Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Field of Yellow Flowers

So there's these yellow wildflowers that grow at the camp I'm working at this summer. My friend pointed them out as we walked along the shoulder of the road one morning, heading towards the little cabin dining hall where we eat our breakfast.

"Look," she said.

I glanced over at the field beside us, dotted with the little yellow flowers. I had never noticed them before.

"They only appear in the morning," she explained. "They point towards the sun."

We marveled at this display: how, even in nature, God is rich in symbolism. When we keep our eyes fixed on Him, we are nourished. When our gaze is on the Son, we are bathed in light. A cheesy metaphor, maybe, but a powerful one. We only have to look up to see Him shining on us.

Today's been a little bit of a struggle, as I made the journey home for a quick weekend break. It's sad to see how fast I can get distracted from God when I'm not in His Word, and how I can put my eyes back on myself and my worries. But I thought I'd share the illustration of the yellow flowers with you, because even something as seemingly insignificant as a field of little floral smiles can point back to Christ.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Heart

Fancy good music? Click
here for Needtobreathe's "The Heart".

I'm back home for a couple of days! I've spent the last two weeks working at my favorite camp to earn a scholarship for Bible college, and my dorm room already feels like home. Change is not something I'm usually eager about, but God is helping me through it each and every day. And boy, is He speaking into my life.

This week, He's been focusing on my heart. Oh, my heart. It is so wicked. The closer I get to God, the more I see all of my flaws -- but not only does He want to help change them, but His power works perfectly in my weakness.

Part of the problem with my heart is that I'm so self centered. I learned today that when I'm so focused on myself, I'm not seeing the perspectives and plans of others. Even God's! I'm so focused on myself and my light and momentary troubles that I just don't see the needs of people all around me. And if I'm not seeing others' needs, I'm not going to want to share the Lord with them.

Another thing: so often I think that other Christians lack struggles. It's tempting to believe that they have it all under control, but after two weeks of hanging around a group of the strongest believers I've ever known, I realized that even these people have worries, fears, insecurities. Living in the world will do that to you. Life is tough.

But God is changing my heart and perspective, and I need that. I'm learning to saturate myself with His Word.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me! ~ Psalm 51:10

Saturday, June 14, 2014

First Week

The first week of my summer camp training is complete, and boy was it crazy.

I've met lots of new friends, and gotten good sleep, and eaten foods that maybe weren't entirely edible. And I'm not going to lie, as awesome as it's been, it's also been difficult. Very difficult at times. I'm a planner by nature and not used to having to adjust to a new place, a new schedule. But God is giving me His strength this week.

Last night was Camp Fire Night, where I recommitted my life to God, all of it. Not just my future, but my present. All of it. Everything. He is the only thing that matters in the end. And I'm so excited to see what He is going to do as training week wraps, and campers arrive tomorrow! I may only be working the front desk, but I'm working the front desk for the Lord Jesus Christ.  

A verse I really like right now is Psalm 27:13-14. Leaning on this for my strength today:

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. - Psalm 27:13-14


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Satisfied Sunday: Camp Bound

Well, today is the day. After church (and my last hearty non-camp lunch) my family and I will drive up to camp, where my sister and cousin and I will work to earn a scholarship for Bible college. This is the fifth consecutive summer I've spent at this particular camp, only this time, I'm staying for two months, not one week! I'm excited! And antsy! But I know it's all in the Lord's hands. This is part of His plan for me, and I can trust it, even if my stomach feels like it's swarming with quite the host of butterflies.

I don't know what my camp will offer in the way of an Internet connection, so I probably won't get to post very often. (Maybe I'll be able to post sometimes on my day off, but I'm not sure.) That said, I will see you all in August! Have a great summer, and continue to seek the Lord. :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Films: The Fault in Our Stars

it's a metaphor // Ansel Elgort
"It's a metaphor, see: you put the killing thing right between your teeth. But you don't give it the power to do its killing." 
Yesterday, my sister and I went to the movie theater to see the Most Tragic Movie Ever, The Fault in Our Stars. We both had read the book, so we knew what was in store (don't worry, this post is decidedly not full of spoilers), but it still didn't adequately prepare us for the pain. Both actors, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, did fabulous jobs of playing their characters with depth and emotion. As a writer, it amazes me how an author can pen a book that resonates with so many people. And to think that these people that feel so real originated in John Green's mind!
See It If: You want an emotional cinematic experience that will leave you feeling like someone punched you in the gut, but you kind of didn't mind.
Bonus: Jake Bugg, Ray LaMontagne and Tom Odell (among others) make up this movie's epic soundtrack!

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Hip-Shaking Squirrel & the Porpoise Seekers

Yesterday, I visited an old park I hadn't gone to in years. This morning, I woke up early to catch the first lazy rays of sunshine peeking through the canopy of trees, and stroll down the boardwalk.

