"I am not where I began, but I am not quite where I want to be." // Find Your Motivation

We need to stop living in survival mode, we need to start living in significance mode.

     It is that time of year again. Summer, full of excitement, new, extravagant adventures, friends, experiences, timeless moments, dreams & coffee dates, are all coming to a close. It is painful, bittersweet, challenging, & stressful. Our hearts feel the relentless tug of rebellion & the adamant "I will put down my foot" stubbornness towards school, schedules, & deadlines. How do we fight it? How do we maintain passion, excitement, & ultimately the fire within our souls that long for an exciting, free spirited life?
     I can not say I have figured out the crossed "t" and dotted "i" of how to maintain this extravagant, spontaneous, life that accumulates over the summer, but I can share my personal motivations & advice that I myself am going to put into action this school year. Along with beautiful words of encouragement from readers like YOU! 
     Personally, I am full of anticipation & excitement for what is in store this year. This past year has overflowed with change & while I still find that "change" is this relentless, reoccurring, motion in our lives, I can confidently say I am grateful to be where I am in these moments.
 "I am not where I began, but I am not quite where I want to be."

          One of the heaviest struggles that has come my way is balancing school & business. I love the intentional investment that I am able to pour into my work & the people around me during the summer, but school always seems to suffocate that to an extinct existence. This creates goal number one..


Intentional, Pursuing, Friendships // Proverbs 27:5-6 "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

     Surrounding your environment/world with friends who are intentionally investing in you & you in them is critical to maintaining that flame in your heart for the Lord. They fight to uplift you & push you towards Jesus, who ultimately refreshes you, propels you forward, & equips you to accomplish excellence in your school work & business. I find myself often compelled to cave into the desire of my flesh, leading to disappointment & exhaustion. I have found the blessings in the smallest of moments & when your heart is set on the hidden blessings that only few a man can see, you will find such life, excitement, beauty, & treasure in the day to day recurrences. This year, I am going to be intentional with my time & intentional with my surrounding. I will fight to fill my ears with uplifting words, my eyes with moving moments & I pray life & refreshment would roll of my tongue. 

Scripture // "Most of us don't need more information; we need power. We don't need inspiring words about God; we need the inspired presence of God's spirit breathing life into us." -Chris Hodges "Fresh Air"
     While this "goal" might seem like something you have always seen, it is the most important. Devotionals have always been that thing that I reserved 10min. to max each day & not until recently was I convicted about not holding scripture as ultimate authority in my life. I never realized that my tendencies of feeling "stuck" where simply because of my lack of honor & admiration for the one thing in this world that would propel me forward. Not only that, but Jesus deserves our everything. Walking in step with His spirit each second of everyday, that is real life. That is our true reality. Do not take this lightly, because with out Gods word, yes, the words spoken out of His mouth, for you, you will go nowhere. Let the Holy Spirit breath life into your every day.

Time Management // John 3:30 "I must decrease so that he may increase."
  "Hello time, it is nice to meet you!" Time is my enemy and priorities my struggle. If your a schedule/timeline kind of person, then do it! If your not, I encourage you to find a way to love it. It is not easy and never will be, but if we are diligent with our time and efforts, we will find relaxation & say farewell to anxiety! Living life free of worry allows room for the joy of your salvation in your heart & keeps your thoughts focused on treasures in heaven. It is a beautiful thing. Set aside time to enjoy the Lords presence in your life, whether that be sitting down with a coffee & reading a book or going out for a jog while filling your ears with worship music. Time can be your worst enemy or your best friend, spend it wisely.

 That's my two cents! I truly do hope this post will encourage those of you reading as I think we all secretly struggle with this as young entrepreneurs. I can not say with confidence that this is the answer or that I have cracked the code, these are just simple guidelines I have given myself for this year personally & would love to hear yours! I have attached a few "testimonials" as you could call them, from every day girls to hopefully provide different outlooks & views down below. If you feel like sharing we would love to hear how you fight burn out in the comment section below. The best of luck & most valiant of prayers to you as you begin a new chapter in your life this school year! Treasure every moment.
Sarah Delanie

Briana DeWeese, Owner of Bree's Hope Photography // In new seasons, from one to the other, it does get easy to become sluggish and burned out on life. I've found a couple of things that challenges and keeps me motivated to reach goals, create new ones, accomplish goals, and LIVE LIFE. Finding a good routine is one of them. Do your thang, get up and go for a jog, have some quiet time, drink a cup of coffee. Grab those little things that you enjoy and put a little something together just for you. That "little something" is that thing that I can look forward to day in and day out and it continually builds me up. Throw in a short (or long) Bible study and that REALLY keeps you going. It's part of the food to each day and gets you pumped for what God has in store. It makes me so excited for what He has and THAT is what genuinely keeps me motivated. I love changing up that "little something" in between seasons always giving me something to look forward to!

