Three Keys to Living Life on Purpose

New Year's Resolutions

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop, reflecting on 2016 and planning for 2017. Looking back over this past year, I am amazed we are standing alive and well in 2018. Thanks to a Youtube video I glimpsed at in 2015, I really thought the world was going to die last year, which is why I made sure to get married in December of 2016, so I at least got a solid three weeks of married bliss. And this, my friends, is why I generally don’t watch apocalyptic movies.

But for real, I’m excited for this new year, and I am so thankful to be in this season of life Mr. M and I are in right now. Last year was a season of adventure. My word for the 2017 was Be Brave, and I believe I did put that into practice – whether that was going wakeboarding at the lake, enduring a tough summer, or learning how to gently confront someone who kept calling me Tina. I stepped out and discovered that wakeboarding is really fun and terrifying, I can do all things with Christ’s strength, and people respond graciously when you gently ask them to call you Christina instead of Tina.

When thinking about my word of the year for 2018, the first thing that came to mind was actually a phrase: Live Life on Purpose.

Living Life on Purpose

For the past few years, I feel like life has been living me rather than me living life. In 2015, I had just graduated and started a new job, so there was graciousness in that as I was trying to figure out the work/life balance. Midway through 2016 I got engaged and planned a wedding and that was an all-consuming endeavor. And 2017 brought about the navigation of newlywed life. Now here we are in 2018. A little battered, bruised, exhausted, and full of hope for this new year.

When deciding that I wanted to Live Life on Purpose this year, I knew there were three things that I had to do.

New Year's Resolutions

Turn off the TV

Mr. M and I have a really healthy coping mechanism when we are exhausted and it is called “Binge watch Empire.” When we finally caught up to season 4, we turned it off, vowed never to return, and said we needed to check ourselves because we watch WAY too much TV. In reality, we are doing something almost every single night of the week, so when we have a moment to rest and relax, TV it is. But it’s like when you decide to eat a whole bag of Doritos. It’s super tasty and fun in the moment, but then afterwards you feel sluggish and icky.

If you are wanting to live your life on purpose and more intentionally this year, what is one thing you do now that you can do less of? Find that thing, and turn it off – whether it is the TV, your phone, or unhealthy relationships.

Reevaluate My Life

Mr. M and I are both dreamers – he more so than I, but I’m learning. My problem is I have so many dreams that I never implement because I always feel too overwhelmed by the busyness and clutter in my life. Almost every night of the week, Mr. M and I have something going on – whether it’s leading our respective small groups, a church function, or spending intentional time with friends. We love our life, and we love the busyness of it.

But being a goal oriented person who is not accomplishing my dreams, it’s easy for me to be hard on myself.

And so I asked myself why. It’s because I lack discipline.

When I ran a half marathon in 2014, I trained for three months and only took 3 days off. Even when it was 15 degrees outside, I was out running. When a friend asked me why I was so crazy, I told him the truth: I’m truly a really really lazy person, so I have to be incredibly disciplined. Where did that disciplined girl go?

Into a swimming pool of queso. That’s where she went.

I’m tired of dreaming and never seeing those dreams come to fruition. I’m tired of making goals and only making it halfway there.

So it’s time to buckle down and start living life by becoming more disciplined.

When you look over your life, what is keeping you from accomplishing your goals? Spend some time reflecting on what is stopping you, and what you can incorporate into your life to be more intentionally focused towards your goals this year.

New Year's Resolutions

 Become Disciplined 

This year, I’m not necessarily making goals. Instead, I’m practicing a 12 disciplines – a discipline for each month. I haven’t quite fleshed out all my disciplines yet, but I know that I want to focus on my mind, body, and soul. I want to flourish in my spiritual walk, in my health, and in my thought life. When I am healthy in all three areas, I have the capacity to fulfill my dreams.

Over the next year, I’ll be sharing my journey with you as I walk through each discipline (for accountability.) You won’t see an military styled discipline guru over here (because I’m too emotionally weak for that), but each month I will share an update on the discipline I practiced for the month and how I measured up.

And while I’m definitely not a deacon or deaconness, I take heed to Titus 1:8: “Rather, [s]he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.”

I want to be someone who loves what is good, who has self-control, who is upright and holy, and most of all – disciplined.

So I’m saying NO to being a couch potato and YES to productivity and moving towards my dreams.

Where can you become more disciplined in your life? Think about those areas, write it down, and commit to spending a certain amount of time practicing discipline in that area of your life.


In line with the New Year, I’m looking to make some exciting adjustments for 2018 on Hugs & Lattes. I would love your input and advice! Please fill out this survey; if you put your name and email address at the bottom, you will be entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card!

When Tomorrow Doesn’t Come

Fighting those New Year’s Resolutions One Lazy Moment

at a Time

WhenTomorrow Doesn't Come

Well my lovelies, we are six days into the new year and I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. Maybe physically, too – yesterday I came home from work at precisely 5:30 and the first thing I did when I got home was fall into bed for the next hour and a half.

