Blissful Vacation

June 29, 2010

Vacation. Ah! I love the sound of that word. The word vacation to me means a bunch of different things: Peace. Tranquility. Inspiration. Family Time. Sunshine. Relaxation. Merrymaking. Blissful enjoyment. Of course there are other words to describe vacation. But to me, these words seem to describe vacation when it's at it's best. 
 
 As we all know, vacations don't always go according to plan. Many of us let our whole vacations go to ruin when the smallest, most harmless things happen. For example: when it starts to rain, a store or site that we've been utterly dying to go to is closed, or something unexpected comes up causing us to have to leave early. All of which are a series of unfortunate events. Yet, no matter how unfortunate the circumstance might seem while on vacation, it's up to us whether we let it spoil the rest our vacation. 
This is why I don't plan my vacations. Um, let me rephrase that...I do plan where I'll be going. But after that, I try to stay as flexible as possible by letting life take the wheel. Plus, a vacation would be no good if you didn't know where you were headed. Unless you purposefully wanted to get lost somewhere along the way. *Smiles real big and blushes.*  In reality, it's easier to take life by the horns and do everything yourself, but it doesn't leave a lot of room for fun, does it? It's the same way when we depend on ourselves for everything and try to take care of sorrows, joys, trials, and so forth without the help of God. How much fun is a trail when you don't let God share in your troubles? We're supposed to take joys in our trains, aren't we? Um, Yeah! That's what James 1:2 says. Check it out!
Anyhow, just a few weeks ago in Williamsburg, VA, my family and I were at Busch Gardens. [I know, your probably thinking...what;s this got to do with the rest of the post? Well, you will find out my fine friends, Be patient.] It started out miserably hot and muggy. The sun threatened to burn any flesh that was the least bit exposed. And the clouds that hung high in the sky did little to protect us from the heat. Towards the end of the day, however, it started to rain--a major blessing considering it was at least ninety-seven degrees! At first we all wanted to leave Busch Gardens. We were already so hot and ill-content that it wasn't worth trudging through the place in wet clothes. Besides, everyone else was leaving! Thankfully, dad had this hair-brained idea that we should stay. What? Stay? Was he crazy or something? I think the sun might have messed around with his mind a little, but because my dad wanted to stay, the whole family got to do things we normally would not have been able to do on an obnoxiously crowded summers day--we got to ride all of the roller-coasters over and over again without ever having to stand in line! Yeah....it was fun. :)

Now, that I'm in Florida, I've had more time on my hands then I know what to do with. In all honesty, it's driving my nuts! I am an active person and just sitting around drives me batty. I suppose taking time to relax hasn't been that bad. It's actually come as a blessing. For the last month and a half, I've been on vacation...literally! Non-stop vacation. It's been rather nice. Since I've been working non-stop for four years (wasn't always a happy job) I have never taken off for vacation longer than maybe a week and a half. I am a loyal employee. Maybe, too loyal perhaps and under-appreciated as well. And in the words of Bilbo Baggins:
I feel... thin. Sort of stretched, like... butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday. A very long holiday. And I don't expect I shall return. In fact I mean not to.
Don't worry, I'm coming back. However, that's beside the point. After all the times I wanted to quit, give up and wash my hands clean of my job, I stuck to it and persevered (not that I entirely wanted to...I completely despise that job). But it does feel good to complete a goal, or a job to the fullest. I've learned a great deal of things. Now, after working hard, it's been kinda nice to sit back and not do anything at all. Ah, sweet relaxation! Where have you been all my life? 
At long last, I get to have my vacation! Indeed, this is a blessing from God that I would have the opportunity to be able to just sit around and relax...maybe. I suppose this is why I like going with the flow while I'm on vacation. No one tells you what do to, so why make yourself do it when you know you don't want to? *Shrugs shoulders and gives goofy grin.* Whatever happens-- happens for a very good reason. It's one of Gods many blessings: that we are allowed to relax and enjoy life to it's fullest. It's a splendid way to explore and admire the works of God!
It took me my whole vacation to realize that it's better to be flexible, than to get all upset when something doesn't go your way. Opportunities come and go. Life flies by when your on vacation. So, you never want to miss out on anything. It's way too important. Live. Laugh. Love. Those are words to live by. And so are the words: take life as it comes. It will never be a perfect life we lead. But, it's the life God have us...so why not life it to the best of our abilities?

