Fun Friday: Blue Sky Tag

And now for an installment of “Fun Friday”, where I pop in unexpectedly and give you an extra, random post!

Thank you to Hailey from Now All I Know Is Grace for tagging me for the Blue Sky Tag! Hopefully the questions will help you learn a little more about me and/or encourage you in your faith. Here we go:

Why did you start your blog? Basically, I got the idea. And then it didn’t go away for months, until I finally decided to go for it. I think that was definitely God nudging me, because I have so enjoyed my blogging journey so far and He is blessing my efforts beyond what I ever could have imagined when I wrote my first post!

If you could have dinner with any one person who’s alive right now, who would you choose? Jaquelle Crowe, the editor-in-chief of The Rebelution and the author of This Changes Everything (which is a great book that everyone should read) as well as the co-host of Age of Minority, my favorite podcast.  She’s a huge role model; besides that, I just think she would be really fun to talk to. And she loves food, so dinner would be an optimum time to have a conversation!

Favorite book of the Bible and why? I have a lot of favorites, but if I had to pick one I would probably say Hebrews. The entire thing is full of such beautiful writing and is just…so beautiful. It’s hard to understand but once I did understand it more I fell in love with it. (Amanda Beguerie’s Hebrews Bible Study was instrumental in developing my understanding of this beautiful book, by the way!)

Favorite music genre to listen to? My taste varies widely, but I always come back to hymns when I don’t know what else to listen to. I especially love Selah’s hymn albums…it’s music that I’m always in the mood for.

What’s your earliest memory? I honestly have no clue.

What job would you be great at, and what job would you be horrible at? I think I would be good at administrative jobs, teaching, or something else that required a lot of organizational skills. I would be horrible at anything that required advanced math or artistic skills.

Dream vacation spot? London.

big ben, bridge, clock tower

When writing, are you a plotter or a pantser? Most of the time I’m a plotter. I almost always have at least some kind of plan before I start writing. I do just wing it occasionally, though.

What makes you angry? Injustice in the world; abortion; people who say they are Christians but don’t live like it; people who make assumptions about Christians without really knowing what they’re talking about.

What accomplishments in your life are you most proud of? This blog is probably the biggest one. A hundred followers…I’m still wrapping my mind around it!

What has God been teaching you lately? That I am called to live for His glory even through hard circumstances, even when I don’t feel like doing anything…and that doesn’t mean doing things for Him all the time, but it can just mean simply leaning on His strength instead of my own, because that is just as glorifying to Him as working for His sake.

I tag:

Abigail Faith @ Faith and Mustard

Shantelle @ Between the Pages of This Bookish Life

Amanda @ Scattered Journal Pages

Deborah @ The Road of a Writer

Patricia @ Hello Beautiful People

Ashley @ Inklings Press

Emily @ For the Bookish

Christine @ Musings of an Elf

Victoria @ Ruffles and Grace

Abigayle @ The Left-Handed Typist

Grace @ From the Tip of Grace’s Pen

Here are the questions:

1. What would you say is the hardest season that God has brought you through so far? Looking back, what did He teach you through that season?

2. If you could only have three books with you on a desert island for the rest of your life, what would they be?

3. Do you prefer tea or coffee? And what kind (black or with cream and sugar, herbal tea, lattes, etc.)?

4. What is one sermon/talk that you think every Christian should listen to?

5. What is one book that you think every Christian should read?

6. What is your favorite way to rest and destress?

7. Was there a time in your life that God answered a prayer in a really amazing way (share the story!)?

8. What is one childhood hobby that you wish you’d kept pursuing?

9. What is one childhood hobby that you’re really glad you stopped pursuing?

10. What is your favorite hymn?

11. What books do you really want to read this summer?

The rules are: thank the person who tagged you, answer their 11 questions, then tag 11 people and give them 11 questions to answer.

(Please don’t feel any obligation to do this tag if you don’t want to…I would love to see how you answer these questions, but I know not everyone has time/energy/tags aren’t their thing/etc.)

There you have it! I hope you learned something new about me! Now, it’s your turn: pick a question, from the ones I answered or the ones I asked, and answer it in the comments! 

love, grace

Read more:

The Wisteria Writer Tag

Infinity Dreams Award

The Christmas Tag!!

It’s Christmas Eve Eve, as my sisters like to say!

Today I’m taking a break from the Advent posts (there will be one more post in the series tomorrow) to bring you a fun Christmas tag from my fellow Grace. Because it’s a Friday, the Friday before Christmas, and sometimes something lighthearted can be healing to our souls.

