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Look at the Clock

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How often do we look at the clock? Too many times to count. So, what's happening? We want to savor the moments we have on earth, yet we're always checking the time. This could be in anxiousness, excitement, or just pure curiosity.  For a few years, my favorite verse has been Matthew 6:27, which talks about how worrying doesn't add time to your life and, in fact, only wastes your time and energy. I've talked about this multiple times in my blog, but I've found that it's a very easy thing to look over.  When we have extra free time or need to rid of stress, people tell us to pick up hobbies, tell us to go for a walk or a drive, or even to just simply sleep. While I do think these things can definitely help—I write a lot—I think it can also be partially dangerous to only resort to hobbies as a way to put energy into something or express how you feel. I am the most comfortable with my thoughts through written words, like here, but talking or anything else just doesn

The Colors of Levi

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“Where’s the fire starter?” Levi’s mom hollered in the crisp air as she scrambled to search through one of the many bags that had shuffled around in the RV during the road trip to Pine Haven Campground—the same one they went to every year for their family reunion. He stared at the dark oak giants towering them and couldn’t remember if he brought one or if he was supposed to buy one on his way over. The smell of the oak wood mixed with the disturbed dirt and campfires across the campground distracted him. He could hear neighboring campers walking by, chatting about the nearby lake.        “I don’t know, Mom.” He answered as he walked by her and picked up his turkey sandwich. He looked and noticed the clouds forming above them, clearing away the beautiful sky from moments prior. He faced her and pointed up to the sky, drawing her attention to the absence of birdsongs in the trees. The addition of gloominess that hovered between the clouds penetrated his clothes like raindrops. He felt li

Broken & Songs

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My grandpa passed away almost two years ago, and none of my family's lives have been the same. Holidays aren't the same. Watching movies for me isn't the same. None of it is the same. That's how loss works. Something—or someone—is subtracted and there's a void, usually it can never truly be filled by a substitute.  I like to write songs, and I try to avoid writing them about my grandpa, because they make sad. Thoughts of "It's unfair" and "Why?" just repeat over and over sometimes. I don't obsess over it, but I do think about it. Honestly, I try not to think about the sadness. With anything that has left me, whether it be a person or something I used to be involved in, I only try to think of the happier memories. I don't like being sad, especially when nothing can be done about it except think of memories.  I've written multiple songs about my grandpa, and I've included the first verse and the chorus for two of them below:  Le

Light at the End

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What does it mean to have a light at the end of the tunnel? Does it refer to seeing "the light" when one passes away, or is it in regard to good at the end after many troubles and trials? Does the light just represent good or is it an end goal? Can we have more than one light, do we go through more than one tunnel throughout our lives? All are questions that, simply, can't be answered. It is possible that it could be all of the above.  In my life, I have gone through different chapters, so I think I have been through multiple tunnels already. My lights, past and future, include finishing high school and college, jobs, writing novels, editing novels, and more that will someday be added to the list of things I have accomplished in my life.  I think it is important to have that light at the end, sometimes it's all that can keep you going in the middle of a marathon or a tennis match. When times get stressful or hard, it can be so critical to think about the bigger pictur

First Steps into Forever (Part 3—Finale): The Church

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When she walked into the church, she felt like she was ten again. A day of fellowship with her friends, family, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Sundays were always her favorite until her angel left her to go to a better place. Her mother had always said that Grandma was always like an earthly guardian angel, and she missed her more than ever. "Will you excuse me?" She looked up at him—Mr. Latte, "Where's the ladies' room?" He pointed to a hallway. "Through there and it's the first door on your left." "Thanks." She quickly made her way into the one-person bathroom and stared at herself in the mirror. "Jesus, I really need You today." I am always with you, Daughter... "What do I do? He's perfect and I—" Love him... She laughed. "Excuse me? We just met and—" Love him... "I don't understand." You don't have to... Just know that he's the one... "Wait. You're really tellin

