Creation 2017

This was my sixth year going to Creation Festival, and it was one of the best. If you don’t know what Creation Fest is, it’s a 5 day Christian Festival in the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania. Each year I have gone I seem to take away something different. For me what happens at Creation happens in your heart, in the quiet times you have with God, because the music is always going to be loud and you’re always going to be surrounded by other people. But what God has taught me this year is that people are still good. Each person I met this year had a burning love for Jesus and spreading His love and word.

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This is the view from the top of the mountain, SO beautiful! God’s creation is so incredible, being in nature is where I feel I really connect with Him. Whether it is in the feeling of a soft wind, or the sound of crashing waves I see Him and His abundant love all around me.

The Heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

Psalm 19:1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Great Is Our God.

So the other day my mama and I went to pick berries at this berry farm. I love going picking, whether that is strawberries, raspberries or black berries. There is something that makes it so much more special when you do it yourself than just buying them at the store. Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I love living in small town that is filling with farms. I know most people wouldn’t agree with that one, especially people who went to my school. But it is such a special experience growing up in such a close knit town. You don’t have to drive away from home just to go for a nice scenic drive.

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I love this sign, it’s so cute.

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Being out in nature always has a way of making me marvel at how amazing our God is. All the variety, all the colors, the different textures and purposes of everything, its truly amazing. Thinking about how He created each and every one of us to be exactly who we are. He loves us so abundantly!

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Wow! An actual picture of me!

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I love not having to drive far to see views like this.

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Got to pick the best ones!

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It was a beautiful sunset this night.

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In His hands are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His for He made it and His hands formed the dry land.

Psalm 95:4-5

Moving On…

Moving past something can be a confusing and frustrating time in a person’s life. I just graduated a little over a week ago and I am already watching friendships that I thought would last, slip away. While this can be saddening I am excited for the new friends that I will make in college. There is this phrase that is often said revolving around friendships and high school and its that as you get older, or closer to being a senior your friend group becomes smaller. This was definitely true for me, and a lot of the people around me. For me this wasn’t really an issue, the people that were no longer in my life weren’t there for a good reason. But now I am beginning the feel friendships slip away that aren’t as easy to let go of. God sometimes places people in our lives for different reasons or different seasons. I think learning and accepting that keeps us moving a little smoother.

As I am getting older it has also occurred to me that “youth” group is quickly becoming a thing of the past. I am now searching for a young adults group or fellow Christian women to have bible study with. I loved my youth group, I don’t think there was any thing like it on Saturday night, with some Hillsong blasting. But throughout the years, as things do, it changed, and at this point I can tell that for me it is time to accept that and move on. It’s crazy how quickly time flies by, I still remember the first time I walked through those doors. So many memories that I will always hold close to my heart happened in that place. Youth group can be such an important part of a person’s life. Without it I don’t think I would be the person I am today. It’s a safe haven from school, home life, even just the harsh world.

Moving on from high school to college can really change a person’s mind set and perspective on life. For Christians this can occasionally be a time of questioning or when going astray happens. While many people blame it on the atmosphere of college, I know that a persons atmosphere can not change a person’s heart. It might sway them to think a  different way or be influenced by things they weren’t before. But a relationship with Christ is an everyday choice just like every other relationship. You choose to read your Bible every day or to say no to a party because you know you will be influenced negatively. So remember to make it your choice to follow Jesus no matter what circumstance or situation you are put in.

While the future can sometimes be scary I am excited to see where God leads me. I know that He has great plans for all of us. Even though it has been difficult losing friends and transitioning from a high school set of mind to a college one I know that the Lord will always be there and provide.

Cling to what is good.

Romans 12:9

1 Corinthians 13

As you might be able to tell from this title of this post I want to talk about 1 Corinthians 13. In case you don’t know what the verse says here it is.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but do not love, I am nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, ” Jump,” and it jumps, but I do not love, I am nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I do not love, I have gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I am bankrupt without love. 

1 Corinthians 13: 1-7

Okay…WOW, am I right?

This verse shows just how important and powerful love is. So many still believe that it is our actions that bring us salvation even though this verse and Ephesians 2:9 ( For by grace you have been saved through faith.) clearly states that it is not our own doing that saves us. Reflecting back on the start of my relationship with Christ I can tell how easily it is to get tangled into the lie. Especially when others have a tendency to judge you as a Christian based on your actions or how you look or other worldly aspects. Of course while how you act reflects Jesus or should reflect Jesus, we also all make mistakes and that is okay. 1 Corinthians 13, I feel is one of the most important verses in the Bible. To say no matter what we do, if we do not do it with love it is nothing, is world changing. Imagine a world full of people who are doing ordinary things but doing them out love, especially the love of Jesus.

While researching different careers as I prepared for college I had a tendency to often ask myself if what I was looking into was something God wanted me to do. I was looking for a purpose or for some job that was set in place for me. But in reality God doesn’t exactly care what job you have or what path you take in life as long as you are following Him and His Word. God can work through you no matter what circumstance or job position you have. Maybe where you work you can’t speak the name of Jesus directly but others can see and feel you love of Jesus just by your kindness or actions. In high school I often found myself wondering if others see Jesus in me, or if others just saw someone who decided to be nice today. In my mind I was trying to figure out how my peers and even teachers could see Him in me. It all relates back to 1 Corinthians 13, do absolutely everything with love.

