Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer Wishes Recap {'The Circle' Link Up}

End of Summer Love,

P.S.: It's a bit depressing that I didn't finish all my wishes, but such is my imperfect existence.  I'm glad I have a perfect grace-giving God who loves me anyway! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

{College Bound Girl} Dorm Ideas

Dorm Room #1

Dorm Room #2

Dorm Room #3

Dorm Room #4

Love from me to all my dorm-dwelling sisters! 


P.S.: Which "dorm" {above} is your favorite?

P.P.S.: Feeling a bit overwhelmed or homesick right about now?  God is right there with you!  Praying for you, college sis.

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith & in purity."
-1 Timothy 4:12 NIV

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Triangles Collage {Back to School DIY}

There's something about adorable school supplies that makes me yearn to be a student again!  Here's an easy back to school DIY project perfect for notebooks, binders, journals, & more.  Why buy when you can make?

What You Need:
1 sheet white printer paper 
3 ring binder with clear cover sleeve

What You Do:
Begin by cutting lots {& lots} of triangles about the same size from your catalogs/magazines {you can start by creating a cardboard triangle template, if you like}.  Next, arrange them on your white printer paper {or journal, notebook, etc.} & glue em down.  Once dry, slide your collage sheet into your 3 ring binder cover sleeve.  There you have it, a super cute {artsy/colorful} binder for school!        

the finished product

the rubbish pile =)

Back to School/Crafty Love,

P.S.: Are you working on any back to school projects?

Monday, August 12, 2013

"Salt" {College Bound Girl Flick}

Be salty, sister!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

College Girl 101: Tips from a Graduate {Course 2}

College Bound Girl II

1. Take notes & more notes!
Some professors will openly recommend that you jot down concepts/ideas covered in class, others won't.  But, either way, taking notes is smart.  When it's time for a test you've got a self-made study guide at your fingertips!

2. Ask your professors for help.
If you've got a question about an assignment, find yourself falling behind, or just plain struggling in a class seek out your instructor's help!  On each class syllabus the instructor's office hours & email should be listed.  Stop by the office & chat or send em a message.  This not only lets your professor offer assistance, but makes it clear that you care about doing well in the class.  I have to say, this saved me from a near rock-bottom {excuse the poor pun} experience in Geology my first year {I just couldn't seem to identify one stone from another}!  

3. Use the library & other campus resources.
The campus library can be a great place for studying, conducting research, or simply a quiet place to finish up homework.  Make use of other campus resources, too, like computer labs {perfect for printing off papers, etc. - learn your campus' public printing rules (you may have a certain number of free copies, have to pay a small fee, or it could be totally free)}.  My school also had a writing & math lab where you could essentially get free tutoring & help on assignments {I made use of the math lab, especially!}.  Check & see what other resources your campus offers!      

4. Make news friends.
There's a unique camaraderie born when a group of people share in like experiences.   Chowing down on Ramen Noodles, burning the midnight oil cramming for an exam, & living in the commune known as dorms is part of that fellowship that is quintessentially college life.  And, it's the perfect recipe for friendship {& possibly stomach aches, I've never tried the ever famous "noodles"}.  But, in the case of all relationships, you still have to make an effort to find friends - especially truly kindred spirits.  Strike up conversations, ask classmates questions, & be friendly.  As one out in the post college world, I can testify that it isn't as easy as I thought it would be to find new friends after graduation.  Make great friends now & do your best to stay in touch once the mortarboards {graduation caps} have been flung! 

5. Be salty, sister!

So many people are searching in college for direction, who they are, what to believe in, hope, & on & on.  Attending a secular college, I saw these searchers time & again - & talking to friends who went to faith-affiliated, or Bible, colleges those schools weren't exempt from the unsalty & lost, either.  In addition, there can be a bombardment of those {professors & students, alike} who say your belief in a Creator God is mere folklore.  What a perfect time & place to be salt & light {Matthew 5:13-16}!  Research biblical answers for possible tough questions that might come your way {& remember to always speak the Truth in love}.  Invite a classmate to church with you, host a dorm prayer group/Bible study {or join one}, & listen for the nudges of the Holy Spirit {maybe you'll be led to speak to that lonely looking girl in Chemistry or leave a note on the dorm door of a neighbor}.  Oh, & pray - pray lots {that's always a good rule}.  Pray to stay strong in your faith & to stand up & be that salty light.  P.S.: Every time I had to write the word "evolution" in my notes I'd write a number 1 above the letter l, a 2 above the i, & a 3 over the e.  Yep, it spells lie.            

Love {& College Knowledge},

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Unabashed Hoper

The Unabashed Hoper

Today I was reading my devotional when this thought barged in – it wasn’t about the topic of my reading, but some word or phrase brought this to my mind & heart…  What would be better?  God coming through in a clear way when all my raggedly held hope is shredded to bits & I’m barely holding a scrap & trust has all but left the building?  Or.  God coming through in a clear way when I’m down in the valley, no less, but still grasping with white knuckles to hope & trust & with a song of praise on my lips beautifully paired with my salty tears?

