Life Update + Lots of Books

Hi, everybody!

Sorry it’s been FOREVER. I hope that you have all been doing well, and I’m sorry it’s been so long since I got a post out, so this is just going to be a little life update.

Firstly, I planned my brother’s birthday party! It was an Around the World in Eighty Days themed party, and I had a special section for each location. I had a ton of fun planning it, and it was very exciting to set it all up. I’m happy to say that he enjoyed it.

Okay, next up, I’ve been doing a ton of reading! Earlier in the year, I got a free month of Kindle Unlimited, so I read 19 books there. Then, I’ve done a few library trips, so I’ve read 12 books there. I read through all seven of the Narnia books, and I’ve started reading through the six Anne books. Also, I read through the five Vanderbeeker books, and I’ve used lots of Hoopla and Libby borrows. All in all, I’ve read 85 books this year! (Note: If you’d like to see my Goodreads account, it’s here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/77025009-erin)

Let’s get on to writing, now! I’ve been working on several unfinished projects, and I actually finished a middle grade book I was writing (more about that in another post). Now, I’m working on a short story (I can talk about that in another post, too).

Ooh, now I can talk about my cooking! I’ve been doing some cooking recently, and I’m working on freezing cookies so that we can defrost them this summer, when it’s too hot to use the oven. I’ve been experimenting with different muffins, and I hope to soon try making caramel sauce and some sort of popsicle.

Then, of course, there’s school. I’m still working on my French, and although I’m not terrific at it, I really enjoy doing it. I finished economics (yay! I don’t ever want to do economics again), and I’m going to start chemistry soon.

Ooh! I bought a lot of books, and I’ll put in a picture of them, because they’re really fun to look at. I haven’t read all of them, so I’m not recommending them. I just wanted to grab these books, and I hope they turn out well.

Well, I think that’s just about it. I haven’t been getting much work in with my guitar, but I hope to do more of that later. That’s it, though, so I hope you have a lovely day, and I will try and post again soon.

God bless you,

Important Words

Words are important.

Really, they are.

Today, we see hurtful words in our world. We see people using words to hurt, and to harm others, instead of using praiseful words that lift spirits and moving words that convey truth. Words are wasted by insignificant thoughts and idle sayings. Few people treasure words or enjoy them, because they’re constantly busy hurrying through them to move on to the next thing.

But words have power. The words we say bear power that is stronger than our world gives them credit for, because people are afraid of the damage that can be done by using words. Like so many things in this world, they can be used for either good or bad. As everyone has been hurt by words, everyone is afraid of what can be done with the full force of words. Because of this, very few people use words to their full extent.

If an idea is worth conveying, though, it’s worth conveying well. The great people of history have been forced to choose not only what they want to share, but how they want to share it. When you look to the Bible, you can see the richly worded pages upon pages of rich thoughts and great ideas, orchestrated to meet others and share ideas. When you read the words of the brilliant and caring God, you find no light or unimportant words. Instead, you find words and rich blankets of wonder resting to share a vibrant and living idea.

In order to properly use words, we must supply ourselves with the ability and vocabulary to do so. The best way to do this is through the influences we surround ourselves with. For instance, the majority of the words we use come from the people we interact with, the books and blogs we read, the movies we watch, and the podcasts and music we listen to. Although they may not seem important, these are the influences that fill our minds.

Once, when listening to a Sally Clarkson podcast (there’s a chance it was actually one of her books), I was inspired by a beautiful mental image she painted that day. I don’t remember her exact wording, and I’m sorry to admit I don’t even remember which podcast it was on, but I definitely remember the idea. I think she was talking about children, and she mentioned the fact that she viewed a child’s heart and mind as a treasure chest, that you can fill with whatever you want to be in your child’s heart and mind. To this day, I’ve begun to view my own heart as a treasure chest, and the words I use are the combined product of the items in that treasure chest.

So, be careful of what you fill your mind with. You only get one treasure chest, and it can be full of the most wonderful things this world has to offer. Beautiful friends, rich podcasts, lovely blogs, great pieces of literature, wholesome films, and rich musical pieces. I’d love to do a post on recommendations soon. Of course, it all depends on what inspires you to use your words wisely, but these are just a few of my recommendations. Whatever you pick, the things you store in your chest become important. These are all items that you can save in your treasure chest, and they will contribute to the items that you spin from this treasure chest, and share with the whole world.

