Saturday, January 25, 2014

Growing Up

It’s strange to think that I’m growing up.
I’m growing up, getting older and (hopefully) more mature. Childhood has slipped into the past, and adulthood looms on the near horizon. I’m in the middle place, that dreaded time of life known as teen-hood.
I was never one of those kids who were dying to grow up. I knew that my time would come, probably much sooner than I anticipated, and I was content to just be a kid and enjoy my childhood while it lasted. My life consisted of baby dolls, books, AWANA, Beanie Babies, Nintendo, and big brothers. And I was happy with it.
But then days grew shorter, and years began to pass more quickly. Suddenly I was nine, welcoming three new children and a baby brother to my family. I was eleven, beginning to realize what it meant to “grow up”. I was twelve, realizing that my relationship with God was not what it should be. I was thirteen, feeling immensely awkward and out of place in my new church. I was fourteen, struggling to learn how to say goodbye wonderful big brother – the one who, only weeks before, I had told that I couldn’t possibly live without (oh, the bitter irony!). I was fifteen, reveling in my first romance, but consumed with guilt. I was sixteen, and I quickly realized that it’s not as sweet as some say.
Now I’m almost seventeen, looking back on my past and realizing how much wisdom I still have yet to gain. How far I’ve come and how far there is still to go.
But that’s where I find encouragement. The glass, although half empty, is still half full. I have made progress. Not as much as I would like, but some progress is better than none. I have learned to grow in this crazy blur of minutes that is life. I have learned what it really means to really live.
Growing up is like walking into a mist. The further you walk into it, the more clear your immediate surroundings become. The future is still clouded, the past becomes a hazy remembrance, but the present is in focus, giving you just enough understanding to live and learn.
It’s different than I thought it was going to be. But I think that I can honestly say I’m content. I enjoyed being a kid, but I outgrew that skin. Now I’m a (very) young adult, and I’m ready to enjoy this part of life as long as it lasts. And I’m only sixteen, for goodness’ sake! It’s not like I’ve unlocked all the mysteries of life yet. There is still so much to learn, and that’s what makes life exciting.

         You never grow younger. The clock keeps on ticking, and we must do our best to keep time and make the most of it.


Friday, January 17, 2014


          I realized that I haven't done a quotes post in quite some time. So here goes!



This is my 100th blog post! Thank you all so much for reading, commenting, and being supportive. You are what makes this blog possible. :) God bless,


Friday, January 10, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things {from 2013}

          As a way of heralding in the new year, I thought that I would write down some of my favorite things from 2013.
          Note that these lists are not in order of importance. ;)

~Favorite Happenings~
1. My childhood dream of owning a horse coming true. <3
2. New darling little brother, Haven.
3. Finding out that I am Aunt! :D Little Eddy coming this June.
4. Going on my first missions trip with Gleanings For The Hungry in August. That was really one of the most amazing weeks of my life.
5. Speech tournaments! Last year, I participated in OTQ and SOQ, and placed at both.
6. Friendship. I made quite a few new friends this past year, which is always a blessing. I was also able to renew four wonderful friendships with friends that I hadn't seen in years. :)
7. Getting to see my favorite artist Steven Curtis Chapman LIVE was definitely one of the biggest highlights of the year. The concert was absolutely fantastic.
8. Buying my dream camera, a Canon Rebel T5I.
9. Falling in love with my Savior. :)
10. Celebrating my Sweet Sixteen.

~Favorite Verses/Chapters~
1. Psalm 104:33-34
2. Isaiah 12
3. Philippians 4:4-7
4. James 1:5-6
5. Proverbs 2
6. 1 Peter 1:3-10
7. Psalm 27
8. 2 Corinthians 10:5
9. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
10. Romans 8:37-39

~Favorite Songs~
1. Name Above All Names | Sovereign Grace
2. Something Beautiful | Steven Curtis Chapman
3. See You Again | Carrie Underwood
4. If I Die Young | The Band Perry
5. Boasting | Lecrae
6. Blessed By Your Name | Steven Curtis Chapman (in concert)
7. How Love Wins (Thief) | Steven Curtis Chapman
8. Born For This (Esther) | Mandisa
9. Good in Goodbye | Carrie Underwood
10. Just The Way You Are (Bruno Mars cover) | The Piano Guys

~Favorite Movies~
1. Monk. All eight fantastic seasons. :)
2. Cinderella Man
3. Unconditional
4. Amazing Grace
5. A Knight's Tale
6. The King's Speech
7. Now You See Me
8. Monsters University
9. Les Miserables
10. The Legend of Zorro

          I am ashamed to say that I only read about 20-25 books in 2013, which is an all-time low for me. They were all good books, but I only found seven that deserved to be called "favorites" of the year.

