently say that I am glad I did it and I plan on doing more in the future. I am still very slow and inexperienced in running, but I finally am able to enjoy running and look forward to training more in the future. I really underestimated how hard it would be to run a 5K, so I did not achieve my goals I initially set, but I have now reevaluated and plan to achieve my goals this year through more training and more 5K’s under my belt. I really enjoy running because it has taught me so much about myself and my capabilities and also given me time to think. Running is incredibly therapeutic in many ways.

One thing I must say though, is that if you plan on running a 5K and are new to running like me, please BUY NEW SHOES! After the 5K my feet were absolutely killing me because I wore old Nikes I have probably had for two years. I did not think one 5K was worthy of buying new workout shoes and told myself I would buy new ones if I liked it and planned to do more. I should have bought them prior to this run to better my experience and pick up some time. During the run I was not tired or sore, so the only thing slowing me down that day was my feet hurting after about the first mile and a half. My only regret going into this experience was not investing in proper footwear.

Also, a big thank you to Bill and Jackie for running the 5K with me! I probably would not have followed through if they were not there, and I am glad I could share this experience with them both.

Thanks for reading, 

P.S. Both of these photos were taken at the Gasparilla 5K. It started as a very dreary day, but towards the end of the race the sun sure did start to beat down on us.

My 5 Year Plan

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I have been asked the overused “Where do you see yourself in five years?” at least ten times before. And every time it has caught me off guard and made me realize how unprepared I truly am. It can be overwhelming to visualize where you want to be, and break down exactly what you need to do to get there. It is also hard to predict if you will want the same things you want now, because people can grow and change a lot over the course of five years. But I do know that no matter how I change over these next few years, I will still feel that a few staple categories are very important to me. More specifically, I will always value my education, health and independence. And in this moment, I know that there are some things I would like to achieve to improve myself physically and intellectually. And according to the almighty internet, people who write down their goals are 33% more likely to achieve them. So here we are!

In five years, I see myself as an experienced runner in the best health I’ve ever been in. I see myself graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree and working as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. I see myself having published one book and possibly working on more. I also hope over the next five years I will have grown my blog substantially, went on a mission trip, done some international traveling, grown my biblical knowledge and bought a place I can call my own. I have some big goals here, but I believe that these are all things within my reach. Here is the breakdown of my goals:

Year One (2017):

– Start writing a book and establish the plot and characters.
– Take the GRE and score well.
– Finish reading the bible.
– Participate in university research.
– Run a 5k in 40 minutes or less.
– Save enough money to contribute to a down payment on a house.

Year Two (2018):

– Graduate with my Bachelor’s Degree.
– Buy my first place& move out on my own.
– Run an 8k.
– Run a 10k.

Year Three (2019):

– Finish first 30 credits of graduate school.
– Travel to a new state.
– Go on a mission trip.
– Reach 1,000 blog subscribers.
– Run a 10k in under 60 minutes.

Year Four (2020):

– Graduate with my Master’s Degree.
– Travel out of the country.
– Become fluent in Spanish.
– Complete a half marathon.

Year Five (2021):

– Publish a book.
– Take a road trip.
– Travel to a new country.
– Start working at a private practice.

 

Of course, there are many other smaller goals I hope to accomplish along the way, such as filling my journaling bible with artwork, creating fun memories with family and friends, serving more at church, growing closer to God and possibly learning American Sign Language. I am sure that I will be able to achieve all of these things and more with the help of God and my family.

As I go through this journey I will bold the things that I have completed and write the dates they were completed to the side. I was inspired to post this to my blog after seeing Rach Allene post her 5 Year Plan to her second blog here. I know it will be a great way to track my progress and share my life with my blog family! I would also love to read your 5 year plans, so feel free to link them in the comments or message them to my instagram @christianoncampus!

Thank you for reading,
danielle sig

My Top 10 Favorite Christian Songs

My Top 10 Favorite Christian Songs

 

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Growing up, I was never really a fan of Christian music. My immediate family members did not listen to it much, therefore I didn’t. But over the past year or so I have found myself adding new Christian favorites to my Spotify list and I thought I would share with you guys!

  1. This is Living (feat. Lecrae)-Hillsong

Very upbeat and happy. Although these are in no particular order, this is definitely my top favorite Christian song. I listen to this all the time when I’m driving or exercising.

