Monday, April 29, 2013

Talent

Last night was my youth groups 4th (or maybe 5th...) talent show. It was awesome! The kids in my group are SO talented! I loved seeing all these new acts and seeing people who do them every year. It really was a great night. I sang a song with my band Pineapple On The Go, (we did Don't Stop Believin.) and we actually did the opening act! Despite all the confusing during the soundcheck (don't ask...) we did good! I also did a solo in which I sang Legacy by Nichole Nordeman. But I also did a skit with my brother, Shane. It was my first time doing a skit and everyone seemed to love it. I was actually surprised because acting isn't really my strong suit. I might post some of the videos in another blog post; we'll see.

But during the show we stopped and had some time for prayer and God really spoke to me. You see, lately I haven't felt very confident in my ability to sing. The hard part about being in a church full of talented people is that sometimes you feel that your talent can't compare to others. Or maybe that's just me. But still. There are so many musically talented people in my group and sooooo many singers that sometimes I wonder if people even like my voice at all. Because all the other talent...they just outshine mine. At least, that's what I've been thinking for a while.

I got caught in the trap that "You're not as good as so and so." And I know a lot of girls struggle with that. But that's not true. When I was praying during the show I realized that, God gave me the voice I have. He didn't give me a voice like any of the other girls I know, He gave me mine. Because I'm not meant to be like them. Each person in unique in their own way. Just because we're all different, doesn't mean one is better than the other. I know there are people who like someone else's voice over mine, but God didn't give me this talent to please other people. He gave me this talent so I could praise Him.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says "Now whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Whatever we do should be for God's glory. Whatever your specific talent is, should be used to bring glory to God. I have a lot of passions; singing, writing, photography, gymnastics, and many others. I want to use them to bring glory to God. So whatever it is that you do, do it for God.

I kinda strayed from my point there but I felt that needed to be said. Ok, when I was trying to pick a song for the show I wanted to pick a song that would blow everyone away. I wanted it to be the best act in the whole show. But I prayed about it and I thought...why? Why do I need to impress all these people? By saying that I wanted to have the best act, who would get the glory? Sure I could tell everyone that God gave me this voice and its all for Him but lets get real, I would be the one getting all the glory. Not God. I don't do those shows because I love to entertain people, I do it because I have a love for singing and because singing is even better when people are wanting to listen. I do it because God gave me a voice and I want to sing. That's why I chose to sing Legacy. Because its about wanting to leave a legacy. The chorus says "I want to leave a legacy, how will they remember me? Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things. I want to leave an offering."

I want to be someone that people remember as a girl who loved God with all her heart. I don't care if you remember my name, I just want people to see as a reflection of Christ.

My voice will never be as good as the other girls I know, but my voice sounds exactly how God wants it to. It took me a while to realize that, but I'm glad I finally did. A lot of the things people said to me after the show played a big role in helping me come to this conclusion so I want to thank all the people who took a few moments to say a simple "good job." and even more for all the people who went above and beyond that. I really needed the encouragement.

But just remember, don't compare yourself to others. Its no good. Thank God for what He's already given you. I'm glad to be in this state of thankfulness; just knowing that God has given me above and beyond what I deserve. I know so many people would kill to have the same voice I have, so I shouldn't be complaining. Remember that God has given you a talent, its unlike anyone else's; thank God for it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

6 Weird Things I Do

Well, I've been trying to find some random, fun stuff to talk about and it just so happens that the wonderful Becca Lathorn tagged me in a post (which you can read by clicking her name.) and challenged me to blog about 6 weird things I do. So this should be a very interesting post.

   1.) I workout while I watch TV
   Not so much anymore but I used to do it every time I watched TV and it drove my family nuts, which is why I stopped doing it. But I would just kinda march in place as I watched something, or do jumping jacks or squats. Anything. Now I just do more subtle things, like crunches. I like crunches.

