An Open Letter to High School

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Dear High School,

I can’t believe the time has gone by so fast. Four years ago I started high school and now I’ll be graduating.

I’ve learned so much in these four years, about myself, about my family, about relationships and friendships, about God, about the world. I’ve grown in ways I never would have expected. I made new friends, gained confidence, tried new things. I lost some friends too, experienced grief, and had to say goodbye to some amazing people.

I know that even though I’ll be leaving an amazing school, the relationships that I’ve built will always be there for me. It was in high school that I found my best friends, people who have pushed me closer to Christ. It was in high school that I stretched myself and became friends with people from many different groups. I know that all of these people are going on to study at great colleges and universities and will always be just a phone call, text message, or Insta picture away.

I am so grateful for the teachers as well, as they have taught me, not only about history and government, French and religion, science and Spanish, but also about life and the importance of following Christ along the way. These teachers have been praying for me and I am certain that they will continue to pray for me and the rest of the 2018 graduating class.

I think the parts that I’m going to miss the most about high school are the memories that we made together. From the camping trips at the beginning of the year, to the spirit weeks with crazy inflatable dinosaur and Baymax costumes, to the time we skipped class to play in the snow, the grades bonded together and laughed together. I loved the senior pranks, the photography class field trips, the picnics, and the prayer chapels. I loved the school trip to Peru, the movie days in French class, and the time my friend ran to Aldi to buy icecream during lunch. I loved the surprise parties, the dance nights, and the musical bells between classes. These are the things that I will miss.

And even though I am sad to leave all of these amazingly beautiful people and memories, I can look forward to the days when we will all reunite again and reminisce about the best four years we all had together.

Thank you High School, for giving me these times. Thank you for the lessons. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the friends. But, most of all, thank you for the opportunity to grow.

signi

101 in 1001: Beginning

Hey, everyone! So today I’m going to start a new project for myself called the 101 in 1001. It’s basically a list of 101 things that I want to do in 1001 days (2.75 years). I wanted it to end on my 21st birthday as a little “birthday present” for myself, so I’m going to start today!

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Start date: Friday May 11, 2018
End date: Friday February 05, 2021

A healthy lifestyle

  1. Eat gluten free for 2 weeks
  2. Work out twice a week for three months in a row
  3. Eat meatless for 3 months
  4. Take dance lessons
  5. Become plastic free
  6. Go to bed by 10 every night for 2 weeks
  7. Get up at 5 every morning for 2 weeks
  8. Go through my clothes and donate what I don’t wear
  9. Learn 5 new recipes
  10. Go through all of my photos and purge the duplicates
  11. Spend at least 15 minutes outside every day for a month
  12. Bike somewhere (anywhere)
  13. Go skating again
  14. Delete unwanted emails
  15. Make an emergency kit for the car
  16. Run in a race
  17. Complete a 30 Day Squat Challenge
  18. Go a day without my phone
  19. Go a week without my phone
  20. Go a month without social media
  21. Complete 10 random acts of kindness
  22. Try to go “car-less” for a week
  23. Volunteer at an event
  24. Be able to do a split
  25. Work out in the morning for 2 weeks

For family and friends

  1. Quilt a blanket for my aunt
  2. Take a trip with my mom
  3. Send 50 handwritten letters
  4. Send a “just for fun” package to my friends
  5. Throw someone a surprise party
  6. Sing around a fire pit with some friends
  7. Go to 5 sports games
  8. Finish the 2017 scrapbook
  9. Have an early morning Bible study outside
  10. Visit a high school friend at college
  11. Give someone a handmade gift
  12. Send birthday cards
  13. Take my sisters on “sister-dates”
  14. Volunteer with my family a Saturday morning
  15. Start a future hope chest
  16. Reconnect with an old friend
  17. Start a birthday tradition

Exploring the world

  1. Go to a drive-in/outdoor movie
  2. Go camping
  3. Take a roadtrip
  4. Visit a city I’ve never been to before
  5. Go to a flea market
  6. See a shooting star
  7. Watch the sun set, stay up all night, and then see the sun rise
  8. Play an instrument on the beach
  9. Have a picnic
  10. Explore downtown Charlotte
  11. Study abroad
  12. Speak French with a native
  13. Go horseback riding
  14. Go on a spontaneous trip
  15. Learn sign language (enough to have a small conversation)
  16. Become fluent in French
  17. Find a church by the university
  18. Go sailing
  19. Go to a lavender farm
  20. Learn to identify 5 constellations

