I suppose I have wanted to start a blog for a long time now, but I have always had the usual excuses: No time to write, nothing to write about, and no one to read it. Those are all exaggerations, of course; yet still they have held me back, afraid to start something I wasn't sure I could finish, afraid to open myself up only to fail miserably. I can't say I no longer feel that way, only that my desire to move forward is stronger now than my fear of falling short. Today I am full of hope and excitement as I embark on this new journey and I am thankful you have chosen to join me along the way. For those who are curious, the title of my blog ("Growing Is Beautiful") was inspired by an art project I am currently working on and will be posting about soon. I had a hard time coming up with a name, and in truth, my first choice was already taken by someone else. Now that I have settled on this title, though, it feels perfect for who I am and what I want this blog to represent. As I look back on my life, it feels messy and emotional, fraught with mistakes and unexpected difficulties. But the overarching theme is one of change and growth--a gradual (though not always steady!) progression towards strengthened faith, deeper love, and greater hope. In the day-to-day process, though, it is easy to focus on how messy and confusing this growing business can be. I need to be reminded that when God looks at me and sees even the tiniest bit of growth, He rejoices over me with singing and calls me beautiful. I don't know what will come of this blogging adventure, but I am more than ready to take the first step and trust God with everything that comes after it.