Texas or Tuscany?


Texas or Tuscany? You decide. 

We were driving around and found this adorable little area outside of Dallas. It felt like we had been transported to Tuscany, but the best part is everyone spoke english. And there was starbucks! And it didn't require an 8 hour flight.

Now that I think about it, I'll take Tuscan Texas over the real deal anyway. 

An afternoon in McKinney


The only thing I can think of when I see these peaceful, tranquil photos of a lovely evening in McKinney Texas is "wow. Makeup is awesome." The day before I made the great mistake of going to the inlet and being in full sun for 8 hours...with no sunscreen.

And somehow we think I'm smart enough for college? Only time will tell.

Needless to say, It wasn't my best move. But wow. I'm glad I live in the 21st century where makeup exists because even though my nose was literally bright red and also burning hotter than the Texas sun, you'd never be able to tell. Praise the Lord for foundation and please pray that I don't wind up with skin cancer. 

PENS FOR PRAYER


Don't get me wrong, buying yourself a bouquet of fresh flowers is always a good idea. But sometimes  treating yourself to a bouquet of special lettering pens can be just as wonderful (and sadly, equally expensive.)

I've always loved taking notes, pretty penmanship and expensive writing implements. The internet hasn't helped. Who knew there were so many kinds of exotic Japanese calligraphy pens, just a click away? Over the years, I've fallen in love with a couple kinds of pens, specifically ones that are ideal for prayer journaling. My only tip would be to run hard and faster after "Love is blind" when purchasing these pens. Just ignore the price tag and follow your heart. 

Prayer journaling is a huge part of my walk with the father. These pens make writing in said journals all the better. Therefore, I have no choice but to take the plunge and purchase them, right? At least, that's what I tell myself. Maybe it'll work for you too.

By now you know full well that anything in French is automatically my favorite. I love these pens because they're fine, small and come in a bunch of colors. The size is by far the best part, as they're very easy to slip into a purse or pouch and hardly take up any space. That being said, the size is also the worst part: they're very easy to misplace. Proceed with caution!

Wow, that's a mouthful. So are these pens. They're bold, bulky and beautiful. I wouldn't recommend these pens as ones to use in church/take notes anywhere, they're a bit excessive and extra for everyday use. I normally use them for writing out verses, highlighting in the bible or jazzing up some sermon notes after reading through them the next day. 

HEAR YE HEAR YE, Not all Staedtler pens are created equal. Don't be fooled by the other imposters, these are the best. I once fell for the rollerball pens and wow, big mistake. These pens are a little big to use in church (in my opinion) but I love the color selection so at the end of the day, color normally wins over convenience. 

And now, a pen test! Just so you can see how they write. Granted my staedtler's are a little old, so the ink doesn't flow as freely as it did in former years (months, lets be honest) but they're amazing when they are in their prime. 

Buying fancy pens for fancy prayer journaling isn't necessary. Obviously Jesus could care less if you used Le Pen, a sharpie or a tube of lipstick to prayer journal. But if you have it in your budget and you love pens and prayer, these three types should be a good start to your Christ-centered calligraphy pen collection.

FAMILY PHOTOSHOP


Contrary to what my instagram feed suggests, I actually do take photos of things other than donuts and myself from time to time! Granted, it's a rare occasion. But still! These family photos were for a sweet friend and even though it was raining most of the time, You'd never be able to tell from the images. 

Photoshop is a beautiful thing ;)

TWENTY-SEVENTEEN: A SUMMER OF SABBATH

Summer always comes knocking with a list of fun activities following close behind. From beach trips to acai adventures, I always have a fairly extensive and ambitious list of things things to do/explore/eat over summer break.

Well, every summer except THIS one, that is.

I spend a lot of time striving for earthy success. And they're not even bad things- good grades, a job well done, investing in specific friendships. After a hard semester, I was completely burnt out. Every second after my alarm went off at 5:30 each morning was spent in an attempt to be as productive as possible and check everything off my never ending to-do list. Email my boss. Prep speech presentation. Connect with a speech pathologist. Edit photos. Do the dishes. Don't forget to eat dinner.

Life, even a simple and well intended one, can be exhausting. 

Each week I had to repeat to myself, "Just make it one more day." Everyday. And when I made it to the weekend, I spent every second catching up on sleep, cramming or cleaning and prepping for the next week ahead. I felt guilty going anywhere but class or work related places, thinking I was wasting time. I'd go over flashcards at stoplights. No music during the 39 minute drive to school, just biology lectures....for 3 months. Putting on makeup and driving to church seemed like a waste when I could just watch it at home, so that's what I started doing.

I know, this sounds so dramatic. I mean, come on girl. We see you posting on instagram all the time! Well what if I told you I scheduled out 35 posts so I wouldn't have to be on the app?

Yeah, I am that dramatic.

It got to the point where rest was just a thing of the past. Relaxation was equally extinct, in my mind. Why rest when you could work? Why relax when you could get stuff done? Why watch Tv when you have a to do list looming?  However, over Spring Break I read a book that talked about the sabbath. "HONOR THE SABBATH AND KEEP IT HOLY." is what the bible instructs, yet somehow I had twisted that into "accomplish as much as humanly possible on this one day to be a good person"

The New King Karissa translation somehow omitted the honor the sabbath and rest on the seventh day part.


And so as a result of that, my summer list is quite different this year. Other than my goal of finishing The Inferno, my summer list for 2017 revolves solely around honoring the Sabbath and learning how to keep it holy in this busy, distracting, demanding world. It's hard to turn it all off. To power down on everything in life, even for a day, has its challenges. But I can honestly say that the best way to recharge is to mute the distractions of the world and fully zone in on Christ.

And isn't it great that God made a day of the week specifically for just that?

The ways  in which we feel called and convicted to honor the Sabbath might be different, but at the end of the day, it's about giving our time and energy back to The Lord. I know I have a long way to go on this journey, but I'm grateful that Jesus is changing my attitude, heart and thoughts toward the Sabbath.

Instead of attempting to pack my summer full of beach days an acai bowls, my main focus is to spend less time on superficial fillers and more time, specifically The Sabbath, with my Heavenly Father.

And with that, Happy Summer and Happy Sabbath!

Previous Summer Lists:
{2012}
{2013}
{2014}
{2015}
{2016}

Orlando City Irony


Three weeks ago I went to an Orlando City Game. Also three weeks ago, I lost my credit card. Today I uploaded all these photos for this blog post. Also today, I got a text saying, "HAHAHAH OH MY GOSH I STILL HAVE YOUR CREDIT CARD FROM THE GAME."

So that's where it went!

Moral of the story, if you're going to and Orlando City Soccer game, don't give a boy your credit card because he might forget to give it back. It will save you a lot of time and energy (and tears, because misplaced valuables generally result in a mini meltdown) and the hassle of having to order a new one, only to get it in the mail the exact same day you find out it isn't really lost at all.

Alternate moral: life is full of ironic timing. I'm pretty sure we have Jesus to thank for that one.