A Christ-filled Adventure, Taking Flight

Bekah York + a Christ-filled Adventure

Bekah York(1)

The inspiration for Taking Flight didn’t just come out of nowhere. First and for most, this blog was definitely a God-thing. At the end of last year, I felt a gentle tug on my heart to use my love and talent for writing to further His kingdom so I started to just jump into my writing and see where it took me.

But I am always deeply inspired by the people He has placed in my life as well. Sometimes my favorite and best and most successful blog posts have come from having a cup of coffee with the people around me. Today, I’d like to introduce you to one of those people and her Christ-filled Adventure!

Meet Bekah York! You can thank a conversation with this ray of sunshine for inspiring I’m a Christian and I go to a public university and Why I write. So sit back and enjoy this story of beautiful friendship!

How We Met!

I met Bekah at one of the best places to make new friends – at church! Though she came into the college group as a sophomore, she has been a great blessing to everyone involved. With her bubbly and infectious personality, Bekah is one of those people who will make you feel right at home in a matter of seconds!

However, it wasn’t just her outgoing personality that drew me to this sweet soul. Bekah is a journalism major at OU, which means not only did Team “Not An Engineer” gain another member at church but there was also someone in the same college as me! (Don’t get me wrong…love my engineering friends but it’s nice to have a conversation without the words “differential equations” and “solid mechanics” being said!).

And if that’s not enough, Bekah has a blog! I would suggest jumping over and reading some of her stuff. Hers is one of my favorite blogging voices!

Her Christ-filled Adventure

There are some people that when you meet them for the first time you just feel warm inside. They radiate joy and sunshine and you can’t help but be happy when you’re around them. I think fruits of the spirit and that verse from Proverbs 31 when I think of these kind of people.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
Provers 31:25 (NLT)

And that’s Bekah!

She’s full of so much laughter and joy and it’s infectious! I don’t think I’ve ever see her without a smile on her face. Even when she’s faced with the uncertainty and the enormity of what might come, she always shoots for optimism when her gut says otherwise.

But the part of about being “clothed with strength and dignity” applies to Bekah as well. She’s a strong and independent woman who’s not afraid to think intelligently and speak what’s on her heart – a kind of woman this world needs more of.

More About Bekah

Bekah is a fellow Okie! She grew up in the same part of the state as me in Broken Arrow, Okla. She’s a theatre enthusiast and loves all things acting, which makes total sense once you know her highly loveable, extroverted personality!

She dreams of one day being an actress, writer and photographer – all the things that don’t exactly make a lot of money as she is often told. I can certainly relate to the writer part!

She has a cute pup named Toby that she adopted from an animal shelter last spring. She is passionate about adopting instead of shopping – which I LOVE!

She’s another fellow coffee lover and one of the people I go to when I need a person to pray with.

A sweet soul. A lover of people and adopting shelter puppies. I hope everyone has a friend like Bekah in there life who inspires them to live a Christ-filled adventure!

Who in your life inspires you to live a Christ-filled Adventure? I’d love to hear in the comments section below!

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Taking Flight, The Single Life

Singleness

What I’m about to say might sound very satirical and sarcastic. That’s what I was going for, but if that’s not your thing, if you have a hard time understanding sarcasm or taking it, then you might want to stop reading now.

What I’m about to say might sound like it comes from bitterness and resentment toward all things love and relationships, but I beg of you to keep reading because that is not my motivation at all.

So, allow me to paint a picture for you.

What if single people posted as much about being single as some dating, engaged, newlywed or married people posted about their relationships? No, if we did that, the sky might fall on top of us and humanity would cease to exist as we know it.

What if instead of Mancrush Monday and Womencrush Wednesday, we had Single’s Sunday? Or even Saturday…yeah, I think we would settle for Saturday.

Or better yet, what if one day out of the whole year, we had a day were singles could genuinely celebrate their singleness? They could post pictures of the single life and all the couples would just have to sit there thinking, “You know it’s cool you all have your day, but we couples still exist and we would like some recognition, too.”

All of this sounds ridiculous and obnoxious, right? At least that’s what I’m hoping you think.

A couple of times on Taking Flight I’ve talk about Christianity and the Christian community’s approach to singleness and dating, but this isn’t just a Christian problem, it’s a world problem. But the fact of the matter is relationships are celebrated while singleness is left high and dry.

So much is dedicated to and set aside for the dating/married community. Annual holidays; twice weekly social media days; one week, one month, six month and one year anniversaries; annual holidays for those who have taken their relationship to the next level and added a child to the mix. Congratulations. You can reproduce. What an accomplishment. Bacteria does that multiple times a day, but ya know…it’s cool.

