Wednesday, April 2, 2014

coffee dates + struggles + hope

Today I'm linking up with Rachel over at Oh, Simple Thoughts for a Coffee Date!

If you read my first post here, then you know I love coffee! I love catching up with friends over coffee dates, especially if we can find a cute local coffee shop. {This month, though, I cut out going to coffee shops, so no actual coffee dates for me! I'll be writing a post about that later.} Like Rachel said, I love how friends can open up to each other over a simple cup of coffee. I've had some of the best conversations over a simple cup of joe, and it's exciting to hear how God is working in our friends lives, and then oftentimes, their reactions show me how exciting God's work is in my own life. It can be so easy to see the good going on in other people's lives, and we often forget what God has done for us in our own.

So here I sit with my travel mug full {reheated from earlier, not ideal}, and I want to share some of what's been on my heart lately...

Y'all --- the blog world is overwhelming. I enjoy writing, and I love getting the chance to have this corner of the blog world carved out for myself and Hope Collective, but I start to feel overwhelmed when I see myself at the beginning, and all that there is ahead. I get so easily distracted by all the prettiness too! haha Seriously, though, it's a blessing and a curse. I'm inspired by the beautiful spaces I see, pretty studios, perfect products, but I also get jealous and covetous. Not good, I know. So I want this space to be real --- I want to show the good and the struggles of my life, of my business Hope Collective so that others can see that believers are real people - we still struggle with sins, with ourselves and those around us. We all need God's grace, continuously, second by second.

Another thing I struggle with is my business. I almost feel like I shouldn't even call it a business yet because it is so teeny tiny. I work full-time, so it is super hard to get Hope Collective off the ground. I started this blog to help that a little bit. I get so easily discouraged about the "success" of my business, if it will ever grow, and if I'm making a difference {info on how I plan to give back coming soon}. I cannot tell you how many times I've cried about it {but my Mom and boyfriend probably could, ha!}. But, despite the struggles, annoyances, and competition, I know without a doubt that somehow God is using this/going to use this to help others. I have to trust in His timing {that is so hard}, because it just may not be the right time for my business to take off full-fledged. And that is ok. But, I have learned that it is not ok to give up...

I am learning that we must keep working at it {whatever that is for you} even when we don't see God's hand at work just yet.

I'm learning that I am so, so weak. I have so many doubts about who I am, and what I do. I struggle with guilt and shame. But I am also learning God makes and desires to make all things new! He desires us to lay down our shame and guilt, and embrace His forgiveness and joy. I feel like I'm turning over a new leaf in my life, and I can't quite put my finger on it, but it has a little to do with that - with setting aside shame, guilt and lies, and living in God's promises. We don't have to be perfect, and we never will be - but thank God for His new mercies.

"But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;" {1 Corinthians 1:27}

"Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him." {1 Corinthians 7:17}

"He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again." {2 Corinthians 1:10}

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." {2 Corinthians 12:9}

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." {Philippians 1:6}

{all verses taken from the ESV Bible}

So, if you feel like sharing in the comments, what are some things you're struggling with, and/or are joyful about right now? What encourages you to keep going when it gets tough? 

As always, feel free to email me at

I'd love to hear from you! :)


  1. This was wonderful to read. It was nice encouragement for me, personally, since I'm also just starting my own business endeavor & haven't seen the fruits of my labor yet. But I know that I just need to focusing on what I feel He is calling me towards :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're welcome - thanks for your encouragement & sharing! Us small business owners need to stick together! :) Yeah, it's hard when we don't see fruit, but He's faithful.

  2. Thanks for linking up with us Leah! Such a joy to get to hear your heart. I fully understand the struggle of worry and stress...praying the Lord richly blesses your business! much love!

    1. I'm so glad you hosted this Rachel, and I hope you do it again! Thank you, and that is an encouragement to me. :)

  3. Hey there, Leah! As another total newbie to the blogging world...HELLO, I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND. Like you, my thoughts when it comes to the blogging world often flow like this:

    "This is so much fun!"
    "Ooh! That's pretty!"
    "That would look so good on my wall/in my closet/on my dresser."
    "How did she get that many followers?!"
    "I wish I had a blog as pretty and successful as that one."
    *enter green monster of jealousy*

    Which is of course, super productive and God-glorifying. Not! I'm learning right along with you :) By the way, I think your "Beauty and the Bullet" necklaces are feminine with just the right amount of sass!

    1. Rachel, I loved reading this! So nice to know I'm not the only one that feels that way ;) And thanks for the necklace compliment! Those are some of my favorites I've made. My boyfriend goes shooting and I get the shells. It's a win-win. haha

    2. No, you're definitely not the only one! I think it's pretty common. I'm trying to maintain the mentality of creating good content and focusing less on gaining as many followers as quickly as possible, you know?

      You're right! Definitely win-win for ya'll :)