• Life is a race - Go and rest
    Encouragement & Motivation

    Pit Stop – Take a rest during the race of life

    ‘And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,’ Writes the author of Hebrews. This is just one of the many times that the Bible refers to our lives as a race. Paul was especially fond of such references. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  – 1 Corinthians 9: 24 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  – 2 Timothy 4: 7 The list goes on and on. And it truly is an accurate analogy. Our life is a…

  • Finding Hope in the Big Picture
    Encouragement & Motivation

    Joseph’s Story – Finding Hope in the Bigger Picture

    I love Joseph’s story. Starting in Genesis chapter 35, it follows the story of someone for whom everything seemed to go wrong. Sold into slavery by his own brothers, accused of a crime he didn’t commit, then thrown in jail for years, poor Joseph’s life seemed like a mess. In the end, however, God used Joseph’s trials to save a nation and reunite a family. It’s such a motivational and inspiring story, and it can be used to teach so many things. Forgiveness, God’s tendency to turn bad into good, in fact, it’s even something of a mirror of Christ’s story. However, today I’m going to focus on another aspect…

  • Do Hard Things! A call-to-action for all teens!
    Book Corner,  Book Reviews,  Encouragement & Motivation

    Book Review – Do Hard Things by Brett & Alex Harris

    “Most people don’t expect you to understand what we’re going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don’t expect you to care. And even if you care, they don’t expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don’t expect it to last. WE DO.” This statement is boldly written on the back of Do Hard Things, a motivational and inspiring book written by brothers Alex and Brett Harris, and the subject of today’s book review. and Do Hard Things changed my life. I got it for my 10th birthday, and started into it skeptically. After all, what…

  • Encouragement for Teens from Teens
    Encouragement & Motivation

    Weekly Encouragement – Inspired to Make a Difference

     Consistency is not one of my virtues. This is completely irrelevant to my post, I just thought it would be worth pointing out to anyone who hasn’t yet noticed.  *  *  * The teen years can be difficult. They often feel depressing. Confusing. Frustrating. Not all of the time, that is for sure. But when the times of conflict come, the world can seem a dark and forbidding place. The teen years can also be life changing. World changing. One of your greatest chances to make a difference, whether big or small, in the world. Yet this isn’t always easy to see, especially when the aforementioned darkness comes. There are…

  • Ezra - Twin Number One
    Twintinnabulation

    Of Groceries, Music, and Africa

    I’m here, again, with more funny stories from the twins! There are so many stories I could write about them… but I’m just going to do three of them today. First off… Little Cuties – Groceries The twins are adorable little helpers. They love doing stuff around the house, from ‘washing’ the dishes and setting the table to sweeping the floor and folding laundry. So it’s only natural for them to help us unload the groceries. They’ve done it multiple times, helping us drag the grocery bags into the kitchen. However, one day, as we were bringing in groceries, I came into the kitchen to find the twins seated beside…

  • Easter's Light - Hope on the horizon
    Book Corner,  Stories!

    Easter’s Light – A (very late) Easter Poem

    Easter’s Light By J. Elizabeth Black sky, cold wind. Dark days, dark nights. Frozen ground, bleak land. Our broken hearts are aching, aching as the world falls apart. And as the man we admired, nails now piercing each hand, Is hung on a cross, until breath leaves his lungs and beating flees his heart. And in a cave they put him, for him a tomb so bleak and bland. Surely the world cannot go on, nor it’s heavenly path restart. Yet that is not the end, for on the horizon I see a light. Some frail hope reaches out, barely shining through the gloom. Brighter it grows, shining with brilliant…

  • Random

    Camp NaNoWriMo!!!

     Yes, it’s here. The month of writing, writing, writing, and (you got it!) more writing. That’s write! (I mean… right) It’s Camp National Novel Writing Month, also known as Camp NaNoWriMo! …Now I should probably explain what that is. See, every April, something very exciting happens, known to most as Camp NaNoWriMo. Camp NaNo is a virtual camp where, for one month, hundreds of writers will set a goal for their current writing project, and throughout the month of April they strive to meet this goal. Well, I have decided to do Camp NaNoWriMo this month, and I’ve set my goal to 50,000 words. I know it’s a lot, and …

  • Loopholes and Rice
    Twintinnabulation

    Of Rice, Loopholes, and the Color Pink

    Yay! I’m writing my first twintinnabulation story. What fun. Well, this week the twins have been their typical bundles of joy and laughter. Here are several ways they’ve made us laugh… Loopholes and Rice… yum! My first story starts during dinner last night. We were sitting at the table, eating rice and vegetables, when Ezra asked for milk. Of course, we all knew that he just wanted it so that he could dump it into his rice. However, mom got both him and Eleanor a small cup of rice, making sure to tell Ezra not to dump it into his soup. We continued on with dinner, only for me to look…

  • How music can influence us
    Fictional Reflections,  Music

    Listen Deeper – Are you really hearing your favorite songs?

    It’s just music… right? As you hopefully remember (since it was just a few days ago), I just wrote about how fiction can influence and teach us. But books aren’t the only type of media that can influence what we think and believe, and I’d hate to leave music out of that. After all, music can be just as, if not more, influential than books. For while books attempt to influence and instruct us through a fictional but realistic character arc and theme, music goes outright and (for the most part) tells us exactly what they want us to think and believe. Through creatively written lyrics, notes, and chords, song…

  • Books,  Fictional Reflections

    Did You Know That Authors Are Influencing Your Thoughts?

    Sound crazy? It’s also been reality since people started writing. … so maybe I was joking about the authors being evil. This isn’t a conspiracy theory blog after all. Even if we enjoy torturing readers and smashing their hopes at the last second, I so far haven’t come across any authors who actually want to destroy the world. However, authors do have an almost disturbing amount of control over what we think and do. Don’t believe me? Keep reading! Some people love pretending that they’re purely logical. They’ll act like Sherlock Holmes, never getting riled up, often acting emotionless and impassive. Other people are the drama queen of drama queens. They get emotional at…