Together in Paris

Bonjour! Remember Anastasia? And how she wanted to be “together in Paris” …well thats what I want too…

So after a day of chaos, I was finally together in Paris with some of my travel study buddies!

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That feeling

That feeling after you finish a fat exam and then celebrate with Mexican food but get distracted by the graffiti outside…

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Forever 21 Top, Urban Outfitters skirt, wedges from Spain

Last moments

Granada was amazing and Morocco was interesting, to say the least. Cheers to the longest photo diary you’ll ever experience. Enjoy!

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From Flamenco dance classes and the Alhambra to my favorite ice cream place and camels… it was all a huge blessing and time well spent in good ole España!

Can’t hang

I just got back from a weekend trip in Cordoba and Sevilla!

My body is exhausted…my feet are throbbing…and I am a hot mess inside and outside. I feel like a grandma because I definitely can’t hang goin’ nonstop and traveling even for a weekend. I know that these are my years of youth and will be my glory days in the future, but I need a day of rest every once in awhile.

A day of rest–That’s what I miss the most being away, even for just 5 weeks. I miss Sundays. Even though I’m in a country that has churches and people are free to worship, I’m not actually able to go to church on Sundays. I’m constantly reminded of what a privilege it is to gather with my brothers and sisters praising God and hearing his voice together. I’m reminded of the privilege we have to be in the presence of God when two or more are gathered. I know that I am not experiencing complete separation from the church, but what the Lord has shown me is the importance of the Sabbath—a day of rest.

We know that on the seventh day God took a day of rest. However, the rest we think of isn’t the rest we are used to like taking a nap or doing nothing. The Hebrew word, shabath translates as ‘rest’ or ‘cease’ meaning that God ceased from his work. Yes, I believe that the Sabbath is meant to reflect on God’s creation but God didn’t need to create the day for himself and call us to follow just because He did. He created the Sabbath for humans. He created us, so he knows what we really need and what we need is Him. In Mark 2:27 it says that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. The Sabbath day doesn’t mean that we need to be lazy all day, but its purpose is for us as humans to cease, to stop our work we are so addicted to and reflect on God’s work in our own lives. We need to fill ourselves again with Him.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I like to think it’s similar to taking a hike or climbing to the top of a looking point. We work so hard each day in school, in relationships, or in our careers and we are climbing. I was climbing yesterday (after walking all over Sevilla) in the cathedral tower to get to the top where a beautiful looking point was waiting for me. We climb with our feet swollen and sweat rolling down our faces… but why would we ever climb and not take the time to stop and take in the looking point or even snap a few pics? You don’t climb just to come back down again!

As we diligently work through the week  we as human need a break and some rest, but we also need to take in the view. Yes, looking back and how we got there, but taking in the final spot where the Lord has brought you. When you reach a looking point, you are usually in awe. I’m usually in awe of how beautiful the view is and how I can see the entire city or landscape from one small point. God allows us at the end of the week to take a moment from our climbing and enjoy the view of where the Lord has taken us. He gives us rest in that moment and a glimpse of the bigger masterpiece he is creating within us. When we reached the top of the tower my friend kept saying, “the climb was totally worth it for that beautiful view, wasn’t it?”

YES IT WAS! Jesus led by example and actions. He didn’t just tell us to rest and not do it. He rested and says that we should do the same because it’s important for us to gather, to worship, and see what God has done in our lives. Here in Spain, I find myself so weary and exhausted by the end of the week, but when I returned from the weekend trip I was able to take some time and rest, reflecting on all that God had done in my life the past week.

Hebrews 4:9-10 says “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”

When we take Sundays off to cease from our work, we enter his rest because reflect on his sovereignty and absolute provision. I can say that his rest is the absolute most sufficient form of peace I have ever and will ever experience and it is completely necessary for me and for you. Entering his rest is just  a glimpse of heaven where we will forever be in his rest. So, what does rest look like for you? What is God doing in your life? Take some time to rest in Him, praising Him for that looking point, taking some pictures to capture what He is doing, and enjoying the refreshing and renewing day he has created for us.

I’m going to continue climbing, but climbing with my hands wide open! And rejoicing in Jesus on the way. Praise God for a beautiful weekend and his restoration!

Enjoy Cordoba and Sevilla!

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Clearly amused by this graffiti and heat
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Cordoba streetsIMG_7177

The Bull Fighting Stadium in Sevilla
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Did some antique/flea market shoppingIMG_7196 IMG_7167 IMG_7166 IMG_7160

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Urban Outfitters dresses, Francesca’s necklace

For the weekend, I packed light dresses and wore little accessories knowing that I would be roaming the streets all day and sweating bullets in a few of the hottest cities in Europe.

 

‘Murica in España!

Spent the Fourth of July in Spain, which isn’t as exciting, but it was a fun night with good food and good company! Cause I’m proud to be an American… Happy Birthday, America!

Oh and I know y’all are all stunned by the quality of my photos…One day they’ll get better. Trust. Enjoy!

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 French Connection dress, Converse sneakers, Anthropologie necklace

Where I Stood

I know a lot of people post instagram photos with the hashtag, #FromWhereIStand and I think it’s a really exciting event to document! As I was browsing through my photos, I realized that I often take photos of where I am standing…either because I like my shoes that day or really I wanted to take in where I was standing. Something that I’ve been trying to do here in Spain is to really absorb and take in where I am. A cool thing to do when you go somewhere new or even a place that has become routine is to stop and look around. Just enjoy where you are.

