31 December 2015

2016? Tomorrow?

Can someone tell me where the year went?

Yeah, I thought not.
2015 is about 5 hours and 45 minutes away from being gone. LIKE THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER ONE. Whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut????? 

So yeah. Happy New Year! Did you notice when you chat that to somebody on Gmail it does a weird animation thing? Crazy. 

2015 was kind of a crazy year for me. I feel like everything changed in one year. That's a little bit of an exaggeration, but not much. :-P I turned 18, graduated, my sister moved out and then got engaged... yeah. It's been rough, lots of days. Emotionally, I mean. Growing up is hard. And I don't say that in a whiny, "Where is my Neverland?" sort of way. I say it in the most realistic way possible. 

But at the end of the day (or the year, as the case may be), it's all just growing pains. We go through this pain, not in despair or fear, but in deep-seated hope that will never be destroyed. We grow, knowing that we are moving Further Up and Further In. Our God is shaping us, molding us, and we are growing closer and closer to being perfected in His image. This is good, guys. 

One thing that God has been impressing on my heart lately is, Make new memories. It's hard to explain the full significance of this, but I am the type of person that grips onto old memories with a death-hold, only letting them go if they are brutally wrestled from me. And that makes me start to believe that I will never again experience something that good again. But I need to let go. And no, letting go does not mean forgetting. But it does mean loosening my grip. It means turning my face toward the rising sun and taking a step, and then another. 

Make new memories. And there are tons to make. How do I know? Because my God is a good God. And He gives good gifts. And there is plenty to go around. Because there is enough of Him to go around, to reach to every single day of my life, however long or short it may be. And I have no good apart from Him. And if every day is filled with more and more of Him, then I know that I will be making loads of new memories. Good ones. The best ones. 

So farewell 2015. Hello 2016. It's going to be a good one.

Now...let's do a quick Best Of 2015. Because no End of Year Post is complete without it. Basically, it's just my favorite things that either came out or I discovered in 2015. Enjoy. :-)


Far and away, my favorite book that I read this year was Island of the World by Michael D. O'Brien. I wept. It was so beautifully told, so emotional and so impactful. And so beautiful. Did I mention it's beautiful? Go read it. It's worth every 800 or so pages. 

Honorable mentions, though:

Hind's Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. So simple, so relatable, and so convicting.

Sacred Singleness by Leslie Ludy. Wow. I needed this book so badly. It truly changed my perspective on a lot of things and shifted my focus--which needed shifting so badly. 


Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes the gold for movies this year. And funny enough, I wasn't even going to go see it (I guess I had a bad feeling about it). But I was persuaded (thank you, Addy and Dally!), and boy am I glad I was. This movie stayed so true to the heart of the Original Star Wars, while also creating some new, fresh, believable, and seriously relatable characters. I adored both Rey and Finn as characters and look forward to seeing them more! And while the plot wasn't terribly original (it is very similar to A New Hope), I didn't mind because of how cleverly the new (and old) characters were introduced. The characters really held up any problems of the plot. Anyway. Thoroughly enjoyed it. 

The Peanuts Movie was also really good. I laughed. So hard. It was just so fun and so well done and just felt like the comics. 

Also, Ninjago. I realize it's a TV show but it is the best TV show hands down. Like. What even. Why do I get so emotional over a Lego TV show????? So good. 


The Burning Edge of Dawn by Andrew Peterson. Like, no person should be able to write an album that good. Except they should because then I can listen to it. I could listen to this album on repeat. Seriously. I definitely think it's AP's best, which is saying something, because ALL of his albums have been incredible.

Home by Josh Garrels. There aren't really any words to describe Josh Garrels. And this album was much needed this year. I love the sound. It's the perfect driving album, for me. 

Atlas: Year One by Sleeping At Last. This is a band I discovered this year and totally fell in love with. The lyrics are simply INCREDIBLE. And the concept of doing an album the way that SAL does....yeah. Just listen to it. It's amazing. Definitely an amazing find. And I can't wait to hear what he comes up with for Year Two. 

