Thursday, November 20, 2008

Write Or DIE!

1003
25
lab.drwicked.com


Now for another 3,000 today....

Btw, Write Or Die is an amazing little gadget thing that works just about as well as word wars (getting a friend, both writing for five minutes, and then seeing who wrote the most) except it gives you the choice of either a certain amount of time, or a word count. (I normally go for 200 words, but this time I went for 1000)

The way it helps you write is that it starts getting red when you haven't written in a couple seconds, and then it starts doing something negative (Your choice: window telling you to write, annoying noise, or starts unwriting what you wrote)

So, this has become my new writing friend. It keeps me focused, which is honestly quite the feat when I'm on the computer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Finally!

One of my characters in my story is actually talking... until now she almost never spoke a word. It's exciting for me when my characters develop--I feel like they're a child taking first steps! :D

Monday, November 10, 2008

Over-thinking

So, when it comes to certain areas, I think too much. I can see this pretty plainly, and several of my friends can too, so I don't think I'm wrong in saying that.

I think too much by trying to analyze every single little detail and possible outcome of my actions. This results in me doing things I'd rather not do, I worry about everything I do, meaning I'm normally not all that relaxed, and because of those things I don't act like myself. I don't actually have fun very often. Being serious is over rated. Seriously. What is better- laughing at yourself for doing something silly and having a ton of good times to remember, or trying to decide if you did the best thing and not really being able to remember having fun with your friends?

OKay, I can see that I think too much in some ways and that it's not good. My question now is, how do I not do that? It's honestly about all I know how to do right now.

I'm not sure how to stop thinking and just enjoy myself, and so now I'm thinking even more in trying to figure this out....perhaps, if I just ask myself whenever I find myself in a situation I'm tempted to analyze, "what would I do if I didn't think it through?" And I know that's not what I should follow every time, because sometimes first instincts aren't good, but perhaps it would be better than making myself choose the harder thing every time.


On another note, my NaNo isn't going too well. I have trouble simply sitting down and doing it. There's so many distractions. I'm at about 6,000 words right now, when I should be at around 17,000.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Point to Life?

If you're reading this, you probably already know just how much I like to think and analyze things.

For the past couple of weeks I hadn't been able to shake the feeling and belief that life is pointless. As I thought about it and dug into it, the only answer I could come up with for a reason for there to even be human existence, much less live, was what I've heard people say: Our purpose on earth is to bring God glory.

Unfortunately, that didn't cut it for me. My analytical mind immediately shot that down. If our only purpose is to glorify a God who is everything, who needs nothing from us, and has angels that worship him, then what point is there in that? Yes, God is awesome and deserves honor and worship, but he already has it. Don't try to tell me he needs us--I won't fall for it.

So, if that's not the purpose, then was is? I started getting fairly worried, and I was scared to voice my thoughts out loud. What if I'm proven right? What if "to bring God glory" is the only answer that others can give me?

Yesterday though, I voiced my thoughts out loud to a friend, and was immensely relieved to find I'm not the only one who hasn't settled for just that.

She first brought up what the Westminster Catechism says: "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever." Then also that when asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied that it's to love God. We talked for some more time about this, and other things, and when I came home I started reading in Romans, and then moved to 1st John.

1st John 4:7-12 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

vs. 16 "We know and rely on the love God has for us."
vs. 19 "We love because he first loved us."
vs. 21 "And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."

5:1-2 "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands."


As I read over these verses, it's pretty clear that loving God and loving others is closely entwined. If you love God, you'll love your brother. Love comes from God, and God is love. No one has ever seen God, so we can't know exactly what His love looks like... but God did show us his love by sending his son into the world that we might live through him. Also, when we love one another, we are showing others God's love.

So, our purpose is to love God, and to love others. When we love God, we'll carry out his commands. 2 John, vs 6 says "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." When we love God, glorifying him will come naturally. Glorifying God is important, but if we try to do that without loving him... we end up failing pretty badly.

These are my thoughts of late, and I can't begin to explain how hard it was to be tackling with a question I couldn't answer, and how thankful I am to have it answered. I'm still thinking through all this, and trying to see exactly how I should apply it to my life.

A couple of songs came to mind that relate to this topic:

Tobymac's "Made to Love." Specifically the lines, "Whatever happened to a passion I could life for? What became of the flame that made me feel more? And when did I forget? I was made to love You!"