Here we go:

1. What’s your favorite Christmas film?

Well, The Nutcracker, of course, as I mentioned last week. I also just (finally!) watched Elf all the way through for the first time. I’d seen the beginning countless times but never all the way to the end. It was great! Probably a new favorite. It is a classic, after all.

Hm…I also really like Disney’s Prep and Landing, about the team of elves that prepare houses for Santa on Christmas Eve. I feel like it’s not nearly as well-known as a lot of Christmas films, but it deserves to be! And the second one is good too.

2. Have you ever had a white Christmas?

I don’t remember. Probably at some point in my life, but not very often. It snows a lot where I live through January and February, but usually not early enough for white Christmases.

3. What’s your favorite Christmas song?

I did a whole post on Christmas music so I’m not going to elaborate much here. But I would like to add one more favorite song to that:

IT’S SO GOOD! So much fun. It makes me want to dance every time I listen to it.

4. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph. Did I get it? I think I got it.

5. Do you have a real or fake tree?

We used to have a fake tree, but we got rid of it and now we get a real one.

6. Where is your dream place to spend the holidays?

I would LOVE to be in New York City during Christmas. Everything happens there- the Macy’s parade, all the Christmas shows (like New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker!), the decorations and shopping, and then of course New Year’s Eve. It would be amazing!

7. How good are you at wrapping?

I think I’m pretty good at it. I took like half an hour to wrap four presents yesterday, so I’m not particularly fast, but I like to take my time and make the ribbon all coordinated and make the gifts look really pretty.

8. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve?

Nope! We open stockings and presents on Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve we go to a church service, drive around and look at Christmas lights, and eat cookies.

9. Do you do anything for Boxing Day?

(The only reason I actually know what this is: other Grace didn’t and looked it up and explained it in her tag :))

No, we’re usually at my grandparents’ house for a few days after Christmas, just hanging out. So if that counts as doing something?

10. What is your favorite Christmas food/treat?

Pressed cookies. If you’ve never had these they are tiny and bite-sized and delicious and dangerous because you want to eat about five thousand of them at once. Behold:

Image result for pressed cookies

They have a certain flavor that just melts in your mouth and I love them so much.

So now I tag some people.

*lazy feelings*

If you’re reading this and you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged!

I hope you enjoyed this little fun interlude of Christmas spirit! I’ll see you tomorrow with the final Advent post!

How good are you at wrapping presents? Where would be your dream place to spend the holidays? And what is your favorite Christmas treat? Tell me in the comments! 

love, grace

 

 

Purposeful Pages October 2016

Purposeful Pages Meme

Linkup info: Amanda’s blog / Hannah’s blog

It’s time for this month’s installment of Purposeful Pages! I love this linkup and am always excited to answer the questions. It gets me thinking and helps you learn more about me while also hopefully taking away some kind of advice or truth.

What Exactly Is Purposeful Pages?

Purposeful Pages is a monthly link-up designed to unite bloggers on answering questions about life, blogging, the Bible, writing, and books.

October 2016 Questions

Question One // What is something (or who is someone) that has encouraged you to grow in your faith?

The fellowship group at my school has been a very important part of my life since freshman year. It’s been a place where I can go each week to unwind, enjoy conversation with other awesome Christians, and learn more about God’s truth. Now that I’m a leader, it’s great to be able to affect the lives of others through the things we talk about as well.

Question Two // Has blogging showed a side of you that you normally don’t see?

I don’t think so. This blog seems to me like an expression of who I actually am, just slightly more polished than real life. I purposefully don’t try to be super sarcastic or funny in my posts, even though that’s something I like in a lot of other bloggers, because that’s not how I am in real life and it feels sort of fake.

Question Three // What inspires your “creative genius?”

I always feel more inspired to write after I read something good. The author’s genius seeps into my soul and makes me long to pour out my own words on the page. Even if I haven’t written in a long time, reading kickstarts my motivation.

Question Four // Why do you write?

I hope to be published someday, because I want to write to share truth with the world. I want to write to inspire and uplift those who read. Mainly, though, I write because there’s no way I can’t.

Question Five // Your house is on fire, and you only have time to save one thing. Do you grab your hand-written manuscripts or your cat?

My cat, of course! It’s a living thing. Those manuscripts probably were really bad anyway, and I can always come up with more stories out of my brain. I can’t recreate my cat out of my brain.

