Be ENCOURAGED // Stand Strong


What is this world coming to?

I believe this is a question used quite often the past---what, century?---and now.  Especially with the most recent decisions and laws and bills passed from our very own states & government, it seems quite relevant a question to ask.  

I won't get into politics (truly because it's not something I fully understand), but I will say that our current president has done what very few (if any) have before him:  he is ACTIVELY doing what he can---despite all manner of obstacles---to take back America & make her the great country she once was.  

Politics are not usually something you'd read about on a little blog like this. . . But with all the media, false news, & recent events, I felt the need to BE encouragement---mainly because I need it myself.  

You'll find this post veers away from my usual Encouragement posts I share each Wednesday.  This topic weighs so heavily on my heart, I believe a call to action---a call to prayer is in order.  Something I've not done/am doing often enough.

Let's change that!  In prayer, there is power---the power of an almighty & awesome God.

In regard of New York's "Reproductive Health Act"---the abortion bill.
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In light of the outrageous bill passed by the state of New York, it is all the more clearer that the United States of America is no longer a moral nation.  It is no longer one nation UNDER GOD.  In my opinion, we are no different from other countries out there.  Sin runs rampant in the streets, whether it be day or night.  And freedom becomes more & more restricted every year.  This is true of ANY country, to be sure.  But how far WE have fallen from our foundations!  



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But I'm not here today to wear you down with the bad news.  Nor am I here to say absolutely everything will be alright and God will punish the evil by smiting EVERYONE responsible for all the sins committed by our country.  Because if that were to happen, no matter how good you & I deem ourselves, I'm not confident we will get by without any burns. . .

As Christians, our hearts should be broken over the lost-ness of our country.  What sorrow I felt upon hearing the heartbreaking decision of New York & its governor.  One state has gone this far, we may well see others follow, and who knows what else they'll see fit to change?

Regardless,

> > > Take heart.

Our God is mighty & faithful to protect those who ARE---not necessarily those who CLAIM to be---His children.  We are NEVER promised a care-free paradise in this corrupted, evil-consumed world.  But we are promised a Helper & refuge to find courage & strength to carry on.  To be His Light in an ever-darkening world.

> > > Stand strong.

STAND for your beliefs & convictions.  "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love." (1 Cor. 16:13-14)  This is, of course, far easier said than done.  But certainly not impossible.  We must stand firm against the powers of this world, even if it means standing alone.  Because guess what?  We're not alone!  NEVER alone.

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Be ENCOURAGED!
We serve a good King.  One who is faithful even when we fall short.  This world will bring much sorrow & disappointments.  But it is a relief to know the ultimate victory has already been won.

So.

Take heart!

and

Stand strong!

What's in a Name? || Nicknames!

Good morning! and happy Monday!
How was your weekend?  My little fam & I had a great couple days hosting our siblings for lunch two days in a row, fun talk geeking out over movie empires, and an enjoyable game night of Rook & Munchkin with yummy, so-not-healthy fingerfoods (mozzarella sticks, mini pizza rolls, & pepperoni roll-ups).  *drools*

I love trying out my hospitality skills!  What about you?  Would you rather host a game night/dinner at your place, or drive to your friend's house?

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Guess what??
It's time for another awesome set of nicknames!!! Who else loves this version of my Name posts?  *raises hand*  I love these!  :D  

Enjoy!

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Al / Bert
Albert
M | English, French, Catalan, German, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Romanian, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic

From the Germanic name Adalbert, composed from elements adal "noble" and beraht "bright."


Brin
Sabrina
F | English, Italian, German, French

Unknown meaning.  Latinized form of Habren, the original Welsh name of the River Severn.  According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sabrina was the given name of a princess who drowned in the Severn.  Supposedly, the river was named after her, but it is more likely her name was derived from the river---meaning unknown.  In John Milton's masque 'Comus' (1634), she appears as a water nymph.  As a given name, it was popularized by Samuel A. Taylor's play 'Sabrina Fair' (1953) and the movie adaptation (1954).


Griff
Griffin
M | English

Latinized form of Gruffud, possibly meaning "strong lord" or "strong prince."  Also could be taken from the English word griffin, referring to a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head & wings of an eagle.