"Knowing You" (don't know who it's by) "Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You. There is no greater thing. You're my all, You're the best, You're my joy, my righteousness. And I love You, Lord"

Skillet, "Whispers in the Dark" ... "My love is just waiting to turn your tears to roses. I will be the One that's gonna hold you, I will be the One that you run to. My love is a burning, consuming fire."

"Everything" by Lifehouse, "You are my purpose, You're everything."

"Love Them Like Jesus" by Casting Crowns: "Love them like Jesus, carry them to Him. His yoke is easy, His burden is light. You don't need the answers to all of life's questions, just know that He loves them, and stay by their side. Love them like Jesus."




Oh, and have I mentioned that God is awesome, not just because he is, but also because he loves us?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

NaNo

I'm going to attempt to do National Novel Writing Month this year... (look up www.nanowrimo.org if you don't know what it is)

I've been plotting and getting my storyline pulled together, and have come to a problem. I combined two stories that have been brewing for a long time, and I realized that now I have these characters that we can't do without...but one of them is essential to everything that happens, but he has nothing he actually does.

So... I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate him better. Maybe give him some essential leading role. Don't know right now.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Poetry

I know that for most of you, it seems like I write poetry more than stories... that's somewhat true, but I've always had a bit more passion for my stories than my poems, even though I love both dearly.

Recently though, I've been participating in a poetry challenge on CleanPlace, the writers' forum I'm on, and discovering the joy of structured poetry. This is something I used to avoid, but now I'm seeing how it can add a ton to your poem.

So, I toyed around and created my own poetry form. The first poem I used writing it fell flat on its face, this one seemed to turn out better:



Falling

Falling, falling,
into this familiar place.
I’ve been here before,
have I not?

No longer am I
falling, falling,
into that familiar place.
I’d been there before.

I reach out a hand to help.
For no longer am I
falling, falling,
into that familiar place.

In gratitude, all I can do
is reach out a hand to help.
For no longer am I
falling, falling.

Have I not
been there before?
in tha
t familiar place,
falling, falling?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pet Topic / "Teenage Bones"

Remember my post, "A Thousand Options", from mid-May? Well, even if you don't, that's OK. I mentioned that "I could write about a topic that keeps appearing here and there that I don't think I've written about on this blog. Odd, I haven't? Hmm... Maybe I'll have to fix that because it's a pet topic of mine."

A pet topic of mine...Very true. Something I've considered writing about here many times. But the more I think about it, and the more I try, the more I decide that no, I'm not going to. At least not now. Why? Because I want to do the topic justice, and I currently don't feel I can. Not in writing, that is.

Thought you were finally gonna hear about it? Well, sorry. If you ever wanna ask me in person what my "pet topic" is, feel free. ;)


On to other things:

Don't you just love breaking the norms?

There's this park day thing going on every friday afternoon. It's where some homeschooling moms and kids get together to (respectively) talk and play. I went last week, and there was one other teenager with two friends of hers. ...Actually, that's a lie. There were a couple other teenagers, but young ones (like my 13 year old sister) that played with the kids. ...Anyways, I knew that this time there may or may not be anybody there. Then I found out that my siblings weren't going, (Camila wasn't done with school, Daniel didn't want to) so if I went, Mom would drop me off and leave.

Notice something about that? ...What teenager specifically asks her mom to take her to the park where a ton of kids are playing and the only person to hang out with would be somebody who she's only seen a couple times? Well, evidentially this one does.

So, despite the fact that every "teenage" bone in my body was saying I'm a fool, I went. :P With the reassurance that if nobody was there to hang out with I'd just go back home with Mom. But what kind of choice did I have? I could either stay home and be harassed by my siblings, or go and be potentially bored...Hmm.... easy choice for me.

Well, I went, and then went straight into the normal teenager habit which satisfied those screaming bones; I walked away from all the "homeschool mamas" with my friend and sat talking with her for the next two hours. She did bring games, but hey, why play with those when you can talk? ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Poem

I've been trying to write a poem that fit three different requirements... I finally gave up, and wrote a poem without heeding the three things, and in the end I had met them. I'll refrain from saying anymore about the poem. (they should speak for themselves, shouldn't they?)


Regret

Sitting down to write,
I find I cannot
for something clouds my thoughts.
What it is I’m not
sure but in it is a wish
that I had done different.

