17 Things I Learned While 17 || I’m an ADULT NOW

Hello, friend! Today’s blogspot is an exciting one: I turn EIGHTEEN (18!!!!!) in a few days, and so today, we’re talking about 17 Things I Learned While I was 17!

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  1. Popsockets are the greatest thing to ever exist.
  2. Don’t ask multiple people if they want to hang out . . . if they’re all free, you have an issue. a big one.
  3. Professional people may appear professional . . . until you stalk their social media
  4. I REALLY LOVE teaching music. Teaching music is awesome.
  5. Driving isn’t that hard. You just have to not step on the brake so hard that the wire breaks, rending the entire car useless.
  6. Getting into troll arguments on twitter is counterproductive and useless . . . unless it’s about homeschooling.
  7. College classes are fun . . . provided you get a good professor, but stILL.
  8. College applications . . . just start them early. For your sanity, for your parents’ sanity, for your dog’s sanity, JUST DO IT.
  9. Spotify is an amazing thing.
  10. I’m old enough to have friends who are married. Not sure how that happened.
  11. E-books are amazing because you don’t have to cart liTERAL books around . . . side effects include staying up until 4am reading
  12. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but . . . it doesn’t hurt either
  13. Money is SO HARD TO GET
  14. DAILY Bible reading is so, SO helpful.
  15. Grades are important. but not thAT important.
  16. Graduation is one of the most exhilarating things ever
  17. It is, in fact, possible, to leave EVERYTHING you’ve ever known and live . . . though maybe not without tears

And that’s it! What’s something you learned recently? Also, e-books–yay or nay?

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Growing Up is Overrated || My Thoughts About . . . Growing Up

i have four weeks left of high school
four more weeks with my friends, my routines, my life
four weeks until i go off into the Great Big World to seek my fortune, like stories say
i’ll get presented with a piece of paper that says i’m certified to do Life™
and i’m expected to break ties and forge new ones

it hurts.
i’ve been in the same routine for four years, maybe more
a part of me is straining at the bonds, waiting to see what will happen
the rest of me is willing time to move more slowly
willing myself to be more present, to take it all in
these last moments are to be treasured
hide them away
i need to store them as the memories come
i wish i could experience them fully
but i can’t thanks, derealization

i write but the memories fade
warped through the lens of time
what’s real and what did i think up

their lives will be the same
everyone moves up a grade
new band pieces will be chosen
new science olympiad events will be assigned
new cubbies kids will join
but i won’t be there
i’ll be with a couple thousand other kids who also don’t know what they’re doing
trapped on five square miles for four straight years

my friends will make new friends
adjust to life without me
i’m sure i’ll make friends too
but there’s no going back

back to the days in the band room
“running through” pieces “just one more time”
back to the days in the old church
looking at event pairings on the too-bright projector
back to the study days
rocks, powders, writing, talking, laughing
back to the kitchen counter
supergluing impossibly small pieces together
back to the church foyer days
waiting with bated breath to see fragile forms fly
back to the church basement
loving on kids that are much too small
back to the farm
giving presentations and eating snacks and talking about band

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there’s no going back
and it hurts.
tears are shed
so many tears
tears for the unknown
tears for the known
tears for the people
tears for the memories
tears for the love

it doesn’t feel like i’ve been doing the same thing for five years
but it has been
monday- science olympiad
tuesday- band
wednesday- awana
thursday- class
friday- more science olympiad
just as i was getting good at how it works
and it’s time to go.

growing up is overrated
people always talk about ‘when you go to college’ as if college is some glorious, magical place where everything is made right
i’ve spent the last four years of my life getting ready
internships, resumes, extracurriculars
standardized tests, advanced classes, opportunities
my list of accomplishments

but it doesn’t include the hours curled up on the couch with your friends
it doesn’t count the moments where it’s just you and your friends, when nothing else exists
none of these count, in the Big Picture™ of life
but those are the ones that matter

growing up is exciting
and beautiful
and challenging
but it also sucks
growing up is overrated.


