Thursday, August 18, 2011

Five things I learned in high school

1. God leads through parents
For me, this meant "My parents really ARE right!"
I know that, in high school, you really want to just do your own thing. You realize that you're not an adult--and you know that you DON'T know everything--but you feel that you know enough about yourself and the world to be taken seriously. If you disagree with your parents? Yeah, admit it, your first thoughts are along the lines of "They don't know what it's like to be me--so they're wrong." 
The truth is that parents generally see things better than you do. 

If your parents are non-Christian or abusive--and if that is the case, I am so, so, sorry--you need to do two things:
(1) Find a mentor who is a safe, loving Christian;
(2) Honor your parents to the point where it is safe (if your parents are abusive, get help)
God still works through parents. We can't always understand why He chooses to work through what we see as unpleasant and undesirable situations, but we can't see the whole picture.

No matter what you're going through with your parents, God commands you to honor them. He sees the big picture. He's building you into the amazing person He created you to be, and He's getting you ready for an awesome future. So even when you think your parents don't know what they're doing or what they're talking about, remember--God always knows what He's doing.

2. My worth is not defined by my friends. Not by how many friends I have, not by how influential or popular my friends are, not by how many close friends I have, not by how close I am with my friends, not by how many of my close friends are popular--none of that.
I used to be wrapped up in the idea that I needed a close friend or two to validate the fact that I was worth something. Oh, my parents were encouraging, but it didn't matter to me. No matter how many times anybody in my family told me I was wonderful, I still thought to myself, "Well, that's because they're family. Of course they're going to say that. They're biased. I need somebody unbiased to tell me I'm worth something."

Guess what? That's a big fat dirty lie.

If you go for long stretches with no close friends, there is nothing wrong with you! Trust me. By senior year, I was close friends with many wonderful, amazing girls--who, incidentally, all told similar stories. We all knew what it was like to feel alone. We all knew what it was like to be left out. But we'd all learned that we're valuable as individuals. We'd all learned that some people will just be mean. We'd all learned that LOTS of people are exclusive--just because. And we'd learned not to take things personally, but to just keep going.

Think about it this way: In high school, you realize how awful everybody had it in middle school. Well, once you're out of high school, you realize how awful everybody had it in high school.

3. My worth is not defined by boys.
I'm eighteen now, and I've never been kissed.
I've never been on a date.
I've never been asked to a dance.
Hey, I've never even had a boy ask for my number!
And it's not that I don't know any boys. I know plenty of boys. They just chose to date other girls.

Of course, that could be crushing. I could ask myself things like "Am I not pretty enough?" "Am I not skinny enough?" and "What's wrong with me that boys don't like me?"

But the truth is...they just chose to date other girls. And it doesn't mean I need to change. It just means that God created me for a special kind of person--a kind of person I haven't met yet. They're out there. I just haven't met them.

And the same goes for you.

To perk you up a bit--high school boys are also immature. They may like you and never show it.

So, don't give up hope. You probably have a secret admirer. And whether or not he's "the one," you'll eventually realize that boys don't define your worth.

4.  Preparation is important.
Study for your tests. Study hard. Take them seriously. Especially tests colleges will see.
Go on college visits before senior year.
Apply to colleges as soon as you can.
Apply to scholarships. Start early. Start now.

5. Live every moment.
Really live it. Take everything in. Because before you know'll be all over.

And as wonderful as that sounds right now...
You're going to wish you could go back and re-live all the amazing, hilarious, awe-inspiring, crazy, heartfelt, and random moments you're experiencing right now.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New artist: Jamie-Grace

If you like upbeat, uplifting Christian songs, take a look at new Christian artist Jamie-Grace!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Perfection of Beauty

What do you think of when I say "the perfection of beauty"?

Picture for a moment what that would look like.

Now, are you imagining a girl who is pretty on the outside? Are you thinking of a model or a movie star?

Or are you thinking about a girl who shines Jesus?

Here's what the Bible says is the perfection of beauty:

"Out of Zion,
the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth."
Psalm 50:1

Is God shining out of you?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Those pesky mosquito bites!

Get a mosquito bite? Want to get that nasty itching to go away?

Rub some honey on a band-aid! The honey helps soothe the itching right away, and, as it's a natural remedy, you don't have to worry about nasty chemicals getting into the bite.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Movie Review: Thor

Thor is the only movie my family has seen in theaters three times in a row.

It's a wholesome classic with a good balance of action and romance, all tied together through a Biblical redemption theme.

I don't have much time to write a review, but if you have a chance to see it, I highly recommend it!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Two more fabulous books

Since I last updated, I've finished two additional books that are worth adding to any girl's historical fiction reading list. Both books--Just Jane (Ladies of History Series #2) and Washington's Lady (Ladies of History Series #3)--are written by Nancy Moser. Just Jane (written about the life of Jane Austen) teaches about the importance of dedicating yourself to pursuing your dreams, even in the midst of a busy life; Washington's Lady (based off the life of Martha Washington) encourages readers to have strength through even the most difficult times. Each book spends its last few pages clarifying which sections were historical fact and which sections came from the author's imagination. If you enjoy uplifting historical fiction, I highly recommend you add both of these books to your reading list!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Reading List

Hey girls!
Here's a great start to your summer reading list, if you'd like to read some hip books that will lift you up in your faith and help you apply it to your everyday interactions. I've included many different genres and styles, and all books have been read and recommended by myself and many of my friends. :) Enjoy!

Revolve Devotional Bible
Of course, the Bible should be at the top of your reading list! I love this Bible (and many of my friends have the same one) because it's cute, it has commentary inside, and it has a great index where you can look up relevant topics. If you're in the market for a new Bible, I highly recommend it!

Just Ask by Melody Carlson
Fiction (series, book 1)
Kim, a teenager adopted from Korea, tries amidst tragedy to write an advice column for her school newspaper--while holding her own life and relationships together. Captivating and thought-provoking.
If you enjoyed this book, try John 3:16 by Nancy Moser.

More Beautiful You by Gwendolyn Diaz
Non-fiction (devotional)
Based off the song by Johnny Diaz, More Beautiful You looks through what the Bible says about worth, weight, popularity, appearance, boyfriends, and more. Written in a casual conversational style, with places for journaling and recommendations for further Bible passages to read.
If you enjoyed this book, try God Called a Girl: How Mary Changed Her World--And You Can Too by Shannon Primicerio.

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Non-fiction (autobiography)
Corrie ten Boom's well-known story of surviving a World War II German concentration camp is grippingly told in this autobiography. Packed with Corrie's insights into living out a Christian faith in hard situations.
If you enjoyed this book, try Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

For Young Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice
Non-fiction (advice)
The pages of this book are bursting with facts from an eye-opening survey conducted by the authors. The survey, which went in-depth with guys on a number of topics (including modesty, purity, dating, and others), can be summed up in one question: what are guys really thinking?
If you enjoyed this book, try For Young Men Only: A Guy's Guide to the Alien Gender by Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice. (no, really--it's just as eye-opening!)

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
Non-fiction (advice)
Joshua Harris looks at the modern dating game, showing how it causes more broken hearts than happily-ever-afters. But don't worry, you don't have to become a nun--dating, when done right, can be both God-honoring and fun.
If you enjoyed this book, try Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship by Joshua Harris.

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Fiction (historical romance)
One of Jane Austen's lesser-known novels, Persuasion is a short but moving book demonstrating the importance of staying true to yourself in the midst of tumultuous relationships and...dare we say it....cute guys.
If you enjoyed this book, try Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

Those are my favorites. What are yours?