Windy Gap Travel Diary 2017

     I spent the weekend of September 22-24 at Windy Gap, a YoungLife camp in Weaverville, NC.  I love few things more than going to YoungLife camp and this year’s fall weekend definitely didn’t disappoint.  Today I’m sharing a little travel diary from one of my favorite weekends of the year!  I’m so excited to share this with you, I skipped writing a Windy Gap travel diary last year (I wrote a travel diary about Windy Gap in 2015 that you can read my here!) but I seriously love talking about time spent at YoungLife camp.  I’m recapping each day with lengthy descriptions and photos plus I actually made a video this year!  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and either an EF-S 18-55mm lens or a Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens.  The background song is “The World Is Ours” by Jai Wolf.

Friday

    The bus left around 9:45 p.m, just after halftime of our high school’s homecoming football game.  The bus ride was approximately an hour and a half of screaming the words to throwback songs and talking under blankets.  , so we got to camp around 11:45 p.m., just in time for the first club!  We sprinted to the club room as soon as we dropped our bags in the cabins.  Even in the rush, I love getting off the bus in the dark at Windy Gap and I couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous navy sky of stars behind the silhouettes of the tall trees.

     We came into club a little late but came just in time to watch a hilarious skit, sing a couple songs, and send some kids from our area up to the stage to participate in a few games.  The first night’s talk was about how we can’t fix the mess our sin has created and the speaker was amazing all weekend long.  After club, we went back to the cabin for cabin time.

     During cabin time, we talked about the talk and what we learned/found interesting.  I love cabin time, it’s always one of my favorite things about YoungLife camp.  Cabin time gives you a chance to verbally process what you’re learning about Jesus, yourself, and your relationship with Him while getting to know your friends better.  Once cabin time concluded we all got ready for bed and went to sleep.

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Saturday

     Knowing that breakfast was around 9:00 a.m., I woke up at 8:00 a.m. and quickly got ready for the day.  Once I was prepared for one of my favorite days of the fall, I took my friend Emma, who was experiencing Windy Gap for the first time, on a little walk around camp.  I showed her the gorgeous willow tree (literally my favorite tree on this planet), the Sippin’ Parlor where you can find the best birthday cake milkshakes ever, club room entrances, the dining hall, the camp store, and how to get to the zip-line and swing.  After we finished this little tour, we returned to the cabin to walk down to the dining hall with the rest of our friends and leaders to wait for breakfast.  While anticipating breakfast, we took a few pictures.

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     For breakfast we had delicious pancakes and some really good sausage (I don’t even really like sausage but I love YoungLife camp sausage, I swear it’s way better).  Towards the end of breakfast, a continuation of the skit that we saw Friday night introduced the cabin challenge.  The cabin challenge is a list of activities each cabin completes in an approximately ten minute time period for points in competition with the other cabins.  These activities included rolling down the hill, sliding into the lake fully clothed, making a basket from mid-court, and doing ten pushups.  We didn’t win, but the cabin challenge is always super fun, we’ve done it every year I’ve gone to YoungLife camp!

     After the cabin challenge we had about twenty minutes of free time before club.  Club was pretty much the same as the night before; more skits, more games, and more songs.  The talk was great again, talking about the separation from God that our sin has created. The end of club led into cabin time, where we returned to the cabin and again discussed what we heard.  Cabin time ended with the five minute bell, meaning we had five minutes until lunch.

Lunch included pepperoni and cheese pizza.  The skit continued at the end of the meal and led us into our free time.  Free time was spent packing everything Windy Gap has to offer into a six hour time period.  As soon as lunch was released, I sprinted to the back door of the dining hall with a few of my friends and from there we ran up to the swing.  I love the swing, it puts any other swing imaginable to complete shame.  Once my friend Came and I got off the swing, we changed into bathing suits and zip-lined into the lake.  After the zip-line we went back to the cabin to shower before going to the camp store where I bought a tee and YoungLife blanket (if you don’t have a YoungLife blanket you need to buy one next time you go to camp, they’re made out of the softest sweatshirt material and are very possibly the best thirty dollars you’ll ever spend).  Next we hit the Sippin’ Parlor, where I ordered my annual birthday cake milkshake and it was just as delicious as always.  We enjoyed our milkshakes under the gorgeous oak tree and then took a few pictures on the adorable little island.

