Scripture Sunday Vol. 39

     Happy Sunday!  As you might have noticed, I haven’t been posting as much as usual over the past few weeks.  The stress of starting a new school year paired with college applications isn’t leaving much time for blogging, but I promise the end of college applications and submission of my first major assignment are in sight!  I’m excited to have more time for blogging within the next month or so.  Anyways, today I’m sharing my thirty-ninth volume of “Scripture Sunday.”  I’m talking a little about the comfort God’s giving me in this weird season of life.  Enjoy!

Today’s Verse:

Proverbs 3:5; Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

     Deciding where to go to college is a big decision.  I have a list of schools I’m applying to where I could definitely see myself being happy, but that list is accompanied with so much fear that I won’t get into my top choice, or that when I get to tour I won’t even like my top choice.  The concept of college is tricky because you want to pick a school where you’ll be happy, get a good education, and meet people you genuinely want to be friends with forever.  This season of my life where I’m not sure where I’m going or exactly what I’m doing isn’t my favorite, I like order and plans.

     I’ve been reading Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence devotional every day for almost two months now, and recently Proverbs 3:5 was one of the Scriptures included in the reading.  This verse says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”  Right now, I really have no choice.  I can submit all of my applications and lay awake at night anxiously wondering where I’ll get in, but that brings no hope.  Remembering the ways God revealed Himself to me while on Work Crew and realizing that God frequently does things in my life that I couldn’t have planned for or wanted but always somehow turn out better than what I had planned, that brings hope.  I’ve memorized this verse as a reminder for all the little times when it doesn’t look like He’s working in my favor, like when I get a bad grade on a test or I can’t go to an event I’d been hoping for, because He’s most definitely doing something bigger and better for me than what I thought I needed.

     Instead of anxiously anticipating a decision from what I imagine to be the best place for me, I’m handing it over to God.  One thing I know for certain is that I’ll get in wherever God wants me to go, and I know the things He has planned for me there will be far better than the earthly and materialistic things I imagine accompanying where I want to attend.  I definitely still struggle with doubt and my own desires for my college path, but I can always find comfort in Scripture that God’s plan is bigger than my dreams.

     This week, remember that you can’t see the big picture.  Remember that God knows what He’s doing and why, and maybe one day you’ll look back and realize you’re glad nothing was any different.  He has a purpose for every perfect moment and every flaw in our lives.  He has a plan for you.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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September Playlist 2018

     I’m not going to lie, most of this past month I’ve been listening to a mix of various Taylor Swift songs and worship music.  I haven’t been able to let “O Come to the Altar” and “Reckless Love” from last month’s playlist slip my daily life, and after seeing Taylor Swift in concert for the fourth time I’m in awe of each masterpiece of a song all over again.  That said, I’ve recently become a lot more open to actually listening to the songs people recommend via their Instagram stories (because I have to find new music to share with y’all somewhere!).  Boy do I recommend doing this – worst-case scenario you hate the song twenty seconds in and you turn it off, best case scenario it’s your new favorite!  My absolute favorites from this playlist are “Beige” (which I swear is a lot better than the name would suggest), “Sleeping With Roses,” and Taylor Swift’s Fearless Platinum Edition bonus song, “SuperStar.”  Enjoy!

September Playlist 2018

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

Beige // SuperStar // Happy Now // Freaking Out // I Did Something Bad // Choirs // Seven // I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore // Sleeping With Roses // Quarter Past Midnight // Hello My Old Heart // Running // Outro // Coconuts // Put You On

Thanks for reading!  What’s your favorite song right now?

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Advice to Rising High School Seniors from Molly of Gracefully Gingham

     Today’s Back to School post is something a little different and I’m really excited about it!  I’ve asked my good friend Molly from the blog Gracefully Gingham, a rising freshman in college, to guest post on the blog today and share some advice for all of you who may be rising high school seniors (like me!).  She’s sharing some awesome words of wisdom and I can’t wait for you to read her post below!  If you’re interested in reading my other Back to School posts from this year and/or years past you can find them here!  Enjoy!

     Faith reached out to me a while back asking me to write a guest post on her blog and I immediately jumped on the offer!  I have been reading Faith’s blog since way before I started my own!  My name is Molly and I am the girl behind the blog Gracefully Gingham and Instagram @gracefullygingham.  I post about fashion and lifestyle and I absolutely love it!  I am a recent high school graduate so today I am going to share some advice to seniors.  I hope you find this post helpful!

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  1. Take time to enjoy the little moments you normally take for granted. – Walking through your high school hallways, waking up each morning in your bed at home, and hanging out with all your best friends from high school.  Before you know it all of these experiences are going to turn into memories and you won’t relive them again, and if you do they will never be the same.  I don’t want this to come across as being depressing because the transition from high school to college is super exciting but it is important to remember all those little details about high school as much as possible.
  2. Start the college decision process as early as possible! – When I started looking at schools I had no clue where I wanted to go and it was so stressful.  I constantly felt like I was running out of time.  My first piece of advice would be to relax.  You have plenty of time and I promise everything will work out!
  3. Trust yourself. – I found that throughout my college decision process so many people would always ask me what my plans were and when I started talking they always told me their opinion.  While this was helpful because I took the opinions of the people who mattered most to me into consideration when making my list, some people may try to convince you to do something that you may not want.  Trust yourself and follow your heart.  You know whats best for you!
  4. Don’t compare yourself to others. – Everyone’s experience is going to be completely different so don’t feel discouraged if people start receiving scholarships and acceptance letters and you still haven’t.  Everything will work out!
  5. Have fun! – Try not to take a break from the pressure of college stuff and just enjoy your senior year!

