Friday, December 22, 2017

An Early Christmas Present

Sometimes presents come in little packages. Sometimes they come in cute bags. And sometimes they just come with string. But then there are times you receive a gift that just takes your breath away. A gift of a person. A friend. A family member.

This season is so wrapped up in getting that gift you always wanted or finding that perfect gift to give. Often we forget that one of the greatest gives we have to give is of ourselves. Our love.

Last weekend was rough for me. There was stuff in life that was racing toward its deadlines, painful memories that wouldn't let me rest, unshed tears that wanted to break free. I kept looking toward Christmas as being a weekend of bliss, of no worries. Just a time with family and friends. But that pesky thing called reality kept whacking me over the head. Then, Monday night the door rang. I thought it was my Dad returning from his errands or the delivery guy with another package. But on the other side of that door was my grandma.

Now you must understand, my grandmother lives in a different state than I do and I only get to see her a few times a year. And what times we do get to see her it is because we drive near 10 hours to see her. And now on this dark winter night, my grandma was standing on my doorstep, smiling that classic grandma style, her eyes sparking with that mischievous delight of her successful surprise.

I did not know how to react. Squealing and jumping up and down had never really been my style. Throwing my arms open and running to her wasn't either. I just stood there, probably looking ridiculous, and let my eyes widen in shock. My heart nearly burst from my chest and I could feel the tears rushing in. When I managed to get my legs working, I gave her a hug and just held on

Grandma is that person you always feel safe with. She is the best friend you can tell anything to. She is that companion you can do silly things with and be yourself. She is that figure of wisdom and experience. She is that humor ready to make your day. She is that tender voice that tells you you are going to make it through anything. Grandma took a day I wished I could forget forever and turned it into a moment I would never forget.

So Grandma, if you are reading this. Thank you. Thank you for coming and staying with us. Thank you for surprising me at the moment that I needed it. Thank you for loving me and making memories with me that I shall cherish for all of time. I love you very much.

Merry Christmas everyone, and God bless each and every one of you!

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Heart of Thankfulness

There are so many things in my life to be thankful for. With time flying by so quickly it is hard to stop and reflect on all the blessings that have come through the year. I am constantly reminded to live in each moment and treasure the memories that are made. I love this time of the year because of the focus on gratitude. We often forget how blessed we are and are distracted with the things we do not have. So I urge you to stop and look back on the past year. Think of the fun times you had, the people you got to meet, the things you were blessed with. And as we go into the holiday season ahead, don't lose sight of what you already have.

One of the things I am grateful for this year is my friends. They have been there for me through the good and the bad. Each one has encouraged me in their own way and brought joy and laughter to my life. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a light in each of their lives, to help where I can and share in the making of memories. My friends are family to me. Each have a special place in my heart and always will.

Last week I was blessed with a visit from two precious friends from Indiana. I don't get to see them very often and the time we do get together was amazing. It was such a blessing to me and something I really needed. We ventured through San Fransisco, did crafts and nails, watched movies and played games, sang along to movie soundtracks, stayed up late talking, viewed monarch butterflies, educated ourselves at a mini aquarium in Santa Cruz, and visited the beach. The week was one of the best weeks of my life.

God is so good and faithful. He knows exactly the kind of friends we need in our lives and orchestrates friendships in the most incredible ways. His blessings are limitless and He loves you all very much. Give Him praise and thanks for all he has done in your life. Happy Thanksgiving y'all and have a blessed holiday week!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Recent Travels

The last few weeks I have been doing a bit of traveling, as many of you already know. My family and I took a week vacation to see the foliage in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Yes, we took a vacation to view leaves. Fall in California is much different than Fall in New Hampshire. Our leaves go green, to a dying orange, and then brown. Over there the leaves change into vivid pinks, golds, oranges, reds, and caramel colors. It’s breathtaking. Driving through the White Mountains became my favorite thing to do in the day. We saw dozens of covered bridges, cute old towns, ponds, and farms. Our family hiked a few trails, visited Robert Frost's home in Franconia, NH, toured the Vermont State House and New Hampshire's State House, drove by the Canterbury Shakers Village, and ventured into Maine. At the end of our trip we went into Boston. We walked part of the freedom trail, viewed the State House, stood where the Boston Massacre occurred, walked through the cemetery where Paul Revere was buried and King's Chapel. 