  1. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)-Hillsong United

This is a classic of my time. I’m sure you’ve already heard this one, but I had to include it.

  1. American Dream (acoustic)- Casting Crowns

This song is slower- I love it so much!

  1. Vapor-The Liturgists

Probably the slowest song on my list, but so SO beautiful.

  1. Revelation Song- Jesus Culture

Such a great song- and message. This is a popular one as well.

  1. Only A Mountain- Jason Castro

This is a great song to listen to if you’re feeling discouraged.

  1. My Lighthouse- Rend Collective

Another great song to listen to if you need some motivation or inspiration.

  1. All I Need Is You- Lecrae

If you like Rap, this ones for you.

  1. Alive- Jesus Culture

The Oh Snap Its Luke remix is my favorite version of this one. Very energetic and upbeat.

  1. I Can Only Imagine- MercyMe

I’m sure you’ve heard this one as well, but I had to include it, of course!

Thank you for reading! Leave me a comment below if you see one of your favorites in my list.

And the winner of the giveaway is @amri_sue12! Congrats, Amri! I will be sending you a direct message on Instagram to get your books sent out ASAP!

5 Ways to get into the Christmas Spirit

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As you all are surely aware, it’s finally December! Eeep! This is my absolute favorite time of the year- for so many reasons- and I want to do some things to get in the holiday spirit. If you live in a place like Florida where it’s still 80 degrees or hotter, you probably have a hard time getting in the holiday mindset like I do. And even if you live somewhere its already snowing, these are still fun things to do. Here are five things I’m going to do while I await the arrival of December 1st!

  1. Watch Hallmark Christmas Movies…

This may be silly to add, especially as the first thing I mention, but this is such an easy thing to do after a long day at work or school that can really raise your spirit. I did not realize that Hallmark plays Christmas movies for all of November! Up until this year I was only aware of the December Christmas movies. And while I don’t normally spend much time watching TV as I usually prefer YouTube, I can’t resist a Christmas movie!

  1. Get started on your Christmas budgeting and gift planning ahead of time…

Plan out exactly what you will get for each of  your family and friends starting now. I am currently about 70% done with Christmas shopping, I’m glad to say. Trust me, as it gets closer to Christmas you will be glad you didn’t procrastinate until the last minute to pull it together, as so many do.

  1. Read Luke 1…

Nothing better to put you in the Christmas spirit than to remind you of the true meaning of Christmas- the birth of Jesus!

  1. Make a playlist of your favorite Christmas jams…

Christmas music can truly brighten your day (if not overplayed!). I can’t resist some good old Mariah Carey personally.

  1. Break out the hot chocolate…

Okay, you had to see this one coming. Hot chocolate is a perfect pairing with any of the other Christmas Spirit boosters! If you haven’t tried the “Abuelita” brand of hot chocolate, it is my absolute favorite- way better than any other brand I’ve tried.

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In my opinion, it is never too early to get into the Christmas Spirit. There are many other ways to get in a jolly mood, but these are the simplest and most cost effective. I hope you enjoyed this post and I pray you and your loved ones are blessed this holiday season! Subscribe below to receive email updates on new posts and giveaways.

Best,

danielle sig

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall!

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Hello, friends! I hope you are all doing well! I wanted to drop in and give you all an update on how fall is going for me and what plans I have for the blog!

You may have noticed I have been MIA for a while on this blog and my Instagram. School and work became a little too hectic to provide quality content. I currently take 15 credits hours while working, so it does get a bit stressful at times. I am just about finished with my Associates degree and I have already begun my specific degree coursework for Psychology and Behavioral Health. By the end of this semester I am proud to say I will be 70% complete with my Bachelor’s degree. All the hard work is definitely going to pay off.

For a while there, I was also working two jobs which made it even more difficult to find wind-down time to provide updates and write posts, as well as take photos for said posts. But I am very passionate about Christian On Campus and I am going to work as hard as I can to provide you all with weekly content on both here and my Instagram @christianoncampus.

I also wanted to let you know that I am planning a giveaway! Eeep! I love doing these. Towards the end of November, I will be doing another giveaway for my lovely subscribers so stay tuned for that announcement.

I would love to hear feedback from you all on what type of posts you want or any advice I can offer. I am also working on doing more bible journaling so feel free to leave me any bible verses below.

