Psalm 1

Yes, I’m still alive, dear world. It’s been a crazy while and I had a CrAzY devotional I wanted to share!!

//Psalm 1:3

 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, 
   which yields its fruit in season 
and whose leaf does not wither. 
   Whatever he does prospers.

I love this verse, the visual it brings and gives me. It’s so vibrant, so real, so tangible. It blows me away. I broke it up in my devotional tonight and wanted to share it with you. The bolded words are things that I thought were important.

“…Planted by streams of water…” This tree (us) has constant nourishment by streams of water. Our nourishment is provided by God through his word, or brought to us by prayer, or blessing. It’s always available just for us, it always uplifts us, always comforts, always nourishes. Water is a daily necessity. For example, if the tree were planted by streams of coffee, it would give us temporary energy, but it would kill us! It doesn’t have the daily things we need, not enough H2O for our daily necessities.

And coffee would taste really really bad if we drank it all the time, every day. It’s gross enough as it is.

SO let’s not pollute the streams that nourish us by turning to something only temporary, let’s turn to something eternal, something lasting.

 

 

“…Which yields it’s fruit in season…” I love this section the mostest. When we yield our faith’s fruit (outcome, blessings, positive consequences, talents… basically any give given to us by God through faith), we do it in season, when we need it, or when someone else needs it. When we yield fruit, we yield it when God wants us to yield it, when there is a need for our talent or gift or whatever blessing we can bring to the table. Because when we bring it, someone will take it because someone will need it: that’s why God gave you the gift. Just because you don’t see a use for it doesn’t mean it’s useless, it means it’s useful. When we feel like our tree is withering, we are budding in Christ, because he is preparing us for a bountiful harvest!

 

 

“… And whose leaf does not wither…” We are constantly nourished by God (refer to first section, up there ^.^). He’s giving us water to live off of. If he nourishes us with his water (which, because it’s God’s, must be good and healthy and will only help us grow in our faith. There is no excuse for us to wither if we are in God’s presence. If we wither, we aren’t in Christ’s streams of water, we are in the world’s streams of coffee. Which is unhealthy, both in a literal and spiritual connotation. So we need to move back to God’s water-full streams to become healthy again, so we cannot wither and “…Whatever he does prospers.” 

I hope I blessed someone tonight!

Blessings,

Me

Christmas and other Thingies.

To be blatantly honest….

 

It doesn’t feel like Christmas.

 

You know that giddiness you get as Christmas gets closer, the sleepless nights, the excitement that breaks loose as December 25th appraches?

Yeah, I don’t have that… And I don’t know why.

I’ve changed since last Christmas. God has moved in my life in fantastic ways since last year. I’m more excited about seeing family than opening presents. I’m seeing the real meaning in the songs we sing.

It’s hard to explain. But it’s awesome. I love my God and my family and I just hope we can all enter the Christmas season with our hearts open to God and Christmas.

 

Moving on!

 

Our family went and saw “Hugo” today in theatres. It was so fantastic; rarely have I seen such a beautiful combination of touching scenes and beautiful cinematography in a film. Go see it! Go, go go!

We’re all getting ready for Christmas. The pupper got a wash, mom’s making white trash and dad’s wrapping presents and sneaking gifts into mom’s stocking (ssh, don’t tell!). My sis is off reading somewhere. Who knows?

We’re going down to be with family soon. I’m so excited to see them! I feel like it’s been forever since we visited. It’s been about 6 months, just after I chopped my hair off :3

Remember, Pirates rule.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah, Kwanzaa and all those other holidays.

God bless all.

I could be in love…

if you wore that dress everyday
With your hair just so and your eyes are grey
You’d make a beautiful bird on a line,
a beautiful bride of Frankenstein,
a beautiful drop of iodine…

If you were mine, if you were mine, if you were mine.

I could be in love,
if the sun came out everyday
and set the sky on fire and the city grey.
I’d be there at the drop of a dime…

If you were mine, if you were mine, if you were mine.

-If, House of Heroes.

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck- Catherine Y’Barbo

Review for Blogging For Books 🙂

 

I love romances. I’ll admit it, I do. I love reading them.

And The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck was no exception.

In this story, the young Charlotte Beck longs to go to college, but her father forces her into a marriage with Alex Hambly. The two can’t stand each other, and they hope to annul the marriage as soon as possible. But when Alex’s feelings change, and he refuses to dissolve their contract, how will Charlotte react? Will she find a way to get out of the marriage herself, or will something change in her too?

After reading so many romance novels, many of them become slightly cliché and, well, run together. Charlotte Beck, while at many moments was indeed cliché, but the actual plot and the structure was different. While the actual story of the romance was like many others (forced marriage, they openly hate each other yet secretly love each other then express their love for each other and live happily ever after), the characters themselves were unique. They were easy to love and to get to know, personable and became characters I was reluctant to leave. The writing was descriptive and rich and it was one of the few books I’ve read where I was reluctant to start the last chapter because I didn’t want it to end.

