Spring Break Review

… because I couldn’t come up with a title more unique than that. (Give me a break, I’ve been on a break!)

This week was exactly what I needed. Originally I was going to be doing an Instagram campaign for an ethical fashion brand, Sseko (www.ssekodesigns.com), as one of their Spring Break advocates. However, my shoes didn’t come in time, so my social media advocacy will have to wait until later in the month. (But stay tuned for a post about Sseko and why I support them!) Although I was initially disappointed, because I had plans for photo shoots, adventures, etc., God knew what I needed. The week was instead spent at home, seeing only a few close friends, and having quality time with my sisters and mother.

My week was filled with delicious, healthy, organic food (which brings me much joy after a college student, cafeteria food diet), princess movies, manicures and pedicures, tea parties, and shopping trips. And nothing beats being at home, where one can curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and talk to a loving, wise mother in person.

A few more snapshots from my week…

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A “Chocolate Library” found in the mall — two of my favorite things in life collide

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the newness of Spring calls for change

A pile of Barbies on the floor is a sign that I’m home, that imagination exists, and that childhood is a good mess.

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Through the honesty of a friend, I’ve also been convicted about my current addiction to social media. So I’ve given it up just for the weekend, and will be limiting my use of any social media, except that which pertains to my Sseko advocacy for the next few weeks. I am hoping that a break from this constant bombardment of information will give me a chance for more productivity in classwork, more opportunities to read substantial articles, and more time with God.

Speaking of articles, here are a few gems I’ve found during the week.

Coast to Coast: Insta Honest In a generation of social media, where it’s easy to display only the best side of ourselves, how can we use this media to reach out to others? How can we be genuine?

Hosanna: Reclaiming a Fatherless Generation A beautifully written article on the image of God as our Father and the redemption of His love. (Also, check out the rest of Hosanna’s blog–she does spoken word and creativity workshops!)

Alison Marie Smith: When Home Isn’t Home During a time when I’m feeling especially reluctant to go back to college (and also worrying that I’ll never be able to fully live on my own), it’s good to be reminded that I’m not alone in my loneliness.

A prayer that I want to begin praying over the last two months of my first year at college (also from Alison Marie Smith):

Jesus, we long for you to meet us in our mess- to sit with us, to mourn with us, to pick up the pieces and put us back together again. As we wade through the mess of our lives and the mess of our world, help us to know that you are in the middle of it with us. Help us to find joy in the fact that you came and entered into our chaos and that you will come again to make all things new and whole. Amen. 

Here’s to the breaks – may they remind us of how good it feels to rest and be loved. And here’s to the chaos – may we remember that Christ is ever-present in our messiness.

– – Phebe

take more than a moment to Breathe

Yesterday. Headed south to the Chesapeake beach. But ended up driving north toward New York. Decided to stop at a small, quaint bayside town called Havre de Grace (last exit before the next toll). Spent the afternoon talking, strolling, browsing, sipping, capturing, and exploring. Ended the evening with a brilliant orange sunset and grey paint-dripped walls.

I’m trying to let my soul breathe this week. More than anything, I simply need to suck in the fresh air and be refreshed. For the past month, I have felt like I am constantly racing the clock and always falling further behind. I am out of breath. For the past two weeks, I have felt like I am drowning in an ocean of assignments, readings, and to-do lists. I am gasping for air.

And so, this week I allow myself to breathe. Assignments can wait. Responsibilities can be set aside. God is already speaking His truth to me in the depths of my soul: “Did you trust me? I had you all along…” He is shaking His head at me in amusement: “You think this is funny? It was My plan the whole time.” 

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One of the things I’m doing to let my soul breathe is to take time to read what I actually want to read. Here are a few of my favorite blogs/articles that have been filling my soul with encouragement, beauty, and wisdom.

Cause for Joy: “To a Wanderlust Heart…” This article speaks to a place where many of my friends and I are — a place of longing for adventure and travel.  (It is even so relevant to the adventure I went on yesterday with a friend.) Marli’s words are refreshing to the soul and speak truth to the core.

The Restored Artist: “Lent” My dear friend, Ellie, has written beautiful words on the purpose of Lent and the hope of salvation.

This Momentary Anthology  A friend from school is writing a series of poetry for a month. Her month is filled with short, powerful stanzas about life that touch me deeply.

Chatting at the Sky: “Learning to Walk Without an Agenda” A lesson I need to learn so badly. I’m trying to remember to use my many walks between classes to breathe, recharge, and process. Emily P. Freeman is one of my favorite authors, and her blog always causes me to stop, think, and smile.

Anything you’ve been reading recently? Any suggestions for blogs to check out? Please comment below! I’ll do another wrap-up of what I discover at the end of the week.

For now, take more than a moment…take a long time…to Breathe.

– – Phebe