P.S. a song that came to mind, not really related, but i thought i’d share

to my writer friends || my thoughts about…writers

here is a moment of appreciation for authors and writers.

to my writer friends

those young 10, 11, 12, 13 year olds learning to use their voice. learning to how to type. looking towards older writers to see how to DO this. reading voraciously to satisfy their needs. probably writing retellings that aren’t so loosely based on their favorite books.

those finally seeing the scribblings of their younger selves come to some fruition. those realizing the foundation that the stapled pages of lined paper laid. those starting to sort through the emotions of growing up. and those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to.

those who finally embrace their love of writing. those who write after their school work is done. those who just read, and read, and read, then think, and write. those who finally start to build up pages of writing. and hundreds and thousands of words. those who have finally hit a flow in their writing.

those who write even though it’s hard. those who force themselves to sit at a keyboard and just. type. those who write even when they don’t feel like it. those who spend endLESS hours at a keyboard, trying to figure out the plotholes. and the words. and the characters. those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to.

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those to whom ideas come like water from a tap. those to whom ideas come rarely, but strongly when they do. those who spend endless hours on pinterest “plotting,” fleshing out their characters and worlds and plots and storylines. those who keep a notebook by their bedside, of all the ideas that come to them while floating in the subconscious ether.

those whose words flow from their fingertips and energize them. those whose words come, but not without thought. those who pour their soul into their writing and walk away from their keyboard drained. but a good drained. those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to. 

those who spend hours upon hours figuring out how to make storylines flow together. those who plan sequels, and trilogies, and entire series. those who WRITE these sequels and trilogies and series. those who write fan fiction, flash fiction, novels, novellas, short stories. those who write. anything.

those who shout with their voice into the void of The World™️ about valuable truths about God, and about life, and themselves. those who take their words and their time and use it powerfully. those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to. 

those who guzzle coffee, or tea, by the gallon. those who force weary eyes to stay awake, who force tired fingers to keep typing, because the words need to come out. those whose computer desktops are covered in files, full of their writing. serious and otherwise. those who google things, such as ‘the fastest way to kill someone’ or ‘how to hide a decomposing body quickly’ or ‘the weather of some obscure village in Russia on exactly October 24th, 1905.’ those who set aside their own reading pleasure to do research.

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those who push through burnouts. those who set deadlines. those who dissolve in tears at the mere thought of writing another yet another query letter, or another synopsis. those who would rather do ANYTHING else than have to talk to another company about their own art. those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to. 

those who don’t know if they really, REALLY, are cut out for this. those who look at all of the OTHER writers in the world, and wonder if they read their gut right. those who feel like their experience isn’t worth anything, that someone in this vast world must have had more experience than they did.

those who have spent countless hours getting their book ready to be published. those who have pounded their keyboard in frustration, unable to edit that sentence *just right*. those who fight for themselves and their voice, before their voice can be released to shout for itself. but in the end, those who write, just because they have to, and they want to, and they love to. 

i see you. we see you. those of us who aren’t writers, we see you. and we applaud you. thank you for what you do. we admire your determination and your persistence. what other craft requires this amount of sheer DEDICATION and attempts before it’s finally successful.

thank you, for what you do. thank you, for putting your voice out into the world. thank you, for even if you haven’t been published yet, to have been SO DEDICATED to a craft to be willing to spend your time, so much of your time, on it. thank you. as a nonwriter who is friends with many, many writers and authors, i can’t relate to you when you talk about your wordcounts, or your struggles, or the endless battle of writing a query, but I SEE YOU. even if you aren’t published, we see you. and we appreciate you. love you guys. ❤


(also!!! if literally NONE of these things apply to you, don’t feel discouraged!! That doesn’t make you ANY less valid of a writer! these are just things I’ve seen from my friends!)

But Is It Love? || A Poem ||My Thoughts About…Love

I came up with this some time ago, but thought it would be a good time to post this now, sort of as a Valentine’s Day post.

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But Is It Love?

We think we know all about love

We see it everywhere: in movies, in books, in magazines

But do we really know love?