Cloe / Lia
Cloelia
F | Ancient Roman

Meaning unknown.  Feminine form of Cloelius---a Roman family name.  In Roman legend, Cloelia was the given name of a maiden who was given as a hostage to an Etruscan invader.  She managed to escape by swimming across the Tiber river, at the same time helping other captives along the way.


Sil
Silvius
M | Late Roman, Roman Mythology

Derived from Latin silva, meaning "wood, forest."


Flora
Florence
M & F | English, French

From the Latin name Florentius, or the feminine form Florentia, both of which are derived from the element florens, meaning "prosperous, flourishing."  





Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

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Thoughts?  Favorite(s)???

Got any name ideas?  Nickname recommendations?  Let me know!  I'll feature them in the next set at the end of February (or throughout the month).  :]

Have a lovely week, y'all!

Be ENCOURAGED // A Heart for Home

Happy Wednesday, y'all!


Teach what accords with sound doctrine.  Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.  They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands & children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  . . . so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
- Titus 2:1-5, 10 (emphasis added) -

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Wow.  We are touching on some AMAZING topics in these posts.  As I'm still drawing said topics from the book study I'm taking part in, this week's chapter is, "Taste of Heaven: Cultivating a Heart for Home." {Adorned, by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth}

> > > Home seems to be an extremely difficult subject to bring up among nearly all women these days.  I believe it's due to the fact they feel they must defend their decisions to work outside the home, while those who do not (and are classified as the stay-at-home-wives/mothers) are degraded for their decision to remain and work in/from the home.

In short, regardless of their station in life, the world judges them.
And unfortunately, we let them.

There is no right or wrong here, please understand!  In this Scripture, Paul never condemns or demands that women work only in the home, nor does he say they are solely responsible for the work that is necessary for a comfortable home & family.  He does not condemn women for seeking positions outside the home, nor does he imply they have no place in public jobs, churches, communities, or culture.

So what does Paul say in this passage, and how is it to be applied in our lives today?

I believe it means we are to work.  To keep busy (but not overly!).  To refrain from idleness.  To be diligent in our time & talents.  And to be intentional.

It all comes down to this:  it's a matter of PRIORITY.

What matters---particularly for married women & moms---is not what a woman's home looks like or what she does there, but whether she is giving it the appropriate priority.  Is she fulfuling her God-given calling in her home & in the lives of her husband & children?  Is she giving them more than just the leftovers of her time & attention?  Is she investing her heart & best efforts in these priceless lives?  Is she being diligent, productive, and intentional in the care & oversight of her home and in meeting her family's needs?
- Adorned (p. 215-216)

While this may apply more so to married women & mothers, no girl or young lady should pass up this learning experience.  There's no better time than the present to gather knowledge for the future!

Having said that, there is no wrong in any woman working outside of her home, be that to earn a little extra income, or simply to occupy her time by using a natural talent she's been given.  However, if that position causes her to neglect her family, and yes, her home, then something needs to change.  No job, or extra bit of money---however much or little---will ever be worth the priceless value God places on the family & the eternal benefits that come from it.



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The "excellent wife" described in Proverbs 31 is perhaps the best known biblical example of a woman creating such a taste of heaven in her home.  And she's pretty impressive---rising before dawn to provide food for her household, equipping her husband & children with what they need, modeling diligence & good planning. . . In summary, "she looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness (Pro. 31:27).
This woman is servant-hearted and conscientiously cares for the practical needs of her family & home.  It doesn't hurt---it helps---that she is also financially savvy & has a good business head on her shoulders.  And when all is said & done, her life shines a spotlight on the God she fears & loves.
- Adorned (p. 224) -

Wow.  Wouldn't it be lovely to have that said of you?

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Be ENCOURAGED, beloved!
No matter our lives or current circumstances, we are not alone in our struggles.  What a relief it is to know that, right?

You may not have enjoyed the love of a Christian home and its supportive family as I did.  You may have endured a very broken, and very demanding one with absent parents & chronically argumentative siblings.  Just know, the home is what you make it to be.

