Renewing My Vows…For The First Time: 3 Things My Blog Will Always Stand For

Atlanta cityscape

Without a vision for where you’re going, you’re not going to get very far.

Wanna know something kind of amazing? I’ve been running/writing this blog for about 2 years now. I know–crazy, right?

It’s been such an awesome, life-giving experience for me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing my content and ideas with the world. I’ve really loved getting the chance to network with other bloggers and creatives around the country (and the world!). And I’m excited to see what’s next for me on this writing journey. As I recount my enthusiasm for the growth that has occurred on this blogging journey, I can’t help but recognize that something’s been missing. I have to honestly ask myself, and reveal to you all, a question that has been echoing through my mind over the past few months: 

What’s the point of it all?

In other words, why are you writing what you write, who are you writing for and what do you hope to accomplish through it all? Up until recently, I wasn’t quite sure how to answer these boldfaced questions.

The truth was, I needed a purpose. More specifically, I needed a statement of purpose. A statement that I could go back to when I was running low on creative energy or inspiration. Over the last month or so, I’ve given these questions a lot of thought. I’ve prayed my way through them, and I believe I’ve discovered some concepts that I truly desire to stand for.

I have to say, I’m pretty excited about what I’ve come up with!

So, without further ado, I can now proudly proclaim that my blog will always stand for:

…authenticity + truth

What does it truly mean to be authentic? It has to be “real” and “honest”—is what I would tell myself before I sat down to write. But what does that really mean? To me, it means that I will always do my best to put my realest self forward. My opinions, ideas, ramblings–yeah, that’s right, I ramble–all of these things will be conveyed in the most honest way I know how. 

There is so much power in sharing our testimonies with others. In a world where the fake and unoriginal run rampant, there must be a place for authenticity and truth to shine—the world begs for it and we all truly crave it.

In a world where the fake and unoriginal run rampant, there must be a place for authenticity and truth to shine—the world begs for it and we all truly crave it. Click To Tweet

Oh, Leighann—or Learning to Smile and Grow, if you’ve stuck around that long—has never been a place for inauthentic conversation. My blogging journey began the same way that I hope it will one day end, speaking my truth while being unashamed and wholly myself with those who read it. It’s no secret that I am a follower of Jesus—a part of myself, along with being a woman and an African-American that I will always claim.

I vow to be authentic.

Black and white, girl stares outside of the window


…encouragement + uplifting fellow creators

Scrolling through Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and even, Facebook—it doesn’t take long to notice the vast number of talented creators sharing their gifts with the world. The amount of creativity that I see each and every day shared by such creative and passionate souls honestly drives me to go out and create to my best ability.

That being said, let’s get one thing straight:

copying someone’s original work is never okay.

It devalues and disrespects the hard work of the original creator. It discourages them from sharing their brilliant ideas with the world due to fear of being ripped off, yet again.

That’s why I am vowing to encourage and uplift my fellow creatives by sharing their work, supporting them monetarily (when my bank account gets set up right—yo girl is currently a student so…) and voicing my honest appreciation for their creative passions and gifting. My hope is that through my support and sincere appreciation for their crafts, I can be a small beacon of hope to inspire and encourage them to continue to create original and meaningful work.

Dear fellow creators,

You are creative and you can use that brilliant, beautiful mind to create original, thoughtful content–I just know it.


...copying someone’s original work is never okay. It devalues and disrespects the hard work of the original creator. It also discourages them from sharing their brilliant ideas with the world due to fear of being ripped off Click To Tweet

I vow to be supportive of others’ work and to be original in my own.

…glorifying the Lord in ALL things

My blog’s primary goal has always been to share the truth of what the Lord is doing and has done in my life. This will never change. The Lord has commissioned me to write and write I shall do. The Lord knows me better than I know myself. I can be certain that he knows–and in fact, created–my entrepreneurial and creative spirit for a purpose. A purpose that he will use, first to his glory and for my good. Oh, Leighann will always stand for glorifying God and sharing his redeeming love for this broken world.