So as you go on with your day to day life and where ever you are on your journey today carry with you what this verse teaches us. Remember that your actions and words should proudly reflect back to Jesus.

~ 1 Corinthians 13 ~

wonder.

So the other day Hillsong United released a song called Wonder. I don’t know about you but I love Hillsong United, their music is so powerful and uplifting. This song was no exception, another moving and upbeat song with lyrics that could change a person’s heart and perspective.

Today it is so easy to listen to whatever is on the radio, or whatever is catchy. But I think that music has way of influencing our minds and spirit, like nothing else. In an instant a song can either life me up or bring me down. It amazes me how I can go from listening to something mainstream ( even if its a great song ) it still doesn’t affect me the way that a Switchfoot or Jesus Culture song will.

Unfortunately we also live in a world that seems like it is powered by everything that destroys itself. To see the world through Jesus’ eyes is so difficult in a world that promotes love but never speaks it. So when Hillsong released this song it really made me think. The song is about seeing the world in wonder, seeing it in color, in the way that Jesus does. I feel as a christian it is so incredibly easy to sometimes see the lack of God in something and forget to even look for Him at all. And often forget that He is in everything.

This song really reminded me of that, and to look for Him in everything because He is there, in the hurt, in the pain, in the loss. In every sunset and hilltop, He’s there. While dealing with the dilemma of not getting accepted into the school I wanted to, it often made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. With a slight learning disability I know that there are smarter and better people out there that have no problem getting into a school. Through it all though, I was reminded that God uses our weaknesses as strengths. The devil tries to make us believe that we can’t do something but sometimes it just takes a lot of hard work and faith. 

This is a short post, but I have just been so amazed by what faith can do lately. So even though I have no idea what the future may hold I will continue walking knowing that God is leading me.

I hope this helped y’all in someway and that you have a wonderful day!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you

and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Passion

I am finding it hard to believe I almost done with high school.   How did that happen?  The time flew by!  It feels like just yesterday I was a freshman. Admittedly, the past four years haven’t been easy, but I still wouldn’t trade them for anything. High school can be very overwhelming.  You start out feeling like a minnow in the lake and end it feeling like a grain of sand on the beach.

Senior year has been a rollercoaster of emotions and events. I started this year having a clear idea of what I wanted to do. But now with 2 weeks of school left I am still undecided. I applied to a college that had the major I was planning to pursue. But when I didn’t get accepted I felt like it was just over. I worked so hard for the good grades, I went through a nerve wracking interview and even 9 hours of job shadowing.

As I listen to the people around me I get the feeling that too many of them have this idea that college and the college that you go to is everything. While I definitely believe that college is important and that for many careers even essential, it is not all there is to life. So many of my peers seem like they are forgetting that they are still just kids.

Not getting into the college I wanted actually now in retrospect was more of a second chance. I spent the last couple of months really assessing my life and everything that makes me who I am. I asked myself if the area of study I though I wanted to go to school for would truly make me happy or not. I think that so often we take the safer option in life and that’s exactly what I did. I chose a career I knew would be secure, whether it be in money or actually finding a job after college. But it wasn’t my passion.

So my challenge to any fellow seniors or pretty much anyone is to ask yourself if you’re doing what you love most in this world. Is what you’re doing setting your heart on fire, or is it simply putting money in your wallet? There is a quote that I hear often that says ‘ if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life ‘. I think that that is incredibly true.   Find what you love and do it till you can’t anymore.

I hope that somehow maybe this inspired at least one person to reflect on their life and where it’s going. Do what makes YOU happy, not everyone else.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. 

Colossians 3:23

Age Doesn’t Matter

Last night my mom took me with her to her women’s group at church. I decided to go since I am getting older and will have to start thinking about saying good bye to youth group, and hello to a young adults group or a women’s group.

As I sat down I got this sudden urge of panic as I felt that I was about to be surrounded by older women who would look down on me, or that I didn’t qualify to be there, which was a faulty thought. But then I remembered this verse,

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12

As I sat there I thought through the situation in my head, yes I am much younger than these other women, but I might have something they don’t. As a youth I still have this child-like heart for God. I’ve come to a conclusion after spending some time observing over the past few years, as people get older they’re more reluctant to let God in and allow Him to change them. But I feel like that’s when we need Him the most, I mean He already knows everything, all your needs and wants, but the confirmation is what He wants.

The women’s group was great though, these women no matter the age difference, they all had their own struggles and needed God. I feel that it’s really important to surround yourself with other Christians, who help you to grow and overcome your problems. And it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, you are always able to show the love of Christ.

Assurance over Anxiety

As the new year rolled in I thought a lot about what I wanted to see change in myself. Instead of making a resolution that wouldn’t be kept I decided on one thing. To choose assurance in God and His promises over my anxiety.

