2.24.2017

Leading the Way

Leadership. There's a lot that's encompassed in that one word! There's so much that we could evaluate about leadership that I wasn't sure where to start. In fact, I'm still not sure. I'm not an expert on it- not anywhere near it! I simply want to share a couple of things I've learned about leadership, especially within my American Heritage Girls troop.
(One reader had mentioned in a blog survey comment several months ago that she wanted to hear more about my experiences in AHG. Well, here you go-I hope you're reading this today! ;)


With five younger siblings, I'm used to being the oldest at home. In fact, I usually find that I'm the oldest one in whatever group I'm in. That goes for my American Heritage Girls troop as well.
My troop is pretty small, with only about fifteen girls in it (most troops are a lot bigger- I think the average size is around 35- 40 girls per troop). I'm the only one in my unit (Patriot), and there is no one in the unit just below. However, there are plenty of girls in the other three age levels. This means, though, that the next-youngest girl is still almost five years younger than me.

It's always been this way, ever since I started AHG three years ago. At times, there have been girls in the level right under me, but I've never had anyone else in my unit with me. It's been hard for me at times. I've seen the other units having fun together, working on badges and special projects with each other, and I wished that I could have that same experience. The AHG program is definitely not for the undedicated- especially when you get into the upper two age levels. The badges require much diligence and perseverance to earn, and I just knew that if I had even one girl to share it with, it would be so much more fun!

As much as I love being in AHG, one day, I just got frustrated. I wondered why I was the oldest, why there wasn't (and had never been) anyone in my unit with me, why I was always the oldest and the leader in so many different situations.

As I was thinking, it struck me that God had actually given me a huge gift- and a huge responsibility. Being the only older girl means that you are the one they look up to. Being the only older girl means that you are the one that they imitate. Being the only older girl means that you are responsible for making sure your actions are worth imitating.

That really made me see things in a different light- and it really humbled me as well! I still don't know why God has allowed me to be in a position of leadership in so many different situations. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be my own first choice of a leader, since I'm typically really quiet and don't talk much around people I don't know (and even with some people I do know! xD) But I can see know that God is using some of these situations in my life to help me get out of my comfort zone and help others. I never would have volunteered to lead a devotion for the Explorer unit on my own- but I did, and it helped me practice being less nervous doing things in front of a group like that. I never would have planned and put on a big project like the one I completed last month for a level award project on my own- but I did, and it really showed me how much work is involved in putting together something like that, and made me thankful for the wonderful people that helped me!

Even though I still wish that there were more older girls in my troop, I've come to realize what a blessing it really is to be the oldest. Yes, I have to experience it all first, on my own, but I hope that by the time some of the other girls get to Patriots, they'll be inspired to step out and do what God is calling them to do- no matter if they have eight fellow unit member or none. It's brought to life what Galatians 6;9 says in a whole new way: Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

We all know that we can never live up to Jesus's perfect example of leading. He was the ultimate leader by being the ultimate servant. Matthew 20;28 tells us "...even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Having a servant's heart is one of the best qualities of a leader- in my opinion- and it's my prayer to continue to develop a servant's heart more like Christ each day. When we have a humbled and serving attitude, we're truly leading the way for something bigger to happen.

This is as much of a reminder to me as it is a post that you're reading. It's a reminder to keep on doing good and to never give up. Being a leader is not an easy job. But it's a special job- and keep in mind that if God gives you a task, He'll also give you the means to accomplish it! I'm pretty sure that includes learning to be a leader like Him.


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Well, there was just some of my (slightly) scattered thoughts about leadership!  I'd love to know what you think. Do you like being a leader, or do you tend to follow? What do you think are essential qualities in a leader? What are some areas that you are leading the way in? Any tips?

2.17.2017

what we can't see

I'll be the first to admit it- life is hard sometimes.  

Oh, sure- it's not like that all the time. A lot of the time life feels great, and it's going well. You know the feeling. Everything's under control, and we feel like we've got this down.  

But what do we do when it's not? When we don't have it all down?



when it's confusing?

when it's painful?

 when it's just too much to handle on your own?


