Sunday, July 14, 2019

Miniature Life Update | Summer 2019

It's July! We've reached the half-way point of 2019. How is this possible?
At the beginning of 2019, I started a new project on the blog that had me writing content based around monthly themes. It was fun for a while, but then blogging started to feel like a chore again - and I felt like I was letting people down if I didn't churn out enough posts for the month. The pressure came only from myself, of course, but it was enough to make me want to bow out of blogging for a while.

Then summer happened.

June and July have been such transformative months for me. I started working out again, I went back to Bible study, I stopped hiding. I think I'm finally beginning to experience healing in certain areas of my life that I've long-held insecurity over. Instead of letting me isolate myself, the Lord has been gently nudging me out of my comfort zone into community. I'm meeting people, making friends, opening up. As an INFJ (read: Capital H Hermit), this is a huge deal for me. And the progress I'm making at work and with personal goals has really grown my confidence and restored my joy.

But where does that leave this blog?

Honestly, I'm not sure. I created Acoustic Erin back in 2013 as a random, fun place to post my thoughts. Then it slowly grew into something I felt like I had to maintain for others. My day job is in marketing and communications, so the last thing I want to do is come home and worry about branding, marketing and designing this blog. UGH. I mean, it should be something fun for me - an outlet. All of the blogs I admire are more concerned with writing posts that read more like poetry than promotion. These bloggers write for themselves, to document their own journeys, and it shows. I freaking adore that.

So this space might get a small makeover.

Not in terms of design, necessarily. But I wouldn't be surprised if I continue to dial back my posting and only write when I feel like I genuinely have something to say. That might mean more randomness, more music recommendations, I'm not sure yet. But I do know that it's important for me to return this space back to its original intent - as an outlet for me to post about whatever, whenever, instead of worrying about SEO, my posting schedule or being the World's Best Blogger. 

Yo, I'm just here to share memes.

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What about you?

How has your summer been?
Has anyone else already binged Stranger Things 3?
(Please keep the comments spoiler-free if possible, but WOW, that season was the jam!)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

QUIET | Why Being Quiet Isn't Being Lazy (Guest Post by Victoria Grace Howell of Wanderer's Pen)



Today on the blog I have a special treat for you: A guest post written by the one and only Victoria Grace Howell of Wanderer's Pen! I was so excited when Victoria reached out to collaborate, and am so happy to share her essay on why time spent being QUIET and restful isn't time wasted. Without further ado....let's jump into her essay!

I spent my childhood around a previous generation that believed
hard work was the key to success in life.

They’d work themselves to the bone to keep their families going and/or to pursue their dreams. For years, I adopted this practice because it felt like if I wasn’t working myself into exhaustion, I was being lazy. I’d take on tasks from waking till sleeping and I was productive, yes, but so exhausted. While I felt like I was accomplishing so much, at the same time I was withering and suffering from burnout.

Going on the occasional vacation never felt restful enough because although I was away from work, I was still going, going, going -
just for recreation instead of a paycheck.

It wasn’t until I was working a day job, involved with three different writing organizations, trying to write my own stories, and being diagnosed with depression and anxiety that I realized I have to take some regular time to be QUIET. I highly do not recommend coming to such a low place to have such a revelation, but I do strongly recommend finding time within a week or even every day to rest and reflect. I’ve started taking one rest day a week where I sleep in, relax, and not burden myself with a never-ending to-do list. I also take an hour or two every day to just refresh myself before
going to bed.

I know not everyone can take a day out of the week, but try taking an hour or two every day to just do things for you.

Watch a show, read Scripture, take a walk, draw, whatever brings you joy. Spending time being QUIET is like hitting the refresh button. When a web browser page has been working too long, you often have to hit the refresh button to get it working again. You have to do that with yourself, too.

Since taking that time, I've felt even more productive, I've slept better, my mental health has improved, and I've felt like my life is fuller.

 I believe strongly in hard work, and I don’t by any means believe it is a bad thing, but it needs to be balanced with QUIET and peace, too. Resting doesn’t equal laziness.

Erin here: Can we all just give it up for Victoria?

I loved reading her thoughts on taking time to wind down, because it truly does make us more joyful and productive in the long run. And I believe it vastly improves our quality of life. A big thank you to Victoria for sharing these thoughts!!
Everyone go give her blog some love!

What about you?

What kinds of things do you like to do to prioritize your self care and QUIET time? For me, it's all about listening to new music, taking a park walk, writing my novel and watching Harry Potter movies with my family. Thanks again to Victoria for the awesome essay! Have a stellar weekend, my dudes.

This is the second post in the QUIET series.
Miss last week's post? Fret no more, find it right here.
Or click here to read through all the posts in the QUIET series.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

QUIET | Why I Want to Say Yes to More Quiet Time in May





Easter morning was spent on the back porch of my parents' house in the country, swathed in a sweater and drinking chai tea. The day before, what seemed like my entire extended family arrived to celebrate, but the next morning was quiet, still. There is a certain amount of peace surrounding these kinds of places that words can't do justice. Whenever I visit small towns and this little country house in particular, I feel whole. My only job is to unplug and be present.

Even so, I don't always do the best job of this.

Our lives are so easily filled with noise these days. I'm not saying that we all need to move out to the country to escape it all (wait that's exactly what I'm saying) but I think we have to find ways to cope with the constant surge of sound present in our daily lives. At least in my own experience, any given day can be filled with noise from the media, social networks, texts, emails, music, even my own thoughts. That's why this month will be devoted to posts about pursuing QUIET.

The posts will kind of piggyback on last month's theme, VOICE.
I think that we can create best and really have an impact with our words
when we take time away from everything and rest in the silence.

So, what does QUIET look like? Why should we value it, and what does it mean in terms of places, faces and mental spaces? (I promise I'll stop rhyming; it was just super good timing. OOPS.) I hope to explore posts about this in May, and *throws confetti* we will also have a special top-secret guest poster sharing her thoughts as well!

As always, if you guys have anything you'd like to
see me post about this month, let me know!

I'll leave you with a verse that has been a favorite this year (emphasis mine):

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life,
to mind your own business and to work
with your hands, just as we told you."
- 1st Thessalonians 4:11

I don't know about you, but the quiet life sounds pretty darn lovely to me.

      What about you?

      What do you do to step away from the noise of everything? What kinds of activities do you enjoy that allow you to unplug from the constant stream of sound?
      Hoping your May is off to a stellar start! 🌸


      It's the first post in the QUIET series!
      Which I actually managed to publish on the first day of the month.
      Not too shabby if I do say so myself!