Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Regrets

I have the wonderful privilege of being related to Bethany Anne. She is my cousin and she, her siblings, my brothers and I have practically grown up together. Recently, Beth emailed me her thoughts on a study her church was doing. I found the email profound and incredibly thought provoking. I believe this is worth sharing and I hope you take something from this.

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"At church tonight, we started a new series called One month to live. It gives insight into how one would live their life if they knew they only had one month left to live. Tonight's lesson was called, Living the dash. Our Associate Pastor, Shane, said how sometimes he drove through one of our cemeteries and looked at the inscriptions that were on the stones. He observed that no matter what was written about the person, there was one thing that was synonymous throughout them all. they read something like this. Bethany Bell
1993 - _______
And from the time you were born to the time of your death was simply represented by a single dash. Though we have no control over when we are born or when we die, what we do in between is entirely up to us. He then gave several scripture points on how Jesus lived his life, and how we should attempt to mirror how he lived and eventually died. So, I thoroughly enjoyed the service, and it gives one alot to think about.

What would I do if I only had one month left to live?

One Month:

1. I would cry for about an hour because, well, duh! I am dying.
2. I would call( text, email) everyone I know and care about and tell them how much I love and care about them.
3. I would apologize to the people I have wronged, and ask for their forgiveness, and do the same with God.
4. I would go outside on a rainy day with my iPod and just dance till I passed out.
5. I would enter a 100 contests, because ( what the heck) I might win something.
6. I would take every penny I had and go to Europe. Mainly France, Italy, Cuba ( I think that's in South America), and to Jamaica where my mother was born. I would take my family with me.
7. I would track down some TV show host or somebody and make them put me on TV.
8. I would blow off all my homework and forget about the PSAT!!!
9. I would go to CA and visit my friend Rachel, who I have know for five years and never seen.
10. I would finally go on a real roller coaster. Sure, I would scream bloody murder, but it would be worth the experience all the same.
11. I would pray for inspiration and try and write MY song, the song I feel expresses who I am completely.
12. I would visit the Sistine chapel, and the Louvre in Paris.
13. I would pack up the majority of the things that I own, go to a third world country and give them all away.
14. I would go to Africa and hold an orphan child in my arms, and whisper to them that it was going to be all right.
15. I would thank God for giving me such an amazing life.
16. I would put together a video of myself for my family to look at and always remember.
17. I would smile as much as possible, laugh even more, love as hard as I could, and dance to all my favorite songs.
18. I would kiss someone, because really, is it fair to die with out being kissed?
19. I would visit the Grand Canyon, and Niagara Falls.
20. I would buy a grand piano and play more beautifully and fully then I ever have before."

What would you do if you had one month to live?

Strive to live your life in such a way that you harbor no regrets at the end of it.

"Life is too short for drama and petty things, so Kiss slowly, Laugh insanely, Love truly and Forgive quickly..."

blessings,
Alena

Friday, August 8, 2008

Isaiah 49:14-17, "But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."



When I read this for the first time, my eyes filled with tears. Of late, I have been tempted to think that my Yaweh had forgotten that I existed. But, how could I think that? The God who created the entire universe, has counted me as something of extreme importance. I matter to Him. He never forgets about me. He permanently impressed me on His big hands. OH, my heart swells at the thought!!

Dear sister in Christ, remember these verses. I am going to memorize these verses, so in an hour of feeling forgotten, I can recite this verse to myself. I encourage you to look for other verses that remind us that our great God cares for us and is always with us.

If you are curious about this Jesus I love, and you know you do not know Him, let me help you get introduced. The Bible says in John that God sent His "only begotten Son", Jesus, to die for you and me. The Lord loves you dearly and wants to be the love of your life. Christ is the bread of life. He is knocking on the door of your heat. Let Him in. Tell Him you are sorry for your wrong doings. Tell Him you want Him to inhabit your heart, mind, spirit, and soul.
Jesus said in John 10:28, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." HE LOVES YOU! Don't wait another day. Tomorrow may not come. Offer yourself to Him.
I will be keeping you in prayer.

