11 Goals For This Summer Of Dreams

11 Goals For This Summer Of Dreams

Here's to sweet tea, porch swinging and summer nights!
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Boy oh boy, it's that time of year again where I make this big long extraordinary list of plans for my not-so free summer. I've got a feeling that this summer is going to be one for the books, I'm sure of it! This is the summer before my friends and I leave for our junior year of college at MTSU and I intend on making it one to remember. I always make these big bucket lists for summer, but I never check anything off of them. But since my friends and I go our own ways in August, I want to spend as much time as I can with them. This summer will be short lived, but I'll never forget it. This summer I've planned out the best of the best adventures one could dream of! Here's to humid sunny days, great friends, and sweet tea on the front porch!

1. Write a song.

I always struggle when I sit down to write music. I write articles and short stories all day, but I find I can't write a song to save my life. This would be my number one priority this summer.

2. Go to the drive in movie theater.

First thing's first, there is a drive in movie theater about an hour away from my hometown and I have always wanted to go!

2. Camp out at the lake.

My mother probably wouldn't approve of this one, but camping out at the lake would be awesome. Camping out in tents, renting a pontoon boat for the day and eating watermelon would be the absolute perfect summer day.

3. Hike up to Max Patch, North Carolina.

Max Patch is the most relaxing mountain top I have ever been to. It's on the very top of a mountain that overlooks other mountains for miles. Plenty of people go up there and have picnics They lay their blankets down and enjoy the beautiful scenery God has made.

4. Movie night at the barn.

I have talked about this for ages because I saw it in a movie once. It would be the perfect night out with friends, other than having a bonfire. Does this not seem like the best thing you've ever heard? Watching a movie on the side of an old barn with blankets laid down in a field, fluffy pillows galore and string lights tied around trees.

5. Cliff jumping.

I am terrified of heights! All of my friends cliff jump into lakes and rivers but I've never been able to get the courage for it. So, if I overcome this type of fear I would totally have to consider my summer a success.

6. Jazz dancing.

Ok, this one I totally saw in Age of Adaline. I find this to be the most romantic night that could ever happen. Even though I can't dance, nothing sounds better than warm weather and jazz music.

7. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

Helping those in need has always been something heavy on my heart. I don't have a lot of time, but this summer I am going to dedicate time once a week to help the less fortunate. God has given me so much and I take that for granted when this world has millions of people homeless and hungry.

8. Be the salt and light in darkness.

Matthew 5:13-16 says, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

I have read these verses over and over and it is something I strive to be this summer. I want the world to see Jesus through me in a world that is full of so much evil. Also, if it's not enough that these verses hit home, listen to "Salt and Light" by Lauren Daigle.

9. Eat as much ice cream as my heart desires.

This is something my heart cannot say no to. Ice cream is my biggest sin, because I literally eat it twice a day. I am only young once, so to make year 20 of my life better, I am going to eat as much ice cream as I can this summer!

10. Be "courted" by the boy I like.

I can't help but wish for this to happen. By courting I mean, drinking sweet tea on my front porch in a pretty white sun dress with the gentlemen I've become fond of. By the way, courting just means to date but it's much more simple and romantic than a Netflix date.

11. Make a castle-blanket fort.

I remember as a kid, I would make blanket forts connected from one side of my living room to the other. Unfortunately, they weren't as elaborate as they could be. But, with my goofy friends, I know we could make a castle-blanket fort. Is that even a thing? Ha, well it will be!

Summer is right around the corner. I am determined to make sure that this one does not slip away. Here's to all the good memories to come.


Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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The Heartbeat Of Your Morning Routine Should Be To Seek God

Stop making your morning routine all about you!

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There is something very calming and relaxing about waking up early, starting your day as everyone else is asleep.

This past week, I've been waking up every weekday at around 6 a.m. (for some, that's not early, but for the rest of us who are actually OK with having an inkling of humility, 6 a.m. is pretty early). Let me tell ya something:

Waking up early has been changing my life.

Here's my typical, morning routine: Wake up at 6 a.m., get to the gym by 6:30, work out, get back to the house and in the shower by 7:45, breakfast until 8:30, keep a last thirty minutes or so to get dressed, check emails, go over my daily schedule.

Then comes the fork in the road. My earliest day, I have meetings at 10 a.m. or work shifts at 10:30. If my day begins early, I bolt out the door. If my day begins later, I may relax for a bit before leaving. But that's not the ultimate "fork in the road," aka the choice I make each morning that truly solidifies my routine.

The ultimate heartbeat of my morning routine is spending time alone, praying to God and reading/reflecting on Scripture.

For me, this component serves to be the most crucial of all the elements that go into my morning routine, and I think it should be just as crucial for you, too!

First of all, most of these other elements can really be pushed around throughout the day. Working out in the morning feels good, but I can just as much go to the gym the night before. Same with taking a shower (I never understood people who take showers in the morning instead of at night. Like what are you doing? You get dirty during the day. Clean ya dang body after a long day, not right when you get up. Good grief. Then again, I have turned into a morning shower person, but I chalk that up to my fallen, sin nature).

Breakfast? You can make and have that on the go. Why are you wasting your time cooking a gourmet meal every morning? You ain't that special. You don't deserve that, cut it out.

Plan your day in the morning? Maybe go searching for a little thing called forethought and organize that, you know, the day before! I can't imagine planning my day the day of. Sure, I review it, but ain't no way I'm going to bed tonight being all like "Eh, let's see what happens tomorrow, can't imagine it'll be anything I need to prepare for in advance!"

All of these things stack up as making a productive morning for sure, but there is a reason why prayer and reading Scripture matter the most to me when going through my daily routine.

When we spend time alone with God, there are no expectations. I'm not doing it for societal pressure. I'm not doing it so others can see my being holy (I'm doing it alone, after all). Every other aspect of my morning routine is produced from these expectations, these pressures.

Now, none of these pressures are evil in and of themselves. Exercise, hygiene, nutrition, preparation: these are all good, but they are not God. They all shape us, but they do not save us.

It is from hearing God's voice each day and reading about Him, I am reminded why any of this matters. I am reminded that this life I have is not my own, that I can't just have my selfish morning routine just for my own sake. This spiritual heartbeat of my morning reminds me that everything I am doing in the morning is preparing me to serve and love others better: I'm in good shape to be at the ready, I have appropriate hygiene to be welcoming to others, I am well fed so as not be hangry or driven by emotion, and I have reviewed my day, full of appointments and meetings to encourage and serve others.

There is a story in one of the biographical accounts of Jesus. He "[leaves] the house and [goes] off to a solitary place, where He [prays]" (Mark 1:35, NIV). Once His followers find Him, Jesus responds by immediately leading them where God has told Him to go: to the nearby villages, to preach of God's Love and call to follow Him.

Ultimately, if meeting with God was the heartbeat of Jesus' day, the single component that mattered the most in guiding Him in using His time and helping Him pursue God, it should be the exact same way for you and me. For us to assume otherwise is simply a sign of God not truly being God to us, just as another "good" we stack into our day.

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