When I moved a few years ago I was awakened to this thing that I didn’t understand and sure couldn’t control ; anxiety. I was very young at the time and had no idea as to what it even meant to have panic attacks and deal with anxiety. Multiple times I have tried therapy, and while it is something that has helped it isn’t something that I can do all the time.

I wanted to figure out so desperately how I could control the raging sea inside me. As the years have gone by I have slowly found techniques to help calm the symptoms and learn to overcome or avoid what triggers me. But it is still something that is always there. I decided that this year I would turn to who has always been there for me, God. Through it all He has been there, and I know that no matter what He can get me through it. So as I prepare for college and the adventures the Lord will give me I’ve decided to choose Him over all my anxiety and stress.

Today I had a coffee date with one of my best friends, she is someone who I can really relate with when dealing with anxiety. I haven’t been able to spend some quality time with her in a long time, so this was much needed. I found as we started to talk that one of the best ways to deal with any problem going on is to come together. Despite differences and even distance we can come together and lift each other up. No one should deal with something that’s hurting them alone.

Through the therapy and looking back on the past few years I’ve come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t be afraid to open up to people, but of course always make good judgments. So surround yourself with people who love you and influence you in a positive way. And know that no matter what you face in this crazy life you are never alone.

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. 

Proverbs 12:25

 

College Advice

As a senior in high school I know this time of the year can be very stressful. College applications, transcripts, SAT’s and the feeling of wondering if you’re good enough. The idea of going out into the real world can be very intimidating. And of course a large step to having independence and starting this new chapter in your life is college.

Now I understand that college isn’t for everyone.  It is possible you can be very successful without college. But since I am someone going through the stress of being accepted into college I thought I’d make a post that hopefully could help someone out there.

Here are some of my tips for applying to college, interviews and more…

Application Process

The first step to applying is deciding where you want to apply. Over the past year I have been navigating different career choices that I felt might best suit me. At first I was considering becoming an Ultrasound Technician but after shadowing decided it just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t until my mama told me to look into Occupational Therapy that I found something I really thought I would like as a career.  The skills and day to day requirements are a great fit for my interests and it’s a career I feel would be both rewarding and challenging.

If you’re unsure of what you want to do consider taking an aptitude test to help determine or at least narrow down choices. Even if you think the test won’t help it could at least give you some suggestions, if nothing else.

After you decide when you want to apply to you should look into what is required for each school. Some schools want you to have a certain GPA or specific SAT scores, so be sure you meet or can meet the requirements. Applications can be done online.  There is often a fee required but sometimes the fee can be waived. Answer the questions honestly and to the best of your ability.

Interviews 

Most schools don’t require an interview or an audition, but be prepared in case they do.  When I was applying to my school of choice I was scared when I discovered there would be an in person interview.  I was nervous, but prepared and after the interview realized I shouldn’t have worried so much.

Here are some tips for an interview:

  • Be yourself- Seriously, they want to get to know who you are.
  • Listen to the interviewer carefully
  • Make good eye contact
  • Dress appropriately- When I went to my interview I saw a lot of people dressed way too casual.
  • Don’t be too serious- Take the interview serious but lighten up, it will show that you are personable.

After an interview send a thank you note to the person who interviewed you. This will make them remember you when it is time to decide.

Other tips 

Essays and Personal Statements

This the part when you can really shine and show the admissions counselor what you’re made of. Don’t be afraid to talk about past experiences and moments that made you- you. Write about something that you’ve overcome or got through that made you stronger. Be real, you don’t need to make up some story to get their attention.

Relax

While this time can be very scary and nerve racking please understand that everything will be alright. Maybe you won’t get into your top school, don’t let that stop you from doing amazing things. This is a critical period in your life; its okay to make mistakes…you are young!  The key is to learn from each mistake and move forward, each step guides you to being a better person.

Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men.

Ephesians 6:7

 

 

Roots

Roots defined as the basic cause, source or origin of something. When used as a verb it may also be defined as to ‘establish deeply and firmly’. This is the word I think of when I think about home. I feel like the two ideas go hand in hand, whether you’ve grown up somewhere that you love or couldn’t wait to escape from it was still where you first began your journey.

A little while back one of my favorite country singers Miranda Lambert released a song called The House that Built Me, and if you listen to the words and watch the music video you see her go through the emotions of going back to your first home. The house, the place that held your childhood and so many memories. A few years ago I moved out of the house that I spent my whole childhood in. There were marks on the inside of my door that read my different heights, a treehouse my dad built in the back yard and a living room where so many Christmas mornings were spent. Leaving and moving was a new experience that I’m still adjusting to but now I’m at the point in my life where I realize that going back isn’t something that will happen. Even if I go back and see it again, it’s not the same house that I grew up in. There are new dents in the walls and different flowers in the flower bed out front.

As a senior in high school I hear a lot about people who are trying to get into a college that is as far away as possible. They’re so eager to pick everything up and leave their parents and the home town they knew but I can’t help but remember that these next few years will be the last one’s like it. The future can either be very exciting or intimidating. I can feel the pressure of trying to find yourself in a world that is ever changing. So I think that the easiest thing to remember is where you came from, your roots.

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:7