Envision. Create. Conquer.

Encouragement from my fellow boss babe, Alexandra Wilson.

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As we approach the mid-year mark, I feel my mind begin to shift into perspective of self-reflection. I’m overflowing with love, gratitude, motivation, and humility as I prepare to finish the year strong. Flash back: 2 years-ago I was a collegegraduate and wasn’t sure how my journey would look, but I knew I had the power to create it on my own terms. I reached out to an old employer, to propose that I help rebrand their fashion boutique. I had worked with them in-store as a stylist/sales associate for eight months, so I was familiar with their brand and clientele. That immediately turned into a full-time Public Relations opportunity where I taught myself the ins & outs of building a brand and connecting with your community.

Now, if you are familiar with PR you already know that the #1 rule is:”If you don’t know, get familiar akafake ittil’ ya…

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The Right Kind of Control.

My beautiful friend and her insight on control & letting go. <3

Journey to Within

The wrong kind of control has infiltrated society. Several times over the past few years, I have been encouraged to use personal control as a means to create whatever life I want for myself. This idea is very powerful, requiring us to acknowledge the power of our decisions and the effect of that power on our day to day lives. However, we have been mislead as to the source of this power and have become a culture of unstable, selfish, power-hungry people. The wrong kind of control says, “you have the sole power to create the life that you desire.”

Like Frodo on his quest to destroy the Ring of Power, we are taught that only we have the ability to create the life that we want. The major problem with this is that first of all, we don’t live in the Shire, and more importantly, we are limited, created…

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One Year In

There were a handful of ways I could have began this. A myriad of statements of victories and defeats, broken paths and restored visions. A year ago this week I walked out onto my balcony of my first apartment in Austin, Texas and quietly sobbed like a baby. In that moment, I felt the immense weight of what I had just done. Both painfully fearful and hopeful that I hadn’t just made the biggest mistake of my life.

For three years I had waited for the truth placed on my heart to come to fruition. I saved up my money, packed up my car, left my life in California because “God was leading me to Texas”. That’s all I had. As insane as it sounded (& still sounds to most). No job, no school pursuits, no relationship, nothing but a nagging, hope-filled promise that He won’t lead me somewhere that He cannot be found.

Forgive me if the curated social media posts of words and images made it look like leaving and settling has been easy. The growing pains have been real. So very real. I’ve cried a bit since then. I’ve distrusted my intuition many times over just to stand even stronger on it. The ugly head of anxiety found its home in me. Some days I coped well, some days I did not. It’s been lonely and my heart has ached over dinners for one. But to be reminded that God is not only God, but Father and friend, protector and confidant has been so very vital to my journey out here.

I’ve said yes to dance partners (I’ve got so much to learn, y’all), dates, coffee meet ups with strangers I met on Instagram (clearly, I’m still alive), solo exploring, nights out with coworkers and new friends, kayaking on the Colorado River, art shows, music concerts, food trucks, live painting as ministry. I’ve been able to share my space and cook a meal for a friend and I’ve lived off money that was supposed to be used for laundry because life is like that sometimes. With relief I no longer call myself a graphic designer, but an artist -a painter, an entrepreneur, a boss babe. I say “y’all”.

I’ve tried my best to keep up with loved ones in the west while attempting to cultivate my new friendships down south. To both large audiences and one-on-ones I’ve spoken about the heart behind what I do and the who that led me here. I’m learning intentional intimacy.

And for someone who initially thought she would just be an observer of the art scene in Austin, I never thought I’d build this much or have this much support in the last 365 days. I’m still begging for more. More connection in my work and the people I meet because of it. More boldness, the realization of my worth and the unfathomable things God can do through me. My heart grows for this city and the people in it everyday.

I’ve felt hopeful and hopeless, confident boldness and crippling insecurity. I’m learning to be comfortably uncomfortable on a daily basis. I’ve got more mosquito bite scars than I can count and I’ve prayed more prayers than I have uttered in years. There are times where I’ve never felt so very close to God and moments where I didn’t think I could feel so far apart from Him.

And yet, I never stop hearing, “I love you. I know you. I see you. I believe you can do this. I know you can do this. I’ve got you covered. Victory, victory, victory.”

This is just the beginning for me and I am so ready.

 

Feel free to keep up with my art practice through my newsletter at www.arielle-austin.com, on Instagram or Facebook.

Dígame

Beautiful as Fire

Tell me about the first person you loved. Tell me about how they loved you and you loved them. How you stopped and why. Or if that concept cannot yet be understood. Give me the number of lessons you learned and if you’re still counting. Show me this list of each rich and poor moment. Is it written in cursive? Are there pictures in the margins?

Tell me how you sat, day in and day out, cradling the heaviness that was knowing everyday would carry their name somehow. How the silver screen in your head  exhausted the replays of instances and the memory table of your heart turned scraps into feasts. How did it taste?

Now, tell me of the day it all felt different. The day you couldn’t even write about that person if you tried. Or the, now foreign, name that used to lay on your tongue like…

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To Be and Be Seen

“To Be and Be Seen”, Acrylic on Canvas

I’m currently sitting here with the open book of the Gospel of Mark on my left and a scarcely touched How To Avoid Falling In Love With A Jerk on my right. I’m at an interesting place out here. And by out here I mean, Texas. It happened. I’m three months in and waste deep in God’s grace. No, more like in over my head with it. This move has been both peaceful and terrifyingly stretching and at the same time I want to both anxiously run for my life and stand with arms wide in the middle of it and be everything I’m called to be. Yet, every day my heart feels the pull it will take to get there. I’m at an interesting place.
Early on someone asked me how differently I felt being here than when I was back in Los Angeles. The first thought that came to mind was, “I feel seen here.” I can’t quite describe it.