In the meantime, check out my Instagram for quicker updates and some sweet pumpkin photos! Also, don’t forget to check out the free bible study printable’s I have linked here. The password to access can be found in your subscription email or in the email you received with notification to this post. If you can’t find it, feel free to leave a comment or message me on Instagram and I will gladly provide you with it.

You are all in my prayers and I hope all is going well. Subscribe below if you haven’t already for prompt updates on new posts and giveaways.

Best,

danielle sig

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Embracing What Matters Most

IMG_0613“The Lord will fulfill His purpose to me.” Psalm 138:8

Prioritizing your life can be downright difficult. I can’t be the only one who gets too wrapped up in my to-do list and loses sight of my true purpose at times. But it’s never too late to re-evaluate where you’re going and where you want to be. God is always ready to help you get back on the right track and He has provided us with all the materials we need to do so.

Whenever you feel that you are a little too far gone in the chaos of life, I suggest setting some extra time away each day to spend some time alone with God. This time is so sacred and can really give you time to think, pray and speak with God on what is truly on your heart. There is no particular quiet time routine that will work for everyone, but I have found one that is time-efficient, effective and leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to start my day.

I always like to start my time alone with God with a prayer and then get right into reading my daily devotion from the 365 Devotions to Embrace What Matters Most devotional by John Michalak. I have been using this devotional since December 2015 and have really noticed a significant change in my overall focus and mindset. It takes me less than two minutes to read the daily devotion but those few short paragraphs are beautifully written and always helps me to challenge my thinking and create new behaviors that create an overall better me. After I read my devotional, I like to use the scripture reference at the bottom of the page to get started in my actual bible study. I end my quiet time with memorization of the verse provided and, of course, a closing prayer. In all, this takes me around twenty minutes and is very easy to incorporate into even the busiest day.

Over the past five months, I have learned a lot about myself from the 365 Devotions to Embrace What Matters Most devotional. Especially when I was going through changing my major, which is very stressful as a college student, this devotional provided me with the wisdom and clarity I needed to make the right decision. I knew I wanted to honor and serve God in whatever I did, and I knew that medicine was not the right path for me, but I was overwhelmed with the thought of throwing away a semester of college and having to start over in a completely new major. Something that this devotional does, however, is help you figure out your identity and how you can grow and learn to fulfill God’s plans for you in the best way possible.

Life is complicated. If you are reading this now, you have probably already figured that one out. But if you have your bible and a reliable devotional, you can simplify life and overcome all the obstacles thrown your way. When I was in the process of leaving my old major, Biomedical Sciences, I was reluctant because I was focusing on the wrong things. For example, I was worried about not seeing my friends I had made in that major anymore. I was also worried about the two months I had spent working on classes for that major and them not being applicable to whatever new major I chose. This decision would affect the rest of my life and I was getting hung up on two months of my time instead of looking at the larger picture. Luckily, I still was able to read my 365 Devotions book daily and it reminded me of my true purpose. It taught me so many things, but most importantly it helped me to understand what matters most and how I can embrace those things to be the best version of myself possible.

If you don’t have this devotional I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve themselves and grow spiritually. It’s the perfect addition to quiet time and actually proved as a great study tool for me to dig deeper into God’s Word. There are always scriptural references throughout the writing and wonderful verses to practice memorization of scripture with. Throughout the devotional you will also find inspiring quotes from various authors that really provide deeper meaning to the writing. One of my favorite quote encounters so far is “There is a living God; He has spoken in the bible. He means what He says and will do all that he has promised.” by Hudson Taylor.

The 365 Devotions to Embrace What Matters Most devotional is truly a must have in your quiet time and that’s why I will be giving away two copies signed by the author, John Michalak! All you have to do is be subscribed to this blog page and leave a comment answering this question: “What is your favorite time of day to spend alone time with God?” The winners will be announced on Tuesday morning, May 31st on my Instagram.

In the meantime, go check out John Michalak’s website here and like his Facebook page here. You can also follow John on his Instagram to stay up to date. You can buy his book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Lifeway Christian Store.

Thank you for reading and be sure to leave all feedback and prayer requests in the comments below.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1

[Photo by Casey Hogue Photography. Find her on Instagram @caseyhoguephotos]

Becoming A Follower of Christ- TeenFaith777 Guest Post

Hello, all! My good friend, Angel, of TeenFaith777 will be guest posting here! Be sure to check out her blog here and follow her on her instagram @jesusrunsmylife for more updates! Enjoy her heartfelt advice on becoming a true follower of Jesus. thumbnail_JESUS101

Hello there everyone. My name is Angel and my Sister in Christ has asked me to be a guest on her blog. I’m very happy to be asked to share what the LORD has put on my heart. But before I do that, I would like to introduce myself.