I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t 100% prepared for 2015 to so abruptly end. Maybe it’s because I’m still “new” at this “working” thing, and I wasn’t sure how to get back into the groove of 2016 and work after spending a lovely 6 1/2 days with my beautiful family. And as a result? I’ve not done well at all at my New Year’s “Resolutions.”

On Monday I was up by 6:45, doing my devotions, drinking coffee, and spending 15 minutes in “Creative Writing” time. This is also the day I drank 5 cups of coffee.

I LOVE my creative writing time. I separate it from “Blog Writing” time, because when I blog, I’m pounding out a post I know hope will be read. When I’m writing for myself, I get a more creative license to just write away. I also prefer to spend my creative writing time with a pen and paper rather than a screen and keypad. There is something intimidating about a blinking cursor. Plus the fact that I get to erase so easily on a computer is detrimental to the natural flow of my thoughts.

So my goal was to spend 15 minutes every day in creative writing. Winter is the perfect time to be that disheveled author who keeps a cup of coffee at hand until 5pm and then pour the red glass of wine in the evening and stay up all the crazy hours chasing her latest muse. Except I have a day job, so I can’t stay up all the late hours and sometimes red wine gives me a headache. So I desperately want to become a morning person and enjoy a quiet morning with coffee and my books and my paper. I’ve set my alarm for 6:30 every day this week and yesterday I didn’t hear the alarm go off at all and today I hit snooze for an hour.

I’m back to the old me. 

And I keep telling myself all these lies:

“I’ll do better tomorrow.”

“I’ll start working out tomorrow.”

“I’ll wake up early for sure tomorrow.”

But tomorrow never comes! Well, tomorrow does come because the sun keeps rising, but I don’t stick to my resolution to start “tomorrow.” It’s like in college when you say, “Okay, I’m going to start studying at 7:15” and you look at the clock and you see it’s 7:18 and you’re like “Oh, I’ll start at 8.” But then by 11pm you find yourself 5 episodes deep into Gossip Girl and Chuck Bass keeps smoldering, making you feel guilty to leave, but you have a study guide untouched and a heart full of regret.

Why do we do this to ourselves? I don’t have the answer, so I’m hoping you do. I’m the type of person who looks forward to setting goals for myself and accomplishing them, but I often lack the discipline to jump off and make it consistent. It doesn’t help that I’m such a procrastinator, either.

I get emails from inspirational people almost every day, and one of those is Jeff Goins of Tribe Writers. I’m not in Tribe Writers because I’m on a starting salary and that ish is expensive right now, but one day! I take advantage of all the free stuff he offers, so I’ve joined the 500 Words a Day Challenge. It’s for writers who want to accomplish their writing goals in 2016. We start off by writing 500 words a day. He says blogging counts, but for the purpose of my creative writing goals, I’m going to take blogging out of the run for me (because I can pull out 600+ words in 15 minutes on the blog. What can I say? I’m a Chatty Cathy.)


I’ve decided to stop beating myself up. So what I like to sleep until the last second in the mornings? One day I’ll learn go to bed earlier. Yesterday I did make progress – I was in bed by 11, and asleep a little after 11:30. We’ll just slowly work backwards from there. This lady loves her 8 hours of sleep each night.

I can write creatively anywhere, it doesn’t have to be in the morning. As long as I go to sleep at night having talked to Jesus and writing my 500 words, I’ll go to sleep a happy girl. At 11pm. Eventually.

What do you do to help you keep your goals each month/each year?

Don’t forget about our giveaway!!! Have you entered yet?

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Things to BE in 2016

Things to BE in 2016

As any Type A person does, I definitely made some New Year’s goals this year. I love goals, I love projects, and I love challenging myself to see what I can accomplish this year as opposed to last year. Goals are fun, and when we achieve those goals, it’s an even greater feeling.

However, this year I wanted to try something a little different. While I do have my list of things I want to “do,” this year I wanted to just “be.”

I want to be present. I am such a planner. I love to plan ahead my week, my month, the next 5 years of my life. It’s so easy to wish away the boring, quiet moments in life, but I want to practice staying in the boring, quiet moments. Sometimes it’s these moments that can be beautiful.

I want to be generous. With my time, my money, and my thoughts. I want to think less of myself and more of others.

I want to be intentional. I spend a lot of my time just going through life by going through the motions. I want to practice being intentional with whatever I do, whether it’s sitting down to write a blog, adding names into an excel sheet at work, or enjoying coffee dates with friends.

I want to be a prisoner of hope. My natural state is not to be fearful, but through the media, too many medical dramas, and negative people who cry wolf, I’ve become less hopeful and more anxious. I want to focus on enduring hopefulness, no matter the circumstances or outcome.