Naturally, where there are ups, there are downs, but in this one the downs were few. Other than the cliché- ness of the romance, the only complaint of it I have is the pacing. The pacing was really good for the good portion of the story, until I reached the end.  It was almost as if the author was writing along fine until she realized she had a limit and suddenly cut it off; the ending was sudden and almost unsatisfying. Charlotte’s feelings didn’t have time to develop fully. At one moment, she was starting to love him, and then she suddenly was in love with him at the end.

Otherwise, this book was fantastic, and I would recommend it to any good romance-novel-historical-fiction-comedy lover.

“I received this (e)book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”

NaNoWriMo

 

I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year!!!

Due to unfortunate circumstances, I could not do it last year, but this year, I can actually do it!

Most of my readers probably know what NaNo is. It’s where you write a 50 thousand word novel in the month of November.  I’m looking forward to writing it and posting some excerpts on here!

 

Also… I turn 15 tomorrow 😛

 

Blessings!

Dromio of Ephesus

Ultimately, he's one of my favorite Shakespearean characters. A Comedy of Errors is up there among Much Ado about Nothing and Twelfth Night in my favorite Shakespeares.

And I get to do his monologue as I audition at Much Ado about Nothing at a local theatre in November.

I’m very excited! As difficult as the monologue is, it’s funny,and I think I can evoke some laughs from the people! Cross my fingers!

My monologue, thanks to Wordle.net

 

 

Now, the real thing!!

ACT II SCENE I

I mean not cuckold-mad;
But, sure, he is stark mad.
When I desired him to come home to dinner,
He ask’d me for a thousand marks in gold:
”Tis dinner-time,’ quoth I; ‘My gold!’ quoth he;
‘Your meat doth burn,’ quoth I; ‘My gold!’ quoth he:
‘Will you come home?’ quoth I; ‘My gold!’ quoth he.
‘Where is the thousand marks I gave thee, villain?’
‘The pig,’ quoth I, ‘is burn’d;’ ‘My gold!’ quoth he:
‘My mistress, sir’ quoth I; ‘Hang up thy mistress!
I know not thy mistress; out on thy mistress!

‘I know,’ quoth he, ‘no house, no wife, no mistress.’
So that my errand, due unto my tongue,
I thank him, I bare home upon my shoulders;
For, in conclusion, he did beat me there.

Define: Determination

This is an essay I wrote that I’d like to share with my readers.

Sorry about my absence, school started and everything has gone insane.

This essay (back stories! yay) is a school assignment. We need to take a concrete story (something real) and get an abstract (idea or concept, nothing real) that we can get out of it. There are a few different ones in here, so have fun finding them!

 

I’m pretty sure there are few worse things in ballet than falling on your bottom in the middle of class. And one of those is falling on stage.

When the terrible earthquake and its following tsunami devastated Sendai, Japan, our church held a benefit concert titled “We Care” with an auction and live performance. As soon as I heard about it, my mom leaned over to me and said, “Laura, you should audition for the concert! You could dance a solo you did for PAFE!” PAFE, the Pacific Arts Festival of the Eastside, is a class and adjudication a large ballet studio holds each year. After the class, there is an optional opportunity for students to dance a solo from ballets and be critiqued on their dances.

So when mom brought up the concept of me auditioning, I accepted it. And auditioned.

I danced a solo entitled “La Priere” — “The Prayer” — from a classical ballet on pointe shoes on our church’s stage. The given stage, which is annoyingly uneven and therefore even harder to balance on the small toe of the pointe shoe than normal, made it tedious. To add on to that, the space was incredibly restricted and I never got a chance to block out the dance on the stage before then.

But, apparently, they liked me, so I was asked to dance in the concert, but not my classical ballet solo. In order to put as many acts in the show as they wanted to, they had to combine some. So, they gave me a soundtrack and sheet music to a beautiful arrangement of “What Wondrous Love is This?” that the choir was going to perform, giving me a hundred measures (or two minute’s worth of dancing) to choreograph. I brought it to my ballet teacher, who’d been giving me privates for “La Priere” before classes, and I told her that I needed a two minute section of this song choreographed for the upcoming show in four weeks. I would only have three privates so I could be at church to practice on the fourth thursday, then actually rehearse and perform for the next few days.

And sure enough, three and a half weeks later, I was standing on the uncomfortably uneven stage wearing rolled-up jeans, a t-shirt and my worn out pointe shoes, blocking my solo, then actually running through it with an audience of my mom, the choir director and the tech man who played the song through the speakers so I could get the “full effect,” as he said.

As I danced it, something didn’t feel right. I started changing the choreography to something that would suit me and my talents better, as well as to stay steady on the unsteady floor. Of course, my mom was all for it, telling me that “It’s your dance, so you should change it how you want to,” or something of that sort.

When dress rehearsal rolled around, I didn’t really have the whole thing down solid. I was dancing for the middle two minutes of the five or six minute long song. About half of the choir was there that night, along with the piano and violin soloists. The climax of the song was a pirouette in the front and center and, as I turned it, I did a fine double then my shoe gave out and I fell off onto demi-pointe.