I’m Angel(a nickname that a friend gave me) and I live in the USA. I love to write on my blog TeenFaith777, read, listen to music, sing and spend time with my LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. The LORD has told me that my calling in life is to become a Youth Pastor and I can’t wait to go to school for it. 🙂

Okay, so let’s get down to what we came for. By the title of this post I would like to share with you about being a follower of JESUS.

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 5:1

Being a follower of CHRIST has its ups and downs. First, I would like tell you some things that are “ups” to following HIM.

1) You will never be alone:

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”  Hebrews 13:5

2) HE cares for you:

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7

3) HE loves you A LOT:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

4) Nothing can separate you from HIM:

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39) nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:8-39

5) We will never be in the dark with JESUS as the light:

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:22

Before we go any further, I would like to talk about those “ups” for a moment. They are sooooo awesome, if you ask me. Knowing that the GOD of the universe want to protect me, love me, never leave me, and soooo much more. It just does something in me. I mean, think about it! There are billions and billions of people on this planet. GOD still wants a one on one relationship with you and me. HE still loves all the same and want us to know HIM. WOW that is awesome, just SO awesome! HE wants to show us who we are in HIM. HE wants us to know what we have in HIM. HE wants us to see HIM greatness and share it with others. HE wants us to know the love HE has for us and share it. WOW, just WOW!

Now there are some things that are some downsides to this.

1) Not having a lot of friends because you are too strong in JESUS.

2) Being laughed at because of your faith in HIM.

3) Being told that it doesn’t matter what you are doing, because it won’t work.

4) People will hate you.

5) People will be mean to you.

Those are some things that you may go through. In the other countries people are put to death or put in prison because of their faith in JESUS. It all saddens me. I would like to share something else with you.

I’m a private person, so this is hard but I feel like I need to share this with you. All the things that I have said above, I have gone through. I don’t have very many friends. I wanted a friend so bad that I made one, and it was not good for me. We didn’t do anything “bad” such as drinking or anything like that. But I was becoming a little more like the world, instead of for the LORD. Things in my life changed and I needed the LORD more than ever. I have been laughed at, I have been picked on, and I have been told that my standards are way too high. I am still healing from pain that I have gone through in my life. I am still a working progress. But, hey, we as GOD’S children should never get to the place where we are not a work in progress. We always need to work to get closer to JESUS if HE tells us that there is something in our life that needs to change. Now I’m not telling you this to get your pity or for you to feel sorry for me. I don’t want that and I don’t need that. I’m sharing this with you to let you know that there are people out there that know your pain and that the LORD will heal you from it all. It may take time and it will take time with the LORD but it will happen.

Every time I think of the pain that I have gone through I think of the words that our LORD JESUS said…

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

JESUS has overcome the world and I know that HE has overcome the pain/hurt that I may have in my heart. Since HE loves me, I know I can and will overcome the pain and hurt with HIM. Walking with HIM hand in hand. It’s the best thing in the world. I hope this helps you. I pray that you are blessed by this.

I would like to thank Danielle for asking me to write a post for her blog. It was a delight to share the word of GOD with everyone here on Christian on Campus.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
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Danielle here again! Thank you, Angel, for writing such a wonderful post and sharing whats on your heart with my readers and I. We truly appreciate you and your writing. Don’t forget to check out Angel’s blog, TeenFaith777, and read my guest post on her blog here about finding fellowship.

P.S. Leave us both a comment with some feedback! We would love to hear your feedback. 

Meet CounterCultural.CounterCouture!

cc_1Hi there, guys! So for the last few months, Danielle and I have been emailing and chatting all things bloggy as part of the Solidarity Sisters challenge. Our final challenge is to introduce ourselves to each other’s blogs so guess what… this is me introducing myself!

Let’s start with the formalities. My name’s Katy and I’m your average 20-something Christian blogger. I live in not-so-deep-rural Britain, where I thrive on fruit teas, long walks, my iPod and too much Netflix. I started blogging almost 2.5 years ago over at CounterCultural. CounterCouture. and I have just moved over to a new site at www.counterculturalcountercouture.com, which is amazingly exciting as it means it is entirely my own blog now!

