rachel_westcott Finally got a chance to catch up with Lilly today and my whole week was made brighter.
Do you know those people who walk into your life serendipitously, without warning or reason, but come as a sweet summer breeze and you realize life is better now that they're there, and you never even knew how much you needed them until they showed up?
Lilly is that for me.
Thank you for your love and joy and your tearful encouragements that pierced my soul today. You knew exactly what I needed.
1d
  •   lillyfeliz my heart has been lifted by your words and hugs 1d
  •   vivalaelle OUTFIT IS EVERYTHING QUEEN 23h
  •   calliejswenson the outfit. the friendship. your souls. yes to all. 22h

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rachel_westcott These are the faces of a freshly shaved and joyful man, and his girlfriend who couldn't be more honored to walk through life with him — through all its ups and downs.
Downs: Never seeing him nearly enough. Graduation stress. Lack of sleep.
Ups: God's unfailing love. These beautiful temperatures outside. Seeing Taylor's dimples better than ever.
2d

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rachel_westcott I met someone who is anticipating spring as much as I am today.
I'm wearing a dress with no tights, and pretending I'm not as cold as I am. This tree is growing flowers, even though cold temperatures are still ahead.
It's ok, tree. Keep blooming. We're close.
3d

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rachel_westcott The first warm day in a while allowed Kathleen and me to explore a little bit! I got to introduce her to my favorite coffee shop, @revelatorchatt.
This week I'm really thankful for the friends who come out of the woodwork and surprise you in the most beautiful ways.
6d

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rachel_westcott After class this afternoon, I walked by the old Episcopal church across the street.
I've been thinking a lot about the Church lately. And in one of the books I've been reading, "Vanishing Grace" by Philip Yancey (10/10, highly recommend), he talks about what Jesus desired his church to look like.
"Didn't Jesus call his followers brothers and sisters, implying something more like a family than a corporation?"
The church is where Christ is. Christ is with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the prisoners. And grace — not apologetics or arguments or debate or rules or fear or status or tradition — grace is the banner over it all.
"From the first book to the last, the Bible tells of wayward children and the tortuous lengths to which God will go to bring them home."
Nothing gives me hope quite like that.
1w

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rachel_westcott Last night we sat in a restaurant and talked and shared life until our throats were sore and our waitress had long gone. Then we got in the car and musically analyzed The 1975 all the way home. And when we were in his apartment we gave each other a hard time and kept annoying each other. Tickle fights and wet willies and sarcastic comebacks. And giggles for days.
I love it that I've reached the point where I can literally be every version of myself around Taylor and still feel perfectly at home.
He makes life so much sweeter.
1w

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rachel_westcott This last semester of college I'm learning more about myself than all my other semesters combined.
The road to graduation is kinda slippery and icy at times, but the journey is bright.
I hope in whatever snowstorms you're trudging through this week, that you take some time to make angels or catch some flakes on your tongue. Make the journey bright.
1w

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rachel_westcott Today we walked around in a wonderland until we couldn't feel our fingers and toes.
THE MAGIC OF SNOW NEVER GETS OLD.
2w

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rachel_westcott This week has been cold and rainy and snowy, but lots of warm, beautiful moments have surfaced despite the weather. Like coffee dates, Thai food, learning to blind contour, and reading books that wreck my world. Tonight is another beautiful moment — a game night with my roommates.
I've passed by this building at Lee so many times but I've never actually just stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to appreciate how beautiful it is. I love to think of the history it contains within its walls.
Lots of things become beautiful when you give them the right attention.
2w

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rachel_westcott I don't think there's anything quite as magical as the crunch of ice underfoot. Or the thin dusty layer of white on everything you see. Or the way flakes billow down from the sky. Especially on Lee's beautiful campus, and those charming little downtown sidewalks.
Happy snow day, my friends.
2w

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rachel_westcott Yesterday my roommates and I had our Christmas gift exchange. It doesn't matter that it's mid-January.
After opening their gifts to me, I realized how well they know me. Art books and design mags for days. What sweet gems I have in them.
Feeling all sorts of sentimental today knowing this is our last semester together, but I fully intend on making these last moments count.
3w