The day washes up and I
find it is empty.
Wasted away by reading
and avoiding things.
My afternoon is gone and
night comes softly with regret.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pike

During hurricane Ike a tree fell from our yard, into the neighbor's yard. Luckily no damage was done to their house. We had some people chop it up, but had them leave it there. Dad figured it would be better for us to haul it to the curb where the city would pick it up than for him to pay them to do that. He gave us kids the choice, though, of either doing it as a chore on Saturday morning, or doing other chores in the morning and doing that in the afternoon for a little bit of money. Dad gave us that last option because he would have payed much more to pay the tree people to do it.

So, naturally, all of us kids jumped on the chance to earn some money. I didn't jump quite as much, but I figured, "what could it hurt? It's not like I have anything else to do today."

So we worked from 1 until 4:50 on that tree. By the end, I decided he had to have a name, and I thought maybe it should go along with the hurricane that moved him. But not the same... So I was working off of "Ike" and thought; "Silk" then I thought, "but he pokes me a lot" (*glances at scrapes on arms* he really did) So then I thought "Pike! It's perfect; Poke, Ike, put them together... and besides, pikes are pokey!" I was thinking of the weapon pike, btw.

After that, I decided to call the tree Pike. When I mentioned that to Daniel and Camila, they didn't like the idea that I had come up with the name. They went back and forth with other names, then Camila suddenly realized how fitting Pike was, and got excited. With that done, we were nearly done working anyways.

We made seven piles of Pike, and still have a bunch of log pieces left, but we'll deal with those another day. (Piles... that goes with the Poke, Ike, and Pike thing! =D )

As I'm sitting here listening to my family in the kitchen, my right forearm is stinging slightly, due to when my arm got trapped under a heavy log when I put it on the pile, and my shoulders and neck are hurting from the lifting and moving and stuff. I attempted to do as much with my legs as I could, but sometimes that didn't work. So now I ask myself, "Was it worth it?"

Yes.

I'm tired, and it was more work than I'd consider worth the money...(I can always babysit and get the money much easier) but the money wasn't my main concern. First, it needed to get done. Second, working outside and doing hard work, it's satisfying. I knew those when I started, so according to my original thoughts it was worth it.

But that's not why I say it was worth it. What made the whole thing worthwhile was that all three of us kids worked, and didn't fight. Some complaining did start happening, but that wasn't too bad. I was just so thankful to God that it went well. Normally during work times there's arguments and people not wanting to work, but this time that didn't happen.

That's why I say it was worth it, for the time of agreement with my siblings.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Finally, an update!

Sorry for leaving you all in the dark for so long, I didn't have time to blog in Hong Kong, and I haven't got around to it since I've been back.

I've now been home for two and a half weeks. I've been in the states for three weeks now.

The Hong Kong trip was amazing. I'll give you a couple highlights, but if you want to hear any more, feel free to ask me. I have many more things to say.

-I almost died. (Naturally, when does that not happen in a foreign country?) I was walking across a street, following other members. They were about a street ahead of me, so I was starting to cross the street when they had just finished. One of the team members, Hilary, reached out and pulled me back, right before a bus rumbled by.

-I've known for a long time God had called me to go somewhere, but I didn't have any clue where. Halfway through the trip, God told me where--Japan.

-God taught me a lot about myself, and about himself.

-I formed some friendships with some youth over there, and am still in contact with them.

-We had an awesome team.


I hope you all had a great summer!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Later

The suitcase sits there,
staring at me.
I sit across from the suitcase,
staring at it.


Less then a day now,
my mind tells me.
In a year from now,
my heart says.

Could I be leaving tomorrow?
Impossible!
Next month, maybe even next year,
but not tomorrow.


Yet here I am,
packed.
And waiting for something,
for it to be time.

Time to board the plane,
to fly.
Time to go to another country,
to be gone.

Yet I’m still here,
Now.
All that stuff?
Later.

I'll fly across the ocean,
but later.
I’ll see old friends and make new,
later.

Be in a foreign country and homesick?
Later.
Live day by day with unknowns and new things?
Later.

Surely it will all happen,
but just later.
It can’t happen now,
surely it can’t.

My mind can’t comprehend it--
The time must be later.
I don’t know when,
but not now.

Now would be just fine,
but it can’t be.
All I know is that
it’s later.