   2.) I have a Star Wars quote for everything.
   Seriously. I do. Any time my friends ask me for advice, I respond with a Star Wars quote. Any time someone compliments me, I have a quote. Just, for anything! Its awesome! I look up Star Wars quotes when I'm bored or need inspiration. Because the quotes in those books and the movies are just so inspiring.

   3.) I listen to a wide variety of music.
   Now, I'm looking through the genre section of my IPod right now and let's see, we have alternative, gospel, Christian rock, comedy, country, country and folk, electric, hip-hop, rap, metal, pop, punk, R&B/soul, religious, rock, soundtrack, and unknown genre. And that's just the songs I bought on ITunes. I listen to more. So don't ask me what kind of music I like. Because that is a ridiculous question. I like good music. Oh! And never ever ever tell me that rap isn't music or that you hate rap or blah blah blah. I will have none of it. Rap is beautiful. Your argument is invalid.

   4.) I don't like the Hunger Games but...
   I always manage to turn anything into a Hunger Games reference. Even I don't understand that one...

   5.) My favorite books growing up were the Nate The Great books.
   Just kidding...they're still my favorite books. I have a few of them on my book shelf that I keep protected. I always used to leave notes for my mom when I went out (or, pretended to go out.) to inform her that I was on a case, just like Nate The Great. And I like pancakes just like he does. Especially lately...all I want to eat is pancakes...I'll be right back, I'm actually going to make some pancakes.

    6.) I like peanuts and I like butter, but I don't like peanut butter.

 
   Everyone is weird in there own way. So I challenge you to share some of your weirdness! And Becca has told me to tag 2 other people in specific to hand this challenge off to. Soooooo I'm going to tag.....yeah I don't know. So this is for all my followers. Don't deny that you're weird. Embrace it!!!

   Don't forget to vote on the left side panel of this page and have a wonderful week! May the Force be with you!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Photoshoot Pictures!

I've been sitting here for the past 15 minutes staring at this screen and wondering what to blog about. Because I want to blog about something. Nothing deep or thought provoking, just...blogging. So my friends may or may not hate me but I did a little photoshoot with them a couple weeks ago and I really liked this pictures so I wanted to share them with you!

 









   Yeah! I am actually really proud of these ones. Hmmm....I'm trying to think of more to write.....Well, I have my youth groups talent show coming up next week! Its gonna be cool. My band had practice a couple days ago, and not gonna lie, we sound pretty great. I'm really excited to do that. But I'm also doing a solo song and I still haven't picked what I'm going to sing...so thats been making me nervous. I'm really picky about finding the perfect song to do. But hopefully I'll sound good when I sing. Because last year I choked up really bad from nervousness and ended up almost crying on stage. Which was bad....

   So yeah! That's my life. If I sound good I might, juuuuuuuuuuuussst might post the video for this year. We'll see. Oh, and I added a survey to the top left panel on my blog so if you would please take a second (literally, just one second!) to let me know what kind of posts you're interested in reading. If you have any ideas that aren't on that list, comment on this post! I want to keep all of my readers interested. Thank you and May the Force be with you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bringing It Back: Happy 100th Post

So for the past few weeks I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to blog about for my special 100th blog post. I thought about doing a questionnaire or interviewing a favorite blog author (any thoughts on that? Because I still might do them.) but nothing seemed good for this occasion. Well, the other day at my youth group they were announcing that the church would be doing baptisms soon and they said how its good to remember how you came to know Christ. That got me thinking.

   See, we need to remember and reflect on how we came to know our First Love. It helps us stay connected with God and helps us to rekindle that fire for Him. So today, for my 100th blog post celebration, I want to tell you the story of how I came to know Jesus as my Savior.

   I grew up in a Christian home. We went to church every Sunday, had AWANA on Thursday, and Bible studies on Thursday. So we were very active in our church. Now, being homeschooled meant that church was my whole social life. I went to church to be with my friends, I wasn't really too into God. I remember one specific day when I was really young when my brother and his friend asked me how to get into heaven. Of course I knew the answer, but I always seemed to get nervous because I didn't want to be wrong. But I told them "Believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins." I could go on about it too. "He's the only way to heaven." "I can't get to heaven on my own." etc. But it was all head knowledge. I never really believed with my heart what I was saying and I certainly didn't live like I knew that either.

