Friday, July 24, 2015
If you follow me on Instagram (@anna.seay), you'll know I just got home from Alabama, the deep down, hot and humid, red dirt and fire ants state from whence I sprung. And you'll know I had a great time. :)
My roots are down in Bama, and I really do enjoy going back and seeing my first home, and visiting my extended family. My parents and sister and I usually make the 12 hour drive down once a year. This time around, the weather was particularly warm. I think the heat index got up to 118 degrees one day. While there, we shelled peas and watched Rockford Files with Grandma, fed the chickens and played dominoes with my aunt, uncle and cousins, and just rested in the sweet comfort of family. I also spent a morning in another aunt and uncle's clean, beautiful private pool, which was amazing! You see, I live in the Midwest, I know no one with a pool, and I don't have a membership to the Y...so a morning in the water was tremendously rare and very enjoyable!
As usual when I get home from a trip, I feel a little bit different. I honestly believe that travel is something the Lord uses to grow me. After this one, I felt even more passionate about work. Just work in general. Usually, it takes me a few days to get back into the daily grind after vacation, but this time, I jumped right back in. And, I partly attribute that to the impression left by my family. They are such hardworking people, and I was influenced by the way they put their shoulders to the plow (figuratively, speaking) every day. It left me excited to get home and dive into all the projects I left behind.
So, while vacation is nice and I love seeing some of my people, here's to work!
"Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot."
Where have you been on vacation? Or did you get to enjoy uninterrupted work this summer? :)
Friday, June 26, 2015
Hi Friends! I began four different blog posts yesterday!!! None of them worked and it was quite frustrating! I'm sure most of you know what that's like! I finally decided to just fill you in on what's currently going on in my world. :) SO currently, I am...
Working... on designing new sparklies. I was hit with an inspiration stick last night and didn't go to bed 'til 2AM cause I wanted to take advantage of it. Lots of new ideas. More intentional direction.
Reading... Pride & Prejudice for the third time AND I just bought a copy of Longbourne by Jo Baker. I think this might deserve a blog post in the future. I'm going to read both at the same time. That should be really interesting! Same characters, two different authors. If Baker measures up to half of Austen's greatness, she'll have succeeded.
Discovering... How good it feels to be satisfied with who I am. I don't think I could have even said that before now. The aesthetic of my new brand (I'm sorry, the details are still a secret 'til they're in place, but I'm really close!) is coming together in a way that incorporates more of who I am and that authenticity feels great!
Buying... More gemstones and chain!
Excited about... The website that's underway. I can't wait to unveil this to you! I saw the details fall into place in a more concrete way this week and I'm stoked! Stoked, I say!
Watching... Fixer Upper. I just announced to my mom and sister that I wanted to be Joanna Gaines when I grow up. I wrote a post about her here actually.
Eating... I don't feel good about this, but I last night, I ate copious amounts of s'mores dip. Have you ever had that? I may have to do a blog post about that too...
Listening to... I had the song Invincible by Kelly Clarkson on repeat yesterday. Girl power songs can be annoying, but the lyrics for this one just resonated. And she's a powerhouse, so she pulls it off. :)
Realizing... How sleepy I am after that 2AM bedtime.
Tell me what you're up to, please and thank you! Anna out! :)
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Remember those resolutions we made at the beginning of the year? ME NEITHER! That is, I couldn't tell you what all of them were before I began writing this blog post. Hopefully, you still kept your list like I did and can now look back at it mid-year.
Join me today in pondering your resolutions, praying over them, weeding out the ones that no longer apply and possibly adding some for the remainder of the year. We made these for a reason y'all. At one time earlier this year (a sparkly, enchanting, firework-filled time), all of these were the wishes for our futures. If we want to take them seriously, we should look at them more than once. :)
Here are mine:
-Be thankful...daily connection with the Lord through his Word and prayer
-Be active...exercise 3-5 days/week
-Be gracious...small goals over time = big goals, baby steps
-Be healthy...eat REAL food
-Be focused...center on God and the work He's given me to do in all aspects of my life
-Be present...things will eventually change, enjoy THIS moment
-Be hydrated...drink 6 BKRs or 8 glasses/day
-Be respectful...give family & authority figures their due
-Be rested...bedtime's at 10:30
-Be loving...throw kindness around like confetti, don't be a miser with love
-Be refreshed...take time to enjoy beautiful, FUN and relaxing things
What are your mid-year resolutions? :)
Thursday, June 11, 2015
"For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."
- Philippians 2:13
After recently working at a homeschool convention in Sandusky, Ohio... I came home feeling different. It's how I usually feel after a trip. I am stretched and changed when placed in new environments and situations; I believe travel is one of the ways God works in me. For example, this time around I felt like I became a student of humility, teamwork, and trust just because of some of the circumstances experienced during the convention weekend.
In thinking more about how travel affects me, I began considering the different ways that God employs to teach His people. It's been argued (in my hearing) that you don't truly learn unless you've suffered long and hard. It's been argued that you won't know God's character unless you've basically been through hell on earth.
I understand that the soul wrenching moments in life will shape you like nothing else. I've been through some scary ones myself. But, in my opinion, it's often very relative to the personality of the individual. There are some who are wired to need a more significant life change in order to grasp something. Others need the passage of time. And often, it's true, God may need to lead someone through suffering before they learn the lesson He's trying to teach. But, there are those who will be changed by the whisper of an idea from God, and that can come by most any means.
In my case, my life has been changed, my heart shifted, because of watching YouTube videos, seeing a movie, reading a blog post, attending a webinar. I'm not exaggerating. There have been tears, my personality has changed, I have felt God's grace in incredibly real ways from things that were technically painless. And that's a reality.
