Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014

   I used to be afraid of the new year. A new year meant change. And change was something I just didn't do. It would only remind me that "life was passing by" and "I was growing up." But I think it was last year where I decided I wasn't going to do that anymore. Instead, I developed a new perspective. I began to think of how incredible it was that God had granted me another year of life. I don't deserve to live this amazing life, but God blessed me with it, and for that I am eternally grateful.

   Now, I hadn't even planned on doing a new years post but last night I was thinking about all the things I did in 2014 and I realized that this was a great year for me. I have grown so much; more than I have in a long, long time. So I wanted to share with you all the things that happened or things I did in 2014; both good and bad. Now without further ado, here is my list.

   -Dyed my whole head of hair purple/black
   -Shaved my head
   -Got diagnosed with lupus
   -Reached my goal of reading 50 books. (I actually read 57.)
   -Completed my second year of NaNoWriMo
   -Felt like I belonged at camp for the first time
   -Went on a life changing missions trip
   -Went to Warped Tour for the first time
   -Lived 7 months without my best friend (although she gets back in 10 days so I haven't actually done that yet.)
   -Overcame my shyness
   -Turned 18
   -Met 2 internet friends
   -Sold 30 RAIM shirts
   -Found joy
   -Started eating better
   -Dyed my whole head of hair pink


   This year started off really rough for me honestly. I was re-reading my journal of this year and I remember how sucky it was at the beginning. But things started to turn around after I shaved my head. I think that was when I had my Shift. That was the day I became myself. I look back on that and I see why God wanted me to do it. Its so weird how doing something like changing your hair can make such a difference. For me, it really did change everything. One thing I've been doing recently is editing pictures of myself where I put two of them side by side to compare them. Well, I found pictures of me from last year and me from this year, and me in 2013 vs. me in 2014. And its interesting how I associate the long blonde hair with sadness and no hair/short hair with joy. Because me at the beginning of the year I was insecure about how I looked, struggling with shyness, and trying to deal with the fact that this guy who I had considered one of my closest friends wasn't talking to me anymore. I was dealing with nightmares more than I ever had my entire life, as well as intense fear issues. Me now? Now I have found healing and joy and happiness. I love myself and I respect that boy enough to know it wasn't God's plan for us. I have moments of fear, but I can fight it. I now know that if I need to leave a room because its become too triggering, its not a sign of weakness. It's a sign that I respect myself enough to know I shouldn't put myself through agony like I used to.

   I did so much this year and I'm looking forward to 2015. I'm not big on resolutions really, but I do like to remind myself of my life goals. I always take time to re-evaluate and see if I'm where God wants me to be. I am still growing and working on becoming a stronger woman of God; and I know that's not something I can do in a year. But I'm looking forward to it nonetheless.

   Thank you guys for sticking with me after all this time. When I started this blog, I wasn't intending on it becoming such a big part of me or even having any followers. You guys have blown me away and make me feel so loved. Thank you for being a part of my story. I struggled a bit with feeling like I shouldn't blog anymore, but I always remembered you guys and well.I'm still on here because of it. I want to do something for you guys when I reach 100 followers....just a heads up. But yeah, THANK YOU! Here is to another insane year of learning and growing and writing and living. In the coming year I'm looking forward to hugging my best friend (which I haven't done since June,) getting a DSLR and growing in my photography, re-writing my NaNoWriMo, going to college (also petrified for that...) and simply enjoying all that God has to offer. I would encourage you to do the same. Life is so freaking beautiful you guys. Soak it up.

   Happy New Year!

   P.S
   What are your new years resolutions? How have you grown in the last year and how are you looking forward to growing further?










(My year in a song.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Confessions Of A Teenage, Part Time Mom

   I can't think of a clever way to start this post seeing as I haven't finished my coffee yet and its still early in the morning, so I suppose I should just jump right into it and explain the title. No, I don't actually have any kids, but I do babysit my 7 younger siblings 75% of the time. See, my mom is a single mom. She's got 9 kids (one who's away at college most of the time.) and she works at Pier 1 Imports; not the best job in the world but she gets nice discounts to fuel her candle obsession, so at least the house smells nice. Today she has orientation for a second job, and she's also thinking of going back to school. That's right, she's also a web designer and HTML expert. (You would think my blog would look nicer. Nope.) So it's not ideal; since my mom never wanted a job, but when my dad left in 2012, she had no choice. Now, this isn't supposed to be a sob story. I'm just simply stating the facts. My family got placed in a weird situation. Even with my mom working 20 something hours a week, its not even enough to pay bills and make ends meet. Hence, the second job.


   With that being said, watching that amount of kids so often is hard work. I have to take over for my mom when she's gone. This means staying on top of house work, making sure the kids don't kill each other, disciplining them, helping them with homework, clean up Ryne's pee when he goes on the floor because he isn't fully potty trained yet, make all the food, and the list goes on and on and on. And that's not even the stuff on my to do list. Because after all that I need to do my school, send packages for a woman at my church who runs an Ebay/Amazon shop, clean my room, have bible time, and read whatever book I've currently got my hands on. So if I hear one more person say "you're homeschooled! You're not that busy!" I will flip.