We can run to Jesus, who is the ultimate source of unfailing comfort and love. He is always there for us, and He will never let you down. And one thing He's shown me in times like that is something very important, something that we'll need to remember for the rest of our lives:



>> what we can't see is sometimes greater than what we can see <<



when we don't understand why it doesn't make sense, He still has a plan. 

when we don't understand why it hurts, He still has a plan.

when we don't understand why it feels like too much to handle, He still has a plan.



Isaiah 55:9 says
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."


His ways are better than ours. His ways are higher than ours. His ways are  always the best, no matter what we think. 


Through the tough situations in life, we can rest assured that it's okay, becuase He's preparing us for something bigger- something that we can't see yet. 

We may never fully understand why things happen to us the way they do, but we don't have to understand everything. We only have to trust. Trust God that the difficult things that happen to us right now- what we can't see- are preparing us for something better that will be unveiled to us one day. 

 I think we'll be surprised to realize that sometimes, the things that we can't see here on earth is what is preparing us for something bigger than this earth (and therefore, bigger than what we can comprehend right now). 

So don't worry. Just trust, Trust that no matter what happens, God has a plan, and what we can't see is preparing us for what we one day will be able to see clearly in the Light of eternity. ♥

2.10.2017

10 Nonfiction Books Every Christian Teen Girl Should Read

I love reading. It's a fact, and anyone who knows me well knows that one of my favorite things is new books to read! :) A close second, however, would be finding someone who has a list of good books to recommend. Since I can't share my own favorites book list with you in person, I thought the next-best thing would be to share it with you on here. Below, I've listed my top 10 favorite nonfiction books for teen girls. The links go to Goodreads, where you can find my review of the book on the page if there is one. Enjoy! =)



♥ This is probably my #1 favorite nonfiction book ever! EVERY teenage girl should read this book, and I promise- it will totally change the way you look at God, guys, and your relationships with both.





♥ This one is great for younger girls (I'd say ages 11 and up) to read. So many books on romance and purity are a bit too much for tween girls, in my opinion, but this one fits the bill perfectly, as well as being great for older girls as well. It's filled with biblical wisdom about relationships, dating, and waiting for the Lord's timing.






♥ This books has a ton of great quotes in it, and a lot of things to get you thinking about how to become a girl more like God- a God Girl!






♥ This book is amazing!! I hate to spoil it by giving away details, but just know that if you haven't read it, you need to. Get ready to be challenged and inspired!






♥ This book's title is based off of the original book Lies Women Believe, and is adapted for teenage girls. Full of truth, I can assure you that there's something in here for every girl to learn from!






♥ The first book I read by Elisabeth Elliot.... so good! Both girls and guys could benefit from reading this book, which is the story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot's relationship- with each other, and the Lord.





♥ Can you tell that Dannah Gresh is one of my favorite authors by now? xD This is a really small book, only about 5 chapters, but it's one you won't want to miss! It explains the truths behind modesty in an amazing way, and there's some really great fashion tips in there too. ;)






♥ This is the only book by Leslie Ludy I've read so far, but it was amazing. Definitely recommend for teenage girls seeking to know the real truth about beauty!






♥ A wonderful book about the meaning of biblical womanhood, written in the easy-to-read form of short  "letters" from the author to her daughter. A must-read in this age of radical feminism!







 
♥ This book contains the stories of 8 modern women who are serving God in countries where people are hostile to Christians. It is extremely impacting! You can get a copy for free by clicking here and filling out your mailing info. It's legit, I promise! That's how I received my copy. :)


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How many of these have you read? What's your 3 favorite nonfiction books for teen girls? Please share below!


