April 2017 Month in Review

At this time every year, I’m reminded of how much I love spring (besides the allergies, of course.) My yard is full of azalea bushes, and once they all start blooming there’s an explosion of colors everywhere. Every time I step outside, I see pink and purple and yellow and white and green and it makes me smile.

I like fall for the same reason; when everything outside is so beautiful and colorful, it makes me think of God and thank him in wonder for His creation. He is a creative God. And since we are in the image of Him, our imaginations are in the image of His! Isn’t that cool? God is the ultimate creator, the ultimate artist, the ultimate designer, and we can be reminded of that every time we look at nature.

Bloggings of the Month

christian vs secular music2.jpg thoughts on how truth can be hidden in everything

old testament pt 1-2.jpg the intro to my new series on the Old Testament

old testament pt2 and the first installment: how the sacrificial system points to Christ

Image result for age of minority sharing my favoritest podcast ever with you

Truths of the Month

*the Israelites wanted a king so badly because they wanted to be like everyone else (1 Samuel 8:19-20)…this can be so dangerous

*religious rituals are no substitute for true obedience (1 Samuel 15:22)

*David is such an example of doing hard things as a teenager (killing a giant, anyone?)

*David immediately goes to God for refuge when he is in danger, not worrying or panicking but relying on the One who he knows will save him (1 Samuel 23)

*seasons come and go; grief will never last, and, in this life, neither will happiness; but that’s okay because we have eternal happiness to look forward to, and that’s not a season. it will last forever (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

*Christians are called to be the ones on the front lines, helping and serving, known for love above and beyond anything the world could ever have (John 13:34-35)

Favorites of the Month

PREORDER: Write The Word Journal // Cultivate Joy

I just discovered Lara Casey and her Write the Word journals. I have the yellow “Cultivate Joy” journal that I’ve been using in my morning devotions and I love it! It’s just so beautiful and a really good way to get into the Bible. Lara Casey’s blog is worth following too. She’s a Christian who posts about goal-setting and things like this, and her joy shines through!

Image result for vinegar girl

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler is one of my favorite books now. It’s so sweet, and manages to be a light and enjoyable read without feeling trashy or like “fluff”. I’m always looking for books like that!

Image result for this changes everything jaquelle crowe

This Changes Everything by Jaquelle Crowe is a book that every. single. teenager. should read. It’s so simple, so practical, and yet if you really take it to heart it’s life-changing. Read my review on Goodreads for more.

 

I think that’s it for me for April! In May I’ll be continuing with several more installments of the Old Testament series. See you next week!

love, grace

How was your April? Did you read or watch anything good? What has God taught you in your devotions lately? Do you love spring as much as I do? Share int he comments below! 

March 2017 Month in Review

For me, at least, March was very much a month of the daily grind. Very little excitement, very little unusual happening. Just trying to live faithfully, day in and day out. I’m not sure I did a very good job.

But the daily grind doesn’t have to mean boredom. It doesn’t have to mean gritting our teeth and just doing the same thing one. more. time. In fact, joy does not depend on excitement and adventure. Joy can be found in the everyday, by trusting that every task in front of us on any given day is one that God has given us to be completed in diligence and enjoyed with gratitude.

Bloggings of the Month

after the rain2.jpg lessons from the rain (which got such a good response! I’m so glad it helped so many people)

reblog from my old blog: how I enjoyed reading Deuteronomy (a preview of a series to come)

Image result for the broken way a review of one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read

 

Truths of the Month

from Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and Romans

*we are called not only to understand the Word intellectually, but to believe in our inmost heart and let it saturate our entire soul, constantly being reminded of it in our daily life and seeing and doing everything according to it

*we can learn from the sin of others, not watching it in a proud, judgmental way, but in fear, humility, and gratitude, realizing that we could very easily follow the same path

*God could have given us passages in the Bible about modern issues like social media and dating, but He didn’t…those issues should not be our focus. our focus should be on simply glorifying God in every circumstance

*joy can be found in our work by attributing our success not to ourselves, but to God, and being thankful for it

*the things that scare us about today’s world are not unique to modern times. God can handle it according to His perfect wisdom. there is nothing we have to do but trust

*in suffering, we do not have to force joy, but still continue to trust God and live faithfully even in sadness

Favorites of the Month

Image result for greenwitch The third book of The Dark is Rising Sequence, and my favorite of the series. The whole series is definitely worth reading, though!

Image result for the broken way See review above. So beautiful, profound, and healing.

