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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Far Too Short A Time...But For Now I Must Leave

I am immensely fond of you all...eleventy-one years is too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits...I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve....I wish to make an announcement...I regret to announce that—though, as I said, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to spend among you—this is the end. I am going. I am leaving now. Good-bye.
-Bilbo, The Fellowship of the Ring
I love Blogger, I love blogging, and I love all of my wonderful followers and all of their wonderful blogs.

But, like Bilbo, I am in desperate need of a break.

I have been neglecting my writing as of late in favor of blogging—and writing is a much higher priority to me right now than blogging.

I need some more time to write, some more time to journal, some more time to study photography, some more time to graphic design, some more time to learn html and some more time to read the Bible—and giving up blogging will help grant me that time.

And there are other reasons why I'm giving it up for a while...but they're complicated.

Don't get me wrong. I love blogging. I love you all. I just need a break from it all.

I don’t have the self-control to give up blogging entirely—so I will continue to update my photography blog, and I will moderate comments (your comments always make my day...I couldn't do without them. ;).

I’ll be back on March 23rd—hopefully. I may extend my "vacation" for longer than that, but for now I'm planning on the 23rd.

Await lots of pictures and ponderings and stories from my vacation to Florida (I leave in a few weeks!) on my return.

I'll see you then,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Brokenness--The Road to God


Brokenness.

I love the word--there is something beautifully sad about it.

The dictionary defines it as meaning:
reduced to fragments; fragmented; incomplete
In other words, when you are broken you need something. You're "incomplete."

I have been pondering these things lately--I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head, it's hard to intrepret them into comprehensive words and phrases.

God has made many promises. He is a God of promises. Everywhere I look in the Bible there are promises being made.

He promised the Israelites a land for their own. He promised Abraham a son. He promised Noah that He would never flood the earth again. He promised Solomon everything a king could ever want.

Every single one of these promises, God has kept. The Israelites got their own land. Abraham got a son--though he screwed up along the way with the whole Hagar thing. Noah suffered from the flood--he had to stay for forty nights on a boat with a whole bunch of animals. But God promised that that would never happen again--and it hasn't. Solomon was the grandest king in history--just like God said he would be.

God is a God of promises--and every promise that He makes, He will keep.

I am anxious all the time. I have trouble sleeping at night because my heart and mind cannot settle down.

My anxiety is ironic to me, because God promises peace to His followers--but never once have I had consistent peace.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
But God promises peace.

And doesn't God keep His promises?

As I was thinking about this, it occured to me that perhaps I should stop wishing God would give me peace, but believe He has.

What if God has peace for me, but I have been refusing to accept it?

God promises peace. God promises rest. God promises love.

If we don't have these things, it means we don't believe that we can have these things.

Faith is the key to everything.
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there" and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
How does this all tie back to brokenness?

Just as faith results in peace, brokenness results in God.

Every long lost dream lead me to where You are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way, into Your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That lead me straight to You
selah, "bless the broken road"
I have felt the emptiness that comes from trying to live apart from God.

I have felt it. I know it.
How many times can I break till I shatter?
Over the line can't define what I'm after
I always turn the car around
Give me a break let me make my own pattern
All that it takes is some time but I'm shattered
I always turn the car around  
o.a.r, "shattered"
I also know the love, the joy, the completeness that is in God's arms.
You are Love, you are Life
You’re the air that I breathe, you’re my day and my night
You’re my Joy, you’re my Peace
You’re the wings for my flight and vision to my sight
You are Truth, you are Power
Gave me faith to believe, brought me straight to my knees
Now I’m standing here in this moment with you
There’s nowhere I’d rather be
beckah shae, "here in this moment"
There is pain. There is brokenness. I know both.

But God breathes life into our brokenness--and we are new.
 The lights go out all around me
One last candle to keep out the night
And then the darkness surrounds me
I know I'm alive but I feel like I've died
And all that's left is to accept that it's over
My dreams ran like sand through the fists that I made
I try to keep warm but I just grow colder
I feel like I'm slipping away

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I've cried my last, there'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today,
Someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

My whole world is the pain inside me
The best I can do is just get through the day
When life before is only a memory
I'll wonder why God lets me walk through this place
And though I can't understand why this happened
I know that I will when I look back someday
And see how you've brought beauty from ashes
And made me as gold purified through these flames

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I've cried my last, there'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today,
Someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

Here I am, at the end of me
Tryin to hold to what I can't see
I forgot how to hope
This night's been so long
I cling to Your promise
There will be a dawn

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I've cried my last, there'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today,
Someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain
superchick, "beauty from pain"
Brokenness is the road to God.

When we are at our worst, God finds us.

We are complete in Him.
He will personally come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever. 1 Peter 5:10
For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us. Romans 8:38
He personally carried the load of our sins in his own body when he died on the cross so that we can be finished with sin and live a good life from now on. For his wounds have healed ours! 1 Peter 2:24
Note: I thought about peace and brokenness and wrote this post down in a notebook several weeks ago. I haven't had trouble sleeping ever since.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pretty Much The Best

I have to say, honestly, that I have the best friends in the world. I love every single one of them to death--but there are those very special friends that mean the world to you, you know? That are even specialler than the best friends?

I have a few of those. Any of them can be called my sisters. Jenna, Jordyn, Haylz--any of them.