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rachel_westcott This is the first week in months I haven't had a lick of nail polish on my hands.
My nails have been getting so unhealthy, constantly being suffocated under layers of paint. I've begun the rebuilding process. Biotin and cuticle cream.
This week I trimmed them down, removed all the unnecessary weight, and now I'm giving them time to breathe and gain their strength again.
We need to do this as people too, sometimes.
Sometimes I need to be as caring to myself as I am being now to my nails.
3w
  •   abigailelizbth Literally just now seeing this pic, but yesss to all of the above.^^ yesyesyes 2w

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rachel_westcott It's been a pretty insane week so far. But a good insane. The kind of insane that will make sense soon.
I had about fifteen minutes after a doctor's appointment downtown today to sip coffee with Taylor on a couch and it was grand.
Off to find more ways to slow down. This semester will not be like last. I'm learning to ease up and go easier on myself. On tonight's agenda: yoga and puzzles. And not worrying about the future.
3w

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rachel_westcott I'll be driving past this view tomorrow, back in to sweet Tennessee for round 8/8. My final semester.
But gearing up to head out in the morning is harder this time than all the others. I may or may not have just crumpled into a puddle of tears in my parents' arms. Oops.
There's uncertainty ahead. Fear is knocking.
There's also hope and light ahead, too. Those will always win.
Graduation, I'm coming for you.
4w
  •   kziegler So proud of you, Rachel! I am praying for your transition back and the months ahead... SO full of adventure and dreams becoming reality! No fear, girl!!! You were born for this story! 4w

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rachel_westcott Yesterday was about the coldest, windiest and rainiest day in Florida so far. But Taylor and I braved the cold and met up for coffee for the last time alone before we head back to Tennessee.
After almost two years of knowing this guy I was reminded all over again of how much I love life with him. As we sipped our drinks, we shared our hopes and fears. We talked about the future and God and passions and calling and uncertainty and trust. My heart burst with gratitude for this light in my life.
I'm a little terrified of this new season of transition ahead of me, but having Taylor alongside me in this adventure called life makes things a lot sweeter.
.
(Thank you for the pic, @jeffwestcott!)
4w

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rachel_westcott The day I've been wishing for is finally here. It is cold, and cloudy, and windy, and I can finally wear a big sweater and not die. Thank you, Florida, for granting my Christmas wish. I will forgive you for being two weeks late.
I'll just be here, smiling with heart eyes at the weather for the rest of the day.
1mon

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rachel_westcott My first read of 2016.
Yesterday, before having coffee with a dear old friend, I parked myself in the corner of the coffee shop and read half the book. Hoping to finish this week!
If you ever feel like you need to press a spiritual "reset" button, this might be just for you.
1mon

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rachel_westcott Got to spend New Years with Taylor and his family at Sea Island. I didn't take one picture that night, and I think it was better because of it. A magical night that ended with fireworks and kisses on the green was a perfect way to say hello to the new year.
Today we're driving back to Jacksonville on this bridge, with new hopes and 2015 in the rearview.
1mon

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rachel_westcott // Trust //
I've been teaching myself watercolor over break, and I find myself really scared to take any chances. I stick to the more comfortable stuff because I don't want to waste the paint or ruin a page in my sketchbook. Anything out of my comfort zone is too much of a risk, and I'd rather just stay in my little box and avoid failure.
I think my life is a little bit like this, too. But we were not created to live this way.
As I take this day to reflect on 2015 and dream for the year ahead, the word "trust" keeps reverberating in my mind. I graduate soon, and there are a lot of things I'm scared of. I've never had to trust God so fully and desperately before.
I was reminded of the story of Joshua this morning and how many examples are found in that book of trusting God even when things didn't make sense. How God promised a new land, and then called Joshua to be strong and courageous. That's it. The Lord took care of the rest.
As I enter the new year, I choose to trust. To hang on every word. To be strong and courageous. To dare to dream. To let the controlling part of me lose; and let trust win. And chances are, He will do more than anything I could ask or imagine.
Happy new year, my friends. May 2016 be your favorite year yet.
1mon
  •   nelly2482 Love this... I find myself having to do the same thing :) it's a beautiful place to be! 1mon
  •   abi_gallagher Love this, & you did a great job! 1mon

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rachel_westcott Still swooning over two of my favorite Christmas gifts: my Mamuye tote and Ray Bans sunnies.
I love the kind of gifts that will keep on giving for years to come. These accessories are gonna have many days of sunshine in their future.
1mon

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