Image result for sense and sensibility movie Elinor Dashwood is literally me. The weird part was seeing Snape play a proper English gentleman, and a good guy at that!

Image result for the fellowship of the ring A rewatch, obviously. But just had to include it because…how could I not?

Image result for age of minority If you haven’t listened to this podcast, you must! Sososo good for Christian teens or any Christian, really. And highly entertaining as well…I frequently look like a weirdo because I laugh out loud while driving.

34ae55bcedeaf01f8c8cd055559cb7fe an article in defense of fairy tales that I LOVED with every fibre of my being!

Coming in April

  • the beginning of my Lessons from the Old Testament Law series
  • a review or two, perhaps

How was your March? What are you looking forward to in April? Let me know in the comments! 

love, grace

February 2017 Month in Review

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Love. It’s what makes the world go ’round, or so they say, and in the month of February it seems like love is all everyone talks about. Candy, flowers, romantic comedies, and those adorable “relationship goals”. It’s all light, fluffy, happy, and wonderful.

This is the world’s brand of love. Have you bought into it? Is it really all that it seems to be from the outside? Or is the inside of the world’s love rather shallow and empty?

There is another kind of love: a love that truly makes the world continue to spin. Without this love, we would all have no hope. This love never ends, never fails, no matter what we do. It is infinite.

This is God’s brand of love. And when you believe in it, it changes you, and when you strive to emulate it, it changes the lives of others. When the love we talk about is a deep, everlasting love, there is nothing empty about it. It is the most full thing in the world.

Bloggings of the Month

the-relationship-series4 developing  your convictions on dating; hope for those who have already done things they regret

the-relationship-series5 an action plan for contentment in singleness

Image result for sherlocka review of my new favorite TV show

Truths of the Month

I’ve been reading in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers this month, as well as some in the New Testament. Inspired by this post, I’m dropping the daily plan and simply reading a few chapters every morning, with the goal of getting through the Bible at least once this year, if not more than once.

A few truths from my reading:

*Just as the sacrifices of the Israelites were to be “without blemish”, so Christ was the only one who could possibly die for us, the only one who could meet God’s standard of perfection.

*Even though the Old Testament law is no longer fully in effect, we are still called to remain clean and holy, just in different ways, staying away from sin and darkness.

*Jesus didn’t spend the night before His death doing anything world-changing, but something very common, having dinner with his disciples. Yet God worked in that just as much as something bigger.

*Cleansing after touching something impure was a lengthy, involved process, symbolizing how hard it is for us to purify ourselves outside of Christ.

(A few of these are a bit of a preview for a series I’m going to do soon about what we can learn from the Old Testament Law. I’ve been learning so much as I’ve read it alongside the gospels, seeing so much parallelism and cool things like that. More to come!)

Favorites of the Month

Image result for the reason for god Reread The Reason for God by Timothy Keller and was just blown away by it all over again. If you are having doubts, you don’t know how to defend Christianity, or you just want to strengthen your faith even more, you must read this book! 

Image result for newsies live So, um, this happened…and I got to see it in the theater!! Oh my goodness, it was amazing. If this version ever comes out on DVD or Netflix or anything, I highly recommend!

 It’s a Wonderful Time to Be Christian: Five Reasons for Optimism in America is the last article you would expect someone to write right now, but despite what you might assume it’s not sarcasm. From Desiring God, this article is so encouraging and brings a unique perspective to the political and cultural atmosphere right now.

 Kill Sin or Sin Will Kill You, also from Desiring God, is a jarring reminder of the seriousness of sin and what it will take to kill it in our lives.

 On Faith and Fashion was a wonderful article about what fashion can mean for the Christian girl. As someone who loves clothes and makeup and is just generally very girly, I loved this way of looking at it!

Coming in March

  • Struggles with perfectionism; excellence vs. perfection; finding balance
  • Lessons from the rain
  • A book review of something to be determined

 

How was your March? What did God teach you? Did you read or watch anything amazing this month? Also, do you like this new format for these posts or do you prefer the old one? I’m experimenting a bit. Tell me in the comments below! 

love, grace

 

 

 

January 2017 Month in Review

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We’re already at the end of the first month of the new year. How are you doing with your goals? Are you living bolder, better, brighter for God in the new year? Accomplishing everything you could have dreamed?

Or are you, like me, realizing that God’s plans for you mostly involve seemingly small, mundane, ordinary things?