But there is one in particular that is my closest friend--soul-mate, bestie, sister, twins seperated at birth, whatever you want to call her.

Meet Hannah.

I went over to her house today from 2 to 5:30 (thanks, Daddy, for being an hour and a half late to pick me up!! :) and it was a blast.

We see each other a lot during scheduled activities, but we don't have get-togethers (hate the term "play-dates") very often. Hardly ever have time just with me and her--but when we do, those times absolutely define the word fun.

There's something about the word fun--it sounds like what it means. It sounds like a time of happiness and joy; it is carefree and innocent; it is beneficial and intimate; it is a time of hearing secrets and telling them.

It is impossible for me to hang out with Hannah without realizing further what the word fun means--because Hannah and everything associated with her is fun.

She is pretty much impossible to describe, however sappy that may sound.

Today we talked and took pictures, we laughed so hard we snorted, we sang songs so loud siblings complained and we made/looked at graphics.

It was incredible.

I am amazed at how similar Hannah and I are--we complete each other's sentences, form the same opinions, talk in unison all the time, and seem to know exactly what each other is thinking.

God gave me so many friends, and I am thankful so much for them. I cannot imagine how different I would be without them. They have helped shape me forever, and I am completely in their debt.

Friends are amazing.

Hannah is amazing.

God is amazing.

I am so blessed.

Hannah and I.

What Do They Remind You Of?

Behold...my very own evolutionary diagram. Featuring: Abby the Ape. I decided to make my own evolutionary diagram, since evolutionary diagrams showing the progression from an ape to man make so much sense!

Note: The picture quality is terrible because I accidently set the focus mode on Manual instead of Auto--so the pictures are pretty much out of focus. Plus VR wasn't on. :P
    

 The ape is waving at you.

                                                                            

Friday, February 19, 2010

They Almost Capture Our Insanity...

...and the blast that we had.

The pictures from my retreat. Enjoy. (Pretty much all of these were taken on the same day...so that's why we're all wearing the same shirts. ;)

Jenna and I. :) (just reminding you all, I'm the one on the left)

Let's just say the food was super good. Yum.

I hate bananas, but they're colorful. Bananas taste yellow, right, Jenna?

I love the lighting of this one. The table had its own little spotlight. ;)

*gasps* Me texting my friend on Jenna's phone.

Jenna in our sleeping-room.

Jenna outside with all the middle schoolers and highschoolers watching the boot-hockey championship.

Jordyn in her adorable knit cap. :)

I HAD to put this one in. :)

Jordyn "beating me up".

Watching the boot-hockey championship.

I love Jenna's hair in this one--so cool.

Jordyn and I. Yes, I look sleepy but that's because of the sun.

Jenna. Is. Adorable.

Heh heh...we are such dorks.

Our friend Jasmine. :) (and yes, that's part of Jenna's head in the picture--she was intent on sabotaging my photos)

"Miss America," Jenna's older sister. (Cara was pretending to be Miss America throughout the whole retreat)

Jordyn being...well...this is Jordyn being Jordyn. :)

This one has terrible quality...but the beginning of the bananaphone pictures. :)



This is Cara (Jenna's older sister) demanding the bananaphone. Tarra is wondering what we're all doing. (the one in the brown shirt)

Yes, Cara eventually got her wish...a turn to talk on the bananaphone with me. ;)

Yes. This is a sandwhich. More specifically, my sandwhich that everyone else tore apart.

My lovely friend Alison. (and I don't mean that sarcastically--she is very pretty...just...not in this picture. ^^)

Jenna and I...doing what we normally do when around each other.
Yes, it does look like I have a milk mustache, but it's the light blurred on my lip. I zoomed in just to make sure. ;)

I love all of my insane, wonderful, crazy friends, most of which were not in the pictures. :)

As you may have gleaned from these photos, the retreat was insanely incredible--put Jenna and I together for too long and we'll practically explode from laughter. So the retreat had to be insane and incredible, for those two words describe my friends. :)

Kudos to Jordyn for taking (most) of the pictures and sending them to me. Thanks, girl!! Love you! :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Beautiful Camera

I'm soooooo loving it. :)



(yes, my mirror is incredibly dirty)

I got a super nice case, the camera body itself, two interchangeable lenses, download cord, charger, battery, memory card, two DVDs, a book and a manual--and I only had to pay 350!

And the camera is amazing. I feel like I was born with it in my hands. It feels so comfortable, it takes incredible pictures, it's got a wide range of features (including in-camera editing software...which is really nice ;) and feels so professional.

Ahhhh... :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes. It's happened. I bought my Nikon D3000. My daddy, brother, sister and I went to Costco and bought it.

And get this--my daddy's paying half of the price. Here I was expecting to pay 700, and he said I only had to pay 350.

My parents are the greatest. That's all there is to it.

I'll post pictures that I have taken soon. But for now...off to play with it. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Flying Free

(I will post lots of pictures soon that will chronicle my retreat better then words can. But for now, my musings. [and Jordyn, you gotta send the piccies to me!])

I have so many expectations in life. I have most of my future planned out. I have decided that I will major in English or Photography and that I will pursue careers as an author and photographer. I hope that I will get married and have kids--preferably three daughters and four sons.

I honestly have everything planned out.

I can be spontaneous, but I would rather have everything set out and planned.

So that I can anticipate what is going to happen.

So that I can set expectations and count on them to be fulfilled.

