May Playlist 2018

     If you ask me, music is seasonal.  I don’t just mean Christmas music and songs that literally talk about summer, I mean the sound.  Y’all know I love electronic and alternative music, but I often lean towards more electronic and pop during the spring and summer, as the upbeat sounds set the tone for the exciting activities of spring and warm summer days.  As we make the transition into spring (I know it’s already mid-spring but the weather here’s just now starting to feel like we’re exiting winter!), I think this playlist reflects that mood change pretty well!  Slower alternative numbers like “White Lie” and “Gale Song” by The Lumineers reflect the darkness and long days of winter and recent upbeat favorites of mine like “Boy” by ODESZA (by the way it doesn’t have words but I swear the sounds are just so pretty!) and “Say My Name” by Tove Styrke excite me for the warm months ahead!  Other than those that I already mentioned, “One Day At A Time” and “Ultralife” are standout songs on my personal charts for this month.  Enjoy!

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

Say My Name // Ultralife // Boy // White Lie // MICHUUL. // Everybody Hurts // One Day At A Time // For You (Fifty Shades Freed) // Gale Song /// The Other (Ryan Riback Remix) // Talk Too Much // Falls // Koto // Capital Letters // Throwback

Thanks for reading!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 33

     Happy Sunday!  Today I’m posting my first “Scripture Sunday” post since my little month-long hiatus and I’m so excited to share what God’s been teaching me lately!  This is my thirty-third “Scripture Sunday” post I’ve written in the past year or so (crazy right?), so if you’re interested in reading any of my previous Scripture posts you can find them here.  I hope you love today’s post as much as I loved writing it!  Enjoy!

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Today’s Verse:

James 1:11; For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes.  So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

     I love to travel.  I love seizing every opportunity I get to see more of the world, and I’m never disappointed.  God’s creation never ceases to amaze me, from the crashing of ocean waves to tall purple mountains it’s all so beautiful and it’s such a blessing to see.  One of my favorite things about traveling, especially by plane, is that it puts in perspective just how little my life really is.  As a junior in high school, it’s so easy to get caught up in myself, not necessarily in intentionally selfish ways, but caught up in things like bringing up my SAT score, being disappointed in my GPA, or getting involved in as many extracurriculars as I can manage.  The compounding of these expectations that I, and those around me, have for the remainder of my high school career easily creates stress and a sense of drowning.  I constantly get stuck in the cycle of feeling like nothing I’m doing is good enough, like my grades will never be as high as I want them to be or my athletic performance will never be enough to get played in lacrosse games.

     A couple weeks ago I read the book of James.  I love the number of metaphors in the short, five chapter book, and I especially love the one found in verse eleven of chapter one.  It says “For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes.  So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.”  While this can definitely be taken as targeting the selfish ambitions of those who only focus on money, I think the “pursuits” of the “rich man” mentioned can also refer to our earthly goals that aren’t based on God.  If we choose to spend our whole lives focusing only on our grades, athletic performance, or income, not only will we never be content, we won’t be living for God.  While high academic achievement and athletic talent are by no means bad things, they are still distractions from God.

     The funny thing about all of these earthly aims that we place such high value on is that they won’t matter at all when we get to heaven.  When we meet our Creator all that will matter is how we loved others, how we shared His word, and how we poured into our relationship with Him.  We aren’t going to have a nicer house when we get to heaven because we had higher paying jobs on Earth.  We aren’t going to get an extra high five from God because we got into the most prestigious college.  God loves us as we are and for who we are, not who we present ourselves as to the world based on what we’ve accomplished or how we look.

     This week, remember what actually matters.  Remember what the Bible says about our earthly pursuits and our God-based goals.  Don’t let a failure get you down and remember who God says you are!

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Fill In on Faith Vol. 1

     Dear friends, I cannot explain how sorry I am for my month long absence!  Today I’m doing the first of what will likely become a sporadic series of life updates, something I’ve decided to call “Fill In on Faith.”  This post is going to tell y’all about what I’ve been up to recently and how my life is going, as well as spill a few pieces of exciting news!  Enjoy!

