Annie

Archive for December, 2013|Monthly archive page

JOY!

In Musings on December 25, 2013 at 10:31 am

“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Lately I have been thinking about guilt. I have a lot of it. Guilt that I shouldn’t have done something that I can’t really fix now. That I missed an opportunity that I should have taken. It’s usually that I did something I shouldn’t have. But there is something that I have heard a lot recently.

We can’t mess up. We are given a free gift that we could never earn and can never deserve. We are on the winning team, and we won’t be kicked off.

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Because of this, we should be joyful, but so many people aren’t! Why do we do that?! We go around all torn up because of our guilt.

We have a little thing in our family. It started when someone said something about a guilty conscience, but kind of stumbled over the words and said conference. “Welcome to the Guilty Conference!”–turns to the side and hides face”Oh! I can’t believe I said that!”

So often Christian gatherings turn into Guilty Conferences! We get together, and instead of rejoicing and celebrating the freedom we have in Christ, we mope about and talk about all the rules we are following, and how hard it is to do, and how “people these days” aren’t following them.

How about this? Be honest about your own failures, but don’t focus on them, because you are free from them, use them to point back to how amazing God is. And then, celebrate. Even if you are just celebrating the fact that God can use someone as messed up as you, that’s a start. Just truly be happy. Seriously, there should be a whole lot more celebrating in the Christian community than there is. Why don’t we get excited about things? We have so much to be happy about!

Desperately Complete

In Books and Movies, Musings, Short on December 18, 2013 at 12:49 am

Well, I did it. I finished An Acceptable Time. I’m kind of sad about it.

It’s not that it ended poorly. In all honesty, it’s only partially because it is the last book. It’s a series I started when I was somewhere around 9 or 10 years old. That’s actually about how long I’ve been blogging, now that I think about it. I’ve been reading it for most of the time that I can remember. And now it’s over.

It feels kind of like letting go of my last ties to childhood. It’s funny though. I still read a lot of kid’s books and watch kid’s TV shows. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite books. I was excited when I finally got “Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” from the library, and I plan to buy a copy for myself.

But even though I fangirl about Doctor Who, watch My Little Pony, and quote Princess Bride (and feel no shame about any of them), I can talk for hours about the need for Grace, what we can learn from and the fantastic literacy of the book of Revelation, or why we should be joyful. I realized the other day while playing a storytelling game that I have little to no desire to write fiction anymore. There are so many real things to write about, plus I’m kind of particular about stories and I can’t ever make one quite right.  I am finding that I love these things that I used to feel such an intense, burning indifference for (name that song).

So, why does this one thing feel like such a big turning point when this change has been happening for a long time? I really don’t know. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Sitting here, finished with high school, looking for a job, thinking about college, I can’t help but feel a desperate sense of completion. Finished with childhood and determined to start life.

I’m not sure how that works, but that is how it feels. Desperately complete.

A Boring Character

In Books and Movies, Musings, Short on December 11, 2013 at 12:10 am

I often find myself in a position of slight self pity because I don’t have an epic story. I have grown up in a Christian family, I was saved at a young age. I don’t have one of those dramatic testimonies. I am making peace with that. It’s a work in progress. The fact that even someone who isn’t all that bad still needs Jesus is what I have to keep reminding myself of.

But this lack of back-story has also made me frustrated for other reasons. If I were a character in a story, I would not get to be the one that goes off to battle, even though she is a woman. That is always a character that has some tragic back-story.

Eowyn was an orphan raised in her uncle’s court. She went through the pain of losing her parents and her cousin, having her brother exiled and seeing her uncle become poisoned and possessed. She was able to go off to war with the army. She did what no man could do.

Then I think of Maid Marian. In the BBC version of the story,  as the sheriff’s daughter, she was raised as a lady. She didn’t have rough life. It wasn’t until Robin left and Sir Guy took over that Marian became an interesting character. Nothing happened to her. She saw what was happening to others and acted. She took care of the townspeople. It wasn’t her own pain that provoked her to action, but someone else’s. She ended up saving lives and kicking some bad guy booty, all with no other reason other than that it needed doing. I could do that.

I just have to keep reminding myself that my story is just getting started. So far it hasn’t been very dramatic, but I’m not even 20 years into it yet. I can’t let this slow time get me stuck. There is a lot of time left for a good story.

Beginning Blogging

In Farm and Family on December 4, 2013 at 12:21 am

I frequently see homeschooling moms using the blogosphere in writing assignments. I think writing is fantastic, and blogging is a great way to share what you write and get better. On the other hand, I don’t think blogging should be a school thing. If it is made into one then it becomes a chore. Writing a blog should be encouraged, but not forced. Talk to the child and ask if they want to start a blog. If not, leave it there. If you want them to try writing, have them write a short essay about a topic they like.  If they end up liking writing then maybe your could revisit the idea of a blog.

But let’s say your child is wanting to start a blog. How do you help them get started? Well first you will need to get them set up on a blogging site. The two main ones are WordPress and Blogger. I started out with Blogger and now use WordPress. Both are good, both have different strengths.

For a beginning blogger I would suggest using Google Blogger. It is simple. It is customizable, but not overwhelmingly so. There are more privacy settings. You can make it a public blog, an invite only blog, or a blog that only “authors” have access to. For someone who is relatively good with computers  I would suggest WordPress. Both are great and easy to use, but WordPress can be overwhelming.

Once you have a website set up, just let them write. As often as they want, whatever they want (within reason). I have imported almost every single blog post I’ve ever written to AndieBelle (I lost a few when my website crashed a few years ago and I moved over here). Every so often I go back and read my old posts. There are pages of bad poetry, vague recipes, run on sentences, spelling and grammar worse than what I have now, and content gaps that stretched for the better part of a year. It may not be the best content, but it is what got me started. If you pay attention, I actually still write about the same things, the quality is just usually better now.

Now all you have to do is hand them the reins and enjoy the ride. Don’t forget to comment on their posts and share it with everyone. Comments from adults are the most encouraging to a kid.

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