Travel Journal//Peru – March 2018

Hello everyone! As I mentioned earlier, I had the chance to go to Peru for 8 days with my school. I got back a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing! I loved the country, loved the people, loved the culture.

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Headed to Lima

Traveling to Lima wasn’t as stressful as I thought it was going to be. And of course, it helped to have friends coming along to have conversations with as we waited in the airport. The flight itself wasn’t too bad either. I had a chance to have a long conversation with a Pastor who was going as a missionary to Peru! It was really encouraging to meet another believer who was so passionate about his faith.

City on the Beach

Our first full day in Peru was spent in Lima.We spent the day walking on the beach and seeing the views from the city above the hills.

Mountains and Culture

Seeing the culture in Peru was really interesting. The markets were crazy busy with people calling out their products as you walk by. With so much going on, sometimes it got overwhelming. But, the people were so nice and just beautiful, especially patient with my broken Spanish. The nature in Peru was probably my favorite part. The flowers bloomed everywhere and the clouds drew attention to the greatness of the mountains.

Machu Picchu and the Sun Gate

Machu Picchu was absolutely breath-taking. The hike up to the Sun Gate was pretty tough but the view was worth the hike. We also got to see some llamas so that was fun!

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca was also really beautiful. I loved seeing how life worked on the floating islands. The weather was perfect and, of course, the boat ride out to the islands was beautiful as well.

Other Pictures

I’m so glad that I took the opportunity to go to Peru with my school. I loved getting to see the beauty in Peru and getting to know the people better.

signi

 

Faith in the Storms (Guest Post)

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Hello everyone! I am Renae from www.renaesfight4recovery.wordpress.com

Today I wanted to talk about having strong faith in God when through the storms of life.

Lately, life has been throwing me some curveballs. I have been diagnosed with bipolar, depression, anxiety, and social (you can read all about my journey with mental illness on my blog). I have also just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. So lately I have been in a lot of pain and my faith has been weak. But, I know I can have strong faith in God even through the storms of life. You, too, can have strong faith in God, no matter what.

Faith in God lately has been difficult. With my fibromyalgia being so bad, I can barely walk. But, I had a moment with Him, when His goodness just overwhelmed me. I prayed and prayed. It was so hard. But He told me: “Keep going. You can do this. Don’t give up. I am here.” I knew it was Him and His words were true. I knew then, He is faithful and true. I can have strong faith even when I am in the storms of life.

You can have faith that you will get through the trials too. You can overcome with God by your side (John 16:33). Put your faith in God because He is faithful and true (1 Corinthians 1:9). He will always be there for you, no matter what you have done. You can have strong faith in that He is God and He is good. No matter what you are going through, you can always go to God. You can always run into His loving, helping, and comforting arms (Psalm 91:4). He loves you so much.

You can have strong faith in God by praying to Him and asking for faith. Most importantly, you can have strong faith by believing in Him, that He is good, that He is faithful, and that He is true. You can trust God because He won’t let you down.

Reach out and put your faith in God! He will strengthen you. He will give you peace, joy, hope, and faith. Go to God, and I promise you won’t be disappointed!


Hello, everyone! I would like to give many thanks to Renae from Renae’s Fight 4 Recovery for writing this guest post!

Renae is a 20-year-old college student majoring in writing. She loves Jesus, coffee, cats, crocheting, writing, and reading. Her advice for new writers is to just do it! Go in there and follow your dream! Just start, don’t wait!

You can follow her Instagram @renaeloveswriting and read her Wattpad works @renaeloveswriting. Also, please go check out her blog and leave some encouragement for her!

signi

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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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3 Years of Blogging

Hello everyone! Today marks the anniversary of my very first blog post. In the three years that I’ve been blogging, so much has changed not only in my life but also on my blog.

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When I started blogging, I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about. With more practice and more posts, I’ve been able to find out what I like and develop my blog to how it is now. To those who have recently started their own blogs, keep it up! It might take a while for you to get it to where you like but it will be worth it. Also, don’t be afraid to take breaks. Sometimes taking a step back can give you a better picture.

I’m super excited to start this 4th year of blogging! I hope you’ll follow me along!

signi

Looking for something to read? Here are some of my favorite posts:
Travel Journal//Europe ~ May Memories ~ Travel Journal//Florida ~ Blue – A Poem

 

March Memories

Hello, everyone! As I’m writing this, the rain is pouring outside and my sister is playing violin. My mom is working on starting a fire and I have a big cup of tea waiting for me. Talk about perfect writing time! This past month have been filled with tons of adventures and excitement.

