Life Update + Awesome Blogger Award!

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Hello, everyone! How are you? It’s been a while since my last life update so I thought I would share one today.

Things have been pretty busy until today. I just finished my third quarter of Senior Year and I’m not exactly sure what to do with that information. I’m excited to graduation coming up in a couple of months but I also know that I’m going to miss so many things from high school. I think, for now, I’m just going to take things one week at a time.

Speaking of, this next week is going to be full of really exciting things! On Monday, I have my final meeting before I head to… Peru! I’ll be gone for 10 days but I will come back with lots of pictures! I also have a Sign Language Club meeting on Monday which I’m very excited about! I’ve always found sign language to be interesting and I’m looking forward to being able to sign with some other people from my church and school.

The Awesome Blogger Award

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I was nominated for this award by the lovely Lindsay from Linds4Dance. Thank you so much, Lindsay! Please be sure to check out her blog here and her version of the post here!

Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you!
  2. Include the reason behind the award!
  3. Include the banner in the post
  4. Tag it with #awesomebloggeraward
  5. Answer all the questions!
  6. Nominate at least 5 other awesome blog buddies
  7. Give your nominees 10 questions of their own!
  8. Let your nominees know they’ve been nominated!

*I’m going to skip these but please feel free to accept your own nomination for this award!

The Reason Behind This Award

The Awesome Blogger award was originally created by Maggie @ Dreaming of Guatemala. This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. they have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. that is what truly defines an awesome blogger. ~coffeelovingbookoholic

The Questions

  1. What’s your favorite quote? – “May the flowers remind us why the rain was so necessary.” – Xan Oku
  2. What’s your earliest childhood memory? – My earliest childhood memory was when I was around 3 or 4. I was in preschool and it was my birthday. I remember having pigtails with purple ribbons and having nap time. I was so excited about my birthday that I couldn’t go to sleep. :)
  3. If you could do anything in one day, what would you do? – I would probably wake up early, be productive, have lunch with some friends, and then spend the afternoon with my family. That would be a great day.
  4. Who in your life, do admire most? – My former Sunday School teacher is someone that I admire a lot. She is the happiest 70~ year-old I’ve ever met. Every time I see her, she is always excited and reminds me to be strong in my faith. She constantly prays for me and it means a lot. She hasn’t had the easiest life, but through everything, she has been praising God. That is how I want to be.
  5. Who is your favorite blogger and why? – Oh, my! Okay, my favorite blogger would have to be Madyson Grace. Her blog is full of meaningful posts that encourage us to remember the Truth.
  6. Markers or Colored Pencils? – Markers. 100%
  7. Chocolate or Hard candies? – Chocolate!
  8. Current favorite outfit? – I would have to go with my church outfit. It consists of this fit and flare burgundy dress from Altar’d State, a black cardigan, and flats. It’s really comfortable.
  9. What’s your greatest accomplishment? – Reaching my 3-year blogiversary!
  10. If you could go back in time, where would you go and why? – I would go back to the 1950s because I think that was an interesting time period.  Also, it was during that decade that Disneyland opened!

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have a great week! :)

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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Motivation Monday//Rest

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“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”

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“Come to me, all who are weary and burdered, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

In a world running faster than ever before, it is important to take the time to rest. This time away from the stress of the world is necessary to your health and gives your mind and body a break from running and deadlines. Full rest and peace can only come from God, but we must be willing to receive it. By taking the time to listen for God’s voice, we are opening ourselves up to His rest and peace. My challenge for you is this: make time to rest in Christ today.

signi

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Motivation Monday//Purpose

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June 26, 2017

Today’s Theme: Purpose

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“How cool is it that the same God, who created mountains, & oceans, & galaxies, looked at you & thought the world needed one of you too?”

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“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” – Esther 4:14

signi

Motivation Monday // Trust

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March 27, 2017

Today’s Theme: Trust

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“Worrying doesn’t change anything but trusting in God changes everything.” – Unknown

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“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” – Psalm 56:3

Trust is one of the most important things in a relationship. It’s the same for our relationship with God. We have to learn to trust Him and His plans for our lives. That’s my challenge for you this week. :)

signi

Motivation Monday//Future

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February 20, 2017

Today’s Theme: Future

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“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.” – Unknown –

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“Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21

As graduation crawls closer, people are always asking me what my plans are for the future. And the truth is, I don’t know and I don’t want to think about it. The future is a very scary thing for me, filled with uncertainty and unknowns. But as a Christian, I have to remind myself that I’m not in control; God is. So really, the future shouldn’t be that scary because God is already there. And that is a very calming thought.

signi

250 Follower Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Hey, everyone! For those of you who have been following me for a while know that I promised a giveaway when I reached 250 followers. Well, I’m keeping that promise because I bought some awesome stuff for some awesome people!

