July Playlist 2018

     Another month means another playlist!  Today I’m so excited to be sharing some of my favorite songs so far this summer!  These songs are all so great for different reasons; some have an awesome beat, some are super happy, and some are just super relatable.  My definite favorites from this playlist have to be Chelsea Cutler’s recent single “Someone Else,” “Back to You” by Selena Gomez, and “My Boy” by Billie Eilish.  I hope you love these songs as much as I do!  Enjoy!

Tap on the name of a song below to listen to it on YouTube!

Someone Else // Back to You // Gravity // My Boy // All I Want is You // lovely // You Can Count on Me // Promise Not To Fall // Hold On // Wait // The Weekend (Funk Wav Remix) // Quit // these are my friends // 17 // One Kiss (Jauz Remix)

Thanks for reading!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 35

     Good morning and happy Sunday!  Today’s I’m sharing a new “Scripture Sunday” post!  I’m so excited to be sharing a verse that I’ve found to be super comforting.  This is obviously going to be a religious post, so if you don’t think that’s for you please continue to scroll through other recent posts of mine, I hope you find something else you like (see my summer wishlist here an outfit post here, and my friend Cayleigh’s guest post on an outfit inspired by me here)!  Enjoy!

Today’s Verse:

James 4:14; yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

     At this stage in life, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in where I want to be going to school, if I’ll get in, and what I’ll do with my life afterwards.  As a rising senior in high school, there are so many days when I think all too much about myself and what I want to do.  It drives me crazy that I can’t submit my college applications yet and that I don’t even know if my top choice will want me.  I want certain answers and I typically want them pretty soon.

     Recently I read James, and in chapter four I found a lot of comfort in my uncertainty.  Verse fourteen says “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”  The first part of the verse is so simple but such a sweet reminder.  I truly have no idea where I’ll be going, but if it’s God’s plan I know it’ll work out.  While the second part of the verse might initially sound like a rough blow, I take “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” as a reminder that my time on Earth is so insignificant, especially in comparison to the eternity I’ll get to spend with God in heaven.

     This week, remember that our time on Earth is little in comparison to the forever we’ll spend in paradise.  Know that God’s plan is greater than your dreams, even if there’s some uncertainty.  Be comforted and let your anxiety be eased by knowing that the same guy who paints the skies every evening is painting your future, and it’s going to be equally bright and beautiful.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Five Favorites; June 2018

     Happy (almost) July!  I’ve been up to so much over the month of June, including leading at WyldLife summer camp, going on a trip to San Diego (with a stop in Texas), and serving on Work Crew at YoungLife’s Saranac Village in NY (where I am still serving as you’re reading this!).  A few material items (and albums) have been key to thriving in this fun month, so today I’m sharing my third “Five Favorites” post, which rounds up my favorite things in the month of June!  This is my fifth “Five Favorites” post, so if you’re interested in reading my favorites of January, February, March, and May you can check them out herehere, here, and here!  Enjoy!

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  1. SheIn Ruched Bandeau Bikini Set – After seeing a colorful smocked bikini in Instagram spring break posts all through the month of April, I began searching for this trendy set.  For the longest time the only suit I could find that fit the pictures was a pricy Tory Burch set (I’m talking $118 for the top alone), but while browsing SheIn’s website one day I finally found this coveted set under $20 total!  I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this bikini and I’m so excited to continue wearing it all summer!
  2. Freestyle Shark Classic Clip Watch in Taupe/Neon – I’ve been wanting one of these fun sports watches for a year now and I’m so happy I received one for my birthday before leaving for Work Crew!  I personally think this watch is much cuter than most sports watches, plus it reminds me of something from the 80s!  This hot pink, neon orange, and taupey grey color combo is hands down my favorite, but I also like this white, purple, orange, and mint combo!
  3. don’t smile at me EP by Billie Eilish – I have no idea how many hours I’ve spent listening to this EP (especially while traveling) in the month of June but if I knew it’d probably be some crazy and embarrassing number.  Billie’s music is just so beautiful and relatable while simultaneously being violent and exaggerated.  Her voice is absolutely stunning and I will never be over the fact that she is actually younger than me.  My favorite songs from the EP are currently “Watch” and “COPYCAT.”
  4. Target SUGARFIX by BaubleBar Gold Hoop Studs with Crystal Earrings in Gold – I bought these earrings from the Target x BaubleBar SUGARFIX collection a few months ago and I’ve loved wearing them!  The simple gold and crystal combination makes them super versatile and the trendy shape spices up any outfit!
  5. invisibobble Original Traceless Hair Ring in Royal Pearl – I know these hair ties have been trendy for a couple years now, but I honestly thought they were so ugly until a month or so ago.  My little sister bought a set of these while we were in San Diego and she let me have one (shout out to her!) and I’ve kept it on my wrist ever since.  I do think they seriously make a difference in regard to dents in your hair post-ponytail plus they’re just way cuter on your wrist than any other hair tie!