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     A couple hours after our little photoshoot, the five minute bell rang and we all ran to the dining hall again.  While we waited a little longer than five minutes we took even more pictures with some of our leaders.  I switched camera lenses in our final minutes of free time before dinner and I just love how these pictures came out!

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     I honestly forgot what we even had for dinner because the memory was overshadowed by the fact that we had the big cookie for dessert.  If you’ve never been to a YoungLife camp this might sound foreign to you, but big cookie is a huge cookie served in a circular pan fresh out of the oven with a ton of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup on top.  It’s so good that no one stops to divide it evenly, everyone just digs in with a spoon.  It’s so much fun and it’s so good.  Once we finished eating the big cookie we met up with our area by the basketball court to get our area tee shirts that we’d be wearing the next day (you’ll see we’re all wearing matching navy tee shirts in the pictures from Sunday and that’s why!) before having a little free time before club.

     The final evening club of YoungLife camp is always my favorite, whether it’s fall weekend or a week at summer camp.  This particular club is used to describe Christ’s death on the cross in immense depth, the kind of depth that makes you wince.  Once the crucifixion is explained, campers are gifted with a fifteen minute period of silence and darkness in camp.  You get to pick a spot, then you just sit and stare at the stars and talk to God.  I love this, I always have.  At this point I’m always reminded of my amazement that the same God that made those stars made me, and even though He blessed me with all of this I still sin and turn my back to Him, yet He still wants me.

Once the fifteen minutes were up, a bell rang and the camp turned the lights back on.  We all walked back to our cabin for the most personal and emotional of the cabin times.  This year’s wasn’t nearly as tear-jerking as some of my past years’ cabin times have been, but it was equally as eye-opening.  When cabin time concluded, we were led back to the club room where some of the leaders from various counties present that weekend were putting on skits.

These were some of the absolute funniest things I have ever seen, my stomach hurt from laughing so much.  At the end of the skits, we had a big camp dance party and were then told that Tim Halperin, our camp musician for the weekend, would be having a little concert in the club room about an hour later.  Tim Halperin was so good (he was actually on American Idol at one point, be sure to check him out on iTunes!), I especially love his song “Hey 17.”  His concert ended the night, so when it was over we walked back to our cabins and got ready for bed.

Sunday

     I woke up at 7:00 a.m. to go on a little walk with one of my YoungLife leaders, Adrian, before her morning leader meeting.  We ended up sitting in rocking chairs in front of the Sippin’ Parlor and reading the Bible.  It was so nice to have some one on one time with Adrian and to just open up the word!  Around 7:45 a.m., Adrian had to go to her meeting so I walked back to the cabin and began to change into my area tee shirt and actually get ready for the day.

     Around 8:30 a.m. our cabin walked down to the dining hall to get some coffee and wait for breakfast.  Our delicious breakfast included biscuits, eggs, grits, and bacon.  When breakfast was over, we went to the club room for “say so’s.”  Say so’s are a little period of time in the club room with some music playing in which campers who have accepted/recommitted to Christ can stand up and say so.  I love getting to clap for and congratulate my friends and all the other campers who are making such a big step!

Once say so’s finished, we went back to the cabin to clean up and pack.  When we finished cleaning and packing we took all of our bags to the bus then returned to the basketball court to hang out with the rest of the people from our area.  We then went to the leader lounge for an area meeting before taking a group picture of everyone from our area in front of the camp store.  Shortly after, the five minute bell rang for lunch.

For lunch we had sandwiches and some really good chocolate chip cookies.  The skit concluded on stage as we ate and once we finished eating we walked up to the buses to leave.  It was such an awesome weekend and I was so sad to see it end!

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If you ever get the chance to go to YoungLife camp you need to go!  You can read about a couple of my other YoungLife camp experiences here and here.  Thanks for reading!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 19

     Happy Sunday!  I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend.  Today I’m sharing my nineteenth “Scripture Sunday” post, you can read all of my previous “Scripture Sundays” here!  I love today’s verse and I hope y’all do too!  Just like always, if you are offended by the Christian religion please feel free to scroll past and find another post that better suits you.  Let’s get into the post!  Enjoy!

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Jeremiah 31:3; the Lord appeared to him from far away.  I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.

