Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sleeping Handsome Blog Tour!

Hey all! Today I'm here as a part of Rebekah Eddy's blog tour for her latest book! It's a retelling of Sleeping Beauty- but with a unique twist! I have Rebekah here for an author interview and I'm reviewing the book--so let's get on with it, shall we?

Book summery:

Minnie's goal was to have a fun, worry free vacation with her best friend Amy. A few weeks spent in their favorite far away place before they both went back to their respective colleges. A visit to the many famous sights across the British Isles has been on both their bucket lists for a very long time, after all.
However, when a mysterious taxi driver mentions a legend that somehow concerns her ancestral heritage, she decides to dig deeper. After being accused of stealing the famous statue and tourist attraction known as Sleeping Handsome, Minnie and Amy are plunged into a world they would never have imagined existed.
Prince Gregory, after being awakened from being frozen in stone for hundreds of years, finds himself searching for his true love in order to reverse the stone spell on his kingdom and awaken the rest of his people. With his faithful horse Brutis by his side, he sets out to destroy his greatest enemy, release his kingdom from the stone spell, and win the heart of his princess.

Author Bio:

Rebekah grew up surrounded by family members who appreciated and read good literature. First, she fell in love with the stories her parents read aloud to her from the Bible and books like The Chronicles of Narnia, Great Expectations, The Hobbit, and Anne of Green Gables. After learning to read on her own, she discovered other fantastic books which helped to build her ever growing imagination.
She completed her first written work at the tender age of eight and now uses it to humble herself whenever the need arises. The story did serve to show her that God had given her a desire to write, however, and from that moment on Rebekah has never looked back or regretted picking up her pencil and becoming an author.
This nineteen-year-old homeschool graduate lives in rainy Western Washington and is currently working on receiving her BA in English in order to further her passion for creating worlds on paper.

My Review: 4 Stars

Well. That was quite the wile ride! I'm not a huge fan of fairy tales, but this retelling sounded so interesting I knew I'd have to give it a try. 
I'm so glad I did! Not only were the characters all amazing and unique, the setting as Europe. Does it get any better then that?
I related to Minnie a lot. Like, I'd be reading and think something, and a moment later, she was thinking the same thing. It was both awesome and a bit strange--I don't think that's ever happened with a fictional character before. ;) 
The only thing that I didn't like and, I feel, kinda made some of the book confusing, was that the families of the two main characters were only mentioned.  Like, I wanted more backstory! xD Also, it seems like they would have tried to stay in contact with them a bit better. But then again, this is part fantasy and it's a novella, so it didn't affect the story in a huge way. 
So yes, all in all a book I'd recommenced to guys and girls alike. The little bit of romance in the book is sweet and clean, and not enough a part of the story that guys would hate it. ;) 

Author Interview: 

1.) What was the inspiration for Sleeping Handsome? 

The story of "Sleeping Beauty" has always been my favorite fairytale. I had wanted to try a fairytale retelling ever since I started writing (originally, "The Princess and I" was going to be a fairytale retelling) but never really got around to it. During Thanksgiving break, sudden plot ideas and scene inspirations popped into my mind for a "Sleeping Beauty" retelling and I typed them out in a very unorganized fashion. First came the title, weirdly. Next, the first chapter. Then, the idea that most of the story actually be in present-day instead of the whole story being fairytale style. Everything else just fell into place. 

2.) Which character do you most relate to? 

A strange mixture of Minnie and Amy. I get a little annoyed at Amy sometimes, but at the same time, my personality is much closer to hers, so I realize I probably would act more like Amy in a given circumstance. 

3.) If you could choose one sentence in the book to sum up who you are as a person, what would it be? 

This is a quote from Minnie, describing her best friend, Amy. It sounds a little egotistical to put myself under this personality, but it was the closest one to myself:

“Unburdened by responsibility, cheerful no matter what the circumstances, and forever trusting and loving to everyone around her.”
(Excerpt From: Eddy, Rebekah. “Sleeping Handsome.”, 2018-01-30. iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.)