I’m learning that progress doesn’t happen overnight and that sometimes the hardest part of the Christian life is trusting that God is working in you even when it doesn’t feel like it. Trusting that He is in control of every small task that comes into your life and every small worry that crosses your mind.

Big goals are great, but don’t be discouraged if you aren’t accomplishing the lofty things you had hoped. Simply move forward into the next month, one step at a time, seeking to live for God in all things, small and big, and look for the little victories that are evidence of a greater work in your life.

This Month’s Devotions

I’m following the yearly reading plan laid out in the back of my Bible. I started late, but just doubled up a couple of days to catch up and now I’m on track. I just finished reading through the Bible, but I’ve never actually read the whole thing in a year, as the first time it took me a little longer. We’ll see what happens.

Some truths from this month:

*God will always provide what we need, and even more than we need (from Exodus 4-6)

*God is terrifying in anger, but that anger will never be used against us- only for us (from Exodus 15)

*God knows what He’s doing when He prompts us to do certain things in our lives…why would we question Him? He is the all-powerful God of the universe and knows so much better than us

*Equal treatment for all people is a very important part of God’s law system (Exodus 23:1-9), yet equality for ourselves should not be our focus; instead we should focus on serving others (Matthew 20:25-28)

Bloggings

This month I started a series on dating in the teen years (more specifically, why I’ve chosen not to). There were three installments:

why I'm not dating in high school 1.jpgGod’s Purpose for Romance

why I'm not dating in high school 2.jpgGod’s Purpose for Singleness

why I'm not dating in high school 3-corrected.jpgAvoiding Drama and Temptation

from other blogs…

From Mirriam Neal: become (super inspiring) and a super helpful hack for fixing flat characters

Observer > Critic (this sounds like a very hard but also very worthwhile mindset shift)

Even though getting old isn’t even on my radar yet, I loved this post: Your “Age” is Defined by Your Attitude, Not a Number

7 Tips for Victorian Happiness (this post is why I followed this blog)

If you were wondering about my political thoughts, other Grace says it perfectly

How to Find Time to Read More. Not sure if this was helpful or not…but definitely entertaining!

Readings

Image result for till we have facesImage result for the rose and the balloon by kirsten fichterImage result for interrupted by rachel cokerImage result for little womenImage result for little men bantamImage result for little men bantam

  • Till We Have Faces: 4 stars. Obviously very good, since it’s C.S. Lewis, but I felt like I didn’t quite get the point of it or something. Probably need to read it again.
  • The Rose and the Balloon: 3 stars. Imperfect, since it’s a self-published book by a young author, but a cute story and a light, quick read.
  • Interrupted: 4.5 stars. I loved this book so much! Probably my favorite of the month. It was such a sweet romance with a deeper message, completely clean, and a Christian perspective.
  • Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys: 4-5 stars. Rereads all, and all just as good as the first time 😉

A few articles I enjoyed:

A final note: if you haven’t discovered The Babylon Bee yet, you’re missing out. It’s Christian News Satire from Christians and as long as you don’t take any of it too seriously, it’s really funny.

Watchings

Image result for sherlock season 4Image result for becoming janeImage result for les miserables movie

  • Sherlock, season 4: 5 stars. Oh my goodness. This season tossed my heart around and made me laugh and cry and scream and if you haven’t yet watched this show I think it is literally the best TV show I’ve ever seen and you need to watch it.
  • Becoming Jane: 4 stars. This was a really good movie! (Although sad…so don’t expect a happy chick-flick ending.) Would probably recommend to ages 14 and up because of a bit of content.
  • Les Miserables: 5 stars. So, so, so good!! I can’t believe it took me this long to watch it. Again, some content, but the scenes are easily fast-forwardable. The music is incredible and the cast is amazing and there is lots of food for thought as well.

Listenings

Image result for ruelle up in flamesImage result for hamilton logoImage result for the music of jane austenImage result for evynne hollens covers vol 1Image result for age of minority podcast

  • Up in Flames: I recently discovered Ruelle, an alternative singer with some really great songs. You might especially like her if you’re a fan of Twenty One Pilots or similar bands.
  • Hamilton: Introduced my sister to Hamilton this month! (She loves it.) If you haven’t listened to it yet, please do! It’s amazing.
  • The Music of Jane Austen: Loving this as something to listen to while I do homework or write.
  • Covers Vol. 1: This has been my go-to album lately when I don’t know what to listen to. Evynne Hollens is amazing and every song on here is so good.
  • Age of Minority: This is a podcast started by Jaquelle Crowe, editor of The Rebelution, and her dad. They talk about different topics related to being a Christian teen in today’s world, as well as lots of fun topics as well. So fun to listen to and highly, highly recommended! Find it here.