The point of this post is more or less to ask you what ways you feel God employs to tug on your heartstrings? How sensitive are you to lessons? What off-the-wall or mundane things has He used to get your attention and reveal His character to you? And did He whisper or shout? Care to share?
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
I'm going to be out this week working my "other job" that I don't talk about very much. I'm an office administrator for a nonprofit organization here in Ohio that supports homeschooling families, and this weekend is our annual convention in Sandusky! This is our first year co-hosting with a wonderful organization called Teach Them Diligently and it's also our first year at a convention center that's a resort & water park. :) It's bound to be fun but very busy and all of my blogging muscles will be used for the organization blog, so pardon my absence here. I'll be back next week, but in the meantime you should follow along on Instagram cause things will still be hopping over there: @anna.seay :)
Be they homeschooling or not, parents that care about their children's education have my heart, y'all. It's a privilege to help the moms and dads who are able and willing to take the role of full-time educators upon themselves.
And now, I have a few links for you to look at while I'm away...
17 Pieces of Advice for New Bloggers - Excellent tips from Alisha!
The Little Blue Car That Barely Ran - This made me tear up. Beautifully written by Rachael Kincaid, I think everyone can relate to the pangs of growing up and moving on...
The Definition of Hell for Each of the Meyers Briggs Personality Types - HAHA!
Salted Caramel Brownie Skillet - This recipe makes my mouth water!
The Happy Secret to Better Work - A Ted Talk by Shawn Achor that had my sister and me in stitches! He's hilarious and inspiring. :)
See you later lovelies!
Thursday, May 21, 2015
I've been wondering this for a while. I know that most of us pray for strangers like government officials and endangered people in the news, but do you ever pray for celebrities like actors and athletes?
I never did until 2014 when I started following a couple of Olympic athletes whose story really touched me. I found myself wanting the best for them, and there is nothing on earth better for them than that they should know and love Christ. To this day, I'll still say a prayer for their salvation when they come to mind.
In that same vein, I can think of many actors and actresses I enjoy that I have a heart to pray for.
Am I alone in this? Do you pray for celebs? Think of all the great ways God could use Christians embedded in those worlds to further the Gospel...
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
This is what I learned at the Influence Network's online Creative Women's Summit last week: Everything I have and do belongs to God. My talents, my money, my time, it's all His. And so is my creativity...
I know I've already talked about this on social media, but it truly was an empowering event to sit through. I think a more appropriate name for this meet-up would've been "Pep Rally for the King's Artisans." That's what it felt like. I closed my laptop afterwards with a greater sense of purpose, responsibility and excitement about being a creative (in case you didn't know, that adjective is actually also a noun), and a desire to submit myself to Christ's every commission.
Co-mingled with the "call to action" that a pep rally typically signifies, was the sense of grace and calm being poured out for those struggling to move forward, those who are creatively burned out, and those waiting for clear direction. We were reminded that it's okay to produce for profit in order to provide for our families and continue growing our businesses. That we can depend on Him to fill us with creativity wherever and whenever He sees fit. And that His purposes are never about serving ourselves, but doing what is best for the kingdom.
It was all exactly what I needed to hear..
Some of my favorite quotes from the event:
"My surrendered life + His ways = True success" - Lara Casey
"When you tuck faithfulness into the small, secret places of your life, God is pleased. He is so pleased." - Lysa TerKeurst
"When I try to create out of my own striving, or excitement or passion or ideas...if it's not from the Lord and not His motor behind it, I burn out and feel that mantle of burden." - Haley Morgan
"Doing creative business His way, in the light, doesn't look like the world's way, and it shouldn't."
- Lara Casey
"Creatives are culture makers. Creatives are the ones who settle down and say, "Alright, let's make something outta this place.' Creatives are the ones who change and sustain and beautify, they're the ones who bring life, who bring excitement, who bring joy..." - Jess Connolly
"We are not set aside. We are set apart. God is going to use this hard situation to develop in us a character to match the calling that He knows is coming." - Lysa TerKeurst
"The dry bones are not yours to fix, it's not yours to get excited and pep yourself up and get it going again. I think it's time in those moments to abide and to wait for Him to fill you back up and to trust and know that He's going to do that." - Haley Morgan
"The world needs His light, and you're a part of that. Your paintbrush, your camera, your voice, your art, your writing is the vessel. He is the charge, though, He is the spark and our tools are just the vessel for that, so let them be used..." - Lara Casey
"What if your business wasn't about you. What if it was about other people..." - Jess Connolly
"Creativity can really be dampened and the doors can close on it, when we think we're the boss of our own creativity." - Haley Morgan
"Even in the midst of feeling wronged, or left out, or intense loneliness, or like everybody else has all the secret connections and avenues to success, and everyone else is better funded than me, blah blah blah, I have to be able to say three things: God is good, yes. God is good to me, absolutely. And God is good at being God. Therefore, I don't have to try." - Lysa TerKeurst
"Christ died on the cross for me, for me to not just know Him and be reconciled to Him, but then to worship Him, to be creative, to speak life, to bring life, to seek the welfare of my city and shift the way things happen around me. And so, yeah, I might not feel comfortable, and yeah there are things that happen weird in the creative world and there are people who are playing it crooked, but Jeremiah 29:11..." - Jess Connolly
Consider joining the Influence Network to participate in free events like this one in the future! You can use this referral link to let the wonderful ladies know that I sent you. :)
Photo credit: (1) IG: @rachkincaid (2) IG: @moriahsunde