4.) The book is somewhat in between fantasy and contemporary. Which genre is your favorite to write? 

Contemporary is easier for me to write, but I like the challenge that comes with writing fantasy. 

5.) What's one resource that has been helpful in your writing? 

Strangely enough, Pinterest came in handy for "Sleeping Handsome". I was able to piece together several unique plot ideas into the original fairytale in order to come out with a (hopefully) one-of-a-kind retelling. :) Also, I know you said one resource, but I have to add this one: my family. A lot of the little details came into being through ideas from various younger siblings. The fact that Brutis is a flying AND speaking horse came from my sister, and the fireman's uniform idea came from a brother. (You won't know what either of those things are until you read me book *evil author chuckle*) 

6.) How many questions can I ask? B-) 

Well, it's a LITTLE late to ask that, isn't it? XD 

7.) In what ways would you like to see God working through your writing? 

Of course my motto is ~ Let everything you do be done for the glory of God ~ so I hope my books do that. :) 

8.) And in what ways as your writing brought you closer to God? 

I wouldn't be a writer without Him. Just the fact that I can create whole worlds and people out my brain overwhelms me with a sense of awe toward the Creator who made my imagination. With my writing has come a whole new world of other Christian teen authors, and with that has come amazing online fellowship. So many times my group of friends on here have surrounded me with prayer support and encouragement at the exact time I needed it the most. They have helped strengthen my walk with God more than any research I've done for any of my books. <3 

Anddd... that's it for this post! Doesn't the book sound fascinating? Are you gonna pick up a copy? (If you like fairy tails, you should!) 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentines day: Advice from Blimey Cow and George Strait

So, I'm sure everyone has heard the term that Valentine's day is "singles awareness day". Personally, I find the term a bit offensive. I mean, why do I need to be aware that I'm single? Why can't I live life in my own little happy world pretending that I have a guy who adores me? WHY MUST I FACE REALITY?! 


Okay, not really. And to all my fellow christian young people out there who don't have a date for Valentine's day . . .  *whispers* It's okay. We get more chocolate anyway. We don't have to share. I mean, hey, that's reason enough to celebrate. Also, I have the perfect evening lined up for you. So grab a blanket, some chocolate, and a teddy bear, and let's get some  relationship advice from the experts. 
What? You weren't thinking about relationships at all today? Hmm, yeah, I believe you. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone your secret.
(Also, to anyone who's curious, Blimey Cow is a christian youtube channel Oftentimes their videos deal with the messy/real things of life, but in a humorous and funny way. All of them are clean. ;)) 


Do you wanna know how to get that guy to like you? Are you trying to figure out how to get him to see you as more then a friend? Look no further! (But in all honesty, this one has some great advice on how to be who God made you to be... not the girl everyone likes.)

Just be yourself. Because let's be honest, you're actually pretty cool. 
Want to be 'just friends' with that great person? Be sure and check this out. Jordan walks you through the process with his usual ease. Though, remind me why we want to be just friends on Valentine's day? 
Pretend it's possible. That totally works. But according to this... it's not. 

The third wheel. We've all been there. If nothing else, Jordan will make you feel as if you're no longer alone. Someone else understands your plight. We must stand together, us outcasts. *nods solemnly* 
Stay strong, because there's no end in sight. 

Want to get the attention of that special guy or girl? Be sure and use some of these pick up lines! They're guaranteed to assure the other person you mean what you say! And of course, it helps to show right off the bat that you are a believer. Or . . . maybe you just study your Bible really well. 

Are you Adam? Because to me you're the only man in the world. 
Are you a homeschooler dating another homeschooler? Or maybe you like a homeschooler and want to know how to speak their language. Either way, in the video below lies all the advice you'll need. A guide to dating -excuse me-courting a homeschooler. 

The next time you're with your crush, causally throw out a reference to the Princess Bride! 

