Girls Like You Around the World

Hello to all my wonderful readers!

Today, I have a couple of "samplings" to share with you. I was going to say "short stories", but these are so short that they really can't be called stories.....
Anyway, I have 3 little samples of what life might be like to a girl around your age living in a different country. I actually wrote these  because of an AHG badge that I am working on, and I thought that they might make for a fascinating blog post.
 Yes, it's not normally in the realm of what I post about, but for me, it was an eye-opening look into life in a different country. After all, it is only by God's grace that we are living where we are, instead of in a dirt hut in Africa!
Just to mention it, I know that not every detail in these paragraphs will be 100% accurate. I tried my best to research and give a thorough, accurate portrayal of a girl's life in these countries, but since I have not visited or lived in these countries, I'm sure that I probably missed something somewhere (something that the Internet didn't tell me. ;)

Just wanted to have that out there first. With that said, read on and enjoy! :D

A Story from Kenya-
Celia is a fifteen-year-old girl who lives in a rural village in east Kenya.
She lives in a small two-room house with her parents, grandmother, and six younger siblings Celia's parents grew up in the same village as children, and neither of them have been more than ten miles outside of the village!
 Four of Celia’s younger siblings attend the local village school, a mile away. The school however, only goes through basic elementary grades, and no one from her village can afford to attend a bigger school in the city. The school is very simple and has no fancy equipment or books. 
Celia stopped attending school last year, because she is expected to stay and help at home. Most girls in rural Kenya marry young, so Celia must think about learning to care for her family, instead of going to school. ( Her 17-year-old sister is already married).  Boys are considered lucky when they can obtain a higher education. 
.Some of Celia’s daily chores include getting water from the nearby stream with one or two of her younger siblings, gathering wood and kindling for the cooking fire, and helping her mother with the cooking. Baking days are always long and hot, because the outdoor brick oven is going all day. Celia’s family always cooks their meals outdoors over an open fire, and they often have rice every day.Her family also has a few animals, which are highly prized for food, transportation, and many other things. 
Her family owns two chickens and a goat.Most of the families in her small village live with some of their extended family, and everyone helps each other out. 
Sometimes Celia gets to see her friend Mali who also lives in her village, but not very often do they have much free time together.Celia’s life includes lots of hard work, but she hopes that maybe she will get to travel outside her village when she is older!

A Story From Thailand-

Lala is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives on the outskirts of Chang Mai, Thailand. Lala lives in an apartment with her father, mother, and two younger brothers.  Both her parents are from Chang Mai, and Lala has lived there all her life. Her father is employed by the Thai government, and her mother has a day job working at a local cloth factory.
Lala is in her first year of high school. In Thailand, the government provides free education through public schools in the cities. Children are expected to attend at least nine years of school. There are scholarships that are available to students to allow them to attend higher levels of education, including college and vocational schools. If Lala does well, she might receive one some time.
Lala and her younger brothers ride to school each weekday on a bus made out of a pickup truck, although motorbikes are preferred for transportation on Thailand. When they arrive at school, they remove their shoes before entering the building.
In school, Lala learns all the typical subjects along with the Thai language and English. Many people in Chang Mai speak English since many tourists pass through. Once a week, students are expected to participate in Scouts to learn how to be better citizens, so they wear their scouting uniforms to school once a week.
Chang Mai is the second-largest city in Thailand, so there is always plenty to do! On weekends, Lala enjoys going with her mother to the open-air markets, where everything from fruit to cloth to bowls are sold. Sometimes vendors even float out on the river in canoes to attract passing canoeists! Lala especially likes to look at the traditional Thai costumes in display. Most people in Chang Mai were mainly Western-style clothing except on special holidays.
Lala helps her family by doing the dishes, helping her brothers with homework, and helping her mother shop at the market. She is learning how to cook, and enjoys it.
Lala has heard her mother tell stories of her family, and what it’s like to live in a rural village with rice paddies, wild animals, and a school ten miles away. She sometimes wishes she could try that life, but for now she’s glad that she lives in the city. 

A Story from Australia—

Jenni is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives in a small suburban town in eastern Australia with her parents and younger brother and sister. Both of Jenni's parents grew up in Australia, but her father lived in American for a short time in college, then returned to Australia, where he met and later married Jenni's mother.
 Jenni is in the eighth grade, and attends a secondary school near her home. She studies the usual subjects in school- science, math, history, English, and such- but her favorite subject is Literature. She hopes to become a writer one day!
 In Australia, their are public schools in all of the larger cities and towns, and children are expected to attend at least 10 years of school, but most go on to college. Schools are divided into 3 groups—primary school, grades 1-6, high school, grades 7-12, and university.. Her two younger siblings attend the primary school next door. 
When Jenni comes home from school, she normally does some homework, then she and her sister play with their next-door neighbor for a while. This afternoon, Jenni’s mum has to run some errands, so Jenni also helps her brother with his homework. When her mum gets home, Jenni helps her with dinner. After dinner, she and her sister help clean up. 
On the weekends, Jenni likes to ride her bike with her neighborhood friends to a nearby park. She also sometimes goes shopping with her mum, or takes her sister along as she roller-skates to the library. She goes as often as she can!
One weekend, her family went to a local museum, where Jenni got to see all sorts of interesting things about Australia’s history, like 100-year-old boomerangs and stuffed displays of extinct native animals. Her favorite things were the old costumes that native Australian Aborigines used to wear years ago. They are so colorful, and Jenni can just image herself in them. 
Jenni is proud to live in Australia because of its interesting and unique heritage!