     To start, the main source of my business this semester was lacrosse season.  For those of you who don’t know, I play on my high school’s varsity girls lacrosse team.  While I’m definitely not the best player on the team and honestly don’t get played a ton in actual games, the sport is still a huge time commitment considering I attended daily practices from 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. and typically had one or two games per week.  My team had an amazing season, only losing two official games in all!  We had a lot of impressive and unexpected wins and despite my only minor contribution, I’m really proud to be part of something so big.  Girls lacrosse has never been a particularly successful sport at my school and we’re genuinely shocking our classmates with our accomplishments.  We ended our season with a loss at the state semi-finals, and while we were disappointed that we didn’t make it to state this year we’re still proud because that is the farthest our school’s girls lacrosse team has ever made it in the playoffs!  We celebrated an amazing season with a dinner at a player’s house on April 29th and, like any other time that our team is together, it was a blast filled with countless laughs.

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     Continuing on the topic of extracurricular obligations, while it might not sound like anything special, yearbook distribution day was quite possibly my favorite day of the school year.  Getting out of class all day to hand out the book I’ve poured my heart and soul into in seventh period every day this year while wearing matching tee shirts was so much fun and receiving compliments on the book made all of those long Saga Days (our yearbook is called Saga and “Saga Days” are the Wednesdays we stayed after school until 5:30 p.m. from October to January to do some extra work on the spreads and eat pizza) so incredibly worth it.  In other yearbook news, I’m going to be a co-editor-in-chief next year!  I’m so honored and ecstatic that my yearbook advisor asked me to work with one of my best friends, Evan, as co-editors of the entire yearbook and I’ll also be the section editor of clubademics (school club and class spreads)!  We commemorated a successful year with a staff feast at one of this year’s co-editor-in-chief’s houses, where we shared lots of delicious snacks and funny memories.

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     Next, let’s talk prom.  My school’s prom was April 21st and I had a great time with my best friends and date!  My date “promposed” by surprising me with a poster and roses one Saturday in March while I was at work.  We went as friends and part of a group of four total couples (including my best friends Cammie, Evan, and Sarah Grace) and while I’ll be the first to admit prom definitely isn’t the “night of nights” that High School Musical and my older peers hyped it up to be, it was still a lot of fun!

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     It’s no secret that I’m super involved in YoungLife, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I recently completed Work Crew training and applied for a spot on Work Crew at Saranac Village, a YoungLife camp in New York.  I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that I will be on Work Crew at Saranac Village for second session (June 23rd through July 21st)!  I just found out last week that I will be a tawashie, which means I’ll be on the housekeeping team all month!  Going to a YoungLife camp for Work Crew is completely voluntary, so I won’t get paid and I don’t have to pay to be there.  If you’re going to Saranac Village during second session for Work Crew or as a camper let me know, I’d love to meet you!

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(This photo belongs to YoungLife’s Saranac Village website but please look how pretty it is!)

     Speaking of YoungLife, I spent the weekend of April 27th through 29th serving at YoungLife’s camp in Brevard, NC, Carolina Point, for Family Camp Weekend.  This was my second time participating in my area’s Work Crew Weekend at Carolina Point (read my post about last year’s here) and the trip was just as fun as last year.  Even though the work is exhausting it’s so worth it.  Serving for the weekend made me so excited to serve at Saranac for a whole month!

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     Last, and probably least interestingly, I’m finally through with my AP course load!  Yesterday I took my last AP exam and I could not be more relieved that they’re all over with.  In case you’re curious, I took AP English III (Lang), AP Environmental Science, and AP U.S. History this year.  Junior year has been a tough one for sure but the end is near!  Since my schedule includes three AP classes and a study hall, the only exams I’ll have to take during my school’s actual exam week are Spanish III (my last high school Spanish!), Pre-Calculus, and Yearbook (which is really just a grade we receive for spending the long period actually working ahead on next year’s book).  I’m relieved that now I can channel all of my energy into Pre-Cal because our current content needs all the focus I can give it!

Thanks for reading!  Consider yourself filled in on my life.