I want to be fully in love with God. Every Christian will probably say that God is their first love. I, too, have said this, but sometimes I don’t actually mean that. I want to mean it, though. I want to prioritize my day and my thoughts so that I make time to put God first so that I can say I am fully in love with God and mean it.

I want to be healthy and in shape. I don’t like to eat vegetables, but maybe this is my year to try and like broccoli.

What is something you want to be this year? 

24 Books in 12 Months

I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers have been posting their book goals for the year, and I wanted in on the fun. With all this time on my hands after I graduate (read: I won’t have homework anymore and I’ll be a boring adult with hopefully a 40 hour a week job), I’ll have all this extra time and I’ll need to occupy myself. 
I have this goal of becoming a lifelong learner. I don’t ever want to stop. Thankfully, my mom instilled in me the desire to read. I remember being five years old and sitting on our black couch in our evergreen living room while Mom made me go over my Phonix homework. I kept brushing my blonde bob cut hair out of my face, and giving mom a very frustrated look, maybe it was because she had cut my hair into a bob, or maybe it was because I had better things to do on a hot day than sit inside and learn how diphthongs work. My jaw began to hurt from clenching it so tightly with annoyance, and my throat had a huge lump in it. (I’ve been cursed with this desire to cry when I’m frustrated.) 
I am so thankful that my mom made me learn phonics, though, because where would I be now? Ever since then, I’ve had a love for books. Book Fair day was my favorite day of school back in elementary school. I had all the kids versions of the Classics. 
Since college started, I don’t have as much time to read for fun like I used to. But soon that all will change. I hope. And these are the books I want to read this year! 
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – Donald Miller
 Ok, it was on the list, but I already finished it last week. Still counts, right?

Jesus Is – Judah Smith
 I have had this book on Kindle for a couple years now. I saw Judah Smith speak at Passion and I loved how he portrayed the gospel so bluntly and realistically. I’ve read a few chapters, but I definitely want to finish it this year! 

Jesus Feminist – Sarah Bessey
 I used to read Sarah Bessey’s blog daily. In this day and age, “feminist” has a bad connotation, but I believe Christian women can and should be feminists. I want to explore more on the topic.

Yes, Please – Amy Poehler 
I’m in love with Amy Poehler. If Bossypants by Tina Fey made me laugh out loud, I have no doubt Leslie Knope will crack me up as well.

Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neal Hurston 
This has been on my shelf since my amazing second-hand bookstore finds back in the summer, and I have still yet to finish it! 

Evidence Not Seen:  A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of WWII – Darlene Deiber Rose
My Aunt suggested I read the book, so read it I will!

The Art of War for Writers – James Bell Scott
Because I’m a writer, duh.

Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Because my boyfriend’s name is Pai, duh. Just kidding. 

The Waves – Virginia Wolf
Yet another bookstore find that I haven’t even opened yet.

Jacob’s Room – Virginia Wolf
This is in the same book as The Waves. Two for the price of one? Ok ok, I feel you Ms. Wolf.

The Road – Cormack McCarthy
I tried to read The Road back in my early high school days, but it went wayyy over my head, so hopefully with a more mature lens I can appreciate the art of McCarthy’s style.

Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
Everyone’s obsessed, and I need to know why.

Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
Because food and Jesus. (I know, she’s Hindu or something of the sort.)

Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
I found this book outside an antique store for $1, and so I said, “Why not??” I’m currently reading this one, and so far I am absolutely loving it. 
Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling is hilarious, and I’ve heard amazing things about it. If her Instagram feed makes me smile, then I know I definitely have to check out the book.

The Silver Linings Playook – Matthew Quick
I love love loved the movie, and even though I’m a book –> movie snob, I’ve seen it recommended on Goodreads.

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
I remember a lot of my friends talking about this book in high school, and I really enjoyed the movie, so now I want to try the book as well!

A Land of a Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini 
Because I heard this one was even better than The Kite Runner

The Divergent Series
I really really really didn’t want to read these books, but my curiosity is taking over. Hopefully it’s as good as everyone says it is.

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith
I bought this book once I found out the author was actually J.K. Rowling, and I got half way through and quit. It’s not as good as Harry Potter, but it definitely deserves a second chance. 

No Country for Old Men – Cormack McCarthy
Yet another second hand bookstore find that I have heard wonderful things about. This is another book I’m halfway through and haven’t finished. 

The Shack – WM. Paul Young
Because my boyfriend wants me to read it.

I Know why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou is such a timeless and influential author that I really want to read something of hers, so here I am finding out why the caged bird sings. 

Scary Close – Donald Miller
I’m in love with Donald Miller and his books. I almost pre-ordered this book, but I have so many books on my plate I can wait until it’s been out a few months. 
Looking at all these, I guess the theme should be: “Finish all the books I’ve started over my life in 2015.” Almost half of these books I’ve started and quit. I admit, I’m a total book snob. I’m hard to please.
But what about you? 

What books are you reading this year? If you have a whole post about it, leave me a link in the comments so I can check it out!