First Steps into Forever (Part 2): Mr. Latte

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The next morning, after she got ready, she happily walked to the coffee shop to meet with Mr. Latte. Don't you dare start calling him that, Alisa,  she reminded herself. When she walked through the doors, she found him.  It wasn't a dream!  She smiled. "Hey." He returned her smile. "Hi." She sat down with him. "I hope you don't mind, but I ordered for you. I got you the same latte as yesterday. I figured it might be your usual." He was right. "Yeah. It is. Thank you." "No problem." He stayed quiet for a moment. "Listen, this may seem very straightforward, but are you a Christian?" How could he tell?  "Yes, I am." He smiled. "I could kind of tell." How? "Would you like to go to church with me on Sunday?" She was almost ready to break down in tears. When she was young, she had always asked Alisa to go to church with her every Sunday, but then she never went again after her grandmother pa

First Steps Into Forever (Part 1): Out of the Ordinary

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  Alisa was taking her usual route to work, stopping by the coffee place a few blocks down before continuing to the large office building where her cubicle awaited her, when she noticed something out of the ordinary—rather,   someone   out of the ordinary. She didn't make eye contact with the man, but just ordered her latte with extra whipped topping.  "Sweet tooth, huh?"  She turned around to find the man that she was intending to avoid that morning. She thought he was handsome, he looked smart, but she did not have time for any man in her life.  "Yeah. That's me." She smiled.  "That'll be $3.65," the barista said.  "I'll buy," the man handed the woman his credit card.  "No. You really don't have to."  "But I  want  to."  Okay. He's sweet.  "Listen, I'm almost running late for work, and I—" "'Don't have time for small talk, so could we pick this up later?' Darling, I'

Masterpiece

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Sketching a rough draft of my future life in my mind is difficult. I keep erasing different details. What if I go down a different path? What if I’m not successful in this area? What if this thing takes longer than I think it will? All valid questions that go through a young person’s mind. We don’t know anything that the future might hold. Sketching is an easy, yet difficult, process. A sketch can look very messy or it can look professional. It can be the beginning of something incredible or the start of the journey to the trash bin. I have sketched and drawn a little bit throughout my life and there can be a lot of erasing involved. It can be very tedious to re-sketch shapes over and over to get them right. And sketching is the “easy” part. Well, at least it’s supposed to be.  Art is beautiful. It’s a God-given gift. It’s a special and unique talent that takes dedication and desire. Any piece of art—whether it’s artwork, writing, music, etc.—takes pursuing an idea that was sparked by

Follow the Leader

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Whenever I've been asked the question of if I'm more of a leader or a follower, I have always said follower. When people have asked me if I'm an introvert or an extrovert, I always say introvert.  Over the past few weeks, I have done a lot of discovering about who I am internally and how that gets expressed externally. Recently, I was given the role of a leader in a group of other leaders and, let me tell you, it has made me rethink a lot of things regarding socializing.  We discovered that being introverted and extroverted is on a scale. I don't think it's a black and white topic. Now, I think that people just have qualities of both stereotypes, and they shouldn't be classified as one or the other. With children, they have qualities of both of their parents, physically and characteristically, and they wouldn't be just like one parent and not at all like the other.  I have also thought a lot about what it means to be a leader, as someone who has always been

Infinity Love

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Today is special to me. It is an anniversary date of a turning point in my faith. Today, in 2016, I fell in love with God. It's one thing to love God in return of his love for us, but it's another to be in love with God.  I read a verse today that made me stop and think again about God's love; "and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:19, ESV). Stop... Read it again... And think about it. We cannot understand Christ's love for us. At all. It is impossible for us to comprehend. Think about how much God loves us, then multiply that times infinity, then multiply it by 100, and then times infinity again. That's a small portion of how much God loves us.  I completely forgot that today was this special anniversary date in my life, and I had read these words without even realizing the personal significance of this day for me. Funny how that works, huh? In those moments of fal