I have memorized the book of James, and while I was mulling this despicable trait of mine over, this verse popped into my head.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." James 1:14-15
God has been telling me that this constant planning and re-planning is not good and not right. Ever. Because by trying to plan out what will happen, I am not showing trust in Him. I am showing that I do not trust that God knows what is best for my life and that I must be the one to take control of it.

I'm not saying that planning for the years ahead is bad. I think it's good if you have an idea of where your life will go, an idea of who you want to grow up to be so that you have some long-term goals to work towards. But my planning became more than just dreaming. It became anxiety and distrust and a whole bunch of other icky stuff that destroys relationships and self-esteem.

While I was on my retreat, I caught myself "planning" (i.e. worrying about it, trying to think ahead of what I would do with so-and-so, how insanely amazing it was going to be, etc. etc.). I "planned" that I would do this if someone did this, that I would talk such-and-such amount to so-and-so person, that I would make so-and-so friends and have such-and-such fun.

I had very high expectations for the retreat. Very very high.

Even though it was incredible, some parts of it failed most miserably to reach my expectations. Some things went wrong.

Instead of focusing afterwards on the good things that happened during the retreat, I found myself grumbling about the things that didn't happen.

I walked away from that retreat feeling empty instead of content.

And that is not okay.

There was a time in my life when I was really lost. I strayed completely from the path of righteousness and I lost all sense of direction. God no longer sparked the flash anymore, and the Bible became a dead mass of words that held no meaning.

Those days were the worst of my life. But with God's help, my feet found the path once more. Once again, I began trodding along the way of the Lord.

Looking back on those days, I am glad that God put me through it. I walked away from it with a renewed faith in God and an overwhelming awareness of the extent and completeness of God's grace.

God stripped away my plans completely, and let me lean with all my soul on Him.

Those days were hard.

Very hard.

But the beauty in my life now is a result of coming through the dark days. After I emerged from the pitch-black tunnel, the pure daylight seemed brighter than ever.

Right now, I desire so many things. I want this and this, and I seem to never be content. I'm anxious because I want something to be given back to me, and I worry about it. I grow disgruntled about it.

I can't seem to just let it go.

God kept telling me to let it go, but I held tighter and tighter.

I've been holding on so tight
Look at these knuckles
They've gone white
I'm fighting for who I wanna be
I'm just trying to find security

But You say let it go, You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the ones who lose control
You say you will be, everything I need
You said if I lose my life it's then I'll find my soul
You say let it go.

-Tenth Avenue North, "Let It Go."
The truth is, I couldn't let this thing go.

Until now.

If I am to let go of my tendancy to hold onto things, if I am to let go of my nature of continual "planning," then I must let this thing go.

I must let it go, and be free of it.

My retreat was fantastic. It is a weekend that I will look back on with fondness and amazement.

I made memories that I will never forget.

I colored a Mickey Mouse valentine. I played Diaper Wars. I talked on a bananaphone with my best friend. I sleep-talked/sleep-walked and freaked all my friends out. I learned to snowboard. I hung out with all my best friends.

Despite all this, I did walk away from the retreat feeling sad and depressed because everything did not go exactly as planned.

But that feeling is gone now.

That emptiness was a result of my setting "plans" instead of letting God take control.

The darkest part of my life was a result of me trying to anticipate things and spending my time trying to keep up a perfect image. I almost lost God because of that--I almost lost me.

The unhappiness that I have felt lately was a result of me trying to take events that God carefully planned, and trying to twist them to fit my circumstances. I tried to defy God.

God's telling me to let everything go. I need to fall utterly and completely in love with Him again.

I'm letting go of the chains that are wrapped so tightly around me--have been ever since I can remember.

He's setting me free.

Finally, I feel like I could fly.

When I am depending upon the wings of God, I can rise above my petty culture. I can rise above my catty, competitive and exclusive nature. I can rise above the sins and dark puddles of this world.

With God, I know that I can fly free of Satan and the havoc that he and his minions have caused.

I can let go.

I can rise above.

I am free.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Farewell, my dear Bloggie friends...

This afternoon I'm leaving for my church's winter retreat (I'll get back Sunday morning). I honestly cannot wait--I have been looking forward to this since Janurary. :)

It seems like all of my best friends are going--it's going to be insanely incredible. (Among those going are Jenna and Hunter) Jenna and I decided to wash our hair in the sinks at our church instead of taking a shower before the retreat. ^^

Off to finish school and then pack. I'll post again Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. But for now, fare well and have a great weekend, my dear Bloggie friends. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Waiting For Something Beautiful

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14

Waiting.

I honestly hate that word.

Waiting means being patient.

Waiting means having trust.

Waiting means having self-control.

All three of these things are extremely difficult to obtain--especially being patient. I have little or no patience. I want what I want when I want it--not a minute too late.

Yet waiting is an inevitable part of life. Obviously, everyone learns from a young age that no-one gets what they want when they want it.

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
What if I'm waiting for Something beautiful?

What if I'm waiting for God's touch on my life?

What if I'm waiting for a sign that He's working in and through me?
This is my desire
Consume me like a fire
Cause I just want
Something beautiful to touch me
I know that I'm in reach
I am down on my knees
And waiting for
Something beautiful
-Needtobreathe, "Something Beautiful"
I can't help but feeling...slighted. I have been waiting so long for a sign, for a visitation, for a miracle, for something, something that would chase away my doubts of God's reality.