            Step 1: Look at the ground for 10 seconds

            Step 2: Look up at the sky for 30 seconds

            Step 3: Look up and spin for 10 seconds

Oftentimes, we don’t realize how big or how much our surroundings hold. We get so consumed with where we need to be next that we don’t even realize the significance each space we stand in holds. So when you’re feeling discontent, bored, tired, or in need of some inspiration… just stop.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

When we are still, then we can really hear God’s voice and see his beauty and wisdom in the intricate details of our surroundings. Praise God for his whispers and his creations!

Here are some photos from where I stood!

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Royce Hall

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Wildhorse Saloon

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Barcelona beach
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Between class

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Barcelona roundabout

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Between class

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Wilson County Fair

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San Diego

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Santa Monica Beach

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Between class

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Wax room

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Tennessee

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Nail Salon

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Date night

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Orange County
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NASHVILLE

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Eno life
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Gaudi in Barcelona

Starts with Hola!

Okay, so I’ve created a new and exciting goal here in España. I am going to meet at least 1 new person every day. Not too hard right? Here’s the punchline…I must meet a native and speak only in Spanish. This might not seem difficult for many, but it is a difficult task for me considering I can barely process the accent here in Granada. Luckily, my friend Anna is super helpful in these situations. Today, I was able to meet two men. We first met the chef in a Shawarma shop. His name is Mohammed and he was extremely helpful to recommend locations for us to visit in Granada. Afterwards we snapped a photo with him and then my friend Will was literally swept off his feet by him…total surprise but extremely hilarious. Shawarmas are so tasty and affordable!

            My next encounter was with an older man outside the stores sitting at a bench. I spotted him from afar just enjoying the weather and my shawarma. I really wanted to meet him so I told my friend Will that I wanted to meet him and then take a picture with him. So, a plan commenced…I took a photo by the statue near him and eventually said hola and it was all history from there. We found out that he was a professor at the University of Granada. His name was Jorge Maria and what a kind man he was. People are so friendly here in Granada. I absolutely love it!

            It’s pretty scary and uncomfortable to go out of your way to meet people, especially if you can’t communicate in their native language as well, but it is definitely something to practice while you have the chance. It’s such a treat to meet and learn about people in different countries. It just takes a simple “Hola” to meet someone new and from there it’s all history! Maybe you’ll even meet a beautiful dog like I did!

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 Anthropologie headband, Anthropologie pendent, J. Crew belt, DIY Levi shorts, Chelsea & Violet Disney tee

Toledo

Toledo was rich in history and rich in beauty! We spent about four hours exploring the city and a free museum! I especially enjoyed the hand painted ceramic tiles. I’d love to paint the tiles in my future kitchen one day. Enjoy! IMG_5354 IMG_5425 IMG_5435 IMG_5415 IMG_5398 IMG_5377 IMG_5374 IMG_5373 IMG_5371 IMG_5359 IMG_5444

 Forever 21 top, Gap shorts, American Apparel bow, Target sandals, Coach messenger, Ray Ban Wayfarers

Madrid

Madrid was a time of nonstop walking and exploring, but well worth the cost of my swollen feet. I got to vist the Prado Museum, row boats in Parque de Retiro, wander around Plaza Mayor, and spin around in circles at the Palacio Real. The market in Plaza Mayor was such a treat trying all the tapas, paellas, and yogurt! And the Prado Museum was overwhelming and such a privilege to see work by Rembrandt, Greco, Picasso, Goya, and so much more! I became sleep deprived when I went to Madrid… photos galore!

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Free People tee, Chelsea & Violet shorts, Target sandals

 I ‘Heart’ Ronson peplum top, I ‘Heart’ Ronson shorts, Anthropologie socks, Converse

Outfit 3| Free People dress, Anthropologie necklace, Vintage Movado watch, Anne Klein watch, Disney Couture Bambi bracelet, Converse

Gaudi, Gaudi, Gaudi

Man, traveling from city to city is absolutely exhausting but exhilarating. It’s nonstop touring and walking, but that’s fine by me. Who knows when I’ll ever be back in España! Today was a Gaudi day in Barcelona. We took the metro to get to all of the buildings he designed, which was absolutely stunning, but the most breathtaking work of his was the Segrada Familia. If any of y’all travel to Spain, you must see the Segrada Familia and get a guided tour so you can understand the process and history of the building and Gaudi. I was in awe the entire time we were there. Every little detail had purpose beyond aesthetics but to represent Christ.

Gaudi definitely admired nature since a lot of his designs replicated its beauty with organic shapes. It seems to be a trend amongst artists that they are inspired by nature or people. I mean, why wouldn’t they? God created them both! Gaudi, like Picasso, had mastered the foundations of architecture but took his work to a new level of creativity where people just thought he was absolutely crazy much like Picasso as well! His work was so fun to experience because you get to stand inside and experience what his purpose was. Designing the Segrada Familia took over 8 years. Gaudi had three models, but chose the last one because he wanted a building that was felt very light and let in a lot of light since it was a cathedral. He wanted people to feel like they were being elevated when they were inside and wanted the acoustics to flow throughout the cathedral.

Y’all, there is so much symbolism in every little detail of the façade and inside it’s overwhelming and insane. He tried to display the gospel in every part of the building… the entrance, the back façade, the pillars, the colors… it all represents a part of the gospel. The east side of the building presents the celebration of life since the sun rises on the East. Our tour guide described it as an explosion of life, which I thought was a beautiful description so accurately presented on the building. I so admired his the Segrada Familia because he worked so hard to try to display the gospel in the form of a building and his reverence towards Christ is admirable in it. This was a place I wanted to worship in and a constant reminder of His glory. How great is our God? Not even a cathedral as great as the Segrada Familia could fully present the gospel!

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BCBG jumper, Coach purse, Target sandals

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