But later will soon sneak up on me.
Later.
Soon I’ll realize--
Later is tomorrow.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quick Note

While I'm in Hong Kong I'll be sending email updates. If you would like to get on that emailing list, let me know and I'd be glad to. I also might get Mom to post them on here for me, I haven't decided yet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

To Do List

-Go to dance
-Pack
-Review clothes and make sure I have all the shirts I need
-Say goodbye to multiple friends
-Try to get Mom to let me go to the Arts View Theatre's Jungle Book performance, preferably on Saturday.
-Get shoes.
-Buy a few leftover items, like body powder. (It's humid there)
-Pray
-Make sure my AC Adapter for my MP3 player works. I'd hate to run out of batteries while gone!
-Get my flight times to the people I'm staying with in El Paso before I leave for Hong Kong. (Don't want to never make it out of the airport...)



That's it! I'm surprised at how small it is now...It's no longer daunting, how amazing. (there's only ten things on there) I know I never made one when it was daunting, but there were definitely a lot more things on it at the beginning of the week.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jackpot

Monday and Tuesday were spent shopping. I abhore shopping. Yet I did it anyways, because I have to. When I go to Hong Kong I can't wear jeans, because they'll be too hot. It's extremely hot and humid there. Jeans are my main choice of wear. Which meant I needed clothes.

So we shopped. According to the to bring list, I need 2-3 pairs of capris, 3 shorts, and two pairs of preformance pants/capris. None of which I had. Mom and I had been going from store to store and finding nothing that worked. We found some at Old Navy, but I don't like them. They're tolerable, but that's it.

Our last stop yesterday was Burlington Coat Factory, and as I was going through I started finding these pants, capris, and shorts that all looked like they'd work. And they were all by the same company. Sure enough, they fit great, and on top of that were at great prices. So we bought them, and now I can breathe freely knowing I don't have to go shopping again. =) I'll have to make some Walmart runs, but those don't really count since it won't be for clothes.

I now understand what Mom has said in the past. It seems that God provides just what we need, when we need it for these trips. I needed these pants, and we found them. The lack of good pants/capris/shorts had been seriously worrying me, but then we found them all at once! I'm in awe. I also love the shorts best, which surprised me, since I don't normally like shorts. But I like these ones.

My plane leaves in four days! Wow.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A gamble

In the past couple days it's been occurring to me just how much I'm going to miss my friends when I'm gone. Maybe the anticipation will be worse than the actual separation, but it sure looks bad! I find it hard to grasp that I won't see most of my friends for at least five weeks, some it'll be seven. For me, this is a bit staggering. I have my routine, and I tend to schedule everything around when I can next see a friend. So the thought of five or seven weeks is a bit astounding. Not to mention that I'll miss out on that much time of their life, and they on mine. A whole month of time that could have been spent getting to know each other even better, building more memories, talking in the shade. . .

Then again, when I think about what I'll be doing instead, I know that I wouldn't give it up for time with friends. Besides, I'll probably make friends on the trip. :)

This is most likely brought on because a group of my friends left to CO to meet up with a bunch of my online friends, which means my afternoons are emptier than before. They left today, I said goodbye last night. I won't see any of them for at least seven weeks, how sad is that? Sometimes I wish I didn't get so emotionally attached to my friends, but I think it's part of who I am, and I'm okay with it most of the time. It's only when it comes to things like this that I wish I could just disconnect myself.

On a brighter note, I will see all of my friends again, at some time or another, and I know that this trip will probably far surpass any expectations I had for it. I can't know what God has in store, but He normally has better things in store than I'd planned, even if it takes some time to see the better part. I recently ran into a Relient K song (yes, I like them. They tend to put things so clearly and cleverly...) that has a little clip that I love, "I won't think twice, or even three times, about taking a gamble with You. Because with my life You have been so kind"

That is so true! I can complain half the time I post on here, I can point out all the rough bits of my life, (which highly involve my own failings) and I can do any number of things, but when I really sit back and think about it, I can see that God has been kind. He's slowly been working in my life, and I can truthfully say I am much happier now that I've mostly given God the reins than when I kept them for myself. I may fall, I may sometimes decide to embrace the black hole I can see at times, but He always calls me back and draws me to Him and into light again. He reminds me of times gone when I've found rest in Him, times when I've laughed out loud for the unexpected joy that He's given me. . .I can't live without Him, and so I always find myself returning to Him.

All that to say, going on this trip is a gamble for me. I can see what I'd have if I stayed home, but I don't know what this trip will hold. But I believe it's a gamble God has asked me to take, and since every gamble I've taken with Him (willingly or not) has turned out for good, and since He has only ever been abundantly good to me, I'm willing to take this one up.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Rest

Rest.