As we approach the midpoint of our week, I encourage you to examine your words closely. The pen is mightier than thesword. What we say has bearing on what happens, and our words should only be used to communicate a message of truth and hope, just as the Bible conveys a message of truth and hope to use. If you choose your words wisely, people will not only listen to you more, but they will understand more, and they will be taught through your words and grow.

God bless you,

What I Did Today…

Just a short post!

I just wanted you to know that my mom bought the beautiful John: So That You May Believe study by Kari Denker. You can buy it through Ordinary Kari, if you want, but we’re gonna go through this. If you don’t want to do it, that’s fine, but I just thought I’d recommend it to you.

Everything’s going great here. It was our Sabbath, so we’ve all been kicked back and having fun. We’ve been working on getting our basement together, so today we were able to go down there and have some fun, playing around. I’ve also practiced my guitar, and listened to Michael W. Smith (yes, I am listening to it as I write this post). We had a long insightful talk about the prophecies of Jesus (always interesting!).

The smoke is really bad outside because of some fires nearby, but my family and I are perfectly safe. If you could be praying for the people closer to the fire, I would appreciate it.

All in all, a great day, with lots of time to read God’s Word (I’m moving through Numbers right now). I pray that you all have great days, and I’m keeping everyone online in my prayers. Thank you for reading my blog. It’s really fun to hear what you have to say in the comments. Thank you!

-A Christian Girl

My Calligraphy

Look! That’s my calligraphy! Remember how I told you about my goal to learn calligraphy this summer? Well, I’m well on my way. For Christmas, my grandmother gave me a set of calligraphy pens, and they got me pretty interested in calligraphy. With my Internet Fast this summer, I have plenty of time to work on it.

I found the most wonderful videos on Youtube by the Happy Ever Crafter, which shows you exactly how to accomplish wonderful brush strokes and exceptionally special tips on how to put it all together in your writing. As you can see from the picture above, I’m just beginning, but I think it looks pretty good.

I’m actually using brush pens right now (the calligraphy pens were to difficult for me to learn with), and they have such a great versatility with strokes. I encourage you to look into buying a set of brush pens if you have any interest in calligraphy. It really is a lot of fun.

Below I have put a few pictures of my other sets of calligraphy work and practice. Tell me what you think of it and if you are working on similar goals this summer in the comments below.

God bless you,

-A Christian Girl

Finished January: A Story About Excitement for February

I am currently reading The Lifegiving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson for Home Ec credit. It’s amazing how vividly they recreate the dream of a perfect home, and a place that is warm and comforting, and creates the mental image of a cheerful space to gather, talk, create memories, and eat delicious feasts. With every chapter I find myself dreaming of the home that I will someday create, and the room that I am shaping right now.

Speaking of my room-making experience, this weekend we moved a desk into my room, and I can’t tell you how nice it is to be writing this post as I sit at it, looking at the decorations that my sister and I agreed on. A small statue as the centerpiece, surrounded by books: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series (her choice), and C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia (mine). To top it off, I have two angel musicboxes on either side. It looks great, especially with the periwinkle blue table runner I ironed and threw on my desk.

As I listen to the rapid sound of both my sister and I typing at our desk, I look outside at the sky, which is surpisingly blue considering the fact that it’s the first day of February. I feel cold just looking at the ground outside, and I find myself dreaming of hot days when you can barbecue and sip cold beverages. But, then again, February is a wonderful month of the year. It’s gotten you past the post-holiday stress and life has found it’s routine, but you know that this is the last month of winter, before you are able to enjoy spring once again. Another bonus? It’s incredibly short, and that fact makes it seem even shorter.

One thing this cold weather has done is liven my interest in tea, and I find myself looking forward to my daily cup of tea. Today, after I finish my daily routine of things that I need to do, I plan on spending some time scheduling out this month: deciding which crafts I want to do and when I want to do them, setting aside time everyday to work on hobbies (I’ve been thinking of writing another book) and play my guitar, read many books that I’ve been wanting to read (mostly re-read), and of course, make time throughout my days to write more for my online readers.

I was very excited to see that I now have two bloggers following my site, and that one of my posts have already been liked. It’s my goal to share God’s love and his message with the online world while I write this blog, and I’m blessed to be given this unique opportunity to share my thoughts and interests with others. I keep checking my email, and updates of how my blog is doing keep popping up at convenient times thoughout the day. So, to everyone who is following me or has liked a post, thank you!