~Favorite Books~
1. The Holy Bible
2.  Sherlock Holmes | Sir Aurther Conan Doyle
3. Anne of Green Gables | L. M. Montgomery (I've read this book 3 or 4 times, but it still deserves a place on this list. :)
4. Choosing to SEE | Mary Beth Chapman
5. The Atonement Child | Francine Rivers
6. The Singer | Calvin Miller
7. Les Miserables | Victor Hugo (I still have a couple hundred pages left, but I love it so far. :)

          I hope that you are all having a fantastic year so far!


Friday, January 3, 2014

A Walk In Forever

I want you to think about the word eternity for a minute. Mull it over. Try to wrap your mind around the unfathomably enormous thing that is eternity. You can’t do it, can you? Eternity, the depth of ‘forever’ is too much for our minds to grasp. But let me tell you something.
You are going to live for an eternity.
Eons ago, God wrote your story. Before man existed on the earth, He scripted your life from start to finish, choosing events and circumstances that would help shape you into who He wanted you to be. He chose you to be a member of His kingdom; not because of anything you’d done or would do, but simply because He wanted you.
Doesn’t that blow your mind?
After losing a loved one, one of the most frequent consolations believers tell each other is that we will see them again in heaven. One day the pain will go away, and we will live in paradise with Christ forever.
It’s a beautiful truth, and one that has given me great comfort over the past couple of years, but it has been said so much that it almost sounds trite. I mean, of course I know I’m going to heaven, and I know I’ll see my loved ones again, but I hurt now. What’s going to help me now?
It’s sad that we feel this way. It’s sad to think that God’s promises to us can ever grow old. Verses like Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11 are our mechanical responses to pain and difficulty. Rarely do we stop and think about the beauty of these promises. All things will work together for good. Isn’t that amazing? "For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, so that all who believe in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." These words should invoke in us awe and a desire to worship, even if we've heard them a hundred times before.
I want you to read the next paragraph and then close your eyes (I'll know if you don't ;).
Imagine yourself in the throne room of heaven. You are surrounded by incomprehensible beauty, filled with God’s glory, listening to the voices of angels and saints adoring their Maker. You are in a dazed wonder, completely and utterly overwhelmed by love, beauty, and the glorious perfection of this place. And then you feel His presence.
Close your eyes and try to fathom it.
That, my friend, is what awaits us.
        Eternity is something that we need to think about more often. Its incomprehensible to our human minds, but it's real, and it's coming. One day, you will stand in the presence of God Almighty - and there you will stay forever. Can you think of anything more magnificent than that?
        God’s word is a precious, priceless gift, and one that should never grow old to us. Take the time to read and study it. And don't forget to sometimes take a walk in forever.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Heart to Heart

I have been neglecting my blog as of late. For the past few months, there has only been a random post here, a brief snippet there. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and written a good long heartfelt post.
I think that it’s about time I did just that.
We’ve all heard that life is full of ups and downs, circumstantially and emotionally, and most of us have experienced it first hand. One day you’re laughing and loving life, and the next you wonder why you’re even here. Some compare these emotional swings to a roller coaster. You may remember that I very much dislike roller coasters.
My life has been on a long, low downswing for the past few months. I’ve been depressed. Writing has become difficult; putting my thoughts into words is almost impossible. My mind feels like constant chaos, and the confusion and negativity makes it difficult to hear God. Some days, I don’t even want to hear Him. I’d rather wallow in my misery.
Change is elusive. Resolutions slip through my fingers like sand, and I am weighed down with the grief of failure. So I gave up. My blog, my stories, my speeches, my Bible... I stopped investing in those things and sat around watching movies and reading novels and wondering what my purpose was in life.
Long story short, God has been showing me through various people in my life that I need to be content living at home and serving God in my everyday life. Nothing is too small for Him to use for His glory.
All that being said... I’m sorry. I know that I have no formal obligation to this blog. I don’t have to post a certain number of times per month, or update my profile picture weekly. But at this point in my life, my blog is my ministry, and it’s not right for me to neglect what God has given me.
So if God lays something on my heart, I’m going to post it – and hopefully try to live by it as well. If something big happens in my life and I want to share it with you, I’ll post it. I’m tired of being a lazy, lukewarm, woe-is-me believer. I want to live with passion and meaning and fall deeper in love with Jesus every day. Yes, I will fail – failure is guaranteed in this life. But I also know that there is a great reward for those who persevere.

On another note, happy New Year, everyone! God bless 2014. :)

“God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself, because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s falling in love with God.” -Francis Chan