La Parisienne, No. 1: Travel Troubles

I did it. I made it to Paris.

Which, given the last 24 hours of my life, is quite a feat.

Here’s the rundown:

After a LOT of waiting in the San Francisco airport, I finally got on my flight. Frazzled and overwhelmed by the fact that in an American airport all the announcements are still  in French, I forgot that there are three rows of seats on such big international planes, and I began walking down the wrong side of the plane with no way to cross over to the other side where I was sitting. So I had to inchworm my way through an empty middle row and ask nicely to cut in front of somebody in the other line.

Wow. I literally could not even get myself on the correct side of the plane. Can you say “tourist?” I could practically feel the other passengers’ eyes rolling at me.

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Summer in Sunriver, Oregon

Oh, summer. How lovely you are, especially when spent in Central Oregon, which just so happens to be one of my favorite places.

Here’s why: Amazing weather, clear blue skies, a sparkling river, miles of bike trails, great restaurants, and, in my case, family! For sixteen years now, my whole family has met up in Sunriver, Oregon to spend a week together.

This year’s trip was full of sunshine, laughs with my cousins, and delicious food. Because it is such a wonderful place, I wanted to share it with all of you!

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A Weekender’s Guide to Santa Barbara

I’m just going to get straight to the point: Santa Barbara is basically the coolest place in the state of California. Need convincing? Check out my post 10 Reasons to Love Santa Barbara!

I am so fortunate to call this place home for my time in college, and over the course of my freshman year I have gotten to experience so much of this amazing city! So, I felt compelled to share with you some of the best that Santa Barbara has to offer.

I’ve put together a weekend-long travel itinerary with a little bit of everything: nature, good food, beach, shopping, landmarks. With that being said, I hope you can someday enjoy this place just as I have!

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10 Reasons I Love Santa Barbara

I have been living in Santa Barbara for a little over three years now, on and off, and that is certainly enough time to have done a good deal of exploring. And in that time, I have pretty much concluded that Santa Barbara is the greatest city ever. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s ten reasons why…

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Truth Talk: Being a Christian at a Large Public University

Alright. Truth talk.

Staying strong in your faith in college is hard. Staying strong in your faith at a large, public college is harder. Staying strong in your faith at a large, public college known for its reputation as a party school is, as you can imagine, a bit of a challenge. I’m not going to lie, it is really frickin’ hard sometimes.

Now, I’m not off in skimpy clothes raging every weekend. Or any weekend, actually. And because I’m not, it’s easy to feel like I stick out like a sore thumb here. It is far too easy to fall into the trap of believing that being different makes me weird.

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What Moving to College Was Really Like

I have been at college for seven weeks.

I would like to tell you that so far, they have been the best seven weeks of my life, but that just wouldn’t be true. In fact, they have been stressful, terrifying, exhausting, overwhelming, confusing, and incredibly difficult.

When the first of my friends left for school in early August, I watched them flourish. Constant Instagram posts and Snapchat stories displayed countless fun activities, tons of great friends (which they were making so quickly), and a bubbly “I love life” attitude. Naturally, I expected the same thing when I left for college.

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Easy Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

We’d all like to think we’re generous: we hold doors for people or hand a few dollars to the homeless man on the corner of the freeway exit. Some affiliate themselves with every charity they can get their hands on, while others feel that anything they could do would have no effect in such an aching world.

No matter where you are on the spectrum, keep reading. For those who have hearts bigger than the Atlantic, you will jump at the chance to do some good. And for the skeptics, take a real look at what I am about to show you – your actions, now matter how big or small, can have an effect.

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A Look at a First-Timer’s Mission Trip

Ten miles southeast of Ensenada, Mexico lies the small, poor village of Lomas Bonitas. For a decade now, my church has returned to this struggling community each summer on a missions trip. Some of the most notable accomplishments: in 2007, volunteers built a brand new church; last year, they constructed a house for the village’s Pastor Carlos and his family, who had previously been living in the church’s basement. This year, our team focused on rebuilding the children’s crumbling play structure, painting and repairing homes, and teaching the creation story through a vacation bible school program.

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Today’s Laugh: The Struggles of Sincerely, B

Ready for a good laugh?

#1: Physical Exhaustion. Anytime you want to work outside of your house, somewhere like a coffee shop, for instance, you have to bring all your materials with you. In my case, that means my laptop, charger, phone, notebook, journal, Bible, and pens. Which is fine except for the fact that the Bible is practically the largest book known to humankind, and my beautiful illustrated version of 1500 pages seems to weigh about five pounds when it’s in my bag. So basically, hoisting my tote bag over my shoulder multiple times to get to and from my designated work space for the day feels like the equivalent of doing bicep curls. So dang heavy!

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Here’s the Deal with the Holy Spirit

Often times, we as Christians regard the Holy Spirit as if it is a lesser version of God, like some kind of Jesus Jr. What we tend to overlook, though, is that the Holy Spirit is not merely God’s messenger boy – it is the presence of God Himself. We need to learn more about the character and the nature of the Holy Spirit, so here are five verses to get you started.

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