So that’s the formalities done with. What am I really like? Well, you could probably call me stubborn. Despite having Tendinopathy – severe Repetitive Strain Injury- in both wrists, I probably spend 70% of my day on computers and in September I’m off to do a postgrad degree with a heavy emphasis on computers. So stubborn would probably describe why I’m still blogging even though many of my friends and family think I should probably stop. But when it’s an addiction and a passion, what can you do but keep going? I definitely couldn’t stop. So after five weeks of absolutely minimum computer use, I was back at it.

More than being stubborn, I’m a daughter of the King of Kings. I know it sounds crazy but I love to use that phrase because in a society that prizes girls who take their crown by marrying their “prince” or claiming to be a “queen”, it reminds me that I am a “princess” by inheritance. It has nothing to do with me and that is incredible! However, in this world even being the daughter of the King isn’t enough. Sadly, being a Christian can mean that we get caught up in a spiritual war. CounterCultural. CounterCouture. is my way to join the war by simply sharing how God is at work in my (wardrobe, fridge and) life. I guess you could say I have serious “warrior princess” tendencies.

So what is CounterCultural. CounterCouture. all about?

I’m glad you asked. If you were to ever visit my Facebook page (here if you’re interested), you’d notice my cover photo says “Serving Christ through your wardrobe, fridge and life.” And that is my aim for everything I do and share via CC.CC. You see, my blog is all about fashion, food and faith. Now I’m sure you’re all thinking, “What on earth do they have to do with each other?” Well, if you had asked me that a couple of years ago, I would have probably said not a lot. But with a little bit of digging and perseverance, I have come to realize that my faith in and relationship with Christ impacts on every part of my life, including my wardrobe and fridge. From the way I wear my clothes to protect both myself and others’ modesty through to how I treat my body and the Earth, everything comes back to my personal faith as a Christian.

I’ve always believed that as a Christian, my life should line up with my faith but it wasn’t until university that I let Jesus begin to impact my life beyond the words I spoke. I was inspired by Muslim girls who found ways to blend Western styles with their faith-led modesty. I questioned whether people take seriously the girl who preaches purity while wearing jeans so tight she may as well not be wearing them. After I graduated, I started my blog as a place to explore modest fashion and share my own take on it. This has involved a lot of experimentation because I adore alternative styles, from gothic and rockabilly through to boho and indie. But I believe God created as all as individuals and therefore being a Christian doesn’t mean I have to trade in my black skirts and Doc Martens for white dresses and delicate sandals.

Since then, my blog has grown and with it the topics I write about. My love for food has found it’s way on to the blog as I’ve become more convinced that the less we muddle with the food God gave us, the better it is for us. I love to explore different health trends and ideas, which I can then share with you. Whether it’s unleashing the deliciousness of roasted nuts or discovering how much I love spiralized vegetables, sharing my foodie discoveries is one of my my favourite things to do. You’ll also find a range of posts about Bible verses, debates, reviews, tips and even my favourite Instagrammers.

Blogging might be my addiction but being able to share my take on fashion, food and faith has become a passion. As with anyone who has a passion, I’m a little obsessed and I love to share it so consider this your open invitation. Come on over, pop by CounterCultural Cottage whenever you have a spare moment. If you’re a blogger, you can even join in my monthly praise link up. Just make sure you bring a cup of tea!

 

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The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award

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Hello, everyone! I feel so grateful to have been nominated for this award within two weeks of publishing this blog. Thank you so much to Brittany Shockley of Refuge Under His Wings for thinking to include me in her nominations. Be sure to check out her blog for inspiring posts about faith, fitness, DIY projects and life in general. Her Gym Motivation post has helped me immensely already.

Now, most of my non-blogging readers probably have no idea what this award is. Being new to the blogging world myself, I had no idea what it was either. Basically, the Liebster Award is an award passed on through bloggers like a chain letter that helps new bloggers gain exposure. You can read more about this award here.

Let’s get started with the rules!

      1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
      2. Share the award on your blog.
      3. Answer the ten questions you are asked.
      4. Nominate at least ten more bloggers.
      5. Ask ten new questions.

The Questions:

1. Besides blogging, what are your three favorite hobbies?

My favorite hobbies, aside from blogging, include bible journaling, reading and traveling.