Alright, that's all for 2015! See you next year! :-D 

25 December 2015

Fourth Week of Advent: Peace

And then there was peace.
For though the night was far from silent,
It silenced the voice of death.
For the empty tomb and the bloody cross began with one breath,
A child’s, born in a stable.
Peace, peace on earth.
Immanuel, God with us, a humble child.
But the night is dark,
So I hold my candle high.
I hold my candle high,
Because God became flesh and dwelt among us.
So I have something deeper than a battle cry,
I bear the truth that will turn death backwards:
Peace, peace on earth.
And all that is within me aches to join the fight,
To burst behind enemy lines, to free the captives from their curse.
If hope is light and love is sacrifice and joy is blazing,
Then peace is what binds them together,
What strengthens my bones and trains my arms to bend a bow of bronze—
Not to bring war, but to proclaim the victory to those that sit in darkness.
Not to kill but to declare that life has come.
Peace is that voice which says, Whom shall I fear?
For I know that man can harm the body but he cannot touch my soul,
For my God is my rearguard, my fortress, my deliverer.
My God is the God that raised the mountains from the dirt,
Who drew the line between the oceans and the shore,
Who broke open the soil for the mighty oak to burst through,
So peace, peace on earth.
Come, come you weary travelers,
You empty wanderers, come.
For here there is the bread of life, the water that you might never thirst again,
The blood that atones for your sin and the righteousness that bears you forward.
Behold your God.

O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted,
Behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
And lay your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your pinnacles of agate,
Your gates of carbuncles,
And all your walls of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.
In righteousness you shall be established,;
You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;
And from terror, for it shall not come near you.
Isaiah 54:11-14


Merry Christmas everyone! 

22 December 2015

7 Things About Adelaide

So when Cally Declan asked me to do a bloggy thingy with her and Adelaide Thompson in which we all get to gush about each other, my reaction was all like

Okay, it was way more excited than that but you know, it's hard to pass up the opportunity to use a Spike gif.

Because basically, I love these kids like so much it makes me want to jump off rooftops and do flips and awesome stuff. So I could probably do a post titled "700 Things About Addy and Cally" but that would be cheating, I think.

So instead, I am writing 7 things about my Addy T.

1. She's steadfast. She's got a heart of gold, guys, and even when I'm a total twerp, she sticks around and loves and loves and loves in such a sacrificial way, pushing me toward growth. She's the type of person that when you're in a rut, she'll hop down in there with you, cry with you for a time, and then fill you to bursting by turning you toward Christ.

2. She's hysterical. Guys, her blog is like all dramatic-like, but in person, she has me laughing so hard I'm crying and holding onto my kidneys for fear they will burst right out of me. Also, she laughs really hard at her own jokes which cracks me up (and, to be fair, she also laughs really hard at everyone else's jokes, even when they're corny).

 3. She's loud when she watches movies. We watched Newsies together and that part where the nasty guys are beating Davy up, when the one guy digs into his pocket, Addy screams, "HE HAS A PISTOL!!!!!!!!!!!" and I screamed, "NO IT'S BRASS KNUCKLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and we proceeded to scream unintelligible things while Addy flapped her arms (literally) and I almost fell off the couch laughing. She's also loud in the mornings. It's like, she wakes up and boom she's awake and I'm still like *whisper things* *drink chai tea*. Anyway, it cracks me up and gets me going in the morning better than caffeine ever could (though that's not quite fair to say because caffeine affects me by putting me to sleep. Random tidbit you really wanted to know).

4. She is one of the bravest people I know, yet she claims to be afraid of everything. And she is afraid of a lot of things, but even though she's afraid of them, she does them. Thus proving she is brave. She's not the type of person to run away when danger comes. She's kind of the type of person to scream once, then grab her sword out of her belt and hold it with both fists and shout for everyone to get behind her. She's fierce. A fighter. Because she allows her weaknesses to be but openings for Christ's strength to shine through. The quote that has always reminded me of her is when Aslan says to Lucy, "If you were any braver, you'd be a lioness."

5. She has taught me how to acknowledge failure and sin as such, but to move on. She's taught me that yes, we're full of mistakes and full of cracks and full of weakness, but that there is a God who is more than the completion of us, who is willing to fill us up, to shine through every broken part of us. She has taught me that, in everything, God is faithful, and God provides. And I don't mean that she has taught me through telling me. She has taught me through living in such a way that proclaims the truths of God. Because when I find her hurting, stumbling along the thorny path, and when I go to her and ask her what broke her, she smiles through tears and she points forward toward Christ and says, "It is good, my friend. It hurts, but it's good."

6. She can literally pick up a guitar and write a song that rhymes and sounds amazing. Without any planning. She can just jam out a song. SAME WITH POETRY. She just sits down at the computer, turns a magic switch and BOOM THERE'S A POEM. She has also written 10,000 words in her novel in a day. BASICALLY I THINK SHE'S NOT REAL. THERE'S NO WAY SHE'S REAL. And also, as you all know, she's an incredibleific writer, so it's not just like, "pigs and turnips" a bazillion times in a row. Her book makes me cry. A lot. And laugh. All books should be like that. But anyway, she's just seriously talented.

7. What is good enough to be the last one, here??? That she's the Queen of Foursquare? That I have one of her guitar picks in my pocket? That one time I almost killed her by "playing" the trumpet? That she has inspired me to continue in being a writer, especially on those days I just want to quit? That her favorite cereal used to be mini wheats but is now honey bunches of oats? That she can't whistle?