Right now, I’m enjoying music from my movie soundtrack playlist as I type this article (I talked about this playlist and gave an excerpt of the songs on it in my article Music for School). Harry Gregson-Williams music sweeps me away, and reminds me that I really need to continue reading Narnia. I started briefly re-reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe yesterday, and C.S. Lewis’s ability to write astounded me once again. It doesn’t matter what age group he was writing for, I will never grow tired of reading his stories. They are amazing, and his ability to make them flow so fluidly is even moreso. The way he incorporates the LORD’s truth in his writing is astounding.

I’ve decided that I wanted to pick a verse for each month, and pin it on the top of my site. I decided that it should be a verse about love, because it’s only two weeks from Valentine’s Day, perhaps one of the most popular ‘fake’ holidays that I’ve ever heard of (to get my free printable cards, go to my article Disney Romance Valentine Cards), and a verse about love would probably be most appropriate.

So, here it is, the verse of the month. Drumroll, please. The verse of the month… is… Romans 5:8!

But God commanded his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

With that message in mind, I will close this blog post, with the gentle reminder that we are all loved by the LORD, and that we should do whatever it takes to show and share that love throughout our days. That’s my reminder for February.

God bless you,

-A Christian Girl

Music for School

I can’t imagine doing school without music. That’s one of the scarier sounding parts of school outside of my home. Whenever I have an important paper or assignment to sign in, I shove some earbuds in and I start up my music. When I need to do some reading on an important subject, I scroll to my film score playlist, and I shuffle it while I read through whatever the subject is. Learning is never better than when I’m listening to Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams, and- one of my personal favorites- John Powell.

When I’m writing though, I can listen to either music with lyrics or instrumental music. I pick the music that gets me moving, gets my adrenaline pumping, and keeps me going while I’m trying to write quality work without spending all day on my laptop. If I’m going to be writing all day, I’d rather be writing fiction. So, work assignments are usually given music courtesy of Billy Joel, the Four Seasons, Adele, the Beatles, and the King.

Today, I’ve compiled a list of songs for studying, and for writing, if you like writing to music. I use both lists for math, though. I can use all the help I can get!

Songs for Reading:Songs for Writing:
Test Drive (John Powell)Movin’ Out (Billy Joel)
This Land (Hans Zimmer)Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis)
Dawn (Dario Marianelli)Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey)
Overture and a Prisoner of the Crusades (Michael Kamen)Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)
I Will Never Love Again (Mark Knopfler)Working My Way Back To You (Four Seasons)
The Princess Appears (John Williams)Stand By Me (Ben E. King)
Only the Beginning of the Adventure (Harry Gregson-Williams)Summer of ’69 (Bryan Adams)
Ben (Trevor Rabin)Still (Tim McGraw)
Training the Supersoldier (Alan Silvestri)Hello (Adele)

God bless you,

-A Christian Girl

Honey and Balloons: The Simple Life of Winnie the Pooh

I don’t care how young an audience it’s geared for: I love Winnie the Pooh. The movies, the stories, the stuffed animals. I love and enjoy every bit of it. I can’t remember the first time I enjoyed some of the movies. They seem to go as far back as I’ve been watching movies and creating stories. It inspired many of my adventures with my siblings, playing with our stuffed animals.

In honor of our favorite 100 Acre Woods, we watched many of the Winnie the Pooh movies. We all love them, especially my little siblings. Ever since watching Disney’s Christopher Robin, we have found a new favorite to watch again and again. It’s my movie pick everytime we have an ‘off-week’ (more about those in another post). As far as I’m concerned, there can never be too many stories about the animal friends that we’ve known for so many years. In any season- winter, spring, summer, autumn- there are stories from A.A. Milne’s classic imagination to enjoy.

As I grow older, I find myself enjoying aspects of Winnie the Pooh that I never would have dreamed of finding so remarkable. Instead of feeling the inclination to create new stories, I find myself enjoying the setting. The characters, not because of any one thing, but instead because of the simplicity that is reflected on every surface of the story. The gentle things that I’ve come to enjoy as I’ve grown older. A simple bear with simple taste for life’s simple pleasures. From simple thingss that are often overlooked like honey, to things that we easily outgrow like balloons, we can all learn a lesson of simplicity from Winnie the Pooh.