     Junior year is infamous for being the hardest.  I went in with the mindset that this idea was really a matter of opinion and would depend on what classes you take.  My course load includes A.P. U.S. History, A.P. Environmental Science, A.P. English III (Language), honors Pre-Calculus, Spanish III, and yearbook, so I didn’t think it would be too much to handle.  Now, a couple months into the year, I understand that it’s not the courses themselves that make the year harder, but the expectations placed upon the junior student.  Teachers expect you to have ample free time to focus exclusively on their subject’s work.  Coaches expect you to excel and focus on your sport.  Parents expect you to keep yourself in line and make good grades (luckily mine are relatively lenient and understanding unlike some of my friends’).  Friends expect you to hang out and party with them.  Future school options expect you to be very involved in your community and school.

     My personal struggles have been in keeping up with school work while also keeping up with blog posts (hence why there was only one post this past week) and at the same time participating in YoungLife and Wyldlife leadership and attending our weekly two-hour lacrosse offseason practices (which just so happen to be the same evening as YoungLife…perfect *sense the sarcasm*).  Forget a social life.  The hard part about this is that none of these things are things I don’t love to do.  I value my education and like to do well in school, therefore I want to get my schoolwork done.  I love writing this blog so much and absolutely do not feel inclined to let it go, no matter how convenient it might be to do so.  Going to YoungLife and learning more about developing a relationship with Jesus is the highlight of my week and I’m never willing to skip a club, same goes for leading Wyldlife.  I enjoy playing lacrosse and I want to continue improving, so I don’t want to skip practice either.  Life has become overwhelming and all I want to do is sleep.

A couple weekends ago I got to step away from it all and go to Windy Gap with my area’s YoungLife group.  Because we left our schoolwork and electronics at home, the weekend was an incredible reminder of God’s presence in my life, even when I’m blinded by the world’s (and my own) expectations of me.  I recently came across a verse, Jeremiah 31:3 that reminds me of that feeling and goodness, it’s so beautiful.  The verse says “the Lord appeared to him from far away.  I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.”  When I’m distracted by earthly things, Jesus is still standing there, I’m just not looking for him.  He loves me with such an everlasting love and will never leave me, even when I push my relationship with Him aside.  There’s no other love that works like that, how could you turn it down?  The best part of this is that even when I don’t live up to the world’s expectations of me, like when I fail a test or don’t post enough blog posts one week, He’s still there and He still loves me, and that relationship is all that really matters.

This week, remind yourself that Jesus has appeared to you from far away.  His love is unconditional and everlasting, no matter how distracted you are.  Take just a few minutes each day to talk to him, while you brush your teeth in the morning or unmake your bed at night.  Give him your troubles and let Him love you.  Your relationship with Him is all that truly matters.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week.

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 18

     Good morning and happy Sunday! I’ve prewritten this post because as it’s published I will be preparing to leave my favorite iPhone-and-computer-free weekend of the year; YoungLife fall weekend at Windy Gap. I seriously love the Bible verses I’m talking about today! The funny thing is I actually came across them recently while on my phone at a totally random moment and I screen-shotted them so I wouldn’t forget about them. As usual, if you’re offended by the Christian religion please be my guest and scroll past this post. If you came to read this week’s “Scripture Sunday,” you’re in the right place! I hope you enjoy it!

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1 Peter 1:24-25; For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

     A week ago right now I was at Music Midtown, a music festival in Atlanta.  I had an amazing time, and I would definitely say I’m at my happiest at events like that.  I love to travel, I love to attend concerts, and I love going to YoungLife camps (like the one I’m at this weekend!).  However, not every moment in life, or my life at least, is an adrenaline rush like those experiences.

     In everyday life, I tend to find joy by accomplishing things and hanging out with friends.  Let’s be honest, I think we all become happier momentarily when we make good grades, perform well in our sports, and hang out with people we think are “cool” or good for us to surround ourselves with.  This happiness is temporary.  As soon as you get a bad grade on a quiz and your average falls again, you’ll be disappointed in yourself and have to work hard again to reattain your high grade.  When your coach doesn’t give you as much playing time in a game, you’ll wonder what made your coach think you were less capable than the players who started the game.  If you don’t get an invite to the party, you’ll question your friend group and your place with them.