(Not that I have a cat, but, you know, for the sake of the question)

Question Six // If you could ban any book, which one would it be, and why?

Twilight. Do I really need to explain?

Question Seven // What is your Myers-Briggs personality type (if you know it), and what unique aspect of your personality makes you who you are?

I am an ISFJ. For those that don’t know, that means I am introverted, sensing (or more focused on the concrete over the abstract), more emotional than logical, and super organized. I think one unique part of my personality is that I am very organized, good at time management, etc. and yet I am also very creative. Stereotypically, those two things don’t go together, but here I am!

Question Eight // Did you have any kind of “breakthrough” point in your life, whether it had to do with writing, blogging, art, or anything else? If so, would you like to share about it?

…no…not that I can think of off the top of my head.

Question Nine // Are there any hobbies that you have that don’t fit the stereotypical you?

Hobbies? What hobbies? Who has time for hobbies? Definitely not me. Other than reading, writing, and playing piano, none of which fit this question.

Question Ten // Even if you haven’t written an official life purpose statement, can you tell us in a few sentences what you feel called to do with your life right now?

I feel called to study hard in school and work toward college to the best of my ability, trusting God to take care of the details. I feel called to cultivate my dancing to the best it can be as a possible career path. I feel called to continue writing on this blog, to share my thoughts with the world. I feel called to live every day in the moment and enjoy what God has for me in that day.

 

I hope you enjoyed this month’s Purposeful Pages! If you have a blog, be sure to join the linkup, and if any of these questions intrigued you, please share your answer in the comments! See you next week! 

love, grace

 

September Purposeful Pages

Purposeful Pages Meme

Linkup information: Hannah’s blog / Amanda’s blog

It’s time for another round of Purposeful Pages questions! Be sure to check out my previous ones for July and August if you haven’t seen them yet.

What is Purposeful Pages?

Purposeful Pages is a monthly link-up designed to unite bloggers on answering questions about life, blogging, the Bible, writing, and books.

September 2016 Questions

Question One // How have you been growing spiritually this month? What has God been teaching you?

God has been teaching me that it’s okay to not be perfect all the time. I know I’ve blogged about this before, but I still struggle with perfectionism in the tiniest little areas of life, even when no one is watching. Recently God has reminded me that seeking fulfillment in exact perfection will never work, and that I need to relax and seek fulfillment and happiness through Him.

P.S. Amanda published a great post today that reinforced everything I’d been thinking about. If you’re struggling with perfectionism too, I highly recommend it!

Question Two // // When you’re under stress, what actions do you take that help calm you and keep you sane?

Cry? Haha. Well. Um. Moving on.

Actually, I gravitate toward playing the piano when I’m overstressed. It helps me calm down but still feel kind of productive at the same time. And it’s super therapeutic!

Question Three // Who are some people that inspire you, and in what ways do they do that?

William Wilberforce, for being basically the biggest goal-achiever in history.

C.S. Lewis, because his writing is on a level unlike any other author ever.

Elisabeth Elliot, because she had such a beautiful heart.

Gabby Douglas, because her book inspired me to work hard for my dreams.

Misty Copeland, because she’s a dancer who has made it where no one thought she could.

Question Four // Have you learned any tricks this past month that have helped you in your blogging journey?

It’s okay to take a break. Not a trick, but something I learned that is so true. Having some time off from blogging helped me so much and guess what? All of you lovely followers are still here. In fact, for some reason I gained quite a few followers while I was on a break (maybe God reminding me that it was okay to step aside and not be online all the time?).

Question Five // What is it about a book that makes you keep on reading? If you’re a writer, how can you  incorporate that into your own books?

If I want to know what happens to the characters. Nothing else grips me quite as much as characters that I care about. Obviously the plot has to be well-done, the writing has to be good, etc., but if I don’t LIKE and care about the characters the book has less chance of survival than a spider crawling across my floor at night (read: none).

 

Question Six // What’s a book cover (or album, movie, etc.) that describes your life right now, and why?

Image result for dancing through it

This is a hard question. But I think “dancing through it” describes my dance life and pretty much my entire life right now. I’m trying to push through the busyness and still enjoy every day. And in dance class…”just get through it” tends to be an often-replayed phrase in my mind. (As much as I love it, it’s difficult!)

Question Seven // Do you have a song in mind that you’d consider your current theme song? (Or a book, movie, TV show, etc.)