God did not create us to have a complex life. When you read the descriptions of life in the Garden of Eden, it was as farther from our busy, full life than you could possibly imagine. In a world like ours, many people frown on the idea of a simple life. We are encouraged to partake in local events, extended family events, take lessons to build skills that we are never going to use, and constantly move forward to bigger and ‘better’ things in life.

What if the ‘better’ things aren’t better? Maybe we should learn how to simplify our worlds. Busy worries of a busy world don’t enrichen our lives, they just decrease the value of ourselves. When we spend time doing busy things, bulking our life with of no importance (although they may seem important), takes away from the time we could be spending with the people we love, spending time together, and creating strong bonds and memories that we will look back on.

So, question the things you’re doing today. Think about what it is that you’re doing with your life. Instead of Tweeting, try playing a game with your family. Instead of browsing Instagram, spend some time in God’s nature (in all fairness, I am not an outdoors person, but many members of my family are). Instead of clicking through pictures on Facebook, try reading a book that you haven’t read since you were in elementary school. I (and Winnie the Pooh) encourage you to enjoy the simple things in life, whether it’s a glass of tea with honey drizzled in, a walk through your backyard or through a park while listening to serene music, or sharing a beloved story with your family.

Whether you are a Winnie the Pooh fan or not, there is no doubt that the simplicity and lessons of friendship from it can be learned by anyone. No matter where you live, we can all remember the simple things in life, and use your simple life to incorporate God more. The busier life you have, the harder it will be to incorporate the LORD, and ask Him what He wants you to do with your life. Let God point you in the right direction, and enjoy the simple life He intended for you when He created us. That’s a lesson you can learn from Winnie the Pooh.

God bless you,

-A Christian Girl

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

2 Corinthians 1:12

Rosalind the Explorer

My rabbit, Rosalind, is not exactly the adventerous type. She doesn’t like coming out unless I pull her out of her spacious courtyard/cage/enclosure (that takes up a third of my sister and my’s room). I can pull her up on my bed, and she’ll sit there, and won’t move until I put her back. One thing that she loves is eating. She is by no means overweight, but I don’t want to chance letting her be unhealthy. So, a solution had to be found.

A quick Amazon search found a harness. It was the one with the best reviews, and it was a light pink, the same color as the inside of her ears. Not to mention the fact that it was surprisingly cheap. I had enough money for it, and I ordered it as fast as I could. A couple days later, it arrived. I’m personally afraid of COVID-19, so I let it sit for three days, and then I took it into my room, to see what my rabbit thought of my latest purchase.

I had read about some pretty fantastic responses that rabbits had when finding their harness for the first time. I had heard of them trying to chew it up, trying to fling it around, trying to play with it, and have fun. This is about what I was expecting from my Rosalind, hoping that she would have some fantastic response to it, as if she would know that this object could hold hours of fascination for us. I dangled it in her cage, waving it in front of her face.

She wasn’t very overwhelmed. She just sat there, and slowly dozed off. I frowned, and thoughtfully chewed my lip. Then, I grabbed her, and pulled her out of her cage, shutting it behind me so that she wouldn’t try to jump back in. I sat there, calling her name. She sat there, twitching her nose. I slowly dropped the harness on her back, and waited for her response.

Rosy didn’t even try to get the harness off her. She just sat there, as I strapped it on. There was still no response from her, so I hooked on the leash that had come with it. I gently pulled her one way, and then pulled her another. Come to find out, the leash is elastic. The stretchiest elastic that I had ever seen. I stared in astonishment as I saw her just sit there. I realized that there was no way this stretching leash was going to do anything besides for annoy her.

After a moment of seeing that it wasn’t going to doing anything, I gave up. Instead of trying to get my rabbit to exercise, I played with her, and eventually she went back to her enclosure. I wondered vaguely how my great plan had gone wrong. I didn’t really know.

Later on, I took her out to the family room. I set her down, strapping the harness on her as I readjusted it. I sat there, waiting for her. Then, I took her over to one side of the room, and gently started pulling her along, all the way to the kitchen and back. I did this around five times before she got the hang of it. And then, she started going. She started running around, exploring anything and everything that I would let her explore.

I was genuinely surprised to see her exercising so happily. It was a joy to see her running around. I thank the LORD that she seems to have found some energy, during my waking hours. I love her, and I love to see her happy. I’m glad to have found something besides for apple and food that she enjoyed. I’m glad to see her hopping around happily, even if she doesn’t come out too often. She has to draw the line somewhere.