God’s Perfect and Powerful Love

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Love. That is one thing that no one can live without. And yet, it is the thing that we, as a society, have broken. Love has seemed to have lost its meaning. After all, there is no way that we can love another person perfectly.

There is hope, though, because we are loved by a perfect and wonderful Father. As Christians, we celebrate Jesus rising from the dead. This powerful miracle is the ultimate example of God’s love for us. Jesus defeated death so that we could spend eternity with Him. John 13:1 says this:

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

As sinful and fallen people, it is impossible to love the way that God loves us. Despite the pain of our immense sin that was placed on Him, Jesus fought and destroyed death so we could have a relationship with Him. And through all of the pain, all of the sufferings, He still loved us. Isn’t that perfect love?

My challenge for you this week is to remember how powerful and perfect God’s love for us is. Remember that, even when we don’t feel loved, God loves us with an unending, all-powerful love.

signi

Trusting God in His Plans

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I’m not ready.

As I enter into the final months of my Senior year, that is all I can think about… I’m not ready. Some of the people around me are getting so excited to leave high school and head off to college. But I just don’t feel ready.

Should I feel ready?

I was reading Isaiah a couple of nights ago when I came across the passage in Isaiah 6 where Isaiah was called to speak for the Lord.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

~ Isaiah 6:6-8

Isaiah didn’t stop to think whether or not he was qualified for the position that God was asking him to fill. He didn’t wonder if he was ready or had the time. He didn’t consider what he would be missing when he went on to continue God’s work. No. Instead, Isaiah heard God’s calling and immediately said, “Yes, I’m here, open and willing to do whatever You ask of me, Lord.”

During the Great Commission, Jesus commanded everyone to go. He didn’t say, “wait until you’re ready.” The command was to simply go, out of our comfort zones and into the world. But with that command, He promised that He would be with us. (Matthew 28:20)

So even though I don’t feel ready to head off to college, there is comfort in Jesus’ promise to be with me. Like Isaiah, I need to be willing and open to go wherever God calls me without hesitation. And that’s hard. But I’m not expected to do it alone.

My challenge for you (as well for myself) is to trust God in His plans for you. Whether He’s preparing you for a new chapter of life or simply giving you another week, trust His plans and say, “Here I am, Lord. Send me.” Remember that His plans are perfect (Psalm 40:5) and trust Him completely.

signi

 

Dear You: A Letter

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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


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Seeing God in the Everyday

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I pulled into my parking spot and turned off the engine. From where I sat in the parking lot at school, I had a perfect view of the sunrise. Shades of blue merged into purple and pink. Thin clouds raced across the morning sky as birds happily chirped in the cool air.

I watched as the sun rose all too quickly and the sky turned blue. As I continued my school day, I remembered the beauty and wondered how amazing God is! Later, that night, I opened my Bible and read the words that perfectly expressed the awesome beauty I felt only a few hours before.

How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory!
How plainly it shows what He has done!
Each day announces it to the following day;
each night repeats it to the next.
No speech or words are used, no sound is heard;
yet their message goes out to all the world
and is heard to the ends of the earth.
God made a home in the sky for the sun;
it comes out in the morning like a happy bridegroom,
like an athlete eager to run a race.
Psalm 19:1-5

I’m sure I’m not the only one to wake up some mornings feeling completely away from God. It can be difficult seeing Him work in life when we’re going through the motions and routines.

But, as Psalm 33:6 reminds us, God’s hand is shown throughout all of creation, in the beauty of His created world.

This week, I’d like to challenge you to look for God’s hand in the everyday things such as the sunrises, callings of the birds, and even in the beauty of human life.

signi

Traveling, Surgery, and A Life Update

Hey, everyone! Did you miss me? I am so so sorry that I haven’t posted! Life has been pretty crazy. But I’m back with a ton of new posts for you! First, I’ll catch you up on everything with a life update.

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Travels and Adventures

At the end of June, my family and I took a trip to Europe for a couple of weeks to spend time with my grandparents and other family members. We spent a lot of time in Belgium and Holland but we also took a road trip to Germany to get a clock repaired. I had so much fun and met so many cool people. I am working on a travel journal to post soon so keep an eye out for that!

Surgery and Recovery

Monday morning, I woke up bright and early for the surgery on my arm. I was pretty nervous especially since during the nights leading up to the surgery I had nightmares. But, everything went well and I got to go home before lunch so it was fine! The rest of the day I spent sleeping.

On Tuesday, one of my best friends came over to visit me and cheer me up. She even attempted to clean my room for me which was actually really funny. Even so, she helped get my mind off of my arm and the hours I spent feeling useless.

Yesterday, my other best friend came over with her mom and her brothers. She also brought chocolate and flowers so it was a good day! ;) She helped to brighten up my day a bit and I am grateful for that.

Today, I can use my arm a bit more (enough to write some posts) and it doesn’t hurt. I’m planning on taking the rest of the week slow and careful. I am so glad that my arm is healing and that I will be able to use it normally again soon. This whole week has made me feel much more grateful for a healthy and functioning body.


So that’s my quick life update! I’ll be posting a Travel Journal from my Europe trip in a couple of days. Also, this is completely random but, I’m wondering what are your favorite brands for backpacks? Let me know in the comments below; it’ll help me a lot. :)

signi

Guess Who’s Back!

Hello everyone! It’s been a while hasn’t it? I’m back and finished with all of my exams! Thanks to all of you for your patience and encouragement! It’s meant a lot to me. :)

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In case you didn’t know why I was gone for so long, I had exams and needed to take a break from blogging to focus on studying, studying, and more studying. I’ve already gotten back some of my final grades and I’m very happy with them. I’m not sure I would have done as well if I hadn’t taken a break from blogging. As much as I’ve missed you all, I’m glad I took the break.