Sarcasm aside…in the midst of all these special days we’re recognizing parents who really aren’t that great at being parents. We’re celebrating relationships that are on the rocks except in the perfectly posed, beautifully written captions of Instagram photos. We’re elevating husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, dads and moms who are so bad at it that all of us single people can’t even.

This isn’t to deny those who are great parents, spouses and significant others the credit due them. After all, if I were in that position, I think I would like to get a pat on the back every once in awhile if I were doing a decent job at it, but where are the flowers and chocolates for the single peeps? Or a plane ticket to some place really cool (because it’s really all the same)?

I mean we’d like to think we’re killin’ it at this whole single thing, but it’s kind of hard when the things being celebrated are not singleness and making the most of this season of life. There’s no special day for singles. There’s only sad sideways glances, pity and well meaning (but actually insulting) “it will come” comments.

So, as my call-to-action, in the moments when you’re celebrating your relationships and the blessings that come with them this Valentine’s season, also take a moment to celebrate the single in your life in whatever way you possibly can.


 

Join the Taking Flight community during the month of February for this month long series, Single Life!

Single Life

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travel

Taking Flight: Washington + Colorado

In the past month, I’ve been blessed to go to some pretty cool places. I love traveling and if I had an endless supply of money, I don’t think I would be able to keep my feet on the ground. I’d spend every minute exploring new places and trying to catch the next 747 to the next place on my travel checklist.

Over winter break, I went to two states I had already been to and even some already visited towns and cities, but I still made a point to find something and someplace new and amazing about each.

Washington

My first adventure started with a trip to the Pacific Northwest with my family to see more family that we hadn’t seen since my high school graduation so almost three years.

We actually flew into Portland, Oregon before enjoying the feet upon feet of snow and the beauty of the Cascade Mountains. Here are some photos from our stay at a quaint little farm house near Leavenworth, WA!

 The Drive to Leavenworth

   

The Cabin – Yes, there was a piano and horses!



  

Some Family and Some Sledding



  
  
  
  
Oh, and Bella (my cousin’s dog) LOVED her natural habitat!

Breckenridge, CO

Before I continue, I should probably say that I used to HATE going to the mountains. I was a kind of “loathe entirely” moment like from the Grinch because (1) it felt like my family went there every fall break when I was a kid and (2) I passed out every time.

But that’s all past tense junk now because mountains mean wilderness and wilderness means hiking, skiing and all sorts of outdoor fun. The higher the mountain the better regardless of fainting possibilities.

This was my second trip to Breckenridge in my life. Both times I have gone with the college group from church for a ski trip and it’s always been a blast. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than being surrounded by nature that God created and spending time with Christ-minded peers.

Though this was my second time to Breck, I still managed to explore some new slopes and enjoyed the breath-taking view that only harder slopes can offer. You don’t get views even close to that on Green slopes.

Here are some photos from Breck! Sorry they are in short supply compared to the WA photos!

Our Drive



I got Harper Lee’s new novel for the trip!

From the slopes, but not a blue. I was too busy trying to stay up to take a picture!

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Taking Flight

Living Joyfully + Design Adventures

I like to say that graphic design is one of my side passions…if that can even be a thing! I know it’s an oxymoron but stick with me! I love working in Adobe Creative Cloud and making beautiful things on the screen. I even enjoy drawing (when I actually decide to sit down and do it, that is, which is the reason it’s a “side” passion).

So, when my friend, Mckenna, said she was starting a blog and started asking me about Taking Flight and the logo I designed for it, I got really excited and offered to design a logo for her blog!

First of all, I love the purpose of her blog, Living Joyfully! It’s all about encouraging others and bringing a little sunshine into the lives of her readers. From the moment she started texting me about this pursuit of hers, I thought this could be something really cool!

And two: she’s one of the sweetest and most beautiful souls out there!

When I first started talking to Mckenna about designing her logo, I wanted to get a clearly defined brand so we started by clearly defining her brand personality.

Bright. Playful. Energetic. Light. Graceful. Peaceful. Simple but elegant.

From there we started working on a Pinterest board of elements that we thought captured that brand personality.

After some deliberation, texts back and forth, and some serious Pinterest searching, the Living Joyfully logo was born!

Living Joyfully

This was such a fun project to work on. I know this article departs a little bit from the typical Taking Flight content, but it has been just one of my little adventures in seeking a Christ-filled life!

To check out Living Joyfully, click HERE! And to check out and follow the Living Joyfully Instagram account, click HERE!

I did not design this for profit. At the date of publishing, Taking Flight and Living Joyfully are both not-for-profit blogs.

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Taking Flight

Resolving to Live a Christ-filled Adventure

There is something so exciting about a new year. The New Year speaks of so many possibilities and hope! It’s a new beginning, a fresh start.