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 32

     Happy Sunday!  Today I’m excited to share my thirty-second installment in my “Scripture Sunday” series (read my previous posts in the series here)!  Today’s verse has brought me so much encouragement lately and I hope it does the same for y’all!  This post is definitely Christian, so if the Christian religion offends you for whatever reason please feel free to continue scrolling through my blog, I hope you find something else you like (this past week I shared an outfit post and my Isle of Palms travel diary from spring break)!  Enjoy!

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Today’s Verses:

2 Timothy 4:18; The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.  To Him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

     Life is hard.  That’s a groundbreaking statement, right?  Obviously not.  Whether your current hardships have to do with low grades, having trouble with friends, your parents’ relationship, or just about anything else, you know the sad truth that life is full of struggles and moments in which you can’t see a trace of the light of good days.

     An issue that has been really hard on me a lot lately is judgement.  What’s ironic about the judgement that I’m specifically speaking of is that it’s based on the assumption that I would judge someone else.  Being a faithful Christian in high school is hard for so many reasons I never thought it’d be.  I always knew I’d be able to resist the temptation to drink and do drugs in high school, but what’s hard about the presence of these substances in high school social life is that other people’s knowledge of your decision not to get involved with these things often leads to their assumption that you think they’re “bad people” because they choose to use them.  Quite the opposite is true, as I would still love to maintain relationships with these people.  In all honesty, there are so many nights in which I lie awake hoping these friends make it home alright.  I’m not going make the decision to exclude someone from my life simply because they make choices I won’t, but my peers often choose to distance themselves from me because they know I don’t approve of or participate in the things they’re doing.

     Last week I read 2 Timothy, the second letter from Paul to Timothy.  If you’re unfamiliar with Paul, he underwent a colossal conversion from persecuting Christians to putting his life on the line to spread the message constantly.  Paul was thrown into prison several times and faced consequences left and right for sharing the gospel.  Something I often overlook is the thought that Paul’s friend group, like mine, radically changed after he made such a dramatic shift in his life.  Recognizing all of this certainly puts things in perspective and gives me hope and motivation to continue on no matter how hard it gets.  In verse eighteen of chapter four, Paul says to Timothy, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.”  This verse was such a beautiful reminder to me over the past week that God will save me from the worst parts of this world and one day I’ll get to spend eternity in His perfect kingdom.

     This week, try to see past your challenges to that eternal life God promises us.  Even the greatest troubles here on earth pale in comparison to the glory awaiting us in heaven.  If you share that issue of judgment I mentioned and also worry about your friends making potentially dangerous decisions, pray for them!  One thing I’ve learned over the past year or so is that approaching people about their questionable actions rarely helps, so prayer is your greatest tool.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Isle of Palms Spring Break Travel Diary 2018

     I spent Tuesday through Friday of last week staying in an adorable little house at Wild Dunes in Isle of Palms, South Carolina with my family for spring break.  We had an awesome time and today I’m so excited to share the details of our trip with y’all!  I’m sharing a ton of pictures as well as a video, which I recommend you watch in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  I also linked most of the locations, restaurants, and shops mentioned so you can check them out for yourself if you’re planning trip to Isle of Palms.  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens.  The background song is “The Other (DallasK Remix)” by Lauv.

Tuesday

     We left for Isle of Palms after lunch around 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday.  We spent our three and a half hour car ride watching movies, eating goldfish, and doing those fun spring break homework assignments (well actually that was just me and that “fun” comment was definitely sarcastic) before arriving at our house in Isle of Palms’ Wild Dunes resort area around 3:30 p.m.  When we got to the house we spent half an hour or so picking rooms and settling in then my father, sister, brother, and I went on a short walk to the beach!  It was so nice to have a house within walking distance from the beach and after this initial walk my sister and I felt comfortable enough to walk to the beach on our own.  When we got back to the house around 5:00 p.m. and my stepmom made pasta for dinner, which we ate around 6:00 p.m.  After dinner my sister and I went on another walk to the beach.  We took a few photos, shared many laughs, and watched the sunset before coming back to the house, showering, and going to bed.