Courting Today and Yesterday

June 24, 2010

In today’s world, we find ourselves bombarded by the dating culture. Dating has been watered down by America’s low standards. Today, people don’t always date to fine that “special someone”, they date because everyone else is doing it, or they do it for the sex. Unfortunately, I do not think all modern dating techniques are appropriate. The problem with dating today is that women and men don’t always look for the qualities of a good spouse. Instead they are caught up in the moment-- which consequently, may cause the person to make irrational decisions. 


Now, I don’t know much about the whole dating scene, because I have never dated. But I will, respectfully give my opinion of modern dating vs. courting. I for one am not a person who would do online dating. With online dating—like many chat rooms—the person whom you are talking to may not be who you think they are. Is it unsafe to talk to a total stranger online? I am not a fan of the whole online communication thing--even though I do blog. But it can be a potential hazard when dating and chatting online. Guys are sneaky and will do just about anything to get a girl to believe them. You not only have dangerous sexual predators, but computer viruses can be planted into your computer. Better to be safe than sorry, so let your parents know of any chat rooms or dating rooms your involved it and don't be secretive.


Another modern dating technique--that I am not too fond of-- is blind dating. If I were to go on a date, I would want to know exactly who I am dating. I am not saying that the person isn't a good person, he may be the nicest person in the world! But, I think that when you are first dating, you should know a little bit about that certain person and his background, it just seems logical. You don't want to rush into things, you'll end up getting hurt...take your time to get to know the person before you move to the next level in your relationship.
Courting--as you may have noticed-- is the old-fashioned way to say dating. The courting of yesterday, is contrastingly different to those of the modern times. 


Back then, getting a hard-working, dependable man was a top priority in a woman’s life. Courting definitely isn’t as cool as dating, but it does promote a safer way to connect with that certain person; plus it is a way that doesn't compromise any moral values. The way my grandma and grandpa “dated” isn't the same way my generation “dates”. You know, dating doesn’t always have to be at the movies or at a party. When my grandparents courted, they usually had dinner with his/her family-- but never alone. On occasion, they would have a “date” at church; the Bible placed between them and their parents sitting in the row behind them. 


The dating techniques of today and yesterday have changed dramatically from the face to face conversation, to conversing with each other online; both of which have their pros and cons. But for me, courting would be the best way to date. It may not be the coolest, but it certainly reinforces abstinence, and allows for a better understanding of that person’s character and his or her beliefs.

Jesus Saves


 If you know me, you'll know that I think a lot! Some say I'm an analytical nerd who focuses on every detail a bit too much. I have to agree with them, but there is one thing I have found hard to analyse, but so easy to believe...the love and grace of Jesus Christ. 

It's just a wonderful thing to experience, to believe in and to hold in your heart to be pure the firm and untouchable truth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

There are two words that I find myself thinking a lot about: Jesus Saves. Boy, I get goose bumps every time those words are sung, spoken, or even thought of. I know I do a lot of thinking (guilty as charged) but those two words hold so much power in their meaning. Jesus truly does save. 

Amen! 

Especially a wretch like me.

 It's good to know that no matter how low we get, Jesus Christ is willing to save us all! That's really something to ponder on. He not only saved us from sin, but He saved us from ourselves...

Once we accept Christ, it's as if the chains of sin are broken and we are able to walk again in the light of His love. The Redeemed sing to God Jesus Saves! because that's exactly what He does--He saves! 

No one is too hateful, selfish, rich or poor to escape the power of His saving grace. I am redeemed in my Lord, Jesus Christ. And I sing to my God a song of praise every time I am gifted a new day to live!

I took a peek...

June 22, 2010

Yes, I know! I have betrayed all sense of dignity and restraint. I have left behind my innocent ways and have tasted the dark side. Forgive me, but I took a sneak peek at the movie TWILIGHT!


 Uhg. I feel so dirty. 


Really. I do!


As I watched the very beginning of this movie I did not feel attracted to it at all. Instead, I felt repulsed and my spirit felt alarmed.