His peace be with you.

blessings,
Alena

Friday, May 16, 2008

Journal Entry

Finally. No, not really. See...I was one of those people who looked at graduation as just another milestone. Not a gravestone with "RIP (not) SCHOOL" engraved on it. School isn't over. Life is not just beginning. In fact, it's been going for 18 years now. We're just stopping for a bit to celebrate. So no, not finally. But I am glad it happened :)

It was a humid rainy day. I never want to wear one of those robes again. Or those hats. Ever. Until college. By then I'll probably be so glad to be out of college that I'd gladly parade around in a robe all day if I had to. Rehearsal went great. There was something like 67 homeschooled students graduating at the ceremony in which we chose to participate. My job was the welcome speech. There were about 900 in the audience...so I'm not going to lie to you and say I wasn't nervous. Because I was. Anyone in their right mind would be just a little bit nervous to talk in front of almost 1,000 people. Goodness. But it went well. I didn't stutter or play fast forward. I also did not trip when mom and dad came up to give me my diploma. It was a good day.

Over the weekend, I went to an after party. Instead of just dancing the whole time (hip hop dancing for hours on end is really NOT in my best interests...) I talked theology with a few friends, had a jam session with a couple guitars outside in the dark, and yes, I did a bit of swing dancing. It was awesome.

Some of you may have seen a "Ryan" commenting on the blog here and there. There was also a link to the "Screen Watchers" blog for awhile before the site went down for maintenance. Over the weekend, we were blessed to spend some time with Ryan and his mother. It is always so wonderful to be around like minded families...and stay up into the late hours talking about it :) While they were here, Ryan, my sisters and I took a trip downtown to wander around before they flew out. While we were in the Rivermarket, we made a quick video for you guys to enjoy. Sorry for the recent absence, I will try to make up for it now that I have a little more time on my hands!

-Paige

Saturday, May 10, 2008

To The Mothers

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL THE MOTHERS!

God bless you all on your special day. May you continue to get all the love and resepct you deserve.

Blessings,
Alena

Thursday, May 8, 2008

True Images

Hello, everyone. I'd like to introduce a wonderful young lady I know. Her name is Sarah Elizabeth, and she is actually good friends with Grace and Elizabeth(Caitlin and Paige's younger sisters). The other night Sarah Elizabeth emailed a bunch of her friends. I found the email a blessing. It's always wonderful when the Lord reveals something to His children. Especially something so wonderful as this!


Hi gals! I decided to approach a subject that, for a while, I've been silent about. I was reading my devotional tonight and prayed that God would just get it through to me tonight. Well, He did! I was reading this new book my mom just bought me called "Lies young women Believe, and the truth that sets them free" by Nancy Leigh Demos and Dannah Gresh. (This is an amazing book and EVERY young lady should read it. :D ) I read the whole chapter on guys and our standards of relationships and felt SO convicted! I realized how mediocre I had been on the subject and am asking you to forgive me for it.
I'm going to say it up front now and not beat around the bush. I made a commitment to the Lord tonight. I've been believing the lie that the world has been throwing at me! The lie that says I need a boyfriend or a relationship to make me valuable. That, at the very least, someone desirable by worldly standards has to like me for me to be an individual.

The Lord showed me that there's no room for compromise in a relationship. I wish every young woman could see that God did NOT create our hearts to be broken! But rather to be locked in a box, with God holding the key, to be opened in HIS time for HIS glory! God's standard of purity is high, but the rewards are worth the price of self-control!
I have made a commitment to the Lord: I purpose to NEVER become involved in a relationship with a guy who is not a true follower of Christ and does not meet my standards of the man the Lord would want me to marry. Meaning, he MUST be a leader, spiritually and physically. He MUST have his own commitment to stay pure. And he MUST love the Lord with all his heart and soul. I'm going to say up front, that I will NOT enter into a relationship until the Lord has unlocked my box with all my love for that man until HIS timing. Not mine.

