Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

August 2, 2013

Summer of Something New blog challenge: Week 6

     I cannot believe that this is the last week of the SOSN blogging challenge! These past six weeks went by so quickly. If you've been reading along all summer then be sure to check out the week 6 posts on the other blogs participating: elle-oh-vee, Forever Convinced, The Shore Life According to M and Gina Alyse! For my last week of the challenge, I had originally wanted to conquer a difficult recipe or attempt another Pinterest craft. But what I ended up doing was so much more meaningful to me then any of those options...

     I have a bad habit of buying devotional books (or requesting that my mom buy me them for Christmas) but then never finishing them. I have a 365 day devotional that I got for Christmas in 2011, and I've been stuck in the day 320ish range for over a year. That is just one example! I always get really pumped up about getting a new devo book, but once I dig into the "hard stuff" it usually ends up back on my bookshelf and is sadly forgotten about.

     I've been a big fan of Christian author Dannah Gresh for awhile. I read her best selling book about modesty called Secret Keeper back when I was in middle school, and I still can remember many of the great truths in the book. I read one of her books on the importance of sexual purity called And The Bride Wore White this past Spring, and I also enjoyed it. So when I found out that she had a new book coming out called Get Lost, I decided to treat myself to pre-ordering it. The description was something along the lines of "this book is perfect for girls that have guy problems/place too much importance on guys/etc" and I thought that this would be perfect for me. As many of you know, my freshman year of college wasn't great in the romance department (you can read about that here and here). I was definitely struggling at the start of this summer with the fact that I'm still single, and this book sounded like a cure to my problems.

     I started reading it right away when it arrived in my mailbox a few months ago. But when I realized that after only a few chapters in the book turned into 10 intense devotions (called a "Love Feast"), I put it back on my bookshelf. These devotions involved serious prayer, Christian songs to listen to and meditate on, and journaling assignements. One weird pet peeve of mine is writing in books that I buy. I can't stand it. I'm not really sure why, but I think it might be because I enjoy lending friends my favorite books, and obviously I can't do that if I've written personal stuff in a book. Journaling in a book that I've bought makes the book really "mine," and that's always weirded me out for some reason.

      Well, I decided that I would bring the book back out and commit to doing the 10 day Love Feast as the last part of the Summer of Something New challenge. I figured that it might also put me in the habit of having quiet time with the Lord everyday. That's something that I've always struggled to make time for, and something that I'd like to have in my schedule for sophomore year.


     Ladies, this book has literally changed me, and for the better! I read it hoping that it would make me stop obsessing over the fact that I'm single. Well, I can't say that it was an intstant cure for that, but as I've gone about the Love Feast I can say that I'm a lot more confident in being single then I was at the start of summer. And what I can also say is this book has touched SO many areas of my life!! As part of the daily devotions I have had to ponder all sorts of topics, ranging from how solid my own faith is, the importance of Christian friendships, being patient, Christian service, self-worth, inner beauty, and soooooo many more! This book was like a slap in my face reminding me how I can't do life on my own, and how I need a relationship with God to be the best that I can be. With every devotion I saw how much of a "baby" I still am in my faith, which makes me excited for all of the growth that is to come!!

     I am so happy that I did decide to do the journal entries, and to listen to the songs that Dannah reccomends. All of those have helped me to get the most out of this Love Feast experience. I have also been highlighting many wonderful quotes from the book as I went along. Below is my favorite quote:

     "The fact that God created you IS your worth." 

     Wow, just wow! I had never thought of self-worth in such a simple yet profound way. That is just one of the many quotes that have stuck with me from reading this book.

     Today (Friday the 2nd) will be day nine of the Love Feast, which means that I only have one day after before I finish this wonderful book. I have loved making quiet time a part of my day, and to my great delight I haven't missed a day since I committed to finishing this book! While late mornings may not work for me once my fall semester starts, I do hope to still find a time each day to curl up with a good devotional book and work on my relationship with the Heavenly Father. :-)

     I would HIGHLY recomend this book to any unmarried gal! I know that the main point of the book is to teach us ladies how to fall in love with the Lord instead of the idea of a perfect earthly man, but honestly I have gotten so much more out of this book then just that. Dannah Gresh is an amazing author who writes in a way that is easy to understand, yet speaks deeply to one's heart. She has a great testimony and a wonderful ministry. I would love to see her speak in person someday! I believe that this book could also bring a girl into the Christian faith... day one of the Love Feast is geared towards new believers, and explains all about Jesus in a way that was so clear and inviting.

     Happy Friday everyone! I have a very exciting weekend ahead, filled with fun plans with friends, including my Japanese exchange student BFF Anna who I haven't seen in over two years!! She is back in Maine visiting her old host family and she has brought her real family with her from Japan. I can't wait to see her and meet her family! Here's a picture of us at my Sweet 16 in 2011:

...I appear to have been going through a fashion crisis in 2010. Converse with leggings and a mini skirt, an arm full of silly bands... what was I thinking?! ;-) I do miss my full head of bangs though.

     Visiting with Anna is only one of the many things that I'll be up to this weekend, so expect some weekend updates posts early next week!

     xoxo Miss ALK


  1. hahha, I literally laughed out loud when I read your caption for your picture! so funny.

    Sounds like you have a fun weekend ahead of you, have fun!

  2. What a great post!

    I tend to do the same thing with devotional books which is why I haven't picked up any new ones in quite a while. But I might have to check out Get Lost.

    And I think that your photo is adorable. Both of you look so happy and healthy.

    God bless!

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