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

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.

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!