You don't have to agree with me. But, I encourage you to make this decision for yourself. I can't make it for you. I'm not judging anyone at all! This is just something I'VE chosen to do. I can't hide behind the curtain of mediocrity anymore. This is what God wants me to do :D, and strangely, I'm at peace about it!

I love and care for you all so much!

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I pray no matter how young, or old, every woman would come to the same realization that Sarah Elizabeth has come to. It's never too late, for we have a merciful and understanding Father. He is in love with us and wants to be the Keeper of every part of your heart.

Proverbs 139:14, 17- "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."
"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!"

Blessings,
Alena

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Grass is Greener???

The first time my family saw our future home in Florida, we all responded with different degrees of dismay. We thought the place ugly, and very dismal. I was sure I'd be perfectly miserable living here, and I missed my old life in Arkansas. I couldn't wait to get out, and go somewhere. Anywhere.
As most of you know, I just returned from visiting Caitlin and Paige. I had a wonderful time, and enjoyed every moment of it. But, when I returned home, I was ecstatic. I screamed as loud as I dared, when the plane landed. Then, I saw my family!!! I jumped up and down with delight. As we drove home, past all the familiar landmarks , I drank in the sights. I was SO glad to be home! I didn't even think it was possible to miss Florida as much as I did! Honestly, I hated this place, not too long ago. Now, I love it. Don't want to be anywhere else. Imagine that. From abhorrence to joyful acceptance.



The grass is greener on the other side? I think not.

Blessings,
Alena

Journal Entry

"Is dawk ouside".

Her two year old voice was too young for her vocabulary. But still she talked on. It was about eight o'clock, and I had just rocked her little sister to sleep. The recliner made a soft ticking sound as I kept rocking, just to make sure she was fully asleep before I attempted to put her in her bed. Her two year old sister, tan,
gorgeous dark curly hair, and the cutest eyes you have ever seen, was leaning over the arm wrest beside me. She loved her little sister so much. But she was preoccupied with what was outside. So she told me again.

"Is dawk ouside. We can no go pay ouside."

She told me so matter-of-fact, shaking her head and pursing her lips, that I couldn't help but smile.

"That's right. It's too dark to go play outside right now."

She looked down for a minute. I glanced down to see her little sister open her eyes a little bit, so I continued rocking. She was so precious. Then the silence broke. Her big sister looked up at me with a soft glimmer in her eyes, that matched the tiny smile on her face.

"The dawk is good!"

I paused and looked at her. Most two year olds are frightened of the dark, or are at least annoyed by its presence because it interrupts their playtime, and is the cause of baths and bedtime. But she was still smiling at me, and an excited look was dawning her face. I looked at her for an answer.

"The dawk is good. God made the dawk!"

The dark is good. God made the dark. I repeated it to myself in my head, staring at her in disbelief. She was still looking at me, bouncing up and down a little bit. At that moment, I think I got goosebumps all over. It was one of those warm shivers you get when something amazing happens. I looked at her and smiled. It was genuine. God has many ways of teaching us life lessons. This one hit me hard.

--------------------------------

As I relayed the story to my mom and sisters, I started choking up. I began thinking about all the times I had questioned God's goodness. Why? Because I didn't understand. I didn't like not being able to grasp everything, or put things in little boxes. Over time, I was more able to accept the fact that the more I can't understand, the more powerful God becomes in my eyes. It's hard to step back and say "God is good" in the middle of trials. Maybe I was about to question things, and this saved me from it. I don't know. But I do know that God's power is revealed every single day. In the big things, but also in the places I least expect them. Like in the voice of a two year old girl. I am weak, and I don't understand. But I will step back and say "it is good". Because in my inability to understand and utter weakness, God is good.


To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


2 Corinthians 12:7-10


-Paige

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Visitors!!!!!