   One day my Mom, my brother, and I were driving back from a bible study and they were discussing the book of Revelation and demons and such. I was 8 years old. It was dark. And we were driving through a forest. Needless to say that I was scared out of my mind. I would look up in the trees as we drove by and felt...evil. In the air. Darkness. When we finally got home I rushed inside because I felt so afraid; I just wanted to be in the comfort of my home. I wanted the wrenching fear to leave me alone. When we got inside I remember just bursting into tears and my mom came and asked what was wrong. I told her everything about how I was afraid of demons and the dark. She told me that God was stronger than demons and if He was on my side I didn't need to be afraid of them. So she asked me if I had accepted Jesus yet. I said I didn't know but I was willing to if it would take away the fear. So she held my hands and told me to repeat to God what she said; and we prayed.

   When I opened my eyes from praying...my life was changed forever. When I opened my eyes the fear was gone. The pressure and the panic...it was gone. I felt new. God took the fear away and in that moment I received the Holy Spirit. That moment was a game changer. I remember my older brother being so proud of me. He told our AWANA director who then gave Shane a bracelet to give to me that said "Jesus Loves Me" on it to congratulate me. He practically told the whole church.

   That was truly the moment I got saved. Jesus became real to me. He redeemed me. I became His. But after awhile I began to fall away a bit. But when I was 10 that all changed. You guys know about that part. When I read Lightsabers for the first time, God spoke to me. He really put a deep desire in my heart. Ever since then He has been working in me and molding me to be the woman He wants me to be.

   Today I'm just taking some time to reflect on that. I want to kind of bring it back in and focus. Fear was the thing that drove me to God. I've always dealt with it. The devil always attacks me with it. Especially recently. But when I'm afraid, it should lead me to Christ. This blog probably wouldn't be here had I just toughed it out on my own that Monday night 8 or so years ago. If God hadn't interceded and reached out to me. That night He pulled me out of the darkness I was living in and made me new. Sometimes I don't think I've done all I can. I feel like because I haven't ever led anyone to Christ that I'm failing. I just want to know if I've ever affected someone and never known it. Every time I send a message to a hurting person on Tumblr, or email someone, or smile at a stranger, or write a letter...I wonder if it matters. But even if I don't see the results, I keep doing what God has placed on my heart to do.

   Every day I pray for big things for this blog and even though most days I feel like no one even reads this, I know God wants me to do this. To continue my ministry and praying for people and just simply being a light. I always wish I could do more. Every day I strive to do bigger things. Recently I have felt God moving in me. I don't want to settle for just OK. I want God to use me to change lives. I don't want to live in fear, I want to be audacious. And to be grateful for every day I have, and not upset when God says its over. I want to inspire people with this blog. So I thank God for every single one of you who has stuck around for however long. For those of you who have been reading since the beginning, thank you for dealing with everything and for your continual support. And for you newbies, here's to 100 more crazy and (hopefully) inspiring posts. Strap yourselves in. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Be Somebody

Hello all! Before I start my inspirational rant I want to just make some announcements. Well, my Facebook page almost has 40 likes! YES! So if you like my blog and want to come support me then just hop over HERE and like my page. Also, I'm almost at 30 blog followers so its really exciting! I am so thankful for all of you! And my next blog post will be my 100th so I want to do something cool so if you have any ideas then let me know:) Now one final thing; remember that girls outreach night I had posted about? Well, some pictures I took and a short paragraph about it was posted on the Operation Beautiful website!!! So I am super excited about that. Thanks for all of your continual support! Keep being awesome.