Upcoming in February

  • A continuation of my series on dating, discussing how to develop your convictions, what to do if someone asks you out, being content to be single, and more.
  • A review of Sherlock seasons 1-4. (And yes, I know I keep promising this and it doesn’t happen…I will get it done at some point!)

 

How was your January? Did you read, watch, or listen to anything amazing? What are you excited for in February? Tell me in the comments!

love, grace

 

 

2016 Blogging Year in Review

2016-year-in-review-2

Wow…2016 Is Over?!

There are several things I can’t believe: how fast this year went by, the fact that 2017 starts tomorrow…but the biggest one is that I can’t believe how far this blog has come this year. It’s growing steadily, which is so exciting!

I currently have 74 followers. At my blogiversary in August I had 48. That’s incredibly rapid growth. My pageviews have more than doubled from last year too!

So thank you all so much for taking the time to read this blog and comment on my posts and support me. It means a lot! I’m so awed by what God is doing through my writing and I can’t wait to see where this blog goes in 2017.

Most Popular Posts

For the BookishScattered Journal Page MyLadyBibliophileMy Top 4 Favorite Blogs

modesty series 2Should Christian Girls Wear Makeup?

selection series for blogBook Review: The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

sermon notes2.jpgHow to Take Sermon Notes

snow.jpegTop 7 Movies for Snow Days

Personal Favorite Posts

Here are a few more posts that I was proud of or really enjoyed writing this year.

witnessing The How to Witness series: part 1 (preparation)part 2 (the conversation)part 3 (afterward)

thoughts on harry potter2.jpgThoughts From a New Harry Potter Fan

Book Review: The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

books2.jpgWriting for Building Up (or, I’m Tired of Depressing Stories)

standing for truth25 Ways to Stay Grounded in Truth This School Year

Other Blogs

Here are some of my favorite blogs I started following this year:

PAPER FURY Cait@Paper Fury (books, etc.)

 Abbiee (music, writing, etc.)

Rebekah@Hello Modesty (modest fashion)

RufflesandGraceVictoria@Ruffles and Grace (modest fashion, beauty, sewing, writing, etc.)

Mirriam Neal (writing, books, art. etc. like in the tagline)

Looking Forward

In January and February, as I mentioned in my last post, I will be doing a series on relationships in the teen years. I will talk about why I have chosen not to date in high school, how to develop your own convictions and stick to them, how to be content in singleness, and more.

(Also, I realized that I need a blog button. Will be getting on that ASAP.)

Beyond that, I don’t really know. I have lots of ideas, but at the moment I’m planning seasonally, so I don’t have anything planned out beyond February.

Various series ideas include cell phone addiction, how to have a devotional time, fruits of the Spirit, and more. I’m considering doing a post on learning to drive, since that’s something most teenagers go through. (I just got my driver’s license…!!!)

Let me know what you would be interested in seeing on here this year, if any of those ideas sound interesting or if you have other questions or requests. I’d love to get some input!

Here’s to a great 2017!

 

How was your 2016? Did you follow any great new blogs this year? What posts would you like me to do in the year to come? Let me know in the comments! 

love, grace

December 2016 Month in Review

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Christmas trees, Christmas music, Christmas cookies, Christmas presents…annnd just like that, December is over. In rolls January, bringing goals and fresh starts, snow (?) (please?), and a return to the normal routine.

I get very excited over making goals for the year. Last year I changed all my goals like three times during the year and then ditched them altogether, but let’s see if I can do better this year. I have a new planner, which always makes me optimistic about what I can do with my life. (I’m a planner nerd.)

And I really, really hope it snows soon! It never snows in December where I live but we usually get quite a bit of snow in January and February. Snow days are amazing.

This Month’s Devotions

This month, I read through Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift, an Advent devotional with Bible passages, readings to go with them, and questions for reflection. It was the second time I used this book during the Advent season and I absolutely loved it.

Ann Voskamp’s writing is superbly beautiful and the perfect way to stay focused on Christ during Advent. If you missed it, my Advent Reflections series was based on some of my favorite quotes from the book. All of those posts will be linked in the next section.