Don’t hide. Don’t hide, Arielle. You weren’t made to hide.

That whisper. That command. It plays over and over again. From before I left to now. Every time I want to run. Retreat. Go “home” to the familiar. The safe.
I’m learning who I am apart from every person, place and memory that has made up the last 26 years of my life. Who is this God in me 1400 miles away from where I first met Him? What does He look like surrounded by, yet never once contained to this Texas sky? What does HIs love, our love, my love look like here in between these city lines? Can I really be the person I’m called, intended and want to be?
If there was a single lesson we learn over and over in this life (next to learning humility) it’s patience. Patience for God. Patience for ourselves. Patience with others. That’s what I’m learning here. In this moment.
And when I look up at the sky for the thousandth time each day and ask God, “Why? Why do you have me here?” I feel a patient response of, “Just enjoy right here, right now. Just be and let yourself be seen. I’ve got you.”
There may never be a flashing neon sign that points to a flashy openly dramatic reason why I’ve been called to this life, but my original “why” is the very maker of heaven and earth and the soil I get to make “home” on right now. And that is a big enough reason to ‘be and be seen’. He’s got me.

“His ultimate concern is not to get you or me from point A to point B along the quickest, easiest, smoothest, clearest route possible. Instead, His ultimate concern is that you and I would know HIm more deeply as we trust Him more completely.”


– David Platt, Follow Me

The Promise

I was a few minutes into a “this was a huge mistake” breakdown, until I was prompted to write. It’s been a while.

It’s been said that we must live by faith and not by sight. Well, I’m going to need to be equipped with ten times more faith than this mustard seed I’ve been anxiously twirling around in my pocket. Three years ago, this month, I was talking to a friend about summer plans and the future. As she was listing off grad schools she was preparing to apply to , “California, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas…” something  quickly stopped short in me. It was like a halted moment in time that made so much sense. “I’m supposed to go there,” my heart spoke. It was so confident, so sure. I am supposed to go to Texas.

At that point I had a whole year of school left, so I didn’t think much of it. But in my prayers I would occasionally ask God, “What could I possibly do for You in Texas?” At the time I had no dreams, no vision for my life past Tuesday. That’s just how it was. And this? This crazy, random hold on my heart made no sense. But it began to be the only hope I had.

Cleaning dishes late in the night at my food service job, unamused at my desk during my “dream” internship, suffering through LA traffic, battling through a season of post-grad depression and loneliness, painting through my frustrations – this is what I’ve held onto through it all. This God given promise that my life would be bigger than my city limits, deeper than the darkest part of me, larger than the power of my flesh, wider than what my own small mind could dream. For His glory.

So as I move from leap of faith to leap of faith into this season of my life, I’m betting on a promise that since before time began my life was specifically made for a purpose. In character and calling. This moment in time is not the cap for me, just like all the moments before this. I’m betting everything on God’s faithfulness. That’s the only thing I’ve ever known to be constant and true. If I just let go and trust long enough I’ll get the privilege to see how big God truly is.

He is worthy of so much more than our doubts, I’m learning over and over again. You can have just as much faith as those who have been called before. You can be used for just as many wonderful things as the next person. Do you want it?

“You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.”

-Katherine Center

Please proceed to step out of the woods.

And maybe you need this, too. Today, I know I did.
“This world needs you. It’s scary, crazy-broken and it needs you. And let me be clear– it needs all of you. And that means you must be willing to backburner your own insecurities so that you can become who this world so desperately needs right now. It needs the strongest version of you. The kindest version.”

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You are more than the things you tell yourself on repeat. 

My god, you have no idea how badly I want to believe in those words. I want to say them on repeat. I want to grab people in public places and just shake them real good while those words shoot out of my mouth like promises I know I can keep.

You are more than the things you tell yourself on repeat. 

I wrote them in my palm. I kept opening and closing up my hand just so I could see those words, suck them in, believing for longer than a second that the words are true. They’re written in ink. I never want to stop reading them. I keep thinking they’ll act like a cloak that hangs over my shoulders and keeps me protected from the doubt and the insecurity that try to come crawling beneath my…

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Awaken

Because I’ve been so grateful for the state of my heart and mind lately. I could run around in a field or something-praising the God of my life all the way through.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Beautiful as Fire

It wasn’t too long ago that I was driving, sun setting in my rearview mirror, that I felt my heart awaken to a dream I’d thought was a prisoner of my past. Like a box of butterflies that had just been opened or that one puzzle piece that was misplaced under the box; it came as a sense of relief and excitement. To me, it was another beautiful reminder of mercy and grace.

Mystery aside, I was reawakened to the idea that I truly am worthy of that relationship my heart has always longed for. In the mentality of my past and some shame of my yesterdays, that hope got buried away. I lost the idea that the companion I had truly held out for would ever be mine to merit.

Then, like a light emerging in a dim room, I was reminded that I am not my yesterdays. From…

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