A little bit of me

  1. Read the entire Bible again
  2. Memorize 25 Bible verses
  3. Read every Jane Austen novel
  4. Finish watching all of the Doctor Who seasons
  5. Watch 20 documentaries
  6. Complete a 30 day photo challenge
  7. Have a photoshoot
  8. Vote in every election
  9. Sew a quilt for myself
  10. Put $5 into savings for every goal accomplished
  11. Fill a sketchbook with doodles
  12. Visit my high school teachers after I graduate
  13. Paint on a canvas
  14. Memorize a chocolate chip cookie recipe
  15. Learn a poem by heart
  16. Attend the midnight premiere of a movie
  17. Read a book in a day
  18. Celebrate Easter really big
  19. Read 5 classic novels
  20. Update my makeup
  21. Have a spa day
  22. Spend an entire day watching Disney movies
  23. Build a blanket fort a read under it all day
  24. Sell something on Etsy
  25. Buy something from Etsy
  26. Make a new vision board
  27. Make a reading corner

Scribbles and words

  1. Write 5 more poems
  2. Journal every day for a month
  3. Compose and write down 2 new songs
  4. Write 3 “How-to” blog posts
  5. Write 10 more devotional blog posts
  6. Write a letter for myself to open when 1001 days are over
  7. Guest post for another blogger
  8. Map a book I love
  9. Reach 500 followers on my blog
  10. Write a wishlist of places I want to visit before I die
  11. Go to a book signing
  12. Write a new list when the 1001 days are over

I am so excited about my goals for this list! I will be sure to share an update every couple of months but you can check my progress on the “101 in 1001” page located at the top of my website.

Have you ever done a 101 in 1001 challenge? If so, how did it go? If not, would you want to do one? I can’ wait to hear from you! Have a great day. :)

signi

5 More Weeks – An Life Update

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In 5 short weeks, I will be walking across the stage to receive my high school diploma. This blows my mind. It seems that just yesterday I was walking into high school for the first time, overwhelmed with all of the unfamiliar faces. Now those faces aren’t so new, and my friend groups aren’t so small.

As the days bring me closer and closer to the end of my high school career, I’ve become more thankful for the people God has placed in my life. Thankful for my parents for sticking with me through the good and the bad, thankful for my sisters for making me smile when I need some cheering up, thankful for my friends for encouraging me to remember the Truth, thankful for my best friend for always leading me closer to God.

The past few weeks have been super stressful and emotionally draining as I am suddenly realizing that I’m graduating and how much that means to me. I now have to face the fact that I won’t be able to see my friends, classmates, or family members every day. And, honestly, that makes me very sad. But, I have to remember the great memories that we had together and look forward to the memories that we will make in the future.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4 says:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.

Graduation is a time for rejoicing in many ways. There are so many adventures waiting for me and I don’t want the excitement to be weighed down by mourning too early. I know that it’s sad to leave people that I’ve loved for so long, but I will see them again. And that is definitely something to look forward to.

signi

An Essay on Stars and God’s Love (Guest Post)

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Breaking news: I love space. Also, God loves us enough to make stars for us, so that’s awesome.

I do not know why I love the stars so much.

My first memory of the night sky is standing on the driveway, the rough cement beneath our feet and the night like a blanket and my father pointing up to the heavens, tracing the stars into the constellation.

“Cygnus,” he would say with absolute confidence and a little bit of awe. “Orion.”

Why, I always asked. They don’t look like anything but pricks of light. Who was the first person to gaze up and see people?

My parents explained once upon a time, there were no lights. Every night, the sky seemed like it was on fire with the stars. There were more of them to see and trace.

Maybe that was what lit the passion inside me.

I have looked through a telescope two times in my life. Once, the neighbors down the street— a single mother and her teenage son— invited us to glimpse the heavens through theirs. I do not remember what we looked at. Perhaps it is only a dream. I only remember the coldness of the night and the darkness of the sky.

The second time, we went out with our friends the MacMillians to the golf course by their house. It was a bad place to look at stars; there was so much light pollution. But we had just finished a unit in school on astronomy and space and they had a telescope they had acquired from somewhere. We looked at the Moon, I believe, and tried to find Jupiter or Mars.

I remember lying on the golf course and staring up into the blackness with coats bundled close. We couldn’t actually see anything, but we imagined we could.

When I was older, we went to a planetarium. The animated heavens wheeled over us. They drew lines between the stars in the constellations. I did not like the fake stars. I wanted the real stars.

When I was nine and at summer camp for the second time, I was sick in the middle of the night. Most of what I remember is the walk with my counselor down to the infirmary, her hand clutched in mine. I looked up through the trees and it took my breath away.

Stars!

But what stars!

So many more than the skies at home. I could only see pieces of them through the treetops, but I longed for more.