I’m currently studying The Reason for God by Timothy Keller. I started to have some questions about faith and the proof for God that I wanted to seek out answers to. I had read this book before, but not thoroughly, and didn’t remember any of it. This time I’m taking notes!

Bloggings

Image result for noel josh groban I shared some of my favorite Christmas music, both old favorites and new discoveries

childhood-christmas-favorites2 I also shared nostalgic Christmas favorites that I still enjoy

advent reflections part 1.jpgadvent-reflections-part-2advent reflections part 3.jpgadvent-reflections-part-4 the Advent series: part 1part 2part 3part 4

 a fun Christmasy tag

book and movie of the year 2016 2.jpg this year’s best book and movie

from other blogs…

A beautiful post about the wonder of God.

Also from The Rebelution, an interview with Tony Reinke about teens and technology. Totally worth listening to the whole thing!

Amanda’s post about facing the future really encouraged me as I start to think about what might be in my future…

Grace had a really great post about why she’s not ashamed she homeschools. I may not be homeschooled anymore, but I am still one of its biggest advocates, and this post hit the nail on the head.

Katie Gregoire is not a beauty guru. Also subscribe to her channel. She’s great.

A Studio C sketch in which the holidays are personified. One of my favorites of theirs recently!

If you haven’t seen Moana, you should. If you need more convincing: listen to this song.

And finally, if you still need more Christmas music in your life, here’s a gorgeous acapella Silent Night.

Readings

Image result for fourth dawnImage result for the greatest gift ann voskampImage result for letters from father christmasImage result for library of souls

  • Fourth Dawn: 3.5 stars. A very interesting look at Mary and Joseph and the history surrounding Christ’s birth. Read my Goodreads review for more.
  • The Greatest Gift: 5 stars of course. I think I’ve talked about this book enough on here already.
  • Letters from Father Christmas: 5 stars. I got this book as a gift; it was a Tolkien book that I didn’t even know existed! And the cover is gorgeous and glossy with that red and gold design; so pretty. Obviously I loved it, it’s Tolkien 😉
  • Library of Souls: 4 stars. My least favorite of the series, but still good. And the ending! It was actually happy. I was not sure how it would end happily, but it did!

Watchings

Image result for a charlie brown christmasImage result for moanaImage result for elfImage result for america's got talent christmas spectacularImage result for the nutcracker abt baryshnikovImage result for alice in wonderland royal ballet dvdImage result for sherlock

Yes, it was Christmas break. How can you tell?

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas: 4 stars. It was high time I actually watched this, and it was cute! A nice way to start my break.
  • Moana: 4 stars. Such a good movie! I would recommend seeing it in the theater if it’s still in theaters to get the quality sound and everything. The music is 5 stars (obviously, since it’s by Lin Manuel Miranda). And he even sings in one of the songs!
  • Elf: 5 stars. I’ve watched bits and pieces of this over the years but never actually seen the whole thing until this month. I loved it! So cute, and definitely something I will watch for Christmases to come.
  • AGT Holiday Spectacular: This is definitely a guilty-pleasure show, but this holiday version was fun! It was fun to see contestants come back and perform without the judging part.
  • The Nutcracker: Well, of course I had to watch this. I featured it in my childhood favorites post, and I can’t let a Christmas go by without seeing it!
  • Alice in Wonderland: 4 stars. I got this for Christmas and watched it immediately. It’s a relatively new, very creative ballet, that even people who are new to ballet would like because of all the different aspects (puppetry, tap dancing, etc.).
  • Sherlock: I just finished Season 3 last night. Still one of my favorite shows. CANNOT WAIT FOR SEASON 4 (which, if you hadn’t heard, is finnnnnnaly airing on Sunday!)

Listenings

I did a whole post on Christmas music so that basically covers it.

Upcoming in January

  • An official review of the first three seasons of Sherlock
  • Why I Don’t Date in High School: the beginnings of a two-month series on relationships in the teen years

 

I hope you had a wonderful December! What did you enjoy reading and watching this month? Are you excited for January? Tell me in the comments! 

love, grace

November 2016 Month in Review

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December is here!! Which means Christmas!!

I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday and so as soon as Thanksgiving is over I’m in full holiday season mode. Advent candles and devotionals, great music, decorating…I love it all!

November was a month of writing, primarily. This month, I wrote a novel from beginning to end, banged my head on keyboards, and then changed the plot completely to redraft the whole thing later. I saw my school musical, Godspell, and was pleasantly surprised by how respectful and accurate it was! (Let me know if you want more thoughts on this). Thanksgiving, of course, was a wonderful day of family time and delicious food.