This feeling I got while watching this movie was almost like a warning to NOT watch it. 


I can't explain this feeling, but this movie "Twilight" has an angelic darkness to it-- which it captivating to some, but to me it was creepy. I've seen some dark, depressive and reclusive movies, but this one tops the list.


I could not watch this movie any further and doubt I will ever want to see this movie AGAIN! No! No! No! Not for me. 


I feel so weirded out it's unbelievable. 


What happened to me while watching the beginning of the movie? I don't know, but I now that it was a feeling, a pressuring, and an urgency from God telling me not to watch this movie any further.


Some of you like this movie--good for you. But just because you like it doesn't mean I have to.


My view are my own and I will not stray from them. I just don't understand why someone would want to watch such a creepy movie when there are other movies out there that offer so much more?

Little Men At The Beach

June 19, 2010

These are pictures of my brother (the older one), and my cousin Mason (the little one). Aren't they just too cute to be on the beach? I am sure all the ladies were craving to get a piece of Mason's charming cuteness! And as for my brother, eh, he's not available. So, the girls had to look elsewhere. Besides, he was too busy falling on top of waves to be paying any attention to the many goo-goo ladies eye-balling him. Thank God for a one-track mind of my dear brother!

Reading List

June 18, 2010

I am a lover of books. It's a passion of mine to spend hours and hours cuddled up in a cozy blanket reading on  my bed. It's such a relaxing and enjoyable time! I have had so many reading lists that have gone unfinished that I have lost track. It's not that I don't want to read the endless mass of books that I have planned for myself to read, it's just that I can never find the time. And now that I have college, it's going to be an even harder struggle to read the books that I want to read without fretting over my school work and stuff like that.


I've made myself a new list of books to read because all the lists prior to this one were outdated and contained a lot of books for younger kids. I've ramped up the volume, considering I am no longer a little kid, and am going to try to read a book every two months (if possible). I have promised myself to only read one book at a time--I seem to get involved in reading two or three books at a time, which can become stressful. 


Here's my reading list for the rest of this year, next year and the years ahead. Not that I'm planning on finishing this list anytime soon. But I'd like to get it done before I get married and have kids. :)


I am a lover of books. It's a passion of mine to spend hours and hours cuddled up in a cozy blanket reading on my bed. It's such a relaxing and enjoyable time! I have had so many reading lists that have gone unfinished that I have lost track. It's not that I don't want to read the endless mass of books that I have planned for myself to read, it's just that I can never find the time. And now that I have college, it's going to be an even harder struggle to read the books that I want to read without fretting over my school work and stuff like that.
I've made myself a new list of books to read because all the lists prior to this one were outdated and contained a lot of books for younger kids. I've ramped up the volume, considering I am no longer a little kid, and am going to try to read a book every two months (if possible). I have promised myself to only read one book at a time--I seem to get involved in reading two or three books at a time, which can become stressful.
Here's my reading list for the rest of this year, next year and the years ahead. Not that I'm planning on finishing this list anytime soon. But I'd like to get it done before I get married and have kids. :)


1. When God Writes You Love Story (Expanded Addition) - The Ultimate guide to guy/girl relationships by Eric and Leslie Ludy
2. Dating Mr. Darcy: The Smart Girl's Guide to Sensible Romance by Sarah Arthur
3. The Christian Lady's Dating Constitution: A Memorandum Addressed To Christian Teens, Their Parents And Young Adults by Jessica Martin
4. Your Single Treasure: The Good News About Singles And Sexuality by Rick Stedman
5. Wait For Me Study Guide: Discover the Power of Purity By Rebecca St. James
6.If You Really Love Me: 100 Questions on Dating, Relationships, and Sexual Purity by Jason Evert
7. Teen Virtue By Courtney Vicky
8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
11. Emma by Jane Austen
12. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
13. 1776 by David McCullough
14. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
15. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
16. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
17. The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
18. Dear John by Nicolas Sparks
19. Drummer in the Dark by T. Davis Bunn
20. A Summer of Kings by Han Nolan
21. Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
22. The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
23. Mr. Malcolm's List by Suzanne Allain
24. Queen in Exile by Donna Hatch
25. The Weaver Takes a Wife by Sheri Cobb South
26. The Stranger She Married by Donna Hatch
27. John Adams by David McCullough
28. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
29. Letters to Juliet by Lise Friedman/Ceil Friedman
30. Of Knights and Fair Maidens by Jeff and Danielle Myers