In our day & age, I believe this topic (and its application!) to be of the utmost importance.  God gives us the blessings of family, and where else but the home are we to cultivate the precious hearts & souls for His kingdom?  There's no better mission field than the one right before your eyes.

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Talk to me, dear one!  The home has always been a subject close to my heart---possibly because I'm a natural homebody. . . :D  But more so now because every day its value diminishes.  Just as we need to take back the promise God gave His people in regards to His symbol of the rainbow, we also need to take back the HOME.

What's in a Name?

Welcome, dear beans!
I've a new set of names!  Strangely, with the exception of one, they are derived from surnames.  

Hope you've had a lovely Monday.  :]

Enjoy!

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Alder
M | English

From a surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin and derived from either the given name Aethelhere, meaning "noble army," or Ealdhere meaning "old army," or from the alder tree.


Seren
M & F | English (rare), Bosnian?

Possibly a variant of Bosnian given name Šaran, meaning unknown---possibly "star."


Barrick
M | English, German

From the surname, which is a variation of Barwick, possibly derived from elements bere "barley" and wic "outlying farm."  Could possibly be a habitational name of several places in England & Germany (Norfolk, Somerset, & West Yorkshire; Berwick, near Soest, Westphalia).


Wynn
F | Welsh, English

From the surname (also spelled as Winn or Gwynn), and derived from Welsh element Gwynn, loosely translated "white" or "fair."




Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.


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Favorite, dearies??  I really like them all! But Barrick & Seren stand out to me. :]
I dunno about you but I enjoy finding faces that seem to fit names for these posts.  Tell me, do you imagine differently?  Different hair color? Eyes? Face shape?

Waging Writerly Battle

It's Friday!
My favorite day of the week! (Probably because the weekend always follows a Friday.)  :]

And on this particular day of the week, I'm getting back to my Fridee-feature of writerly posts, where I plan to share all manner of writerly things---exercises, tips, stories, etc. etc. *cue ALL the writing & WIP GIFs ever in existence*
{Used to, and those of you who've hung around this liddle corner long enough will recall, I did an Awkward + Awesome post each Friday where I shared all of the awkward & awesome things that happened to me throughout the week.  I loved that!  I'd like to bring it back, but posting three things a week is a huge stretch for me right now. . . hence me actually publishing said posts at the end of each respectful day. . .}

But I ramble.  Onward!


I love my life.  I love my hubby & my baby boy.  And even though I struggle so very often to be who they need me to be, to have the strength, energy, and courage even to answer my purpose and simple BE, I wouldn't trade my humble life for ANYTHING.  But I sure do wish I had more TIME to do it all.  Right??  Who else feels the same?  If you didn't raise your hand in agreement, I might say you'd be a liar. . . ;D  But perhaps you have it all figured out, yes?  If so, PLEASESHAREYOURSECRETS.  I'm sure everyone would love you forever.  :D :D :D

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Time is certainly a gift.  And one to be used wisely!  As with every new year, and every set of goals I write up for said new year, writing is one of those things on that list---that, and INTENTIONALLY setting aside the time to do it.  But all too often, I'll get inspired by someone's blog post, or a book or film, only to hear my inspiration sound unattractively all too much like a whoopee cushion.  (You heard that sound in your head, amiright? hahaha)

The following two things are what alwaysalwaysALWAYS stops me in my tracks.

--- PLOTTING ---
A VITAL piece of the puzzle that makes a marvelous story!  And for some reason I feel I have no creativity whatsoever in this area.  Thankfully, there are some amazing friends (the Hubs included) & my dear bloggy beans, as well as some awesome articles, who are so encouraging to give tips & ideas.  Seriously---don't know what I would do if I hadn't the courage to share my stories with those closest to me.  (You know who you are.  <3)

For me, I am TOTALLY <---notice ALL CAPS---a panster.  Yeah.  I write by the fly, as the words come to me, with almost no direction.  And lemme tell ya, that's no way to make progress.  Over the years, I've learned, yet certainly not perfected, that one must have SOME SORT of layout, be that a general list of where you wish the story to go.  If you do, well, in my opinion, you have a plot!  Well done!  

