Thursday, December 29, 2011

This is Why

   I write because sometimes I just have let it all out.  I have to release my emotions.  Sometimes I've held it in long enough and I have express myself, my feelings, my sorrows, my love, my desires, and my passions.
   I write because the words come out different on paper.  Because sometimes I just can't do it any other way.  I try to tell you what I'm feeling, but I can't just say what's on my heart.  Let me write and the words flow easily.  I can share them with the world.
   I write because that's how God made me.  He gives me the words and I put them down on paper - and up on the web.  I write because Father wants me to.
    I write for you - and for them, and for everybody.  I write because there is a message that needs sharing.  The truth will set you free, but how if nobody tells you?  I write to show the world what God has shown me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This Was Not My Idea

   It's eighth grade Langueage Arts class, and the announcement has just been made that we are writing a research paper.  After the the initial groaning and complaining from the class are over, it's time to pick our topics. The teacher has a list to choose from, including a few that she calls "higher level thinking."  Those are the persuasive topics, where you can share your opinion, and I know I want of those.  But which one? 
   The teacher is going through her list, sharing what each subject includes.  When we get to stem cell research, most of the class has no idea what that is.  As she explains that there is conflict concerning the use of aborted babies' cells, tears come to my eyes and I almost start bawling right there in class.  I know it's God getting my attention.  Father, what are you trying to tell me? I pray silently, and then the answer comes.
   I know in my heart exactly what I'm supposed to do, but I try to convince myself that I don't really have to do that, that God knows that's too hard for me.  God, you've given me a strong passion to end this, but is this really what you want me to do? I struggle within myself the whole time the rest of the class is choosing their research topics, until finally my turn comes.  I take a deep, shaky breath. "Can I talk to you after class?"
   The bell finally rings, ending 3rd hour, and I approach the teacher at her desk.  "Well," I begin, "I'm not sure how you would feel about this, but stem cell research was on your list, so...." "Oh, no. You're not going to say what I think you're going to say are you?"  My teacher interrupts with a sigh.  "Yes, I think I am," I reply, gaining confidence the more I talk.  "Are sure there's nothing else you could write about?  Would your parents be OK with this?" She seems to be trying hard to change my mind, but I know now what I have to do.  "I'm sure they will be fine with it, and I want to write this paper.  I feel very strongly about abortion, but I will present both sides of the story, and I'll be careful to keep it appropriate."  My teacher finally agrees with, "Well, if that's really what you want to do, I trust you to do a good job of it."  The deal is sealed.
   We work on our papers for more than a whole quarter, with me gone for a week.  I work especially hard to make my paper the best it could possibly be.  There is a lot a research to sort through.  My parents are very supportive, and extremely helpful through this whole process. I want to vary my sources, but only use the most reliable.  I want my paper to be full of good information, but not overwhelmingly long and boring.  I want to expose both pro-life and pro-choice arguments, but make sure the truth is known.  I am determined to impress my teacher after she was so reluctant to give me this project.  Even more so, I desire to please God, since this was His idea in the first place.
   My job is almost complete.  My teacher is editing my second draft, and this is when I find out that whoever wants to can present their paper to the class for ten extra.  I don't need the extra credit, and I am telling myself that I don't have to do that, but at the same time I feel an urge to take the extra step.
   I tell my mom about it that night.  "Do you know what you're going to do?"  "Not really," I say, sounding unsure of myself.  I am scared of what people will think.  "Oh. Really..." Mom's tone tells me she knows I'll read my paper to the class.
   I am stressing way to much over this decision, and I turn to God.  Has He ever told you to shut up?  I learn that's what happens when you won't listen.  He tells me to be courageous, that if I share the truth, and live the truth, others will follow.  God asks me, "Why did you think I wanted you to write this paper in the first place?"  "OK, God, I get the picture.  I'll present the paper."
   Now it's the last day of the semester, and I am the 3rd person to read their paper to the class.  I feel confident, but I'm shaking at the same time.  I go to the front and present my paper.  I can tell I'm nervous because I stumble several times, and normally I am a very good reader.  I cast a few glances towards the class, but never make eye contact.  I am bolder for the last paragraph, my voice becoming stronger as I present my opinion about the horror of abortion.  I return to my seat amidst the claps and "Good job!"s of my classmates.  Several tell me my teacher was wiping tears from her eyes as she listened.  "She was? Wow."  I smile, but send a quick prayer heavenward for my teacher.  I thank God for how well it went, and for using me even through my fear.  I pray that He will use the words of my paper to show my peers the truth about abortion, and to change hearts.  I know He can do it.