And now, as we move on to December, I’m so excited to enjoy Christmas and the last month of 2016!

This Month’s Devotions

I finished reading through my Bible!

For the majority of the month I was in the book of Revelation. And while I was a little scared to start reading this notoriously difficult book, it turned out to be one of my favorite books in the entire Bible.

Why? Because it’s such a beautiful picture of the hope we have as Christians.

And that, I think, is the key to enjoying Revelation. Don’t try to decode every symbol or analyze every vision. Read it all with the overall message in mind: Christians will be persecuted, but it will not last forever. God will return, and He will judge the world and bring justice to His people. Through Christ’s amazing sacrifice, we will live forever in heaven, a place of such beauty we cannot even imagine it here on earth.

If you read Revelation that way, I think you will find it much more enjoyable.

Bloggings

god is in control2.jpgthere was an election that happened this month and please remember this simple truth

Purposeful Pages Memethe last linkup: an inspiring website, how blogging has impacted me, what I would tell my younger self

gratitude2having gratitude in the midst of our entitled culture

from other blogs…

Honestly just read everything Amanda wrote this month. Slowly. Digest it and reflect on it. Such good posts that I couldn’t pick just one or two!

I love the idea of doing a one second every day video project. Don’t know if I could actually pull it off, but it is a really cool way to record memories!

This short story is so beautiful I can’t even…agh. So good. The concept and the twist and it’s just…read it.

And finally, two things to get you in the Christmas spirit: YA books paired with Christmas songs and December Song, Peter Hollens’ new Christmas single that is absolutely gorgeous.

Readings

The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and ExercisesThe Body in the Library (Miss Marple, #3)Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2)

Three really good books that I read this month; all pretty quick reads, since I was writing up a storm and didn’t have a lot of spare time.

  • The Art of War for Writers: 4 stars. A really handy little book that I will be referencing often. Read my review on Goodreads here.
  • The Body in the Library: 4 stars. Love me a good Agatha Christie when I need something quick, light, and engaging.
  • Hollow City: 5 stars. I was worried it wouldn’t be as good as the first one, but it drew me in just like that one did. I love this series so much!

Watchings

Image result for sherlockImage result for hamilton's america

Image result for doctor strange

(yes, I watched two things with Benedict Cumberbatch in them. don’t judge me.)

  • Sherlock: again, I only watched one episode of this in the entire month. Seriously. I just don’t have time to watch TV, even such epic TV as this. The one episode I did watch was the wedding episode (fellow Sherlock fans know which one I mean?) and it was just the BEST ever. All the cuteness!!
  • Hamilton’s America: yes, I have joined the madness of being obsessed with Hamilton. Even I, the one who hates rap with a passion, love it, and I think that says something! Anyway, this documentary was really great for some behind the scenes and clips of the musical as well as historical background. Highly recommended if you love Hamilton as much as I do!
  • Doctor Strange: 4 stars. Another great Marvel movie, as usual. Benedict Cumberbatch incredible, as usual. And if any of you are Marvel fans but afraid to see this one because of the supernatural elements, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Not any different from Thor or Guardians of the Galaxy, really, and any problems I had with the movie were for different reasons altogether.

Listenings

Image result for godspell albumImage result for selah hymns

  • Godspell: As mentioned before, this was my school’s musical, and in addition to being much more accurate and respectful than I expected, the music is SO good. Listened to it obsessively after seeing the show!
  • Greatest Hymns: One day I got fed up with generic Christian music and wanted to go back to the old school songs, so I looked up hymn albums that I might like and found this one. It was exactly what I needed to refresh my soul.

Here’s a song that just makes me want to dance:

This is kind of the theme song for my NaNoWriMo (in addition to just being beautiful):

And another song I listened to on repeat while writing this month (love, love, love!):

Upcoming in December

  • Mini-reviews of favorite Christmas books, movies, and/or music
  • Um…an as-yet undetermined post about Christmas? Advent? Something? Who knows.
  • The 2016 Book and Movie of the Year! I can’t believe it’s already time to do another one of these.

 

I hope you all had a wonderful November! See you next week with some Christmasy stuff. Have an amazing December and enjoy the holidays!

love, grace

October 2016 Month in Review

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Leaves are changing colors, football is in full swing, and pumpkins decorate porches everywhere. It’s officially fall!

