Blog by Phoebe Campbell (High School Junior)
I love the summertime! It’s the best when you are finally done with school, the sun is shining, and you actually have some free time to hang out with your friends… but what I look forward to most is sleeping in! Call me weird, but what is even better than that is starting a new season. To me, back to school time is always a new season. The start of each new school year makes me feel like I have this amazing opportunity to start fresh. I’m also pretty obsessed with school supplies, especially when I find stuff that no one else has (props to Pinterest on all the DIY)! This may sound nerdy, but I love the smell of a brand new notebook. You know that smell right? Never again will this notebook look so perfect. Soon it will be filled with assignments, notes to friends, scribbles and whatever else I collect along the way. I like to plan, and there are a few things that I always do at the beginning of the year to prepare myself. I get my look down, I set goals and I ask God what He wants my year to look like.
Teen Vogue is where it’s at. Every fall, I binge on style blogs to get outfit ideas for the coming year. I love changing my look as I move forward. It’s just an easy way to be creative. Plus, I like to think my look shows you who I am. Your clothes and style say something. I want mine to say that I’m confident just being me.
Another thing I like to do is make a “goal list” and I hang it up in my room. It helps me remember the things that I want to accomplish in the new school year. My list is short and simple, but it motivates me to become better. I love having a reminder of who God has called me to become. Summer is an easy time for me to recollect my thoughts and get my heart set on who I am because I am less worn down by responsibility and expectations. Writing my goals and having them in front of me every day while I’m getting ready is really important. Goals that I have are attainable like, “be a friend to someone who needs one”, “don’t forget that you are enough” and even “don’t check out a library book, you never return it in time”!
Finally, but most important, I like to prepare myself spiritually for the year. Since most of us are coming back to school with “camp high”, it’s important to make sure that the things that have been spoken into us continue to grow throughout the school year. It’s never very easy. I get so full and ready to conquer the world, but in reality, sometimes I feel like I’m alone in a very big crowd of people who don’t get the “God things” that are on the inside of me.
Matthew 5:14-16 MSG
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Here’s the thought that I want to leave you with: We are called to be set apart from the world, but not separate! I think sometimes we get confused on that. We don’t need to be afraid of the darkness; We don’t need to hide from the sin that is going on around us. We are called to shine in the middle of all of that. To be different. To be the ones who attract the hurting and broken and confused. If we are separate, how can we be the ones who show them Jesus? Let’s get into their worlds this year and shine a light! This year is gonna be a great one!