To rest in God's love and strength, to marvel at His creation. . .This is something I love to be able to do. So often I cheat myself from this joy by trying to find rest in a book, or by letting worries choke out simple trust in God.

Some lines from a song by Jeni Varnideau explain well what I'm thinking of; "This is rest, this is peace, this surpasses understanding"

I look at nature, especially the clouds, and I find myself longing for this life to be over, to be home... Yet other times I find myself not wanting it to be over, not yet. There are too many people who haven't known God. "To die is gain, to live is Christ" as the apostle Paul said.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Garage Sale and a Sunburn

Okay, so the garage sale hasn't happened yet, but the sunburn sure has! While in Oklahoma we went to a water park (I'd never been to one before...) and because it was such a cloudy day at first I neglected to put sunscreen on. Peter did as well. As I'm sure you can guess, it got sunny later on, and I got sunburned. Probably about an hour before we left, Mom said I was "pink" and that I should go put sunscreen on. I did, and I'm sure it helped. But I'm sunburned practically everywhere. My neck got away without any sun, and my face partially did. My shoulders did not, and neither did my back.

I discovered today that my left shoulder has formed some blisters on the sunburn. Ouch. I haven't been sunburned this badly before, and I don't think I'll forget sunscreen again this summer. Hopefully not next summer either.

Yesterday I spent most of the day helping Mom sort through garage sale stuff. A lot of people gave us leftovers from their garage sales, and we're so thankful to have pre-priced things! Since we have so much stuff, we took all the things we weren't sure would sell and sent them to Goodwill. Along with some things that Goodwill wouldn't be able to sell, which went into the trash. Even with all of our sorting, there's still a lot. We tackled one of our storing spots, and have a van-full of nice stuff. Now for the other two places. . . This garage sale is to raise money for my trip to Hong Kong. I already have around $1000 from donations, and we normally get at least $1000 from our garage sales. Prayer that it would go well would be appreciated. (I'll need around 33 hundred dollars for this trip)

Another noteworthy thing about yesterday is that we went to go watch Prince Caspian. I really enjoyed it. There were multiple deviations from the book, but it was still a good film.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Oklahoma City

We'll be going to OKC this weekend to visit Jonathan and Kelly. (My brother and his wife) I'm looking forward to this, as I miss seeing them and would like to know what their new home looks like. I also won't get to see them in June when everybody else gets to. . .I'll either be in El Paso or Hong Kong by that time. Which I'm looking forward to, but it'll be hard to not see so many family members that I haven't seen for a while. (Rachael and William, for instance. I haven't seen then since last December)

Dad finished reading Prince Caspian to my younger siblings last night, and this evening he started Voyage of the Dawn Treader. They seem to like it. (What else could be expected?)

This week has been a blur. Not the good kind of blur. My dreams have been exhausting, I've been thinking too much during the day, things that shouldn't have me worried do, and I spend about half the day wandering around the house wondering what to do or reading. Both fairly mindless activities. Although I have been getting things done the other half, they are done in the same mood.

I hesitate to post this, but I hate not being real. Normally I just don't post, but I do want to post today . . . and I guess I'm also posting it because I'd really appreciate prayer. These days have felt too much like last summer which was hard for me, and I fear falling again. I know I've changed a lot, but I also know I still hold on to feelings that create depression when they linger. For some reason they are something I want to grab a hold of and taste. My friend Cassie said recently (on her blog) that she tends to want to experince all feelings to their full, that made me pause and realize that I too do that. I want to taste the painful feelings and draw them out. Not a good thing, but something that's very real for me. I struggle with it.


I'm off to bed now. I hope you all have a blessed weekend!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Thousand Options

I have a dozen different things floating through my mind right now that I could write about. To be honest with you, I'm really not sure what I want to write about. I could write about some event and try to make it humorous, I could write about certain abstract nouns, I could write about a couple different topics on my mind, or I could even write about what I ate for breakfast. :P
Which, btw, was scrambled eggs. ;)

Maybe I'll write about a song. A song that has become important to me over the past few months.
Or maybe I won't. Instead I could write about a topic that keeps appearing here and there that I don't think I've written about on this blog. Odd, I haven't? Hmm... Maybe I'll have to fix that because it's a pet topic of mine.

My point is, there are so many different options and I'm not even sure I'll take any of them. I don't write in here as often as I could because I don't like decisions. Which topic to talk about and how to pull it out to its full potential is where my problem lies. Months ago I had two things I was thinking about, I know one of them was grace, and I don't know what the other one was. What happened after agonizing over it for hours? If I remember correctly, I didn't post either.

