NOLA 2017

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My summer travels have come to an end. On Wenesday, I got back from a mission trip/choir tour to New Orleans, Louisiana and that was my last big summer event. I had so much fun!

We left for New Orleans on Friday afternoon and got there pretty late that night. The next day we arrived at Lakeshore Church for training and orientation which I really enjoyed! The church planter/pastor we were working with told us about some of his own background, about NOLA, and some of what we would be doing that week and how we should do it.

WHAT WE DID//

Our youth choir has been working on a certain set of songs for a few months and were given the opportunity to go on ” choir tour” to New Orleans! We got to work with one of our former seminary interns who is working with a church ” replant” called Lakeshore Church!

  • door-to-door, handing out flyers advertising the concert we were having the next morning at Lakeshore
  • doing spiritual surveys with people in a park
  • performed Sunday morning @ Lakeshore
  • performed at an assisted living home
  • volunteered at the local Salvation Army
  • performed at Jackson Square in the French Quarter
  • played and put on a Backyard Bible Study for the kids in a Guatemalan community near Lakeshore

WHAT I LEARNED//

  • don’t discriminate or judge a book by its cover. Don’t be afraid to talk to people just because you think they look or act different. No one is ” too far gone.”
  • Just like I started learning in NYC, God is sovereign over all and also cares for all
  • We need to be content. God’s will and His ways are higher than ours. So just because what you thought should happen didn’t, doesn’t mean it was all in vain. We need to be content to serve in any way we can.
  • God is so loving and generous to His children who are intent on following Him. I saw how much God has blessed and provided for Lakeshore and I’m so grateful.
  • Even though we don’t see the fruits of our labor immediately, doesn’t mean there won’t be fruit.

WHAT I MISS//

  • I miss Lakeshore so, so much! I really love that church! Just the sense of community and the love of Christ with the strong, sound teaching in that church just has captured my heart!
  • Being surrounded by my friends and brothers and sisters all the time! Getting to laugh and talk with them 🙂
  • Experiencing a new city and lifestyle

I’d have to say my 3 favorite parts of the trip were…

  1. Church at Lakeshore on Sunday morning
  2. Deepening relationships with others
  3. Playing with the kids in the Guatemalan community

Also, I really enjoyed singing in the French Quarter! Throughout the trip, we were able to do a few ” touristy” things such as a swamp tour, eating beignets at Cafe Du Monde, and visiting the World War II museum. Overall, it a fantastic trip and experience; I wish I could’ve stayed longer! And of course, I’m so thankful to the Lord and to the people who prayed and gave so I was able to go!

Life Lately { pine cove}

The past two weeks have been so busy, so fun, and so full of life and travel! The first week of June our family got the chance to go to a family camp by Pine Cove in Columbus, Texas- which was super last minute! I guess we were on the waiting list and once a family registered to attend the camp cancelled, they called us and said there was an opening about 2 days before we would need to be there! In short, we said yes, packed up and started driving Saturday afternoon to make it there by Sunday afternoon! At first, I was really hesitant and DID NOT want to go but by the end of the week, I was so sad that we had to leave and literally started crying saying goodbye to everyone!

If you haven’t heard of Pine Cove, they’re basically a Christian organization that runs family camps, youth camps, and  kids camps in Texas and South Carolina, and even brings their camps to your local church called ” Camp in the City.” All the counselors at the camps have special ” camp names” based off of some kind of embarrassing story about them, their background, etc. The counselors and the camp itself is very high-energy, the counselors get up and yell cheers all the time!

Anyway, I spent the week doing different activities every day- like paintball, the ropes course, swimming in the ” lagoon”, the pool, and had small group times and family devotionals every day! 

Although the activities were SO fun, my favorite thing about Pine Cove was definitely the people. All the new friends I met and the counselors I got to hang out with were all incredible and great to be around. I loved the down time we had, during free time or late at night playing ” Empire” or “Signs” or ” Poison Dart Frog” or just watching the boys play” Speed” with some of my friends! It was great to see the counselors kind of ” off-duty” playing games with us and I love all the fun memories that went along with that during the week! 

Some Favorite Memories:

  • hearing a kid say about how he felt on the ” barn swing”( which is basically a swing in a barn, go figure, that you swing on) , ” it’s like your soul’s leaving your body!” 
  • watching the boys sink canoes in the lake again and again….and watching them try and get it out. HILARIOUS
  • a sort of impromptu dance party at ” White Tail” ( aka the dining hall) 
  • playing this fun game at the ” carnival” where you put on a vest connected to a bungee cord thing and run as hard as you can holding a piece of Velcro and try to smack the piece of Velcro onto a Velcro strip, trying to get it farther out than the person next to you 
  • hanging out with all the fun kids and friends and counselors and learning about prayer! 

For real though, it was one of the best weeks of my life and I miss it so much! Crier Creek was such an amazing experience and I am so grateful I was able to go! What a great reminder to myself that God is under control and can see way farther than what I can and knows what’s best for us! 