Amanda Bourne, Student at Marymount University // I've found that intentionality makes me stay focused in day-to-day college life. It might be something as simple as incorporating a new idea into my study routine, or a new scripture reading into my devotionals. I try to remain intentional in my interactions with others as well. If I know someone is going through a hard time, or is feeling drained, I try to put in a little extra - be it sending them a good morning text or telling them how great they look. I also try to maintain weekly involvement with my professors outside of the classroom. Obviously, I am not able to do this with some professors, but for the professors in my major (especially), I try to come to office hours once a week, or just poke my head in and say hello. By being intentional with other people, I motivate myself throughout the semester.

Bethany Aleshire, Founder of Shine & Soar Magazine // School time is school time and personal time is personal time. If I mix either of these together - my enjoyment of either goes way down. And I get no weekend time or Sabbath. Slow + steady on business - keeping things regular and not dramatic, like spending 5hrs building a newsletter or staying up to 3am editing photos. As much as I love doing both, that's unwise because I feel out of it the next day or feel guilty when I glance up at the clock and half of the day is gone. So an hour at the end of the day, everyday, to work on business is something I'm trying to do. Waking up early fuels me up and makes me feel like a powerhouse. I also sprinkle in purposeful + filling breaks. Not just checking all my social media...that drains me. Things like watching my favorite vlog, listening to pop hits + having a dance party, or reading a favorite book on the bus from the way home from school...these breaks fill me. It's a fight to stick to my boundaries, but truly having time off + not being worried about school to do's is invaluable.

Shelby Alexis, Owner of Shelby Alexis Photography // You wake up in the morning to the sun streaming through the blinds hitting you in the face. Rub your eyes and think to yourself, "NO SCHOOL!". Well, those days are NO more. You have novels to read, essays to write, and math homework a mile long. This being my Senior year I know it will be insane at times and in the end incredibly rewarding. This next year my prayer is that I will have motivation to wake up every morning ready to hit the ground running and with a zeal for the Lord to share his love to world. The verse I keep reminding myself is, Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." Whether it's your first year of high school or your final year in college. Don't do anything for yourself or fellow man. God has a plan and like anyone we may be uncertain at times of His plan for you. He is always there. Never changing. Just do everything for His glory; NOT yours.

Catherine Marsh, Founder of You're Awesome Awards // WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS - on one sheet write "Personal Goals", on a second sheet write "School Goals" and on a third write "Business Goals" - and under each write down those goals! - this helps me get focused and have an overview of what I would like to accomplish ! (If you want a more focused idea - check out Lara Casey's Blog! http://laracasey.com/blog/)

Ciera Chante, Creative Director of Shine & Soar Magazine // What keeps me fired up is celebrating the everyday. Using that fancy lip gloss I’m saving for a ‘special day’, painting with watercolors, or wearing my favorite outfit are some of the ways I like to celebrate. I’m learning that those ‘special days’ may or may not come so to celebrate them here and now while I can enjoy it. I schedule a little creative time in each day to help me maintain my passion + fire in my business and life. Another thing that I love to do is spontaneous surprises for my friends + family. It’s a great way to love on others plus, it always ends up blessing me a whole lot more than it does them. I love to see their face when I show up on their front door with their favorite Starbucks drink in hand. For my out of state/long distance friends I love to send care packages & letters as well as leaving little notes on their social media sites.


Troubled Waters :: To be Cleansed

As you grow tired, as the busyness of life drags you down, never forget that through the bad and the good God is cleansing you. Molding and shaping you.... Transforming you. He is giving you an opportunity to relinquish your life plans and let go of yourself to become who He created you to be.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the
 mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar
and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 
Psalm 46:1-3

Embrace the challenge. Be cleansed. Pursue Christ and use these moments to chase greatness.



Vlog Two: Balancing Life

Today, Mackenzie and Bethany are talking about balancing life and being intentional with our time as summer is ending and school is starting. If you have any tips/tricks that help you keep organized and intentional with your time, share them in the comment section below!



Try Something New

Inspired by this quote? Let us know in the comment section below what you are going to try next!


Sweet Serenity & Incomprehensible Glory

A slow breeze & a steady rain.

     Sitting on a black rocking chair with an assortment of flowers to my right & a tiny red tricycle to my left all underneath a covered, wooden, patio. White, french, doors open & close with new faces coming in & out. There is a soft thunder in the distance.. or maybe it is a plane.

     While the birds chirp & splash in all their delight I feel as though I am starring into a reflection of what I desire my spiritual life to reflect.