In the midst of agonizing in self-pity and despair that I would never free myself of my nagging doubts, I realized that I was limiting God.

I was limiting Him.
Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:

" 'He will command His angels concerning You,

and they will lift You up in their hands,

so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.'"

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Matthew 4:5-7
I was limiting God, making Him a little box inside my head.

I was changing Something Beautiful into something ordinary and distant.
But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently. Romans 8:25
I had enough arrogance to think that God was not listening, that He wasn't thinking.

Me.

I cannot even begin to comprehend His plans.

And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. Romans 8:28
God is speaking.

Am I listening?
If God is on our side, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

From A Seven Year Old's Pen

(AH! I posted twice in one day! The Posting-Until-It -Gets-Obnoxious Bug has bitten me! AHHHH!!!)

This is a story entitled The Boxcar Children that I have posted several times on my blog.

Just reading this makes me feel nostalgic all over again. I have changed so much. It's not the changes in and of themselves that are bad, but the fact that I'm changing. :(

(All typos are purposeful. I typed the story just as I had written it five years ago.)

The Boxcar Children
By Rebekah Alden

There lived 4 children. The oldest one was Joshua, 18. The next was Kylee, 16. Next Evan, 15. Next was Rebekah, 14.

One day Rebekah looked out the window of there big house.

“I want to go outside!” She anocconed.

“No silly goose!” said Kylee “its raining!”

“Caml down!” said Joshua loudly.

“Yea!” agreed Evan.

“Okay!” said Rebekah.
They listen to the pitter patter of the rain.

“I want to go outside,” said Rebekah.

“I told you No!” said Joshua.

“Okay…!”

“Time to go to bed!" Said Joshua.

“Okay!” everyone said.

In the morning Rebekah woke first then she got dressed and went downstairs quickly and quitly for not to everyone wake up.

“Why does everyone boss me around?” she quisoined herself.

“Why am I the youngest?”
“Why do I have to be 14?”

“Why do I have to be me?”

“Why, do I?

“Rebekah?” said Kylee, coming in.

“Huh?” Rebekah turned around. “Did you hear me?”

“Yes,” said Kylee. “I know how you feel.”

“How do you?”

“Once Joshua always bossed me around once I was the youngest.”

“You, where?”
“Yes.”
It was breakfast and Rebekah chewed thoughtfully.

“Why are you so quit?” asked Even.

“Nothen.”
“Oh”

Rebekah and Kylee shered a glance.

A silent gulped the room as the 4 children chewed there breakfast slowly.

After breakfast Rebekah and Evan went to do there schoolwork.

Kylee and Joshua went outside to talk.

“This is a fine day,” said Kylee.

“Yes.”
There was a pause. Joshua broke the silence.

“You look preety.”
“Thank you,” Kyle said “you look handsome”

Down in basement Even and Rebekah where working.
“I’m Done” Evan said. He went outside with Kylee.
“Where’s Joshua?” asked Evan.

“In his room.”

Evan came and sat with kylee.

They sat there ton fifteen mintuns.

“Well, I’ll go see Joshua,” said Kylee “in his room, he must be lonesome.”

Kylee stood and went inside.

Evan lay on his back and looked up into the sky. It wasa bright blue sowling the rest of the world.

“I’ll go check the mail, see if there is any mail for me or Joshua or Kylee or Rebekah.”

He went, found some Mail for Kylee and Rebekah.

Evan went upstairs to the girls room, expecting only Rebekah, but when he opened the door Kylee was there too. Her face looked worried, so did Rebekah.

“Whuts the matter?”

“When I came in Joshua’s room, his face looked pinched, as if he hadn’t ate for days. I asked whuts the matter, he said he felt sick!”

“Why did he feel sick?” asked Evan.

“I’ll go ask him.” Said Kylee

She went and appered again. “he said he ate his lunch and saw a black thing, he thought it was a seed and he ate it.”

“Oh NO!” cried Evan “get a doctor!”
“I’ll call one,” said Rebekah hurrying on.
An hour later, the doctor looked down Joshua’s throat.

"Hm…” he said “it looks like Joshua ate not a seed…but a tick!”

“Oh No!” Kylee ran upstairs and Rebekah fainted.

Only Evan stood standing, but his face white as snow.

“My brother!” Evan gasped for air.

Kylee came downstairs, her face red from crying.

“Will he be alright? Will he be able to get out of bed?”

“he’ll be okay but it might take painchnt.”

“That’ll be okay.” Said Kylee.

The docter left.

“how should we get Rebekah up?” said Kylee.

“Let’s doump water on her”
“Okay”

They dumbed water on Rebekah and she woke up spporting the water out of her mouth.

Once Rebekah dressed in wrarm clothes she went down stairs.

Joshua was liying on the coch his face pinched and white

Evan and Kylee towerd over him there face looked far from relaxed.

The doorbell rang.

"I’ll get it” cried Rebekah.
It was Mrs. huckleberry.

She was holding a present for Joshua who was sick.

“I hope he will get better soon for my chrideren are longing for his Jokes he used to tell”

“us too” Reekah said “please come in Joshua would be plesed to have you here”

CHAPTER TWO:

Rebekah was writing.

Evan was reading.

