Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Voices

We're getting into the thick of it. School that is.

And I have my first Organic Chemistry test this Friday. And Organic homework due Thursday that still isn't finished.

So, naturally, I'm stressed and thinking of the worst case scenarios.

But thinking about those worst case scenarios is stealing my joy. It's Satan stealing my joy.

John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

So, why am I living like this? Why do I live with my joy stolen from me? I can't jump to conclusions about what will be, but have faith in God and in what He will do.

I need to stop living in fear and start living in the freedom found in Christ. I need to stop listening to the voices that tell me I can't do this and start listening to The Voice that tells me He can. I need to stop listening to the doubts and worries and start listening to the beliefs and trust.

So, it's a work in progress. All of it. But I am learning to trust in Him and listen to what He says, not what I or the world may say.

(After writing this, I am reminded of Jess' posts about Grace in the Thick of It and how God shows up wherever we are).

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Fall Giveaway!

Fall season is almost here. And I couldn't be more excited about it! What does fall mean? Boots, sweaters, and my favorite, scarves.

So, today I want to share a new favorite of mine, Pandowdwee. I was contacted by my friend to do a giveaway with her and some other wonderful women and I couldn't be more thrilled about it.

If you know me, you know I love many things, but of those things are scarves, sheep, and handmade items.

Well, guess what? Pandowdee falls under all three categories! (Their scarves aren't made out of wool, but they do own a sheep farm which is still pretty exciting!)

One of my favorite items in the pandowdee shop is this armknit infinity scarf!  I just love cozy scarves for fall and winter, and this one has such great color and texture!  What's even more exciting is that pandowdee is giving this scarf away to one lucky reader!

I've partnered up with pandowdee and a few other wonderful bloggers to bring you a great giveaway! Check out pandowdee, check these ladies out, and enter to win!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Being back.

To be honest, I was super nervous about coming back to school for sophomore year. But now that I've been back for over two weeks? I'm so happy.

I feel so beyond blessed to be at school and love it so much.

But let me be an encouragement. Because it wasn't always like this.

Let's flash back to last year. I was in tears everyday, feeling so lonely. I made my parents come visit me over Labor Day weekend because it was so bad.

But God pulled me through.

Friend, it will get better. I promise you. If you need a friend during this hard time, let me know. I'm here.

And if you're taking any hard classes, that will get better too. Just be thankful it's not Chemistry. (And if it is, I'm so sorry).

Monday, August 18, 2014

Advice to my Freshmen Self.

Well, I'm back at school. And it's a totally different ballgame this year. 

I came back early as a mentor to incoming freshmen with my major and I'm totally loving it. I love being a sophomore so far and it's been such a great time so far. 

Sometimes, I wish I would have known a few things this time last year as a nervous wreck of a freshman. So, I'm making a list of what I wish I would have known last year and hope anybody who is entering this new stage of life finds this little compilation helpful.

1. Turn to your parents for advice.
It was so difficult for me last year. I have a little word document on my computer where I wrote out some of my feelings. And I was in such a dark place. I talked to my parents about a lot of what I was going through, but I'm the type of person to stuff my feelings in. So I did that a lot of the time and then got frustrated when my parents didn't understand. So, let them know how you are feeling. Let them in on your life. Even now it's hard for me to remember to keep them included in everything I do because of how busy I get.

2. Set up a good, productive routine that you can stick to.
I was okay at this one. But Netflix. It always gets me. So instead of vegging on it all the time, crack open that book. This is something that I'm definitely still working on, so it's always a work in progress.

3. Don't just study in groups.
Last year I found good friends that were in my same major. They were all so smart and helped me a ton. We would study together all the time, but then I would go back to my dorm feeling prepared for my test the next day. Wrong. Always continue to study on your own. Studying with a group is not all the studying you'll need.

4. Turn to your RA and counselors.
This is something that I did last year when I needed help and became really close to my RA. I still love her and would turn to her for anything. It also helped that we shared walls. hah But seriously, use those people. They're there to serve you and love on you.