Let me make something clear for you.I do NOT expect all of you to comment on every single post. I actually just don't expect any comments...because then I'm pleasantly surprised when we do get them. But I have this nifty little device for our blog called a "sitemeter" that tells me when people visit, how long they stay, and where they are from. There are no names, so don't worry, your cover has not been blown. But since I've seen some visitors from the same places that keep coming back, you've gotten us a little curious. We would LOVE to hear from our Siloam Springs, AR visitor, Youngsville NC, Merrifield, Virginia, and whoever else is feeling up to coming out from their "lurking" status. Once again, I'm so glad you guys are visiting, and hope you keep coming back! From all of us at Maidenology, thank you. Have a blessed Monday!

-Paige

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Second Part of the Video



...We will post pictures from bowling soon! Yes, some fabulous pictures of the shoes too:) Check my web albums for prom pictures, like I said before, and be watching for more posts from Alena's stay. Maybe you'll get one from Caitlin as well if she decides to come out of her college cave :)

-Paige

Friday, May 2, 2008

Reviving Denim

Most of us have our favorite denim clothing item. By the time we are through with it, the over-all appearance of it is torn, worn, and loved. I had a pair of jeans like that. Take a look...


Notice the pre-shredded pockets, vintage fade, and torn hem at the bottom. I am not ashamed to say that I am a lover of this appearance. But over time, I didn't like wearing them anymore because of the look they gave me. Since I wasn't working on my punk rocker reputation, I decided to stash them in the closet. Mom wanted me to throw them away...but I just couldn't part with them. About a year later, I dug them out of the closet and put them on. Since they didn't look any better, I began brainstorming what I could do with them. Cutting off the torn knees was out of the option because of the fit of the jeans, as was making them into cropped pants or capris. So I set off on the journey of trying to make them into a skirt. Let me tell you something. I DON'T know how to sew! Try as I might, I know ONE stitch. This was a challenge for me. I got out the seam ripper and began painstakingly ripping out the inseam, cutting out the shredded knees, and saving the good denim from below the holes. After much walling in, stitching, and nearly going cross-eyed from cutting fabric to fit, I came out with this.



I must say that I was rather pleased with the result. In using the only easiest stitch there is, I kept that vintage look I love, but gained a more modest appearance. The fade is still there, as are the pockets. I even cut off the shredded seams on the bottom and am using them as a hair tie. I still had plenty of fabric after that, so I also have a matching cell phone case.



I really wanted to share this with you because I know that there is a group of girls out there who are STRUGGLING to find denim skirts that they like (does anyone carry anything besides a miniskirt anymore????). I also know that at least one of our readers has a pair of jeans in their closet that they don't wear anymore that perhaps could use a revival like mine. Ladies, if I can do it, YOU CAN TOO! Just do a little research, give some time, and you'll have an amazing new skirt! Really. If you want to know exactly how I did it, you can email me at maidenology@gmail.com with "Reviving Denim" in the subject, and I'll be happy to help you. In the meantime, I'll shopping at our best thrift store playing around with some new skirt ideas using old jeans. Have a blessed Saturday!

-Paige

PS: There's one more piece of denim that came from the jeans that I turned into something else. Can you spot what it is in the skirt picture? :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Updates!!!

Ok, I'm going to give you a quick rundown of some new things on the blog. Here goes...

1. If you look in the section that used to say "Questions? Email us..." you will see that the text has changed. You can now submit your blog to be put on our blog roll. If we get enough requests, we will have a special section for our fellow "Maidenologists". So, if you would like your blog to be on our blog roll, just send us a quick email at maidenology@gmail.com with "blog roll" in the subject box.

2. A new poll! If you didn't see the trailer for "Fireproof", check it out right here to see what it is all about. Then you can vote on our latest poll!

3. Even though this is only half-way new, I'm going through our posts and labeling all of them for your convenience. As I go through old posts and get more new ones up, there will be more articles in each label, and maybe even more categories.

I'll probably be updating some pictures here and there as well. Just giving it an over-all easy to access appearance. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send them!

-Paige

A Black and White Apparel Event (with polkadots!)

Greetings fellow Maidenologists (and gentleman)! Here are some of the promised pictures. These are from the Alena's last night with us when we decided to dress in our black and white and go out to a nice restaurant together. Enjoy!