   So being a part time mom at my age is pretty difficult, especially when my siblings still see me as Faith Their Older Sister and not Faith The One Who Will Ground You If You Disobey. They have a habit of not taking my authority seriously. There are times when I just want to make them stay in their beds all day so I can sleep or scream at them because they just can't get the concept of "we don't hit" through their heads. I almost lose it when Izzy's diaper has exploded or Lois is demanding that someone play Barbie's with her or when the front room still isn't clean after I told Anakin to do it a million and one times or when Gordon gives me his sass and can't seem to stay focused on school. There are times my veins bulge out of my neck and my already scratchy voice rides on the edge of disappearing altogether.

   But there are good days as well. Like when Noah makes a bottle for Izzy or Gordon asks if I need help or Anakin gets his school work done before I'm even awake or Lois and Ryne get along perfectly. There are nights like last night. Nights where no one yells and we all eat together and everyone actually eats the dinner I made and then I attempt to make popcorn over the stovetop but burn it so we end up making a few bags of it in the microwave and sit on the mattress we have in our living room because we don't own a couch and just watch Star Wars. Those are good days. I try to make every day like that. It takes a lot of effort to stay calm when your house look like a tornado shot through it and you can't clean it alone because while yes, you live here, you don't know where the kids toys belong. I find myself wanting to hide in my room and forget my responsibilities or get really angry at my dad who put me in this next to impossible situation. But we always make it through.

   I need to remember that I can't expect myself to be a perfect mom or perfect babysitter or perfect big sister. I'm only human and heck, I'm only a teenager. It's a learning process. Experienced mom's have trouble with this sort of thing; I shouldn't expect to have a perfect day every day. If there is one thing I've learned through this, its that sometimes we get huge burdens; sometimes its unfair that they were given to us, but that doesn't mean we should give up. The world might think us too weak to carry it, but God knows we can do it. He would never give us something we weren't strong enough to deal with. And while we may be too weak in of ourselves, He is stronger and He is in us. And the best part of this is, at the end of the day I get to go back to being just regular Big Sister Faith. Plus at this rate, by the time I'm a mom for real, I'll already be a pro. You're welcome Future Husband.



Monday, December 1, 2014

Things I Learned From NaNoWrMo

   Hello people of the bloggersphere! I have returned from my month long adventure that was NaNoWriMo. I have been tweeting my journey (@geek4God66) so those of you that follow me there know that I did indeed win this year. Yay! It was so different from my first time. I wasn't able to write at the same time as my sister this go round due to our second laptop breaking a week before November 1st. That lead to some serious complications that almost made Dayle unable to win. Luckily, she worked hard and was able to pull it off. It was a hard journey; one that also seemed to go by really fast actually. I learned a lot from this month and doing this writing challenge. I'm not as pleased with my novel as I would have liked, but that is my own fault; see, I hadn't seriously written like that since the beginning of summer, and it showed. The last story I worked on was my NaNoWriMo from 2013. Needless to say, my writing sucked. 

   But I didn't let my sucky writing stop me. I persevered and it seemed to pay off. Although technically, I'm not done with my novel yet. I learned a lot this year about myself and writing in a general, and I wanted to share a couple of those things with you. So without further ado, the things I learned from NaNoWriMo.

   1. To write is to be vulnerable. 
   This lesson became very apparent to me early on in the month. There would be times I wasn't sure if I could write a particular scene because it made me feel too...exposed. I felt like I was open for all to see, and that scared me. It's weird because I've always encouraged others to be honest and to not hide, and to be especially bold in sharing your story; but in writing Forlorn Hope, I realized how hard that actually was. To write is to open up your heart and soul; to pour your thoughts and feelings into writing that another human can read, inviting them to share experiences with you. There's something profound about that; something beautiful.

   2. To write is to be brave.
   The second thing I learned is much like the first. I had too quotes that really helped me through this month. One was by Ernest Hemmingway; he said "write hard and clear about what hurts." And the second, by Joss Whedon; "I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters I am not. I write to explore all the things that I'm afraid of."
This year, I wrote about a lot of scary things. There were times I wanted to shy away from the things that scared me or might scare others; but those quotes reminded me that when I wrote, I had a chance to be brave and stand up to my fears. There were things that hurt and scared me, and a way I could get rid of them was to write them out. I was able to do that this year. 

   3. I love to write
   Sadly, I had forgotten how much I love writing. I love telling stories via paper and pen. (figuratively I suppose...) I really suck at speaking, and writing has always seemed to give me a voice that I never had before. I have missed that.

   4. Writing was my calling
   People write for any number of reasons; but I feel like there are writers whom God has called to write. Maybe you're one of them. I know I am. I didn't know God was telling me to tell this story until November started. I don't know if God ever intends for me to be published or to be a "real author." But I know He told me to get this story out of my head and into real words. Maybe He wants others to read it. I don't know. My point is, maybe He's told you to do the same. Each of us knows things that someone else is oblivious to. We've had experiences or thoughts that differentiate us from one another; so our mind and way we perceive things is unique. We shouldn't be ashamed to speak of our experiences. Maybe you know something that God wants to tell someone else. You words could make all the difference in someone else's life. 
Either way, I felt like God wanted me to share that story, whatever that may take me. 

   I meant for this post to be longer but I'm exhausted and its late. I really should be in bed. So I'll leave it at that. How was NaNoWriMo for all you readers who took on the challenge? What did you learn from it?