I hope you found this post helpful! If you have any questions about senior year please feel free to message me at any time! I would love to chat!

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 38

     Happy Sunday!  I hope you’re having an awesome Labor Day Weekend.  I’ve spent my weekend working, booking college tours, and spending lots of time in the Bible!  Today I’m sharing a verse that I’ve been really loving lately in another volume of my ongoing “Scripture Sunday” series.  Enjoy!

Today’s Verse:

Psalm 119:50; This is my comfort in my affliction; that Your promise gives me life.

     You know that feeling that you’re all alone?  That no one sees your struggles or that they don’t understand the innocence of your intentions when things turn out badly?  I have no doubt that we all have days where we feel broken with heavy levels of disappointment, sadness, frustration, or just general darkness.  When thinking about the word “affliction,” my mind flies pretty quickly to the minor yet frequent afflictions of the midwinter days of my junior year.  In the midst of lacrosse season and a heavy course load, I felt like nothing in my life was where it should be.  I didn’t get much playing time in lacrosse games, my grades weren’t up to my expectations, and my social life wasn’t necessarily thriving either considering I rarely had weekend plans.  When I looked around at worldly things and searched for a place where I was really doing well and could find my identity, there wasn’t one.

     My biggest piece of advice to any teenage girl (or anyone for that matter) in this day and age is to stop seeking your identity here on earth.  If you find your value in the attention you get from guys or your class rank, you’ll hit the ground hard when you break up with your boyfriend or perform poorly on a test.  So, where are you supposed to find your worth?  The answer is in being His child.  As I mentioned in my previous “Scripture Sunday” and I’m sure in countless volumes before, Scripture constantly points to the fact that our identity and the source of our value in God’s eyes is simply that we belong to Him.

     I came across Psalm 119:50 while reading my devotional yesterday and it hit me hard.  The verse reads “This is my comfort in my affliction; that Your promise gives me life.”  In our darkest days, we can find comfort in the fact that His promise, which is honest and eternal, gives us real life.  You read that right; full life doesn’t come from your soccer stats or GPA, but from His promise of eternal life and unconditional love.  On days when I feel down or worthless, I turn to Scripture where I find constant reminders that I am who He says I am and that He gives me life.  I can’t think of any better remedy for emotional pain than a promise of everlasting love taller and wider than we could ever comprehend.

     This week, remember where your comfort should be coming from – not from temporary worldly things, but from His promise.  Remember that His love is the greatest you’ll ever know and that it’s more than worth holding onto!  He meets you where you are, even in your life’s valleys.  You don’t have to earn His love and that’s one of His greatest gifts to us.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Five Favorites; August 2018

     And just like that, August has come and gone.  This month I began my senior year of high school, how crazy is that?  Today I’m sharing another “Five Favorites” post, which shows you some of my favorite things from this month!  Since I just went back to school, a lot of these pieces are my go-to planning and relaxation items for the school school year!  This is my seventh “Five Favorites” post, so if you’re interested in reading my favorites from previous months you can find them here!  Enjoy!

Five Favorites Template

  1. My Daily Prayer Pad – My friend gave me this for my birthday back in June, and after finishing the prayer and gratitude journal I mentioned last month, I thought I’d start on another!  This is just a simple lined pad with Bible verses at the bottom of each page, so the way you use it is pretty much up to you.  I keep it on my nightstand and write down my prayers of thanks and requests each night!  This one is supposed to last me a whole year, so I’m really excited to use it for an extended period of time!
  2. Erin Condren Stary Sky Metallic LifePlanner in Gold – I got this planner for senior year at the beginning of the month and to say I’m obsessed is an understatement.  I’ve loved using this agenda to write down homework, club meetings, and plans!  The layout makes staying organized and on top of things so much easier and since I customized it, the cover is everything I wanted and more.
  3. Madewell Petaldrop Earrings – I actually don’t own these earrings, but my sister does and I’ve been borrowing them a lot recently.  I love the length and the funky touch the funky shape adds to an outfit!
  4. Jadelynn Brooke “Magnolia Moments” Candle – If you’ve read any of my previous “Five Favorites” posts you’ve probably figured out by now that I’m obsessed with candles.  Jadelynn Brooke sent me this one from their 3 Happy Hooligans collection back in the spring and I just started burning it this month!  Wow, let me just say this candle’s scent is just as good as its printed jar and pompom lid are cute.
  5. Vans Old Skool Sneaker in Black – I’m not going to lie, when I got these for Christmas as my sister opened the same pair in blush pink I thought “man I wish I’d gotten those, how am I going to style a pair of black vans that aren’t even hightops?”  That’s particularly funny because that day I begged my little sister to trade me and she refused, but earlier this week she begged to trade for my black ones and I’ve reached a point where I love them so much I wouldn’t dare trade them.  They’re so fun to pair with jeans and a fun tee or with a denim skirt to make the look a little more casual!

