Wednesday, December 31, 2014

new years eve '14

Well I was kind of hoping that by this point in the year I would have some New Years resolutions pinned down. Unfortunately I have no specific goals laid out as I would like. But I do [as in I literally just came up with these as I have been typing] have some general areas that I can definitely improve in.

I want to know God more. I want to have a more full and real experience and knowledge of the height and depth and breadth of his love and grace and truth and justice and power. 

I want to have real meaningful fellowship with Him in my devotional times [in prayer and his Word]. I want to be a doer and not a hearer of the Word only. [I literally just typed 'heater of the Word'.....]

I want to suffer for Christ's sake. And no not necessarily in a go to Iran and be imprisoned for his sake. All it takes is a word of truth that you know you'll be insulted for. Taking a stand that you know will be looked down upon. Even as small as shutting up for once and letting your sibling "win" an argument for peace sake. I want to die to self and live to Christ on an entirely new level.

I want to love God more. What else can I say about this? He is so worthy and yet we refused to give him praise. He is so beyond us and yet he drew close. He loved us enough to die the worst possible death for us. He has loved us with an everlasting love. He has given us more than we can ever give back. How selfish would it be not to at least give all we can?

Leading off from that point, I want to love people more. I want to forge new relationships and grow in old ones. Think of all God has done for us after all we had done against him. How prideful, selfish, and hypocritical is it to be offended when someone wrongs us? How many times have we done the same? I want to be forgiving, loving, and always serving. I'm so often self centered and judgemental of others. I want God to take the spirit of sinfulness away. 

I want to appreciate and glory in my salvation. I want to point to Christ in all I do. I want to stay clinging to the Rock that is higher than I. I want to grow in ways I could never have imagined and I want to defeat my sin.

Please come soon Jesus and take all our sins away.

Monday, December 29, 2014

a short update on life

I am currently recovering from the flu. So. Much. Fun. That's the main reason I'm writing this because I am incapable of doing much else.
The last Hobbit movie came out a couple weeks ago...... so yeah, life's been pretty tough since then. Needless to say, it was beautiful and epic and emotional and perfect in every way. It also gave me enough feels to last a lifetime.
Christmas has come and gone. Also-- I got a robe. And it's gray and fluffy and flawless. So that's good.... man, I really don't know how to do this
New Years is coming up and I'm pretty sure we're all gonna be better by then. YAY. We still have one more week of break, AGH but it's going by way too fast. Not surprisingly I envisioned myself devouring dozens of books over the course of these two weeks, but so far I'm only two chapters into Return of the King...... I'm trying.
On another note, my mom just gave me a bag of the most buttery popcorn in the world. PRAISE THE LORD. Well, I guess I better go then because I can't type with buttery fingers [and also I don't really have anything else to say].
Hopefully I'll be back soon!!


Saturday, December 27, 2014

matthew 1-2

Joseph with much grace is soon to divorce Mary, seeing her pregnant apparently by another man. Imagine being in Mary's place in shame, viewed as a prostitute, liar, and possibly blasphemer if she shared her encounter with the angel. The burning shame and pain of being falsely accused by those she loved most. How hard it must have been to continue trusting God to use this pain for a greater, higher cause. 
Or in Joseph's shoes, as he felt the pain of betrayal from his betrothed. His love still holding out in dismissing her privately, his determination to be just and graceful in the face what appeared to be cruel betrayal.
And, then, imagine the wonder of this revelation of the Spirit. The disbelief leading to relief and joy. Envision Joseph sharing the vision with Mary, what the Lord had revealed--her relief, and them being married, content in knowing God had a glorious plan for them. 
Feel the stress that Mary felt [no more than 15 or 16] about to deliver her first child: no midwife, no family, unable to find a place to stay. 
Envision the birth of the Ruler and Creator of the universe, King of kings, and Lord of lords in a place fit for animals. Imagine the fear and aloneness, the messiness and non-glamour of it all.
But then think of the sweet relief in the safely delivered child, beautiful baby boy. Imagine the tears of joy and exhaustion and praise to God. The encouragement and renewal of spirit provided in the form of the three kings and shepherds-- that this is real and God's will would be done.
Imagine the fear in fleeing to Egypt [a place of worldliness, idolatry, and unfamiliarity]. The long wait calling for patience, humility, and trust from both. 
Envision the horrors of that night--really envision it: hundreds of baby boys under the age of two, being brutally slaughtered before their mother's eyes <<v18>> the agonizing wailing cries of mothers in unexpected pain and searing loss. Already Christ was being revealed as a stumbling block to some, but to others worth more than gold and precious silver.
Then see the beautiful boy growing and prospering in favor with God and men. 
But now imagine him whipped and beaten and nailed to a cross of wood, stripped of clothes with a crown of thorns sunk deep into his head and a crowd mocking him at the "King of Jews". Imagine him saying "Forgive them for they do not know what they do" even as God's wrath for their sins is poured out on him. Imagine his last heaving, excruciating breath, darkness falling and the dead being raised to life as those looking on whispered in wonder and amazement, "surely this is the Son of God"
And imagine him right now, hands still scarred by the nails we drove in his hands. Imagine him before the throne of God, pleading his holiness on our sins. Showing the father his scars, that he took on God's wrath for our sins, and we are no longer to pay.
Now imagine him in the new age his full glory revealed, as every knee bows and every tongue confesses to the lordship of the one they have crucified.

