A D V E N T U R E

I made a sign for my room this week. I think it’s laughing at me.

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I’m living in Plymouth this summer. It’s new – but it’s also been hard. These first few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out how I fit here. I’ve spent a majority of my time at home, applying for jobs. I don’t want to complain about it, because I’ve had some really lovely times over the past few weeks. But it’s tough sitting in a small town with few people who really know you and trying to deal with the all-star Instagram feeds of friends on faraway adventures. [Comparison sucks.]

My heart yearns for adventure. My eyes want a fresh view, a novel experience, something that takes my breath away. Untouchable beauty. Something to remind me that I’m alive.

I came home hoping for adventure in a new place. But what happens when things don’t happen the way I expect?

I pout. I feel sorry for myself. I want adventure. My adventure.

But that’s not how adventures happen, do they? I think of Frodo wishing the ring had never come to him. Steve Rogers missing his dance with General Carter. Susan and Lucy crying as Aslan is killed. Things are so different than I expected! My heart then yearns for somewhere safe, arms that hold me secure: home.

Maybe home and adventure aren’t mutually exclusive. His arms are my home. He leads me through each twist and turn, and we twirl and dance together. I let go, trip and stumble. He brushes me off and picks me up, the rhythms of grace alive in our dance.

Alone in our new house, I whittle away at the tree bark. Down in the basement, I carefully collect the shavings once I’ve scraped away at the branch with my blade. I think about adventures at camp, jumping off the zip line platform, and telling kids about Jesus. I think about seeing Germany, the mountains of Switzerland, the Eiffel Tower. I think about Plymouth, Indiana, full of people whose faces I might come to know and love.

Solomon said, “In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” [Prov. 16:9].

If adventure is just exploring faraway places, thrill-seeking, or checking something off my bucket list, is that enough? I don’t think so.

A few years ago, I started trying to write down little memories from each day on index cards. I remember the little moments of each day with joy: my very own adventures. I look at my memories from yesterday alongside the memories of yesterday-last-year and the year before and smile. There is still adventure right here, right now.

2012: 1st time belaying!, 2013: big event at Touchdown Jesus, 2014: Worship @ the Living Room

Adventure is being held in the arms of my Creator, led forth with peace into the great unknown… or maybe just into my small town. He directs my paths as I trust Him. I venture safe in his arms into the sweet and turbulent moments of the day. Every morning when I wake up, I want to remember that this adventure I’m on is His, not mine.

I don’t want to miss a single beautiful view on this path.

Adventure Sign in My Room

Venus Snap Razor Review

Hey friends!

I know it’s been forever since I’ve blogged, and I’m going to try to change that. In the meantime, this post is brought to you by Influenster and Gillette Venus (all opinions are completely mine, though)!

What is Influenster, you may ask? Well, it’s a pretty awesome online program that will send you products for free to try out, review, and share about on social media. I get free stuff, the company gets word-of-mouth promotion, and everyone’s happy.

Anyways, I received the Venus Snap razor in the mail the other day compliments of Venus and Influenster.

Venus Snap Razor

My Venus Snap, fresh outta the mailbox.

I  tested out the Snap last weekend while traveling for my best friend’s wedding that I was in. It was nice to just toss the little blue case inside my bag – so cute and compact. I used it in the shower, but it would be easy to use it on the go if you realize you miss a spot!

It’s a little weird using such a small handle on a razor to shave, but the grip is squishy and comfortable, and it actually works super well. The package just tells you to wet the blades, and you’re good to go.

I also love that it uses Venus blades so I can keep reusing it. The case is also nice and has a vent so it can dry inside.

Honestly, my favorite thing about this is that it was free. I probably wouldn’t have bought it otherwise since it’s pricey ($9.47) for such a small razor. But now that I have it, I’ll definitely put it to good use! I may even consider switching to venus from now on… the disposables I use aren’t that great. Thanks Influenster and Venus!

“we learn through the process”

The dry erase marker squeaked across the whiteboard as the professor inscribed these words:

“We learn through the process.” 

I was a graphic design major, a junior still trying to figure out the world. The time had finally come for me to take a painting class. Working with oil paints was something new to me. Something I had virtually no experience with.

Starting the demonstration, the professor dipped his brush into the medium and began to mix color on the palette. Gracefully applying it to the canvas, He modeled for us the proper way to use the materials, to mix the colors, to reveal the tones of the image. I was excited and nervous all at the same time, my mind swirling with the possibilities of what I might be capable of creating. Yet a large part of me was afraid. Afraid that I would try and fail.

My paint was runny. I used too much medium, and the texture wasn’t there. I stepped back to examine my work and sighed in frustration. Some of the tones looked too harsh. The blending was rough. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Why is this so difficult? I don’t even know what I’m doing.

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But I continued to work. I worshipped the One who created light and dark, form and texture, space and substance. I started again. And I began to learn. I learned much more than I ever could have from watching the professor complete an entire painting. I just had to pick up my brush and do it. We learn through the process.