Kylee was drawing.
And Joshua was asleep.
Rebekah was writing about a girl her age who livied alone in the woods, and fed on berries and roots.
Evan was reading about Robon Hood and his crew and how he stole from the rich and gave to the poor. And now his crew grew bigger and bigger.
Kylee was drawing a pichutre of a town and all the people running around and selling, bying and playing all the towns people loved there town by the looks Kylee put on their faces.
Joshua was dreaming, dreaming a horrible dream where he was bound hand and foot and thrown into the river where monsters sowlled him up.
“I’m bored!” said Rebekah putting down her notepad. “My story’s getting boring”
“Why?” asked Kylee looking up from her pad.

“Because I don’t have any Idieas for it.” She replied
Rebekah was taking a walk, thinking of an Idia for her story.

“I can have someone feed a Lion…No that’s too boring…”
At the house Kylee fed Joshua his medicine and Evan watched. He watched the gooey pink stuff go into Joshua’s mouth.

“Ugh that must be disgusting stuff!”
“I guess it is” said Kylee.
Evan looked up at his 16teen year old sister.
“Kylee, will he get better?”
“I think so”

Kylee hoped hoped and prayed. Joshua was slowly getting better and Kylee was thankfull but she would hope and pray intill he was better.
Evan did the same but his prayers where shorten then Kylee’s because he loved Joshua too it just his days were more busy then Kylee’s.
Rebekah loved to whrite. Evan loved to read. Kylee loved to draw. Joshua loved to play.
There hobbys were different but there lives were the same.
Joshua was waking and he knew he would have to eat his madincine.

He did not want to and his dream troubled him gratly.
Kylee went outside to hope and pray.
“Oh Lord God, Please help Joshua to get better soon and not get hurt and allow the sickness may leave his body quickly and gracefully so not to leave any sickness behind it.”
In 4 weeks, Joshua was better but very weak in his legs and stomace. His arms were not so strong but he was well agen.
“He’ll feel much better in 1 more week.” Said Kylee.
“He will?” asked Rebekah.
“Yes” said Kylee “The docter said so himself too.”

“Yippee!” cried Rebekah. “Then in 1 more week me and him can play War or Make a Match or Minopoly or Uno or Risk. We can listen to his Jokes, Stories, Knock’s Knock’s Jokes. We could play horses or planes or Legos or anything! We could go outside or play with the new neighbors. I can’t wait tell one more week!"

But in one more week when Joshua awoke from his deep sleep he will dispoint Rebekah greatly.
“Joshua, want to play Make a Match or Minopoly or Risk or Uno or horses or…I know lets go outside and play with our frands.”
“Oh…No I can’t I’m to tired maybe you can do those things with evan instead.”
“What!” I…can’t believe this, I’ll…I’ll…I’ll…I’ll tell Kylee!”
Joshua was sitting in his room watching people and things pass by with his binoculars.
“Akkool!” said Joshua as he looked at the lisences plate of a car.

“Okay” said Rebekah who was writing it down.

Rebekah was playing on the computer and she went to “Acarda Games” Joshua watched to make sure she did it right. She was playing Tank Games.

“Turn right…watch out…there’s a tank!”
“Okay.”
“hurry…shoot him…hurry…get that!"
“get that green thing?”

“yes…hurry…There’s a tank, turn left…move forward in attack!"

“Okay."

“There’s a helicopter shoot him shoot him again. Now get that red thing shoot him!” Joshua kept giving orders

Kylee and her friend were playing.

The End.

I will post soon, just about my life and the things going on. Soon, soon, I will have a post that doesn't have a point. Just a place where I can breathe.

The Flash

And then, for one glorious, supreme moment, came "the flash". Emily called it that, although she felt that the name didn't exactly describe it. It couldn't be described -- not even to Father, who always seemed a little puzzled by it. Emily never spoke of it to anyone else.

 It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside -- but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond -- only a glimpse -- and heard a note of unearthly music.

This moment came rarely -- went swiftly, leaving her breathless with the inexpressible delight of it. She could never recall it -- never summon it -- never pretend it; but the wonder of it stayed with her for days. It never came twice with the same thing. To-night the dark boughs against that far-off sky had given it. It had come with a high, wild note of wind in the night, with a shadow wave over a ripe field, with a greybird lighting on her window-sill in a storm, with the singing of "Holy, holy, holy" in church, with a glimpse of the kitchen fire when she had come home on a dark autumn night, with the spirit-like blue of ice palms on a twilight pane, with a felicitous new word when she writing down a 'description' of something. And always when the flash came to her Emily felt that life was a wonderful, mysterious thing of persistent beauty.
I have always felt the flash. I never gave it a name, I never described it to anyone--but the flash was a huge part of my life. It was, I think, what inspired and shaped my insatiable itch for writing.

I have written stories for as long as I can remember. Ever since I could read stories, I began writing them. Even as a young child I remember having the flash--pretty much the only things I can remember of those earlier years. L. M. Montgomery gave my flash a name and a description. As soon as I read about it, I knew that that was what I kept experiencing.  

This describes the flash exactly, almost word for word as I have always unconsciously thought of it. Emily seems exactly like me--it is unnerving at times.
It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside -- but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond -- only a glimpse -- and heard a note of unearthly music.
The flash must sound stupid to those of you who haven't experienced it. It cannot be described exactly--I could write and write for a million years, and I would never be able to transcribe it into mere words.