A week after I returned home, I boarded a plane and headed off to meet my dad in Wichita, Kansas. I know, its a strange place to go, but I had my reasons. I recently finished writing a novel about the Orphan Train Movement. Well, in Concordia, Kansas there is an Orphan Train Museum. So I set of in the name of research. Dad picked me up at the airport and we drove a few minutes to our hotel. On the top floor we could see for miles of flat, Kansas plains. Dad and I walked down by the Keeper of the plains and Old Town Wichita. I tried a Philly Cheese steak for the first time and loved it! The next day we strolled in Chisholm Creek Park where we saw cardinals and strange green fruit that we later found out were Osage Oranges. Driving up to Abilene we toured Eisenhower's boyhood home, museum, library, and resting place. The next day was my favorite. We drove up into Concordia and toured the Orphan Train Museum. It had plaques with information next to large photographs of the children on the streets of New York, the train they went on, the hardships they went through. Personal stories sat next to photographs of children who were sent west. Small artifacts sat in cases on display. It was so intriguing and yet so heartbreaking. Some of the stories made me cringe. The fact that a human being could treat another so terribly and then the sweet generosity of the missions and families that took them in was overwhelming. On our way out of town we drove by a POW camp and a convent. Our last day, on our way to the airport, we stopped by the Old Cowtown in Wichita. The cute old buildings carried so much history and created a wonderful atmosphere for learning. 

I am truly blessed to be able to travel as much as my family does. It was fun hanging out in new places with my family and I loved the one on one time with my dad. I love flying and seeing new sights. Learning history while enjoying new lands is inspiring. I was inspired by the Kansas, which serves as the setting of my last novel, that I constantly lost myself in my character's story. The Orphan Train Museum inspired me to try and write another book on the subject. I have been trying to write a different genre but I realized I can't write it the way I want when my heart is still in something else. It took a trip to the middle of Kansas for me to realize this. I'm excited for the new avenues ahead in traveling, writing, and life and am eagerly waiting for a new adventure.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Be An Encourager

"Be an encourager. There world has plenty of critics already." - Dave Willis

The world has been trying to force standards on people for years. People are being told to be different than who they are. They are told they need to change to fit in. They claim it will bring confidence, success, and happiness. But all it brings is a temporary satisfaction for those who can reach the standard; tears for those who constantly "fall short" of the standards; and despair for those who can't even begin to work toward the standards. Everything has an expiration date. The standard for one day will change faster than it can be achieved. The world is being told to chase after the next best thing. During this race, there is criticism each step of the way. It is given as an "incentive" to change, to be better. But it is not uplifting. It is not encouragement.

But this never works. There is no satisfaction. We are all unique and perfect in God's eyes. He has woven our personality, our interests, and our talents into every fiber of our beings so that not one person is the same as the next. We were made to go against the grain. It is how we shine. We are not to criticize to get someone to move down their path of life. Criticism is the act of tearing down. It stumbles and stings. Encouragement is meant to spur one another on. It is a tool meant to build one another up. It is a gift meant to bless one another daily.

The world has tons of people tearing one another apart. Why don't we change that? Why don't we encourage each other when the going gets tough. Why cut someone down when they are already low? Go along side them and encourage with a kind word, with a sincere gesture, and with a sacrifice of time. Wouldn't you want someone to do that for you? Put yourself in their shoes. Think back to the times where someone went out of their way to help you, to encourage you. Do you remember the way it made you feel? The impact it had on your day? Your life?

Join me by encouraging people. Send someone an encouraging text. Write a kind letter. Give someone a hug. Smile at someone you come across. Let them know that you care. Give a little of yourself. You never know how it could change someone's life.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hope for Healing: Rain's Health Journey

Everyone has a struggle in this life. Some come and go, while others may linger for months and even years, but there is always hope. This month I had the honor of interviewing a very close friend of mine, Rain, regarding her health. She who has been one of my biggest inspirations not only in the struggle with health, but in life. I have never known anyone so positive and brave.

