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Faith, Style, Summer

The Two Most Important Books I Own.

Reader discretion advised: It’s about to get real. 
 
We’re going to chat about my faith. Just a bit of it. 
 
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The summer after my sophomore year at ASU, I worked at a Young Life camp [Rockbridge] as a part of their summer staff. I was a “shop girl” and that placement was one of the best things that ever could have happened to me. First, I met one of my dearest friends, Blaire. Second, I started journaling. 
 
Prayer has always been difficult for me. My mother is blessed with such a strong capacity for prayer, but I certainly don’t think it’s my own spiritual gift. I can hardly focus on the world around me to save my life, much less pray to an unseen God. It’s so easy – too easy really – to say, “I’ll be praying for you.” But to honestly pray and at that, wholeheartedly? That isn’t a piece of cake. I know God knows what is needed, and that he hears what I have to say before it is said.  That conversation is still vital. Without conversation, how can there be relationship? 
 
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Journaling is my conversation with the Lord. Like taking notes in school, when you are focused on writing, you are focused on each and every word. You are intentional about them. They resonate in you and stick with you. It is so much harder for distracting thoughts to interrupt my mind when I am praying through written words. It is so much easier for clarity to enter my mind when I am writing what I feel God is relaying. 
 
 I don’t necessarily write down what is happening in my life. Typically, I take it that he already knows what is heavy on my heart, and I jump right into the questions, or thoughts, or explanations. Did I mention questions? Because there are a lot of those. You’ll find pages and pages of writing when it’s obvious I was going through a time that I didn’t understand. Those are many of the most important pages, when clarity was found only through seeking the Lord. My journal also contains any verse I read or hear that makes an impact, and notes from sermons that I attend [most likely with commentary in the midst]. Any bits of wisdom that I feel will help me better live life for the Lord, I include. 
 
Over the years, my journals have become somewhat of a guidebook. It’s my own personal history book. It’s the paper version of my relationship with Christ. It definitely has the lulls where writing is few and far between, and that is typically reflective of the strength of my relationship with the Lord. 
 
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These two books you see in my hand? I cherish them. They are the most tattered books I own, but don’t let their worn condition mislead you. They are priceless. They are written in by me, by friends supporting me, and most importantly, by the Lord. They are my guidebook, my resource, my love story, my future, my past. They fill me up, they tear me down, and they make me me
Because without him, I am nothing. 

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Maybe prayer comes easy to you. Or maybe it doesn’t, and you’ve felt the guilt or pressure that I once did [and still do] to change that. I challenge you, dear reader, to give journaling a try. It might not be for you, and if not, I’d love to hear what is. But it helps me. And truth be told, we could all use a little help. 
 
[[The outfit: I recently wore this to church, and I plan on repeating it quite a bit once the school year kicks off. Both the pants and the top are from Banana Republic Factory, and together cost less than $20! I think it would look great with a white blazer- I just haven’t found one that fits my body type yet. ]]


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