An Honest Love by Kathleen Fuller

June 12, 2010


An Honest Love is a light hearted, good-feeling sort of read. It’s easy to pick up and exceptionally hard to put down! The book is about two Amish couples: Anna and Lucas, Elizabeth and Aaron. The story line of this book begins to pick up after the first chapter with Anna Esh, who had moved to Middlefield, Ohio with her mother after a painful breakup with her fiancĂ©. To find out the full story of this romantic escapade, you’ll have to read it yourself. And if you like Amish romantic fiction, then you're in for a treat!
Pros:
It’s an easy to read book with a vibrant and lively feel. Always a great feature to have in a romance book, it really showcases the author’s talent for writing.

Cons:
I am not much into Amish books, so I thought it was a tad bit boring. But otherwise it was a good book.

Objectionable Content:

    Language: None

    Romance: None

    Violence: None

I rate this book 4 stars and recommended it for ages 12 and up.
{Permission to use rating system was given by The Book Blog}

I'm baaaccckkk....for a time

June 11, 2010

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Hello to you all! As of right now, I getting ready to head out on another adventure--this time in Florida! My sister, brother and I are going to be spending 2 1/2 weeks in Jacksonville, Florida with our Grandparents. I have no clue what we'll be doing there. But this time, I'll have Internet connection, so I can keep you all posted about what's been going on! Plus, I will share some pictures with you as well!


I have to admit I am a little tired from all the traveling I've been doing for the past month and a half, but it's been worth every minute! What an amazing blessing. Also, while on vacation, I've had a lot of time to reflect on what I do here at Grace Life Rain [aka Thoughts of a Small Town Girl...and yes, I changed the name ahead of schedule!]. But, that's beside the point. The point is, I want to offer more to my followers other than a place to simply have fun. I also want them to come here and grow in the the Lord. I want to share more than just a friendly pat on the back-- if you know what I mean.


So, I've decided to start a series, if that's what you would call something like this--a section of my blog called Dear Sadie--where people can email and/or comment me (I mean Sadie ;)) about the things that they're struggling with and I try to answer any of your questions, or help you with your problems... at least give you advice.


It's not something that will happen every single week. And who knows, maybe it will. But if you'd like, you can email me at onelife.92@comcast.net with your question and I will do my best to answer your question in a timely fashion. But keep in mind that I may use your questions and my answers in posts on my blog. So if you wish to keep your emails confidential, let me know. If you'll allow me to post, then you can remain anonymous, or use a pen-name.


:::With Love:::

Identity

June 10, 2010


Identity is described as 'the sense of self''. Everyone struggles to find their identity--even I do. I often ask my self 'who am I?' and 'what is my purpose in life?' Ephesians 1:11 [NIV] says, "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will." Doesn't that give you chills?

When I think about this verse, I think of teens who are trying to find their identity and purpose all on their own. Instead of embracing our individuality in Christ, we allow ourselves to get swept up in the many groups at school. Does being in a specific group at school determine who we are as individuals? If you said 'yes', then you need to do some serious thinking.

We are all our own person--created uniquely for God's purpose. "You are made by God for God--and until you understand that, life will never make sense." Our identity shouldn't be dependent on what group we are in--that's only temporary-- but finding our identity in Christ is everlasting. We shouldn't rely on the world to tell us who we are; God has already told us we are children of Christ, created for a special, significant purpose--to go out and be salt unto world and share the Gospel of God's mighty word!

We all have a purpose, none of us will ever find that out unless we let God take control. Romans 12:2 [NIV] says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." We're all special, unique, gifted and loved! What more could you want?! Let God lead your life and you will find your purpose, your identity, and your place in the world.

