Fall is for relaxing

It’s finally starting to feel like fall!
On Saturday, we had a major change in weather. Like MAJOR. I was outside working in short sleeves in the morning, and then we drove home from a barn party in snow.
I am not okay with this. But then again, I am.

 : image via Pinterest

So with fall comes relaxing, right? Right.

Fall is a lazy season for me. All I want to do is cuddle up in a blanket and cozy socks and some warm tea/coffee/hot chocolate/apple cider/whateveryouprefer.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I relax, I feel as though I should be doing something productive instead. I come home from work and go straight to my room saying I’m going to relax for a little. But in reality, I’m probably on my phone scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest or catching up on blogs.

The word “relax” almost has a negative connotation in America. We should always be striving and reaching and working for the next thing to get or accomplish. It’s work-work-work-drive-hustle-strive.

I’ve realized something about myself recently. During the day when I am working, it’s always top speed. Sometimes I’m literally running around the house to get things done, or I’m typing at work or writing for school crazy fast because that’s how my mind works. It’s constantly going full speed ahead. And then by 8:00 at night, I’m worn down. I can’t even sit down in the evening to read a book because I know that I will fall asleep. As long as I stay concentrated and focused, I’ll stay awake. So learning to relax without falling asleep has been a struggle.

Life is fast. But sometimes, you have to take some intentional time for yourself. So here are some tried and true (for me anyway) ways to relax.

  1. Make a hot drink   . Coffee probably isn’t a good idea if you are trying to relax. Just saying.
  2. Turn off your computer, Ipad, phone. If I get a notification or a text, i’ll probably look at it. And then get distracted by facebook..or Instagram…or Pinterset…or snapchat…or tumblr…or……you get the picture.
  3. Put on some comfy clothes. Sweatpants are like a warm hug. They’re fabulous.
  4. Listen to some calm music. I’ve recently discovered a love for acoustic covers of my favorite songs. What are ya’lls favorites?
  5. Light a candle. Candles are the way to my heart. Honestly. Buy me a candle and I’ll love you for forever.
  6. Spend some time with Jesus. When life get’s tough and crazy, there is nothing more comforting than the Comforter Himself. Spend some time loving Him, and letting Him love you. Learn to “be still.” Give Him some undistracted time….you’ll never see that time wasted.

Take some time for you today!

Summer Recap

This summer has been a whirl-wind.

Between vacations, mission trips, work, being in a musical, and spending time with friends, there has hardly been time for anything else.

Some of the highlights,

  1. Spending a week and a half at the beach with family.
  2. Having a role in the musical, Godspell Jr.
  3. Multiple cabin trips.
  4. Going on a mission trip to Puerto Rico.
  5. Going on a beach day trip with some of my best friends.
  6. Two of my best friends taking me to my first truck pull. #redneckatheart
  7. Attending the most beautiful wedding.
  8. Spending 17 days exploring the western part of our beautiful country.

 


the wedding

Boquerón, Puerto Rico (part of the Carribean)


Bryce Canyon, Utah

Also, some of the things I learned this summer:

  1. Being open. Being okay with brokenness and imperfection. It’s been a life changer y’all.
  2. How to do a smoky eye. Not nearly as important as #1, but still. It’s nice to know 🙂
  3. God is doing a new thing.Prepare youself for it!
  4. GROWTH TAKES GRACE.
  5. How important authentic community is and having friends that you can truly share what’s going on in your life. Friends that know your story and can give you wise advice.

Yellowstone National Park

What have you all learned this summer?

also, check out @foreverlovedblog on Instagram if you haven’t yet. 🙂

 

The World’s Beauty Versus You

This world won’t love you unless you are beautiful.

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This world won’t love you until you fit in size 2 jeans.

This world won’t love you until you have the designer purse and the hot boyfriend.

This world won’t love you until you are perfect.

“The truth is, you aren’t loved because you are beautiful, you are beautiful because you are loved.” (Ann Voskamp)

Looking at the world, you’d think beauty is a mix of plastic surgery, low cut, skin-tight dresses, and 7-inch high heels.You’d think beauty is putting your body on display for any eye to see.

You’d think that your beauty (and popularity) is measured by how many likes you got on that selfie on instagram.

Media will tell you if you are beautiful….as if it’s a contest. The truth is, you are beautiful because you are made in the image of the Father Himself.

When you dwell in the true and real love, you will be confidently secure. The world’s love will leave you feeling empty and lacking, reading yet another romance novel with a plot line of one-night stands and plastic surgery mishaps.