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I’m so excited! I’ve been planning this since my last giveaway in May. Just like last time, there will be TWO winners.

What You Will Be Able To Win

As I mentioned above, there will be TWO winners. One will win the Dream Big lined notebook and the gold diamond washie tape. The other winner will receive the Christian quote lined notebook and the gold heart washie tape.

How To Enter and Rules

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open from January 28, 2017 to February 11, 2017. There are eight ways to enter with a total of 11 entry points. To enter, click here. Any questions? You can read all of the Terms and Conditions here or email me at happilyabi@gmail.com

I’m super excited about this giveaway and I’m sure ya’ll are too! I hope you have an amazing day! Good luck!

signi

Motivation Monday//Peace

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January 23, 2017

Today’s Theme: Peace

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“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where this is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” – Unknown

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“God is not a God of disorder but of peace” – 1 Corinthians 14:33a

This week, I saw God give me peace. Normally when I have big tests or events, I get really nervous and anxious. On Saturday, I went to take my SAT. Before the test began, I asked God to give me “peace that surpasses all understanding”. I didn’t realize until afterward that I was completely calm the entire time I was taking the test. My peace comes from God and because of that, I will praise HIM.

signi

Introducing Motivation Mondays

Hey, everyone! How has your 2017 been so far? This year, I wanted to start something new on my blog: Motivation Mondays. Twice a month (on a Monday) I will post a motivational post to cheer you on and to encourage you to keep going. It will include a quote, a Bible verse, and sometimes a little blurb from me on the topic. I’m sure you all will enjoy it!

*Note: Every picture in every Motivation Monday post is from Pinterest. The pictures are not mine.*


January  2, 2017

Today’s Theme: Progress

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A little progress each day adds up to big results.

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“I am certain that God who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished.” – Philippians 1:6

21 Day Self Portrait Project Days 11-15

Hello, everyone! I’m back with the next five days of my 21 Day Self Portrait Project. I really appreciate all of your wonderful comments and encouragement! Thank you all so much! :) Enjoy the results from days 11-15.

Day 11

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My mom is one of the sweetest, kindest, most hard-working people that I know. She has always been there for me when I needed it and takes time out of her day to do things for me. One thing that I learned from her is that tea makes everything better.

“The best thing for a purple day is a nice cup of tea.”      – Mom-

Day 12

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I have always liked photography but I found that my pictures weren’t that great. So I decided to take a photography class. My teacher challenged our class to participate in the 21-day self-portrait photography project. Through this project, I challenged myself to take better photos. I have seen myself grow as a photographer so I thank my wonderful teacher for helping me grow.

Day 13

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I get excited when fall starts rolling around; it’s my favorite season! But it’s also a stressful season with school and exams and performances. Life gets crazy and I get stressed. But I have hope because I have a God who will stand with me and help me to keep going.

“He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

– 1 Corinthians 1:8 –

Day 14

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When I was in elementary school, I was introduced to different clubs on club day. The one club that really stood out to me was the art club. The teacher for that was really fun and had crazy hair and an even crazier nickname. And I really wanted to be in the club but my family didn’t have a car so I didn’t have a way home from school after the Art Club.

My teachers were awesome and all wanted my sisters and me to get the chance to be in the club so they took it upon themselves to take us home from clubs every day. Sometimes they would even take us out to dinner at their own expense.

Without these teachers making sacrifices for us, I wouldn’t have been able to grow my love for art. I am forever grateful to them for being so kind and generous.Since elementary school, I have grown a lot in my art abilities. This year, I was inducted into the National Art Honor Society!

Day 15

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Some of my favorite books are the Gallagher Girl series. These series have encouraged me to write and keep writing. It was through this series that I really started to get excited about writing.  Ally Carter is my role model and dream author.


I hope you liked the pictures from these five days! Have a great day! Merry (almost) Christmas! :)

signi