Thanks for reading!

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Southwind WyldLife Summer Camp Travel Diary 2018

     I had the privilege and pleasure of accompanying my area’s WyldLife group to Southwind (a YoungLife camp in Ocklawaha, Florida) June 7-11 and boy, was that long weekend a blessing!  This is going to sound crazy (especially if you’ve ever been to weeklong YoungLife summer camp), but I think I might have actually enjoyed leading a bunch of middle schoolers at Southwind for WyldLife summer camp more than I enjoyed the “best week of my life” as a camper at Frontier Ranch for YoungLife camp last summer.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time at Frontier Ranch (watch my video and read my travel diary from the week here), but getting to be behind the scenes in all the fun and hear about why we do each activity that just seems like fun for the camper was so neat.  I also loved playing a part in the growth of those sweet eighth grade girls’ relationships with Jesus.  I’m so excited to be sharing this special time at camp with you today!  Enjoy!

     Much like my Frontier Ranch travel diary last summer, I’m not going to go into a ton of detail on the itinerary of each day at Southwind because that could potentially ruin surprises for any readers that are also going to Southwind this summer, and if you’ve ever been to a YoungLife camp you know that the time is jam-packed with surprises and that the surprises are half the fun!  All that you really need to know about my time at Southwind is that it was truly the sweetest.  The cabin of eighth grade girls I’ve been seeing at WyldLife club all year and led at Carolina Point back in February began to see me less as a chaperone or counselor and more as a leader and friend.  Suddenly I was included in the inside jokes, invited to tag along to the snack bar, asked to make matching friendship bracelets, and became a shoulder to cry on.  When I got on the bus at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday I was hoping and praying that I’d impact these girls in my time doing life with them at Southwind, but they impacted me more than they’ll ever understand.  Their sweet smiles during worship songs (“Rescue” now holds a special place in my heart) and genuinely thoughtful responses in cabin time reminded me what God’s love really looks like.  A relationship with God looks like a tight hug.  It looks like the jumping and screaming of a united cabin after winning a game of octaball.  It looks like deep conversations while learning to weave an anklet.  It looks like the words “I’m so glad you came to camp with me.”

     As per usual at YoungLife camps, the food was impeccable (especially big cookie).  The club speaker, Hancock, was absolutely amazing and used so many neat and unique illustrations of our relationship with God that we hadn’t seen before.  All of the program activities were so fun, even the ones I was a little scared to participate in at first.  As usual, club was definitely my favorite part of camp.  Screaming the words to our favorite songs, watching the program team make fools out of themselves, and hearing the Gospel in a new light never gets old.  See some of my favorite photos from our time at Southwind below!

     Since I’m not describing each day of camp (and also just because making videos is so fun), I’ve included a video below!  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.

This video was created using iMovie.  All the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a Canon EFS 18-55mm lens.  The background song is “By Your Side” by Jonas Blue featuring RAYE.

     I don’t want to end this post without mentioning my YoungLife leader, Townsend, who moved to my area at the start of my sophomore year.  Getting to know Townsend has been such an adventure and such a blessing.  Getting to be her “YoungLife kid,” leader trainee turned co-WyldLife leader, Work Crew trainee, and friend has been a definite highlight of my time in high school.  The energy and love she pours into me has changed my life.  Townsend gave me the opportunity to lead at Carolina Point back in February, then gave me the amazing privilege of coming to Southwind as the only high school age leader from our area this year.  Her faith in me and constant support is the only reason I’m anything close to a good leader to these girls.  The way she’s loved me throughout my high school career is such a model for me in how I love others and how I love my WyldLife girls.  Townsend was in our cabin, Tarpon Point, with me at Southwind and getting to lead the eighth grade girls alongside her was such a joy.  I don’t know if she’ll ever read this, but thank you Townsend for shaping me these past two years.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

Thanks for reading, and more importantly, thank you to the girls of Tarpon Point for the best possible time.  I’m so blessed to be a part of your lives.

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P.S. – All of my pictures posted during/of my travels on my Instagram are under my hashtag, #farawaywithfaith, so be sure to check that out (or even follow it!) throughout the summer to keep track of my adventures!

Scripture Sunday Vol. 34

     Good morning and happy Sunday!  Today’s post is another installment in my “Scripture Sunday” series.  I love sharing what I’m learning in Scripture with y’all, so these posts are always my favorite!  This is obviously going to be a religious post, so if you feel as though that’s not for you please feel free to scroll through other recent posts of mine (see an outfit post here and my friend Emma’s “10 Ideas for Your Summer Bucket List” post here).  Enjoy!