-Paige





Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pretty fast, wouldn't you say?

I admit it. I got curious to see if I could break my old record of about 70 wpm...and I blew it away :) This is me when I am warmed up and focused. I average 60-70 wpm when the situation does not call for me to fully exert myself upon the keyboard. So go ahead and take the test! Meanwhile, I'll be trying to get to 100...

Really though, I was trying to think of how I could apply something applicable to this, and in the end, decided that typing fast wasn't all that important. As long as I'm doing my best, and trying to improve in everything I do (all for the glory of God) I shouldn't set myself up against other people's standards. I should live by God's alone. Now there's proof that God is in everything in your life. Live it for Him.

86 words

Speedtest



-Paige

A Visitor from Down South...

Okay, so I know that Arkansas is already in the south...but our visitor was from even further down. If you haven't guessed it by now, Alena came up to AR from FL for a visit. As you saw in the picture, she went to prom with us, and we had a grand time together. There's actually a video that I have for you to watch. We made it LATE at night, and my camera battery died before it was done, so I'll just finish it for you as soon as you watch it. I will also be posting some pictures that we took together as soon as I get this video loaded...

Okay...so I had to cut the video in half, and I may end up cutting it into thirds after all the trouble it took to get this little one up (youtube is not being my friend this evening...). That being said, you can expect another one or two videos from me soon, and some pictures as well. I'll also keep you updated with a random post or two in between it all. Have a blessed Wednesday!

-Paige

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wisdom from the Dancefloor

After attending three social dancing events, (prom twice and homecoming once), I wanted to share with you some tidbits of dance floor knowledge that I have gathered. Since they may include stories, I'll be posting them one at a time. Hopefully these will help you to enhance your enjoyment while you are "breaking it down" (that's homeschool for conservatively dancing when you are trying to avoid any other slang usage)at your next dance.

1. Wear comfortable shoes. While this may seem like a given, I really encourage you to take your time in choosing your shoe. Especially and mostly if you are a girl. Illustration: I wore some three or four inch silver spiked heels to prom two nights ago. They were fairly simple, and mostly comfortable to dance in. But, like most of the girls, about halfway through the instructed dancing (way before free dance even thought about starting) I kicked off my heels on the side of the dance floor. We were in the middle of learning a line dance when all of a sudden the dance instructor decided to start giving a speech on being barefoot while dancing, and how unheard of it was in his day to even think about losing your shoes. I was on the front row with my partner, right in front of the instructor. You can imagine my shock when in the middle of his rant, he stopped, bent down, and picked up a pair of silver heels. My heels. At this moment, I shrunk about a foot to hid my bare feet, causing my partner to give me a double-take glance as I was motioning to him to keep quiet, making him snicker, which caused me to laugh even more. While this was going on, the instructor waved my shoes about and said "And this is even worse! Cinderella has left her slippers!" which caused even more laughter about the floor. The dance instructor never found out whose shoes they were (or at least he acted like he didn't know), and after about an hour, I (not Prince Charming) went and removed my shoes from that spot, long after the teacher had left. Apparently it is good etiquette to keep your shoes on your feet.

One more good thing that can come of this is that if you ladies do wear heels, keeping them on will allow you to look your guy in the eye (or at least get closer to it than you were before). This doesn't bother me too much (if it did, my shoes would have stayed on the whole time). But I know some of you don't like being smaller, so I thought I would throw it out there anyways.

Having said all of that, I hope that you will take extra time in choosing your next pair of shoes. In doing so, you will be able to follow dance floor protocol, keep confident on the floor, and hopefully avoid any Cinderella moments :)

-Paige



PS: The picture above is the Maidenology group before prom on Friday night. As soon as I have pictures from the dancing, I will put them in my web albums for viewing. Keep checking!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Journal Entry

It's so humid outside. I'm sitting here wishing I could open my window and remember that breeze that washed over me two weeks ago. It's funny how quickly things change in this season. But then again, I think it's just Arkansas spreading her arms and saying "welcome home". That's where I am.