Above is a sample of my daily life thoughts. If you can see how it goes in loops and circles and arrives to some conclusions but keeps coming around to earlier things, you might be able to understand some of my thought patterns.

Now, which topic...?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Theology

I have recently discovered how interested I am in theology. Our pastor has been teaching a class on Wednesday nights that is about how we got the bible. This has covered things like the canonization of the New Testament, the methods of translation, and many other areas. I unfortunately missed two of these classes. Often times we go into theological bunny trails. Although some find this needless, I’ve been finding myself more and more interested in them.

For those of you who didn’t already know this about me, I thrive on thought. Give me something to think about, facts to draw a conclusion, and somebody to talk about them with, and I’ll be occupied for a long time. That somebody to talk about them with can even be my journal! I prefer live people though ;). My first noted topic (I spent around three weeks intensively considering and discussing it before my mind let me drop it) was ‘masks’. I don’t mean the physical ones, I mean what people put up to hide their real self. That was back in the fall of ‘06. This side of me has since been developing more and more. Normally there is something I’m thinking about all the time, and sometimes I’ll find something that I’m really thinking about and then I’m plunged into constant thought for the next few days. My mom says I think too much. This is something I’ve been keeping in mind, and has resulted in my trying to moderate how much I ‘think’. Sitting around contemplating all day won’t do much good–action is important to daily life and sometimes it’s best not to dwell on things for too long.

That said, I’ll continue.

This class has opened up a new possibility to me. I never saw theology as something I could mull over. That may sound odd to you, but I think it’s because I never thought much about what studying theology would be like.

These bunny trails have given me a glimpse of what I might discover in theology. I have been considering theology has a major in college...luckily that’s still three years away, I don’t have to decide yet.

What worries me a little about the thought of digging into all these thought trains and beliefs and nit-picky differences is that my faith would become only a side taken and not a personal relationship ship with my Lord. Yet I think that is something that can be avoided, if I’m careful. Another danger would be pride. If I were to major in theology, one worry is that I would start to look at myself as more learned and think I’m better because I ‘understand more’ about my faith. Again though, I think that is something that can be avoided if I approach it in the right way.

All that said, I love these bunny trails. Especially last night’s one.

Pastor Bo went into how the term "Sinful Nature" comes with a whole theological background. From my understanding the best place to start would be the original sin.

When Adam fell, what happened? Pastor Bo detailed two different thoughts.

-That we gained something in the fall. That sin entered the world and that Adam’s original sin carries on to each of us. We are born guilty and already sinful.
-We lost something. With sin now between us and God, nothing is there to police our desires of the flesh that God placed in us. From there each of us sins by satisfying our flesh in the wrong ways.

I won’t tell you which one I agree with, since I haven’t fully decided myself. I haven’t had the chance to delve into it. I only know what my pastor said.

He did bring up that the first school of thought brings up the question of how Christ was sinless. Since we’re all guilty from birth, why wasn’t Jesus guilty from birth? The answer would involve the fact that he was born of a virgin. The second school of thought explains that he was still tempted, but didn’t sin because he never followed his fleshly desires in an incorrect way.

The term, "Sinful Nature", comes from the first belief.


This bunny trail has me thoroughly excited. To think! That discussion opened my mind to so many things I hadn’t thought about before and helped a few other things fall into place. That there are even more things like that out there waiting for me to stumble upon–This thrills me.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dance Recital

It's over. . . and we get to do it all over again next year! :D

My dance recital was last night, and I think it went well. Since I was in four dances, the night went by so fast. My back has been bothering me again, meaning that my left leg has been acting up, resulting in me being unable to do my left leg splits in one of my dances. That bothered me greatly. It's not a matter of flexibilty, it's my back that keeps my leg from preforming to its full ability. At least I was in the back during that time. Camila did wonderful, she's so beautiful, especially when she's onstage. She's been saying she'll quit dance after the recital, but I doubt that, she loves it too much!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Trust

I apologize ahead of time for the disjointedness of this entry. I had multiple unrelated things I wanted to talk about/mention.

Hong Kong. That's where, God willing, I'll be going this summer for those of you who may be wondering. Other than that, I don't have too much that's interesting to say, but allow me to talk to you about something that I've been thinking about for months now.

Psalm 32:10 "Many are the woes of the wicked; but the LORD's unfailing love surrounds those who trust in Him."