I never get the flash for the same thing. One night a full moon causes me to have it. I go weak-kneed and breathless. My heart rate doesn't go back to normal for several minutes. The next day, I get it because of the frosty pane of my window, like angel's breath across the blotched glass. The next day, I get it because of the mist and fog in the morning, or because of the rising sun. In the middle of a writing class I got it, when I read the word "elude." The weirdest flash I ever had was in a science class when I was looking at a hydra through the microscope.

Directly after the flash has left, I feel so lonely, but then the feeling passes and I positively long for a pen and paper in which to write about it. It's like...I have to write. I don't have a choice. My whole being just...agh. Whatever I write that attempts to describe the flash will sound stupid. The thing is, I can't describe it. But it's then, directly after the flash, that I know that I was meant to be a writer.

But that's the weird thing--in all of my old diaries, I found no mention of the flash. It was like it was too sacred to write about.

Odd, isn't it?

The flash is my inspiration, my motivation. It is God-given.

If I had one wish, it would be that I could bring the "gods' random word" that I overhear during the flash, that I could bring that into writing and into the ordinary world.

Oh, I live for the flash.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This Pretty Much Sums It Up

I typed up something I wrote about my SAT test-taking experience. It pretty much sums the whole thing up. (and no, I didn't exaggerate on the evil women...at least, not a lot)

(I didn't edit this at all, so any typos or weird things, I apologize for beforehand.)

SAT


The Experience Of A Lifetime...

...And I Don't Mean That In A Good Way!


KNOCKED UNCONSCIOUS--ALMOST

My mom’s hand jostled me out of sleep. Yawning, I pulled my clothes on, stuck my contacts in, brushed my hair, gulped down breakfast and collected my stuff for the test. As I headed out for the car, I was unaware that the driveway was completely iced over with black ice. My feet went out from underneath me, and I heard a loud crack as my head hit the ice/driveway. Stars splashed across my vision and I lay limply on the ice as I fought to stay conscious. Then I recovered, sat up and moaned as my head seared in intense pain. My dad helped me up, and gathered my scattered books, pencils and calculator. I could hardly get into the car because my vision was flickering and wavering, my world was spinning vertigo, and my head ached. After ten minutes of staring silently at the seat in front of me, everything went back to normal. I knew that I would regret falling when I would be attempting to ignore the pain in my head while trying to find an answer to a difficult problem in the test.

I wanted to scream throughout the whole car-ride. My head felt like it was split down the back. My eyes hurt, my nose was running, my head ached, and my dad had one of those talk-shows with the gravel-voiced announcers turned up way too loud. The whole car positively throbbed as the gravel-voiced announcer proclaimed his disapproval of such-and-such. I never thought that I would see the day when I would be relieved to pull into a four-hour test center.

THE CONFUSED BIGWIG

After entering the testing area, Dad, brother and I received directions from a bossy looking woman with weird glasses and headed toward the room my brother and I were assigned to. There was a steady stream of kids. One kid was so nervous he dropped his calculator and the batteries flew across the floor to hide under a locker. He looked so embarrassed that it made me want to drop mine just to make him feel better.

A stout woman wearing a bunchy sweater that made her look fatter than she probably was in reality was standing in the middle of the hall, rebuking parents and examining papers.

She spotted us with her glittering eyes. I felt like a mouse in the sights of a hawk. “You there!” she rasped. “Sir, I must ask you to leave. Right now!”

Dad was slightly flustered. “Yes, I understand. I’m just getting my kids to their classroom.”

“Sir, I must ask you to leave right now,” the woman repeated, gesturing to the door with a flabby arm. She zoned in on the papers we held in our hands and snatched them like a maniac. “Aha!” she screeched. “You need student ID, sir.” At Dad’s blank look, she repeated, “Student ID! You need it!”

“I didn’t think—well—Student ID? Isn’t that for highschoolers?” Dad asked. My brother and I exchanged amused glances and tried not to burst out laughing.

“For highschoolers? ‘Course not.” She squinted at my brother and me. “You kids fifth graders?”

“Eighth,” coughed my brother.

“Yes, definitely, student ID is needed, otherwise...” she paused dramatically, “...your test scores will be cancelled!”

“Well then,” said Dad, trying to be cheery, “I will certainly get my kids their student ID.” He was just humoring her, and the woman knew it.

She shook her finger at us. “You don’t forget it. Otherwise these kids—fifth graders, you say?—these kids will have no SAT scores!”

“Eighth grade!” said my brother a little louder, but the woman ignored us.

She turned away and began railing another parent for coming too far. My dad whispered, “You hear anything about student ID?”

“No,” I said. “Just the highschoolers—who are taking the SAT for college entry—need it...not those who are taking it for practice.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” nodded my dad. With a respectful jerk of his thumb at the woman, he muttered, “She’s confused.” In a louder voice he said, “Anyways, you two have a good time with your test. Do your best. Bye.”

Echoing farewells, my brother and I steered clear of the confused woman and headed to our classroom.


UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS AT TEST-TAKING

I was somewhat nervous and tried to avoid any more women who looked like they were in charge. My brother and I entered classroom 201b, took our jackets off, and stood awkwardly in line, sheepishly shuffling our feet and appearing engrossed in the papers that we held in our hands. All the other kids seemed to know each other, calling out remarks and exclamations.