Look for the Love that paints the skies and leans in close and calls you:

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BELOVED. CHOSEN. WORTHY. BEAUTIFUL.

Listen and cling to the Love that never holds you to the world’s standards of beauty.

“Please hear me, Girl: The world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.

The world has enough women who live a masked insecurity. It needs more women who live a brave vulnerability.

The world has enough women who are trying to do it all — spending everything they’ve got to be found in the crowd. It needs more who are doing the only thing that is necessary — spending time at His feet, being found and known by Him.

Look at the bent woman ahead of us in the check-out, her gnarled and arthritic hand counting out the potatoes she’ll bake tonight for the old man leaning against the cart. That is the quietest reality that hushes all the media voices: We need more women who would rather be beautifully sacrificial than perfectly artificial.” (Ann Voskamp)

Go ahead. Stand tall against this world’s beauty stands. Know the Love that calls you beautiful and stand confident in the love you have received.

Beauty isn’t what you look like.

Beauty isn’t what size you wear.

You are beautiful because you are loved.

Don’t give up

Whatever it is you’re going through right now, please, don’t give up. 

Don’t give up on yourself.

& definitely don’t give up on God.


You may be in a dark season, but trust that Jesus is bringing the beautiful. He has things that He wants to teach you during your worst days. 

You may be exhausted of striving. I know, I’ve been there. You start to lose your passion and excitement for life because no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get anywhere. 


You might be tired. You might be a mess. You might be bored. You might feel like it’s all over. But God doesn’t feel that way.

He’s preparing you so He can show you the most beautiful things. 

He’s teaching you to lean on Him for your strength. 


He’s teaching you that every good things comes from Him and is a gift sent just for YOU. 

He’s teaching you that, without Him, you can do nothing. But with Him, nothing is impossible. 

He’s teaching you to bring your struggles to Him. He will relieve your burdens. Maybe He won’t take them away, but He will help you through them. 


Please believe it-the beautiful, the promised land, it’s coming. Just a few more days of darkness. Because of Jesus, you can make it through. 

Just don’t give up.

It’s getting real. Part Two

the thoughts are just flowing so fast.

so I decided to continue on from my last post.

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we know what we are and aren’t supposed to do. be open with people. authentic. vulnerable. share our stories. don’t  judge others because we aren’t perfect either.

but what does that look like in a teenage girl’s life?

I think a big part of being real is not getting caught up in earthly things. money, popularity, drama.

I wrote a quote in my journal a long time ago, and I have no idea who wrote it (so if you wrote it please comment and I will give you due credit) but I think it is SUPER GOOD advice.

“Open your heart to the plight of orphans, the hungry, the persecuted, the enslaved, or even the hurt and need among your own peers, and drama won’t seduce you. The excitement of drama can’t hold a candle to the excitement of a cause, a calling. When we stack drama up against the epic story of the real world, we see it for what it really is: petty, idle, divisive, and worthless. Passion and adventure work like force fields against drama. Maturity is not boring or lesser-it is greater. If you want to catch the fire-you’ve got to get near the flame. Get excited. Get on a mission. Get in love.”

I feel like we as Americans often build our own lives, and they don’t depend on God. We have our passions in the wrong places. We have our nice cars, our nice houses, with our insurance if something bad would happen. We have good paying jobs, often in an air-conditioned office with comfy chairs to sit on all day long.

We feel safe.

But Christ didn’t call us to a life of plush chairs and safety.

Jesus Christ doesn’t fit in safe.

Over the past few weeks, my view of our Lord Jesus has completely changed. The story in Matthew 14 shows just how un-safe our Lord is.

After Jesus feeds the five thousand, He sends the disciples ahead of Him, while He goes to the mountainside to pray. That evening, He walks out on the lake to where the disciples are. and they all FREAK OUT.

“Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.'”

Peter then challenges Him and says, Lord, if it really is You, tell me to come out to You on the water. And Jesus just says one word. “Come.” That’s not very clear. He doesn’t tell Peter which side of the boat is safe to get out on. To wait until this wave passes before he tries to climb out. Just “Come.” Sometimes you have to be so crazy enough to follow Jesus even when it isn’t totally clear.

AND PETER GETS OUT OF THE BOAT AND WALKS ON THE WATER.

Peter had a brave-bold faith.

Even when he began to doubt when he looked down at the waves and the storm, he cried out to his Savior and Matthew 15:31 says, “Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” It’s in our low points and in our moments of doubt that we find ourselves holding the hand of our Savior. We just have to call out to Him.