I keep finding verses like that sprinkled throughout bible. I believe that trust is a very important factor in our faith. God constantly asks us to trust Him. He has never given me a reason to distrust Him, but somehow trust is hard. I think it's because we can have the idea that if we trust Him he'll do things that we don't want Him to do. We want the control because we don't trust that He'll make good choices. It's true that He often times does things that aren't what we'd want to do, but still, God knows best. And no matter how painful the changes He makes are, I've found that not trusting God ends up being more painful. I think trust and grace are also intertwined. Part of trusting God for me is also knowing that so long as I'm trusting Him, I don't have to be prefect. His grace is ready to catch me when I stumble.


I'll wrote a poem today that I would like to share with you.

More
Do you ever want for something more?
Just stare at that cup
and wish it would ease that deep feeling,
that wrench in your gut?
Or maybe wish that it would satisfy,
rather than only make your throat wet.
Do you ever need something more?
Feeling like if you don’t find it,
you’ll give up and implode
before the day is out?
Or maybe just sit down.
Sit down and drown that need in nothing.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Summer Plans

Proverbs 19:6 - "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

I was sure I was going to Hong Kong this summer, but after I sent Vinnie the email that said "Yes, I'll go" I had no peace about it. This came to a climax yesterday after I'd spent some time in prayer. I went off to go do something, and suddenly felt extremely uneasy about going to Hong Kong. Not fearful, not inadequate, but just not at peace.

So I'm praying. I haven't told Vinnie yet that I'm not going, because I'm not 100% positive that God doesn't want me to go. I still need to pray some more about it. There are other options for this summer besides Hong Kong, so I'm looking into those and praying about those too. I would love to go on the Hong Kong team, but if that's not God's will, then I don't want to go.

I'm off now, just wanted to let y'all know what's going on with me right now.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Break

I'll just make a brief post now. There is possibly more following later.

The Grand Canyon was amazing. Tiring and stressful, but still good. I enjoyed that. I'd never quite realized how deep it was. Our schedule got changed because the first trail we went down was too dangerous so we had to turn back and do another. Because of that, we got to spend more time with my grandparents. I went shoping, of my own volition, surprise surprise! I really don't like shoping, but I wanted to that time. I liked the time with my grandma and Mom.

Spring Break went well. I'd been worring that it would be stressful, but it wasn't this year. The teachings were about wholeheartedness. Nothing specifically struck me, but all that Vinnie said seemed to back up things I'd recently been learning, and a couple things he said helped me clear up some things I'd been confused about. He's really good at teaching just basic truths in a way that anybody can understand, but also in a way that everybody benifits from hearing them and you don't feel like you've heard it before a thousand times.

Well, I gotta go to bed now, though I doubt I'll be asleep soon. Where I was in Mexico it was two hours behind us, so to me it feels like 6:48 instead of 8:48. . .Although I am slowly getting used to this time.

I hope you all have a blessed week!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Trips.

Tonight, around 7 or 9, we (my family and I) leave for the Grand Canyon. All tonight and tomorrow we'll be driving there; it's a eighteen hour drive. On Sunday we'll hike down into the Grand Canyon with backpacks on. We'll spend four nights, five days there. On the fifth day, Thursday, we'll hike out and then drive a few hours over to where my grandparents are staying. We'll visit with them that evening, and the next Friday morning. Around noon, we'll drive to El Paso, Texas. About a nine hour drive.


Saturday morning Mom, Dad, Camila, and Daniel will all drive home. Peter and I will stay. We will be going on a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico. Just right over the border from El Paso. We'll be getting home from that late at night on Friday, the 21st.



Over all, I'm looking forward to these trips. I think I'll be ready to be home by the time they're over, (maybe not though, you never know!) but I think I'll be glad I went. Who knows what things God has in store. :)



One last thing.


Something I’ve been thinking about lately is how God created us for His glory, so shouldn’t we live our lives to glorify Him? As I don't really have time right now, I'll write more about the next time I post, which may be a long time from now.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Poem

Thoughts swirl through my mind,
they're of every sort and kind.
Music adds to the confusion,
keeping me from a conclusion.

A thousand thoughts compete
for first place in these heats.
I wonder which will win,
as I sit down again.

Monday, February 11, 2008

"That's not fair!"

"But the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair" Relient K, "Be My Escape"

For family devos a while ago, we read Matthew 20:1-16(NIV):

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.