And now, at the end of it all, maybe we need to take a break and realize the truth- It's okay to be single! God's got us here for a reason... and I'm pretty sure that reason isn't so we can lament the lack of special someone. 
Your worth isn't determined by your relationship status.  Keep that in mind y'all. 


So you say, okay, but where does George Strait fit in? Well, he's written some beautiful country love songs. That are actually clean. xD And what is Valentine's day without a love song? But here I want to break off from the silly/humerus part of the post, and take on a bit more serious of a tone. 


Y'all, this is love at its finest. It's messy. It hurts. It requires sacrifice. (You can't tell me that being awake for eighteen hours to be with your wife as she's in labor isn't sacrifice.)
Love requires being there for someone. Even when it isn't easy. 
But this song talks about more then that. It's about how it's possible to see God by looking at the world around us. A tiny flower. A  sunset crested by mountains. A tiny, newborn baby. Each and every one is a reminder of the God who loves us. And who sacrificed His only Son to show us what love really means. 

Love never ends. And it doesn't matter what happens . . . Love bears all things. Hopes all things. Endures all things. Love never fails. It's not a feeling. It's making a decision each and every day to love. To put that person first. To care for their needs ahead of you own. It's a hard choice. Love isn't easy. But it is possible. God is love. And he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God. 
You cannot love without God. You can't. It's just not possible. Make sure you're grounded in Christ, before you even lift your eyes to watch for that special someone. 
Because if not, you'll never be able to love them the way Christ commands. 


So yes. There you have it. Relationship advice - both humorous and serious. ;) I hope y'all enjoyed and had some fun! And I also hope you had chocolate. Because honestly, that's what Valentine's day should be about - National Chocolate Day, anyone? 

I leave you with this song, just because. It's one of my favorite George Strait songs, and the music is just so pretty! 

Happy Valentine's Day! =) 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Valentines Day Book Sale!

What's better then cozying up a goo book for Valentines day? A bunch of Indie authors have gotten together for a fantastic valentines day book sale! The sale starts tomorrow and goes through Thursday the 15th. Be sure to check them out below and grab some of the deals!

Free eBooks
Poison Kiss by Kendra Ardnek
Forget Not by Rebekah Morris
The Dressmaker's Secret by Kellyn Roth
The Lady of the Vineyard by Kellyn Roth 
Coffee Cake Days by Amanda Tero

$0.99 eBooks
Water Princess, Fire Princess by Kendra Arnek  
Finding Joy by Rebekah Morris
Gift from the Storm by Rebekah Morris
The Fragrance of Geraniums by Alicia Ruggieri
Befriending the Beast by Amanda Tero
Journey to Love by Amanda Tero
A Question of Honor by Jesseca Wheaton
Beyond the Horizon by Jesseca Wheaton

$1.99 eBooks
Lady Dragon, Tela Du by Kendra Ardnek
All Our Empty Places by Alicia Ruggieri  
A Love to Come Home To by Alicia Ruggieri
The House of Mercy by Alicia Ruggieri
The Secret Slipper by Amanda Tero

$2.99 eBooks
Finding Mera by Elizabeth Marie

$3.99 eBooks
A Time of Grace 3-in-1 by Alicia Ruggieri 

25% off paperback

Dandelion Dust by Faith Potts

Any favorite books for Valentines day? Are you going to be checking out any of these deals?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

BookBurn Candles!

Hello all! So, I had a post that was supposed to go up today . . . and then forgot that I hadn't scheduled it. So here it is a bit late in the day. ;) 
Today I'm joining Ivy in her newest endeavor--which is is quite an amazing undertaking!