I received my desk number and meekly sat down. In a few moments, a tall, bespectacled blonde woman marched in, her face friendly but determined—like she wanted to have fun but didn’t have the time.

“Welcome, children.”

I hated the way she said “children”.

“This is a very important test, and I’m glad you all took the time to come take it.” She smiled, and then it slid off her face as she continued on. “You are not allowed to use calculators on this test unless it is a math section—and only an all-math section.”

Is there half-math half-English sections? I wondered sarcastically.

“I will hand out your test booklets. Do not open them until I tell you to do so!”

The kids exchanged scared glances, and no-one even dared touch their booklets.

“Now,” she continued in a less rigid tone. “You will have 45 minutes to work on the first section.” Her eyes became glittering stars shooting daggers at us all. “If I so much catch you peeking into the next section, I will kick you out before you can say ‘cheating.’ Is that clear?”

A few kids nodded nervously, but most of them just stared blankly at the woman, like deer caught in an oncoming car’s headlights.

“No talking, no passing notes, no looking in previous or upcoming test sections, no food or beverages in this test room, and the use of electronics besides calculators is strictly prohibited—whether in the testing room or during break. If I see anyone using any electronics besides calculators, I will kick them out before they can say ‘stupid.’” She looked around the room, as if daring someone to raise their hand and contradict her. When no brave soul did so, she plunged on. “There is to be no breaking of these rules, otherwise the result will be immediate and final dismissal from this test. Am I understood?”

I gulped.

She droned on about rules and what would happen if we broke them—emphasizing on the punishment and shame involved with rule-breaking. I grew more and more nervous every second she spoke, and was petrified when she told us to begin. I knew I was going to blunder something up. I took a deep breath and dove into the problems.

I was still nervous after the first five English problems, but then I let my geeky side wash over me and became completely engrossed in the test. I finished a few minutes before the administrator shrieked, “Time’s up! Pencils down! I said, pencils down!”

She stood from her desk, her face a black mask of rage. She glared at all of us for a second or two, then pointed a cruel finger at a greasy-haired boy who jumped. “You,” she growled, “you stupid boy! Why did you look ahead into the next section? Were you cheating? Did you not know that that was breaking the rules most atrociously? Did you think that I would not see you?” She addressed all of us: “I see everything.” She turned back to the cheater. “Get your stuff. Now. You’re leaving.” I could have sworn she then muttered “imbecile” under her breath.

The boy’s eyes widened and he paled. He grabbed his pencils and calculator, and allowed himself to be marched out of the room.

The woman returned. “That is what happens to those who break the rules.” She sighed. “Next section, you have thirty minutes to work on thirty questions. I will give you a five-minute warning. You may begin.”

Once again, I picked up my pencil, took a deep breath and began working, carefully, but as quickly as I could. Everyone finished early. One strawberry-blonde girl turned in her seat and spoke to her neighbor, who nodded, whispered a few words in return and then fell silent. I watched the administrator’s reaction, and sure enough, the woman had caught that, and the set of her mouth was frozen disapproval.

The woman told us to put our pencils down, then stalked out of the room. She returned and said fiercely, “I am waiting for someone to escort you two ladies out of the room for talking.”

The two girls in question stiffened and exchanged shocked glances.

A stout woman with a whistle around her neck and a pompous air rushed in. “What is the problem?” she barked.

“This young lady”—the administrator pointed at the strawberry-blonde girl—“turned around and talked to this young lady” –pointed to the Indian girl—“who replied to her.”

The stout woman’s brow knotted as she jerked her thumb over her shoulder. “You two. Up. Get your stuff. Out.”

The two girls moved as if in a daze. They picked up their stuff and floated out, their eyes wide and unblinking.

FINALLY FINISHED—OR SO I THINK!

The rest of the test passed by in a long blur. I scratched away at the problems, I tried to concentrate despite my aching head, and I think I did well. I haven’t gotten my test scores back yet, and even if I did I wouldn’t share them up here.

Throughout the first ten minutes of the car-ride home, I looked forward eagerly to a leisure-filled day of lounging and talking and writing and chatting and listening to music. Until my mom called.

After I filled her in on all the drama that occurred, she told me that I had a seven-and-a-half-hour babysitting job. She had already accepted it for me.

My work never ends. ;)

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Backing Down"? Don't Think So...

...at least, not with this as my inspiration. ;)
I'm at war with the world and they
Try to pull me into the dark
I struggle to find my faith
As I'm slippin' from your arms
It's getting harder to stay awake
And my strength is fading fast
You breathe into me at last...

I'm awake, I'm alive,
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it's my time
I'll do what I want 'cause this is my life
Here, right now!
I'll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I'm awake and I'm alive...

I'm at war with the world 'cause I
Ain't never gonna sell my soul
I've already made up my mind
No matter what, I can't be bought or sold
When my faith is getting weak
And I feel like giving in
You breathe into me again...

I'm awake, I'm alive,
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it's my time
I'll do what I want 'cause this is my life
Here, right now!
I'll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I'm awake and I'm alive...

Bridge:
Waking up Waking up, Waking up Waking up
Waking up Waking up, Waking up Waking up
In the dark, I can feel you in my sleep
In your arms I feel you breathe into me
Forever hold this heart that I will give to you
Forever I will live for you!