Maybe it was just the mystery. Maybe the reason I love the sky so much is the fact that I have never seen it. I have only seen pieces of the heavens. I keep coming back for more, straining my eyes into the navy, looking for the milky way.

In New York City in 1965 the power went out for a night and all the people went up to the top of the buildings and looked up at the stars— spread out over the cities like they are every single night but visible for the first time in a century.

What a sight.

It seems to me that every time I have been out in the night I have only sought after the stars. I do not know why.

They are beautiful but they are distant. They might not even exist anymore. Their light takes eons to reach us; the actual star could be gone by now but the light is still traveling across space, thundering along at 300,000,000 meters per second but space is so massive it hardly makes a dent.

When I was younger, I wanted to be an astronaut. I have no idea why.

Space is beautiful but it is beautiful in the same way wildfires are beautiful. It is bone-chillingly terrifying as well; as unforgiving as the ocean.

Perhaps that is why astronauts and cosmonauts share their root in ‘sailor’.

Perhaps the younger version of me wanted to sail— to sail to all the fantastical planets no one has ever set foot on; to glide up to the distant stars and wave hello.

But space takes from you.

Space is unforgiving emptiness— silence and loneliness and coldness.

It is beautiful and breathtaking to look at space— those pictures from the Hubble telescope where every prick of light in the image is not a star but a galaxy, with a hundred million stars its own— they bring tears to my eyes.

But space is also wrong in some fundamental way, like watching an orchestra play without sound; the Wizard Of Oz with Kansas in color.

It is beautiful but it is terrifying once you get out in it, just like the ocean.

Maybe I am in love with space because of the book I had as a child. It was all about space exploration. I fell in love with the space race— with the scientists and their rockets. I could almost feel their emotions— disgust as their ideas were ignored, triumph as their vision was realized.

And under the stars, it seems as if the world is clearer.

The sky is high, higher than the ceilings in the great cathedrals of old. The grass is soft under your bare feet. Above, the stars glimmer down— millions and millions and millions of them.

Why are there stars?

Why did God decide to make stars? We wouldn’t know the difference.

We would never know the difference and yet I like the think that God thought it would bring us joy to look up upon the beauty of the sky ablaze as night.

I like to the think that God thought of me and my friends at our school retreat, lying on the cold grass staring into the heavens in unspeakable joy and thought, “I’ll make stars for them!”

I like to think that he saw me and my friends from camp sitting around a dying fire and canning our necks up to the heavens, filled with awe and thought, “I’ll make stars for them!”

I like to think that in all his planning for the world, he knew that the stars would fill us with wonder and amazement and a tremendous desire to see and to know, and so he, with hands so old the stars themselves seem like the lights of fireflies, spun them into the great blackness.

He hung each one in the heavens and thought about how it would bring us joy.

And so I am in love with the sky at night, with the stars, with the heavens.

I have never seen it in all its glory, but I know I will someday.

I know I will be driving through the empty lands of Montana some clear, clear night and I will pull the car over the side of the highway and get out and look up at the sky.

And I will not have words.

The sky will be on fire.

I will see the Milky Way, spread out like diamonds, each star so far away and yet looking down on me with unwavering light, older than the rocks I stand on.

And from above, God will smile. “I made them for you,” he whispers. “So you could have this joy.”

—The End—


Hello, everyone! I would like to give many thanks to Hollis Thundercroft from Rag Tag Essays for writing this guest post!

Hollis is a high school senior who writes essays in her free time. She enjoys running, quilting, and sleeping, as well as playing with her two new cats. Her favorite smell is after the rain, her favorite planet is Neptune, and her favorite rocket is the Saturn V, which, she says, you probably shouldn’t bring up in conversation because she will never stop talking about it.

I absolutely LOVE Hollis’s blog and all of her writing. I find her essays to be very powerful, true, and passionate. Please go check out her blog here and leave a comment!

signi

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Dear You: A Letter

dearyou

Dear You,

Every day you wake up.
Whether it’s a good day or a bad one,
You live.

Life may not always be wonderful.
It can be full of sadness
And failures
And mistakes.

But those are the things
That help you to grow.
Those are the things
Which make the good so much better.

Because when the storms pass,
The sun always comes.
And when the rain stops,
Rainbows fill the sky.

The bad things in life
Are just pathways to the good.

So while things may not be amazing
In this specific moment,
Look ahead to the future,
To the happiness that is sure to come.

It’ll be worth it.

signi


Thanks for reading friends! Be sure to check out the giveaway! There are still 8 more days to enter. Click here to read more.