-- then you shall see & be radiant --
your hearts shall thrill & exult
i s a i a h  60:4

Monday, December 8, 2014

"but you surpass them all..." proverbs 31

Recently our pastor preached on the godly wife. It made me really think about what I want/God calls me to be as a wife. So, I thought I'd just record some of it here to ingrain the traits in my mind because the way I act now will define who I become as a wife and mother [hopefully] in the future.

// identifying marks of an excellent wife //

- a crown to her husband
enhances respect because she carries herself in reverence to God, her husband, and feminine virtues [self control, wisdom, compassion, modesty ----> dignity] <<proverbs 12:4, 21:30, 31:23>>

- wise manager of the household
prudent----> discerning <<jeremiah 3:15, proverbs 31:13-16, 1 timothy 5:14>>

- completely trustworthy
as far away as possible from the woman of chapter 7. <<proverbs 31:11>>

- means of grace to save husband from burning
marriage----> means of grace to save from moral/eternal ruin <<1 corinthians 7:2-5, proverbs 5:15-23>>

// what an excellent wife is not //

- bringer of shame to the household
shame----> adulterous, hateful, gossiping, drunk, neglectful. shame is a *big* deal. <<proverbs 12:4, 30:20>>

- habitually contentious woman
hateful, angry, determined to oppose at every turn-- not the occasional disagreement or challenging of husband.

<< PROVERBS 19:4>>

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

it's that time of year...

...right before christmas break where you're struggling to get into the Christmas spirit but you feel like you can't just yet because school's still got it's death-hold on you. Okay so obviously I don't have time to be posting this, but I'm going to anyway. Just to get a breath of fresh air before plunging back into the ocean of work I have to do before tomorrow. 

Just look at it. So warm and fuzzy and CHRISTMASY. That was last Saturday after everything had calmed down a bit and everyone was just exhausted and ready for bed. Totally the greatest feeling ever. Now we just have to get some presents under there!!!!!! [I've been trying to make time to wrap presents over the past several days but time just slips through my fingers like sawdust lately (mostly my fault and lack of time management)]. 


Oh! well, I just remembered I haven't done devotions yet today [on one of the days I most need it]! Ugh. Back to the papers and ldfjsldkfd. I am totally just turning this into a complaining post. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. That's not what I wanted. I'm gonna go and try to get some perspective back in my life. See what a day with more stuff and less Jesus can do for you?

[just read back over this. wow. where did all that thankfulness from the last post go? thankfulness is way too hard..]

Friday, November 28, 2014

thanksgiving 2 0 1 4

Wow. So Thanksgiving Day is almost over. So much beauty to take in. It was so full of family and food and fellowship and flklsjf. I feel exhausted. But good exhausted. Like drove-three-hours-down-and-then-back-so-we-could-spend-thanksgiving-with-both-sides-of-our-family exhausted. 