A slow breeze & a steady rain.  

     Tiny rain drops find their way onto vibrantly red flower petals while the pesky, little, pup nibbles at my toes. Gearing my eyes to Jesus all around me, it is a beautiful thing.

// Sweet serenity & incomprehensible glory //

     Letting Jesus breathe in the weakness of my lungs & rain on my thirsty heart. Slow & steady. Constant & never ending.

Until I finish my race.

Sarah Delanie


Vlog One : Shine & Soar Magazine

    Sarah & Ciera are so excited to be kicking off the first official vlog! This is so new to us & we are still trying to figure everything out + please have a little mercy on poor baby C, she has been sick all week, but pulled it together the best she could just for you! We are so ready to hear your heart & get to know you all a little bit better!

Happy Saturday!


Giveaway // Custom Shine & Soar T-shirt

     It's giveaway time! We are looking for a name & tagline to call our bi-weekly vlog series & want you to join in!

The contestant that comes up with the most authentic & relevant name/tag line for the vlog, that the Shine & Soar Team loves will be the winner of one custom made Shine & Soar Magazine T-shirt!

     INSTRUCTIONS: Type your name, email, & super-awesome-creative-Name/tag line for the Vlog Series in the comment section below to enter! For extra entries, post this image on Instagram tagging @shineandsoar & hashtaging #shineandsoargiveaway along with telling us what you would love to hear us vlog about, questions you'd like to ask us, & things you'd like to know about us as a team! Our entire team has these shirts & they are the most comfortable t-shirts ever, you will not want to miss out!

T-shirt Size : Medium
Custom Made by :    
A Personal Touch www.facebook.com/sarahspersonaltouch
 use this image for Instagram

We can not wait to see what YOU come up with!
Deadline to enter // August 29, 2013


Issue 2 // Meet the Models

I just want to hug each of these girls and bottle up their souls forever. Yep, they're seriously that amazing. Hearts afire for Christ, chasing the dreams on their hearts, and doing life with their own flair. They had no camera shyness in them, even when all of our team members had a camera pointed at them (4 cameras people!). So meet the fabulousness of Ashley, Alex, and Jaana....

Hello! I’m Ashley, a 20 year old Minnesota girl pursuing a degree in elementary education. I am looking forward to being an RA this coming fall at college and having the opportunity to invest in the lives of the girls on my floor. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano and violin, going shopping, having coffee dates with friends, biking and rollerblading, reading a non-school-related book, and participating in anything that has to do with water (the ocean is my favorite!). But beyond all these things, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ is what I’m most passionate about. Each day is a brand new opportunity to walk with Him, every struggle is an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus and become more like Christ, and every triumph is an opportunity to love Him more. I’ve found that life in the will of God only gets better in each phase that we enter, and there is no greater joy than living wholly for Jesus Christ!

hello hello! i'm alex anne, a seventeen-year-old midwesterner living the life of a Jesus-loving creative. though i am currently pursuing photography, i don't like to box myself in to a single creative service. i dream of opening a local coffee-shop and/or ice cream shop, publishing my own magazine (like these lovely girls - clearly my inspiration), and living in a creative studio loft at some point in my life. at the moment, however, i am learning to be bold and to live fearlessly through God. me in a nutshell? tall and adventurous. xoxo

Now you haven't seen our third model yet since we had some scheduling conflicts and didn't have much time to shoot her, but she is an inspiring woman nonetheless!

Hey there, My name is Jaana Singh. I'm 18 years old and am from Corcoran, MN. A few things about me; I strive to show the essence of God as I grow in my relationship with Him every day. Because of His love, I've grown very passionate about quite a few things in life such as dance. Recently the Lord has directed and led me to start my own business in Wayzata called "The Awakening." There I enjoy spending my days teaching dance and gymnastics to many highly competitive athletes. I have a wonderful family and great friends who support me in all I do and feel very blessed to have them by my side.

Thank you ladies SO much for coming out + modeling for us! We're so excited to witness where God takes you next! 

xoxo, The S&S Team


Summer Edition : Issue 2 // Launched

Shine & Soar Magazine Summer Edition : Issue 2 is launched! We are so thrilled to be releasing this second issue and pray that it inspires, encourages, and strengthens your heart! We are growing and learning so much as a team, and we are so thankful for your encouragement and inspiration behind the pages of each article. We are sojourners, walking in step with the spirit, as quests in the heavenly courts, living as a bright city on a hill. Join us, be emboldened, and find hope in this Summer Edition : Issue 2! We would love your help in spreading the word by either sharing the link to the issue, our Facebook page or blog.

Issue 2 | The Summer Edition

The Team