In need of some New Year inspiration? Look no further my friends.
Meet my December woman of the month, Charity Hardaway.
If you haven’t stumbled across her CharityLikesBeards on Instagram, I suggest having a search for her. She’s witty, encouraging and absolutely stunning.
I caught up with her a few week’s back and we talked about creativity, finding community and the power of sharing stories.
So Charity, you’ve devote a lot of your time to reaching out to people to find out about their lives, and then sharing about them on your extremely encouraging (and very aesthetically pleasing) Instagram; why are the stories of other’s so important to you?
I used to use the excuse of being an introvert in order to not hang out with people I’m not close to or share my heart with random strangers. But then a little over a year ago the Lord revealed to me that I cannot love His people if I can’t even talk to them; and I can’t build His Kingdom if I am too scared to talk to people in order to bring them into it. That’s why I started #charitylikesstories over a year ago – not only to hear others’ stories that are so unique and different than my own, but as well to love God’s people just by hearing them. Not enough people take the time out of their day to just hear someone speak from their heart; you’d be shocked on how someone’s ten minute story can make a lifetime impact on your own existence.
You also often post about your friends. What advice would you give to someone struggling to find community?
First off, community is everywhere. The thing that is difficult to find at times is community that encourages you, loves you, and helps shape you into the person you desire to be. If someone is struggling with community it’s usually because they’ve been hurt before by friends and thus have built up walls in order not to get hurt again. If you’re struggling to find community, be vulnerable and bold; open up your heart to new people and friendships, even if that means there’s a possibility you might get hurt. Reality is, you’ll never find perfect community. You won’t find perfect friends who will never hurt you. That’s simply just not reality and I am still learning to accept that today. But what we can focus on is being the community that we so desire to find and go from there.
You’re pretty creative, you often post your beautiful photography and handlettering. How do you think we can use our creative gifts to honour God?
If you notice that you’re good at something or that you’re passionate about something- it is a gift from God; therefore, if it is a gift you do not leave it in its box, rather you open it and use it. Sometimes after we open our gift and use it for a little while, we get tired of it and put it on a shelf. God didn’t give us gifts to use them only when we feel like it. Take it off the shelf, dust it off, and use it in whatever way brings glory to God’s name. Using your gifts for God’s glory and honor can be in so many different ways. If you’re creative find a creative way to use it.
I’ve noticed another of your passions is skate boarding, it looks so much fun! Can you tell us a bit about why you love to get on your board and go exploring?
Whilst growing up I looked up to my older brother a lot. One of his hobbies was skateboarding, and so, because of him I wanted to learn how to do so. During my junior year of high school he bought me my first board for my birthday and so I figured I should at least become decent at skating. But, it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college when I started skating almost every day. Through Instagram I’ve got to meet cool people around my area who enjoy skating around and I’ve met people who started skateboarding businesses who have entered me into their sweet community. It’s also pretty sweet that my boyfriend skateboards too. It’s all just a rad time.