What illness(es) do you have? Most of my health issues are very hard to diagnose, but as far as we know, these are the things I have/had: I was born with a heart murmur, later I was diagnosed with Orthostatic Intolerance/hypotension, and then Lyme's Disease/Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, yeast overgrowth, severe environmental/seasonal allergies, food allergies, heavy metals in my blood, scarlet fever infection in my throat and sinuses, weak liver and kidneys, vocal cord dysfunction, and scoliosis.
Can you give a brief description of the illness/symptoms you have? Fatigue, dizziness, stomach and chest pain, back pain, overall aches/pain in arms and legs, migraines, brain fog, nausea/acid reflux, weakness, allergy symptoms. (Note: some of these are chronic but I don't have all of these 24/7, praise God!)
How long have you been battling it? I was diagnosed with Orthostatic Intolerance when I was 16 and Lyme's Disease when I was 17. ( So, about 4 years since the diagnosis/first treatment)
How much did it change your day to day life? It completely changed my everyday life, but our God is so much bigger than our day. Even though I lost a lot of friends, and had to give up a lot of my hobbies and dreams, God has given me so many blessings and I am thankful for every trial that has drawn me nearer to His heart. <3
What were some of the biggest changes you had to make? My family and I did Martial Arts and opened a ministry school; I helped teach twice a week, I was very passionate about it but had to quit Martial Arts after my first trip to the hospital the summer I was 16. I'm an extrovert, so that was hard getting used to not socializing very often. (But God really used/is using this time to teach me how to rely on Him)
What was your initial reaction when you were told/diagnosed of your condition? Relief that I wasn't crazy/it wasn't just all in my head. There was also disappointment, fear, burden.
What's one of the hardest things about having this illness? Realizing some people will never understand, even if they try to and love you dearly. Also, isolation from being on bed-rest/unable to leave the house very often.
Is it hard for others to understand what you go through on a daily basis? If so, why do you think that is? Yes? It's not something somebody can really understand unless they have been through something similar them self. (Although even if somebody doesn't understand, it's amazing when they still show compassion!! :) )
What's something you want people who don't understand what you go through to know? The battle with our health is real.
Do you know anyone with the same illness as you? I met/have acquaintance with a couple people with similar issues. And have some amazing friends with their own set of health struggles.
In what way have they helped? That silent look of understanding, when no words are necessary. Just knowing there are others out there who have a daily battle with their health too.
Do you feel that even though this is hard, that God has a purpose for you through it? Absolutely!! Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Isaiah 14:24 & 27, Proverbs 19:21, Psalms 33:11, Psalms 138:8, Psalms 139:16, and so many more bible verses tell me that God created me for a specific purpose. Nothing can happen to me (or you!) that has not already been filtered through his hand. He can use anything for good, no person is too weak, too broken, or too scarred for God to use them.
Would you say you have a mostly positive outlook through this process? I try to stay positive, but I'm only human and I often stumble.
What helps you keep it that way? My Savior and Best Friend: Jesus Christ.
“The joy of the LORD is your strength.” ~ Nehemiah 8:10
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Are there some verses that helped you through this struggle? So many. But the first three that come to mind that I haven't already named are:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30  
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31
Where else do you draw inspiration from? The amazing people the Lord has placed in my life: My family who loves me and takes care of me. My friends (Jade, Megan) who bear with me and encourage me when I stumble, and who never give up on me. My passions art, painting.
What would you say to someone who is struggling with the same sickness? There is a warrior inside of everybody. Use this to bring the warrior inside of you out!
What would you like to say to anyone struggling with any illness, disability, etc? Never give up! And never let go of Jesus, he will be the One constant thing in your life you can always count on and will never lose. :)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 15:13

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

If the days of the week were people...

I was looking through writing prompts and decided to not only do one myself but challenge my friends to do it as well. We were to describe the days of the weeks as people. If you haven't done it already, I encourage you to do so. Its fun! I'd love to read what you come up with so you can either post in the comments of my G+ post or my Facebook post or tag me in yours. Enjoy!

Sunday - Golden curls and bright blue eyes. A smile sweet and tender. Tall and full of grace. Her arms are always open and her embrace filled with comfort. When she sings, her voice carries like an orchestra. 

Monday - He’s a tired soul, constantly being pulled left and right. His brown curls fall rebelliously across his dark brow. The dark brown eyes hold mystery and untold emotion. He steels his emotions, ready for whatever comes his way. His hands are thrust in his jeans and he pulled his hoodie over his head, trying to be invisible.

Tuesday - She a redhead, full of spirit and joy. Her green eyes shine of promise. Her confidence radiates and everyone wants to be her friend. She makes a plan and executes it with precision, always ready for the next thing.