“First” by Lauren Daigle

Question Eight // If you’re a writer, how do you see yourself incorporated (most of the time unknowingly) inside your stories?

I think all of my stories are very clean, innocent, because there are things that some Christian writers deal with that I’m completely uncomfortable writing about. I have a feeling my protagonists tend to come across as very innocent as well, which I think is a reflection of my own values.

Question Nine // How have you seen aspects of God’s character through other people recently?

Someone held the door for me today and that was really nice. And I think that counts, because it’s a form of showing love to people and really brightened my day, and chivalry is growing more and more obscure.

Question Ten // How long, on average, does it take you to put together a blog post? Are you the morning person working at 5 am, the afternoon blogger, or the night owl up until midnight trying to throw things together?

I am definitely the afternoon blogger. Well..right now I’m the evening blogger, but that’s because I wasn’t home most of the day. But I tend to do my blog posts during the day around the same time I’m doing my homework and other “desk-work” type things.

Typically I would say it takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes longer if it’s a month-in-review or something that requires a lot of research, pictures, or linking. I’m a pretty fast blogger.

 

So there you are! I hope you enjoyed this post and learned something about me through the questions. If any of the questions interest you, share in the comments below! And if you have a blog, you should definitely join the linkup! 

love, grace

Purposeful Pages August 2016

Purposeful Pages Meme

Linkup information: Hannah’s blog / Amanda’s blog

I was on hiatus when this month’s Purposeful Pages came out, but now I’m going to finally participate! I had lots of fun with this last month and am so excited to do it again!

 

What Exactly Is Purposeful Pages?

Purposeful pages is a monthly link-up designed to unite bloggers on answering questions about life, blogging, the Bible, writing, and books.

 

August 2016 Questions

QUESTION ONE // WHAT BOOK OF THE BIBLE HAS TAUGHT YOU THE MOST THIS MONTH?

Recently, I’ve started reading a Psalm or two before bed every night, and am realizing how much I love the Psalms. If you need encouragement and strength, go to the Psalms. If you need to be reminded of who God is, go to the Psalms. If you want to better appreciate the beauty of the Bible, go to the Psalms. It’s the best way to end the day!

QUESTION TWO // HOW WOULD YOU REACT IF YOU WERE IN THE POSITIONS OF EITHER ESTHER, IF YOU’RE A GIRL, OR DANIEL, IF YOU’RE A GUY?

Ooh. I like to think I would do what Esther did and be brave and stand up for herself…but no one knows how they would react in a situation like that until they are actually there…

QUESTION THREE // IF YOU COULD HAVE A BOOK CHARACTER FOR A SIBLING, WHO WOULD IT BE, AND WHAT MAKES YOU TWO ALIKE?

Elsie Dinsmore. It’s no secret how much of a role model I’ve always found her, and maybe just by being around her some of her incredible love for God would rub off on me?

QUESTION FOUR // IF YOU’RE A NOVELIST, ANSWER: HOW WOULD YOUR MAIN CHARACTER MOST LIKELY SPEND HIS OR HER FRIDAY NIGHT? IF YOU’RE NOT A NOVELIST, ANSWER: HOW WOULD YOU MOST LIKELY SPEND YOUR FRIDAY NIGHT?

Going with the main character of my Alice in Wonderland retelling, Helen:

In England, she would spend her Friday night at home with her father and sister reading and keeping an eye on the house. If her brother William dropped in, she would be obliged to entertain whatever girl he brought with him.

In Wonderland, she would get dragged to a lavish dinner party by Adelaide, her royal friend.

QUESTION FIVE // WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE BOOKS YOU’RE JUST DYING TO READ?

  1. The Five Enchanted Roses collection (neeed to reeead)
  2. Wicked by Gregory Maguire (because I saw the musical this summer, it’s great and I want to see how the book compares)
  3. Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell (a vintage book I picked up on a road trip that’s about the man who wrote the gospel of Luke…how cool is that?? Plus vintage books are cool anyway)

QUESTION SIX // CAN YOU BRIEFLY SHARE THE STORY BEHIND YOUR BLOG’S NAME?

My blog’s name comes from Philippians 4:8, which I actually shared in my last post:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” -Philippians 4:8

I want to encourage us to live out this verse, to think about things like those, and to live lives that are honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, etc.

QUESTION SEVEN // WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR BLOG’S “BRANDING,” OR SIGNATURE? WHAT SETS YOUR BLOG OR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM APART FROM OTHERS?

That’s a hard question.