Hey everyone! I’m Ivy Rose, the author of The Old River Road and Left to Die, and I’m excited to be announcing my newest bookish endeavor!
Doesn’t everyone love a flickering candle that smells like their favorite book? I know I do! I'm excited to finally be opening my Etsy shop, BookBurn Candles.
With scents inspired by literary classics, authors, writers, and readers alike will love these adorable candles. Bookish candles make fantastic gifts for all book enthusiasts.
BookBurn Candles are made with natural soy wax, cotton wicks, and essential oils, making them as allergy-friendly as possible. They are available to purchase on Etsy.
Who in your life needs a bookish candle? (Is it you? That’s okay, too. ;-) )

Follow BookBurn Candles on Instagram for the first look at new scents and special deals!

Ivy Rose, the creator of BookBurn Candles, is a young novelist with a passion to create beautiful fiction. Armed with a desire to make scenarios readers can easily relate to, she writes in many genres about ordinary individuals faced with extraordinary choices. As a chronic illness warrior, Ivy eagerly encourages others to find joy no matter what the circumstances. In her free time, she loves dancing, playing music, or enjoying various outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest.

I've yet to try these candles, but I can't wait to do so! They look quite amazing and I mean, come on, BOOK INSPIRED SCENTS?! Yes, please! Be sure and check them out!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Writing Update/Cover Reveal

Yes, that's right. I'm combining two things in one post. Which actually ended up working out pretty well. Because a cover reveal ties right into my current writing projects. xD

Right now I'm working on A Question of Loyalty, book #3 in my Questions of War series.  (Which is actually the book the cover reveal is for, butttt . . . that'll come later. ;)) It's currently being Alpha read by some amazing ladies, and I've got a bunch of notes and edits and changes that I can't wait to start working on. Though, I have a feeling it's gonna end up a lot longer then it is. Hopefully I can keep it under 95K, though? Here's to hoping! *nods*

Also, I've started working on a few different projects, as well as a short story for this month. I'm currently drafting a contemporary novella, and I'm not sure exactly where that's gonna go yet. I haven't written contemporary before, so it's a new experience! I'm not sure how I like it. It almost seems too easy to write, as there really isn't much research that I need to do.  It's kinda fun at the same time, though. So I'm just gonna go with it and see where it ends up. ;)

As for the short story for this month . . . what do y'all want? I'm thinking something like a modern military short story. With a bit of romance, since it's valentines day. Or I could do a WWII story, that would probably end up bittersweet. Like, I can't write just happy war stories for some reason. (I don't know why. I probably need help.) Those are the only two ideas I have. Sooo if y'all have any suggestions . . . let me know in the comments!

Okay, I've talked enough about writing. Now onto the cover reveal. (By the way, I'm curious... how many of y'all scrolled down here to see the cover first before reading all that^?)

It took my cover designer four or five different tries on a cover before she came up with one I loved. She's amazing and so patient, though. So she stuck with me till the end. ;) She also sent it to me saved as the name of the concentration camp in the book. Because yeah. I forgot what camp my main character ended up at. Anyway. Onto the cover . . .

Isn't it amazing?! And the clock is gonna play a part in the story, so I LOVE how it's made more noticeable by being the 'o' in 'Loyalty'!  I have some lovely ladies joining me in the reveal, so be sure and check out their posts!


Anddd . . .I think that's all for today! Have a wonderful weekend! 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

What God's been teaching me: January in Reflection

So. I've actually gotten a schedule made up for the next two months. I'm pretty pleased with myself . . . it isn't often that I plan so far ahead. xD 

February 3rd: What God's been teaching me: January 
February 10th: Writing Update
February 17th: Currently Reading books
February 24th: Short Story/chapter
March 3rd: What God's been teaching me: February
March 10th: Writing Update 
March 17th: Currently Reading books 
March 24th: Short Story/chapter
March 31st: What God's been teaching me: March 

Also, yes, I realize that right now, the blog is kinda a mess. I'm working on getting a new design and I'm actually going to be working with the amazing Sav from Scattered Scribblings on it, so bear with how it looks right now. xD It's temporary, I assure you! 
Also, I meant to post last week, but I thought we had one more weekend in January . . . time moves to fast for my brain. Thankfully, March saved me by having 5 Saturdays, so I can get caught up. 