If you can't tell, I'm feeling a little melancholy. I think I'm also a little contrary...because I have a feeling that as soon as something might start to happen, I would want to be back in my room listening to the organic acoustic sounds coming from my laptop, as I finish whatever work I have. Or maybe not. Because there is PLENTY going on right now. I won't rattle my schedule off to you. That can be another thing to share later :)

I started piano lessons again last week. For those of you who don't know, I stopped taking lessons for a bit because of issues with my fingers. But things are getting better, and I'm feeling so blessed and privileged to be able to make music again. God is so good. Everyday. I will be practicing my Senior Recital repertoire and working on a date in these coming weeks. Graduation is also coming up soon.

Speaking of graduation, I've been blessed to meet quite a few other homeschooling '08 graduates, and participate in some awesome activities with them. Perhaps I'll blog about those sometime soon. It's a wonderful reminder of how good it is to be around like-minded people. Since I have not addressed my absence of a few months, you can check out what all I was up to by clicking HERE. I will probably be updating that each time I have some worthy photos to show.

That's about all I have for now. Nothing terribly weighty, just some thoughts for you. Have a wonderful weekend!

-Paige

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What it's worth...

When I put those extra periods at the end of a post, it usually means I am going to expand on something. The video below is one someone made with the song "Love is not a Fight" by Warren Barfield (that song you just had to hear after watching the "Fireproof" trailer). The lyrics are in the video. I encourage you to listen to it, and read them. This song is so amazing for me to listen to. When my thoughts begin to wander about aimlessly, I like to listen to it. Things like this remind me that the love I'm saving my first kiss for, and the love I'm trying to keep my heart for, is going to be a love that is literally worth fighting for. That's what I'm waiting for.



Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
-Song of Songs 8:4

Place me like a seal over your heart,like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
-Song of Songs 8:6-7

-Paige

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!



Happy Earth Day to all of you! I hope you take some extra time to give thanks for the wonderful creation that we have to live in. It truly is amazing.

In Christ,

-Paige

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Journal Entry

Have you ever read a scripture, and felt that it was really speaking to you...and then read a completely different scripture in a completely different book of the Bible, and a similar message spoke to you? Here, let me explain myself for you.

Tonight, Caitlin, Alena and I attended a friend's church. They have a service for college and high-school age people on Sunday evenings, so we decided to go. It was very low key. Taco buffet, acoustic worship, and then a devotional. The way they do their devotional is very neat. There is a schedule that they follow that takes them through the Bible in a year (I know most of you have heard of it). But after they read a part, they pick a scripture, and apply the S.O.A.P acronym. (Scripture, observation, application, prayer). We read the assigned scriptures (I know I wasn't doing it right, but it turned out for the better), and then journaled our "SOAP". The assigned scriptures were Matthew chapter 7, and Psalm 31. I'll let you look them up yourself, because if I put them here...people would probably just glance at this post and not read it because it was WAY too long for their attention span. So. I read both chapters. The Psalm first. I had read it before, but not really looked deeper into the meanings. It was Psalm layout where David is praising, asking for his enemies to be taken care of, and talking about everything he was going through. As I was reading this, I started comparing my "bad" situations to the ones the Psalmist was going through, and my problems began to feel very insignificant. Well, at the very end of the scripture, as my pride was slowly being crushed (I can't count how many times I've been broken), I read this. "Love the Lord, all His saints! The Lord preserves the faithful, but the proud He pays back in full." Psalm 31:23

A double hitter. It is so amazing how God does that sometimes. The scripture could have meant something completely different to someone else, but I think that was what I needed to hear. Every time I pray for humility, I get it. I'll have to tell you an amazing story sometime, but not now. Moving on...

When I read Matthew 7, the part where it talks about getting the plank out of your eye before you remove the speck from your brother's really hit me. So many times if I would just humble myself and examine my own spiritual life, helping other people would be so much easier. Doing things with a humble spirit is SO important. So that's what my little rant up there was about.