Now that I think about it, I really should’ve just landed the pirouette there. But in the heat of the moment, I tried to hop back up onto pointe, then rolled my ankle and stumbled, almost falling.

Half of the choir stopped singing, the pianist stopped playing and there were a few muffled gasps from those watching.

I was able to regain my composure and end in a lunge as I would’ve if I had successfully landed the pirouette, then continued the dance as if nothing had happened, with shaky hands and a pounding heart. The piano player started playing again and the choir kept singing and it ended well. I had friends backstage to encourage me afterwards and I hadn’t really hurt my ankle. I was fine for the rest of the dress rehearsal and the performance the next evening.

Naturally, I was forever mortified, but the actual performance went spectacularly.

 

That’s only one of many falls I had in dance. I left my almost decade-long dance career with more bruises, blisters and missing toenails I would care to recollect. I’m now following God’s call, stepping away from dance and into a new sport: fencing. But the advice that every ballet teacher I had had told me sticks in my brain to this day: “The audience always remember how you begin and how you end. It doesn’t matter what you do in the middle, as long as you end well.” In short, no matter what happens, persevere. Don’t give up, don’t throw in the towel, because there are better things for you out there!

You can’t learn without failing and falling. Falling hurts, it really does, but you really can’t continue through the rest of everything if you don’t stand back up again. Standing is even worse after everyone has seen you fall, but once you’re on your feet, you’re set. As long as you can summon the courage to go on, then you can end well. And ending well is really what you need to bring up your confidence again.

Looking up or down?

Why do they say that we are

in a tunnel, and that there is a

light at the end?

 

There could be a light

but I can’t see it

because my tunnel caved in.

-“Tunnels” by me

 

What I don’t understand is when things go so well, and then simultaneously, things start going terribly. You have a great summer, start a great school year. You have the best math teacher in the WORLD, you’re on top of everything and you feel amazing.

And then that one thing happens.

That ONE THING that totally drags you down and, frankly, you feel like dirt. Or something on that level. Like mold. Or fungi. Or algae. (Whatever. You get the point, right?)

But that’s enough about that.

I had my first spanish class today. We get to pick the names we go by for the year, and I’m going by Cecilia! It’s great.

We had to write 10 sentences about us and I’m sharing mine with you!

 

-I am a writer, and writing is my passion; I am in the midst of many stories and collaborations I enjoy to pieces. It’s a great way for me to relax- in other words, it’s my therapy, along with playing my instruments and/or reading.

-I am an ex-ballet dancer and a current fencer. After dancing ballet for 9 years, I quit this summer and picked up fencing in it’s stead.

-I have a passion to do things for my God. I love my family, I love my church, and I adore my God; he has showed me so much and I owe him more than I can ever repay, so I try to live my life out for him.

-Music is a passion of mine; I play three instruments (flute, piccolo and alto saxophone) and love big orchestral music <3. Whenever I watch movies, I pay attention to the music and soundtrack first.

-I love reading! I joke that I started reading at 18 months (true story) and I haven’t stopped; I love fantasy and you will always find me with a book in my backpack (manga and anime are also blooming loves of mine).

Airports

Airports bother me.

They really do.

I don’t see the point in layovers, either. Especially 3 hour ones.

So, therefore, I am writing a blog post… in an airport… waiting for 8:50 to roll around so that I can get on the airplane to go home.

Shucks.

But I get to watch reruns of my favorite TV show (Leverage) and get lots of soda (Coke, mainly) and edit and write and edit some more and write some more. It’s all swell and good. But our flight gets in after midnight and guess who has her first day of school tomorrow?

Me.

Lucky ol’ me.

*sighs*

Fun stuff, right?

But at least it’s an easy  day, since it’s the first day. No homework, yahoo!

I’ll keep you posted, literally. >.< I won’t post as much, but it’ll still be cool.

Blessings

Elle

 

PS: My sis and I started a blog: thetwentycentjar.wordpress.com

Greetings from a different state

I have Six followers!

 

I also have little to say.

Maybe?

Visiting Texas is always fun; It’s a tradition. I’ve been flying on a plane since I was a baby. We always go every summer.

But it’s different this year.

really different.

My sister and mom went to look at colleges, leaving my dad and me with my grandparents. My dad and I have been with my grandparents only once. It’s still odd, though.

It’s HOT, too. Stifling. Stepping from air-conditioning outside to hot and humid outside is like someone squeezing your lungs. It takes your breath away for a moment. It was 105 this morning, and last I checked, it was 85 at 10pm. :O It’s HOT. But coming from our pacific northwest bubble that is 70 degrees on a daily basis and we consider 93 as “hot”. Us pale Seattleites. It’s where the paleness comes from. >.<

BUT I’ve been getting large amounts of writing done, along with some major anime watching *guilty*

If you don’t know, I love anime and manga and have gotten sucked into an epic series.

But I won’t yabber on and on about anime/manga. I could do an entire post on the ones I’ve watched, started, loved and hated. But I’ll spare you that.

Blessings,

Elle