*clears throat* *tries to ignore the fact that I'm no good with intros*

January was a crazy busy, full, insane month. Honestly, I can't believe we're already in February. A lot happened in January. Some good, some not so good. I managed to get a lot of reading done (yay!) and work started back up again after a nice long Christmas/New Year's break. 

I know that for me, January can often be a mixed month. On the one hand, I'm excited for a new year, and always have a nice little amount of plans and goals that I can't wait to accomplish in the New Year. But ten again, as January winds down, I start to lose the excitement I had for the new year. Yes, I still want to accomplish things . . .but suddenly it doesn't seem as exciting. Life sets in. 

There has been two things God's been teaching me this month. The first is that . . . February is every bit as exciting as January. It has 28 days that have never been lived. It's a new months, with every bit of promise that January had. 
So why are we so often less excited for February then January? I'm not sure. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that there's a new year to live that has no mistakes in it yet. And after January, we realize that we've managed to mess up a lot. And already, the year isn't as beautiful and clean as it was before.

But that's where grace comes in. No matter what we happened in January, or what we were (or weren't) able to accomplish, God gives us a new chance every day. Every month. Something new. And you know what? Every day ahead is already bathed in His grace. Do you know how amazing that is? We don't have to strive to be perfect, or complete all those goals we had, because even when we fail, God is there. And in His grace and love and mercy, He picks us back up and puts us on the right track, no matter how many times we fall. 
Anyone excited now for a new day tomorrow? ;) 

The second thing God's been teaching me . . .wait and be still. But when the time comes, take the first step in faith. That's what God's really laid on my heart as a lesson this month. And I have a feeling it's gonna a reoccurring lesson this year. There's a lot of unknowns in life right now. I have dreams and goals and plans, but I'm not sure how many of them will actually be a part of God's plan for this year.  This month, I ended up in a situation where I had to make the decision to make the first step. And even though I'm normally okay with being the leader . . .in this area, I really, really didn't want to be the person to make the first move. 

And it was then that I realized . . .sometimes waiting is easier then when you know you need to take that first step. Maybe it's in something small and seemingly insignificant, but means a lot to you. Maybe it's a decision that will change the course of your life. 
And, for me at least, it was terrifying. Suddenly, waiting, which I had hated so much before, suddenly looked easy and inviting. 

There are times to wait. There are times to step out and do the next right thing, no matter how small or large it may be. And you know what? 
God is with you in the waiting. And when you stand up and He shines light on that next step, He's there walking beside you. 
And somehow, knowing that you're not alone makes everything so much easier. 

Psalm 37:4-5 Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart, Commit thy way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. 

Isaiah 64:4 From the begining of the world, men have not heard, nor percived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, besides Thee, what Thou hast prepared for him that waiteth upon Thee. 

Isaiah 65:24 It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness . . .

How was your month? ;) 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Cover Reveal Sign-Up

Hello people! First off, a huge thank you to everyone who replied to my post last week! it seems like y'all like a variety of posts, so I'm working on coming up with a schedule. Something like . . .

 Week One  - Writing update/snippets
Week Two - Currently reading/Books I recommend
Week Three -  Short story/Story chapter
Week Four - What God's been teaching me this month

How does that sound? Knowing me, I'll probably be throwing in a few extra posts now and then as well, these will just be the general schedule. And hopefully it will get me posting consistently every week. xD
Also, normally I've posted on Fridays . .  .but that's always been a huge struggle for me, since Thursday is one of the busiest days of the week. So I'm thinking on switching to either Saturday or Sunday. Which day would y'all prefer to read a post on here? 

Okay, enough about future posts. I should just get today's written. As the title said, I have a cover reveal sign up for y'all today! I'm working with my cover designer for A Question of Loyalty's cover, and I can't wait to share it with y'all! It's BEAUTIFUL! As of now, my Alpha readers for AQoL are pointing out the million and one flaws in it, and showing me ways to improve it. I'm hoping for a publishing date around September . . . we'll see how quickly the editing goes. xD 

Anyway. The cover reveal will be on February 10th, and I will send you the cover and info at least a week before. And . . . I think that's all. *nudges you to the sign-up* 

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 --- What do you want to see?

