Hi friend, it’s me, Ariana. I’m 23 years old and currently navigating some of the most formative years of my life- or the most identifying anyway. I’m beginning to realize that we all have something of value to offer if we would only let ourselves really be seen. So I’m here in my own little corner of the internet, turning the light on, and inviting you to join me for the journey.
Living with the light off
It wasn’t too long ago that I was playing pretend in my everyday life.
I’ve been high-energy, bubbly, and passionate, for as long as I (and the rest of my family, for that matter) can remember. But as a late teenager, I trained myself to hold back and tone down, in an effort to stay out of peoples’ way and just be accepted. I really wanted to be liked.
In that place, I would quiet my opinions, mute my testimony, and agree with EVERYONE. So I was accepted, for sure, but no one really knew me. As a result, I removed anyone’s chances to learn from my personal experiences or hear a perspective from me that could be helpful or challenging for them…
I know I’m not the only one who’s tried this whole ‘everyone’s-cup-of-tea’, social-chameleon thing. Right? And if you’ve been there, you know that the game is altogether exhausting. It certainly didn’t bring my life the happiness and fulfillment I hoped it would.
Words that changed everything
In that season of my life, I read something by one of my favorite authors that jumped out of the book and cemented itself onto my heart. I owe a lot to these powerful words:
“It’s a beautiful moment when someone wakes up to the reality, when they realize God created them so other people could enjoy them, not just endure them.”Donald Miller, Scary Close
Don’t you love that? I do.
And Jesus had said something first along the very same lines in his Sermon on the Mount:
Speaking to a large group, he calls his followers “the light of the world”. In a brilliant (pun-intended) analogy, he reminds them that no one would light a lamp just to cover it. We intentionally set it in plain sight instead to provide light.
Then, he followed with a compelling command:
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV).
This verse reminds me more of a lighthouse than a lamp- how intentional it is at guiding people home. That it is needed and relied upon by those at sea.
I want to cultivate a similar purpose. And I’m hoping this could be a good place to start.
Who I’m here for
Firstly, this blog is for you out there, whoever you are. I pray that what I share with you would inspire, encourage, and maybe provide some light to get you home. There should be room in my boat if you need someone to navigate the waters with. I’m trying to build an ark.
Secondly, this blog is for me, who from the age of 15 felt a deep calling to be a beacon for young women and girls.
Lastly, and most importantly, this blog is for my Father in Heaven, who sent His son to die in my place, gave His spirit to guide me, and instructs me to show up as I am and be the light in a room.
Now, I sure as heck don’t have it all figured out. However, I am writing to you today in confidence, that after years of hiding in the shadows to please people, I’m turning the light on to help them instead. I’ve learned who I am and I know who I’m not. I know what I have to offer, and that at the end of the day, my authentic self can be really good for people (& was made for people). So I’m here to share.
What I’m here to share
In keeping with the lighthouse theme, I plan on sharing whatever I find may bring light and joy to your day-to-day and can be helpful in some way. I want to share authentically from my own experiences.
If you got this far, you’ve probably noticed: I’m a pretty big Jesus fan. He happens to be my best friend too so that’s pretty cool (imagine you end up marrying your childhood celebrity crush. It’s probably like that, but cooler).
So you guessed it! I’ll be sharing about God, faith, and learning how to follow Jesus and love people well in a broken world.
But I am also going to share about the less significant topics that bring me joy. Topics like thrift shopping and living on a budget, home decorating, baking, and product recommendations. Practical and helpful everyday advice will be my love language for you. I want you to get to know me pretty well, so we’ll get personal.
I want to get to know you as well, so feel free to leave me a comment and introduce yourself. I’m so glad you’re here.