There’s lot of excitement today! Summer is officially here and I’m back to blogging again. YAY! I’ve got lots of fun things planned for the very near future so keep an eye out for some more blog posts and Youtube videos!

I’m super excited to be blogging again! Thanks again for all of the encouragement!

signi

 

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

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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

21 Day Self Portrait Project Days 6-10

Hey, everyone! In the last post, I introduced you to the 21 Day Self Portrait Project that my photography teacher challenged me to. I also shared the results from the first five days. Here are the results from Days 6-10! Enjoy! :)

Day 6

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A couple of years ago, my aunt gave me a mirror. I call it a compliment mirror because it has words written on it. Here’s a sample of what it says:

“Oh, how beautiful you are! You’re charming. You look gorgeous! It’s fantastic. I think that you are fabulous, just fabulous! You are absolutely delectable. Your hair is really stunning, it sparkles with life! I love the way that you do your hair, that silken head of curls and waves is glorious. In a subtle way, your hair is immaculate, it looks so natural, it seems so springy and full of vitality! You are the most perfect creature that I have ever seen. You look great, you are great! You really are a very special person”

This mirror is a reminder that I am beautiful even when I don’t particularly feel like I am.

Day 7

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I hate driving. I absolutely detest it but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t learn to do the things I’m terrified of. My dad has always been really passionate about my development as a person – especially when I really don’t want to do whatever it is that he wants me to do.

In the beginning of October, my dad challenged me to drive every day. So I did and eventually I got better at driving. I still hate it. I still need some pushing but I’m learning that I can take those tiny steps as long as I keep moving.

Day 8

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I have a family friend who has been with my family through the thick and thin. She would watch over me and my sisters when my mom was sick. She would bake with us and celebrate our birthdays. She always remembered my birthday and took the time to get to know my interests. On my fifteenth birthday, she gave me a necklace with my birthstone and a piano charm on it. It was a simple gift, but it was a meaningful gift.

She taught me that little things can make a big difference. She cared for me and my family when no one else did. It didn’t take a lot of effort or time on her part, but it made a huge impact on the happiness and hope in my family.

Day 9

day4

Life is full of hard times and dark nights. But every day has a flicker of hope and every night is full of stars. When I am going through hard times, I try not to think of the darkness, the uncertainty, or the pain. Instead, I focus on the hope, the light, and the stars.

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”     – Martin Luther King Jr. –

Day 10

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My aunt is an amazing friend and my role model. She is a writer. She has traveled to so many places. She has been to the Olympics over five times. But my favorite part about her is her ability to connect with everyone she meets.

When I was frustrated with having so many people over for Christmas, she encouraged me. When I felt like my writing was awful, she encouraged me. When I really needed someone there, she encouraged me. She knew exactly what to say and how to say it.

I don’t get to see my aunt very often but when I do, I remember all of the wonderful times we had together.


I loved the last couple of pictures and oddly enough, they were accidental. Hehe :) Anyway, I hope you all have a great day! And let me know if you are going to do the project!

signi

Bible Verses For When You’re Stressed

Hey, everyone! How are you? Hopefully, school hasn’t been too crazy for you. But if you are having a stressful week, here are 5 Bible verses for when you’re stressed.

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Isaiah 43:1 – 3a

But now, this is what the LORD says – he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Psalm 118:5 – 9

When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

Lamentations 3:19 – 23

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

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2 Years and 200 Followers

Two years ago a girl decided it was finally time for her to published her very first blog post. Two years later, she is still blogging and loves it to pieces. That girl is me.

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Hey, everyone! Today is October 25th which means it’s my 2 year blogiversary! Yay! This blog has grown so much over the last two years and I can’t believe that I’ve made it this far.

First Steps

I started blogging because I loved writing and I wanted to try something new. When my friends started their blogs in the fall of 2014, I decided it was time to make my contribution to the WordPress feed. That’s when I started my blog, Life As A Homeschooled Teen. I posted my first blog post titled, “Welcome One, Welcome All“. The posts following that one were sporadic and I wasn’t getting very many views but I pressed on hoping that someday, I would reach 100 followers.

In 2015, I struggled with coming up with posts that I felt were “worthy” to post. While trying to figure something out, I came up with the “To-Bake List” which is getting more and more popular. I also started my “Monthly Favorites” posts which I love posting because they help me to take a minute to remember what I did instead of flying through life with no end point. If that makes any sense.

Then I Decided I Wanted A Change

I was tired of being stuck with writer’s block and wanted to change. The 2016 New Year was a perfect place to start. I started a notebook with hundreds of blog post ideas and made calendars to keep me on track. My goal was to post 2-3 every week which I’ve pretty much kept up since then.

I posted about school, hosted a Q&A, talked about my Spring Break, and wrote letters to my sisters. Basically, I started posting things I was passionate about and loved to talk about. Eventually, my views shot up and I reached 100 followers in May. I celebrated with a giveaway (which I will hold again once I reach 250 followers).

In August, I decided to go back to school and Life As A Homeschooled Teen turned into Happily Abi. I redesigned my blog and also started up a Google+ page. Then I wrote a mini-series on my homeschooling experience. Just 5 short months after I reached 100 followers, I reached 200!

Two Years Strong

I am so excited about everything that has happened on my blog. It’s been a long journey but it was worth every minute. I wanted to thank you all for all of your support and encouragement. I couldn’t have gotten here without you! And of course, I must thank my Lord and Savior for giving me this gift in the first place. Many, many thanks! :)

I also need to thank my mother who is AMAZING and cleared out her whole day just to make me a tart and decorate the kitchen to celebrate these two years. Gah, she’s the best! :D

 


Again, thanks to all of you for everything! I hope that you’ll continue this journey with me. Love to all!
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