This is something I plan on tackling this year.  For my NaNo novels in both 2017 & 2018 (the only two times I've participated), I had two outlines: one that was super basic with maybe a sentence or two describing what's going on in each chapter, and another that delved deeper into the details.  

Are you the same way?  Pantser?  Plotter?  Or both: plantser??  None of these are to be considered right or wrong.  You just have to find something what works for you & and YOUR writing voice.

Below are some articles I found helpful.  Two that speak directly to plotting, and one that is a total must-read for the encouragement it shares!



--- VILLAINS ---
UGH.  I wanna create good (as in AWESOME) bad guys, but all I have just seem so. . . fluffy.  I sure hope y'all have, or at least have had, the same problems. . . Because it's either that, or my villains are almost nonexistent.  "What's his name again?"  "Uhhhh. . . he don't have no name. . ."  O___o

Which there are great stories out there (a few classics come to mind) that don't really have what I would call a villain.  But there's something about an epic fantasy or swashbucklin' adventure that just screams its need for an AWESOME bad guy.  Ya know?

This is something else I need to research this year.  HOW TO CREATE THE IMPERFECTLY PERFECT BAD GUY.  If I happen to figure it out, I'll letcha know.  ;D

Here's a link to a great article on four simple tips to writing a good villain.  And you can probably connect easily with the examples this guy uses!


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CAN I CONQUER THEM?
I sure hope so.  My gift of Time will tell.  :]  But instead of making a list of how I might overcome, I thought I'd ask you for your own tips, dear reader.  Did you/do you struggle with these things?  Are there more elements to writing that you would add to the list above?  That's a hearty yes on my part.  How do you plan to wage battle & write that story?  


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BREAKING NEWS
There's a rumor going 'round, y'all (at least in my head. . .), about two new things POSSIBLY coming to my humble little blog. . . 

>>  A GIVEAWAY!!!
I noticed the other day that I am TWO peeps away from 100 followers!  WHAA---??  You guys are sooooo nice, so sweet!  I---I just, I have no words.

source
Keep yer eyes peeled for more info soon!  

>>  My very own Writerly Link-up!
This is still a teensy, baby-idea, but I've got it in my mind to create a simple link-up with writing prompts to give those writers in a stuck place (ME) a little boost in the creative-juices writing department.  Soooo. . . be on the lookout for more info on this as well!

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What say you, dearies?  How do you manage to get past these massive writing boulders?  Do you take chainsaw therapy? Continue to pant your way past, no matter how difficult it is to sludge through? Or did you learn something new that gives you JUST what you need to press on? 
If so, do share!  I'd love to hear.  :]

Be ENCOURAGED || Purity

Well, dear beans.  We've hit the peak of the week!  #humpday
Can you believe how quickly January has seemed to fly?
This past Saturday my hubby turned SEVEN & twenty! and yesterday, my baby brother turned twenty-three!?!  Whaaaaa---  O__o  And at church on Sunday, I had someone mention to me in regards to Gabriel, you'll blink and HE'LL BE DRIVING.  DoubleWHAAAAA  

But I'm not here to discuss the reality of Time.  We'll save that for a rainy day.  ;D


Remember that book study my mother is hosting at her home?  After the fun of the holidays, we are resuming once again, and this next chapter focuses on---you guessed it!--->
Purity.

"Older women likewise are to be. . . sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."
(Titus 2:3-5, emphasis added)

Such a difficult subject.  I daresay the majority of girls cringe at this simple word.  And why?  Well, I believe it's because the world we live in has been so thoroughly desensitized and blinded by our present culture, that nothing we find coming before our eyes shocks or grieves us anymore because it is now considered common---normal.

Have we lost our capacity to be shocked & grieved by sin?  Are we so accustomed to raunchiness, filth, and viciousness on the public airwaves that we've become immune to its deadening effect in our own hearts?  Have we become desensitized to unholy language and images that pass through our eye gate and ear gate into our mind and heart?  Are our heroes the kind of people David called the "saints of the land," the "excellent ones" (Ps. 16:3), or are we more taken and enamored by the worldly & the provocative, the best dress & most widely photographed?
- Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Adorned (p.186) -

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Do you believe the truth of that quote?  Girls growing up in this present generation and the one coming after do not know the value & importance of this virtue.  They have not been taught.  And if it was in their childhood education, be that due to parents or guardians, the world has deceived them and taken it away, thereby devaluing themselves in their own eyes (and in others') to the point they simply don't care anymore.  