This really got me thinking.  Sure, at times {many times} it’s easier to give up & let the winds of doubt turn our flag of hope {not to mention, trust in the goodness & power of our God} to ribbons.  But, does that show our belief that our trust in the loving & all-knowing {which must surely include what’s best for us & when} power of God is something firm to be believed not only in the good times {when the seas are clear, turquoise-y colored & calm}, but the bad – especially the bad?  Is God truly true, trustworthy, & loving?  Yes!  So, it seems to me, as my own boat is being buffeted by a mighty gale & I fear for my flag {& life}, wouldn’t it be better if, when Jesus steps onto the surface of my raging sea to come out & meet me, that I be praising Him through the tempest, with my flag of hope {& trust} hoisted high?  I think so.  Will it be easy?  Probably not.  Will it be worth it?  Oh, you better believe it!

Love & Hope & Trust {& Praises} in the Storm,

P.S.: I feel like when we do this, it not only shows the world that our hope is in our perfect, loving,  & trustworthy Heavenly Father, but it is a way to truly show our love for Him who first loved us {1 John 4:19}.         

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

College Girl 101: Tips from a Graduate {Course 1}

College Bound Girl

1. Schedule classes as wisely as possible.
If you’re not a morning girl don’t opt for the 8:00 Anthropology course {it has nothing to do with fashionable shop windows & super cute clothes, by the way =)}.  Sure, sometimes to get the classes you need you have to do what you have to do, but when you’ve got options choose wisely!    

2. Mind those deadlines!
College lends itself to lots of red outlined dates on the calendar.  There are, of course, homework & assignment dates + dates to drop or add classes, scholarship deadlines, dates to apply for a particular program of study, registration for next semester, etc., etc.  You don’t want to find yourself in a lurch because you missed a deadline.  Check with your advisor & with the school’s online calendar for pertinent dates, & be diligent in keeping track of them on your own calendar, too.

3. Don’t skip classes!
As a freshman, I saw more & more of my classmates fall into this trap.  Sure, there’s no one forcing you to go to Geology 101, but here’s why you should go: 1) You miss material that’s covered {if I was one to say “duh,” I’d say such here =)}. 2) In some classes, attendance is part of the grade. 3) You’re not getting your $’s worth. 4) Most importantly, it’s not a help to your witness or pleasing to God.  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” –Colossians 3:23 NIV

4. Search for cheap textbooks.
It’s no secret college books can break the bank.  Even though many are going digital, they’re still pretty pricey.  Check out these places for deals:
Cheapest Textbooks {This site lets you compare several options!}

5. Work the campus!
The first day lots of people will be juggling a schedule in one hand & a campus map in the other.  Lost?  If someone looks friendly, & like they know where they're going, ask for directions.  I did this plenty at the beginning of the first couple of semesters.  I can't recall anyone that I asked {or begged} for direction being anything less than kind & most often helpful {unless of course they were lost, too}.  Plus, this can be a way to meet people.  No, I'm not saying pretend to be lost so you can bond Hansel-&-Gretel style over your confused state, but you know what I mean.  Eventually I was the one giving directions {& offering before asked, on occassion, to those especially befuddled looking students - cause, yep, I've been there}.  It was sorta like a rite of passage - the lost becomes the direction giver & the circle of life is complete, or something like that. =)

Love {& College Knowledge},

P.S.: Course 2 coming in a bit {a bit is a couple days, in this case}.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Truth In A Bottle Necklace {DIY}

This world has plenty of opportunities to try & snatch away our hope & the Truth we believe in.  The evil one not only wants to take, but to replace the firm ground of what we know with the shaky sod that comes from a mine-covered field of sneaky & damaging lies.  Make this necklace to keep the Truth close to your heart/mind!  

I found these cork/glass bottle charms at Hobby Lobby, by the way.  

Choose a favorite Truth from the Bible & write it on a tiny scrap of paper {if it’s long you will probably need to shorten it to a key phrase or simply write the book & verse number}.  Roll up your paper & place in the bottle {if you want, you could glue the cork in place, however I didn’t because it felt secure without & I like that I can open the bottle & read the Truth as needed {as well as change it out if I wanted}}.  Decorate the bottle with washi tape, if you like.  Use jump rings & jewelry pliers to attach the bottle charm to your chain, add a clasp, & wear!

You could even add more bottles!     

College, & beginning a life more independent of your family, can be a time when many fall away from the Truth… &, sadly, some never return.  If you’re going to a college in another city/state I recommend researching churches in the area of your school {Hello, Google! =)}.  Make a list of possible churches {with addresses & phone numbers (+ maps if you need it)}, & that first Sunday of your freshman {or whatever it may be} year visit one of the places on your list.  Find a church where the Bible is preached & you can get plugged in with fellowship & friendship & even ways to serve.  It might be easy to listen to the lies that you can miss just this one Sunday here & there {you had to study late, after all, etc., etc.}, but lies are lies… & habits are formed one step at a time.  You don’t want to fall into that trap!  Place going to church & worshiping & growing in Christ high on your list.  It’ll help keep the Truth firm in your life.

