Alex Bartlett is a graphic design resident with The Austin Stone Community Church.

Hard Work


Funny enough, as the year comes to a close do I still feel moments of finally being settled in. I think my overall confidence and comfort in my role has strengthened over the last year which has led to some great learning moments as well as awesome looking results on some recent projects.

November consisted of far less travel and far more time spent behind a computer. Between freelance work and my full-time job I've been buried behind a screen for most evenings this month. Now that's not really a bad thing because of the quality and type of work I've been getting to do, but it has served as a subtle reminder to myself the importance of when to say yes or no, and why to say yes or no to a new project or extra circular activities during the week.

In all November has been more of the usual tasks with more thought than usual on family. Many of you may know but some may not that I have three younger siblings who have come into our family right as I was heading into college. Since their addition there's been a whole lot of really tough moments for our family but also a whole lot of really special fun and spirit-filling moments too. With the coming and passing of thanksgiving and the expectation of the Christmas season there’s been moments of joy and sadnesses as our family wasn’t whole for the holidays and may not be for a while. In that, however, I’ve been learning more about what it means to choose to love people where they’re at which definitely isn’t easy.

With that, here are just a few key points I think I'm chewing on this month.

1. I may not be working for a church at the end of 2018.

It's going to be interesting to take a look back at this post a year from today and see where I've ended up. As this second year of residency has gotten underway I've begun to sense more clear signs that working in ministry may not be what's next for me as I finish my time of training and development here at The Austin Stone. I love what I do and who I get to do it with, but something in me isn't so sure that this is what I'll be doing for the years to come.

2. I may still be in Austin at the end of 2018.

This fall I started to realize that I didn't think that this would be true when I started my residency. In the middle of 2016 I realize I saw myself moving to Austin, doing a one year residency, and then bouncing out to the next city. As I've begun to settle in and step into this second year of residency however, I've started to see how much of this city and it's people I've yet to explore or know. I think there's still a lot of untapped potential for me here.

3. Nothing happens if I do nothing.

Probably the most fruiting things about me that daily remains to be true. I want to become this way or that way and behave in one way or another, yet commonly lack the daily discipline to make the step I need to take today in order to get to where I want to be.

In all, as December rolls in I've found myself thinking towards the future a little bit more. Though as I think about the future it encourages me to do more with the present. I'm excited to step into 2018 with all of the mystery that currently surrounds it's conclusion but also recognize that the end of 2018 is still very far away if I count it day by day. I'm still thankful for where I'm at and have been excited by the recent challenges in many facets of life that have caused me to step deeper into a believing faith that Jesus is there for me.


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