     Finding your worth and identity in these earthly things can be dangerous.  They are imperfect just like you and I and are completely temporary.  1 Peter 1:24-25 says “For, ‘All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.'”  At first, I liked these verses because I love flowers and metaphors that involve them, but then I dug deeper.  I love the way our “glory” (like grades, performances, social groups, and other accomplishments and earthly joys) is compared to flowers.  While beautiful at the time, they are temporary.  This reminds me of having flowers in a vase.  You pick the flowers, like your glories, when they’re beautiful and positive and make you feel good.  If you’ve ever had a vase of flowers, you know that the flowers obviously die sooner or later.  I hate watching them die, it’s almost painful to watch something so beautiful fade into something that has to be thrown out.  This parallels with our grades falling, our athletic performances becoming underwhelming, and our social groups disappointing us.  Not to mention, the verses’ comparison of people to grass that withers away.  This can be taken in regards to death or loyalty.  No one is permanent, a good percentage of relationships aren’t either.  Eventually it all ends, and it’s sad.

     However, another much happier thing I love about those verses is that they reveal that there’s one thing in our lives that has a sort of “lifetime guarantee” if you will – the Bible.  Everything in the Bible is true and it will never cease to be.  It will always be there to comfort you in times of trial and doubt, to remind you of what is right, and to guide you through your life.  The eternal love of God that is continuously referred to in the Bible is a constant in your life too.

     This week, don’t let the little things get to you.  Remember that the most big, important thing that could possibly be in your life is also the most constant.  Take pride in your earthly glories but don’t let them become who you are.  In times of disappointment, look to God’s word for guidance and joy.  Pray for those who can’t seem to see the ultimate shortcomings of their earthly satisfactions.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!  If you’d like to read my previous “Scripture Sunday” posts you can find them here.

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 17

     Happy Sunday!  I hope y’all are having a fabulous weekend.  I’ve loved catching up on my sleep!  Today I’m sharing another “Scripture Sunday” post, you can find my last sixteen here.  I hope you love today’s volume as much as I loved writing it!  I’m talking about seeing the good in the seemingly bad created by God.  As always, if you’re offended by Christianity, feel free to continue scrolling through my blog until you find something that strikes your fancy.  Enjoy!

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Today’s Verse:

Psalm 121:2; My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

     Odds are you’ve heard about the hurricanes.  Harvey, Irma, and Jose have been directly affecting our part of the earth and I can’t say I like it one bit.  Yes, I am pretty safe a few hours inland of South Carolina’s coast, but I’ve hated seeing all the destruction that’s already taken place and tragic forecasts of what’s still to come.  In times of disaster it’s so easy to lose faith and wonder where God could possibly be in this.

     I recently came across Psalm 121:2, a simple verse that provides me with immense comfort in times of disaster and doubt.  The verse says “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”  This reminds me that the disaster and help to come, even in the most unseen and unexpected ways, comes from the creator of all things in heaven and on earth, including the hurricanes.  It’s awfully strange to think that “a good Father” made the hurricanes and other disasters and it’s even stranger to think about how the catastrophes could possibly be part of something ultimately good.

As I was spent some time trying to come up with something good that’s coming out of these hurricanes I thought of unity, gratitude, and generosity.  It had been a hot minute since our last call to action in the United States in the form of a natural disaster, maybe God wanted to remind our divided nation that we’re all here to help each other, despite our differences.  For example, Jadelynn Brooke has had a support effort going on in which you can purchase a backpack filled with supplies for a child in need in the affected Houston areas.  As people buy one of these backpacks, they don’t know what kind of household it’s going to.  The donors don’t have a way to know if their support efforts will go to a family of a religion, political viewpoint, or race that they don’t particularly like or agree with and quite frankly they don’t care, they just want to help them.  Maybe God was trying to remind those of us who are constantly complaining about the hardships of our blessings (honestly myself included) to be more grateful.  Being practically unaffected by the hurricanes definitely makes me feel blessed.  As we compare our lives right now to those who are currently living without their homes, belongings, and educational systems, we can realize how good we have it and really begin to appreciate our surroundings.  Lastly, I think God might be trying to remind us to give more eagerly.  When something hits you on a personal level, like multiple catastrophic hurricanes attacking your country within just a few weeks, the cause and need to contribute seems a lot more urgent.  Maybe next time news comes of a hurricane devastating a foreign country we’ll remember what it was like here and be more eager to give.