October was a month of settling into routines, of diligent work amid the daily grind. This month I helped at a wedding reception. I went to my homecoming football game (which we lost…) and had a ton of fun, and my chorus department sang the national anthem at another football game. I spent my weeks doing homework, going to dance class, and teaching piano lessons. Various activities with family and friends rounded out the month.

As November looms, there’s obviously one big thing on my mind…National Novel Writing Month! If you’re participating too, let me know and we can be buddies! I’m so excited. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t affect blogging too much, as I can hopefully still get posts up once a week. But if I do end up disappearing without explanation, that’s why.

This Month’s Devotions

This month I finished reading Hebrews and continued through James, 1  Peter and 2 Peter. I am now about halfway through 1 John. I’m getting near the end of this Bible read-through, and it will be the first time I’ve ever read the Bible all the way through. I’m excited to finally have read the whole thing!

Some things God taught me this month:

*True faith leads to works. Faith comes first, and then the works follow; the works are not something we must do in order to gain faith, but the other way around.

*Judging one another means putting ourselves and our own standards above God’s law. That is sin.

*In the Christian life, the solution to everything is putting God first. It helps to humble us, make us kinder to others, gain peace for the future, overcome temptation…it is the key to righteousness.

*Every instruction for how to live comes back to the gospel. It all has its foundation in the work of Christ.

Bloggings

Purposeful Pages Memethe linkup:  why I write, a book I would burn, my Myers-Briggs type, and more

encouragement for teens trying to find their way in life

living on the edge edited.jpggetting rid of a cultural rebellious attitude

from other blogs…

This post soothed my soul and quieted the perfectionist in me. Amanda has a way with words that puts God’s beautiful truth into beautiful writing to match.

Should we, as Christians, be drinking the pumpkin spice latte? Hahahahaha. This post made my day. (Public Service Announcement: It is sarcasm. PLEASE do not take it seriously. I beg of you.)

In case you ever thought that writing wasn’t a real job, Liz is here to convince you otherwise.

If you have lots of time to read a long post and look at lots of pictures, Christine’s post about her bookshop job is lots of fun!

Loved this gorgeous song from Imogen Elvis.

And finally, the phantom of the opera’s girl problems. You’re welcome.

Readings

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(Would you look at how similar these books are. Also the fact that they’re both story collections to supplement a popular series. I swear it wasn’t on purpose.)

Not a great reading month for me in terms of numbers, but that book on the right more than made up for lack of reading in the early part of the month!

Watchings

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Again, not all that time to watch stuff this month. But the things I did watch were very high-quality!

  • Sherlock: Finally got to watch like one episode of season three. Dying to see the rest but never have time. Still an absolutely AMAZING show.
  • Big Fish: Five stars. I watched this in my Creative Writing class at school. It doesn’t really stand up to logical analysis, but somehow that’s what makes it so beautiful. Also I don’t really know how to explain it. Look it up on IMDb or something. But highly recommended!

 

So that’s that. Have a great November, and if you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month, good luck! See you next week!

love, grace

September 2016 Month in Review

I hope you all had lovely Septembers! Mine was rather stressful at the beginning because of going back to school and getting into a routine and all of that. I think I’ve settled into a routine that juggles everything pretty successfully now, despite how busy I am, so that’s good.

September was a month of new beginnings, of fresh starts in all areas of life. It was a month of challenges (and yes, some tears) that I am now beginning to overcome. This month I discovered new classrooms and teachers. I went to a football game for the first time since freshman year (I’m a junior) and screamed so much I almost lost my voice. Friends gathered to celebrate the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo (now an annual tradition), and friends gathered around a flagpole on a rainy day to worship God and pray for our school.

I hope to start October ready to continue overcoming new challenges and learning new things. Here’s to the fall!

This Month’s Devotions

This month I continued reading through the New Testament and read through Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and on.

I also read through A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and was challenged to make my devotions the most important, most wonderful part of my life. I started writing down notes, meditations, and thoughts on the passages I was reading.

I’m now reading in Hebrews, using Amanda’s Hebrews Bible Study series to help me. It’s been wonderful so far.

Here are a few things God has taught me this month:

The Christian life is not easy. We need grace so that we can successfully fulfill the high calling of the Christian, relying on God’s strength and not our own. If we seek a relationship with God, all else flows from that.

Prayer is a great privilege, not a burden, in the Christian life.

God’s truth should be handled with reverence and respect.

In order to resist false teaching, we must be steeped in Scripture.