I definitely think my writing style is different from a lot of blogs I’ve read. I try to be professional and helpful in the majority of my posts while still being inspirational and coming across as a person. (How am I doing?)

QUESTION EIGHT // WHO ARE A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE BLOGGERS?

Cait, who I recently discovered and makes me laugh out loud while reading her posts. I’ve followed Deborah O’Carroll for a long time and really love her blog(s). Katie Grace is another one who makes me laugh a lot. Emily is great. Schuyler makes me think. Olivia, who hasn’t posted in a while but still has lots of great stuff in her archives. And of course Amanda, who co-hosts this linkup and inspires me so much!

QUESTION NINE // IF YOU COULD GO ON A ROAD TRIP OF YOUR DREAMS, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHO WOULD YOU SPEND TIME WITH?

I would gather my sisters and all of my closest Christian friends together, add in a sprinkling of Christian blogger friends who I would love to meet in person, and throw in my dog for fun. We would start in Florida to visit Disney World, Seaworld, and Harry Potter World. After that we would make our way up the East Coast, stop at the Outer Banks for a while, and then stop in D.C. to see some shows and visit some museums.

Once out of D.C., we would continue north, stopping in Baltimore and Philadelphia before reaching our final destination: NYC. There we would stay for a couple of weeks and take in shows and city life galore before heading home. (Can you tell I love cities?)

QUESTION TEN // USING FIVE WORDS OR LESS, TELL A STORY.

That day, she won life.

(hmm…new story inspiration? maybe…dystopian? we’ll see.)

 

I hope you enjoyed this month’s Purposeful Pages! If you have interesting answers to any of these questions, share them in the comments, and if you have a blog, be sure to participate! Visit Amanda or Hannah for more information. (If you participate, leave me the link. I’d love to read it!) 

love, grace

The Wisteria Writer Tag

Surprise! Here I am posting on a Friday. What??

I was tagged by the lovely Emily at For the Bookish to do the Wisteria Writer tag! Thanks, Emily! It looks like fun.

So why am I posting on a Friday, you ask?

Well, I enjoy doing tags. They don’t really fit with my normal content schedule/blog focus, however, so I don’t like to do them for regularly scheduled posts. This blog isn’t about me, and answering a bunch of questions about myself, while fun, isn’t what I want the regular content on here to be.

So when I do get tagged, I do the tag on an off-day, so we all get the fun tagginess (and you get an extra post!) but you don’t lose out on the other important topics I have planned for regular posting days.

Now that we have that explanation out of the way, let’s get to the tag!

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. (Done!)
  • Answer the ten questions asked.
  • Add ten (writing or book related) of your own.
  • Nominate ten people.

The Questions

When did you start writing? 

As soon as I could write the letters of the alphabet, probably. (And before that, if you count all of the stories I made up in my head.)

What do you use to document inspiration and ideas? 

I write down all of my ideas in a document on my computer. Little plot snippets, premises, title ideas, settings that I really want to write a scene in someday, and more all go in that document. I’ll likely never use half of it, but it’s fun to read through once in a while and helpful if I need an idea.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? 

The prep stage, definitely. It’s so fun when you first have the idea and you think about it all the time, come up with outlines and character sketches and find pictures for all of your characters, etc. In theory I enjoy the first draft, but in actuality it’s a very slow process. And revisions just overwhelm me. I probably will enjoy editing once the big problems are taken care of and it’s mostly style issues, but I haven’t ever gotten there yet, so who knows…

What genres do you like writing best? 

Fantasy. Hands-down. I have written things in a lot of other genres, but fantasy is what works the best for my voice and style. It just flows on the page the easiest. Especially the fairy tale style fantasy; that’s my favoritist of all to write.

How do you begin the outlining of your novels? 

It depends. Recently, I’ve been starting with a basic premise and then developing characters before I make an outline. I find that the plot focus becomes a lot clearer in my mind if I have backstories for the characters and understand them really well first.

Can you share a snippet of one of your current pieces of writing? 

Helen moved back and sat. Len sat next to her, looked at her, and shook his head, although a smile was playing about the corners of his mouth.

“I don’t know you very well, but it strikes me that that little act in the council room today was exactly the sort of thing you might do.”

“What else was I supposed to do?”

“You could have told me about your plan,” Len said. “Just a thought.”

What authors or books inspire you? 

C.S. Lewis (you knew that one was coming!). J.R.R. Tolkien. Charles Dickens. Louisa May Alcott. Robin McKinley. Marissa Meyer.