Never too busy to talk

…but is it love?

Living lives together together

…but is it love?

Growing together

…but is it love?

Working together

…but is it love?

Sharing futures, dreams, goals

…but is it love?

Supporting each other

…but is it love?

Understanding each other

…but is it love?

Laughing together, crying together

…but is it love?

Saying “I love you”

…but is it love?

The pounding in one’s heart

…but is it love?

Love is in the air, this time of year

But what is love?

I wish I knew.

I wish life wasn’t complicated.
I wish I didn’t wish for love.
I wish I knew the way.
But there is love.
The love that comes from the Father
Pure, unfailing, unconditional love.

But is it love?
I can stop worrying. I can stop wishing. I can stop dreaming.
For I know love.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! ~1 John 3:1


Ava Bright Lee || My Thoughts About . . . A Lot of Things, Really

This not a post that I usually write, but I’ve been feeling like I need to write this post for some time now. I feel completely inadequate, but I’ll do my best.

It is a story. One that needs to be told.

A story of faith. A story of grace. A story of love.

A story of fighting the good fight and of finishing the race.

And ultimately, it is a story that points back to God.

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I heard about this story a few months ago through a prayer chain. It was our pastor’s friend’s daughter.

She was fighting a rare form of leukemia-both AML and ALL, combined.

There was a link to their blog, and I sat down one day and read it in four hours. (It’s here)

Ava Bright Lee. She was 4 years old when her mom brought her to the hospital, due to an infection. There the doctors found the cancer.

She endured interminable  rounds of chemo, innumerate infections, a bone marrow transplant, clinical trials, the works. Some of it worked . . . for a while.

Esther, Ava’s mother, had wanted to be an English major in college. Although she didn’t, the reason was quickly apparent. She was a writer.

Although she was so often physically, mentally, and physically drained, she fought for Ava. She comforted Ava. She looked for options. And she wrote.

Pages and pages of heartfelt anguish, grief, yes, but also faith. It was through this writing that Ava’s supporters connected. And prayed. And were strengthened.

Ava herself was a girl with wisdom far beyond her years. She comforted her parents. She spoke to her supporters. She held on.

During the midst of indescribable agony, her song was ever “My one defense, my righteousness, oh God, how I need You”.

Treatment after treatment, Ava hung on. Some worked, some didn’t, but one day, there was nothing left.

They had wanted to take a family trip to Disneyworld for Christmas, but that became impossible.

During her last weeks, Ava sang in the Christmas program at the church where her father was the pastor. It was a beautiful little voice, the same one that had sung “When I cannot stand, I’ll fall on you; Jesus you’re my hope and stay”. A little more than a week later, that little voice would never be heard again.

As many people were welcoming in 2017, Ava was welcomed into the gates of heaven.

When I started following this story, it was just “something interesting” that I read, every once in a while.

What I could have never known was how much Ava’s story could change me.

I’m a high school student. Ava was a girl who never finished first grade. In theory, I know more than her. But that is not the case.

She, and her mom Esther, have shown me what faith looks like. (For instance, read this post Esther posted just recently about her feelings after Ava’s entrance into heaven.) What courage looks like. What agony looks like. And they have always pointed me back to Jesus.

I know I’ll never meet Ava on earth now. But I’ll meet her some day. I can’t wait.

Why? || Poem || Thoughts

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Why am I crying
Why is this so hard
Why am I so easily frustrated
Why can’t I do a simple task
Why?

Why do I even bother
Why do I strive to be the best
Why do I always fail
Why do I try
Why?

Why can I never be good enough
Why am I always mediocre
Why aren’t I actually really good at something
Why can’t I do something important
Why?

Why am I not like them
Why can’t I talk like them, write like them, act like them, look like them, sing like them, study like them
Why am I different
Why am I always the odd one out
Why?

Why don’t they text first
Why do I always appear so needy
Why can’t I wait for them to speak
Why am I so annoying
Why?