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In the beginning of the month, my mom and my sister and I drove to surprise my sister at her first away game for soccer. It was great except we ended up going to the wrong school! By the time we made it to the right school, there were 3 minutes left in the game. Bummer! But, we were able to see my sister play for a little bit and it made her really happy that we were there, so I’d say it was well worth it! :)

On the 5th, we hosted a missionary family for dinner. The family was really sweet and had lots of fun stories about life on the mission field and their many puppies. On the 12th, there was snow but it all melted within a couple of hours. Still, it was really pretty!

The next week, I had a friend over for a sleepover. We went to the park near my house and saw a beautiful tree! (Pictured below.) While we were at the park, a little girl, about 5, ran up to us and asked us to play with her. She was so adorable and I loved running around with her on the park playground! The next day, we met with another friend and went to walk on the campus of a nearby college, getting a feel for the college-life. It was a great experience and I learned a bit of what it’s like just to be on campus.

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Next came the Florida trip! My whole family spent our Spring break in sunny FL by the beach and it was beautiful! We were also able to go on all kinds of adventures including going to the Everglades. (I even made a video of it! Click here to watch it.) We got to see dolphins, birds, and aligators. A couple of days later, we went to Disney! I loved all of the rides but I especially loved the firework show at the end of the day. :) (Read the Florida Trip Travel Journal here!)

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After getting back into the rhythm of school life, I focused on memorized more Bible verses. This time, I memorized Isaiah 26:3-4 which says:

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
 Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
-Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

Last week, my sisters and I took a spontaneous trip to my friend’s house! We spent a lot of time playing with her dog, :) but we also spent time outside making floral creations and talking about life. It was a wonderful way to spend my Sunday and it was pretty relaxing too! :)

Some Pictures from March:

That’s all! How was your March? Did you have any fun adventures? Let me know! I would love to hear from you! :)

signi

 

A Blank Sheet Of Paper – A Poem

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A blank sheet of paper.
Oh, the possibilities
That lie within my mind.
I’m afraid to write
For once the ink is applied,
There is no going back.

signi


So I think this poem needs a little bit of an explanation. I wrote this poem way back in June. I attempted to write letters to friends but never did because I didn’t know what to say, how to say it, or why I wanted to write them in the first place. This poem came out of the struggle of not being able to make up my mind. :) Anyway, that’s the story! Stay happy. :)

October Favorites

Hey, everyone! October has (almost) ended and I couldn’t be happier because that means that we are one month closer to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years! Yay! This month has been super busy but I have loved every little bit of it. I took some big steps and stretched myself by doing things I didn’t think I would ever do (like going to my FIRST DANCE). This month also included my 2-year blogiversary! (read more about that here)

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  1. Blackout poetry – Blackout poetry was something that I found on Pinterest and wanted to try. It is relaxing to me somehow and I like making new things out of older ones so this is perfect.
  2. Getting 200 followers! – I reached 200! This makes me so happy that there are so many people that are willing to read my blog posts and take the time to listen. Many many thanks to all of you!
  3. My first homecoming dance! – I went to my very first dance a couple of weeks ago and I am SO glad I went! I was invited by two friends of mine to go with a bigger group to dinner the day of the dance but when the reservations were messed up, we decided to go together. We were also able to convince three more of our friends to go with us. We had a blast! My tip for your first dance: don’t make any kind of expectations beforehand. This helped me to relax and be flexible.
  4. Gigi’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake – There are cookies. There are cookie doughs. And there are cupcakes. But this, this is heaven or really close to it. If there is a Gigi’s Cupcakery close to you, you NEED to try this!
  5. Posh Thomas Kinkade Painter Of Light Coloring Book – My grandparents gave this coloring book to me and I think it’s really cool. I like seeing the original picture with the coloring page.
  6. Celebrating my 2-year blogiversary! – My mother was AMAZING and cleared out her whole day just to make me a pie and decorate the kitchen for my blogiversary. (read more about my journey here)
  7. Sundress by Landon Austin (song)
  8. Alone by Marshmello (song)
  9. Yesterday’s Song by Hunter Hayes (song)
  10. 1 John 2:2 – “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

How was your October? Do you have any plans for November?