So, how does that long explanation of possibilities for goodness in the wake of disaster  tie into Psalm 121:2?  Think about a time when you’ve reached out to a friend or family member for help with something and they didn’t help you in a way you’d expected them to.  Maybe you asked your dad for help with homework and instead of working out the problem with you he pointed you to a page in your textbook that he thought would help. At the time this kind of response can be frustrating, but ultimately you’ll teach yourself how to solve that type of problem and you’ll get it right on the test, when your dad can’t help you.  God might be helping us in hard ways that will ultimately better us.

I’m by no means an expert on God’s purposes in disasters, but when you really stop to think about it as I have you can begin to see the good in the bad.  I hope reading this has inspired you to look for the hidden blessings in big disasters in all areas of your life and encouraged you to keep your faith strong.  This week, remember to look for the needs of others despite your the walls built by your differences, count your blessings, and give eagerly.  Pray for those who have it worse than you and pray that your faith, as well as the faith of those affected by the tragedies, stands strong.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week and stay safe!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 16

     Happy Sunday!  It’s been two weeks since my last “Scripture Sunday” post and you know what that means… time for another one!  Today’s installment is about finding your identity in Christ, something I’ve found so enchanting recently.  I’m excited for you to read this, I hope you love it as much as I do!  As usual with these Scripture posts, if you are offended by Christianity or the Word of God for whatever reason, feel free to scroll past this post and read a recent fashion or lifestyle post.  Now that that disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get into this week’s “Scripture Sunday!”

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Today’s Verse:

Psalm 139:14; I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

     We grow up hearing cliche phrases like “just be yourself” and “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”.  At the time when we first start to hear those sayings in elementary school, they seem obvious.  Who else would I be, mom?  As we grow up, these phrases begin to hit us a little harder.  As humans, we are constantly seeking the approval of others.  We are constantly striving to please those around us, to be liked, to be thought of as “cool.”  I’m a junior in high school and now more than ever I find myself thinking “Would they think this is cool?” or “Is this too lame?” before wearing an outfit to school or posting a photo on Instagram.  This sounds pretty silly, but I think we all do it to an extent.  Even if we like to think of ourselves as “unapologetically me” we all still question how our actions, outfits, and words will be viewed by our peers.

     In the week I spent at Frontier Ranch (a YoungLife camp) in the beginning of the summer, I heard something new.  During cabin time, one of my leaders said “Our purpose is to be loved by God.”  I hadn’t ever really thought of that, and it’s so relieving to hear.  While you might think of your earthly purpose as a future profession you’re meant to take on or a group of people you’re supposed to share the Gospel with (which are both awesome things, don’t get me wrong), your ultimate purpose is simply to accept God, love Him and be loved by Him, live with Him, and share that love.

     I recently came across Psalm 139:14 and found it to be so beautiful and refreshing.  The verse says “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”  Hearing this makes you wonder how you could possibly seek out your identity and worth in others when you were fearfully and wonderfully made by the creator of this Earth.  The same artist, per se, who sculpted the mountains, filled the seas with coral reefs and an innumerable amount of fish, and paints the skies with bright oranges and pinks every sunset and sunrise also created you.  It’s so easy to look at His other works, these earthly wonders, and think of them as wonderful, but do we see ourselves and others that way?  Does it register with you that an artist far more talented than Vincent van Gough or Pablo Picasso also created you?

     This week, take a little time to enjoy God’s artistry, then remember that He sees you as His most marvelous creation.  Crazy, isn’t it?  He doesn’t think so.  You are here to be loved by Him.  At the end of the day, if you feel like the only approval you’re getting is from God, know that is more than enough.  If “loved by God” is all you have to your name, know that’s all you need.  Find your identity in His love instead of others’ opinions of you.

Thanks for reading.  Have a blessed week!  Read my previous “Scripture Sunday” posts here.