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Wednesday

     My sister and I woke up around 8:30 a.m. and had crescent rolls with Nutella for breakfast before heading to the beach at 10:00 a.m.  While it was sunny, the weather was not in our favor as winds and cooler temperatures pushed us away from the water.  We walked back to our house around noon, where we had turkey and cheese sandwiches for lunch.  My brother, sister, and father have been watching The Flash on Netflix together, so while they binge watched for a few hours I worked on my AP U.S. History homework and my stepmother read her books.  Around 4:30 p.m. we began getting ready for dinner out.  We went to The Refuge around 6:00 p.m. and it was amazing!  I ordered the Amelia sandwich, which was turkey, tomato (which I asked to have taken off), avocado, bacon, mozzarella, and pesto (which I also asked to have excluded) on sourdough bread.  For dessert my sister and I split a peanut butter and chocolate pie.  After dinner we returned to the house and got ready for bed.

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Thursday

     Thursday morning I slept in until around 10:00 a.m. while my family went on a walk.  After waking up as they were leaving, I ate a couple cinnamon rolls for breakfast and read the Bible on the deck.  When my family returned from their walk around 11:00 a.m., we drove to Acme  Low Country Kitchen for brunch.  I had the island toast and it was so good.  After brunch we came back to the house for a couple hours before heading to Wild Dunes’ pool area overlooking the beach.  While at the pool, I tanned and worked on more AP U.S. History homework before playing lacrosse with my little brother.  My sister and I also spent a little time on the beach.  We returned to the house around 3:00 p.m., then my sister and I went on a walk to a gift shop on the resort property to buy tee shirts.  After our little trip to the gift shop, we got ready for dinner.  We ate at the Morgan Creek Grill on the marina, where I had fish and chips then a chocolate cake for dessert.  We returned to the house after dinner, began packing, and went to bed.

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Friday

     I woke up around 9:00 a.m., and after having a couple crescent rolls for breakfast I finished packing. We did one final sweep of the house and loaded the car to begin the journey home around 11:00 a.m.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed hearing about our trip!  Be sure to follow me on Instagram @apocketfuloffaith and follow my travel hashtag #farawaywithfaith so you don’t miss any of my upcoming travels.  If you’re interested in reading any of my other travel diaries, you can check them out here!

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Five Favorites; March 2018

     It’s crazy to think it’s already April!  Today I’m sharing five of my favorite things in the month of March, from jewelry to music to shoes!  This is my third “Five Favorites” post, so if you’re interested in reading my favorites of January and February you can check them out here and here!  Enjoy!

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  1. Vans Old Skool Sneakers in Black – I received these classic Vans sneakers for Christmas and while I never would have picked them out for myself, I’ve grown to love styling them (thanks Nana)!  These go with just about anything; a cute top and jeans, a denim skirt and nice top, a casual sundress, a graphic tee and jeans, you name it!  The hightop Vans sneakers have gained a lot of popularity lately but I think this low top style is so underrated!
  2. The Lumineers’ Cleopatra LP – As y’all already know, I’ve been obsessed with my record player since receiving it for Christmas.  I purchased The Lumineers’ Cleopatra album on vinyl at Urban Outfitters while in Charleston back in January and I can’t stop listening to it!  My recent favorites have been “Gale Song,” “Ophelia,” and “Sleep on the Floor.”
  3. Quay Australia After Hours Sunglasses in Tortoise/Brown – I’d never really owned a “nice” pair of sunglasses prior to getting these for Christmas and I just can’t stop wearing them!  I love popping these on while driving home from school and I always wear them when we watch the JV lacrosse game before warming up for our varsity game.  Compared to other leading sunglass brands like Ray Ban, these are quite inexpensive and I just think they’re so chic!
  4. Smith’s Mocha Rose Rosebud Salve Tube – I’ve sworn by my candy cane Chapstick since middle school, but this sweet tube of hydrating gloss has become a go to of mine lately!  It’s fairly neutral but has a little color and is glossy but not overwhelmingly sticky, making it perfect for everyday use.
  5. Madewell Looker Hinge Cuff Bracelet – This bracelet was another purchase I made in Charleston back in January (read my post about the trip here if you’re interested!) and I’ve worn it constantly since!  I’ve been so into funky statement pieces lately and this one is just the best.

Thanks for reading!

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