Monday, May 30, 2011

Wherever, Whatever

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

I think sometimes, we dramatize what we see as "the big things." I'm going to China. That's a "big thing." Some people dedicate their lives to overseas missions - they go and live and die overseas, in the pursuit of bringing a precious few to Christ. There are those who preach in front of thousands of people every week. There are people who give thousands of dollars in offerings every week. There are people who raise perfect children who go on to become missionaries and pastors and song-leaders.

But sometimes, I think, when we look only at the "big things" we forget how important the "small things" are. Being cheerful at home. Being kind. Content. Happy. No matter what our circumstances are, being able to respond with joy.

I struggle with those little things. I have problems with my temper. My little sister and I can't seem to live together (she seems to think typing is annoying, but I shan't get into our many arguments at the moment). My dad sometimes gets on my nerves (okay, a lot). [And here I am, confessing my life problems to you all. Just so you know, this proves that bloggers' lives are rarely - never, in fact - perfect. Far from it.]
We forget - I forget - that wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, however things are going, no matter what's coming up, I should be content right now. I should go everywhere with all my heart, with every God-imbued passion I have. Because if I can't, what am I doing going there?


Thursday, May 26, 2011

35 Days

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

35 Days

The countdown has officially begun in earnest. In two weeks (13 days) I'll be going to Christian Youth In Action, a training program for teenagers that Child Evangelism Fellowship puts on every summer. Basically, I'll spend nine days with about forty of the craziest, yet most awesome people on the face of the planet.

The next week will most likely be dedicated to local ministry, then the weekend to packing and (trying) to relax before I head to LA, where I will be spending three days(ish) with Cassandra Noelle, my penpal and friend of two years.

On July 1rst, in exactly 35 days, I'll be heading to China for a month of loving on Chinese orphans, practicing English with students, and meeting Carissa, one of my teammates, who I've been talking to since December about the trip. We're totally pumped, and I can't wait.

God will provide, because he's awesome. And then he will bless our ministry in China. I am fully confident that great things will happen through us and for us as we go to China.

As for me, I can't wait. 35 days seems like a really long time. But I'm pretty sure it's going to be far too short a time. But that's okay.

(The above post was c/p'd from Polyvore, because I'm just that lazy. I just wanted to show off my set. And tell you all about that. 35 days!!!!)


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

The man who has no imagination has no wings.
Muhammad Ali


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why I'm (Probably Not) Going to College

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
As a sophomore in high school, I get this question a lot (and I know it's only going to get worse as I go into Junior-land): "Where are you planning to go to college?" Here is a typical conversation about that subject:
"So where are you planning on going to college?"
"At this point, I don't think I'm going to go to college at all."
*horrified look* "What? But how will you get a job? I mean, you'd be so good in college, you're so smart!"
*with a rather awkward/nervous laugh* "Yeah, well. I just don't think it's necessary. I'd prefer to spend my time and money doing something more productive."
"But you should really go to college. You're college material."
"We'll see what happens."
"No, really, you should go."
Yeah. That's the typical exchange. Usually, the farther we get into the subject, the more horrified the poor person becomes as they realize that my kooky idea that I don't need to go to college is actually sincere. So, to explain to all the well-meaning people out there who believe I can't be anything without a college degree, let me explain this to you. That is, my reasons for not going to college.

Just as a disclaimer, let me say that I might, sometime in the future, decide to go to college. I might take some classes at a Bible college for the purposes of my own insatiable curiosity. I might wake up one morning and decide that I want to go to my local community college and learn how to be a businesswoman. I don't know. We'll see what God does. But as of this moment in time, at the age of 16 (almost 17), I don't think I need to go to college.

Pet peeve moment: I really hate the idea that I won't be able to get a good job without going to college.

I mean, if I'm smart enough to go to college, then why am I not smart enough to find something to do with my life without a piece of paper that certifies that I spent four years of my life, $30,000+, and a bunch of brainpower learning a bunch of stuff that I had already learnt anyway, with a year and a half of stuff I might not have known.

That was an incredible run-on sentence. But anyway. I especially dislike that mentality amongst Christians. We've become so infected by this idea that we can't do anything for God without a college degree, an idea that came from (surprise, surprise) the secular world. I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure that if God can use a completely ignorant African village man to spread the Gospel, he can use me. After all, I've grown up in church, have two parents who are extremely knowledgeable about the Bible, and thousands of bookstores and libraries and online resources to teach me things.

Aside from that little peeve, there's the issue of cost. Have you looked at tuition costs at colleges lately? They're crazy expensive. Even your lower-end 'cheap' colleges have steep prices. And when you consider that the average debt level of graduating college students is somewhere about $30,000...yeah, I just really don't want that hanging over my head for the rest of my life, even if it is for Jesus. (Although, there is an interesting paradox displayed there: we need to go into debt to go learn something for Jesus, but then again, the Bible says some pretty bad things about debt...oh yes...)

Add to that the cost of four years, the best years of my life. The years between 19 and 25 are some of the most active years, when a person is at their physical prime. Before that, things are building up, and after that, the...decay sets in, if that's what we want to call it. So I could spend those four years going and doing, rather than sitting down in a classroom, spending a ton of money for something I could get for a few dollars in late fees at a public library. I could intern with a missionary or two and get years of experience put at my disposal, and for far cheaper.

So that, in a nutshell, is why I'm not planning to go to college. This may change sometime in the future, and then I'll end up spending a bunch of money and time. We'll see.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Showing off the New Camera

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

This is my new camera, beautifully displayed in my mom's mirror. Yeah...and me, awkwardly hunched over to get the's a pretty camera, even though you can't really see it. It's a Samsung, with a 14.1 megapixel image, and 5x zoom. Yup. Pretty nice.