Such a sorrowing thing, for we know better, right?  They are BELOVED, no matter their past or current situations.

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But what does being PURE truly mean?  According to Merriam-Webster, pure is simply defined as "SPOTLESS, STAINLESS."

It is a calling.  We are not born pure.  Due to the fall of Adam & Eve, once sin entered the world, every child thereafter was born with a natural pull toward sin.  But as children of the living God, we are called to purity & holiness.

This call to purity touches every part & particle of our lives---what we do, what we say, how we think, our attitudes & motives. (see 2 Cor. 7:1)
- Adorned (p. 185) -

Where does it begin?
In the mind.
Our thoughts become ideas.  Ideas, actions.  And we all know where actions often lead---if not to success & strength of character, it's to consequences.  Purity does not mean solely being pure in body.  It extends to the mind & soul of both women AND men.  

In her book Adorned, Mrs Wolgemuth shares five practices & commitments to protect against the temptation of impurity:

>  Choose discretion.

>  Value modesty.

As Christians, one of our chief commitments should be not only preserving our own purity, but also protecting & honoring the purity & morals of others.  And when we behave or dress in a fashion that competes with a man's affections for his (present or future) wife, we work against the purity of his heart as well as our own.
- Adorned (p. 195) -

> Check your emotional attachments.
2 Corinthians 10:5

In the end, sin---alluring as it may be---never pays what it promises.  Never.
- Adorned (p. 195) -

> Guard your electronic communications.

> Don't forget to lean on your trusted female relationships.

The whole point of this series is discovering the value of a Titus 2 relationship: the older woman teaching the younger, and vice versa.  One day such a relationship could mean the life-changing decision of whether or not to cross a certain line---and note this statement says "trusted."  That does not mean a friend known for gossip, but a trusted sister of the faith.

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These are marvelous guidelines!  
And great daily reminders.  Purity of body, soul, & mind seems so highly impossible for us fallen creatures.  And yet, as Mrs Wolgemuth points out in this particular chapter of her book, where she addresses the very fact of Paul's urging to the older women to teach the younger, she states his letter suggests that purity can be LEARNED.

Apart from God we have no hope.  Apart from Him, we are hopelessly stained & tainted.
But all praise & glory to Him for His unfailing mercy & unconditional grace.
He makes us PURE.

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Be ENCOURAGED!  
You are so loved.  I cannot stress that enough!  No matter the past, no matter even the future, our God can wash away EVERY stain.  In His eyes, He sees you as His Son: pure.

What's in a Name? || Places Edition

Happy Monday!
I dunno about you, but my Monday has been rather cold & dreary, though Gabe & I did manage to get out for a nice brisk walk with his Grammie.  It's days like today we find we take for granted the joy of the sun.  :]

I've got a loverly set of place-name monickers for you today, my friends!  Is your character bank list growing with these posts?? If so, I have done/am doing mah job.  *^ - ^*

Enjoy!

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Laos
M | English, French
la-ohs

Possibly derived from the Greek Laios, meaning unknown.  This is the name of a Southeast Asian country.  According to Wikipedia, it "is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia at the heart of the Indochinese peninsula, bordered by Myanmar (Burma) and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southwest, and Thailand to the west and southwest. . . Present-day Laos traces its historic and cultural identity to the kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao (Kingdom of a Million Elephants Under the White Parasol), which existed for four centuries as one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia.  [Read More]"  


Sahara
F | English (rare)

From the name of the world's largest desert, derived from the Arabic word ṣaḥārā meaning "deserts."


