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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My blog contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn commission from your purchase of the products mentioned.

Yellow Stripes & Overalls

     Shortly before I left for Work Crew in June I ordered an overall dress from Forever 21 to wear on western night each week throughout the month.  Sadly, the dress didn’t make it in time to pack for Saranac Village, however after a month of seeing my new Work Crew friends wear overalls, flannels, and the color yellow all the time I was ecstatic to start styling the overall dress when I opened it upon coming home.  Today I’m sharing one of my favorite ways to wear an overall dress for the summer.  Enjoy!

     Obviously the overall dress needs to be layered over a top, so I thought this would be a fun opportunity to style my new yellow striped tee I recently purchased from Old Navy.  I recently noticed that I don’t own much yellow so this tee was a great addition to my wardrobe!  A small Instagram jewelry business called Beadz by Reese recently sent me this adorable yellow, orange, pink, and pearl choker which matches the tee perfectly.  Be sure to check out Reese’s Instagram here to find some fun pieces like this choker!  My friendship bracelets and Freestyle Shark watch have become everyday essentials since returning from camp so they obviously made an appearance in this ensemble!  I wore some simple gold earrings from BaubleBar’s line for Target, Sugarfix, and my Birkenstock Madrid sandals to complete the look.

tee // overall dress // sandals // earrings // choker (direct message Reese to order this choker!) // watch // MantraBand // cross bracelet // personalized beaded bracelet // rose gold ring // gold stacked rings

Thanks for reading!

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P.S. – Did you notice my hair wrap?  This was the only post I shot after Work Crew before taking it out!

I received the beaded bracelet from Beadz by Reese 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!  My blog contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn commission from your purchase of the products mentioned.

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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Scripture Sunday Vol. 37

     Good morning and happy Sunday!  I go back to school tomorrow for my senior year and I’m honestly really excited.  After spending a month on Work Crew at a YoungLife camp this summer (read the post on my experience here), I feel so inspired and I can’t wait to implement some of the things I learned about loving others in my community at home!  Today I’m sharing a little of this in another volume of “Scripture Sunday.”  Enjoy!

Today’s Verse:

1 John 3:1a; See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!

     In everyday life it’s so easy to hear all the negatives and nothing positive about yourself between your peers, the media, and your own thoughts.  You hear that you’re annoying, not thin enough, not pretty enough, and so on.  These criticisms weigh on us like backpacks full of stones.  We become convinced that our flaws define us and in that insecurity it’s easy for us to define others with their flaws as well, even if we don’t vocalize that.

     In my time on Work Crew with approximately forty other teenagers from across the country, I got to know some people that are really similar to my friends at home but also some who aren’t.  The people that I didn’t think I’d talk to much at all in the first few days ended up becoming some of the sweetest friendships I had at Saranac.  We hear “don’t judge a book by its cover” all the time, but maybe we should start judging by a cover; that cover being that the person is a child of God whether they look and act like you or seem perfect from the outside or not.

     The verse that we’re memorizing for Wyldlife leader training this week is 1 John 3:1a.  This verse says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”  In memorizing this piece of Scripture, I’ve started to think about how it means more than just “God loves me.”  The verse means that He has given us a really incredible, unconditional, eternal love that we couldn’t ever deserve, but the key word there is “us.”  This reminder of the love that God has for me should comfort me in the reminder that my identity is found in being His child, but it should also remind me that this goes for everyone.  Something big that I took home from Work Crew is what I like to call my “God lens,” or the intention of seeing others the way that God sees them.  Now, when I catch myself thinking something negative about someone else or see a distance between me and someone else just because speaking to them isn’t “comfortable,” I fill my mind with positive thoughts about the way God sees them and pray for the boldness to be kind and loving towards them.

     This week, remember what truly defines us.  We are children of God!  I am and you are, but that girl that’s rude to you and the boy that sits alone at lunch are too.  Treat those around you with even a fraction of that reckless love that God treats us with.  Remember that He loves us more than we’ll ever be able to comprehend, and we should let our hearts overflow into love for others.

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed week!

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Back to School Lookbook 2018

     One of my favorite (and most consistent) posts to write since I began blogging is the back to school lookbook.  It’s seriously so wild to see how the time has flown; the first time I wrote this post I was about to be a freshman and I start senior year next week!  See my back to school lookbooks of years past here, here, and here, it’s crazy to see how my style has evolved!  I’ve always loved sharing these fun looks that can easily be recreated because I know firsthand that it can be hard to come up with fresh outfits for the new school year.  This is my second post in this year’s Back to School series, be sure to check out my last post (and all of my Back to School posts from previous years) here.  Let’s get into the post!

A Tank and a Cardigan

     If you’re looking for a cute but casual look this back to school season and you live somewhere that you wouldn’t be absolutely miserable in a cardigan right now (or your school is just always cold), this one is for you!  Add a light cardigan like this fun off-white one from Old Navy (currently on sale and under $40 – my favorite cardigan I’ve ever owned!) to a fun but not dress code tank with some layered jewelry, jeans, and sandals for a put together late summer look.

tank (similar) // cardigan // jeans // sandals (similar) // hoop earrings // choker // key necklace (similar) // watch // MantraBand // cross bracelet // personalized beaded bracelet // rose gold ring // gold stacked rings

White with Denim

 

 

 

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     This look is slightly more dressed up and is extremely similar to what I’m planning on wearing to school the first day of my senior year!  I love embroidered white tops like this one because they’re super versatile but the embroidered details make them girly and fun.  Pair it with a denim skirt and a pair of sandals for a nice and simple ensemble.  If you want to spice it up, add some fun jewelry like this colorful Beadz by Reese choker!

top (similar) // skirt // sandals // earrings // choker (direct message Reese to order this choker!) // key necklace (similar) // watch // MantraBand // cross bracelet // personalized beaded bracelet // rose gold ring // gold stacked rings

Casual with Stripes and Rips

     Last but not least, this look is easy to throw on, comfortable, but also stylish!  A basic tee – whether it be crewneck or v-neck, solid or striped – a pair of ripped jeans (regardless of color as long as they don’t clash with the shirt!), and Birkenstocks make for an easy go-to outfit for this back to school season.  Accessorize with some fun earrings or a long necklace to take the look from basic to chic.  Transition this look into fall and even winter by adding a cardigan or jean jacket and trading out the sandals for a pair of slip on sneakers!

tee // green jeans (similar) // sandals // earrings (similar) // choker (direct message Reese to order this choker!) // key necklace (similar) // watch // MantraBand // cross bracelet // personalized beaded bracelet // rose gold ring // gold stacked rings

Thanks for reading!  I hope these ensembles have given you some inspiration for your own back to school looks!

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My blog contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn commission from your purchase of the products mentioned.