"About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. "He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'


" 'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'


"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.' "The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'


"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'

"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."




Daniel and Camila are always trying to make things be fair... The day we read that passage, Dad mentioned how God will always be fair (the workers agreed to one denarius, one was the normal day's wage, and they got one denarius for their day's work) but He's also generous at times.

I started thinking about how everyone (well... mostly kids) wants life to be fair, and how people say that life isn't fair... And I realized; I don't want life to be fair. The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair. I want grace! If life were only fair, we wouldn't have grace. If there wasn't grace, I would be dead. (I'll let you decide what I mean by that) Grace is getting what you don't deserve. Hardly fair, right?

And mercy. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a) I know what I deserve, and I'm so glad God's mercy means I don't get it.

So mercy and grace. I'd say that both of those things aren't fair. But yet, where would we be without them? I, for one, am glad life is not fair.

Isn't it amazing, that God had a way of remaining just, merciful, and gracious? I'm not going to try to figure out if He's "fair", but then, He's not going to say "I'll give you one denarius" and then not when we've done the day's work, right?

Another thing this passage made me think about; All the workers got the same reward. Even those that had come almost too late. I don't know about you, but that comforts me. It gives me the impression that even if I fail and don't start following God faithfully until later than others, He's not going to treat me differently. The first workers who grumbled, they said that He had made them equal to those who only worked one hour. I'm happy to know that even if I don't start until the third, sixth, or eleventh hour I'll still get what was promised.

Maybe that last deduction/paragraph isn't something that was supposed to be made, but it seems to me to be a logical one.

As Paul said though, "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!" (Romans 6:15) Should we wait until the eleventh hour? No. We don't know when the twelfth hour will come. Who knows if I even have one more minute? Also, I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend 12 hours in God's vineyard than 11 hours loitering (or 11 in another's vineyard, which is more likely) and only one in God's vineyard.

"No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Babysitting

I have decided that I really like babysitting. Something about being around little kids always refreshes me. I think it's their innocence, their pure laughter. . .They always amaze me and leave me in a place where I'm in awe of God once again.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I've been tagged!

Julia has tagged me, and she apparently has the power to change the rules slightly. Sorry I took so long in posting this, I've been trying to decide what I want to put up, I think I've finally thought of as many things as I can think of. :)

Rules:

*Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

*Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog, we all want to know them.

*Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

*Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


Julia's Twist:
*Write as many (appropriate) weird things as you can think of!

I will ignore rule two and replace it with Julia's Twist. And I'm afraid I must also skip the tagging part, as everybody whose blogs I read have been tagged!


  • *I love clouds-I'm always looking in the sky to see them. The best days are sunny, bright blue sky, plenty of amazing clouds, cool outside, slight wind... *Sighs wishfully* That is when it's really nice outside, in my opinion.
  • *I used to be obsessed with the middle ages.
  • *Because of that above fact, I'll think in terms such as "the King's right hand man" and such, this greatly effects where I position things at times. (I may place somebody I like at my right. . .or place myself at their right. . .or arrange three knick-knacks of mine with my favorite in the middle, second to its right, and least favorite on the other side)
  • *I almost always have hair bands around my right wrist... and they have to be the right colors. (Black, white, and one odd color)
  • *I can, as my mom puts it, do the hula with my eyebrows. I can move my ears up and down too.
  • *Socks. They can't be too thick. They can't be tight at my toes. The seam can't be in the wrong place. . .I'm picky about my socks.
  • *I love going on walks on campus, specifically down to the pond to enjoy the scenery.
  • *For some odd, unknown reason, I like throwing/shooting things (like hair bands, grass, sticks, anything in reach...) at people.
  • *I enjoy ciphers, (commonly known as codes) and have tried to pull almost all my friends into them. Needless to say, that's only worked on one of my friends. I made up my own cipher years ago, and it looks kind of like a scribbly cursive, but I know if so well I can read it fairly easily.
  • *Along with liking ciphers, I learned how to write things backwards. The way they would appear in a mirror. I've lost my rapidity on that, but I still read it well and can write it at a good pace.
  • *I enjoy curling up on my bed and jotting down my thoughts in poetry form, or in my journal.
  • *I have an adorable nephew, he's the cutest =)
  • *I like to be sure of things. Even if I'm pretty positive I know something, I'll go ahead and ask just to double check my calculated guess.

That's all for now, I'll try and make another blog entry soon that has a little more in it than just random and weird facts. I might post a poem later today.