Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Run with Endurance.

To those of you who have been faithful to my blog over the last couple months, you probably remember this post: A Beautiful Delay. 

At that point I had just begun the editing process with my sweet editor friend.

Now, here we are five(ish) months later.

I would love to be writing this to say that I am almost done- that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But no. Oh the light seems so far off.

Much to my own dismay, I'm only about half way through. My goal for the end of July seems to be slipping out of my grasp but I constantly remind myself that my God is bigger. He is stronger!

While I'm struggling to accept that His timing might not be my own, I know His plan will be perfect and it will play out more beautifully than you or I could ever imagine.

I have to tell you this. I sat down to rant and complain about how stinkin' long this is taking and how frustrated I am that I'm not done yet...

But God doesn't let me keep that mindset for long.

While I want to complain and be frustrated, He keeps reminding me that this is for His glory and not mine...for His honor and praise and not my own.

So I'm praying that I will be accepting to whatever He is doing and that in these next few months things will go faster than they have so far so I can still meet my August date.

Thank you for hanging in there. So many of you have asked and said you can't wait to read it- trust me, I can't wait for you to read it either!

Hebrews 12:1-2
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

I'm running friends, running with endurance to this goal He has set before me.


And on a very exciting side note: {as if editing one book wasn't enough} I finished the roughest draft of the sequel to "For I Know the Plans" about two weeks ago. As of now it is titled, "With All of Your Heart," continuing on with the verses in Jeremiah 29:11-13. I'm in love with both of these stories and their characters. My dear friends, I cannot wait for you to read them!!

I'm also working on a story about a girl with's a little blip about it:

This is the story of Audrey Jordyn. The story of how she learned to live. The story of how she learned to love. The story of how she learned to give up fear and instead trust Him...even in the face of death.

While it's different from what I normally write, I'm absolutely loving this new writing adventure. I don't plan to make it a full novel, maybe just a novella. I'm just planning on writing until I'm finished and seeing where that leaves me! *Plot credit for this book goes to my best friend, Emily Grace.*

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Giver Series: Book Review

Jonas- The Receiver of Memories. He has the capability to see beyond. He's only twelve. Yet he, unlike all others, has feelings. He knows love.

Kira- The Weaver. She can weave and embroider with her eyes closed, her hands moving without controlling them. Fifteen years old and orphaned, her gift brings more than she would ever imagine.

Matty- The Healer. He's a young boy with a passion for life, for animals, for people.

Claire- The Birthmother. The girl who has never known love until one day, she gives birth to a son who was taken abruptly from her.

These four characters in The Giver series sculpt the plot and make their place in your life- permanantly.

I just finished the last book in this series.

The first book in this series is The Giver. It's a captivating story about a village where people don't feel.

They are told who to marry. They are told what job they will take. Their lives are meaningless- lived day by day under the commands of the Chief Elder. Things are the same day after day. No surprises, no interruptions.

That is, until Jonas's Ceremony of Twelve. He is not assigned- he is selected. Selected to be the Receiver of Memories- a task not even he was aware existed.

The second book is Gathering Blue. 

Kira lives in a village of cruelty- a cruelty no one is aware of until they are deep in the middle of it.

Her gift of embroidery and weaving lead her to a place she would haven't dreamed of. There she meets Thomas, the carver, and together they discover what their village has been hiding from all of them.

It's something that Kira decides she's going to change.

The third book is Messenger. 

Matty is living with the Seer, the man who is blind but able to see in a way others are not.

They live in The Village, a village that welcomes those who are injured and hurt- those who are not welcomed in their own communities.

But one day, things begin to change. Leader finds himself in the face of a decision- one, in the end, made by the people. They want to shut the village to newcomers.

But Matty and the Seer can't do that. There's someone who must be rescued. And that could change everything- for all of them.

The final book to this series is Son. 

Claire was designated as Birthmother at her Ceremony of Twelve.

It's not what she thought- not what any of them thought. It's real pain. 

It's knowing love and pain and loss.

When her son is taken from her, her son that she has fallen in love with, she knows that she must find him.

Whatever the cost- she must find her Son.