How 'bout this: I love her and she is my sister through and through, and this bond that God has placed between us is stronger than all of the arrows that hell can throw.


Because you are Totally Awesome.


NOW, everyone, go check out Cally's and Addy's blogs because, well, they're awesome, but they're also doing posts like these. :-D So it'll be fun. Just do it.

All pictures in this post are not taken by me. Creds to Cally Declan, Dally, my dad, and probably someone else but I forget.

16 December 2015

Third Week of Advent: Joy

Joy came blazing, and I thought it would burn me up,
Because even though I ache in the dark,
My eyes still hurt when the light comes on.
I admit that I was hollow,
Empty of everything but those last few strands that I called hope.
And my heart yearned for a break from the shadowy dusk of loneliness,
But I began to despair that morning would ever break over the peaks.
The sun always rises, and this time, it was blazing.
The ribbon of clouds was rosy and embroidered with golden thread,
And the voice from the depths bellowed, Rejoice. 
And it rattled me to the core of every broken piece that I boasted of,
Every crack became wider, and my doubt shattered,
For dawn had come and it was blazing.
I rejoiced, not because I owned the joy, for it was too hot to touch,
Too bright to behold.
I rejoiced because I was weak and silent, and He that is within me was singing.
Gloria, Gloria, look up, for the Lamb of God is worthy. 
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel--God is with you. 
My God is here and He is blazing.

09 December 2015

Second Week of Advent: Love

All of my pretenses have gone threadbare,
Or perhaps they always were. 
I look down, toward the floor, yearning to lose all of my imperfections,
But all I see there are the rags of the beauty that was never there to start with.
I want a heart that is not spotted, blemished like a rejected lamb,
I want to look there and know full well that I am worthy to be loved,
Yet I am not, and so I put on pretty dresses,
And let my heart skip a beat when someone looks my way,
As if I could somehow make something of these broken pieces,
Something someone would want to win.
But I am not blind to the malformed flaws that paint me a cripple.
My eyes are wide with the knowledge of evil,
Yet I forget that I also hold the knowledge of good.
I am looking for love in a foreign place,
In the wilderness of my fickle heart.
I am a deserter, a thief, a traitor, and a liar.
Who could love me?
I have seen my own love wither and die as the heat of conflict breaks upon it.
I know that it cannot withstand any kind of trial or weather any storm.
It is the kind of love that is drawn in the sand when the day is mild,
But the tide quickly carries it away.
So my heart cannot fathom the love without bounds that I see in front of me,
Like a warrior, like a king, like a lion,
But also like a lover, who longs to behold me.
I am nothing! And yet—
Here I am where all of my pretenses have gone threadbare,
Yet I am not uncovered, for I am wrapped in righteousness freely given.
What is love?
I do not know it, not intimately,
For I have run from it for too long,
But I know this—
It is not earned.
Thank God, it is not earned.
You love me. I know it deeper than I know my own shortcomings
Because I have known it before I was even born,
For there, in the depths of the earth as I was being formed,
I was claimed.
It is true that I was a slave to sin, bound to death by chains my hands had formed,
That I belonged to a brutal master,
And that I was plunging headlong toward destruction.
But I was bought by blood shed two thousand years ago.
This is love, that while I was filthy in sin,
You died. 
For me.
This is no longer a question of how deep, how wide,
Just how endless your love is,
Because there is no limit, there is no end,
There is no brokenness that can tear a way out,
A loophole that you somehow missed,
A last coin that did not make it to my old master,
So that the price was not fully paid,
You did not make a mistake.
So can I call you a liar? Can I make you imperfect?
Surely not.
Therefore when you call me yours,
I am forced to know that it is true.
So when you dress me in your rich robes,
And place upon my head a beautiful crown,
On my finger a ring of promise,
I shall not take them off to replace them again with my rags,
Only to cast them at your feet in worship.
I shall not return again to the blood from which you drew me,
Only shall I remain drenched in your perfection.
I shall not again return to the streets to find cheap love, as if I were not claimed,
Only shall I speak your precious name to the broken.
For I am loved, and I cannot escape it, nor can I ignore it,
For it is blazing like holy fire, and it is consuming me, but I am not afraid,
For your name is mine and even death cannot part us. 

04 December 2015

The Non-Official Best Book Awards Tag

I got tagged with this amazingly awesome tag by Abbie, and I am soooo excited about it! It looks super fun. Can't wait to brag on my favorite books (and I can totally do that because I didn't write 'em). :-)

So, without further ado...