25 Things I Love About Spring

Hey, guys! So yesterday was the first day of Spring! YAY!  If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE Spring. The flowers, the weather, the patterns; everything is so beautiful this time of year! There are so many things to like about spring, I decided to make a list. So here are 25 things I love about spring.

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  1. Easter service at church!
  2. Seeing everyone outside.
  3. Sitting outside on the patio with a good book.
  4. Baby animals!
  5. Being about to put away the big winter coats.
  6. Opening the windows to the fresh breeze.
  7. Pulling out the shorts after a long stretch of winter.
  8. Easter break with family and friends! How perfect is that? :)
  9. Pastel colored everything!
  10. Picnics by the lake complete with books, iced tea, and kites.
  11. Bike rides down to the park.
  12. The soft, fresh feeling in the air.
  13. All of the beautiful blooming flowers! I mean just look at these;
  14. Waking up to the birds. Such a beautiful sound. <3
  15. Fresh vegetables and fruits!
  16. Looking for four-leaf clovers in the backyard.
  17. Travel opportunities.
  18. Spring smells.
  19. Rainy mornings.
  20. The fresh green of the new leaves.
  21. Beautiful weather.
  22. Watching the clouds roll across the clear blue sky.
  23. Summer on the horizon.
  24. Tulips, tulips, and more tulips. :)
  25. The sense of rebirth and beginnings that fill the air during springtime.

What do you love about spring? Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have a great day!

signi

Writer’s Ink Challenge

Hey, everyone! Tessa from Writer’s Ink created a new challenge! Be sure to check out Tessa’s blog here. (She’s awesome; you’ll love it!)

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The Rules

  1. Thank your nominator
  2. Answer at least 8 questions about writing
  3. Nominate at least 5 people

Question and Answer

  1. When did you first start writing? – I started writing around August of 2013 or 2014. I had just finished the Gallagher Girls series and it inspired me to write! 
  2. Have you always been interested in writing? I always liked writing but I didn’t actually consider myself a writer until I started buckling down and getting writing done. 
  3. Why do you like writing? – I love writing because it’s a great way to express your feelings and thoughts without stuttering through the words. 
  4. What genre do you write in? – Realistic Fiction and Poetry
  5. Who or what motivates you to write? – I have a friend, H, who is an AMAZING writer! She inspires me to write; her own writing is enough motivation. :)
  6. Do you write poetry? – Absolutely! I love poetry; it’s my favorite way of writing.
  7. Have you ever written a story with a friend? – No, but that would be really fun!
  8. How do you write your stories (first person, third person)? First person always.

The Nominees

  1. Meg from MegCathWrites
  2. Vivian from Writing With Style
  3. Alexis from Coast To Coast With Alexis
  4. Anna from Diversion3000
  5. Hanne from RocksAnd Minerals 4 Him

A big thank you to Tessa for creating this challenge! It was a lot of fun! To those who were nominated, be sure to link your version of this challenge down below so I can check it out! :) Have a great day!

signi

P.S. I was thinking about adding a poetry/writing section to my blog. What do you think? Let me know in the comments down below!

Hello 2017! + New Year Goals

Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2017?! It’s gone by way too fast. But then again, I say that every year. You’d think I’d be used to time changing by now.

Okay, so I’m going to start off by saying I don’t like using the word “resolutions”. I feel like they should be more of goals because it doesn’t matter to me whether I meet them or not, as long as there are progress and growth.

With that “mini-rant” out of the way, here are my 2017 New Year Goals. My theme for 2017 is growth so this year I’m making goals that will hopefully help me better myself.

2017goals Continue reading

21 Day Self Portrait Project Days 16-21

Good morning! I hope you’re having a wonderful day so far. Here are the last 6 days from the 21-day self-portrait project. I liked these couple of pictures because they had really great stories behind them. Enjoy! :)

Day 16

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My Oma has taught me the importance of prayer. My grandmother is a prayer warrior. When life is crazy, she prays. When life is great, she prays. And when life is hard, she prays.

My Oma loves listening to my stories about my life and when I share a story about stress or disappointment, she reminds me to pray. It’s really encouraging to be reminded about the importance of turning to God in every situation.

Day 17

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Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to learn to play as many instruments as I could. When I first moved into my new home, my dad taught me how to play a song on the piano. I then was able to teach myself to play other songs. My parents realized piano lessons would be a really good opportunity for me so I started taking lessons at a nearby University.

My piano teacher was really nice and patient with me as I learned and practiced difficult pieces. I remember once I was having a really hard day. When I showed up for piano lessons, I was on the verge of tears. When my teacher asked me how I was, I burst into tears and for the entire lesson, she played piano for me to make me feel better.