Have you ever thought about the fact that we have no idea who else was in the boat? They weren’t brave enough to follow Jesus out into the storm. So they didn’t get to be in the story. I don’t know about you, but in the end, I’d like to be the one brave enough to be mentioned in the story.

You were born to be brave. We were meant to live out on the waves, not inside the little boat where it’s safe.

It’s out on the waves where we will find ourselves. Our God-sized dreams. That crazy-brave-bold life that Jesus is calling YOU to.

Just get out of the boat.

I don’t know what God is calling you to. Maybe it’s overseas missions. Maybe it’s being a missionary to your neighbor. But I do know that most times, you won’t feel like you are “good enough.” But because you stepped out of the boat, you are holding that hand of your Savior, and that makes you perfectly qualified.

I also know that you will have to be brave.

What crazy things are on the other side of your fear?

So being real in real life.

To me, that means meeting with friends and sharing your story, and listening to their stories. Pouring truth into their lives. Being real means finding your passion and pursuing it with your whole heart. Finding a cause. A mission. Maybe it means starting your own mission. It means being bold with your faith.

“You know all those things that you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them.” (Lara Casey)

The most important parts of being real in real life though, are seeking your Lord daily, surrendering your whole heart, serving Him, and love Him more every day.

 

summer bucket list || guest post

So I’m super excited for this post! Olivia from Summer of 1999 wrote this super fantastic blog post….and it’s getting me really excited for summer! You totally need to go check her blog out, she’s super amazing and so are the words she writes. So when you’re done reading her post, go show her some love on her blog!

First of all, a massive thanks to the lovely Colleen for having me on her blog and for putting up with my exceeding tardiness in getting this post to her. So glad I met her through the blogosphere (do people use that word? I think they do. This is my first time. I’m a little nervous.)!

Secondly, why is it called a bucket list??? So confused.

Thirdly, the actual content. Summer is so close to being my favorite season. At this point in the year, it basically is, because I just want to go to the beach and be done with school, so when Colleen asked me to guest post on her blog I was super pumped, but especially when I found out it had to do with a summer to do list. XD So, let’s jump in- SO MANY IDEAS. Okay. Chill, Olivia. Hahaha.

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  1. Go strawberry picking. This is at the top of the list, because in all reality I should probably get that done right now in later spring, but I still wanted it in this list, so there.
  2. Watch multiple sunsets. This is just a given. For all times of every year ever.
  3. Eat ice cream downtown and out in the country (and do so whenever I want and treat my friends to it, cause I can).
  4. Practice piano again daily.
  5. Go swimming in a river.
  6. Shoot a gun (partly inspired by Colleen, hehe). It’s about time.
  7. Go barefoot 24/7, which really doesn’t even need to be said.
  8. Draw with chalk.
  9. Eat popsicles on the porch.
  10. Spray each other with a hose on the trampoline.
  11. Chop my hair off (?!) Gonna need some moral support for this one.
  12. Wake up early. I actually don’t really have much of a choice for this one cause I work early, but okay. 😉
  13. Get a tan, farmer’s or otherwise.
  14. Read a mountain of books, old and new.
  15. Wear ball caps.
  16. Go to a used book store and go broke (or preferably not quite).
  17. Win limbo. Okay, long story short, we have a Fourth of July celebration at our house every year with lots of different competitions and games and I have a legacy in limbo. I REFUSE TO LOSE.
  18. Finish Geometry and Health and Economics. Home school life. These are the subjects that have been procrastinated over the past year.
  19. Write, write, write, write. Fiction, blog, musings- anything and everything.
  20. Finger paint.
  21. Go make up free. Lots.
  22. Cook full meals often.
  23. Pick wildflowers.
  24. Donate old clothes and stuff.
  25. Play in the rain.
  26. Hand write letters to people I love.
  27. Get succulents.
  28. Build a blanket fort.
  29. Have a water balloon fight.
  30. Grow + learn + love more deeply.

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Those words just flowed so fast. I feel like I have so many more ideas!!!!!! Summer’s so close, guys! We can do it!!!!! Thanks again for having me on your blog, Colleen. You’re the best ^-^ And hope to see some of you over on my blog at http://summerof1999.blogspot.com/ ?! Thanks for reading!!!

 

Colleen-Blog Post Pic 1

His Faithfulness>my messiness

“Give God room to show Himself faithful.”

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This quote has been on my mind for the past few weeks as God has been pressing two words on my heart – faithful and messy.