Today’s Verse:

Hebrews 13:5; Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

     We live in a material world.  Whether we want to admit it or not, a lot of the way we view others is based on what they wear or have.  We’re quick to judge a person from the outside before getting to know them, and because we know that we behave this way we think we all need a set of things to be wanted, known, or valued.  In my current college search one of the things I’m most afraid of is picking the wrong school for me socially.  Obviously academics are most important, but I don’t want to “have less” than other girls wherever I end up and be left on the outside as a result (that might sound silly but I think you know what I mean).  The funny thing is, even if I got every item on that list of “things I need to have to be known and liked by girls in college,” I’d never be content.  Our society is fast paced, and the list keeps growing and the items get kicked out of the list every time you finally get one.

     It’s funny to imagine what material items Jesus addressed in His time, because He obviously wasn’t addressing the women’s Louis Vuitton bags or Gucci belts.  Regardless of whether He was talking about money, livestock, or the newest clothing, His message is clear.  In chapter thirteen of Hebrews, verse five starts “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have,” which I personally love, but know this is a lot easier said than done.  Honesty, who doesn’t love having extra money?  It’s important to realize that the excitement of having enough money to splurge on the thing at the top of your wishlist isn’t the same as joy.  Joy isn’t found in items, it’s found in love, the greatest love in fact.  The rest of verse five says “for He has said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'”  Money will not last forever, nor will it care for us.  Jesus will.  God has promised us that He’ll never leave our side and that He’ll never betray us.

     This week, remember that what you have on Earth is so insignificant.  Know that possessions will never truly satisfy you and that they were never meant to.  It’s far easier to be content with what you have when you realize you don’t even truly need what you already own, that’s when you’ll realize how blessed you are.  Remember that a relationship with God is without a doubt the most valuable thing you could ever have in your life.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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10 Ideas for Your Summer Bucket List with Emma of Simply Introspective

     Hello everyone!  My name is Emma, and I write for the blog Simply Introspective.  I’m so excited to be guest posting on Faith’s blog, she’s the definition of a girl boss.  At Simply Introspective, I talk about my faith, fashion, and life as a way to reach out and help others, and as a way for me to creatively express myself.  I absolutely adore taking pictures and writing, and my blog is certainly a reflection of that.  If you wouldn’t mind checking out my site after this post, that would absolutely make my day!

     When I was thinking on what to write for this post, I remembered back to summers before when I was bored out of my mind because I had absolutely nothing to do.  Of course I never knew what to do when I actually had time to do it (the irony).  Now that I’m older and I can drive places on my own, as most readers here can, I know how important it is to make summers count before we all head off to college.  Some of these ideas I gathered from Pinterest, others came from my own experiences, but all of them can guarantee an amazing summer experience whether by yourself or with friends.  I present to you, my list of ten ideas to brighten up your summer!

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  1. There’s just something about going to a concert that ensures a good summer experience.  Even though this often requires money and planning (depending on who the artist is), the Kendrick Lamar concert I went to had lawn tickets for $30, and there was no hassle involved.  Even if it’s as simple as supporting a local band, any sort of live music gives off amazing vibes.  With summer, there’s no shortage of that.
  2. A few of my friends had the idea to drive out of town to a field full of yellow flowers and take pictures.  They turned out amazing, and they got a picnic out of it too!  If there’s any remotely photogenic areas in your town, I highly suggest taking advantage of them.  Not only does it beat sitting at home, but you get some great pictures for Instagram too.
  3. My friend group started this competition where you split into separate teams and try to get one another out with water guns.  This is supposed to last all summer, so it’s a great way to stay connected with your friend group.  There are a lot of complex rules to the game, but all in all a funny and memorable way to look at summer.
  4. It’s literally proven that having any sort of tan is an instant confidence booster.  It’s no secret that sunshine is beneficial for your health (in moderation).  Additionally, it’s a great excuse to have beach days with your friends!
  5. Getting pen pals was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  I simply commented on an Instagram that received a lot of traffic on the subject, and I was invited to be in a chat with eight other amazing girls, and we still talk to this day!  Even if we’re not sending letters, we have deep talks about life, God, boys, anything under the sun.  Overall, if you’re in need of a couple gal pals from across the country, reach out to @_thegalpals on Instagram and get some pen pals!
  6. You have to have at least one before you graduate.  It’s a thing.
  7. I’ve been meaning to do this for my bedroom, but if you’re not wanting to go outside, this one’s for you.  Taking up your entire wall space with pictures of friends, maps, polaroids, quotes, etc. will literally make you feel so good about your life (editor’s note: I (Faith) have done this and Emma’s so right!  Mine is across from my bed and I smile at it before bed every night).  Have constant reminders of what makes you happy!
  8. Again, being outdoors is good for the soul and the spirit.  Get in touch with God’s creation!
  9. Visiting museums that interest you not only gets you out and about, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn and not let your brain go to mush due to lack of school.
  10. Literally.  As much as you can without going broke.  Brunch is essential.

Thanks so much for Faith for letting me guest post on her blog!  Make sure to follow my blog, Simply Introspectivehere and Instagram here, and stick with Faith for more amazing content.

-Em