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.

Adventure-0219

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

“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.

 Image

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.

CDjournal-0540-blog

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_Day2-0406-watermark

Jess&Richie_Day2-0473-WMMelissa + Tyler

Melissa+Tyler-WM-0592

Melissa+Tyler-WM-0469

Melissa+Tyler-WM-0431

Melissa+Tyler-WM-0420

Melissa+Tyler-WM-0354Ashlyn + Alex

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AshlynAlexEngagement-0408-WM

AshlynAlexEngagement-0329-WM

AshlynAlexEngagement-0366-WM

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!

my humble abode

Living in an on-campus apartment this year has been so much fun! My roommates and I decided on a travel theme since we’ve all acquired different decor from our adventures overseas. It’s been a little challenging to make the most of a small amount of space, but we’re making it work. Here’s a little peek into apartment life in Kent 207!

View coming in to the apartment

View coming in to the apartment. I love our little balcony!

food

Eating area off the kitchen

Indiana map art I made

Indiana map art I made

View from my room into the living/dining area

View from my room into the living/dining area

My dresser. Postcard wall inspired by Johanna John :)

My dresser. Postcard wall inspired by Johanna John 🙂

 hello

Washi tape photo wall

It's a little cluttered, but come on, we had to make room for the craft supplies!

It’s a little cluttered, but come on, we had to make room for the craft supplies!

keepin' it classy with the vinyl.

Keepin’ it classy with the vinyl.

DIY Embroidered Campfire Sweatshirt

Campfire Sweatshirt

Today I’m finally kicking off the “projects” part of my blog. Yay!

As an avid artist, crafter and Pinterest enthusiast, I just love taking stuff I already have and making it special. Revamping and reusing stuff is such a great way to reflect our Creator, be good stewards of the earth and save money! Yessss. Great combo. Today’s project was inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest, and although I haven’t embroidered much ever, I decided to give it a shot.

DIY Embroidered Campfire Sweatshirt

What You Need

What you’ll need:

  • Solid-colored sweatshirt – (I bought mine at Goodwill last summer while working at camp for chilly nights at campfire)
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery floss in coordinating colors
  • Tapestry needle
  • Pins
  • Old shirt (mine had a cute inside collar, which I used as the edge of the pocket)

Instructions:

Cut around the collar of the sweatshirt to loosen up the neckline. Begin neckline embroidery using the picture as a reference. If it’s not perfect, it’s okay. Use different stitches and overlap a few.

Making the Pocket

Cut the pocket shape bigger than you want it to be in the shape you want, using the collar of the shirt as the top part. Embroider across the pocket with a few different colors first, and then fold the sides in and pin it where you want it on the sweatshirt. Secure it down with a basic running stitch. Rock the sweatshirt.

Finished Sweatshirt

Finished Sweatshirt

Perfect for summer nights and cooler fall weather! Enjoy!