I just feel satisfied and thankful. Which I think is how Thanksgiving Day should leave you feeling.



so I thought I'd do a small thanksgiving post. Just some things I thought of when Dad mentioned the question of what we're thankful for...

<< my own room >>
I live in a family of 8. We are all homeschooled. We keep an 8 month old baby for most of the week. I think this is pretty self-explanatory. It's so nice just to have my own space to escape, to organize, or even do school. Also-- my bed. Praise Jesus.

<< my church // it's leaders >>
This could take up a couple volumes if that's okay with you all. No--I'm just gonna try to summarize. [hah.] Most importantly, they love//serve God above all. They are incredibly gifted. They take God's Word seriously. And they have a profound love for not only the universal church, but for the whole body and individual members of Grace Reformed Baptist. God has blessed me in a way I can never fully conceive or appreciate by placing me here from a young age. Inconceivable.

<< the promise of heaven >>
sometimes I just want to cry [yeah, it's that time of the month] thinking about the goodness of God in giving us this hope for a new day of no sorrow, no pain, no sin. No matter how bad it gets in this world, we can look beyond it to a day that's greater than we could ever imagine. Not only will we glory in Christ and his glorification we will be glorified ourselves in new renewed bodies and minds. I can't imagine living life without that constant comfort and guide-- that there is something more. And because of Christ, that something is mine.

<< the christmas season >>
well duh. there's so much I could say here. but guess what? I'm not going to because I want to go to bed. #nohate

<< G R A C E >>
the fact that God not only withholds the wrath we earned, but gives us so much infinitely more at the highest of costs to himself. his grace is an ocean-- we're all sinking. how could I ever have any right at any moment of any day to have even a twinge of complaint? I should be bursting and glowing with thankfulness every second of everyday, a thankfulness that this world cannot comprehend. A thankfulness that points ever, only, always to Christ.

Now, to sustain this level of thankfulness throughout the year... ha ha. yeah, I think it's time to start praying....

Friday, November 7, 2014

seasonal nostalgia

Is it possible to be nostalgic for summer, autumn, and winter all at the same time? Apparently so because that's how I'm feeling right now. So here we go, let's go ahead and get my feelings out on paper [instead of doing what I should be doing: school].

Summer is hot, a shimmering layer of heat between us and a blue sky. Summer is sun beating down on you, highlighting your hair, and browning your skin. It's eating popsicles on the porch and half of it melting over your sticky hand before you can finish. It's leaping into the pool, into liquid bliss, a relief from the scorching heat. It's dirty feet and sweaty faces, running barefoot through the yard. It's the beach-- wind tangling your hair, salt on your lips, sun kissing your cheeks. It's the heat on the seashore, swept away by the salty breeze. It's heat and thunderstorms, and running in the pouring rain. It's water balloon fights with your cousins, drinking from the hose, and it's freedom. Freedom from school, from responsibilities. Freedom to run through the woods, over the creek, through the fields, and far away, leaving your troubles behind.


"Autumn-- the years last, loveliest smile." Agh, but the smile is fading at last. *tearssss* Fall.....well, fall is perfect. Fall is glorious, vibrant colors decorating the world all around. It's jumping into a pile of leaves and scattering them all over again. It's a sky of perfect blue, stretching vivid to the ends of the earth. But it's also a sky of platinum gray, dreary rainy days to stay snug inside with baked goods and hot beverages. It's bonfires and s'mores in the crisp fall air. The smell of smoke and dry leaves. It's Halloween and Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season! And [I think I can say this in all confidence] it's my favorite season of all.


Winter is frigid. Winter is sharp winds, a clear night sky, a silvery moon, and an icy frost. It's bare trees and bare forest floors. But while winter may not be nature's loveliest smile, it's lit up by our smiles, enough to warm the long winter days. For winter is Christmas, and snow, and blankets, and fires. Christmas is excitement, exhilaration, ecstatic anticipation. It is joy in it's purest form: in the delight of another, in the giving of gifts. Winter is Christmas music and presents building up under the tree. It's the giddy thrill of not revealing the secrets of the presents you wrapped. Christmas is a warmth within that defies the cold without. And then winter is snow, powdery, white delight. Snow means bitter cold and freezing toes; it means burning your hands on the heat of a mug. It's the warmth of hot chocolate as you swallow your first sip, marshmallow tipping your nose. It's scrounging up enough snow for snowmen and snow balls and snow forts and so much more. Winter is winter and winter is cold but that's what makes it winter.