Hoo baby. I'll try to keep this down to a minimum, but I like a lot of male characters, :-) But I shall keep it down so I have some saved for Best Protagonist. :-)

  • COSTIS from The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. Because he's epic. And loyal. And such character development. And he punched Eugenides. 
  • FFLEWDDUR FFLAM from The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. Because he is amazing and fun and his name is awesome and he says things like, "A Fflam never surrenders!" And guys. He's a travelling bard because he was tired of being a king. And he has a harp that keeps him from...er...coloring the facts. 
  • CHARLES LANDRETH from the Millie Keith series. I'm biased because I just finished rereading that series, but he's awesome. Honorable mentions from these books are Gordon Lightcap and Cyril Keith. 
  • ZEKE JOHNSON from the 100 Cupboards series by N.D. Wilson. Because he hit a witch with a baseball bat and he's a catcher and nothing more needs to be said. 


  • MILLIE KEITH from the Millie Keith books, obviously. Because she is inspiring, hilarious, spunky, yet feminine. Honorable mentions from these books are Rhoda Jane Lightcap and Celestia Ann. 
  • HENRIETTA WILLIS from the 100 Cupboards books. Because she's awesome.
  • ANTIGONE SMITH from the Asthown Burials series by N.D. Wilson. Because she is one of the few characters that I just seriously relate to. 
  • FIN BUTTON from the Fin's Revolution series by A.S. Peterson. THE GIRL'S NAME IS FIN BUTTON. She's also incredibly awesome and her redemption story is hugely amazing and agh. And she's a violinist. The book world needs more of those. :-)


  • TARAN from the Chronicles of Prydain. All time favorite MC because character development is incredible and he's so relatable. 
  • CYRUS SMITH from the Ashtown Burials series. Because he's just cool and funny and great.
  • JOSIP LASTA from Island of the World by Michael D. O'Brien. Because...wow. Just go read the book.
  • JANNER from the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. No words.


  • SAURON from The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. Because I like bad guys I can boo and never have to feel sorry for.
  • GNAG THE NAMELESS (WHOSE NAME IS GNAG) from the Wingfeather Saga. Because anybody who is nameless whose name is Gnag needs to be on this list. 
  •  Character who I choose not to name (not because he's Gnag but because he's in a book by my sister and I do not reveal anything of her book to the general public). I can't explain why. Force her to publish her book.


  • THE QUEEN'S THIEF SERIES by Megan Whalen Turner. She's a whiz. 


You know, I am that really gullible reader that is pretty surprised a lot of the time at plot twists. I gasped in the theater when it was revealed that Hans from Frozen was evil. XD That said...
  • THE PLOT TWIST in The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson left me reeling. No spoilers here.
  • THE ONE IN Great Expectations by Charles Dickens had me deliciously gasping. 


  • DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth. I actually might get haters for that, but after two chapters I literally threw the book in disgust. 


I'm making this my favorite couples, rather than book, because I don't actually read much of the "Romance" genre.
  • JOSIP AND ARIADNE from Island of the World. All the tears.
  • MILLIE KEITH AND CHARLES LANDRETH from the Millie books. <3 <3 <3


  • THE ASHTOWN BURIALS SERIES because....N.D. Wilson is a genius. 


What defines "other"? One I haven't mentioned yet? Okay.

  • HIND'S FEET ON HIGH PLACES by Hannah Hurnard. Because it's gorgeously beautiful.


  • THE BIBLE, dude. That might be cheating, but it's also the truest thing in this whole list.


Trying not to repeat too many books here....
  • DEATH BY LIVING by N.D. Wilson.
  • THE HIDING PLACE by Corrie ten Boom. 
  • THE LORD OF THE RINGS SERIES because they were part of my inspiration to write, and also my inspiration to find really good stories. 


  • SACRED SINGLENESS by Leslie Ludy. Not like.... ALL NEW THINGS I NEVER KNEW, but some stuff that was definitely enlightening and a revelation to me. 


  • ISLAND OF THE WORLD because...ouch and ow and yeah. 
  • THE WARDEN AND THE WOLF KING by Andrew Peterson. Another punch in all the feels, and an incredible redemption story.


  • ALL N.D. WILSON BOOKS are pretty much hilarious. I adore his sense of humor.
  • THE QUEEN'S THIEF SERIES because Eugenides is a pain and also hysterical. 
  • THE WINGFEATHER SAGA because any book that has me in stitches in the Introduction is just...hilarious. 

SO BOOM. I think I just broke like, all the rules, but hey, that's me. I also got this done before my vacation so heyyyy I think I'm doing pretty good. :-) 


Becca, Lady Emily, Cassie, Lauren, and Treskie. AND ANYONE ELSE WHO READS THIS AND IS LIKE, WOAH I STEAL THIS. Have fun! :-D 

Thanks for tagging me, Abbie! Loved it.