6.28.2016

Book Review | Do Hard Things

Author: Alex and Brett Harris
Series: Do Hard Things book 1
Genre: Non-fiction
Published: 2008
Publisher: Multnomah
Pages: 306
Age Group: 12 +



                                           
A generation stands on the brink of a “rebelution.”
Written when they were 18 years old, Do Hard Things is the Harris twins’ revolutionary message in its most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential.  Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life and map a clear trajectory for long-term fulfillment and eternal impact.Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things is packed with humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples, and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action. This rallying cry from the heart of revolution already in progress challenges the next generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.                     


First off, let me just tell you that Do Hard Things is a life-changing book! I wish every teen and even older people could get their hands on this book at some point. You can't come away from it without wanting to do something with what you just learned. It's so nice to find a book for teens that is actually relevant for teens because it's written by teens! Each chapter is packed with important messages for young people living in today's culture. The inspiring yet simple message to rebel against today's low expectations for teenagers will certainly stir you to do something for God, because even "small hard things" are important! I thought it was pretty sad what the world expects from today's teenagers. People expect them to get and trouble and rebel and only do one chore a week. Seriously! Then the book points out that 150 years ago, 11 and 13 and 15-year-olds were responsible for so much more than many adults do today! The point isn't to make you feel guilty, it's to inspire you that you can rise above the world's ideals and meet God's ideals for your life, whatever they might be. This book definitely challenged and inspired me for the better. I would recommend it for teens and older people alike! 10 out of 10 hearts- ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

** I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review** 

6.24.2016

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my Light, my Strength, my Song


This Cornerstone, this solid Ground, firm through through the fiercest drought and storm


What heights  of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease 


My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand.


In Christ alone who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe


This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones He came to save


"Til on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied 

For every sin on Him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.





In Christ Alone is my favorite hymn. The words are just so powerful and meaningful! These are just the first two stanzas, but if you haven't heard of this song before, I'd encourage you to look it up right now and listen. :) And I haven't posted much of my photography lately, so I hope you enjoyed these flower photos. 
What is your favorite hymn? Tell me in the comments!
I'll see you on Tuesday with a book review!
//Emily

6.17.2016

Contentment

Hello! I hope you're having a wonderful Friday, and getting ready to have a great weekend. And no, I haven't forgotten about my writing news. Hopefully it will be in the next post!  :)

This Friday's post it about contentment. Now, before I say anything else, I must say that I am definitely not posting this because I have mastered the art of being content! No, I'm still far from learning how to be content in everything. In fact, most of my blog posts on these types of subjects are reminders to myself, not because I have gotten it down and want to share it, although I wish!
 I would prefer to say that we're all learning on this journey together to be more like Christ.

Okay, now we can move on to the actual post. :D Let's dive in!




What is the definition of contentment?
The dictionary defines contentment as: the state of being happy and satisfied : the state of being content. And the definition of content is: pleased and satisfied : not needing more.



What is contentment, really? And what is the opposite of contentment? 
From the definition, we see that contentment is being satisfied and not wanting more than what we have. So the opposite of contentment would be covetousness, or greed.  And let's face it: everyone struggles with being content! Even the best person that you know has coveted at one time or another.



God's view of contentment vs. covetousness:
The Bible has a lot to say about contentment and greed/coveting. One of the Ten Commandments is "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house... or anything else that is thy neighbor's". (Exodus 20:17)  Often, I think that we don't take this commandment to heart seriously enough, me included!
1 Timothy 6:6 says "Godliness with contentment is great gain". If we can learn how to be contented now, we will have a much easier time as we get older and experience even more! And this verse tells us that we will gain much from leaning how to be content, whether it's through physical blessings or spiritual blessings.



How can we learn to be content?
There are some practical ways that we can practice being content even now! One of the biggest things that we as young ladies can work on is comparing oursleves to others. Probably everyone does at one time or another, but I think it's most common in girls. We look at ourselves and then look at someone else who we think has better hair or skin or whatever, and suddenly, we're not content with how God made us! I have had to remind myself, time and again, that this is a big way that Satan distracts us from God.
Another thing that I have just recently begun to think about is being content in social media. Hosanna's wonderful post really inspired me to think about this more. You can read it here. Anyone who has any form of social media, but especially bloggers, are always thinking about how to get more page views, likes, followers, etc. It's not wrong in and of itself to desire that, but when it becomes our main goal to get more, we've lost our goal. As Christian bloggers, we should focus on representing Christ in our posts to our readers, and not about how many followers we can gain by posting this or that! This is something that God has really challenged me in lately.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'd really encourage you to, this week, pick an area that you want to focus on becoming more content in, and ask God to help you do that. Whether it's your looks, your family, social media, or even how your bedroom looks, dedicate it to God, and with His help, see what happens! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What are your thoughts about learning contentment? Comment below!