Wednesday - He’s got a grey soul, filled with more trials than triumphs. His days are spent sitting in his rocker on the front porch. It creaks as he rocks, watching as everyone pass him by. His smile is turned upside down but there is a spark of optimism in his hazel eyes when he is wished a good day or given a hello. Only then does he raise a wrinkle hand and wave good wishes in return.

Thursday - He’s a stressed fellow with poor time management. His black hair is tousled from endless combing with his fingers. His t-shirt is coffee stained from the constant spills. He moves too fast to keep things orderly. His thoughts go from begging the weekend to begin and wishing he had a few more days. 

Friday - She’s a party in a small package. Caramel highlights color her black hair. Her dark skin shows her love for the sun. Her smile tells of victory over a long week. The flame in her eyes tell of the fun she’s about to have. In the corner of her smile, mischief dances. She’s gonna have a good time and nothing’s going to get in her way. Music blares around her and she can’t help but dance. 

Saturday - Grey waves frame her weathered face. Dark brown eyes stared back at me. The sparkled with a hope of a new tomorrow. She smiled, creating wrinkles by her mouth and eyes. It was a gentle smile, filled with years of memory. Though her body may be slow she does everything with purpose.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fun Facts About Me

I did an interview a while ago with a writing buddy about myself as a writer. Now I am doing a Q&A that is not limited to writing related questions. Some friends of mine were gracious enough to help me put together this post with their questions. Thanks y'all. Aaaaaaand here it goes!

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Pantser. I will write up character charts, setting, and a few key events in the book but other than that, I just write.
How long have you been writing? Um, totally cliche answer but, since I can remember.
Do you prefer writing girl or guy MCs? Guy MC. 100%. I've done one of two girl MCs before but they end up tomboys through and through. Lol.
How far along are you on your current WIP? I am 1 page in.
What was the name of the first short story or poem or book you ever wrote? I'm not sure. We used to makes stories up and my mom would write them down for us. I remember writing a short story about a horse when I was really young. I didn't get into writing poetry until 4th grade or so.
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate!
Disney or Dreamworks? (Or other)? Disney if I have to choose. But Dreamworks did my favorite movie, Spirit...and they did Trolls...and HTTYDs. But I'll still say Disney.
What's your favorite thing about working with horses? Getting to communicate with body language, touch, and voice. Horses are so different from each other and I love learning what works for one horse that might not on another horse.
What helps you to keep writing when you are discouraged or don't feel like it? The fact that not writing hurts more than my or others opinion of my work. Also, encouragement from my friends and family.
What is your favorite emoji? Urm, probably this one --> :3
Do you remember what inspired you to start writing in the first place? I always remember loving to write. My mama would have us write whatever we wanted everyday and I always looked forward to creating something. There was also a quote by Toni Morrison that said, "If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it." So I did just that.
What has helped your writing improve the most, be it a class or a piece of advice or critiques or some well-timed encouragement? Earlier this year I went to the West Coast Christian Writers Conference and the classes really helped with how I approached writing, how to prepare myself for the criticism and rejection that comes with putting your work out there for others, and was super encouraging to be surrounded by people who were just like me.
What inspired you to make a blog? I love interacting with readers and it is a way to share bits of my creations with others.
What good things do you hope to impart to the world in your time on Earth? The love, hope, and joy we have in Christ.
What one thing or person can immediately turn a bad day into a good (or at least bearable) one for you? My twin sister.
Your opinion on fidget spinners? If it helps you focus or entertains you, then go for it. Everyone has their own thing. 
What is your favorite food? Mexican food. I'm always in the mood for a good burrito.  
What is your favorite music band? I'm really into NEEDTOBREATHE right now.  
Favorite book? Genre? Golden Filly Series by Lauraine Snelling, and yes I know that it s way more than one book. Eheheh. I love historical fiction! 
Favorite movie? Tv show? Pearl Harbor (clearplayed). NCIS. 
Last book you read? Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin 
Favorite Authors? Lauraine Snelling, Kim Vogel Sayer, Ruth Logan Verne, and Sarah Sundin to name a few. 
Book you're looking forward to most? With You Always by Jody Hedlund 
How many books have you written?  I have written three. 
What is your biggest writing strength? Weakness? I'm told it is my characters. I think my weakness is timelines. 
What has changed most about your writing from when you started to now? The balance of dialogue and description. I used to write really heavy on the dialogue. 
What is your favorite writing resource?  Curriculum? Craft books? Blogs? Magazine? OYAN was a huge help. Not really into craft books, I use pinterest. Come to think of it I don't really follow any writing blogs. And I'm not a magazine person. 
What do you love most about stories? Characters? Plots? Conflict? Characters. I definitely love characters the most. I like being able to relate with them. I'm a really empathetic person so even with characters I get super invested in them and their lives.  
Who is your favorite character? Why? Of my own, probably Malcolm. He's is the one character I created with so much of myself in him. Of others... Dan from Little Men, because he is a tough guy with a tender soul.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Tips for a Writer