And for some reason, at this point I'm not feeling Spring that much. Sorry Spring. But spring reminds me of fair weather, budding plants, nearing the end of school, and getting out spring/summer clothes.

So there we go. *breathes a sigh of relief* Nice to get that off my chest. and-- WOW. I posted two days in a row! YAY. Let's just hope the pattern continues... ☺

before the throne of God

This morning when I came to the point of prayer in my devotions I just had an overwhelming sense of unworthiness. how could I even dare to approach the throne of God? 

But then I remembered why-- because to Him I am perfect because Christ swallowed my sin in his holiness. He took my rags of filth and evil [the ones that incurred the wrath of God] and gave me a robe of pure, holy white, untarnished for they're His own. He took the rags of my rebellion and disbelief and He took responsibility for the sins he had never committed and for the wrath that was meant for me. He took an eternity of wrath in space of under a day, beaten and mocked by the very people He had created. As the Father turned his face away, the Father turned to me, as my Father, accepting me into his eternity of perfect holiness and bliss in His presence, worshiping him and the One who died for me, forever. 

And that's when I remember how I can come before that throne-- for that very same throne is a throne of grace, the throne that allowed its Son to die that I might live. I can come because the One on the throne loves me enough punish his Son for sins I committed. I can come before this throne of grace because He made me his child so that I could come before that throne.


Okay that might have sounded a bit dramatic, but, let's face it-- this is a pretty dramatic act on God's part. Well, one more blog post checked off the proverbial list. I have got to post on here more often.... 

*doesn't post for 10 weeks*

Monday, October 20, 2014

late night musings

Well, fall break is over now. But that doesn't have to stop me from staying up until 2 in the morning to finish a book that I'm reading, does it? And even after that I couldn't sleep. So I started scribbling down thoughts, because... well, what else do you do late at night after you just finished an incredible book?

So, here's some late night musings for you [actually I'm kind of hoping it's just me that reads this, because I kind of see this as a journal type thing, where I can just get random thoughts out there. so let's just hope this doesn't go viral-- hah. But anyway this is beside the point......... please carry on.]


Can I just say that I love staying up late at night reading? There's such a sense of reckless abandon, and freedom. Everything else becomes a dream; the only reality is the one you hold in your hand. An electric sense of awareness awakens within you. As if you could go on forever.

But when the words dry up on the last of the pages, you feel the opposite affect. The adrenaline surges through your veins, the spirit of adventure pounding in your bloodstream. Anything is possible with bright pins of light  hanging just outside your window, tacked onto a sea of empty space. The words calling your name.

You tremble
On the brink of an adventure--
           a mere whisper of a breeze,
           one brilliant, dazzling surge of bravery,

                                      and you're off.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

hello, fall break

Aaaaaand my legs are completely covered in mosquito bites [oh, those pesthky mosthquitosth]. Excuse me while I smother them in Hyrdrocortisone.

It still feels fabulous, even after having warmed up over the past few days.

i s a i a h  5 5:9
Let's just go ahead and get to the point of this post. I have no idea why God is so good to me. I am literally just so baffled and overwhelmed right now. Just.... everything. His love is so much greater than my mind can even comprehend.
But more than just his general blessings, he has given me so much more. And I'm so. freaking ungrateful. I'm always discontent. What is this.
I deserve to be unendingly burnt up in Hell for all eternity in incomprehensible  physical/mental anguish. Do I ever really let that sink in? I'm afraid that I don't have an appropriate level of disgust and revulsion at the ugliness of my sin. But in spite of who and what I am, God chose to love me. He sent his only perfect son to die for me on a cross built by the hands of the very people he created. I can't even understand. And because of him, I have an eternity with him to look forward to, free from the bonds of sin.
And NOW, he's given me everything I could ask for and so much more. Okay, now I'm really tempted to do one of those thanksgiving posts, but I feel like that would be inappropriate since it's just early October [you know how inappropriate it is to thank God for anything when you're not in the month of November].
I feel like I could go on about this forever just being like: "how even?!', 'what is life', 'how do I handle it', or 'just....' but I should get back to school.
I guess it's always good to remind myself of my own sin [especially my self-absorption and discontent] and even better to remind myself of God's goodness. And don't worry. I'll be sure to post a thanksgiving one closer to the end of November.
Okay, now we've got some football going on in the front yard and a fire right off the porch. Goodbye, computer. Hello, fall break. [just kidding. I'll be working on my lab report by the fire]