Why do I care when they don’t text back
Why can’t I understand they have other things to do
Why can’t I just wait
Why am I so afraid of being ignored
Why?

Why am I so proud
Why do I want people to notice me
Why do I need attention
Why am I always trying to show off
Why?

Why do I always want my way
Why am I so selfish
Why do I never look out for others
Why do I only care for me, me, and more me?
Why?

Why do I question myself
Why am I comparing myself
Why do I doubt myself
Why can’t I be satisfied with the way I am
Why?

Why do I doubt my faith
Why do I doubt myself
Why do I doubt my importance
Why don’t I know all the answers
Why?

Why.

One Nation, Under God || My Thoughts About The World We Live In

I’ve been thinking about doing this post for some time now, but I haven’t really gotten around to doing it. This morning, as I was working on my schoolwork with the radio on, I heard the Pledge of Allegiance. The particular radio station I was listening to invited schoolchildren to the recite the pledge, then would air it in the morning, so I heard the voices of children reciting our nation’s pledge.

Then I heard it. “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

It struck me then: everyone still says the Pledge of Allegiance (well, except those football players who think they’re cool and don’t, but that’s rather beside the point). Most everyone says those two words from the Pledge of Allegiance: UNDER GOD.

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Under God.

That’s truly what this country is founded on: God. This country is slowly heading farther and farther away from what truly matters: God.

There are so many things I could say about this, but I’ll just say the two most important to me.

First, we need revival. I’ll be completely honest with you; I don’t know much about how revival works. But I do know, it takes GOD. The time is right. We can do this.

How?

We can pray. Pray hard. We can read the Bible. We can listen to what God is telling us. We can be open to what God wants us to do. We can spread the word. We all have mediums to share this on: FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, our blogs, YouTube channels, everything.

I heard something in a podcast thing the other night, and the speaker said something about, “As Christians, we will be spared the Tribulation. But if there is no revival soon, the Tribulation WILL COME SOON.” That struck me hard. We will be spared the Tribulation. How many will not? How many will we save from the Tribulation? What can we do about this?

I read a post recently by Kara at Saved By Grace about revival. Check it out, it’s really great.


The next thing we can do to help our country (well, I guess this doesn’t really count as much, but it’s just as important) is to vote. Now, I’m not old enough to vote, and I’m assuming neither are many of my readers. Get your parents to vote, get your friends’ parents to vote, get your grandparents to vote. So many Christians are neglecting one of their privileges by not helping to choose who their country is run by.

Who to vote for? Now, that’s a good question. I’ve heard numerous times “Oh, I don’t know who to vote for. He’s a racist, sexist, male chauvinist pig; she’s a liar, murderess, and crooked politician. So I’d have to choose the lesser of two evils, and that’s just morally incorrect.”

In my mind, the choice is simple. My vote is for the one whose view on murder abortion is that, well, that it IS murder! Racist, sexist, bigmouth, yes, but also NOT a murderer.

That’s how I stand. If you disagree, go ahead and disagree, but I strongly encourage you to choose the say that does not involve murder.

Here are a few links of some others talking about why they are voting for Trump-

I hope this made some sense. I had originally thought to write a post about voting. Then I wanted to write one about revival. Then I got the Under God part, and I decided to write a combined post. But did this make sense? Don’t know…maybe I’ll make a part two, expounding or something.

Also, how did y’all like this post? It’s the first time I’ve done something of this sort, so I’m rather anxious to know what y’all think!

Thanks for reading!

 

My Thoughts About…Swearing

I need to express my thoughts sometimes, usually about serious topics that I’ve been pondering or discussing. The counterpart, My Nonserious Thoughts About…(I’m creative, I know) is on my other blog, consisting of lighthearted, non-serious thoughts on serious matters.


I recently finished The Grapes of Wrath and the language within the book triggered a conversation with Rin about language, because she was reading the Selection series, which contain a few unnecessary d-words. It prompted a blogpost from her, and I responded with a comment long enough to be a blogpost…so here’s my blogpost…with the comment+other comments on the comment.