Write. I know that sounds so cliche. But it is true. You have to write. Anything. It doesn’t always have to be the project you are currently laboring over. It can be something small, something that may never see the light of day, something that randomly popped into your head. Put it down on paper. Write it even if it sounds silly or you think it is horrible. You can always edit and there is always that faithful ‘delete’ button that sucks your hard work away in a blink of an eye. Sometimes the little things jolt other creative masterpieces. It gets your mind working and keep you from being stuck in the “writer’s block” zone.
Brainstorm. You can do this either by yourself or with someone else. Write down where you want to go and different ways you can get there. Write little scenes that could connect the dots. As I said before, you may never use them, but it will keep your momentum going forward. Explain your story or writing project to someone. Often when I get stuck, I go to someone and explain the problem, story, or character. Half the time they are sitting there listening and by the end of it I have solved my problem without them having to say a word.
Word wars. Typically this is done with two or more people. Set a time and write to see who can write the most in the given time. It forces you to concentrate on the task at hand. I have done these by myself. Each new “war” is done with the intention to beat my personal best. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t as fast as the other person, or if you are not beating your own personal best. Each word is one more word then you started with. That’s progress no matter what pace you go at.
Write for you. This is one I have struggled with for a long time. I am a children’s and YA writer and I hope to one day be published. So in one way I am writing for my readers. But that is not the mentality I need to have while writing my books. Otherwise I will be constantly going back from reader to readers opinion. One person may like this scenario, while another may like a completely opposite approach. So who do I write for? The answer is me. Write for yourself first. Then worry about the others. If you are not happy with the story first, then your whole heart and soul is not in it. The readers will be able to tell. Write it how you want to read it. Not everyone will share your opinion. Not everyone will like your book. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. It just means it isn’t their style. I went to a Christian writer’s conference earlier this year and one  of the authors, Tosca Lee, said this, “They are telling you more about themselves than they are about your work.”
So, for the writers out there reading this. Keep up the good work. Push forward a word at a time. Experiment with techniques that work best for you. Adjust your writing atmosphere to allow yourself an environment where you can perfect your craft. We writers live more than one life. We are privileged to live the lives of all our characters and know all the secrets that our readers may never find out. Good luck out there my friends. Write on!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Rainbow

I just returned from a trip of a lifetime. It was my first time flying by myself. Except I really was not alone because Jesus was with me the whole way: walking me through security hold my hand through the loud airports, guiding me to my gate, and right beside me as the plane lifted off the ground to the heavens. Whenever I could feel my heart racing, my hands shaking, and the fear rising inside of my chest, He would whispering in my ear, “I am with you.”
The last week has been one of the best weeks of my life. I spent an entire week with my dear sister, Rain. It was a matter of minutes for me to feel right at home. Although I was a “guest”, I was also family. It was a place I felt safe, loved, and where I could truly be myself, just as I can at my own house. I can now say it is my home away from home. We played games, laughed, talked, did crafts, watched movies, took hundreds of photos and snacked! Rain and I would stayed up late and sleep in as much as we wanted. We even snuck downstairs for a midnight snack. Which, being the responsible people we are, was apple sauce and flavored carbonated water. 
When it came time for me to leave, neither of us were ready. It had been a year since we had last seen one another and a week just flew by. I kept saying “five more minutes” and “I’ll run to make my flight if that is what it takes to have one more minute with you”. We refused to say goodbye, but instead exchanged “see you later”s and “see you soon”s. It is not knowing when we will meet again that is so hard. A year went by before I could make it out to her hometown. It is hard when two souls are so connected but you live on one side of the US and she almost the other. However soon or late it may be we know we shall see each other again someday. And until that day we shall continue waiting, praying, texting, calling, and sending selfies back and forth. I must admit a part of me feel missing. Truth is, I left part of my of my heart in Indiana. But I also took part of her heart home with me.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Writer's Life