5. Use resources that your school offers.
You can't do it alone. I'm terrible at writing, so I really should have used the writing center more often. I probably would have done a lot better in my English class.

All in all, make the most of your experience. I have a quote written out in my room that reads: "Don't be yourself; be better than yourself." I don't even know who's quote that is, but my mom told it to me and I love it.

I'm linking up with Jessica, Gina, and Caro for their College Blog Hop, too!

Gina Alyse

Friday, August 8, 2014

An August Giveaway

Today is a good day! Why? Cause it's giveaway time!

Megan over at Rivers and Roads is having a birthday and also hosting a giveaway! I am teaming up with some amazing women to give away some Megan's (and mine too) favorite things!

I'm giving away three of my absolute favorite things to one lucky winner!

1 | A large Vera Bradley duffel bag. You get to pick whichever pattern you want! I had one that I took everywhere with me! It was given to me as a Christmas gift one year and was so nice to have! Unfortunately, it got left in China with donations for the orphanage.

2 | A pair of Chacos. I got my Chacos last semester and I have to say, it was probably one of the best investments of my life. I love my Chacos. They are amazing and I do everything in them.

3 | A $15 gift card to Starbucks. If you know me, you know I love Starbucks. So you should definitely go take your best friend (ehem, me) out for some coffee once you win :)

HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! This giveaway is run via Rafflecopter with several ways to enter! In exactly one week the giveaway will close, one winner will be selected at random and announced! The winner will be contacted by email. All entries will be verified, so please play by the rules! Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Goals for August

I'm finally posting about my monthly goals. Every month rolls around and I see others' goals and always want to post mine, but feel so vulnerable. Well, I'm finally doing it. 

Beth posted hers and talked about how it's kind of scary posting your goals and making it public, but her post encouraged me! So, here we are. 

These aren't huge, but they're goals nonetheless.  

Thank you to one of my favorite friends for this picture. 

1. Begin the semester with good habits. 

Sounds kinda dumb, I know. But, creating good habits in the beginning make it easier to succeed. So, I'm gonna start off right and finish right.

2. Stay in the Word, daily.

This was a summer goal of mine, but I didn't do very well at it. I let every little excuse get in the way of my quiet time, and I'm gonna really make an effort to stay in the Word every day.

3. Finish headboard and loft.

For my dorm this year, I have a whole host of ideas and plans. I am lofting my bed and am making a headboard with fabric. Well, that's the plan at least. I leave in a week. So I should probably get on it. My amazing dad has been working on my loft, but that headboard has yet to get started.

4. Get rid of big or unwanted clothes.

Hopefully this will simultaneously happen while I go through my clothes to pack for school. I got rid of a lot of clothes at the beginning of summer, but I really need to go through everything.

5. Be welcoming and warming to incoming freshmen. 

This one is really measurable. But, I really want to make a conscious effort to welcome incoming freshmen. I remember how I was this time last year and I really want to make them feel at home.

Linking up with Haley (also the name of my cool friend above) at the Tiny Twig.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Heading towards the storm

The other day my friend and I were driving out of downtown Charleston and heading home. It's been raining all week here and it had finally cleared up downtown.

But then we caught a glimpse of what we were heading towards. Big thunder clouds.

But, we braced ourselves for the rain that was about to engulf us and headed towards the storm anyways.

And then I thought, isn't that how life is? We head towards the storm, knowing it's going to be rough and hard. But, we know God has things for us on the other side. And the only way for good things to happen, is to go through that storm.

Last year at school, I was in the biggest storm of my life. But, that's where I learned so much about God and about myself. I was tested and I grew and now I'm on the other side, and I'm able to say that going through the storm was necessary.

So, to anyone who's about to go into the storm, or anyone who's in the storm right now, listen to this. It's worth it. It's where the good stuff happens. And I'm praying for you!