Sometimes I decide I’m not capable. I decide to let the fear of failing keep me from trying. I tell myself that I’m not a gifted evangelist, a strong leader or a captivating speaker. I forget that these people had to develop their gifts.

I tell myself that I’m not good at sharing my faith. Have I tried? I say that I’m not assertive enough to be a strong leader. Have I put myself in a situation where I have the opportunity? Many times, that answer is no.

We learn through the process.

May you and I have the courage to try and fail, even when we fail spectacularly. May we get up and try again, releasing to God our fear and resting in the hope that He is conforming us to the likeness of His Son. Because He is worth the risk and the reward.

DIY: revamped journal with old CD cover

One of my goals for this year is to journal more. Sometimes I think I use social media to seek affirmation from other people – instead, I want to try to treasure more of these moments in my heart and thank God for them. So, since I’ll be needing someplace to write down these thoughts, a revamped journal was the perfect project for my snow day this past week!

I get a lot of my music for dirt cheap from our local library booksale, but it leaves me with a ton of empty cases since I just stick the discs right into a CD book. I usually recycle the cases, but some of the artwork I just don’t want to throw away. Thus, this journal was born.

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You will need:

– small blank journal  (could have a logo/design on the front that you don’t like, since we’re going to be covering up the central part of the cover)

– CD cover art that you like (I used Relient K’s “Forget and Not Slow Down”)

– paper trimmer

– Mod Podge and old paintbrush you don’t care about

– small paintbrush and acrylic craft paint in the color of your choice

– picture of a font you like to use as a reference (optional)

Instructions:

1. Use a paper trimmer to cut the CD cover down to the size you want.

2. Use the old paintbrush to apply Mod Podge where you want to put the image and center it on the journal.

3. Paint a word or phrase onto your journal. I originally tried using rubber stamps with the acrylic paint, but it looked awful so I just ended up freehanding. It really doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you want to emulate a certain style, try looking at a font that you like for inspiration. I ended up just looking at the font on the stamps I was using.

That’s it! If you want, you could probably apply another layer of Mod Podge to the top after the paint dries if you want a more glossy finish.

Enjoy your sweet new journal, and don’t get too busy to stop and see the beauty around you!

James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

engagement sessions!

So since some of my dear friends are getting married soon, I’ve been able to practice shooting couples by doing a few engagement sessions! These were the first ones I’ve ever done, so it was a great learning experience. Excited to keep developing my photo skills!

Jessica + Richard

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Jess&Richie_Day2-0473-WMMelissa + Tyler

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Melissa+Tyler-WM-0354Ashlyn + Alex

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AshlynAlexEngagement-0240-WMCan’t wait to see these great, God-honoring couples tie the knot – and I’m so pumped that I get to stand up in two of the weddings!

1 John 4:11 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

 

a little something fun…

I haven’t posted in a while since finals have been consuming the majority of my time and energy lately – but thankfully since my typography project was student choice, I just made Parks and Rec posters! Yay! My goal was to choose fonts that fit each character.

Leslie_Poster

Ben_poster

ron Poster

Tom_Poster

 

These guys were super fun to make and I definitely want to keep adding more characters, cause they will probably end up on my wall at some point! Let me know what you think!

creating compassion

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Have you ever thought how different your life would look if you were born in a different country? Like not just France or Austrailia, but somewhere like Haiti or Botswana or Ecuador. It blows my mind thinking that if I was born in a majority world country, I honestly would have a much higher chance of not even being here today. And I want to do something about that.

So I’ve decided to raise money to help expectant mothers and mothers of young, at-risk kids in poor regions of Ecuador get some help. This help comes in the form of Compassion International’s Child Survival Program.

Though my family has been sponsoring Compassion children since I was around 6 years old, it is now that I’m realizing just how well this organization does at taking a holistic approach to ending poverty. I recently had the opportunity to hear more about how Compassion partners with local churches in poor areas to meet the needs of children, ensuring that they receive good food, water, education, and medical care, all the while sharing the gospel with them.

But here’s the thing: the sponsorship program starts at 4 years old, and there are millions of children living in poverty who don’t survive to that age because of preventable causes. Ecuador’s poor mountain regions of Chimborazo, Bolívar, and Manabi have some of the highest rates of child malnutrition, and the funds that I raise will go directly to providing equipment for the program and training for these young mothers. 

It’s so easy to pass the problem on to someone else. But I’m learning that if I want something to change, I can’t expect someone else to do everything. Please, please, please, consider giving to help these kiddos. I know that there are a lot of worthwhile causes out there that need a lot of funding, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an organization with such a comprehensive and long-term approach to releasing people from poverty. I’m a college student and I don’t have the means right now to sponsor a child, but I do have a voice and a heart for these people. You have something to give –  don’t keep it to yourself.

Learn more about Compassion

Donate to my fundraising efforts

Start your own fundraising campaign with Compassion