2.06.2017

Monday Musings [2]- Again

 {my picture}


rain
patters down
it's drip
drip
dripping
never ending
down the windowpanes
millions of drops
blur together
until I can't tell
what's clear
what's there
what's real
or not
i reach out
to trace the pattern
of a raindrop
sliding down  the pane
before i touch it
it's gone
melted into
the millions of others
just like it
sliding down
never to be itself
again


failure
weighs down
it's press
press
pressing
never ending
down into my heart
until i can't tell
what's clear
what's there
what's real
or not
i reach out
see a ray of sunlight
try to grasp it
before i touch it
it's gone
melted into
the millions of others
just like it
that have come
and gone
again


hope
pours down
it's knock
knock
knocking
never ending
down into my heart
millions of lies
have disappeared
until i can tell
what's clear
what's there
what's real
or not
i reach out
see the hope
that's right in front of me
when i touch it
it's mine
i'm not like
the millions of others
just like me
that have disscarded
their hope
again

i have hope
again
and forever

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 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. // Romans 15:13
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. // Psalm 42:11

2.01.2017

One Year Blogiversary!


As you may have guessed from the title, it's a special day here on the blog- it's A Purpose and A Promise's one year blogiversary! (And by the way, I'm still not sure the correct way to say/spell it. Blogiversary? Blogoversary? I suppose it doesn't really matter, so I'm sticking to blogiversary. ;D)

First off, I want to say a big thank you to all of my readers. Without your encouragement, comments, and follows, I doubt that I would still be posting on this blog right now. A year ago, I never imagined that 52 +  people would actually take the time to read and give feedback on what I wrote. I'm grateful to each and every one of you for making my blogging experience such a good one.

 ♥♥  THANK YOU!!!  ♥♥



Now, let's get on to a few stats from this past year:



the top three most-viewed posts-








~ other stats ~

 comments- 1141 

page views- 10, 252  (not including my own)

followers- 52  

posts- 70

 most-commented post -Summer Photography, with 39 comments

first commenters- Hannah, Hosanna, and Emma




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My super-sweet friend (in both the blogoshpere and real life), Hannah, has been my fellow "adventurer" as we both started out on the adventure of blogging around the same time last year. In fact, our blogiversaries are only one day apart! (Hers is tomorrow, so make sure you stop by and leave a comment or two to celebrate with her!) We decided we should do something together to celebrate, and decided on a short little "interview", of sorts. We each thought of 5 questions to ask the other, related to blogging. I've answered Hannah's question to me below.



1. What was the hardest thing about starting a blog?
For me, I think the hardest thing was figuring it all out. That may sound obvious, but when I first started blogging, I truly didn't know anything about it, as my first post proves quite well! Once I learned a little more about the basics, it became a lot easier. 



2. What is one fun memory from blogging?
Hmmm.... I remember once when I got 3 new GFC followers in one day. That put me in shock mode for the rest of the day, and it's funny to look back on that and remember it! :)
I also remember when we (Hannah and I) were both doing our first blog "makeovers" at about the same time. We asked each other a million and one questions about random things (how do you make the blog header the right size? How do you adjust the date stamp on the comments? How do you make a favicon? What's wrong with PicMonkey again?!) We sent photos and many many messages back and forth via Hangouts during that time, and it's one of my favorite blogging memories. =)


3. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
My favorite thing about blogging has been how, through just some simple words on a page, you can really reach out and effect people's lives for good. I'm not saying that I've done that- I'm simply amazed at the potential it holds! God has shown me that what I write really can and does have an impact on others, and that's why everything should be pointing to Him!



4. What is your favorite post?
 I have several favorites, but I think #1 would be this one



5. How has your blog and yourself changed in this past year?
 Relating strictly to blogging, I can say that I've gained a whole lot of new knowledge about the blogosphere in the past year. A I mentioned above, I didn't know hardly anything when I first started, and I honesty never thought I'd be celebrating my one-year blogiversary with so many readers! My blog's design has changed majorly three times in the past year, and with each change, I think there's been a sort of re-inspiration that comes with it, if you know what I mean. Personally, I've gained a lot of experience by sharing my writing and thoughts with others in a lot of different ways. God has shown me a lot of different things through this blogging journey this past year.


Thank you Hannah, for the great questions! 


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Well, that about wraps it up. I know this wasn't a big fancy post, but I just wanted it to be a simple recognition of an amazing goal reached. Thank you,readers. You all are amazing! <33 

I'd love to hear from you in the comments. If you've been following my blog for very long, what do you think's been the biggest change that you've seen? And when is your blogiversary? Let us know so we can celebrate with you when it's your turn! :)



//Emily 
 
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