When 2014 was starting to come to an end, I woke up to find myself a broken soul and in need of a fresh start. In my brokenness God showed me a way out in the approaching new year. In my brokenness God inspired me to dream wildly with my 2015 New Years Resolutions long before the inception of Taking Flight!

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My Jesus Jar

It all started with a jar. I call it my Jesus Jar. There’s nothing special about it. It’s just a 16-ounce Ball jar that my roommate gave me last Christmas with some M&M’s in it, but over the course of 2015 it became more than just a jar to me.

I wish I had the journal with me now that I was writing in then in 2014 to fully remember and reflect on what led me to start a Jesus Jar. What I do remember is that I was eager for a change. I had fallen victim to the “sophomore slump” and as a result I was overcome with self-pity and sadness. I just felt stuck all the time. I was unhappy in my internship and at times in my major. To top it all off, I also didn’t feel like I was in the right place.

When 2014 was finally coming to a close, the Lord sparked a desire in me to know Him better and seek Him in prayer. I remember sitting in my room and looked over to the jar of M&M’s. Looking back, I remember it was like one of those moments in a Christmas comedy where the ornery kid takes one long look at the jar and then downs all its contents because that’s exactly what I did. I stuffed every M&M in that jar into my mouth, wrote down the first note and placed it in the jar. I never looked back from there (nor did I regret the obnoxious consumption of M&M’s).

The Jesus Jar became a physical representation of the prayers I sent up to the Father, a reminder that he hears every prayer and collects every tear in a jar (Psalm 6:9; Psalm 56:8). However, the first note was not a prayer, but a proclamation. It read:

Jesus satisfies. I have been filled.

Throughout 2015, it became my prayer that I would find peace and contentment in Christ alone and that he would fulfill me. I actually wrote one prayer that was probably from a night where I was so tired and so empty that all I had the energy to pray was, “Peace and contentment. Amen.”

Almost everyday, I would find scraps of paper that would be lying around my apartment or the pages of little notepads, and I would write down a prayer that was on my heart and put it into my Jesus Jar. Sometimes they were prayers of deliverance, sometimes they were prayers of hope and longing. Sometimes they were prayers for friends and family but a lot of the time they were prayers for myself. The act of putting the little note in that jar seems small but it was like putting the words “Your will be done” into action. By putting each prayer into the jar and tightly closing the lid, I was giving every prayer, every hope, every desire over to God in my quest to be Christ-filled.

A Resolution for Compassion

Along with an intense desire to know Christ better and more deeply through prayer, I wanted to put into practice one of Christ’s greatest attributes – his compassion. As 2014 came to a close, I found myself looking back on my life and the previous year and I saw a girl who was self-absorbed (if we’re being blunt and honest). Questions like why me, why is she so special, and don’t I deserve x, y or z, too had constantly consumed my mind in the months leading up to the new year. I rarely considered the feelings or needs of others, but instead wallowed in my feelings and my needs. But such questions and attitudes are so far from what it means to be Christ-minded.

In the New Testament we read of countless examples of Christ’s compassion and it usually wasn’t at the most convenient time that he demonstrated such great and overwhelming love. Remember the time when 5,000 people (and that count probably doesn’t include women and children) just wouldn’t leave him alone in Matthew 14? He tended their sick. He fed ALL 5,000 of them with what little the apostles had – five loaves of bread and two fish. He did all of that even though he was just seeking a place of quiet solitude where he could grieve the brutal and heartless murder of his cousin John the Baptist.

I looked at my life and the life of my Savior and realized that I was not taking up my cross as I should (Luke 9:23). My concern was not for my neighbor but myself (Matthew 22:36-40). So with my Jesus Jar in one hand and pen and paper in the other, I prayed for a compassionate heart and resolved to become a more compassionate person.

Another note I wrote to myself and placed into my Jesus Jar early in 2015 is a famous quote from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It’s one of my favorite Christmas movies and classic plays because it reminds me what life is all about. In the beginning, Scrooge is confronted by the ghost of his late business partner Jacob Marley. Too little too late, Marley proclaims to Scrooge one of the greatest truths we could ever live out:

Business?! Mankind should have been my business!

In 2015, I wanted to make mankind my business and I hope I have grown from a self-pitying, self-absorbed girl into a compassionate woman.

The Word Resolution

The resolution for compassion was in part inspired by my friend Kayla. I met Kayla my first year at OU at the church I worship with. Speaking of compassionate – Kayla is one of the greatest examples of compassion I have ever had the pleasure to witness! She’s the kind of person who will ask you how your day was before she says a word about her day and she will genuinely want to know how you are. But it was not only her compassion that drove me to a resolution for compassion.