Love & Truth for the Road Ahead,

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"The Truth About Me"

There are some days I look into the mirror & see a tear stained face of a crying girl who believes she’s not enough – not lovely enough, good enough, smart enough, worthy enough. Some days it’s hard to believe the truth, but the truth remains true even when I can’t find a way to accept or acknowledge it…

Praying that you & I would believe the truth about us.

Love & Truth,


Saturday, August 3, 2013

10 Simple Ways to Embellish Your Space {Be It Bedroom, Dorm, Apt...}

I wanted to add tepee, bungalow, & tree house to the title, but I thought it would be a bit much.

1. Display art with trouser hangers.

2. Create an encouraging/cheery lipstick message on a mirror.

3. Line the back of a bookshelf with colorful wrapping paper or fabric.

4. Use wooden block letters to create personalized bookends {tutorial here}.

5. Jazz up pillows by adding vintage pins & brooches.

6. Add removable decorative tape {like washi} to your light switch cover, door, etc.

7. Repurpose a bamboo steamer into an instant mini knickknack shelf.  {Multiple steamers in various sizes look great bunched together on the wall, too.}

8. Make & hang a festive bunting - everyday can be a little like a celebration {tutorial here}.  

9. Use wide ribbon & letter stickers to create a sign reminding you to shop your closet first.

10. Take tissue paper & a little glue to a paper lantern pendant light to make it extra pretty {tutorial here}.  

       While there's certainly nothing wrong in our efforts to make our places of dwelling cozy, comfy, & cute it's important to remember that as Christians are true home is in heaven, & as the Steven Curtis Chapman song goes, "Keep on looking ahead.  Let your heart not forget, we are not home yet."  

 "For this world is not our permanent home; we 
are looking forward to a home yet to come."
-Hebrews 13:14 NLT

Love {& Happy Embellishing},

Friday, August 2, 2013

Song Love {August}

"Lift My Life Up" by Unspoken

"One Drop" by Plumb

"Hurricane" by Natalie Grant 
{& the story behind it}

Musical Love,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How's Your Light Switch? {Repost}

How's Your Light Switch?

I first posted this back in Aug. 2010 {that seems like forever ago}.  I thought it would be fitting to repost it today for the College Bound Girl series.  Keep reading for an embarrassing {yet enlightening} tale from my first day of college...  

I remember the first day of my freshman year in college with a grin & a bit of a sigh. Yes, it was one of those days…full of excitement & nervousness…with a pinch of clumsiness on my part. Okay, okay, here’s how it went down.

Student IDs were a requirement. You needed them to check out library books, prove you were in fact you, & sell back outrageously priced textbooks to the bookstore for a meager profit at the end of the year (by the way, personally, I highly recommend or some other online source for your books). I decided I would be oh-so-on-top-of-things & get mine the first day. After all, it was the first day of school & I looked first day of school cute after careful clothing consideration. I headed to the student center where the ID office was located on the top floor. I let out a small groan when I saw a line snaking out of the office. It was a small groan because the line wasn’t too long, but long enough to be groan-worthy. I staked my place in the back. Finally making it just inside the office, having crept at a snail’s pace, I lean my back against the wall. Suddenly the lights go out. A small moment of chaos & one student’s ID photo likely coming out completely black followed…& then groan of groans (internally), I learn I was leaning against the light switch.

Sometimes, it’s like that. You learn you’ve been leaning against the light switch. I tried to laugh it off, but I was glad when I had my ID in hand & could flee. This makes me think of the light of Jesus we are supposed to be shining as Christians, His children. Having gone to public school & a secular college, I know the mission field that these places are. Students are hungry to find something to fill their voids. Many have already tried lots & lots of things that have left them just as empty or, in some cases, even emptier. As you head back to school this year, are you preparing to keep that switch turned to the ‘on’ position…even when it makes you stand out…lose friends…be laughed at? It’s not always easy to keep the switch on & your light shining. Sometimes, like me, you don’t even realize you’ve been leaning on the switch & sitting in the darkness. Remember Jesus on the cross & how that was in no way easy – having Your creations, Your children, turn upon You in a murderous mob. They have no idea as they hurl their insults & use their tools of cruelty, that the One they are subjecting all this to, is in fact paving a path for them to everlasting life. Now, when you are about to flip the switch & hide in the darkness, remember that the One who died on the cross is living in you & will not leave you. Your strength will not be enough, but His is, & Christ in you is the power source of your Light. Don’t turn it off, abandoning your power source, seeking to hide in the darkness ashamed & hurting. Just think, that person who walks around with a black ID photo, full of lonely & longing voids & scars, could be looking around for a bit of light. Will your light be turned on?

Love & Light by the Bus Load,

P.S.: Yes, this is a true story.