You can view my bible journaling creations on my Instagram or under the Illustrated Faith section of my blog. I am fairly new to bible journaling but it has quickly drawn me closer to God and been an amazing, faith-growing experience. I am also doing a giveaway this month for a brand new bible journal, all you have to do is subscribe to this blog.

As far as reading goes, I enjoy fiction and faith-based books the most and would be willing to recommend some great reads; just ask in the comments!

And by traveling, I mean that I love visiting new places in general. I have only been out of the country once (to the Bahamas) but I have traveled to New Orleans three times, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Washington D.C. which I will be visiting again next month (comment if you would like to see a post on my trip). I am only 18, so I hope that list will grow in the upcoming years.

2. Do you have a schedule for your posts or do you just post whenever you’re inspired?

Because I am so new to blogging I mostly post when inspired but am trying to ensure two posts go up per week. I plan on getting on a regular posting schedule of two days per week as soon as possible but haven’t decided which days work the best.

3. What type of camera do you use for your blog posts?

My awesome, long-time friend Casey takes all of the pictures for my blog with her Canon Rebel t6i. You can find some more of her beautiful photography on her Instagram @caseyhoguephotos. Thank you again, Casey, for generously agreeing to take photos for this blog; you are a huge blessing!

4. Do you have any pets, if so, what?

Last October 2015 my family rescued two dogs from Donte’s Den which is an amazing, no-kill shelter that takes exceptional care of its dogs. Ice was adopted in my name and is a mix between a Fox Hound and a Catahoula Hound. Ice is a sweet, quiet dog with a bit of a sassy side. Fiona, the dog my parents adopted from the same shelter for my brother, is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who is one of the friendliest, cuddliest dogs I have ever met. You can read more about Bull Breed awareness here. Both of those dogs are aged between one and two years old but because they were rescued we do not know their exact age, unfortunately.

I also have a black Labrador Retriever named Daisy. She is a year and 7 months old. My Dad and Stepmom adopted her as the family dog from a breeder when she was 3 months old. She is a loving, shy-natured dog.

If you can’t tell, I love dogs!.

5. On average, how much time do you put into your blog posts?

Because I do not have many posts up yet and am not a very experienced blogger, it is hard to say but I would estimate that it takes me about two to four hours to complete a blog post to my liking, with exception of the Q & A posts which take me about 30 minutes to an hour based on the questions. It’s easy to answer questions about myself but when it comes to scripture and prayer, the other two major elements of my blog, I have to really think hard about what I write. I find myself referencing back to the bible and spending extra time in prayer when writing a post for the Illustrated Faith and Prayer sections of this blog, so they take much more time.

6. Who inspires you?

I find myself most inspired, blogging-wise, by other bloggers. There is not any one in particular that I draw the majority of inspiration from, but many different websites that I look at and read daily motivate me to put effort into this blog and continue to follow my dreams. Bible journaling-wise, I am very inspired by the Illustrated Faith Instagram and website.

7. If you were to name 3 goals you want your blog to achieve this year, what would they be?

My top three goals would be to get on a proper posting schedule, to expand my community and to build strong relationships with my readers and fellow bloggers.

8. Which of your posts did you enjoy writing the most?

Worrier vs. Warrior was my favorite post I have written so far because I wrote about how I pray visually, which I have not seen talked about before (although I am sure it has been, since I was introduced to it by someone else). Visually praying has really helped me a lot in terms of overcoming worry, which at times can be a huge struggle for me. Some of my readers let me know they tried that method of prayer and had success after I posted that piece and I felt so honored to have helped other people reduce their worry.

9. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

I am 100% a night owl.

10. Where is your favorite place to blog?

I enjoy being outdoors when I write. Especially because the weather has been so nice in Florida lately and I am trying to enjoy it while it lasts. If you ask me in June or July I guarantee that answer will be “Indoors, in the air conditioning”. If you are from Florida, you will understand.

That’s it for my ten questions! Time for the nominees:

Congrats to…

And, finally, here are my questions for you:

                1. When did you publish your blog?
                2. What was your motive for starting a blog?
                3. What is your number one goal for your blog this year?
                4. How do you overcome writers block?
                5. What is your favorite way to study the bible?
                6. What makes you unique as a blogger?
                7. What do your family and friends say about your blog?
                8. Who is your all-time favorite blogger?
                9. What is your favorite thing to do, besides blogging?
                10. What is one tip you have for a brand new blogger?

[Photo by Casey Hogue Photography. Find her on Instagram @caseyhoguephotos]