While I claim to be a writer and therefore am well aware of the value and power of words, I’m going to make words sit this one out. I think the best way to share my Parisian experience in all its splendor is to allow you to see it the way I saw it: in full color, alive. So, for my fifth installment of La Parisienne, here are thirty of my best photos from my four months living in Paris.
votre (américaine) parisienne
Continue reading “La Parisienne, No. 5: Paris Photo Diary”
A while ago, in my introduction to the Start a Bible Study series, I mentioned that the lead-up to that point was a “long story.”
Well, here I am with the explanation of that long story! It’s worth the read, I promise.
So, let’s take it back to where it all began: joining a sorority. If you want to read all about that specific experience, check out my post about becoming a part of the Greek community as a Christian. But the bottom line is this: although I felt seriously out of place, I stayed for the friends and always felt that God could use me here (even when I tried to ignore it).
Continue reading “The Story of Starting a Sorority Bible Study”
Hey friends! Today, I felt like sitting down and writing about how I ended up in a sorority. I think the stories like mine are really important in the grand scheme of Greek life, because a lot of people like me don’t ever join for thinking that they don’t belong. That’s what I thought, too. But that’s why I want to shed some light on my experience. Storytelling is a powerful tool for empathy and for change, and with both of those things in mind, I want to talk about this really vital piece of the puzzle that is my college experience.
In order to explain the whole story, we’re going to need to take it back a bit…to the summer of 2017, when I first moved to college.
I was on vacation in Oregon with my dad’s whole side of the family — aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents included. One afternoon, I was chatting with one of my older cousins, who had just graduated from college. She had been in a sorority at her university and loved it, and she wanted to know if I was rushing, too.
I pretty much laughed it off when she asked me, thinking that she couldn’t be serious. Me? A sorority? Not. A. Chance. You couldn’t pay me to join an organization where everyone clapped along as they sang annoyingly energetic songs from inside their big fancy house on Greek Row. In my opinion, Greek life was for the self-absorbed, party-crazy girls who had belonged to the “it-crowd” in high school. And of those three criteria, I fit zero.
Continue reading “Truth Talk: Joining a Sorority”
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your outlook, February is upon us. For those if us in relationships, this is exciting! For this of us who do not have a significant other, including myself, the thought of Valentine’s Day creeping up can become a bit depressing…daunting…annoying…any number of things. But have no fear! Luckily, I am pretty experienced with singleness, so I am determined to make sure we all have a super fun Valentine’s Day regardless of relationship status. First step: we’re going to rename this holiday Galentine’s Day.
Here are some ideas for a wonderful “Galentine’s Day” which will help you love and embrace both yourself and your single life! (PS: I know that February 14th falls on a Thursday, so if any of these things sound fun to you but won’t exactly fit into your mid-week schedule, take a raincheck and celebrate a belated Galentine’s Day over the weekend!)
Continue reading “How to Have the Best Single Valentine’s Day Ever”
In the coming months, I will be starting a Bible study in my sorority house!
When I joined Greek life last fall, I almost immediately felt called to be a light for Jesus in my chapter. This year, now that I’ve returned from studying abroad, I’ll be living in my sorority house with my roommate as my best friend alongside 55 other Alpha Chi sisters.
I have absolutely NO idea what I’m doing, and for that purpose, I am going to document the whole process in hopes that maybe I can help guide anyone out there who is looking to do the same thing!
I’ll be sharing the steps I’m taking, the things I’m learning, and my thoughts and feelings along the way. Once the Bible study is launched and happening, I’ll also be sharing how it’s going and growing, and maybe even affecting my sorority house and sisters.
Here’s where I’m at now: God has provided for me in some crazy ways in order to help me accomplish this. I am not being dramatic when I say that there have been some curveballs out of left field from Jesus when I least expected them. I’m talking prayers answered after almost a year and international conference calls. (It’s a long story.) But to briefly catch you up to speed, just know that the planning is well under way and my next step is to network with other Christians in the Greek community at school in order to (hopefully) coordinate some events between our chapters and walk alongside each other as leaders in our Greek houses!
I can’t wait to share this journey with my Y&J readers, so stay tuned!
As of now, I am no longer a teenager.
I have been on the planet for two full decades. Weird!
….. ….. …..
Hello again, friends! I hope your first two-ish weeks of this year have been treating you well. I’ve got lots of good content planned for the coming weeks, and I hope you are as excited as I am for 2019! But, on an unrelated note, I just wanted to pop in today to announce to the world that I have made it to 20 years old!
Now, I’m not making this announcement in hopes that I’ll get a bunch of “Happy Birthday” comments on this post (besides, my birthday was a week ago already), but because I want to take a moment or two to reflect on who I have been up until this point and who I would like to be going forward. After all, 20 is a big number! Honestly, I really like the sound of it.
Continue reading “This is 20.”
Well, folks, the adventure has come to a close. I’ve been back home in California for one month. What an adventure it was.
There is so much to say that I almost don’t know what to say.
I guess I’ll begin by talking about some of my favorite things about Paris:
Continue reading “La Parisienne, No. 4: Au Revoir”
Happy New Year, everyone!
I’m assuming most of you have jotted down a few of those infamous New Year’s Resolutions. Good for you! Personally, I love setting goals.
The truth is, though, that we don’t always meet those goals. I took a look at my list of last year’s resolutions the other day, and I only sorta met 6 of the ten goals on the list. Although I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t more successful in 2018, I realizes that I still made 6 major improvements in my life! For example, I made spending time with God a regular and important part of my day-to-day. I got more of my writing published and I took better care of my hair. I became proficient in French, I wrote new music, and I became more comfortable with taking risks. I’d call that a win!
The point of all this: be realistic with your resolutions, and don’t stress if you can’t check them all off. We’re humans, not robots! Life is not so black and white as meeting and not meeting resolutions. So, set goals that are more abstract instead of so minute that slipping up one day means you’ve already failed.
Continue reading “Apps to Help You Maintain Your New Year’s Resolutions”
Hello, friends! It is officially my favorite time of year!
While we all know that Christmas is absolutely not about getting presents, I still enjoy the tradition because I just love giving gifts and will look for any excuse to do so.
After the last 4 months of traveling Europe, I thought it was only fitting to do a gift guide for all the travel-lovers out there! Here are a whole bunch of awesome items that would be both functional and stylish while on the go!
Continue reading “5 Christmas Gifts Perfect for the Travel Lover”
I love Thanksgiving. Love it. It is a day full of sitting on the couch watching the Macy’s Parade (and the dog show that follows it) and hanging out with your favorite people and eating some dang good food and wearing a cute sweater.
Perhaps the best part about Thanksgiving is that it is the doorway to Christmas season! (My family has a yearly tradition of picking out our Christmas tree and decorating the house the day after Thanksgiving.)
But all of that aside, let’s talk about thankfulness for a hot sec.
While Thanksgiving is a secular, American holiday without any true religious meaning, God still cares about thanksgiving. Now, I don’t mean Thanksgiving with a capital “T”; I mean just “thanksgiving.” They are different.
Continue reading “Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s What the Bible Says About Thankfulness”