The rest of the night was filled with listening to other people's "soap", which included "Hoperade" (I quote the lovely girl at the Bible study), two amazingly applicable food analogies, and a few other deep thoughts. I love being in a dynamic and focused group. We played pictionary after that, and though the other team dominated, we still had lots of fun. Next time we'll try and roll less ones, and more sixes. Even a four would have worked...but I'm not complaining. There's always next time...

-Paige

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fireproof

Hey guys, I really wanted to share this with you, and encourage you to look into supporting this movie. I think it will be worth our time. Really. Just watch the trailer.

-Paige



PS: If you just fell in love with the song that's playing throughout the trailer, it's called "Love is not a Fight" by Warren Barfield. The album is not out yet, but you can listen to it on a few other websites. More on that to come...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I have my driver's license. No, really, I actually got it. After taking the test twice, and getting it renewed after the second time, Caitlin and I finally got our official license's. After experiencing this, I thought it appropriate to share with you some things I have learned about the road, and how I apply them to life. I will probably do this post by post. So, here's my first one.

It was my turn. The very nice policeman who was taking Caitlin and I on the driving part of our test had us go at the same time. I sat in back while Caitlin drove, and then he had her pull into a parking lot so that we could switch out. While I was thankful that she had gone first (oldest privileges seem to apply at more than just our home), I was a little nervous. All those little things that dad had been telling us were replaying in my mind. "Don't budge until you nudge", which applies to coming to a full and complete stop just happened to be stuck in my head, which helped me to stay focused. So, I got out of the car, got in the drivers seat, took my precious time setting the mirrors to my height (she may be the oldest...but she is most certainly not the tallest), then started the car and pulled out of the parking lot.

Our first main event was driving by the wreck that we had passed earlier. The policeman wanted me to drive by it again so he could see if any of the cars were gone. We passed without trouble. I made my second right turn (the test consists of about six right turns and parking). As we were driving down the road, changing lanes very nicely, and going a few mph under the speed limit, two dogs decided to run out in front of the car. My reaction was to squeak a little for the policeman, swerve just a little, and slow down to almost a stop. Apparently this was the right thing to do because after the dogs got out of the way, the police proceeded to talk casually with Caitlin and I about his three dogs he has at home, and how they are very protective of him. The last thing that slightly resembled an event was when the police decided to tell us about all of the wrecks he had been in while administering tests previously. I drive past a corner and the policeman says "oh yes, that's where we had a head on". I drive past a ditch and he points "we rolled over there". As I am making the second to last right turn, he tells me in his matter-of-fact voice that "a poor girl panicked right there and pushed the gas too far so we went straight into that storm drain". I could feel my stomach twisting into nervous knots as the man in the passenger's seat lectured us on how people are just so inconsiderate while they are driver nowadays. And yes, I kept my eyes on the road during that time. We pulled into the parking lot, I parked our little four door, and he handed us our permits that were stamped and ready to be traded for hard copy license's. My lesson: always pay attention. Life lesson drawn: learning accurate discernment.

If I had not slowed down, I would have run over the two dogs, gotten out of the car and bawled (while another car rear-ended us since I would have stopped in the middle of the road) and then promptly failed my driving test. The end. I slowed down because I had to decide in that short moment A) to slow down/stop or not to do either, B) how much to slow down, and C) what my reaction was going to be to all of it. We make decisions every single day, whether we realize it or not. I had to decide that I was going to make getting this post done a priority. Driving has made me more aware of my surroundings, and taught me that I need to be able to make quick and accurate decisions, or else I will pay. I brought this over into my off-road life, and it really showed me just how important it is to be aware of the choices I make daily. My motives should be clear, and wisdom and logic should be the main influence. So before you sit down and play a round of solitaire on the computer, or, on a heavier not, are making those life impacting decisions about college etc, I encourage you to examine your motives and choice, and the outcome. I'll be doing it with you. Here's an encouraging scripture I wanted to share with you.