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Bible Reading Simplified

     Since I began sharing “Scripture Sunday” posts back in January, I’ve received several direct messages, comments, and emails from readers asking questions mainly along the lines of “How did you get into reading the Bible?”, “Where in the Bible did you begin reading?”, and “What do you underline and/or take note of in your journal?”  Now, I’m no Bible expert nor am I trying to claim to be, but I would love nothing more than to share the little insight on Bible reading I have with y’all!  In today’s post I’m doing just that, explaining how I go about reading my Bible.  There’s certainly no “right” way to read the Bible, but these steps have really been working for me this year and I hope they do for you too!  Enjoy!

Set Aside a Time and Place to Read Your Bible

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     One thing I’ve learned over the past year or so is that you have time for whatever you make time for, including reading the Bible.  Set aside a time and place where you will routinely read your Bible each day or maybe even week.  You might like to get to school early on Wednesdays and fill your extra half hour in the parking lot reading a Bible you keep in your car.  Maybe you follow the Scripture readings in a daily devotional first thing when you wake up every morning.  Meeting up with a friend at Panera every Tuesday and Thursday night to read Scripture together might be more your forte.  Personally, I love crawling into bed with a candle lit and my lamp on around 8:30 p.m. to read the Bible.  My bed feels like a cozy, safe, relaxing place and I find it pretty easy to focus on Scripture there.  There’s no “right” time or place to read your Bible, it’s really just whatever works for you personally.

Choose a Nice Bible That’s Understandable For You

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     Reading the Bible will seem a lot easier if you’re reading a translation that makes sense to you.  I’ve noticed that among my Bible study group, most of us have English Standard Version and New International Version Bibles.  We rarely have a hard time understanding what we’re reading and that makes reading the Bible seem a lot more approachable.  I, being a lover of pretty pink and floral things, love my bible from E Squared, which I customized to my exact color, flower, and verse quotation preferences.  All E Squared Bibles are New International Version and I think they’re awesome Bibles to read from, plus the pretty cover will only encourage you to use it more!  Feel free to check out E Squared’s hand painted customizable Bibles here.

Decide Where to Start

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     There’s really no “right” place to start reading the Bible, and I’d be lying if I claimed there was one.  I began reading the Bible in the first chapter of Genesis when I was eleven, but eventually reached a slightly less enticing patch later in the Old Testament and ended up taking a break for a year or so.  I do think the beginning is a good place to begin, so you get the full image of God’s love for you before we sinned, but you must be aware that you will reach areas that are harder to read.  Back in February I joined a couple friends and one of my YoungLife leaders in a challenge to read through all the Gospels by the time we went to YoungLife camp.  I loved the Gospels and I think Matthew would also be a great place to start.

Underline/Highlight Special Verses

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     This one’s probably pretty self explanatory.  Underline or highlight any verses you find especially important, interesting, beautiful, comforting, reassuring, strange, etc.  It’s also smart to underline or make note of any verses you are confused by so you can ask a parent, friend, adult, or religious leader (I love texting my YoungLife leaders, they’re awesome resources) about them!

Journal About Your Reading and Things You Found Important

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     Bible journaling isn’t for everyone, but it sure has helped me!  I journal every time I read my Bible and during every Bible study.  I included a picture of what a typical page from my Campaigners Bible study looks like.  I always write what the notes are from and the date in cursive at the top of the page (ex: “7/31 Nightly Reading” or “8/3 Campaigners”) as well as the book, chapter, and verses I’m reading/studying in my faux calligraphy.  I then take notes on anything that stands out to me or is prominently discussed in Bible study, including important verses, a different perspective, modern translations, and good reminders.  Now, what kind of journal should you use and where should you find one?  The answers are any kind that works for you and anywhere!  The business previously mentioned that sells hand painted Bibles also sells hand painted customizable journals!  These are the perfect size and are so pretty.  The front of mine says “He makes me brave” surrounded in flowers in the bottom right corner and has my name, also surrounded in flowers, on the bottom of the back.  I haven’t started using my new E Squared journal yet because I’m determined to finish using the spiral journal I currently have from Marshalls, but I’m super excited to start journaling in it!  Check out E Squared’s hand painted journals here.

Thanks for reading!  I hope this post gives you some sort of guidance as you begin reading the Bible on your own.  Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any other questions.  Again, I’m not at all trying to claim to have any type of special knowledge on how you should read the Bible, but I’m always happy to help you take these steps that I wish I’d taken earlier.

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The Bible and journal from E Squared featured in this post were sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!