Growing up, I was (and kinda still am!) a “sheltered” homeschooled Christian kid…and never heard any “swearing” per say because I was homeschooled and all my friends were from church, literally the stereotypical homeschooled kid (at least, on Blimey Cow). I still remember how incredibly scandalized I was when I first heard the word “dude.” I use that word on a regular basis now, at least 4 times a day….but we won’t speak of that. One of my first exposures to “language” per say was in a devotional, where they explained that words such as “Gosh,” “Gee,” and “Golly” were misuses of the name of God.

Obviously, this naiivity couldn’t  last long. Around the time I entered middle school  I started using OMGosh (in spite of what the devotional said XD) However, I always felt condemned while using it. In retrospect, I think it was because I simply DIDN’T KNOW any other exclamations to use.

At a farther point in time, I quit using that particular expression, and this point in time is where I don’t remember any “general” use of any particular term.

However, as I’ve gotten older (I refuse to use the term “grown”), and spent more time on the internet and being exposed to more non-Christian, non-filtered stuffs, I learned about other such stuff. The amount of language in “classical” American literature (such as The Grapes of Wrath) really surprises me, although I understand that the authors were trying to express authenticity or whatever. I HATE reading bad words. I’m incredibly annoyed by people who actually print those words. I’m especially frustrated by those who put them up on the internet, where anyone who’s browsing has to get assaulted by a barrage of those words. (and the stuff about that Bible that says guard your hearts and your minds gets severely tested as well).

More recently, though, I’ve been using more “clean” swear words. Don’t even know why–I don’t think it’s to “feel cool” or anything. I think it’s more just like “I know these words, why not use them” but it’s like before. I say them without thinking, but then reprimand myself for saying them. I’m trying to improve; this is a bad habit for me, but I do need to find some “good” replacements for these words that I enjoy using. For instance, I dislike “OMGoodness” because I think it’s too clunky.

Does “shutup” count as a bad word? 

On the other hand, I personally don’t particularly MIND people saying stuffs like “darn” or “WTH” or “freak”…but what truly bugs me is the breaking of the 3rd Commandment, and, like, legit “bad” words.

Okey this post is like really unorganized and whatever, but I’m going off on another related tangent. That make sense?

Anyways, I recently realized how much store I put behind one of what I consider to be a “strong Christian” in my life says. My subconscious seems to say “oh, s/he says it, therefore it most be okay” even though it’s not necessarily true. I’ve noticed that s/he says somethings that aren’t exactly the best…so…I really can’t do that either.

Here’s my actual comment for those actually interested-

Hm. As the apparent instigator of this topic, I gotta chime in at some point, right? XD

Growing up, I was (and am!) a “sheltered” homeschooled Christian kid…and never heard any “swearing” per say until I entered middle school. At which point I started using [OMG] <the “clean” version>.

At a farther point in time, I quit using that particular expression, and this point in time is where I don’t remember any “general” use of any particular term.

However, as I’ve gotten older (I refuse to use the term “grown”), and spent more time on the internet and being exposed to more non-Christian, non-filtered stuffs, I learned about other such stuff.

I *personally* don’t particularly MIND people saying stuffs like “darn” or “WTH” or “freak”…but what truly bugs me is the breaking of the 3rd Commandment, and, like, legit “bad” words.

Also, I just recently realized how much store I put behind what the C’s say…so subconsciously, I note what they say in my head and go “oh, they say it, so it must be ok.” However, I’m now realizing that that may not be the case as often as I think it is.

IDEK I can’t express my thoughts on this well enough, but w/e. (also, I used the word “stuff” way too much in this post.) I may (if I have time) write a blogpost on this.

Also, my mom “forbids” the use of “shut up” in our family…which is both a blessing and a curse.

What are your thoughts? I’d love to know your thoughts on this subject–I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot.

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P.S. I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo again this session, although I probably shouldn’t, because of school life and stuff. I’m doing a really low goal, like around 5K (but I’ll build on the goal if I can do it), just to ensure I can finish. Just wanted to throw that out there.