While I'm Waiting

June 7, 2010


Yes, I am showing you another video. I don't want you all to get bored while I write up a post. This song actually has to do with the theme of my next post. I've been struggling with the feeling of emptiness, desiring God to boldly move through me, but not feeling anything, except frustration. And I have learned, that there is a time in everyone life when God lets us rest, contemplate on the past and wait for His next move. So, what I have begun to do is this: worship while I am waiting. God is in control, I am only a human being with many flaws, someone who is too focused on everything around me, someone who is who is moving constantly. Taking a step back and letting God take control, I have become a happier person. I am worshiping while waiting!

Fireproof

June 6, 2010


Are you in the mood to watch a tear-jerking movie that is safe for the whole family? Did you like Facing The Giants? Well, you are going to LOVE Fireproof. At first glance you might think that Fireproof is one of those cheep, intrusive, and overly-religious movies. On the contrary, this movie is a must see. It is an amazing movie with an amazing message to those who are married, engaged, and even teens.

It was eye opening-- for me especially-- to see that marriages aren't smooth and flawless. In fact, marriage is a bumpy road: some make it through, while others go their separate ways. It makes you think about getting married...to wait or not to wait? To get to know the other person, or not? I mean, we never know what we're going to get ourselves into, so it's best we wait and get to know our "potential" mate before diving into a lifelong commitment. Safety first!

Kirk Cameron plays a talented and dedicated fire captain [Caleb Holt] who comes off as realistic and grounded. However, Caleb Holt could better be described as a man with a  slew of off-the-wall problems. His wife Catherine (Erin Bethea) wants to divorce him because she can't take competing with her husband's addiction to pornography anymore, and the fact that Caleb isn't committed to making the marriage work. His addiction threatens to tear the couples marriage apart. 


At first, Caleb doesn't want to try to mend the pain that had split the couple apart. But after talking to his dad, and taking on "The Love Dare"--a 40 day challenge filled notebook of bible verses and years of timeless wisdom--Caleb begins to realize the error of his ways. And through "The Love Dare", Caleb accepts Christ, and tries even harder to win back the love of his wife-- he truly wants to mend their marriage and make it work. He DOES love her. 


One of the scenes that made me cry was when he decided to end his addiction to porn by smashing his computer. The part where he was smashing the computer didn't make me cry, in fact I laughed because his neighbor was standing in his back yard watching Caleb. [You'll have to see it to fully understand the dry humor of this scene]. But after, when his wife came home from work, she is greeted by a huge bundle of roses with a note in them that read: "I love you more." Beautiful! 

In the end, everything works out for the better. It goes to show us all that when the tough gets going, we cannot give up! We must turn out focus on God and let him lead us, help us and love us when everything seems to go wrong. Relationships take time. If marriage was easy it would be a six week course, and the number of divorces would be small compared to the depressing amount that appears in America yearly. We look to those who have been married and have stayed with each other through thick-and-thin and learn from them the secrets of a long lasting marriage.Those who are Christian couples would probably say the secret to a successful marriage [at least my Grandma and Grandpa say this], is the relationship we have with the Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray that one day, my marriage will be--not easy--but fulfilling, Godly, and strong! If you haven't seen this movie yet, you should rent it NOW! My eyes have been opened to a whole new perspective of how to make a marriage work--let God take the reins, and meet Him half way. A definite FIVE STAR family movie. One you won't regret watching. :)

Modesty - A Guy's View

June 5, 2010


I love watching videos off of YouTube--certain ones. I love searching for devotionals, Vlogs and videos that discuss modesty, purity, marriage, and other stuff like that. When you hear other teens our age talk about issues we face constantly, it gives us a whole new perspective on things...which is so cool!
Oh, please enjoy this video from YouTube! 
Photobucket

I know this is a little in advance....

June 2, 2010

 But I wanted to let you all know sooner-than-later that I am going to be changing my blog name to one of the following: 1) Be The Wave, 2) For the Love of a King, 3) Embracing Accusation, 4) Meant to Live, 5) Grace Like Rain, or 6) One Life to Love.


However, the URL will stay exactly the same, unless I decide to change it later on. So, as of August 1st, this blog will no longer be called Thoughts of a Small Town Girl. I have grown to love this blog name, but I feel it is time to step out of the ordinary and do something different. However, I will be using this name for my photography blog, so it won't be completely gone to waist!


Have a great rest of the week. And please take note of the poll on the sidebar. Vote for your favorite blog name!