My piano teacher taught me to express my feelings through music. I also learned to pick up different sounds in music, voices, and notes. She also taught me the importance of using music instead of anger. Without her, I wouldn’t be as far along as I am in music.

Day 18

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I took online classes for three years but it was lonely and difficult trying to study at home where my bed is like two feet away and way more comfortable than my desk where I studied. I played around with the thought of going back to school for a while, mainly because I wanted to have experience being around people before I went to college.

I was at a sleepover with my friend when she asked me, “What if we were in the same classes together?!” I laughed half-heartedly and said, “That would be cool.” I didn’t actually think I would go back to school part time nor did I have any intention of doing so. But I went along with it.

The next day, I told my mom about it and she said, “Well, do you want to check the school out?” and I was like, “I guess.” The next thing I know, my mom is calling the school (keep in mind that this is in late July) and I am sent to take an entry exam. By then I realized, “This is actually happening” and I started to get excited about being back at school full time.

Three weeks before the first day of school, I was accepted. Even now, I’m not really sure how this happened but I’m glad it did. I go to an amazing school and the people are all so nice and friendly. All of my classmates have gone out of their way to get to know me. I love the school so much!

Day 19

day17

Social media has a huge impact on the teens and children of this age. The social standards can totally destroy a person’s self-esteem. I know, because it did that to me.

For the longest time, I didn’t feel pretty enough, I didn’t feel any self-worth, compared to the girls online. I thought that in order to be “popular”, in order to feel loved, I needed to do whatever society said I needed to.

But my mom helped me to see the truth; I am beautiful the way I am. My mom taught me to look to the Bible for hope and encouraging. She encouraged me to memorize Bible verses so that I could remember them whenever I feel bad. And I’m so glad she did.

Through the Bible, I was able to remember my self-worth, to know that I am beautiful because God made me.

Life is hard. People are mean. And words hurt. But God still loves me. He still cares about me. He still wants me.

Day 20

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One thing I love about Christmas is how beautiful the world gets. As a child, my Christmases weren’t beautiful or full of gifts. Christmas just another day to me. But now that I am a Christian, I see the beauty in Christmas day and now that I have a family, I have the opportunity to celebrate this wonderful celebration of Christ’s birth.

Day 21

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“Look for the good in everyday life and share that spark with other people. You never know when someone else will need a little bit of happiness.”

– Abi –


There you go! I had so much fun with this project. If any of you are thinking about participating in the 21-day self-portrait project, you totally should! It’s worth your time. :) Have a great day!

signi

12 Things I Love About Christmas

Hey, everyone! How are you? Are you having a good weekend so far? I’ve finally finished all of my exams! Yay! And now, it’s time to relax. :) I am so excited about Christmas coming up. Here are twelve things I love about Christmas.

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1. The beautiful lights

I love walking down the street looking at all of the beautiful lights that our neighborhood puts up every year. It’s so beautiful.

2. Christmas Eve Service at Church

This is my absolute favorite thing about Christmas. Looking around my church during the Candlelight service, everything is so pretty!

3. Reading the Christmas Story

Jesus’ birth is the whole reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place. Without Him, there wouldn’t be a Christmas so, reading what the Bible says about His birth is one of the most important traditions of Christmas.

4. Putting up decorations

I love helping my family decorate the Christmas tree and the fireplace for Christmas. It doesn’t feel like Christmas until all of the decorations are up.

5. Christmas music

What is Christmas without Christmas music?

6. Remembering all of God’s blessings

I love this time of year because we are getting ready for the New Year but also celebrating Jesus who came as a Baby for us. During Christmastime, I like to remember what God has taught me, how He has changed my life and how He had everything in His hands even when I didn’t realize it.

7. Christmas parties with my friends

This year, I was blessed to have made so many friends. We all got together this week to have a Christmas party and it was SO much fun!

8. Yummy food

My mom makes an AMAZING chocolate pie every year for Christmas; it’s so good! She also makes a great Christmas dinner with thread meat and potatoes and salad. My sister loves to bake so around Christmastime, she bakes up a storm and keeps me full with plenty of treats. :)

9. Having family over

I’m pretty sure this is a given but family is amazing. :)

10. Writing Christmas cards

Every year, I help my parents but designing our Christmas cards and writing the addresses on the envelopes.

11. Having a break from school ;)

I love going to school but I also love having a break from school to just relax and breathe without having a pile of assignments staring at me every day. Hehe

12. Giving gifts

I love shopping for / making presents for my family and friends. I love seeing their reaction when they open up their gifts. It’s a lot of fun. :)

Well, there you go! What are some things that you love about Christmastime? I hope you all have a great day and a fantastic Christmas Break. :)

signi

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