 

 

Summer Adventure Travel Tips

School’s out, it’s Memorial Day Weekend, the sun is shining, can it be any more summery? Is that even a word? Whether you’re going to a summer camp, a mission trip, on a beach vacation with your fam, or a road trip with your friends, I wanted to share some tips for travel I’ve learned along the way!

  1. Roll Your Clothes

Ya’ll. I don’t care what packing tips you’ve seen on Pinterest or how many times you’ve tried to wedge those rainboots in your suitcase: rolling your clothes is the way to go. It’s quick, simple, and easy. You can see your clothes at a glance and can store more clothes than if you were just folding them- perfect for my overpackers. Better safe than sorry, right?

2. Bring Snacks and a Reusable Water Bottle

You never know what kind of food you’re going to get in a foreign country, a summer camp, or even just a random restaurant on vacation! This, my friends, is why we bring snacks. I love Chocolate Brownie Clif Bars, unsalted almonds, and don’t forget your gum! Also, it’s important to stay hydrated and a reusable water bottle is a great way to make sure you do so! Just fill it up and you’re ready to go!

3. Make a good playlist for the road

Because everything’s better with your favorite songs, amiright???

4.  Bring some grocery and Ziploc bags

For when you’re heading home and your bathing suit is still wet. And for when you want to go hang out on the beach but want to check your insta as well. Just put your phone in the Ziploc bag!

5. A Good Attitude ( and imagination)

Sometimes, when you’re going somewhere you just really don’t want to go you just need to suck it up and pretend you’re in the Amazing Race. Anyone else do that? No, just me? LOL. Don’t judge me.

Speaking of the Amazing Race, is anyone in shock that Brooke and Scott are still in the race??? Like, that’s crazy! I mean, good for them but I did not see that coming! When The Boys got eliminated, I was really proud because of their awesome attitudes! You know, they could have just blamed it all on that taxi driver but they didn’t and took it like men!  And also, everybody else better watch out, because my team, ahem, TeamLoLo is getting better and better.  If they don’t win, I may cry.

 

Weekend Edit

( featured pic is not mine, found it online lol)

Hello friends, how has ya’lls week been? I am so ready for school to be over… This week I have been loving…

These Chacos

You’ll have to click the link to see them but ya’ll I finally joined Chaco club! 🙂 At first I wanted to get Chacos without the toe strap but I ended up ordering some with the toe strap and it doesn’t bother me at all! I love the design and am looking forward to wearing these on my summer adventures!

Outdoor Concerts with Thomas Rhett

The other day I went to a concert with my dad at our town’s football stadium and it was so FUN! The weather was perfect ( I wore a white crop top, light wash skinny jeans, and sandals) , and I had so much fun! Thomas Rhett did a great job and even brought his dad, Rhett Akins, out and sang a few songs.  

“Katie Did What” blog

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This is a blog I found after searching “lifestyle blog” and I love it so so much! Her little family is so cute and she has such an adorable style!

These Knockoff OTBTs

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Ever seen an expensive trend that you weren’t sure about shelling out 100 + dollars for? Well, enter Pierre Dumas! The pictures don’t do this shoe justice, they really do look like legit OTBTs and for  less than half the price! These shoes go with everything, and can be slipped on to instantly upgrade any outfit! Love them!

Festival Tiered Dress from Target

I love this dress so much! It’s perfect for festival season and is so cute and summery! On a side note, Target is legit killing it right now with clothes!! You need to go now- before they change inventory! Thank you, Coachella and other festivals for inspiring Target’s clothes! There’s so much embroidery and boho vibes going on and I LOVE IT!

That’s about it for today! Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas out there!

 

Weekend Edit

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Happy weekend! I hope you all have had a good week! Any fun plans for Easter? Some of my family is going to a park to have a picnic after church tomorrow! Anyway, these are some things I’ve been loving lately!

This Maxi Dress

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This dress is so cute in person! Mine is actually more of a heather grey color and I  got it at Kinnucan’s for my birthday!

Boyfriend Tees at Old Navy

Old Navy has some really cute boyfriend tees for cheap right now! I got a striped black and white one recently for like $6 plus tax! These are perfect for spring with light wash denim and cutoffs!

The Amazing Race

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I’ve just started really watching this show recently and I love it! It’s such a fun show- I love getting to see where the contestants get to travel! #TeamLoLo is one of my favorite teams! 🙂

Charlie Worsham

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Thanks to Spotify’s ” New Boots Early Bets” playlist I discovered Charlie Worsham! He’s a country singer with a singer-songwriter feel and a laid-back style of music! I love his songs, ” Cut Your Groove” and “Want Me Too”!

Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 8 Camera

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Ya’ll just look at this cute little colorful camera! And…….it’s an instant camera, like a Polaroid but….not. It’s pretty cheap and is so fun to bring along with you to take fun pictures or if you’re going on a trip, this would be an awesome companion to have!