Proverbs 3:21-26

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
do not let them out of your sight;
they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;
when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being snared.

Conversation Questions:

What helps you to make your day the most productive?
Are there any favorite scriptures that influence your daily decision making routines?
What helps you the most when making hard decisions?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dancing.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

Keep that in mind as we look at the results of the poll.

0% said that they do not believe that dancing is bad all the time.

12 Now King David was told, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God." So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, 15 while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

2 Samuel 6:12-14

David danced before God. This was David praising and being joyful. That should say enough for us there. Not all dancing is bad.

6% of you said that dancing is never bad. It should not take scriptural reference to tell you that this is not true. Our culture has embraced a provocative and sensual lifestyle, and dancing is part of the core of this movement. If you are not a Christian, we have no common ground. But if you are and you voted for this, I highly suggest that you re-examine your standings on this issue. I do not have time to examine the more fine points that could be hit on (define dancing, dancing motives, etc)...maybe in a later post. But for now, think about our culture, and it should tell you that dancing can be very bad.

45% said that dancing is fine only if it is conservative, modest, and not suggestive. I completely agree with you there, and will now reveal that this was my choice when I voted. If dancing is within modest boundaries, is not causing anyone to stumble, and not suggestive, then I do not struggle with it at all. I find it to be a truly enjoyable experience, and a wonderful means of exercising.

Lastly, 48%, the winning vote, said that group dancing is fine withing modest boundaries, but not much else. There does not seem to be much of a difference between the previous choice mentioned and this one, other that the face that "group dancing" was mentioned. I don't know how you define "group dancing", so let me give you some examples of how I define it. If you remember awhile ago, we mentioned learning the "Virginia Reel" at my grandparents 50th anniversary party in Montana (many thanks to the DeGroots for this...we've taught it to so many people, and it has become a favorite activity!). This is a dance where you have a partner, but the ladies all stand in one line, the gentleman in the other, and you move back and forth spinning and skipping as a group. Think Pride and Prejudice and you have the right idea. Also, at our home school prom last year (yes...there is such a thing!) and at homecoming this year, we had a dance instructor teach us a few dances, along with some dancing etiquette. Many of the dances he taught were line dances where you did not even need a partner to participate. I classify these as "group dances", along with the ever popular "cha cha slide" and "Cotton-Eyed Joe" (I'll hold my comments on that one :P). Some of you may consider "group dancing" as a dance where there is more than one person on the floor. I am not sure. But I think the general consensus is what I talked about above.

The main thing I think we can draw from our results is that dancing is not bad for Christians, as long as it is done modestly in all realms. In fact, I encourage all of you to go find a partner sometime and have a friend teach you and your friends the "Virginia Reel", or another fun dance like that. Maybe you could learn the basic waltz or polka step. It's all quite amusing, and worth giving it a try. Who knows...you might even learn the Cotton-Eyed Joe ;)

-Paige

Friday, January 4, 2008

Home Again...

Good morning to all of you! I have a few short things to cover in this small post. First of all...we are home! Some of us were worried we might get snowed in (remember last year...being stuck in the hotel room on New Year's Eve in Iowa?) but we didn't. All of us were thankful for that. In fact, there was no snow at all when we left. Just little patches scattered here and there. We pulled out at half time in the Cotton Bowl (leaving a house of hard-core MIZZOU fans was somewhat of a relief) and got home at around 9:45. Things are already picking up as 2008 has begun. I already have a jam packed schedule that I'm trying to squeeze a few spare moments out of for things like blogging. Speaking of moments, there are only 15 hours left to vote on the poll that's just over to your right on the sidebar. After we have all the votes, I will try and have a post up for you by Sunday concerning it. That's all I have for you for now! Have a blessed rest of the day!

-Paige

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

Happy New Year! I thought we might as well get a post up while we were awake. It truly was an amazing year. So many trials, yet so many blessings. As I get older, I get more and more thankful for the lessons I learn. Next year holds many new adventures. But I'll save that post for another time. Here's a video from us. Wishing you a blessed 2008!

-Paige