   Now on to what I came here to say. I've been thinking alot about people. Let me elaborate, and I'm sorry if I get all psychology weird; but see, everyone has their own personality and their own hopes and dreams. We are all different and yet, we're all very similar. We all want people to see us for who we really are and yet...we don't know how to do that. Sometimes people can act differently when we're around people, or just certain people. A lot of times people can get the wrong impression of you or you can appear a different way. Everyone has their own way of viewing you, whether its correct or not.

   But what I've been noticing is that we, especially us teens, really want to be somebody. Let me share some song lyrics with you. These come from the song 'Be Somebody' by Thousand Foot Krutch.

    "We all want to be somebody. We just need a taste of who we are. We all want to be somebody. We're willing to go but not that far.
   We're all see through just like glass, and we can shatter just as fast."

   We all have hopes and ambitions and we all want to do something. We want to be known and loved. We want to stand out and make a difference. Yet why are we still sitting around wishing we were who we always wanted to be? Now is the time to be that person. See, when I was younger I used to have this idea of who I would be when I was a teenager. I would be strong and brave; I would share the gospel and just love people. But the other day I realized I wasn't as brave or courageous as I wanted to be when I was younger. I always kinda assumed it would just happen. But that's not how it works. "This is your life, are you who you want to be?" ('This Is Your Life', Switchfoot.)

   Have you ever wanted a friend who you can just be yourself around? And I mean, really, no pretending at all; just being 100% yourself and to be comfortable with that. We've all wanted a friend like that. But why aren't all our friends that way? Why are we so afraid to be who we are? Criticism? Are we afraid people won't like us? We need to stop being afraid of what other people think of us. I'm saying this because I do the same thing. Its quite amazing really how much people's opinions can impact us. I've really been thinking about that and pondering why that is. Why a comment from someone can make or break you or why you can't just tell everyone who you really are.

   I don't know about you but I'm tired of waiting around to be who I've always wanted to be and I'm even more tired of wondering how people view me. I want to be myself. If people don't like it then that's their problem. But really, its mind boggling how much power people have over us.

   That reminds me of something I read in the book Do Hard Things. They talked about how people in Africa (I think...) could make a giant elephant stay in one spot by tying a small rope to its leg and attaching it to a wooden peg in the ground. How do they get the elephant (that can clearly break that rope) to stay put? They start when they're young can they use bigger chains. But as they grow they can then use the rope, because the elephant isn't aware of its own strength.

   The same goes for us. The opinions of others can't hold us down. Did you know that you can break the chains? They have no power over you.

   Sorry for this post that was all...not steady. I jumped around a lot. My mind is not focused at the moment. I just want to encourage people. I want to encourage you guys to rise above the expectations and be who you really are. Just because everyone dresses a certain way doesn't mean you have to, or just because everyone likes a certain thing doesn't mean that you have to.

   My friend told me that my gift is being able to see people for who they really are. That really got to me because I slowly realized she was right. I have a different perspective. I see the good in people, even the worst people. Because there's a light in everyone. See, maybe some of you are afraid to be yourself because no one has ever saw any good in you. Maybe you aren't confident because no one else ever had any confidence in you. This is why I see the good in people. Because maybe they can't recognize their own strength. Maybe someone just needs to tell them that they can break the rope on their leg.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Some Photography

I had nothing to post about today but I wanted to share some pictures I've taken with you. I really love photography and I like sharing how I view the world with people through pictures. They aren't the best but my camera is my baby and I love it oh so much even though the pictures almost never come out like I see them in my head. But yeah. Random picture time!!! Tell me what you think! I would love your input!
















   So yeah! I also now have an Instagram so I can obsessively take pictures and instantly share them. If you love weird things then follow me @geek4God.

   I hope all of you amazing people had a great Easter! I know I did! I went to church in the morning and then went home real quickly to change into some less fancy clothes and then I headed off the a friends house where we hung out with their cousins and another family from our church. We basically played volleyball the entire time (Just to be clear, that was not a complaint.) and then a (long) game of capture the flag in which my team lost horrifically. But overall it was a blessed day! It was so nice that I didn't even need my jacket in the morning! Yay! What did you do for Easter?

   Well, May the Force be with you!