Thursday, October 2, 2014

october // another school month

I'm sitting outside on our tiny back porch with the laptop overlooking a bit of mulch, a bit of grass, and a lot of trees (not including our woodpile).

As usual, I should probably be doing school, but I just got out of the shower and this weather is way too distracting. Not quite fall. But cool enough to sit outside comfortably.

Anyway, back to school. I'm not really sure how I feel about school. At times, I'm convinced I enjoy it. But at others [interrupts train of thought to yell "ew" at our dog, whose trying to get some attention from inside the house. she's extremely odd.] I don't really know. Overall, I'm pretty sure I like it. I do pretty well in my classes [don't even think about thinking about math in this context].

I really, really enjoyed my last year of history/literature. It was all centered around the 20th century. AGH. I LOVE IT. For one thing, I had never studied that era of history before, which is insane seeing as how I've studied the 18/19th centuries about 10983287 trillion times in my life. That era of history is so telling and fascinating to me. I'm not really sure why. Maybe I would have the same level of fascination with the rest of history if I hadn't truly studied it until now. I kind of wish I could do that...... hmh.

Anyway, I feel like the study of that time period gave me some context so that I could look at present history with new eyes. So I could see how we got [you should know I just flailed at a mosquito and managed to kill it] where we are. Also, it gives me so much more respect for all those generations who came before me. It makes me want to be sure that their sacrifices weren't in vain.

And it made me see the fallen-ness of man in a new lights. We are capable of a lot more crap than we realize. It made me thankful that God holds all of humanity back. And for some of us, he saves us from it all. Yeah, Hitler ad Stalin were really bad. But we could all be like that if not for God.
Praise God for God.

Well, this has turned out a *bit* longer than I had planned on. But that's fine. Let me just read over it and cut half of what I said.

[Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier: LITERATURE. Guys, we read Hemingway, Tolkien, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Lee, O'Conner, Bradbury, and more. How did I even handle it. I don't even know.]

I could go on for so much longer just getting random stuff out of my head and onto paper. I'm starting to feel kind of happy about this blog though. Cause no one will probably see it and I can just get stuff out whenever I want. yay.

So, this has been nice. But right now my family is about to put the new mat on the trampoline (aka Dad is still inside watching the news but the boys are eagerly waiting), so I will return!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

here we go.....

Already feeling overwhelmed. Off to a smooth start.

Maybe I should just try to give a few facts about myself... Is this okay? How're we doing? I don't know. I'm just gonna go for it.

1. I am a Christian, saved by grace through faith alone. My life revolves (to the best of my abilities) around him and his will for me.

2. I am the second oldest of six.......... I'm not even sure how I'm still surviving, but I wouldn't have it another way.

3. I am a..... very devoted fangirl. But this is another topic for another day. (Believe me, it will come up in later posts.)

4. I love to read, write, and draw (so original.), although I tend to waste a lot of my precious time on the internet instead.

5. I had the best childhood ever. I grew up/am still growing up in rural North Carolina, running barefoot on trails through the woods, eating popsicles on the back porch with our cousins, occasionally going swimming in the river. I could go on. My childhood is probably very romanticized in my mind.

Well, I've wanted to start a blog for a while, but never really knew where to start. Not really sure why I'm starting now (especially since it's during the middle of the school year) but I'm hoping that I'll keep up with it, even it just serves as a vent for my feelings or a reason to write. Who knows! Anyway, hoping this whole blog thing won't just fizzle out and die. At least I've got it started. Here we go...!

ps. 'summer of 1999' is when I was born. Which means I'm fifteen now. Just in case you wanted to know.