The Top 8 Articles from The Honest Pursuit Archives–dating, self-care, and life lessons in faith and confidence

Written by: Lauren Michelle Smith

Edited by: Rachele Blick 

“Strive not to be a success, but to be of value.”  

-Albert Einstein

To celebrate the 4th year of writing for The Honest Pursuit, I want to share some of the most read articles on my blog. I have learned so much about God, myself, and how to be a better friend these past few years.

I titled my blog “The Honest Pursuit” because I want to pursue a life that is meaningful, honest about the highs and lows, and full of friendship and community. Even at 25, I am still learning how to be confident in sharing my feelings and insecurities. It would be so much easier to keep this blog superficial with faithless positivity or random pretty pictures of a glued together life. But that would not be helpful for anyone. 

We are all tired of trying to keep up in the Instagram world. The unrealistic expectations of beauty and family life can make a girl feel very insignificant. I want this place to be a resource for young adults to learn how to be better friends in an increasingly divided world, while keeping the faith and moving forward in our own personal journeys in life. 

So in this second half of 2021, let’s share about our lives not for attention but for connection. 

I remember when I began this blog in 2016, other female bloggers were so easy to connect with and message on Instagram. This was a time before aesthetic feeds and Instagram #ads. We shared what was on our hearts captioned to a picture of our coffees or our feet next to a garden of wildflowers. Now it feels like most of my friends on the Internet have drifted away or got lost in the algorithm. I hope I can make new friends this year, either on the internet or in my local community.

Before we get to these most-read articles on my blog, I just want to say a big THANK YOU for reading my words these past 4 years. Thank you for reading whether you’ve been here since the beginning, just joined, or forget you even subscribed to this blog in your email. 

The best way to support me and show me what you like to read is subscribing, liking articles, commenting to connect with me, and telling your friends about my blog. I really appreciate your kindness! 

The Top 8 Articles from THP Archives 

7 Important Things to Determine who to Date 

What comes to mind when I ask you, “What do you look for in a girl or guy to potentially date?”

You might give me qualities like “compassionate to strangers” or “smart and confident.”

You might describe physical characteristics like “he has to be tall,” or “she has to have a pretty smile.” You may even add some non-negotiables that align with your religious or political morals and beliefs.

But what if we approached dating as a process of evaluation instead of seeking a fantasy person that fits some list of characteristics in our head?Click here to read more.

5 Practical Ways to Get Into God’s Word Daily  

Have you noticed that you aren’t reading the Bible as much as you’ve wanted to recently? Do you find yourself going weeks without opening your Bible except for the few moments during a church service? Lately I have asked myself these same questions, and my answer is a hard and unfortunate “yes.”

So if you answered “yes” too, let’s make some changes! It’s time to put down the distractions and pick up God’s eternal and beautiful Word. The Bible is full of incredible stories of how God called ordinary people into extraordinary challenges. It also includes encouragement through pain, instructions on how to live, and so much more!… To read more click here.

Let’s Talk About It: Self Care

Self-care is nurturing your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health regularly, if not daily. It’s taking little steps each day in our decisions and priorities toward a healthy and purposeful life. It’s listening to our bodies when we are hungry or need to sleep. It’s letting go of past hurts and fears that make us feel like we don’t deserve better, because we do. We can’t be the best versions of ourselves when we are run-down, exhausted, hungry, or discouraged. You know? It’s okay to take time for yourself to grow, heal, rest, and do what you are passionate about. You can be a light to others, but don’t leave yourself in the dark. To read more click here.

DIY: Vision Board 

If you are a dreamer, future planner, or just in the mood for a fun DIY, this one’s for you!

A few years ago, my friend Sierra inspired me to create a vision board. A vision board is a place to collect your dreams, inspiration, and goals for your life. It’s also a fun and easy project to do alone or with friends.

You can use your vision board for general dreams/ goals, wedding planning (I think it would be fun to make one with your fiancé during your engagement season to set a vision for your marriage), workout goals, faith inspiration, or mental/ emotional wellness reminders. The most important thing to remember is to make it personal, and reflect what you want in life... To read more click here.

22 Lessons from My Twenty-Second Year

Today is my last day as a 22-year-old! That’s so crazy! I’ve learned a LOT this year. My word for this year is “courage,” and I feel like God has given me so many opportunities to be courageous and grow into the woman that I am created to be. 

This past summer I had the opportunity to be a camp counselor at Kanakuk K-West in Branson, Missouri. I grew so much in my faith and maturity as a person in that place. I had 4 different jobs this year, took control of my financial life through Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey, and I graduated college!… To read more click here.

An Open Letter to the Christian Finding Jesus

To the Christian Finding Jesus,

You got some change coming your way. The environment around you won’t be the same. Maybe you’re going to a university, college, trade school, or even studying abroad! On top of that, you’re a Christian who grew up in the church, like me. You know all the songs, you know all the hand motions to those songs (“Father Abraham” ringing a bell?); you know all the Biblical stories. You know your verses like John 3:16 and Jeremiah 29:11.

But, if you’re anything like I was, you’re lukewarm. Because you grew up in the church, you know you need to read your Bible. You know you need to pray. Yet you don’t. I was in your situation, too. I grew up in a Christian environment my whole life, knowing I needed to read the Bible but stuck to the basic stories. I only prayed at bedtime with my dad growing up… To read more click here.

When Times Get Tough, We Pick Ourselves Back Up 

Last year I got a great job related to my field, but it took a huge toll on my mental and emotional well-being. I quit that job after 9 months and worked a seasonal job at a retail store to finish off the year. When I quit my job, I actually took a month off to give myself room to breathe and get perspective. I learned that no workplace or leader is perfect, but respect and compassion are needed to thrive at work. Also I learned I definitely shouldn’t bring my sarcasm to work. 

I lived through the heartbreaks of a lost romance and losing a friend to cancer. It was also heartbreaking to work in a place where I loved my co-workers, but I didn’t feel valued as a worker. Despite all of that, God still showed up and saved me from my own misery by bringing hope back into my life… To read more click here.

The Joy of Waiting 

A poem of mine!

I’m learning to enjoy the wait; to enjoy not knowing what’s next. I’m learning that maybe dreams evolve into hopes yet seen, and the path toward hope has curves and swerves rather than a straight course. Perhaps life is not a series of milestones to collect around my neck. Life is a series of choices to be courageous in little ways and big...

To read more click here.

What are your favorite posts? What do you like to read about–building faith and friendships, DIY, mental health or confidence? Let me know in the comments!

Petit à Petit, 

PS My personal favorite post recently has been How To Have A Healthy Experience in Modern Dating. The wonderful @SarahxDesign provided her artwork for this collab! Check it out here!

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