It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Not because I haven’t thought of it, but well, I guess various reasons. This past year has been a whirlwind of things going on. There have been ups and downs, challenges and struggles, big problems and little problems, but also the joys and disappointments, hurting and healing. As I reflect on these things, I can be encouraged that God never ever changes. He is always steadfast, immovable. My Rock and Deliverer.
this just might turn out to be a long post because I have a lot to talk about. Memories to reminisce on.
A few weeks ago, a young woman by the name of Beti, from my church died in a tragic parachuting accident. I knew her, had talked with her, my family had spent time with her in the past but I wasn’t as good friends or that close with her as some others I know were. However the pain and sadness was still there. It saddens me I won’t see her anymore on this earth, but I know one day I will see her again. You see, Beti was a Christian. She loved God and served Him. She loved people and she loved being a blessing to them. And that is an encouragement that those of us who are saved will see her again. 😊
Some of you may know about my publishing journey, with my second book, Through the Valley of Shadows. A few months ago, back in April, a good lady friend of mine from my church handed me a printed ad for a Christian canadian publishing company’s free publishing contest. I ended up deciding to go for it, to enter the contest with my manuscript. However, there were two small problems, haha: 1. I had not yet finished the book. And 2. The deadline was May 31!
Now let me tell you. There was some serious writing and editing going on in that next month. My two friends helped out in the editing process and I’m so thankful! My bestie helped me a ton with encouragement (she gave me a box with chocolate ((lots of it)), sweet and encouraging notes, and a few other lovely things. She also was positively awesome in waking up early to help edit, and going through it. Yeah. I couldn’t have done it without her ❤️
Although I entered the contest in time, I didn’t end up winning, but the company gave me feedback on my manuscript and they were wanting to publish my book. So that was pretty neat!! Fast forward to last week. My parents and I made the decision not to publish with them, for a few different reasons, but I am very possibly going to be publishing again soon with a more self-publishing type website! But there are a few things up in the air right now, so if you’d like to pray for wisdom that would be great!
Moving on, on Saturday I helped out at a food booth in my town for their festival, and boy, was it ever busy! After I was able to leave, my two little sisters and I did some exploring around town. Holly got her face painted, we saw some lovely reptiles in the Reptilia trailer, the girls got ice cream and I got a Starbucks drink!
And during the week of August 14-18 I helped out at a summer Bible adventure camp! It was quite fun, and you can actually read more into depth by going to Blessing’s Blog.
I did swimming lessons for two weeks during the last two weeks of July, and I learned quite a few things, as well as practicing them on my siblings. They were good victims 😉 Some of those things included CPR (which I DID NOT do as it’s supposed to be, just pretended to do it), spinal rescues, a full rescue with different situations, helping a choking infant, etc. Haha, I also did, pretty much every other day 50 laps, trying to get them done in 15 minutes or less. I finally got it. On the LAST day. YAY! But doing front crawl after front crawl isn’t always the most fun 😛
Carrie and I went canoeing with two friends of ours, and that was fun! B and I were in one canoe and Carrie and A were in another canoe. B and I had quite the scare at one point as we were canoeing. I thought I saw a turtle, so B said “Oh, let’s get closer” As we did, we realized it was actually an alligator! Both of us panicked and we knew we had to get out of the way, but it was a little difficult. When we moved closer though, we noticed it was a fake replica of an alligator’s head/neck, making it look as if it was submerged in the water. Scared the life out of me though xD Now, being the lovely person that I am, I told my other two friends about it, not mentioning at first the part about it being fake. Their reactions were actually quite different. My one friend was more of an expected reaction: “Oh goodness! Where were you guys canoeing? How big was it? That’s jest downright terrifying xD”
My other friend’s was a little bit LESS expected: “Oooh nice! wait we have alligators?”
Soo yeah. Some more pleasant photos from the trip:
Another highlight of my year was going over to my best friends’ house and spending the day with my best friend at her work. Those are special times, y’all! We went through books together, read random parts from books that we opened randomly, spent pretty much an entire day in the church library (:D), talked over a Tim Hortons lunch on this nice squishy mat, then later on took a break with freezies and talked some more. It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed spending that special friend time. When we got back to her house, my younger sister and her younger sister (just saying, all of us together make quite the foursome. We have this awesome combo altogether that is priceless. I don’t dare put some videos we have of us in here xD) anyway, the girls had made this amazing sticky but soooo good dessert called monkey bread, which was fantabulous. We attempted a photo shoot, and went swimming (also had a water fight with the boys) yeah. It was great 🙂
Wow. Haha, I’ve done a lot this year! Another highlight was going to the Creation Museum and the Ark in May/June and doing it with friends of ours! The Ark is amazing! So massive.
So yeah. I’m not going to fill this post with photos and photos of the trip, but you’ve seen a few 😉
What God has been teaching me this year:
God has been teaching me quite a bit this year. I’ve been learning how to trust in Him through struggles, in struggles, in making decisions, or even in things I get concerned about, or whatever. The main lesson has been to just TRUST. Give it to God: your weaknessness, burdens, heartache, worries, concerns, joys, praise, whatever.
I’ve read a lot of encouraging Psalms and other passages, and a couple of my favorites are Isaiah 40:30-31:
“Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”
And Deuteronomy 31:8:
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
I think the main lessons of this year for me have been trusting in God and forgiveness. Learning to forgive is so important, so vital, and so healing. Learning to forgive allows you to put behind the wrong, to love the other person, and really, ‘forget’ the wrong. Allowing you to see PAST the wrong and overcoming the wrong with love for that other person.
Those have definitely been the lessons this year, and I know a lot of struggles are up ahead. But God keeps His promises, and I think one of those promises is from Psalm 43:5:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
I hope you find those verses as encouraging to you as they are to me. Having that hope and assurance that these struggles won’t. last. forever. It’s true. And I know when we DO have those struggles, God is right there beside me, helping me through it, even sometimes when I don’t see it. He is. And I so appreciate my friends, who are always there if I need to talk, to get encouragement, to spill my troubles, concerns, joys, worries.
Unfortunately, I always am struggling. There’s a battle going on inside of me, there always is. And when I’m feeling down and discouraged and hopeless, that’s the time I need to cry out to God for His help. And I would so appreciate your prayers as well ❤
I was reading recently in a devotional book, and I opened randomly, and the first sentence was, “Trust Me (meaning Jesus), and don’t be afraid.” That really spoke to me on that particular day, as I had been feeling afraid. God always knows what you need, and He will supply that for you. 🙂
What has God been teaching you this year?
Music I’ve been listening to this year:
That would actually take me a while to say because I’ve listened to a lot of music this year! My best friend and I created a playlist full of encouraging songs, and I’ve gotten introduced to other music as well. Here are some of the songs I’ve been listening to this past year:
Y’all, their voices are AH-mazing!!! You have to check Caleb and Kelsey out!
OK, I shall stop spamming you with Caleb and Kelsey 😉
In case you haven’t noticed *sheepishly grins* I kinda like Beauty and the Beast 😛
Now, I recently learned this at camp, and it’s awesome! (although I wasn’t expecting it to sound like that 😉 )
And I have to include a few songs from Anthem Lights, the new group I’ve been listening to a bit recently:
OK, hopefully you all weren’t so overwhelmed with allllllll of the music xD But I’ve been listening to a LOT, so I was just sharing a bit 😉
So there ya go!
how has your summer been?
P.S. I went to WonderJam this past June and it was aaaaahhhhmazing! Got to see For King and Country in concert, guys!!! 😀 😀 If y’all want to see some videos/photos just comment and say so 😉
A big hug to all of you!