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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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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Off to Saranac Village

     As you can see from the title, I’m going off the grid yet again.  Tomorrow I’m flying to Saranac Lake, New York for Work Crew at YoungLife’s camp, Saranac Village!  I’m so excited to serve for four weeks with lots of friends I haven’t even met yet and without technology distracting me.  However, I hate leaving y’all without new content so I’ve made some arrangements!

     One of my favorite things about blogging is the community of sweet girls I’ve met, and five of them will be helping me post while I’m away!  I’ve scheduled lots of posts to go up throughout the time that I’m gone, but each of these girls have also written their own posts that will go up on my blog!  Emma from Simply IntrospectiveBrooke from Live the Prep Life, Cayleigh from CNPrepster, Olivia from Absolutely Olivia, and McKenzie from Styled by McKenz will all be guest posting on my blog and taking over my Instagram account at one point or another over these next four weeks!  I’m so excited for y’all to read their posts, they’re awesome and I know you’ll love them as much as I do!

     Now, more about Work Crew, because I want y’all to know all about it and pray for me!  I’m going to be what YoungLife has nicknamed a “tawashie,” or part of the housekeeping crew.  I’ll be spending the next four weeks cleaning bathrooms, folding blankets, and helping with lots of other odd jobs.  While that might not sound like the most fun way to spend a month of my summer, doing it in a place as gorgeous as Saranac Village, with people as kind and fun as the other Work Crew kids I’m about to meet, and for a God as good as the one I serve sounds like the best thing I could possibly be doing with my summer.  Several of my YoungLife leaders did Work Crew at various other YoungLife camps while they were in high school and they’re all so excited for me and have spent the past few months telling me just how much fun I’m going to have.  I truly could not possibly be more thrilled to have this opportunity to spend a whole month on a YoungLife property serving God by helping other high schoolers have the same experience I had when I spent a week at YoungLife summer camp at Frontier Ranch in Colorado last summer.  Aside from serving in the form of cleaning and other manual labor, I’ll also be sharing my testimony with kids at camp.  I’m definitely most nervous about this aspect of Work Crew, because while I’m confident in my story and don’t struggle to share my life in writing like I do here, I’m an awful public speaker.  I know my testimony has the potential to impact the kids I share it with, but I’m afraid I won’t present it the right way because I’ll panic.  Please pray for my time at Work Crew and travels in general, but I’d especially like to ask you to pray for the sharing of my testimony.  I need God to ease my nerves and speak through me.

Thanks for reading!  See y’all when I get back!  Look forward to a post (hopefully including a video!) about my experience at Saranac sometime when I get back.

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Scripture Sunday Vol. 33

     Happy Sunday!  I missed my typical biweekly mark for a “Scripture Sunday” post last week, but I have a good one for you today!  As you’re reading this I’m still leading Wyldlife kids (kids that participate in my area’s YoungLife ministry for middle schoolers) at Southwind, a YoungLife camp in Ocklawaha, Florida.  I’d so appreciate your prayers in my last couple days at camp!  As I’m sure you can tell from the title, this is a Christian post, so if you feel that kind of thing’s not for you feel free to continue exploring my blog and find something else you like!  Enjoy!

Today’s Verse:

1 John 2:6; Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.

     I don’t think I’m the only teenage girl, or the most extreme case for that matter, that often finds herself imitating aspects of those around her.  I often realize I’ve picked up strange phrases that my friends use.  If we’re being honest I have a whole saved Instagram collection of photos I’ve seen other girls on Instagram post that I’d like to recreate on my personal Instagram account.  Yes, we hear “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and no, I’m not a complete clone of any one person, but do I really want my being to be made up of fragments of other people?  Is that really what I want my life to be based on?

     While reading the book of 1 John recently, I came across a verse that really struck a chord for me.  1 John 2:6 says “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”  If you’ve met me you’ve probably heard me claim that I follow or “abide in” God.  I’m so quick to claim that I’m a dedicated Christian and have a strong relationship with Jesus, but do I act in accordance to this Scripture?  If I truly abide in God I should be living my life the way Jesus did.

     In writing this I don’t think John meant “if you really love God you’ll die for the world’s sins just like Jesus.”  Honestly, I’m fairly certain John knew that none of us could even consistently live the way Jesus did on His average days.  Sure, I have some days that I feel really good about who I am and the way I’ve treated others, but those are nothing in comparison to the way Jesus treated others all the time.  Not only did Jesus heal the sick (I don’t know about you, but I don’t have miraculous abilities), He called them (and other outsiders) by name.  Jesus acknowledged everyone and proved that He wanted to be part of their lives, even when they were rejected by the world.

     This week, remember the example Jesus has set for us.  As imperfect humans, we are never going to be able to live up to such a standard, but we definitely won’t without God.  Lean on God for support, patience, and hope.  Start asking yourself the way Jesus would perceive your actions before you even do them.  If Jesus were here at this time, wearing Vans and jeans with His friends who have iPhones sticking out of their pockets, would He like the text you’re about to send?  Would He encourage you to talk to your parents that way?  These thoughts have definitely been shaking me lately.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Off to Southwind

     This post is nothing formal, just a little explanation of what’s going to be happening on my blog and Instagram this weekend!  I’m so excited to be heading to Southwind, a YoungLife camp in Ocklawaha, Florida, for Wyldlife camp this weekend (Thursday to Monday)!  If you’re unfamiliar with Wyldlife, it’s YoungLife’s (the Christian ministry targeted at teenagers which I’m super involved in – read more about their mission here) middle school ministry.  Similarly to how YoungLife is largely led by college students, most of my area’s Wyldlife leaders are high school students, myself included!  I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to lead at summer camp this year and I could not be more thrilled to have the chance to travel to another one of YoungLife’s gorgeous properties with my area’s sweet middle schoolers!  Our time at camp will include lots of fun activities like swimming in a pool and lake, watching hilarious skits, eating amazing food, experiencing a ton of awesome surprises, and learning more about a relationship with God.  Going to a YoungLife camp entails lack of access to technology (excluding cameras) for the duration of our time at camp to exclude distractions from the purpose of going to camp.  That means I physically won’t be able to post on my Instagram or blog while I’m gone, but someone else can!

     While I’m away, I have Cali from A Touch of Southern Style (@atouchofsouthernstyle on Instagram) taking over my Instagram for me (she’ll be posting my pictures I’ve scheduled for her) and I’ve scheduled two blog posts (including my June playlist and a new Scripture Sunday) to go up Friday and Sunday while I’m gone!  Cali is so sweet to do this for me and I know y’all will love her, so definitely check out her Instagram and blog!

     Blogging aside, I would really appreciate your prayers this (long) weekend!  I’m stoked to have the opportunity to be used by God at Southwind and I want to be the very best leader I can be.  Please pray that God would ease my nerves, help me interact well and form strong relationship with my girls at camp, and use me to model a healthy relationship with Him.  I’m definitely more excited than nervous about leading at Wyldlife camp this time around, but I still want to be sure I’m serving as a window to God for the kids at camp, not a window to me.

Thanks for reading, see y’all when I get back!  Look forward to a post (hopefully including a video!) about my experience at Southwind!  Have a great weekend!

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