Well, 2018 is officially happening. And has been for the past nineteen days or so. ;)  I meant to get this post up sooner, but haven't had a chance. Life's been crazy busy as of late.

So. Anyway. A new year is here. And with it, I want to make some changes on the blog. I know my posting has been sporadic as of late, and I hope to remedy that. But I also want to make sure that I'm posting things you want to read. So here comes the real reason of this post. I want to know what you want to see posted on Whimsical Writings for His Glory. Anything and everything -- let me know! I want to hear your ideas. ;) Anything from writing, to books, to life, to more serious posts on various issues and everything in between. Leave a comment and let me know what you want to see. I can't wait to hear from y'all!

Monday, January 1, 2018

To Everything there is a Season

Um, okay, so, I'm siting here in the chair shaking my head and wondering how in the world another year has already passed. It seems like now all I have to do is blink and 365 days are . . .gone. Never again to be lived by any human on this earth.

This year was . . . full and insane and beautiful. Looking back now, it's probably been the busiest year I can remember. A lot of change happened. A lot of new experiences. A lot of new adventures. To sum it up, a lot of 'new' happened, and all the changes this year scared me nearly to death.(But not all the way because I'm obviously still alive. At least, I think I am. Maybe?) And just to warn y'all, this post is long. Proceed with caution.

This year, I couldn't decide which 'word' I wanted to be my word of the year. And so I ended up with two. I can't explain why I chose them, but I had a feeling that 2017 would challenge everything that was familiar and safe. And it did. The two words were Adventure, and Horizon. And goodness, did I ever have some adventures. Some I loved, others . . . not so much. And I definitely widened my horizons quite a bit, in many different ways. I went on a missions trip. I visited five new states. Had my eyes opened to life in another country. Friends of mine fell in love. Others made their way to college. And everyone I know was challenged in some way or another in their walk with Christ. God decided I needed to learn how to wait on Him, and trust that, in the end, He would work everything out for His glory.

2017 taught me a lot  And it changed me. For that I'm forever grateful.

Okay, um, yeah, so after that long introduction . . . let's get on with it, shall we?

Writing Update 

From Pinterest

In 2017, I managed to write roughly 155K words across several various projects. I also somehow published four different titles?! My two full length novels, A Question of Honor and A Question of Courage were published in March and December, and two shorter stories, A Place Called Lonesome and  As in Olden Days released in May and October. And I'm honestly not quite sure how that happened. I participated in all three NaNoWriMo events, and met my goal each time. In fact, in April and November, I went over my goal by around 15K words, ending with 65K length drafts. 
So . . . yeah. God was definitely working in this are in 2017, because, looking back, I have no idea where I found the time to work on all of these projects. Which brings me to the next point . . . 

Life: Circa 2017

From Pinterest
This year was crazy. And I'm not just saying that. I graduated, went on a missions trip to Mexico, Visited a friend in North Carolina, and had a friend from Washington come and visit me here. I started working as a teacher in our church's preschool class, published 4 books, started a job at a Homeschool Co-op . . . and decided what educational options I want to pursue in 2018. 
In the midst of that my family sold our home in July of this year, and since then we've been living in our RV on a farm alongside a river. Sooo ... yes. I think Adventure summed up the year quite nicely.