Kayla had also told me about instead of resolving to drink more water or eat healthier or to lose weight (which are definitely all good things), she picks a word and makes that her resolution. I still to this day think this is the neatest idea!

A New Year, A New Song

When I think of a new year, I think of the hymn “New Song” we often sing in worship. Every day is a new song when we are in Christ. Through the death and resurrection of His Son, God has given us a new song to sing (Psalm 40:3).

So it’s a New Year, a New Song, a New Resolution.

In 2015, I resolve to be Christ-filled! I don’t want to waste a day of my life finding fulfillment in something other my Savior and King. He is the cornerstone of my life. I resolve to crown him King of my life today, tomorrow and everyday of 2016 and beyond.

Through Taking Flight and my Jesus Jar, I will use these tools to continue to seek him and glorify him, making much of his sacrifice on the cross.

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Resolve to Live a Christ-filled Adventure

So here’s your call to action, ladies! This year as you make your resolutions I hope you will dream wildly. There is no resolution too big for God to make manifest! Pick a word that you want to make a reality in your life and dig into the Word to see what scripture has to say about it! Take your resolution to God in prayer – maybe even start a Jesus Jar of your own or a prayer journal! Whatever you decide on, I hope it will lead you to live a Christ-filled adventure!

(photos by Kathryn Patterson Photography)

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Taking Flight

Logo Reveal!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been alluding to new and exciting steps for my blog, Taking Flight. Last week you got a sneak peak at some beautiful studio shots from Kathryn Patterson Photography! Look at this! Isn’t she talented?!

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More of those to come, but this week I get to reveal the Taking Flight logo! You may have already noticed the change when you open the site in your browser. Hint: Look at the tab at the top of your screen! That is the square Taking Flight logo! Here’s an up close view.

Logo cross bow

This logo captures everything this blog is about – adventure and spreading my wings! I also wanted to pay tribute to my roots so I included an Oklahoma icon!

But there are some limitations to this logo. It doesn’t say exactly what it’s for so I needed a logo that helped with brand recognition. So I designed this!

Logo E

More surprises are still to come!

(Logos designed by Candace Hinnergardt. Photos courtesy of Kathryn Patterson.)

 

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Taking Flight

The Heart of a Planner

Confession. Sometimes my heart gets ahead of me. Correction. Sometimes my heart gets ahead of God.

As I make plans for the direction of this blog, I find myself just wanting to hit the ground running. I’ve got so many ideas that it has literally been killing me not to go ahead with them. But the timing just hasn’t been right.

One of the things I hate most in life is steamrolling (granted, it’s sometimes a necessary evil), but in all the exhilarating emotions that come with motivation and new ideas, on an almost daily basis I find myself trying to steamroll God. ‘Trying’ being the operative word. I make these plans in my head. I get so excited over them that I sometimes lose sleep. I’ll spend the last few minutes or hours before going to bed writing or thinking of ways to grow Taking Flight and even when I put down my work and go to bed, my mind is going a million miles an hour and sleep evades me. In my head, I imagine God saying, “Um excuse me miss” as I say, “Now I’m gonna do this and that.”

James 4:13-15
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

This week has been no different even though it’s OU’s finals week and in the midst of studying I still found myself dreaming wildly and planning my next adventures with Taking Flight. (Don’t worry, Mom! I still studied my little heart out.) If you were to look in the margins of my Cognitive notes and study guide, you would see little notes to myself on ideas for articles and next steps in growing this site. As I studied, it took every fiber of my being not to switch gears and take a “study break” (that, if we’re being real, would have been a complete hiatus from studying).

There have been times in the last two weeks where I’ve had to pray “God, help me stick to the task at hand” because even though we have those outlets where we feel we are serving God at our optimum level, that is not the only place our servitude is needed. Sometimes those outlets where we feel we are most serving God are actually the outlets the feed our ego and arrogance (James 4:16). And sometimes our service to His kingdom is needed in the day to day and not in the grandiose because sometimes it is the menial where His name is glorified the most.

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Though writing would have been a lot more fun than studying Cognitive Psychology, my heart cannot speed past God’s heart.

This blog has become one of my favorite adventures. With each knew post, I get to grow as a writer and a daughter of the King. I love that feeling I get when I start writing an article and I hit a cord not only in my own heart but in the hearts of others.

Anyone who writes or creates in anyway knows that feeling and it’s exhilarating! It motivates me to want to write more, which is why it’s hard to stick to the task and glorify Him in the menial.

However, finals are over (PRAISE!) and I can now get back to doing what I love most – writing for Taking Flight.

I’m a huge planner and I’ve been dreaming like a maniac over this blog! I am beyond excited to reveal some of those plans in the next few weeks and coming months, but until then bear with me as I wait for the right timing. God’s timing!

(Photo courtesy of Kathryn Patterson)

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