PSALM 105_1_4

I vow to glorify the Lord.

I’m sure as time goes on, I’ll add to this statement of purpose. But for now, I am happy to share my WHY with you all! 

If you’re a blogger, what’s your WHY? If you’re one of my beloved readers, what do you think of my vows? Am I missing anything?

Let me know in the comments below!



Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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  • Wrae

    One of my why is to spread awareness about mental health.

    • Leighann


      I love that ‘WHY’–thanks so much for sharing, Wrae!

  • Tracey

    My WHY is a blogger is to inspire other women to grow, succeed and most importantly, develop the confidence within themselves to know that they can do anything and everything 🙂 Great post girl!

    • Leighann


      This is awesome, Tracey–thanks so much for sharing your ‘WHY’ with me!

  • Seppy

    I completely agree that we are missing authenticity in the bloggosphere so it’s always refreshing to hearing true and raw stories. That’s how we connect and how we can grow and learn from each other and exactly waht my blog alos stands for!!

    Seppy |

    • Leighann


      Thanks, Seppy–you’re so right! It’s truly the best way to connect with others: being ourselves, unapologetically and without hesitation. Thanks for reading!


    This is great, Leighann. I enjoyed reading this post and your vows are very meaningful.
    The reason I started writing was to reach out to people, share my story with them and encourage them and in doing that i hoped that people would help and encourage me. I wasn’t in a really good place and blogging has really helped with that. Connecting with people, sharing ideas and comments and watching everything grow has been really helpful and good.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Leighann


      Thanks so much for sharing, Fehintola! I love your ‘WHY’ statements and can see those coming through your writing, I appreciate you reading!

  • Julia Hager

    Hey girl! Just started following! I absolutely love this post and your style of writing. Can’t wait for more. 💕

    • Leighann


      Thanks so much for reading, Julia! I appreciate your support so much!

  • lavit gupta

    nice post thanks thanks for sharing n keep it up thanks a lot..!

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  • Dear old world, you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you. (L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables)
  • Don’t waste your time worrying about everything you’re not. Focus on what you are and realize that it’s good ♥️ God did. Reminders to my 26-year old self. 
  • “We all spend our twenties and thirties trying so hard to be perfect, because we’re so worried about what people will think of us. Then we get into our forties and fifties, and we finally start to be free, because we decide that we don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of us. But you won’t be completely free until you reach your sixties and seventies, when you finally realize this liberating truth—nobody was ever thinking about you, anyhow.” - Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic)
  • Wherever you are right now, is where you need to be. Looking around, it might seem like there are greener pastures wherever you are not. 
Try and change your perspective to see that any pasture can be lush and full when properly tended to. Tend to yours.
  • “Mommy, am I beautiful?” I remember asking this question to my mom every so often when I was growing up. Probably started around the middle- to junior-high school years 🙄

Of course, she would always silence my doubt that somehow I wasn’t beautiful or pretty, and soon I began to believe it enough to stop asking. It’s sad to think that I ever doubted my beauty. Or my abilities and talents. Or my worth. 
If I’m being real, I still doubt if I’m beautiful and capable and smart and—the list could go on—enough. 
Good news is, my value doesn’t lie in any of those qualifiers. How attractive I am, or what I can do, or how much I know. 
It lies in knowing I was handmade by God, intentionally pieced together by the hand of the Creator. And every stitch, quirk, mark was lovingly chosen and used to make me. 
Uniquely, wonderfully-made me. Uniquely, wonderfully-made you.
  • A reminder to my 26-year old self. 
For the past 6 months I’ve become increasingly aware of this idea I have in my head of my ideal self. How much more beautiful she is, how she gets more tasks done, goes to the gym more often, goes out more or simply just does everything much better than I do. 
And while I don’t doubt the power of having a vision to get where you want to go, I am here to remind myself that who I am now is just as worthy of love, kindness and grace as that “ideal girl” is. 
She’s not even real. But I am.

It stands to reason that if God created me and saw that what He’d made was good—I should too.

Follow Me!