Boston
M & F | English (American)

Derived from the name of the city of Boston in Massachusetts, USA.  According to Wikipedia, "Governor Winthrop [a colonist leader in the early 1600s] announced the foundation of the town of Boston on September 7, 1630 (Old Style), with the place named after the town of Boston, in the English county of Lincolnshire, from which several prominent colonists emigrated. The name also derives from Saint Botolph, who is the patron saint of travelers." [Read More]


Georgia
F | English

Latinate feminine form of George, meaning "farmer, earthworker."  This is the name of an America state, named after the British King George II.






Names & meanings via behindthename.com (& Wikipedia).
Photos via Pinterest.


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Talk to me!  What is your favorite(s) of these four? I really like Laos for some reason.  I could see him as a totally epic character in either a medieval fantasy, or even a present day fiction.  :]  What do YOU think?

Book Review || Priceless

Happy Saturday, y'all!!
Though by the time you read this, it'll most likely be Sunday. . . ;D

I'm still adjusting to my 2019 blog schedule, so I know I missed my Friday writerly post, but with diligence, I WILL have one up next Friday!  But anywho, enjoying your weekend thus far?  How's your writing progressing? I'm debating on joining in on a 12-day prompt to start this year on the WRITE foot.  hahahah seewhatididthere  Dunno if I will for sure, it begins Monday, but seems like a good thing to try.

Meanwhile, I've a lovely little book review for you!
Read on, if you will.

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PRICELESS
Who I Am When I Feel. . .
Jen Barrick

Moody Publishers | October 2, 2018
Christian Life, Non-fiction, Tween & Teen Girls Devotionals

{GoodReads}
What if your daughter’s propensity for “feeling all the feels” is actually a good thing?

Teens and tweens have a reputation for letting their emotions get the best of them, so much so that we often wonder if our families (and the world) wouldn’t be better off if these young women we love could feel just a little less. But as Linda Barrick discovered, these emotions play an important role in the spiritual lives of young women, and, when they learn to direct them rightly, their feelings can be a powerful force for good in their lives, homes, and schools.

That’s why Linda and her daughter Jen wrote this devotional for teen girls. After Linda’s daughter, Jen, was in a traumatic car accident, Jen was in many ways “frozen” at age fifteen and completely uninhibited. That means Jen still says what she’s thinking and feeling almost all the time. Because of this Jen’s mom, Linda, got a unique glimpse into the inner world of young women, and she realized that the emotions young teen girls feel are a beautiful gift. It gives them the ability, like Jen, to have an unhindered, best-friend relationship with their Heavenly Father.

In this 30-day devotional for young teen girls, Jen Barrick, with the help of her mom, Linda Barrick, compiled her own real-life prayers with passages from Psalms in order to speak directly to the heart of young women. It will teach these teens and tweens how to cultivate a deep, emotional relationship with the God who loves them. Each day will:
          -  address a different feeling and examine it in light of God’s truth from a short passage of Psalms
          -  affirm young women’s feelings as a gift of God
          -  demonstrate how their emotions are meant to lead them closer to God
          -  show them how to make their faith stronger when they use God’s Word to navigate their emotions.


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This is one of the sweetest, meaningful devotionals I have probably ever read.  The daily devos are easy to read, engaging, and totally relateable.  Each little chapter begins with a feeling and then adds a truth.  For example, "When I feel beautiful. . . I'm reflecting God's glory"; "When I feel invisible. . . I'm seen & known"; "When I feel like giving up. . . I'm about to be rescued" (and so on).  Through the trials and joys of her own life, author Jen Barrick pulls experience and humor into each devo, effectively getting down to the level of each girl and whatever fear they face.  She stresses that when we have those days of not feeling enough, God's enough-ness more than covers us.

Jen's story in itself is a work of love & miracles.  She had prayed for God to grant her a boldness, but little did she know He would answer that prayer through the trials of a severe car accident & brain injury.  What a testimony! and a challenge to live out loud the Hope we have in Christ.

This devotional is a beautiful and simple way to teach girls & teens how to study Scripture AND put it to work in their own lives.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.


ages 12+

Be ENCOURAGED || My Purpose



As we enter the new year of 2019, I imagine most girls are re-evaluating their goals from last year, making new ones for this year, and contemplating life & futures. I cannot speak for the guys, but I do know girls tend to overthink, over-worry, and overdo ALL the things.