The grace of God leads us to pure, godly lives so that God’s Word will be honored in the world.

Bloggings

Purposeful Pages Memethe linkup again: inspiring people, theme songs, blogging habits

you don't have to do it all 2.jpgan important truth about life

one step at a time.edited.jpga key to peace

from other blogs…

This post was really good. I believe completely that everyone can and should pursue what they want to do with their lives, and cultural standards really get on my nerves, so go Abbiee for defending artists!

Liz PERFECTLY captured the reason I hated Allegiant’s ending. Everything I couldn’t put into words in my review is ranted about in this post and I couldn’t have agreed more.

The channel trailer  for Jordan’s channel is pure gold. Watch it now and then subscribe to him.

For another perspective on taking it one day at a time, read Amanda’s post. I agree completely and she says it so beautifully as usual! Also check out her amazing post on grace and guilt.

Becca’s amazing video about belief even though we can’t see God. The first in a series that I am SO excited about!

And finally, Ana breaking up with Hans in probably the catchiest song I’ve heard all month. (I think the real version is a little less family-friendly, but this Disneyfied one is awesome!)

Readings

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look how nice the colors are…

This was a good reading month as far as it went…yes, I only read three books, but they were all really really good books!!

  • Five Enchanted Roses: I’ve been wanting to read this for so long and finally read it; it didn’t disappoint! I liked the Cinderella collection a little better but I loved this one too! Read my Goodreads review.
  • A Place of Quiet Rest: Such a good guide and exactly what I needed to kickstart my devotional time! Read my Goodreads review here.
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Just finished this yesterday, actually, and WOW! Finally a popular book that totally lived up to the hype. I loved it and it’s definitely my favorite of the month! Review will go up on Goodreads soon.

Watchings and Listenings

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So obviously I didn’t have much time to watch things this month, but I still made time for this, of all things…I accidentally let myself watch and episode and then got really invested in the contestants and couldn’t stop. So.

But seriously! This girl who won is incredible.

For music, here are a few songs from a new artist I’ve been loving:

 

I hope you all have a wonderful October! I’ll be back on Saturdays again as that schedule is working pretty well for me. I’m hoping to finish watching Sherlock soon and write a review. See you next week!

love, grace

August 2016 Month in Review

 A quick update before we start…

Since my schedule for the school year is going to be insanely busy, I will only be posting once per week, on Saturdays, starting next week. I think it will be so much better for my stress levels and it’s much better for me to consistently post once a week then to promise two posts a week and never deliver. So posts will be coming on Saturdays during the school year; there may be an occasional “surprise” post on days I have off or something, but most of the time it will just be once a week.

This Month’s Devotions

Lately I’ve been reading in the New Testament, through Romans, 1 Corinthians, and I’ve just started 2 Corinthians. I highlighted so much in Romans…it was sometimes hard to understand, but I still got a lot out of it and hopefully I’ll go back and do a deeper study of it sometime.

Notable verses:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” -Romans 1:16

That is the attitude I want to have about the gospel, especially around unbelievers.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:1-2

One of my life motto verses.

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” -Romans 16:20

Encouraging to know.

Bloggings

blogiversary2 celebrating!

reviewing a popular series

Purposeful Pages Memethe second linkup

god in school2.jpgseeking God in school

books2.jpgthe purpose of stories

standing for truth2remembering truth

Image result for red queen glass swordreviewing another popular series

respect teachers2.jpga common problem

I also added a What I Believe page under the “About” label. Check it out if you haven’t!

Posts and videos I enjoyed this month:

Readings

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Watchings and Listenings

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  • The Olympics: well, obviously.
  • Sherlock: This show is so good. It’s mostly clean (I did skip one episode b/c I heard it was a bit inappropriate), so well-done, the plot is great, the actors are INCREDIBLE, and the character development is SO, SO, SO GOOD! It’s creepy and intense but not so much that it bothers me, which is great. It’s a perfect balance of thrill vs. actually scaring me. This is my new favorite TV show!!
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: 3 stars. Good, but I definitely liked the book better.
  • Zootopia: Four stars. A cute movie with a really important message.

I discovered Lauren Daigle recently, a Christian artist with some great music. Here are some of my favorites:

 

Coming in September

  • A review of Sherlock 
  • I promise, you don’t have to do it all
  • Are our works guilt offerings or thank offerings to God?

 

What do you think? Did you have a good August? Are you excited for September? Share your favorite summer memories in the comments below! 

love, grace