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Facing Down Expectations about Being a Writer

The One Year Adventure Novel official blog was so gracious as to publish an article of mine recently.
Take a look at my article here!

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On Simple Trust

But as for me, I trust in You; I say, "You are my God." ...My times are in Your hands ...Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord. ~Psalms 31   This psalmist said: As for me, I trust in You.

  Trust is a choice.

  Failing to see Jesus in the midst of trouble is the result of focusing on the problem instead, and letting it rotate and settle and simmer in the mind. Refusing to do so is a choice.

  Saying "I can't do this, God. Take my hand and just help me through the next hour. And the one after that," takes courage. It's a choice.

  Losing control over things reminds us that we really can only trust in God. If I saw life's troubles ahead of time, I'd have given up. There's truth in the verse, "Do not worry what tomorrow will bring, for today has enough trouble of its own."

  When one starts to see life through God's lenses, in whatever narrow margin a human is capable of doing so, God's face show…

Book Review: Kisses From Katie

My dear friend Hannah W. lent me this book when I saw her over Christmas. I'd heard the "elevator speech" synopsis of Katie Davis's story before, but didn't think to look further. I'm so glad Hannah gave me this book when she did!

  Katie's fantastic decision to move to Uganda at 19 -- and then to adopt 14 girls by the time she was 22 -- made for an obviously great story on a large scale. But on a smaller scale, Katie's little insights from her journey with God blew me away. "Kisses from Katie" is full of treasures. She had me in tears in the very first chapter.

  She made me rethink so many of my mindsets and ideas, like what it means to be "blessed":
   I've had people ask me why I think Africa is so impoverished, but these children are not poor. I, as a person who grew up wealthy, am. I put value in things. These children, having no things, put value in God. I put my trust in relationships; these children, having already se…

Onward, Christian Soldier.... On Biting the Bullet

To "Bite the Bullet" is the decision to push through with something unpleasant to the end. The phrase was coined by Rudyard Kipling and originated off the battlefield, where soldiers were given a lead bullet to clench between their teeth while enduring amputation without anesthetics. Amputation is perhaps an overzealous comparison, but all the same, it feels appropriate to say that I "bit the bullet" this week and made some hard choices.

  Part of the difficulty coming off this week involves the simple fact that some people can't understand why I make the decisions I do, and I have difficulty voicing my reasons to those who view the world through a different lens. Perhaps you're familiar with being misunderstood about your own decisions. Like...
  Why I refuse to watch certain things or say certain words.
  Why I won't go to some parties.
  Why I'm refusing hot dates.
  Why I can't affirm some decisions of people I love.
  ....all usually thin…

In Defense of the Short-Term Mission

When I was about 7, I heard the stories of Jim Elliot and George Mueller for the first time, among other famous missionaries. From that age, I decided I would never be a missionary. Missionaries give up all their things. Missionaries live uncomfortable lives. Missionaries die horrible deaths. My excuse was that "God wasn't calling me to that." I said that, I think, because I simply didn't WANT Him to call me to that.

  There is now the immense possibility that He might be, and I'm breaching the mission field this March in hopes to hear more clearly from God. I'm seeing more and more that the more I give to Him and the more I trust Him, the more He breaks my heart for what breaks His and shows me that His way is going to be so much better than whatever I'd planned or hoped for. I've been responding and making choices in alignment with His desires, and while it's tough, it's also freeing.

  I'm going to Ecuador in 43 days, and will only be…

Book Review: QUIET

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Susan Cain.

  As promised, this brief review is for a good friend who gave me the book for my graduation and wanted my thoughts.

  I thought Susan Cain's research into the topic of Introversion was astounding. It was an enjoyable read with a lot of facts and research data with surprising statistics. As a mostly-introverted reader myself, the fact that she put some of my own strange and elusive habits onto paper and essentially said "it's normal" lent to a few personal epiphanies (ex.: What? It's normal to escape to the bathroom for no reason other than silence? Wait-- Introverts commonly don't like blood? What? It's normal for me to dislike small talk and board games and phone calls? And stuttering under even relatively minimal pressure is normal?).

  If the book's intention was to boost the Introvert's self-esteem, I might say it's particularly effective. Quiet also offere…

3 Thoughts on Sex, Homeschooling, and Christianity.

Shortly after posting the controversial "Letter to Homeschool Parents," a couple individuals informed me that I should have touched on the subject of sex as one of the points in the post.

  The post was not intended to give my opinion on the matter, or to tell parents how to address the topic with their children, and therefore it didn't appear to be a necessary topic to breach. Any issues that homeschool children have with sexuality are equal to every human no matter the education. Also, I would be too tempted to merely compare others' behavior to my own opinion, and not to objectively evaluate the issues as they pertain to homeschooling. None of the following points would have fit in my "Letter to Homeschool Parents."

  But you want a post on sex?

  Here are a few various thoughts in no particular order.

  1) The fact that homeschooling allows parents the freedom to teach their kids whatever they want about sex whenever they want is an absolute bonus. I ad…