One of my good friends started a serious realtionship with a guy. Another, while not in a relationship yet, seems to be heading that direction. Those were two huge changes that rocked the last half of this year and made me reevaluate pretty much everything. Also, it made me forever thankful for one dear friend who doesn't live too far away. Her family opened up their home to be and I was over there with her several times this year and we'd just talk about everything. It was a special blessing that I know I'll never take forgranted. <3

2017 brought another huge change I wasn't quite expecting. Pretty much all my "younger" siblings aren't really young anymore. 
Okay, so, this didn't happen in a year . . . obviously. xD But this year I realized it. Like, wow, okay, everyone is doing their own activities and things now and . . . everyone's gotten older. Life in general has just changed a lot from the slow, easy days where we stayed and home and did school all day. (I mean, that was what it seemed like. xD) 

Also, help. My 'little' bro is almost taller then me. 
Anyway. A lot happened in 2017. A lot of new challenges, a lot of new opportunities and a lot of ways to grow. And guys, I struggled with that a lot. I'm . . . not a person who likes change. And If I had the choice, I probably never would have grown up. I want to still be the little girl who can crawl up onto Daddy's lap when something's wrong and he'll take care of it for me. 

But this year I learned that it's okay to grow up. Childhood will always hold the fondest memories, but there are some precious memories still to be made in the future. And even though it hurts to let go and realize, wow, I am an adult, It's good. Because this is life as God designed it. Seasons come and seasons go. And each one brings its own bursts of color. And with each new season, memories are made that will never be forgotten. So let go. Enjoy each and every moment. And while it's okay to look back . .. don't wish you were still there. Because God's plan isn't for your past. It's for your future. 

What God Taught me this year: 

From Pinterest

I could probably write a book on this. Or at least try. I feel like this year was a roller coaster of ups and downs in my walk with God. I learned a lot this year. Some of the lessons were ones I wish I wouldn't have had to learn, but I know they were put in my life for a reason. Accepting change, letting go of things I can't control, and learning to trust in God's plan. And y'all, those are some really, really hard lessons to learn.
But the hardest? Learning to wait. And for the past two months, that seems to be a theme in my life. Waiting. I am not a patient person, y'all. To say the least. And there's been one, or rather, two areas of my life where I've been begging God for a yes or no answer. But all He's told me is to wait. And hat's been hard.
But I've learned that even in a season of waiting, God bring unexpected blessings along the way to let you know that He's got it all under control. And I think that is the most important thing I've learned this year.

Word of 2018 

From Pinterest

You may have noticed that last year I used two words . . . and I plan to do the same this year. Trust and Treasure. I want to treasure each and every moment that comes along, no matter how small or large it may be. And throughout the year that if full of the unknown, I need to be reminded to trust that in it all, God has a plan. And He's there with me, holding my hand, through every step of life. And all I need to do is trust Him. 

2018 Goals

From Pinterest

I'm not going to have a crazy long list here, because I've learned that it's not always a good idea to make a lot of goals at the beginning of the year, when you have no idea what the year will hold. These are just a few things I hope to have completed by the time this year ends. 

-Read through the Old Testament I read through the New several times this year, but only read certain books from the Old Testament. 
-Grow Closer to God
-Make the friendships I have with the girls I know even stronger, no matter what the year may throw our way.  
-Publish A Question of Loyalty
-Enroll and complete the certification course at our local community college to be become an EMT (So excited about this one, y'all!)
-Spend time with my siblings more. This seems to be getting harder as we all get older
-Embrace the new experience life brings, and trust that in each of them, God is making me more into the person He wants me to be. 
-Live. Laugh. Love. It may sound slightly cliche, but I want to live life to the full and treasure every moment. To learn to laugh at myself, even when others may be watching. And to love. Because I've been commanded to show the love of Christ to a hurting world. And because love, in and of itself, is beautiful. 

The year of our Lord two thousand and seventeen is over, y'all. We stand on the threshold of a brand new year that has never before, in the history of the world, been lived. Will you join me in jumping headlong into the unknown world that we call 2018? 

From Pinterest

Monday, December 25, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Christmas Day

Well, y'all, it's here. Christmas Day. Merry Christmas, y'all! I hope y'all have an amazing day celebrating the birth of our Savior. Christmas eve yesterday was nothing short of amazing for my family. And guys, I just have to say . . . in my opinion, the candlelight service at church is one of the most special things about Christmas.