Who do you trust to edit/critique your writing? 

Someone I know well who I am also sure knows a lot about writing. Preferably a more experienced writer than me.

Where do you hope to be as a writer in ten years? 

Hopefully I’ll have something published in ten years. That would be nice. I will still be writing, although still part-time (I never plan to be a full-time writer). Mayyybe with multiple things published…? *crosses fingers*

What advice do you have for other writers? 

I don’t think I’m experienced enough to be very good at offering advice…but I will say to remember that your motivation will run out for a project at some point. And you just have to keep going anyway. Otherwise you will never finish a thing.

My Questions

  1. What is the first story that you ever completed?
  2. What story (short story or novel) do you consider your best work so far?
  3. Do you outline your novels before you start writing, and if so, how?
  4. Who is your favorite character that you created?
  5. What style of prose are you best at writing (description, dialogue, action, etc.)?
  6. What is the first thing you do when you start revising a piece of work?
  7. When do you write (in the morning, after lunch, before bed, etc.)?
  8. Where do you write (on your bed, at your desk, etc.)?
  9. What is your favorite music to listen to while you write?
  10. What writing advice do you want to give yourself?

The Nominees

Please don’t feel obligated to do this! Only if you want to. And if you’ve been tagged before, sorry about that.

Hannah@Furious Ever Afters

Abi@The Left-Handed Typist

Deborah@The Road of a Writer

Grace@The Lucent Logophile

Rissi@Finding Wonderland

Schuyler@My Lady Bibliophile

Shantelle@A Writer’s Heart

Ashley@Inklings Press

Cait@Paper Fury

Miriam@Crafted by Christ

 

Hopefully you enjoyed this bonus post! I had lots of fun doing it. 

Feel free to share your answers to any of Emily’s and/or my questions in the comments below! See you tomorrow with something bookish! 

love, grace

 

Purposeful Pages July 2016

Purposeful Pages Meme

Aaand it’s here!!

The first Purposeful Pages link-up was launched by Amanda and Hannah on Saturday, and today I finally get around to participating! I’ve been so excited about this ever since it was announced and am so happy the time is finally here.

 

What Exactly is Purposeful Pages?

Purposeful pages is a monthly link-up designed to unite bloggers on answering questions about life, blogging, the Bible, writing, and books. Visit Amanda or Hannah’s blogs for more info!

 

July 2016 Questions

QUESTION ONE // WHAT VERSE AND CHAPTER OF THE BIBLE INSPIRED YOU THE MOST THIS PAST MONTH, AND WHY?

“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.'” -Luke 1:38

This verse inspires me so much; this whole passage does, actually. Here’s Mary, a teenage girl engaged to be married, and an angel appears to her and basically tells her that her whole life is going to change.

She must have been terrified at the thought of what she would have to go through in terms of what people would think of her, etc. and the idea of being the mother of such an important child, and yet this is how she responds. She trusts that God knows what He is doing and can take care of her. I want to have that kind of trust!.

QUESTION TWO // WHAT’S A BOOK (FICTION OR NONFICTION) THAT YOU READ OR CONTINUED READING THIS PAST MONTH THAT REMINDED YOU OF AN IMPORTANT TRUTH?

Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott reminded me that the things the world values are not always the things that will make you happy or do the most good. Rose is such a role model for me! She’s not afraid to be different from those around her if she knows it isn’t the best for her to follow their example.

QUESTION THREE // DO YOU HAVE ANY GOALS FOR YOURSELF THIS MONTH? IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY?

I haven’t really been setting specific monthly goals for myself, but there are some things that I want to do:

  • Get back on pointe after a minor injury I had this spring
  • Finish Camp NaNoWriMo with a rough draft of 30,000 words
  • Stick to my blogging schedule (so far, so good!)
  • Read a bunch of the books on my summer to-read list

QUESTION FOUR // HAVE YOU DISCOVERED ANYTHING NEW OR CHANGED YOUR BLOG AROUND THIS PAST MONTH?

I don’t think so. Unless you count my new Mon/Wed/Sat posting schedule.

QUESTION FIVE // WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BLOG POST THAT YOU WROTE IN JUNE?

Probably 6 Ways to Use Your Summer Well. I don’t know why, I just really enjoyed writing that one. I also really like Thoughts From a New Harry Potter Fan and How to Take Sermon Notes.

QUESTION SIX // CAN YOU SHARE ONE QUOTABLE THING FROM YOUR NOVEL/BOOK (IF APPLICABLE) THAT YOU RECENTLY WROTE?