I flew through these books. They aren't the type of books that I normally read.

But they were absolutely exceptional.

I LOVED this series.

And I think you will, too.

It's so fascinating and thought provoking.

They were great for an early summer read.

I highly suggest this quartet of books by Lois Lowry.

Read these books- you'll go places and find yourself in thought for days.


P.S. They're making a movie of The Giver and while it looks completely different from the book, I'm definitely going to go see it. It's one of the reasons I had to read the book- because I can't see a movie without reading the book. Nevertheless, I'm excited for the movie to come out!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Memorizing Moments.

"Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up,
I could still be little.
Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple...

Oh darlin' don't you ever grow up."

{Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift}

I took the SAT Saturday. College is a normal conversation. Senior year is quickly approaching.

So many decisions. So many important conversations.

And there is nothing in me that wants to grow up.

I want to stay 16. I want to keep babysitting and spending my nights editing and writing...and reading. I want to spend my Fridays going to the movies with my friends, laughing so hard that we cry. Because right now life is pretty awesome. It's relaxed and it's beautiful.

But time won't stand still.

Each day the sun rises and sets. With each new rising of the sun, I get another day older...another day closer to growing up.

It makes me really sad, actually. I love this season. I love where the Lord has me and what He has me doing.

Again...there's nothing I can do. I can't slow down time, can't make the days go any slower.

All I can do is live and make the most of every single moment, every single opportunity the Lord gives me.

Last night I sat reading out in our great room (we call it that because it's a really great room) and in the rest of the house I could hear my dad singing to the music he had playing..."Home" by Phillip Phillips. Sonia and J-man were laughing, my mom was making dinner. William sat across the room from me, reading a book on his Kindle.

I closed my eyes and memorized the moment. I memorized the way things sounded. The way things felt..and I smiled.

About a week ago we FaceTimed with my {adopted} big sister and her two girls. They live in California, her husband is stationed at the Navy base there. We hadn't talked in forever and it was SO good to catch up a bit and see those two sweet girls. We laughed over past memories and hoped to see each other soon.

After hanging up, I closed my eyes and memorized that moment. Harper is just 17 months old, little McKinley was born in April. Soon enough they'll be in school...going to college and I'll feel super old.

Friday night, several friends and I went to see The Amazing Spider-man 2(which, if you're wondering was AMAZING!). Courtney, Caroline, Emily Grace, Jenna and I all sat in a row in the theater waiting for the movie to start. Courtney-loudly-burst out into the Spider-man theme song and we all DIED laughing. In the end, the entire theater gave her a round of applause. After the movie ended, we stood in the parking lot discussing a major plot twist, laughing and being girls.

On the way home, I sat in the back seat and closed my eyes memorizing that entire night, memorizing that sweet night with my dearest friends.

Sunday night we had the children's choir production at church. I volunteer with the children's choir every Sunday night- I love those kids. Anyway, we stood around after the program and laughed and talked and we may have even played some tag around the sanctuary! But they asked to take pictures and came for hugs...

And yes, I closed my eyes and remembered how little they all were. I made my self memorize the moments when they were on stage singing and I smiled at their faces as they sang with all they had to praise the Lord.

During the program, I looked at the converse on my feet...the toes which read, "I love Paige Elizabeth." The ones I had gotten to match hers which read "I love Bailey Elizabeth." I thought of how many of these kids she had invested in...and how I was now getting the chance to pour into their lives. And I memorized the thankfulness in my heart for the job she left me with- to love these kids.

In a couple years, I'll most likely be away at college. I'll be sitting in my dorm room, studying for final exams and I'll close my eyes and remember the way things felt when I was just 16.

So I'm going to try to do that more. Try and close my eyes every so often and memorize the moment I'm in- no matter how crazy it is. Because in all reality, I'm going to miss them.

And memories of moments like the ones last night- the ordinary nights at home- are going to bring familiarity to the newness of college life. They are going to bring comfort and laughter and joy.

I can't slow down time...but I can hold onto the days and memories even today.

Here's to living abundantly in Christ and memorizing moments!


John 10:10, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."