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? :)