My book is still in the rough draft stage so there probably isn’t anything even remotely quotable in there, but let’s see…

Keeping her out of the way was exactly what Helen had intended to do. So how did she find herself standing with Adelaide against the doorway of the king’s secret council room, eavesdropping?

“It’s for everyone’s good,” Adelaide insisted. “If we don’t know what’s going on we could have a war sprung on us. Besides, I’ve heard the prince is very handsome.”

As if that had any relevance to what they were doing right now. It’s not like they could see what was happening.

QUESTION SEVEN // WHAT BIBLICAL CHARACTER WOULD YOU GET ALONG WITH THE MOST, AND WHY?

Hmmm…

Can I say Mary again? I think I would really like hanging out with her.

QUESTION EIGHT // FAVORITE NEW WORD UNEARTHED FROM THE DICTIONARY?

Licit, adj: Conforming to the requirements of the law, not forbidden by law, permissable

We all know about the word “illicit”. I just thought it was cool that this word existed too. Who knows why it didn’t catch on like illicit did.

QUESTION NINE // IN THE BLOGGING WORLD, WHAT’S ONE THING YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF?

That I am much more comfortable sharing my beliefs and opinions when it’s behind the comfort of a screen. In person, I can be very shy about sharing opinions contrary to the norm, but for some reason I have no problem sharing things like that on a blog for the whole world to read.

QUESTION TEN // WHAT FICTIONAL CHARACTER WOULD YOU SPEND THE DAY WITH, AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

…can I pick like twelve characters instead of one? No?

Then I’m going to go with Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. Just because recently I started thinking about him like he really existed. And then I realized he didn’t and became really sad.

 

So there you go! The first set of Purposeful Pages questions. I hope you enjoyed this! I sure did! 

If you have a blog, you should totally participate! Go to one of Amanda’s or Hannah’s blogs to get the full details. Definitely leave me the link to your post so I can read your answers! 

If you don’t have a blog, feel free to answer these questions in the comments! 

love, grace

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

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Surprise! Happy Thursday!

I know I said I wasn’t posting on Thursdays anymore, but this week you get a quick bonus post because I was nominated for this award after I had already scheduled all of my posts for January and I didn’t want to wait until February and I wanted to fit it in…and this seemed like the best option.

And that was pretty much the worse run-on sentence I have ever written.

Ahem…onwards!

I was nominated by Brooklyn. Thank you so much!

For this award, I have to post 7 random facts about myself. Here goes:

  1. I recently became obsessed with Broadway music. I love a lot of musicals and I can’t think of any of them at the moment. Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Les Miserables, West Side Story. I haven’t actually seen any of them though. 😦
  2. One of my favorite book series of all time is The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall. AGGGHHH it’s so good! Read it read it read it!
  3. I have a strange obsession with the Tudor family from British history. (Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, Bloody Mary, and all of those wonderful and not-so-wonderful people.)
  4. I take Latin in school and actually really enjoy it.
  5. I prefer print books to ebooks/Kindles and physical planners to doing my planning on my phone. I don’t know why, I just do.
  6. I love making up outfits to wear and really enjoy clothes.
  7. I have been playing piano for more than ten years now, I think, and really enjoy it.

And yay! I’m running out of time to write this post, so I’m not going to nominate any specific people, but I will say this:

If you are a relatively new blogger (like two or three months), have less than 50 followers, and regularly write about content relating to Christian teen life, feel free to snag this award for yourself!

If you do end up using this, please leave a comment below with the link to your blog so I can check it out and probably follow you!

 

Be sure to share this on social media using the buttons below and subscribe to my blog if you haven’t done that already! 

♥ love, grace ♥

Coming soon: A review of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Book and Movie of the Year 2015

Every year, I read many, many books and watch many movies throughout the year. Some of those are almost immediately forgotten, others stand out more, and then there are the ones that lodge themselves into your heart and mind and emotions and you never forget them.

That’s what this Book and Movie of the Year is about; this is a book and a movie that messed with my emotions and became favorites almost immediately. At the end of each year, starting this year, I will select one book and one movie that I think were the absolute best that I read or watched from the year before.

And so, I present to you: The 2015 Book and Movie of the Year! 