This what really happened.  The whole thing was God's idea, and He carried it out.  I don't know why I ever doubted Him.
If you want to read the actual paper - apparently it's pretty good ;) - leave a comment and I will post it on here as soon as possible.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry CHRISTmas!

   Merry (day after) Christmas, everyone! 
   I have had a wonderful holiday - and it's really not over yet!  My aunt, uncle and their two kids, and Grandma Ginny came to spend Christmas with us.  We have played fun games, eaten yummy food, and just hung out.
   Our Christmas Eve is to have a telent-show-ish thing.  Everyone has to present something to the rest of the family.
Elaina played and sang "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
This is me showing my power point about the meaning behind "The Twelve Days Christmas."

Grandma played "O Come All Ye Faithful," and Morgan sang super quietly all by himself!

Dad read "The Legend of the Candy Cane."
We all listened very attentively.

At least most of us did....
Most of the time.
And Bekah just played on the slide.
Bethany sang a song for us about how she loves Christmas, God, and all of us.

Time for presents from Grandma!
Jonathon got Tim Tebow's book, "Through My Eyes." (I get it next!)
...And then he realized we were taking pictures.

Titus loves to play with the bike.
It makes everyone laugh so much!
Here's my sister and I with our gorgeous necklaces from Grandma.

   Mom and Dad hide all of our gifts on Christmas morning, and we have to find them all before we can open them.  The older you get, the harder Dad hides them, and I have to admit I had some trouble this year.  We were too busy to take pictures (sorry!) but it was great.  I got a beautiful scarf, a book, stationary for my letter-writing ministry-ish (it's waaayy prettier than notebook paper), and a new subscription to Susie magazine.  All the present were amazing, but really I just love spending time (not in school) with my family - not to mention the fudge. ;)
   So how was your Christmas?  I hope it was just as wonderful as mine - and I still have more!  Did you get any especially special gifts?  Do you have a unique family tradition?  Did you have a performance?  Tell me about it!
P.S Thanks to Aunt Chelle for the camera and most of the pictures!!

P.P.S.  The pantomime team at our church did two songs yesterday, and they did a phenomenal job!  They did "This is Christmas," and got a standing ovation. (We held service at our usual time, and the church was packed!)  Then they did "Christmas With a Capital C," and was hilarious, but also thought provoking.  Before you go, watch this video.  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Are We Sleeping?

Yes, you have to watch the video before you read the post. Listen to the words!!

   Are we sleeping here in America?  We're supposed to be advanced, privileged, smart, and progressive, but what are we really missing out on?  Have we deceived ourselves?
   Bethlehem slept while God's Son became human.  They dozed on the night off Christ's birth.  What should've been the greatest of celebrations was just another silent night.
   Where was Jerusalem when their Messiah was crucified?  They shunned and ignored Jesus during His ministry.  They were silent while He bled and died for their sins.
    What about us?  United States of America, will it be another silent night?  We call ourselves "Christian," but we are far from Godly.  We've been duped into doing, saying, and believing whatever sounds and feels good at the moment.  What lies and tricks are really behind it?  We accept whatever new philosophy is out there.  "Save the trees," but kill the children?  We pay God no attention, but He is coming - soon.  Will we be sleeping?

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping
United States of America
Looks like another silent night 
-Casting Crowns

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'd Rather Be a Proverbs 31 Woman

   Think of a Victoria's Secret model.  The picture of "perfection" and sexiness.  She's what every girl dreams of looking like.  What every guy wants to have.  Right?
   Now picture something -someone- better.  Someone valued more than rubies.  Someone a man would rather have than VS model.  A Proverbs 31 woman.
   Who would you rather be?
   A sex object or a woman who has true worth?  A girl wanted for her body or a woman a man can truly fall in love with?  The girl with skin-deep perfection or the woman who's beauty goes deeper and beyond her looks?  A girl who is falling apart on the inside or a woman who know who she is?
   Who will you be?