I took my trusty adventuring backpack that is conveniently miniature sized. It holds everything a girl could need on such an adventure: my Bible, a fresh composition notebook, my keys, camera and a tube of autumn blackberry lip gloss.

 Conveniently mini for all your adventuring needs!

And what's an adventure without a little music? Click here and here for the songs I listened to. :)

At the park, I walked down the boardwalk and found a little friend. He was squirrelishly (pun entirely intended) darting about and wiggling his little hips as he went. I even took a video, but it did not do his sassy dance any justice.

After a little walk, I went up to the observation deck for a look around. It's in the top left hand corner, just barely peeking over the trees. While I was up there, I met a tourist couple sporting a pair of binoculars and musing about "seeing the porpoises." They were kind of crazy and wondering if school had let out yet. I think they thought I might be playing hooky. This cracked me up because 1) I'm in college and 2) If I was a high school punk desperate to skip school, would I really spend my morning wandering aimlessly through a nature park? Oh, tourists. You delightfully kooky people, you.

If you're wondering why the tourists were looking for porpoises, it's because the park overlooks the bay. Not a great shot (you could see more from the observation deck), but at least it explains the binoculars.

The view from the top of the world! Haha. Although it was a fairly humid morning (I could hear my hair growing ten times in size) I was super excited to get to go adventuring around the park. See ya next time, boardwalk.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Walk in the Park

When I find you, we will go on walks. Specifically, down the boardwalk through the middle of the park I rediscovered. We will go there in the early morning, as the sun is just peeking through the trees, drive there in my truck, listening to Radical Face. And I won't think of him, as we stroll side by side. I won't think of him or the pain or anything but you and the beautiful blessing you are in my life. And then we will go to Dunkin Donuts and sit and eat blueberry donut holes together because I've always wanted to do that.

In the Morning When I Rise, Give Me Jesus

Today, I am grateful that I woke up.
It's weird to think of something as seemingly mundane as rising out of bed as a blessing, but it is. I had absolutely no control over whether I woke up this morning. God controls my lungs, my breathing, my life.

Not being in control is something that is difficult for me to accept. I'm a planner by nature and like to know everything that is going to happen. My first question in the morning is often "What is for dinner?" I like to know. And not knowing how things are going to unfold leaves me feeling not only powerless, but super anxious.

It's great that God doesn't let us know our futures. If I knew everything that was going to happen to me in life, I would probably never want to leave my house. But I can trust His plans, even when they baffle me.

His ways are higher than my ways.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday....on a Wednesday

So I might have been so delirious when I woke up from my nap this afternoon that I thought it was actually Thursday....but nevertheless I give you this Throwback Thursday post, birthed from nostalgia, on a Wednesday. 

These shots are of my very first week of summer camp in, back in 2010. Back then I was frightened and unsure of what summer camp even was, and scared to spend a week with complete strangers in an unfamiliar place. Who would have thought that four years later I would be leaving for a whopping two months to work at that same summer camp -- to earn scholarship money to attend Bible college in the Fall, no less? God has an amazing plan for me, one I never could have predicted, and I love that. It's amazing to see Him lead me, even in the little things.

I'm starting to shake off my fears about leaving and am now getting kind of giddy. 
Can't wait to see what God has planned! 
Five days.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Everyone's Favorite Caffeinated Beverage

Today I am writing one of the many scenes in my novel that involves coffee, and was perusing Pinterest for items of inspiration when I stumbled upon this gem: a shot of Bob Dylan chillaxing in a diner. I don't know what it is about diners and cafes and coffee shops that make them perfect breeding grounds for inspiration, but they are. Bob looks unamused, but you know he's got a plethora of song ideas just brewing (pun fully intended) in that head of his.

Speaking of coffee, today I am meeting one of my oldest, dearest friends for a little latte in the afternoon. It will be our last time to catch up before I leave for the summer.

Between fiction and reality, I've got coffee on the mind today.

Monday, June 2, 2014

I've Got the Month of May

May has been good to me. I could never have anticipated all that would happen, how God would grow my heart and show me things in His Word, and just how much fun I would have. May was delightful -- a long, good month.

These were the details of May:

Discovering a new favorite tree to pray by in the park; getting introduced to the wonderful world of Sherlock at a sleepover; watching lots of movies (including The Amazing Spiderman 2, which was, of course, amazing); going to concerts downtown with my sister; running running running; writing my novel; jamming out on electric guitar; obsessing over the lads of One Direction; hiking in Georgia and North Carolina on the Appalachian Trail; hanging out with my church friends; celebrating all things British; finishing reading Elisabeth Elliot's Passion and Purity; praying and talking to God.

Good golly.

But now, it's June.
Which means in less than a week, I will be leaving my home and life of familiarity for the wonders of summer camp. Which means terror, and excitement, and joy. Which means everything.