I hope you enjoyed these glances into the lives of girls like you around the world.
Have a great weekend!



The Text Tag

Hello, readers! I hope you all are getting ready for a great weekend. :)
Allie from Sincerely, Allie tagged me for the Text Tag. (I'd been wanting to do it for while, and I was hoping someone would nominate me! :D) Anyway, thank you so much, Allie! 

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them (Thanks again, Allie!)
2. Answer the original 6 text-themed questions
3. Add a typography/word related question of your own, for those that you tagged to answer
4. Tag 6+ bloggers and notify that you tagged them
5. Include these rules in your post

1. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?
Probably E and K.

2.What are three words that you love?
Unique, sparkle, and beautiful

3. What are three words that you hate?
Exasperated (yeah, I don't know why), grouchy, and sin

4. If you could create a word, what would it be, and what would it describe?
Sparkilian-- meaning sparkly in appearance (I'm not sure where that came from either...)

5. What are your three favorite punctuation marks?
~ ? !

6. What are your three favorite fonts?
Only three?? Okay.....

~Allie's question:What is a perfect day? Describe a perfect day, making up details.
Hmm... Since I've never expected to have a perfect day in my life (and probably won't, lol), I've never thought about this. But I'd have to say that it would definitely include lots of books, chocolate, and a few good friends. Always a good combination, right? :D

~My question: What is your worst pet peeve when it comes to writing?

~I tag-
Grace Anne// Totally Graced

I hope you have fun with this tag! And if you've already done it, I'm so sorry. I tried to nominate people who haven't done it before, but if I missed someone, I'm sorry!
Also, I have some exciting news coming up that I can't wait to share with you all in the next couple of weeks. (Hint: It has something to do with writing!)

Have a wonderful, blessed weekend!


What is Humility?

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word "Humility"?
 For most people, the mental picture is somewhere along the lines of a person who has no self-esteem, yet thinks everyone is better than he is.  That is not that proper picture of humility at all but unfortunately, it is what a lot people, even Christians, believe.
So if that's not humility, then what is? The dictionary describes humility as

  •  --the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people : the quality or state of being humble 

Okay, so the dictionary says that humility is being humble, or not thinking that you are better than other people. But what exactly does that mean? Let's see what the Bible says about it.

Philippians 2:1-11 describes Jesus's example of humility in this way-

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:1-11

Jesus provided us with the ultimate example of humility, as described in this passage. He, the Son of God, became human flesh to lay down His life for us!
 Humility is not not thinking  that you are worthless, it is thinking of others more than yourself.  And of course, when you think of other's needs first, you are thinking less of yourself. See how that works? 
When I first heard humility described that way, I was thinking "That makes perfect sense. Why have I never thought about it that way before?" This quote from C.S. Lewis sums it up perfectly:

I hope this encouraged you to think about what humility really means in a whole different way. One of my goals for this summer is to really put into practice the true meaning of humility. Will you join me? 



Presenting Poetry, May Edition

Hello, everyone!
Today is the May edition of Presenting Poetry. I hope you are still enjoying this series! If you ever have any ideas for some new series or posts that you might like me to do, just comment and let me know.

Okay, the poem for this month is--

I am My Neighbor’s Bible
I am my neighbor’s Bible;
He reads me when we meet.
Today he reads me in my home–
Tomorrow, in the street.
He may a relative or friend be;
Or slight acquaintence be;
He may not even know my name,
Yet he is reading me.

And pray, who is this neighbor,
Who reads me day by day,
To learn if I am living right,
And walking as I pray?
Oh, he is with me always,
To criticize or blame;
So worldly wise in his own eyes,
And “Sinner” is his name.

Dear Christian friends and sisters,
If we could only know,
How faithfully the world records
Just what we say and do;
Oh, we would write our record plain,
And come in time to see
Our worldly neighbor won to Christ
While reading you and me.

~Author Unknown 

I just now noticed how my last few poems seemed to be along the same lines as far as the subject. I will try to pick a different topic for next month..... ;)

 This poem really reminded me how we should be "salt and light" to the world around us (from Matthew 5:13-16). Whether we realize it or not, the world is watching us! We may be the only example that they see of a godly Christian  that day, or week, or maybe for a long time, so we can either be a good witness or a bad one. We need to be careful of how we respond to situations, and ask ourselves "Am I representing Christ well?"  Of course as humans, we are not  perfect and we will mess up and sin. But representing Christ doesn't mean that we are perfect all the time. It means that we can choose how to respond to the situation in a godly way.

 I'd love to hear what you thought of this poem! Comment below with your thoughts.

And before you go, I have another wonderful  giveaway to share with you! (Don't you like this pattern? ;D)
 This one is from Eden at Eden's Evaluations. She is giving away a beautiful pair of bow-shaped, sparkly rhinestone earrings.. They are really pretty and I'd hurry over to Eden's blog to enter right now! (And while you're there, be sure to check out the rest of her blog too. :)

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!!