Our God is an all-powerful God of order. He does not make messes or mistakes. Yet I am a messy person who gets everything wrong every day.

But God does not turn His face away from my scattered and broken heart. Instead, He meets me in my mess and transforms me.  He shows me that He is the only one who can put my heart back together.

But even after He fixes us, He assures us that any mistakes that we make, they will not mess up His perfect plan. If something goes wrong because of something I did, He’s not up there scratching His head trying to figure out to salvage the pieces.

In order for Him to fix us though, we need to come before Him and surrender our crazy messes. It’s gonna be hard. We hold back because we don’t want Him to see certain things, even though He already knows. We need to step back and let Him come through for us and show Himself faithful.

When we allow Him to come in, we will discover parts of Him and parts of our own hearts that we would’ve never known.

I am a messy person. And I have come to be a peace with that because Jesus takes that messiness and transforms it into a beautiful story.

I am a messy person. But I won’t let that define me. I can be confident because HE IS MY MAKER AND HE NEVER MAKES MISTAKES.He meets me in my mess and shows me His goodness. His sweet, sweet promises. His strength.

Sweet friend, I pray that you will be willing to surrender everything to Him. He wants you to know the full extent of His love. And it’ll be totally worth it.

embracing authenticity

My “word of the year” last year was authentic. I wanted to be a more real and genuine person, I wanted to be more authentic. I recently have been studying on what that looks like in my daily life. Recently, I also attended a seminar, and there was a speaker talking about embracing authenticity. So I am going to share with you some of her points, and then some of my own thoughts.

First off, what exactly is authenticity? Authenticity is a collection of choices to be real and genuine with everyone we meet.
Galations 6:2 says: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” I don’t know about all of you, but it’s hard to share the things that I’m struggling with to other people. But how can we bear one another’s burdens like Christ wants us to do, if we can’t share them in the first place? Why do we feel like we can only share a struggle after we’ve conquered it?

It’s so powerful when two people can be vulnerable and share from their hearts—no games. In order to do that, we need to consciously set apart time to share with other people, spend time with them, get to know what they are struggling with, and share with them what you are struggling with. Being too busy can take away that time, time where we could be encouraged, and be able to encourage other people.

It is easy to start to think that if we aren’t the perfect person, or christian than other people or God won’t love us as much. Ya’ll, that is NOT TRUE!! Yes, other people might judge us, but God has seen every dark place in our hearts, and He looks at that cross and says, “You are worth it.” If we can’t except God’s grace and love towards us, and if we are requiring perfection from ourselves, then we cant extend grace and love to other people.

We need to start going into relationship’s with the goal of being real and genuine, not to be liked. This one hit me so hard. I’ve gone into relationships with wanting to be liked, and can I just say, it didn’t work out. Just don’t. Be real. Be you. Be brave-be the YOU that God created.

What keeps us from being real with other people? Jesus released the weight of expectations during His time on this earth. He wasn’t afraid to be different. He wasn’t afraid of rejection. He didn’t try to please everyone. “We shouldn’t be burdened by the weight of our own expectations.” We were created in God’s image, not in the image of other people.

God doesn’t call us to “play it safe.” Jesus was vulnerable –> we need to be vulnerable. Without taking the risk to be vulnerable, we live a lonely life. Strength is the only thing needed to be vulnerable. I know that sounds totally backwards, but it’s true! Our strength can be measured by how much vulnerability we show. We need to be strong in order to share the hard things we are going through in our lives. We need to have the courage and strength to give vulnerability and authenticity to others.

Wow, this post turned out to be longer than I expected! Props to you, if you stuck with me all the way through. I pray you were encouraged to start living more authentically!

with love,
Miss C

June Goals

Summer dayssource: Pinterest

Let’s be honest, I haven’t been around here for so long that I forgot my own username for a moment. Oops. I was so excited to blog throughout the summer but then all my ideas seemed like such a waste of time. I still intend to write some of them down the road, but posts might be sporadic since I am now working full-time. When you come into this space, I pray that you will leave with something. Inspiration. Encouragement. Hope. I am excited to carve out more time to spend with our Lord and write about what I’ve been learning, and I hope you will let me know what you’ve been learning as well!

Here are my goals for this month:

1. Make it a priority to spend time in the Word every morning.

2. Establish a morning routine.

3. Train for the quarter-marathon I will be running in October.

4. Work on my project life and blog about it.

5. Enjoy my time at the beach and read through several books.

6. Begin a new SRT bible study.