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10 Habits of a Successful High School Junior

     As a rising senior, I can tell you from the other side of junior year that everything’s going to be alright, but I know that’s hard to believe when you’re going into a year that everyone has told you will be the hardest!  Today’s post is going to give you a few habits I think will benefit you in this tough year.  This isn’t to say you can’t be successful without living by these suggestions, but they certainly will help!  I’m not even going to pretend I did all of these things, a lot of them I’m picking up from my brilliant friends who thrived throughout our junior year.  This is my third post in this year’s Back to School series, so if you’d like to read “My Advice for High School Juniors”, “Back to School Lookbook 2018”, or my other Back to School posts from years past, you can check them out here!  Enjoy!

  1. Read your Bible everyday. – If you’re a Christian, I’d say this is absolutely essential.  Nothing puts you in the right mindset or brings you closer to God than spending a little time everyday in His word!  This quiet time could be as little as ten minutes in which you read a devotional or maybe you’ll read a chapter of the Bible each day!  There’s no right way to go about reading the Bible, the important thing is just that you do it.  If you’re intimidated by cracking open a book so big and old, I wrote a blog post all about how I go about reading the Bible last year and you can check it out here (that said I’ve also taken on a couple devotionals since posting that)!  I for one have definitely noticed that days in which I read the Bible tend to be ones that I’m kinder and more patient with others and also have a much more positive outlook.
  2. Do a little SAT (or ACT) practice everyday. – This is likely going to be the year you take the SAT and/or the ACT, so be sure you’re preparing yourself for them!  Signing up for the test then waiting until the week of to attempt to study won’t be much help, but getting a tutor isn’t always necessary either!  I’d recommend using Kahn Academy or the big College Board SAT book to practice for the test a little bit everyday.  Completing one reading passage with a set of questions or five math problems each day won’t take long at all but will help you slowly master the content!
  3. Make your bed every morning. – I understand the state of mind that “no one is going to see it anyways,” but for me, at the end of a long day when I walk back into my room to an unmade bed it’s just another bad mark on my day.  Coming home to a crisp, made bed makes me feel like at least one part of my life is in order and gives me a desire to continue to be productive in the hours immediately after school.
  4. Do short workouts daily. – Outside of lacrosse practice, this is definitely not a habit I developed but I sure wish I had!  Exercising a little everyday will not only keep you in shape, but will also help you relieve that junior year stress!
  5. Keep up with Fast Track to a 5 or Crash Course AP review books. – If your teachers give you these AP exam prep books early on (or if you just decide to buy them at Barnes & Noble at the start of the year), keep up with them from unit to unit!  I really wish I had done this because I feel like I would’ve performed better on unit tests and retained the information throughout the year as opposed to doing fine on the tests then forgetting the material until it was time to cram for the AP exam.
  6. Pick out your outfits on Sunday night. – This one goes for any grade or age, but checking the weather and your agenda for the week then picking out your outfits before the week begins is so smart.  Doing this most likely won’t take longer than an hour and will prevent you from stressing over choosing good outfits when you should be doing your schoolwork later in the week.
  7. Stay involved in things you actually care about. – I know this year might seem all about impressing colleges, but don’t lose sight of your favorite things because you’re too wrapped up in running to be the president of a club you aren’t even interested in.  If you really love writing you should get involved in yearbook, the school paper, or creative writing, not Envirothon!  Not only will dedicating too much of your time to things you don’t truly care about feel boring and exhausting, colleges will also see right through it when your extracurriculars have nothing to do with the interests you talk about in your application.  Definitely do take on as many extracurriculars as you think you can handle, but make sure you genuinely care about them!
  8. Go to bed as early as you can. – Here’s another I wish I would’ve done but didn’t!  The best way to set yourself up for success all year is to get a fair amount of rest!  I know firsthand that it can be hard to get in bed on time when you have as much homework as the average junior does, but a night of solid rest is so worth mastering those time management skills!  Getting eight (or close to eight) hours of sleep each night will help you stay focused (and awake) in class, alert and at the top of your game in sports practice, and healthy!
  9. Clean your room every weekend. – This one goes with number three; having a clean, put together room (your home base!) at the start of each week will eliminate the intensity of mess-induced stress (okay maybe I’m the only one that deals with that…Whenever my room is messy I legitimately stress about it and get distracted from everything else until it gets cleaned) and give you a cleaner, less distracting workspace to get your homework done in!
  10. Set a nightly routine. – The friends I have that rarely (if ever) stay up past midnight doing homework are the friends I have that keep a pretty regular after school schedule.  Decide on how much “break” time you’re going to give yourself when you get home (maybe half an hour to grab a snack or watch an episode of your favorite show) then do your homework and take care of your other evening responsibilities!  I can’t tell you how to make your schedule because obviously everyone has different obligations, dinner times, etc. but you get the point!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you’re able to develop a few of these helpful habits for yourself!

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