Movie of the Year: Cinderella (2015)

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Runner-up: Inside Out (2015)

Cinderella is probably one of my all-time favorite movies now. I saw it in theaters and again in October, and I could watch it over and over and over. They took the classic story and gave it some perfect actors and a screenplay that deepened it without ruining it. The costumes and sets were stunning and it is easily one of the most beautiful movies I have ever watched.

The runner-up, Inside Out, was a cute and fun animated movie that had deeper meaning to it as well. It made me cry, not an easy stunt for an animated film, and it is very, very clever and well-done. Everyone will be able to find something that they like about Inside Out. 

Book of the Year: That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

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Runner-up: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand 

That Hideous Strength was one of those books that had a major emotional effect on me. When I finished it I felt like it took a few minutes for me to reenter the real world. It is, in my opinion, a masterpiece, a stunning conclusion to the amazing series that is the Space Trilogy.

The runner-up, Unbroken, is certainly an intense book and not easy to get through, but it is very inspiring and interesting even though it is nonfiction. The most wonderful part us at the end, when Louis becomes a Christian and his life changes.

 

So, what do you think? Do you agree with my choices? What would you say are the best books and movies you read or saw this year? Leave me a comment and tell me!

 

Infinity Dreams Award

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(in which I have no idea how to introduce this post so we’re just going to jump right in)

Thank the blog that nominated you: My fabulous name-twin Grace over at Grace’s Poetry Blog nominated me for this award a few days ago. (Thank you, Grace!)

Tell us 11 facts about yourself.

  1. I almost never listen to pop music. So if I’ve heard of a popular song, it’s probably VERY popular.
  2. My favorite subject in school is English and my least favorite is math (with gym in a close second).
  3. There are almost no foods that I do not like, except panettone bread (I had to google how to spell that…that is how you spell it, right?) and licorice-flavored things.
  4. Pretty much all of the stories I wrote when I was little were about orphans either living in an orphanage or with some cruel woman who made them sleep in the attic. 🙂
  5. I was homeschooled for 3 1/2 years, went to private school for 1 1/2 years, was homeschooled again for 2 years, went back to private school for 2 years, and am currently in my 2nd year of public school (10th grade). Yeah…it’s complicated.
  6. I love Lord of the Rings a lot, the books and the movies. They are WONDERFUL.
  7. I did not have a smartphone until this past summer.
  8. My schedule is organized but my room is not.
  9. For a 2-year project in middle school I wrote a “novel” (actually only about 20,000 words) that was a retelling of Snow White. That was the first writing project I ever finished that wasn’t a short story.
  10. I once created a character in a story just to make them everyone’s favorite and then kill them off. *gasp* Writers are evil people.
  11. I hate crafts but love other arts, like theater, music, and dance.

Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.

What is your least favorite saying?

I do not have one. I have honestly never thought about this before.

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

I would have to say Christmas. And not just because that’s the time of year it is right now, I swear! Celebrating Christ’s birth, and all of the wonderful hymns, and CHRISTMAS TREES, and the fact that it lasts for a whole season instead of one day, and the fooooood, and how everyone gets to open gifts together instead of just one person opening gifts like on birthdays. It’s my favorite.

Where do you gain inspiration the most?

I think I gain the most inspiration from people in fields that I love (dance, music, writing, etc.) who are openly Christian and/or who have a really strong work ethic and passion for what they do.

 How long have you been blogging, and what got you to blog in the first place? (shh, double question, I know)

I have been blogging for a little over a year. I started with a different blog in October 2014, and then switched to WordPress in August of this year.

I started blogging basically because I got the idea and it wouldn’t go away. Often I get ideas and they seem really cool but then I forget about them. But this idea just randomly popped into my head one day and it wouldn’t go away. I would forget about it and then remember it again, for months, and finally I asked my parents if I could try it. Because I personally think that when you have an idea like that and it won’t go away, the idea is probably from God.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

London or New York City. I’m going to cheat and say two. Because London is cool and I love British things. And also because Broadway…how can I choose between British and Broadway???????

Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them. 

I nominate the following bloggers:

Rissi @ Dreaming Under the Same Moon

Emily @ For the Bookish

Amanda @ Scattered Journal Pages

Schuyler @ My Lady Bibliophile

Shantelle @ A Writer’s Heart

And…those are literally all of the bloggers that I can think of to nominate for this that haven’t already been nominated. But if you’re reading this and have a blog and would like to do this tag, you are nominated by me!

(and people who I tagged, do this if you want but don’t feel obligated to.)

So that’s that! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me. Be sure to check out the blogs I nominated, as they are all blogs that I highly recommend!

love, grace