The Last of the Mohicans Movie

    My Writing class read the book, ” The Last of the Mohicans” this semester so we got to watch the movie recently! I really liked it even though it had a lot of violence ( I tried not to watch most of the violent parts ;). Some of my classmates didn’t like it because it had elements that were very different from the book, but I definitely enjoyed the movie more than the book! Plus, one of the main characters ( Hawkeye) was kind of cute so I was content LOL!

“Hey Girl” Workout Memes on Pinterest

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Here’s some motivation to workout for you girls….some of them are really funny too!

 

       Well I hope you all have a wonderful Easter! The Lord’s love is so great that He sent his son to die for us, and Jesus rose again! Thank you Lord! The resurrection is so important because if Jesus hadn’t risen and had just died, then He would be almost  no different than Muhammed, or Gandhi. He would have been just a good man or a prophet. But Jesus did rise again! And that is why we have hope! He is risen! Praise the Lord!

 

 

 

 

“send me”

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These past few weeks I’ve just been, I guess, waiting, listening, straining, wrestling- trying to   know if I’m to go and where I’m to go on an overseas mission trip. I’ve already applied for a mission trip to New York this summer but my heart longs to go internationally. I don’t know when or how or where I could do but I know that my desire is to go. I feel led to Africa, maybe Zambia? but I’m just not sure.

Like- over these past few months the Lord has increasingly brought missionary families to us from Uganda and Tanzania. This past spring break, I was interested in going on a mission trip to East Africa, but wasn’t able to.

And the Lord has not let my desire to go overseas die. I asked the Lord to strip my desire away if this was not what I need to do, basically, and here I am, longing to go still. In David Platt’s book, Follow Me, it kind of talks about how we as Christians are officially called to go. Look in Matthew 28: 18-20, Acts 1: 8- we are called to go. Why stay? Once I heard a missionary say something like this: If you know you’re supposed to stay, then stay, and if not, GO.” That is what I want to do!

God gave us the Holy Spirit for a reason and if you look in the Bible ( as Platt’s book ” Follow Me” lays out) the Holy Spirit is closely connected to speaking the truth of the gospel. One of my equipping group leaders said something like this- ” Should Americans get to hear the gospel twice before others get to hear it even once?”

So, I don’t know if the Lord would have me go this summer, sometime this year, next year, or is He just stirring up a desire for the future? I kind of feel like I’m in a story and just waiting for the last chapter to be read. I’m waiting and expecting the Lord, who is so good, to show up in marvelous ways. Wherever the Lord wants, that’s where I want to go and that’s where I want to want to go. Wherever and whatever circumstances the Lord wants me in is so good, because He is so good.

I’m trying to hold tight to the permanent in this life. The Lord, who is unchanging, gave up His son to die for us and rose again and that is a story worth telling. Pray that I would wait patiently on the Lord, and that He would work it out for only His glory.

 

fresh start

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Happy New Year, friends! Resolutions and goals come with the territory around the start of a new year and it’s a lovely time to simply sit and reflect on 2016 and think about what you would like to achieve or focus on or be in 2016. Over the weekend, I wrote in a notebook some of my goals and focuses for 2017 regarding different categories like health and fitness, sleep, blogging, etcetera. One wonderful idea I’ve seen is to pick a word and focus on that. For example: focus, present, thoughtful.  However you do it, thinking  a little bit about 2017 and your goals for the year is helpful- giving a clearer vision of what you want for the future- but remember, be open to whatever the Lord may have for you in 2017 as well! He knows best!

some goals for 2017:

health and fitness goals:

  • before my morning coffee, drink 1 glass of water
  • try to drink 50 oz. of water a day
  • take time to stretch 1-2 times a week
  • keep up consistency in my workouts- 5-6 days a week

skin, hair, and style goals:

  • treat my face and scalp more gently
  • dress well
  • add variety ( try a new trend, hairstyle,etc.)
  • stick to a skincare routine ( morning and night)

blogging goals:

  • post regularly (1-2 days a week at least, preferably certain pre-determined days)
  • keep up with the news, blogs, Instagrams
  • schedule, plan, and work on posts before I actually want to post them

organization, school, & home goals:

  • clean bathroom, do laundry more consistently 🙂
  • plan a little more

Jesus:

  • intentionally spend time with Jesus often- praying, reading Bible
  • praise and thank Hime, confess to Him
  • apply and live out Truth gracefully

sleep goals:

  • be more consistent with bedtime and waketime
  • make it a priority

gymnastics goals:

  • work hard, do my best
  • move forward in my skills and execution
  • practice how I want to compete

life + attitude goals:

  • love
  • laugh
  • live joyfully
  • own who I am
  • reach out to others
  • practice thankfulness,trust, kindness
  • strive for excellence
  • be respectful to others

overall:

r e a d,  l e a r n,  g r o w

What are some of your thoughts on 2017?  Leave a comment!

 

 

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