The location of this party has changed! I'm over at annaseay.com! Come join me!
Thursday, August 6, 2015
A new name, a new logo, a new website, a new blog...Next week there will be SO MANY CHANGES!!!! I can hear the collective "finally" from everyone who reads this thing. I have been talking about it for ages, but now it's real!
While researching how to rebrand effectively, I read a very encouraging blog post by Nectar Collective advising people to launch sooner rather than later because things won't ever be perfect. I've taken as long as was necessary to actually get all of these new things created. Literally. I finished this like yesterday. But, I know it's not going to be perfect.
Changing how my audience sees me, or rather, finding the right version of myself to share, was hard. Figuring out how to make the transition has been confusing. But at this point, it's time to share and be at peace with whatever people see.
I'm launching the new website, brand, blog, everything next week! Make sure you come back to check everything out! I'm excited about what I have now, and I hope you will be too!
photo by LENS Photography
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Before I left for Alabama, I saw another birthday come and go. I am now a quarter of a century old, and as I have the two previous years... 23 & 24, I'm taking a moment to mark the occasion with a blog post. Specifically, I'm sharing how I feel about my age. Here it is, 100% honest.
When I started pondering the number "25," thoughts like these flashed through my mind:
-I was supposed to be married by now.
-I was supposed to be a mom by now.
-(If neither of the above were a reality) I was supposed to be making more money by now.
-I was supposed to have written a book by now.
-I was supposed to have traveled the world by now.
The list could go on...
Those were the things I expected when I was young. And now that silly, negative little voice in my head is telling me that I didn't do what I was "supposed to do."
In looking back, there is very little that I could or would change. I know that. And at least two of those really big things listed up there are completely outside of my control.
But, as you can see, my thoughts around 25 aren't the excited, "I'm just young and living life, going with the flow, and seeing what happens!" thoughts that lots of people have. It's a downer to admit it and it may seem silly, but I've felt scared of 25's approach because all my ideas of what "on track" would look like for me at this point, haven't happened yet.
So, now what? What do I do with these expectations I had for myself?
I could do what I have done in previous years, which is maintain the status quo but let my feelings of frustration grow. I could get panicked and begin thinking of ways to drastically change where I am. I could "run off and join the circus" so to speak. Leave all the people whose lives I'm entwined with and the business I've worked really hard to build, the responsibilities I've accumulated... basically, do something reckless to try and fix what I'm feeling. But instead, I'm thinking of trying something else.
My 26th year could again be marked by the attitude I've struggled with for years...of discontentment and fighting to measure success the way Anna measures success. Or, I could turn everything on it's ear, throw away my measuring stick, open my hands, close my eyes and say, "Lord, I don't want my life to conform to my ideas, or the world's ideas. I want to follow whatever plan you've laid out for me, no matter how different or difficult it is. I don't want to feel fulfilled or successful as much as I want to feel poured out for your glory, filled up with your glory, and overwhelmed by your glory. No matter what or who or where it is, I want to do and be and go (or stay) for your name."
Honestly, I'm getting tired of feeling so disappointed with myself year after year. And I don't believe it's what the Lord intended. So, the only action I'm going to take is praying that the Lord would teach me to be satisfied with His plan. To rejoice in and enjoy it. To lay down my ideas of what a successful and fulfilled 25 year old life looks like. To take the pressure of being something "more," getting somewhere "better," and doing something "greater" off of myself. Because at the end of life, I want to be able to say that I not only lived solely to bring God glory, but that I lived faithfully believing that God's glory, and not mine, is all that really matters. My hope is that this belief marks the next year in a very real and tangible way.
Have you ever experienced, or are you currently fighting through discontentment? I know there are blessings for you in focusing on God's glory in a time like this...
Photo by LENS Photography
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?