My Bible, with a heart made out of the pages.

Homemaker, before she got dressed. She's going to CYIA with me!

My current book-list! I'm reading The Memory of Earth by Orson Scott Card (the second Card book I've read...yeah. Haven't started it yet), Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott, Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, Redwall by Brian Jacques, Our Man in Tehran by Robert Wright, and King, Kaiser, Tsar by Catrine Clay.

But yeah. This sounds slightly obsessive, or so my mom tells me. I think it just sounds mildly excited about the fact that I have a camera, that CYIA is coming in only 23 days, and that I'll be departing for China in just 45 days! I also got another donation yesterday, for $120, which reminds me that I need to write thank you cards. I'm pretty excited. :D

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Garage Sale, Week 1

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
Alas, there are no pictures. I know. I'm a bad person. In my defense, I have no camera. But there shall be pictures next week, because I shall hopefully have a camera by then!

Why, you ask?

Because I made $271 in the sale this week, and at least half of that is budgeted for my packing list. Half, I think. At least $70 of it. And this week, "packing list" equates to "camera." I'm pretty excited to get a nice camera. One thing I know: this camera will stay far away from little children.

Anyway. I got up early this morning and got stuff set out, then sold the aforementioned $271 worth of goods. After all was said and done, that still left me with about half the items that had been donated to me! So, this is only week one of the garage sale...I'll be going out again next Saturday, and will hopefully be getting another $200. We'll see. Another almost-$300 would be wonderful, because then that'd be nearly $600 that I've made off this sale! We'll see what God does!

I'm also going to be trying to get some Sonic saver card things to sell at my church. Apparently, they'll give them to anyone, and then if you sell them, you get 100% profit off of it, which is pretty awesome. I won't have to pay a commission or anything; just sell them and be done with it. I'm also looking into doing like a benefit night at one of our local restaurants. If you sign up and everything, whoever comes and mentions your name will donate like...15%, I think it is, of their purchase to your cause. Which is, of course, pretty awesome.

So...we'll see! I still have 45 days left, which is...rather scary, because my time is ebbing away quickly, and there's only some 23 days left before summer craziness officially starts with CYIA, but I'm also ridiculously excited. Because this is going to be an amazing summer.

I am so looking forward to actually being in China. My God is awesome, mighty, amazing, and I can't wait to see what he's still going to do. :)))

Edit: Oh, and just to add: on Wednesday, I also got a $100 donation, which made me very happy!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random Updates That You Don't Really Care About

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
So. I'm now going to give you a typical update on my life, instead of something you might actually care about. Why? Because that's just how boring I am. I don't even have a camera to, like, show you pictures or something. Which is pretty sad, by the way.

Of course, it's going to be even worse because there's quite literally nothing going on in my life. At all. Um...

I'm reading through Ezekiel. And fun fact: this morning I woke up at 7am and finished my roughly nine chapters of reading (in Ezekiel) before 8! I was rather proud of myself, because even though I have plenty of time to do it during the day, it's nice to be able to read other books during the day. And getting it all done is helpful because then I don't have that day of reading "hanging over my head." Not that that the Bible is something that hangs over my head. But anyway.

What else, what else?

There hasn't been anything going on with the trip, either.

I know, I know. God will provide, God can work miracles, if he wants me to go on this trip, he will give me the money. I know. I know that it's true, and I've seen it happen.

But, I'm going to make a quick confession: I am an incredible control freak and the kind of person that makes to-do lists, right? So when something doesn't seem to be happening when I think I need it to, I get a little...worried.

And that's pretty much what's happening here. Yes, I know it's not right to be so horribly worried about it. But the day meter only ticks lower, and the finances aren't going up. It's quite frightening, because the closer I get, the more I can't help thinking, "Well, what if the money doesn't come in? What if I don't get it all?" Then I will have basically spent the past six months doing...nothing. All this work, all the fundraising I've done will be for nothing. The relationships I've made with a couple of the people who are going on the trip with me will be for nothing.

That frightens me, just a little. That all that work will go for nothing.

I mean, yes, I'll be able to go on a trip next year possibly, and that would be nice. But I suppose I just don't understand why God would have blessed things so much - y'know, giving me double what it was projected I'd make and all, but now...

I don't know. I guess I'm just discouraged and burnt out. I have a fundraiser planned for this Saturday. I'm praying God will bless. I know God will bless.

Please just pray that things will work out to God's glory. ;)

And, as always, if somebody would like to donate something to my trip, just email me. Or find me on my Facebook page over there. >


Monday, May 2, 2011


سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
Lately, life has been rather difficult for me. These past couple weeks, it's seemed as if everything has been going wrong at once. I remember earlier this year, when everything with our house and our car and our lives that could go wrong, was. Now, it's been our physical health: Flipper broke her foot, so she's not been quite as...flipp-y lately, and we had a stomach bug going around that wrecked whatever semblance of a schedule we'd managed to whip up.

'Twas not so fun. But thankfully, except for the broken foot, it seems that things are coming back to normal, or whatever passes for it at my house.

But I'm still discouraged. You see, in the midst of all that, very little has been happening with my trip.
Earlier, I felt like God was really blessing my trip; I made twice the estimated amount at my bake sale. But now, it's going on the third week without a major donation. Just...nothing. Ten dollar amounts come filtering in in change jars. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are a couple people waiting for me to only have $200 left to raise so they can sweep in and give it to me...but I'm not going to get there if it...
Gah, I'm complaining now. And I shouldn't. But please be in prayer for me. I know God will provide. Our pastor preached an excellent message Sunday morning on just this issue, about God supplying all our needs. And I know he will.

It's sometimes just difficult to remember.