Be As You Wish to Seem

Be As You Wish to Seem

My VSCO Cam is cooler than my life actually is.
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The other day, I made a VSCO Cam. I sorted through my camera roll, desperately searching for the most aesthetically pleasing pictures I could find that would look great with a filter and a cool caption.

I think I changed my Instagram bio about fourteen times until I was sure it proved I was Christian yet really hip at the same time.

Oh yeah, and I had a really good quiet time at a local coffee shop the other day. I made sure I put it on my Instagram... and my Snapchat story... and I made a Facebook post about it.

You see, I try so hard to prove to the world that I am, indeed, a hip Christian. I work so hard at making sure every aspect of my life on social media is aesthetically pleasing. I refuse to post a picture if I don't look good in it, my handwriting in my journal isn't perfect, or my coffee isn't the right shade of tan. And as I reflect on the past few months I've spent working so hard to make sure I portrayed myself the right way, I realize how insanely ignorant I am.

I go to class with no makeup on, a big tshirt, and my hair looking like a rats nest. I usually drink my coffee out of a styrofoam cup instead of a coffee mug from Anthropologie. My nails aren't always painted, I don't spend time with the Lord every day, and sometimes, I listen to Taylor Swift instead of Judah and the Lion. And you know what? That's real life.

My Instagram isn't real life. My VSCO Cam isn't real life. The hours and hours I've spent making sure I portray myself in the perfect light are honestly a waste of time. Because in real life, I'm a messy, broken girl. I don't have it all together. And although I want to seem as though I'm your ideal, artsy Christian college girl, I'm not.

So what? What's so wrong with writing pretty verses in my journaling Bible? What's the problem with "Instagramming" pretty pictures with beautiful captions?

The other day, I read an article that had the quote "Be as you wish to seem" in it. And as I sit and think about it, I know how I "wish to seem." I wish I always had my hair in a cute middle part, choker fastened around my neck, donning my Free People shirt and New Balances. I wish I spent time with the Lord every day and that my actions always flowed from that. I wish I overflowed kindness and compassion and love and grace to all of my friends because of how the Lord feels about me. I wish I didn't have to prove how much I love my friends by writing a sweet caption about them or putting them on my Snapchat story.

But I think the key thing about that quote is that it calls us to "Be." We actually have to be the way we want people to see us. And being isn't based off of how clean our hair is or how pretty our handwriting is. Being is based off of how we love. It's based off of where our hearts are.

The literal definition of "be" is "to exist." So, my question to you is this: how are you existing? How are you living on a daily basis? For me, my Instagram and my real life are on two opposite poles. My heart isn't in tuned with the Father's, though my last Facebook post says it is. My challenge to you is to see where in your life you need change and to go after it. Chase after a life full of love, grace and compassion, don't just portray yourself as a person who does. Because I promise, authenticity is admired, respected, and appreciated.

No, this doesn't mean you can't have a sick Instagram. And no, this doesn't mean you need to just post ugly selfies on your VSCO. But don't live a fake life through your social media. I promise, the lifestyle you're desiring is so sweet, but you won't experience that sweetness until you actually strive for it.

Cover Image Credit: me

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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Makeup Changed My Life, It's My Ultimate Stress-Reliever

Makeup is my stress-reliever, and no one can change that.

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My journey started in 2015. I had just gotten out of a relationship, and I was heartbroken. I felt incompetent to most girls. At the time, I thought a new makeover wouldn't help me at all, but my mother had other ideas. She thought it was a brilliant idea for me to use makeup. I never used makeup before, and I was kind of scared of using it too. Makeup was sort of like a taboo really. In 2015, everyone in my high school thought that if a girl wore makeup at school, it was because they wanted to impress someone, which automatically made it look like she was trying hard. I did not want to look like "that" girl. I tried to explain that to my mom, but she insisted not to worry about it.

My mom brought me to Sephora for the first time, and I was in awe. There were so many things to choose from. It was overwhelming, to say the least. My first ever foundation was the SmashBox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation. In all honesty, it wasn't the best foundation, but I was in love with it at the time. I only bought the essentials that day. Throughout the entire day, I was really contemplating whether this was still the right idea. I was at my lowest point, and I wanted to change that. In my mind, I didn't know if it was going to change anything, but it was a worth a shot. This day marked the day that I would become a better person.

I should've bought more if I knew I was going to end up wearing makeup almost every day. It was a growing obsession. I started to watch YouTube Videos on how to take care of my skin and what products would help my skin. I started to create different looks with all the eyeshadow palettes I had and started to buy more. No one could stop me from doing it. Things were looking bright, and I couldn't be any happier. But there was a downside to all of this.

I started to get side comment from girls in the bathroom saying things like makeup made my face worse or it wasn't going to change a thing. I ignored them, but it did make me want to quit. I really started to believe what they said, but my friend motivated me to continue. That same day, she went to buy her first foundation and eyeshadow palette. She said I was the reason why she bought that. She saw a big impact makeup had on me, and she wanted to feel the same thing.

Makeup really brought out a new side of me. Over time, I improved my skills and began to use them on other people. It's a great experience to get someone to see their true beauty and to see another side of them they've never seen before. That's what makes me feel accomplished. My self-esteem increased drastically, and I eventually did become more myself again. Makeup shouldn't hide our insecurities, but rather enhance our beauty. Makeup shows my creative side in ways that I didn't know I could showcase. Makeup is my outlet for stress and imagination. My journey as a makeup artist is just beginning, and there's no stopping.

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