A writer's life is tough. We hold our own hours and sometimes our own deadlines. In our works, we are in control of everything and sometimes all that responsibility is overwhelming. There is no one giving us an outline, instructions on the specific word count, events that must take place, or characters to form. It is all in our minds and executed by our hands. Writers must have self discipline to push away distractions, sit down, and write. Some days are easier than others. There are times we can sit down the the words just leap onto the page, but others we stare at the blank page, begging words to form. We are constantly rewriting, crumpling up paper, and stress snacking. Writers must also endure emotional roller coasters.

Life cannot be all sunshine and flowers for our characters. We must put them through hard things, take loved ones away, and force them to make decisions that will change their lives forever. It is what sculpts their personalities. Sometimes you simply feel bad for your character when you make them suffer. Other times you get that horrible knot in your stomach, want to throw up, and sob your heart out.

I have recently been reminded of all this. For the last week I have been laboring over my thirteenth chapter of my novel. It is a chapter that changed my character's life. It is such a critical moment that I am struggle to put the pieces together. I have all these pieces in front of me but the connections are unclear. I have written eight different versions to begin my chapter but something is disconnected in each one. My friends have given me suggestions to help the transition but ultimately it comes back to me. I have to put the words down. Today as I was writing I felt a rush of so many feelings at once. My character was put in a horrible situation and he had to go through it for the sake of the plot and the sake of his character. I was grinning as I had him bravely accept the challenge, then I got a knot in my stomach the dread came. As the action began, I wanted to hit the delete button and start grieving over my decision. The tears literally came to my eyes but I knew it had to be done. So I kept writing.

We grow along with our characters and learn new things with every new line. Writing never ceases, a story simply ends. And each time, we move one to endure it all over again, with another place, another person, and another goal. Like all things, our job shall one day come to a halt. In the end, we look back and know it was worth it. The struggle, the journey, the outcome, it will be worth it. This is the life we chose to pursue. We chose to sweat, to bleed, and to cry, for plot, for character, and for reader. We chose a writer's life.

Monday, February 20, 2017

"My Greatest Adventure" and "Nature's Song"

"My Greatest Adventure"
It only took one glance
To set my heart in motion
It only took a second smile
To steal my heart completely

You have a hold so tender
Breaking down my walls
You have a way with words
Sending warmth into my soul

Through the tides of time
You are forever constant
You reassure me with truth
And wash away my fears

You tell me that you love me
As if there were no tomorrow
You place stars in my sky
And bring sun into my world

With every day that passes
I fall in love again
My greatest adventure
Is a life loved with you

"Nature’s Song"
Blue sky above
Red earth below
Trees up high
Rivers down low

Flowers kissed
With gentle rain
Birds shall sing
Of spring again

Mountains rise
With majestic pride
Rivers flow
With rocks to guide

Waterfalls glimmer
In summer’s heat
A herd of deer dance
To nature’s beat

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Message for All The Girls Out There

A lot of girls struggle with their self image. Our perception of our image gets distorted by what others say, what we think of ourselves, or what we see after comparing ourselves to others. When this happens it can lead to low self esteem. Your mind clings to the lies you or others have told you about your image and replay them over and over. But that is not God’s view on you. His has a loving, perfect view of us and it his view we should make our own.
It is not easy to see ourselves how God does, especially in the fallen world where people have set up impossible characteristics for the “perfect body” and perfect personality. But we must still try and focus on how God sees us and how precious we are the way we are. We are his chosen people. God made us unique and he loves us faults and all. He did not mess up on one and made another perfect. God formed us all according to his perfect plan. Here are some verses to keep in mind when those negative thoughts come to mind.

Psalms 139:14
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Isaiah 43:1
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Jeremiah 31:3  
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Be your own kind of beautiful. God made us all different and special. Wouldn't it be a boring world if we all were the same? Be comfortable in your own skin. Delight in your unique features and know you are a one of a kind creation. Let your own personality shine and don't try to be someone else. Let what is in the inside radiate and you will find that your outward beauty is just as bright. Jesus loves you dear one.