I also would like to share about a giveaway on Katie's blog, Sparkly Ambitions, that she is hosting for her blogiversary. Make sure to check that out too!
Thank you for reading!

//Emily

6.10.2016

A Few of My Favorite Things Tag


Hello, wonderful readers!
Yes, I have another tag for you today. ;) I was tagged by the lovely Hannah for the A Few of My Favorite Things tag. Thanks, Hannah! (And if you haven't checked out Hannah's blog before, please do! She writes such wonderful posts, and is a good friend of mine. She also has a great giveaway going on right now, so be sure to check that out too! :D)
I'm sorry for the strange text format today-- sometimes Blogger doesn't cooperate very well. :/   So anyway, here they are (in no particular order except for the first one :)



-The Rules-
-Write down ten of your favorite things
-Tag at least three others!




-My Favorite Things-

1. Jesus!
This should be and is, by far, my absolute favorite thing ever. I am not anywhere near perfect, and sometimes I find myself making things other than Jesus my favorite thing. But He is always ready to forgive and help us!



2. Books
Yes, you knew this was coming. ;) Books are just wonderful!  They are a much better "other world" than TV or video games, and good books can influence you so much! My top favorite authors are Janette Oke, Martha Finley. and L.M. Montgomery, among others. 





3. American Heritage Girls
I know I've mentioned American Heritage Girls (AHG) before, and it really is one of my favorite things! This fall, I'll be starting my third year, and as the oldest girl in my Troop, I am glad for the opportunity to be able to lead the younger girls, as well as learn so much myself! AHG is so much more than just"scouting", it really helps prepare  young ladies for life! (I was thinking of doing a whole post sometime about AHG. If you're interested in this, please make sure to let me know in the comments!)

 
                                                                        My AHG uniform sash
                                                                                                                                                                                             




4. Writing
Something about writing, whether you're good at it or not,is just magical. (At least it is for me!) I have always enjoyed writing since I was little, and now I'm excited about learning how to get better at it. :D 







5. Family and Friends 
Our family and friends are a wonderful gift from God, even though we don't appreciate them often enough. Even though they can be annoying sometimes, let's try to remember what a blessing they really are to us.(Yes, even your brothers! :P)




6. Music
I love music, both listening to it and playing it. I  play both piano and violin, but my favorite is  the violin. As for listening to music, I love the old classical hymns as well as some newer versions. A few of my favorite bands/singers are Casting Crowns, Matthew West, and Francesca Battestelli. 






7. Vintage
I'm not super into vintage things like some people are, but I do like old, pretty vintage items (even though I don't actually have any myself, lol!)




8. Photography 
Although I'm nowhere near being a professional photographer, I do enjoy it, and am always looking for helpful tips on how to improve (such as Hannah's wonderful post here). It's so important to capture those memories while you still can!


                                                                                                                         A random photograph of mine



9. Chocolate + peanut butter 
Enough said. xD





10. Calm & Quiet 
This probably sounds really silly to most of you, but those of you with big families can probably understand. ;) It's rare when I have a moment of uninterrupted peace and quiet, so I would definitely call that one of my favorite (but scarce) things!  Psalms 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God..."










-I Tag-

Bernie @ A Bounce in Your Step
Hosanna Emily @ Having a Heart Like His
Mic @ Mic's Room


Hope you have fun! :)


//Emily


6.06.2016

Presenting Poetry, June Edition




Hello!
 I know this post is 2 days  late, and I apologize.  I have been sick for the last week, so I haven't been able to focus on much lately except getting better, and learning (again) that life usually doesn't go how you want it to. I know you understand. God has much better plans in mind for us! ;)
Anyway, on to  the post, which is Presenting Poetry, since it's the first post of the month again. I can't believe we're a week into June already!  This month's poem is titled "A Humble Heart".





A Humble Heart

I would not ask Thee that my days
Should flow smoothly on and on,
Lest I learn to love the world
Too well, ere all my time is done.

I would not ask Thee that my work
Should never bring me pain or fear,
Lest I should learn to work alone
And never wish Thy presence near.

I would not ask Thee that my friends,
Should always kind and constant be
Lest I learn to lay my faith 
In them alone and not in Thee.

But I would ask a humble heart
A changeless will  to work and wake,
A firm faith in Thy providence
The rest- 'tis Thine to give or take. 

~Alfred Norris 






I'm not exactly sure what drew me to this poem (maybe since I just did a post on humility), but I really like it. We often forget and make other things (good days, good work, good friends) more important than God in our lives. When we ask Him for  humble hearts to do His will, those things will often come with it! It takes time, but learning to do God's will above your own in important. Yes, my mind is still  rather scattered today, so these are my very short thoughts on this poem
Maybe my thoughts aren't  exactly what you got from this poem, but however you read it, I think it's definitely one to remember and think about.
 Comment below-- What are your thoughts about this poem?

I also have another link to share for another giveaway for a Kindle and ebooks. Click here!



Thanks for reading!
//Emily