So yes. After an amazing Christmas eve, as we go on to celebrate Christmas, let's remember, even in the busyness of it all, the real meaning for this day. A baby born in a manger, who became the King who died on the cross to take away our sins. And he is also the Conqueror who rose again, triumphing over sin and death.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Merry Christmas 2017, Y'all. I hope y'all have a blessed and amazing day while we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Snowflake Reverie

Hello all! I'm back today with a super short Christmas story for y'all. It's a bit different from any story I've written, but one that's very close to my heart. So I hope y'all enjoy. And Merry Christmas eve! ;) 

Snowflake Reverie 

The cold seemed to close in around Janna as she walked along the bank of the river. The moon high in the sky glinted off the surface of the water, showing where bits of it had turned to ice.  Everything seemed still, and the snow crunched deliciously beneath her feet; the only sound in the otherwise silent night.
Turning, she could see the lights of the house on the hill above her, glimmering in the otherwise dark world. Her breath caught at the beauty of it all. It was Christmas eve, and everything seemed picture perfect.
So why, then did she feel this way?
With a sigh she turned back to the river. One constant thing in the world that seemed to be forever changing.
Making her way to a cluster of rocks, she found her usual seat on the top, flat rock that overlooked the area. Thank goodness she had thought to wear her heavier jacket. She hadn’t realized just how cold it was.
Taking the notebook from her pocket, she slipped the cap off the sharpie pen she always kept on hand, and opened the book to the next blank page. But what was there to write? A frustrated sigh escaped her lips, and she laid the book down. Why did life have to suddenly become so complicated?  
Sitting in the silence, she let her eyes drift close. She could feel the wind as it brushed her cheeks, and the tree branches above her creaking in protest. And below, the same sound she’d remembered hearing since she was a little girl.
The almost musical sound of the water tumbling across its charted course.
Christmas was going to be different this year. And she hated that. Maybe she shouldn't  hold traditions so dearly, but she did. They were such little things to everyone else, but to her . . . they were tangible reminders of Christmases past.
Why did life have to change so?
She didn’t want to be an adult, and she hated the busy, non-stop pace it seemed to bring. It had invaded every part of life. But she had held out a hope that Christmas would be the same. That it would be what it always had been.
But it wasn’t. And she was wrong to have thought it would.
Like the water rushing below her, life was full of twists and turns she hadn’t expected.
A tear escaped her eye, and she didn’t bother to brush it away. It seemed as if, unconsciously, her family had managed to skip most of the traditions she held dear. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to do them, but rather, they were too busy.
This wasn’t right. It shouldn’t be this way. It should be all of them, together. Not just whoever was home. After all, Christmas was about family and coming together to celebrate. Not everyone rushing around to try and finish up their sports activities of business before the holiday.
She opened her eyes, and to her surprise, the sky above her was littered with specks of white that glittered against the darkness of the horizon. It was so peaceful, so serene. A stark contrast to the turmoil she felt within. Why was it so hard for her to accept change?
Her mind wandered back to the first Christmas. And suddenly, she realized something. The night that so many referred to as the ‘Silent Night’ really would have been anything but silent. Bethlehem was crowded. To the point that there was no room in any inn for the expectant mother.  And she could testify from experience that the stable was not the most quiet place, either. Jesus didn’t come to a world of peace and special family traditions. No, He was born into a world of chaos. A world very much like the one she lived in.
And He as the reason for Christmas. Not family or traditions. And while everything else changed, He stayed the same.
As she sat there, feeling the icy kiss of the snowflakes tingle on her cheeks, she realized something.
Bending over the page in front of her, she scribbled out a few sentences. The black ink stood out in stark contrast to the soft white of the page.

The only One who can truly satisfy the human heart is the One who made it.

As long as she kept her eyes on the Baby in the manger and not on all the distractions the world provided, everything would be okay. He was the one thing that remained steadfast, unchanging, when every other thing around was unknown.