I'm awake, I'm alive,
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it's my time
I'll do what I want 'cause this is my life
Here, right now!
I'll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I'm awake and I'm alive...
          awake and alive by skillet

Skillet isn't normally my inspiration band--more like my "turn it up sing it loud wake me up" band. While this song is a "turn it up sing it loud wake me up" song, it's also a "turn it up listen to words be moved" song.

Take a look at these words again:
I'll stand my ground and never back down.
I'm not going to build a Bible study around a Skillet song (or will I? You never know! *winks*), but I needed the wake-up call. I have not been standing my ground in regard to what I believe in. Even in church, I don't comment when others swear profusely, make crude or cutting remarks, or act immodestly. I just kind of half-laugh while rolling my eyes--but I don't say anything.

I don't defend those who are getting beat up on. I don't reach out to the kid who is sitting alone.

After all, it's my reputation I'm trying to protect. A "cool", "popular" person wouldn't be defending and reaching out to the "un-cool," "un-popular" people. (I put those words in quotations because God doesn't believe in a "cool" or "un-cool" person...though, unfortunately, I do. But, believe me, that's gonna change.)

Nuh-uh. Not a good attitude.

One of the things I have been praying most hard about this week is that God would give me unconditional love. Love for everyone--not just my friends.

This trait is the one I love most about God--that, and his grace (after which I was named after... "Rebekah Grace," my full name). God has unconditional love: for the poor, for the broken, and for the "un-cool", as well as for the rich, for the righteous, and for the supposedly "cool". To truly be after His Spirit, I must strive after this unconditional love myself.

Anyways--just thought I'd share the lyrics and my thoughts with you. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Prayer--Potent, but Taken for Granted

I have been a Christian all my life. I have grown up (and am growing up) in a Christian household. I have Christian family, Christian relatives and Christian friends. I own two Bibles. I keep one on my bedstand and one in the living room. I read it every morning and every night. I pray every morning, every night, and before every meal. I participate in Bible time with my family. I have Bible verses and meaningful poems all over my walls. I have memorized Philippians and James, and countless other verses.

Sound like the perfect Christian?

In deeds, maybe. In spirit?

I used to think so. But lately...I'm not so sure.

Sunday morning was when I first realized that maybe I'm only following the letter of the law--but am avoiding the spirit of it all. My "Sunday-school teacher" (Hate that term, makes Sunday morning sound like school--which, in a way, it is...but in every way, it's not. Does that make sense?) explained how, in the Old Testament, there was a check-list, of sorts. The OT gave a list of strict rules: Don't murder. Don't commit adultery. Love your neighbor. It implied that if you followed these rules, you would go to heaven. Jesus says something else though: Yeah, I don't want you to murder, but don't even get angry. Don't commit adultery, but don't even have lust. Love your neighbor, true, but even love your enemy.

He rose the standard.

While I was listening to my awesome teacher, I realized that I really am not following the spirit of the law. I obviously haven't murdered anyone, I most definitely haven't commited adultery (obviously not married, but still), and how easy is it to love your friends? Super easy.

I have gotten angry--countless times. Haven't felt lust yet--but I'm only twelve. No idea how hard it gets later. And I dislike my "enemies"--strongly.

What else have I done completely wrong? I wondered.

Then Monday morning it hit me.

I realized that I took prayer for granted. I had unconsciously defined prayer as a way to get what I want, when I want...I took advantage of the fact that the most powerful being ever imaginable listened to me. Prayer changed from something sacred and real, to an Aladdin's lamp--I limited God, picturing him as a genie, of sorts. I began cluttering up my prayers with unnecessary wants and selfish desires. I prayed for certain things to happen to me; I prayed for certain people to stop bugging me; I prayed, I prayed, and I prayed...but for the completely wrong things.

So...I decided to pray four times per day, at scheduled times. Like the Jews do--but just for a week. And I resolved to keep the prayers off of my personal worldly needs--like sleepovers, belongings, etc.

It's been working great so far. I pray at nine o'clock, twelve o'clock, three o'clock and six o'clock. Instead of praying about worldly needs/wants, I pray that God would give me the inner qualities spoken of in 1 Corinthians 13, in Philipians, in James, in the Beautitudes.

I'm not exactly sure why I love the scheduled prayer type of thing...maybe it's because I feel like, in the middle of whatever I'm doing, God is willing to listen to me.

He is willing to listen to my prayers. He is willing to answer them.

He is ready to forgive my past carelessness.

Don't we have an amazing God?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Vote For My Science Teacher

US Bank is having a contest where they're giving away 5000 dollars. My science teacher entered, Ms. Jean Bakos, and she would use it in order to buy some more equipment for her science homeschooling program.

You can vote for her once per email address every 24 hours--I said I would spread the word. Please, go vote for her HERE.

This is her story:

Educational Support Gets Ahead



Educational Support Services was established to offer home schooled students hands-on science activities. I would use $5000 to purchase additional equipment. Items could include: a portable projector, tools for electronics, magnets, models for anatomy, prisms, tuning forks, light boxes, a pupil cam, fossils, rocks and minerals, stream tables, fault models, sedimentation tubes, globes, and weather equipment.



— Jean B.
 
I would appreciate it if you would vote for her, and I'm sure she would too. :)
 
Anyways, I was reading some of my old posts, and I'm thinking about re-posting an old story that I had written with I was eight/nine years old...just warning you, it's very lame, very funny, and based off of an old series I idolized at that age: The Boxcar Children.
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