A Life Extraordinary

We get one life, so lets live!

The Beautiful Journey


Notice anything different around here?  Just a little bit?  Isn’t it so pretty?  It’s still a work in progress, but I’m happy with how it’s turned out so far.

So where did the inspiration for this change come from?  Well let me just say it was about time.

I’ve officially been back in the US for 17 straight months.  This is the longest period I’ve been home since I graduated from High School in 2003, and it’s weird.

Actually weird is a very good word to sum up these last 17 months.  Weird, weird, weird.  Mostly because I’m not quite sure how to live here anymore, and yes, it’s weird.

Blue Skies and Blueprints represented a season for me.  It was a blog that was originally created to document my life in Bolivia.  Even the name was inspired by Bolivia.  The first time I laid eyes on the country during the long bus ride to La Paz from Puno, Peru I made a note on my iPod stating “the bluest skies I have ever seen are in Bolivia,” and it was definitely true.  As for the blueprints part, that represented the life I expected to build there.  I honestly thought I could be in Bolivia forever, but we all know that’s not how it played out.   I occasionally reflect back on my time there and wonder if I made the right choice, coming home after only 3 months.  It wasn’t an easy decision by any means and after about 5 minutes of reflection I remember it wasn’t a healthy ministry to be involved in, at least not at that time.  So all in all, the decision to leave was the right one.

Reflecting back on Bolivia

**(Reflecting Back on Bolivia.  There were a lot of joyful moments in those 3 months)**

I let the blog continue on long past my return to the states because I wasn’t ready for change.  Maybe it was a little frustration over what had transpired, a lot of it was lack of creative desire.  Something that you probably saw reflected here.  Compared to previous years and previous blogs I haven’t had much of an online presence these last 17 months.

Really I just didn’t care anymore.

Every now and again inspiration would strike and I’d be able to crank something out, but for the most part I felt dry.  Like all the excitement had been sapped from my life and I no longer knew what to write or how to write.

It was a pretty crappy season if I can be so candid. I wasn’t happy at all and I often wondered why, when I’d been able to experience a life in full richness did I have to slog through this period of dull heaviness.

The good news about seasons though, are that they change.  Always.  And it isn’t until the leaves start to turn that you have a full realization of why that season existed in the first place.

These past 17 months I didn’t learn a handful of lessons about myself.  There were no monthly epiphanies or late night journal sessions.  But God was still teaching me and in the end I feel like I learned one of the most important lessons of all.  I learned that without Christ true happiness and true joy do not exist.  They just don’t.  I’ll be completely honest, when I was in Bolivia I had awesome God times, but when I got back I felt so burned that I didn’t have the desire or the energy to continue, and let me just say, it made a HUGE difference in my life.  I didn’t cut out God completely.  That is something I could never do, I just didn’t seek him like I should.  I didn’t cultivate my relationship with him and I certainly could have loved him better.  I felt this distance daily.  In loneliness, hopelessness, sadness, frustration…

These feelings sucked, but through it all I finally saw it.  The truth.

Without God I have nothing.

Without God I am nothing.

So that brings me to now.  The leaves are once again changing in my life and I’m slowly transitioning from one season to next.  A lot of changes are coming.  Some more immediate and some to grow over time.

A Beautiful Journey

With this changing of seasons needed to come a change of my blog, hence The Beautiful Journey.  I’ve come to realize that life is an incredible opportunity.  The excitement is not only in the big adventures, but in the daily routine, the pleasant surprises and quality time.  The beauty isn’t only in the interesting and exotic but it the simple pleasures. Raindrops on your window, a cup of hot chocolate on a cold morning, a view of snowcapped mountains.

Every day from God is a gift.  A precious treasure not to be wasted no matter how ordinary it may seem.  Life really is a Beautiful Journey and I intend to treat it that way.

As for the content of this blog, it may change, it may not.  I intend to write about what I love and what I’ve learned.  That could be anything from a DIY project, to unexpected adventures to what God’s teaching me.  I’ve never wanted my blog to fit a mold, just to be a true reflection of me.

I hope you’ll come along me.



Author: Manda

Hello! I'm a lover of adventure, budgets, creativity, and living life to the fullest!

2 thoughts on “The Beautiful Journey


  2. I’ve read something on the internet several times…something like this: Don’t waste your time worrying about your past. Don’t be anxious about your future. Just live for God and share Him with others today wherever you are!

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