For me, one particular subject revolves around the unknown future and my humble purpose in life. I recall my junior and senior years of high school and attempting to decide what I wished to do with my life after graduation: college? no college? Full-time job? Part-time? Find a profitable hobby?? That general question STRESSED me out. And I suppose it’s because absolutely everyone simply HAD to ask you what you’re plans were, thereby adding pressure—however unintentionally—to my decisions for the future.

My answer was this: I’m taking at least one year and then perhaps I’ll decide.

Best decision ever! That one year gave me time to think, pray, learn more of who I am, and actually learn to listen to my God and what He had to say. I had absolutely no desire to go to college and spend money I didn’t have for something I didn’t have a clue of studying for (and would probably never use anyway). So, I stayed home. I worked on the family farm, got a part-time job, and waited for God to direct my steps. I was no wallflower—no princess waiting in my tower for rescue. I learned to be productive and diligent in my time and efforts.

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I suppose I knew it all along. But it was probably the year I turned eighteen when my dream—my purpose—really sank in: I wished to get married, become a wife and someday mama, and live my ministry of home-maker with a husband and family. (Note: I didn’t have a boyfriend, nor had I ever previously dated.)  I was extremely insecure, anxious, and overly fearful of my unknown future. I wrote poems during this time reflecting the burdens of my heart, and often cried myself to sleep, until finally, I gave it all to my gracious and merciful Savior. 

 I still worried.  So. Very. OFTEN.  (Even now! #chronicworrier)  But God gave me a peace to know He truly is in control; comfort, that even if my dream to be a wife was never fulfilled, I would never be alone; and contentment & patience to wait on Him.

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Not long afterward, God opened the door to show me a young man, whom my family & I had known for several years already, express the desire to further our relationship with the end goal of marriage.  I was surprised!  It was totally unexpected. But not unwanted.  :]

Long [beautiful] story short, and loads of prayer later, we were married in October 2016, and later welcomed a beautiful baby boy into our little family in August 2018.

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God is so good to show us His grace—in His timing.  Simply put (and easier said than done), it only takes a bit of trust and your full surrender to find guidance & fulfillment in the purpose He has for you.  And oh, what joy there is when we are serving right where He wished us to be all along!

I still worry.  I still struggle.  I am SO not perfect.  But there is something in knowing one’s purpose that gives us the motivation to get out of bed each day and pray for the strength & courage to tackle life head on.

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I love my job as a wife & mama. This is my mission field.
This is MY purpose.


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Be ENCOURAGED!
You have PURPOSE & you are so loved.  
Unfortunately, you will struggle and there will be days your path is not as clear.  We are never promised days free from suffering.  But it's in the storm AND the calm that all we can do is trust our all-knowing King & surrender all to Him.  He alone is trustworthy & totally enough.


It's a New Year! || What's in a Name?

Welcome back, you dear beans! 
And Happy New Year!!!

How was your Christmas holiday?  Did you travel for it, or did your families gather at your home?  Were you one of those who stayed up to ring in the new year??  I definitely didn't. . . Priorities certainly change when you have a little one.  ;D

Well, for my first post of 2019, I've a rather unique set of names for you! 

Enjoy!

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Kanoa
M & F | Hawaiian

From the definitive articles ka and noa, meaning "freedom" or "the free one."  Possibly Japanese in origin.


Sarica
F | English (rare)
rhymes with "Erica"

Possibly a variant of Indian name Sarika, which comes from a Sanskrit word referring to a type of thrush or myna bird.  Could even be a combo of the given names Sarah ("princess") & Erica ("heather"). 


Reign
M & F | English

From the English word meaning "prevail" or "rule."


Eydis
F | Norwegian (rare), Swedish (rare), Faroese

Modern form of Eydís, meaning "island goddess."  It is an Ancient Scandinavian and Icelandic name derived from the Old Norse elements ey "good fortune" or "island" and dís "goddess."



Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.



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Whatcha think?  Do you have a favorite of this set??  I love 'em all!  I really like the uniqueness of Sarica & Eydis.  Reign would be a cool dystopian name, I think.  And Kanoa is just cool.  :]