Monday, July 30


You know...we're all beautiful. I'm not just talking about inner beauty. We're all beautiful on the outside, too.

The Psalmist doesn't say without reason,

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." --Psalm 139:13-14, NIV

And...he's not just talking about being wonderfully made on the inside, but on the outside, also. Each of us are beautiful, for God created us, each one, in His image!

Our bodies are simply shells. Our spirits, on the other hand - those are the eternal things. Our spirit will live forever, and truly, my spirit - in whatever form - will live with Christ in paradise. Forever. What a gift!!

But back to what I was saying. What I just learned a few days ago. Because I didn't know this before...that we are all beautiful, physically beautiful.

I read a book. Called The Martyr's Song, by Ted Dekker. And I had to read most of it a second time before I got it...

Yes, this shell, this flesh, is not eternal. But God created all of me, including my body, my face, my hair, my toes, shaping each feature the way He wanted it to be. He creates beauty - He doesn't create fractured, broken, ugly things (remember, "Your works are wonderful, I know that full well"?). Look around you! Look at the beauty of pure nature! Yes, there are animals killing each other for food, predator and prey...that, however, was not in the holy and pure design of God. Instead, all was peace. And joy. And love.

So, who creates beauty? Yeah, that's right: God. God creates beauty.

Then why do we allow people to tell us what beauty is in a human being, loved in God's sight? As if they know! If one doesn't know God, one doesn't know beauty. Not true beauty. They might see glimpses of it in His creations...but they can't define what it means on a person. They can't create beauty.

Beauty is not in the popular clothes, the jewelry, the make-up, the long eyelashes, the clear face, the perfect lips, the curvy figure, the tanned skin...

I might sound crazy, but that's not beauty. That's not all beauty is, at least. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...and the Beholder is God. If someone has all that, all of what I just listed above, they are beautiful. And if someone has none of that, they are still beautiful. Period. Not one over the other. We are all beautiful.

I'm not sure if I'm getting my point across clearly. I hope I am. It's a slippery concept at first, like trying to grasp water as it slips through your fingers. You have it....and then it's gone. It takes some time getting used to, changing your whole perspective on the subject, but once you's so simple, so clear, so right.

And why is this so important? I mean, really, our physical bodies don't matter all that much when you look at it from the eternal perspective...but to know that we are all truly, truly physically changes everything, things that are eternally important. It's going with God's truth and going against the enemy's lies. It's totally against what this world says, totally against the message I've become used to.

It's against pointing out a certain person and thinking they're prettier than the rest. It's against wanting to get closer to a certain person simply because they have a "pretty" face and fashionable clothes and stylish hair. It's against comparing and favoring the girl who's thin like a twig over the girl who's not so much so. It's against looking at myself unhappily, being unsatisfied with how I look. It's against wanting to be thinner, not for health reasons, but instead just hoping that if you lose more weight you'll look better...that's losing sight of the truth that we are all beautiful.

In the knowledge of this truth...there's no reason to compare myself to reason to judge others instantly merely by what they look like...

Instead, I know that they are beautiful...and loved. so dearly, dearly loved. oh, how loved we are!

Read The Martyr's Song. Listen to what God is telling you. Not only through this book, but through His Word, too, most definitely...just spend time reading through it. Nothing else. Just...listen to Him, read His Holy Word. It - He will change you and grow you like you could never imagine, tenderly, firmly, lovingly, forever.

And this relatively short novel I read the other also brought a change in me. Through it, God may show you something different than what He showed me...but it won't be totally different. Because it's all connected, all related. To each other. To life. And most God.

May you have a faith-filled, joy-filled, love-filled, hope-filled, grace-filled...God-filled week, you beautiful, beloved child of God.

Wednesday, July 11


Since we are finally at another campground which has free Wi-Fi (the last two or something didn't), I can finally post pictures! We try not to upload pictures using our Verizon Mi-Fi hotspot thingy, because it uses a ton of data (which means we can't watch YouTube videos either :( phooey), so that's why I had to wait until now.

But now means now, and so I proudly present you with two slideshows I created, with helpful input from my family, of course - one video is of our time traveling in the month of June, and the other of our time in the Grand Canyon! Enjoy!

Sorry about the weird thumbnail in that video^^ :P - YouTube is being annoying and won't let me pick my own thumbnail (it only gives you 3 choices, and it's taking a while to load the one that I want, so for now it's stuck on this one, cut halfway between two pictures of my dad and my brother in the pool)...the thumbnail on the video below, however, worked out great! I was happy about that. :D

These slideshows were a lot of fun to make! We went to the Grand Canyon three different times (which is why there are so many pictures): the first day we went in the late afternoon and stayed there for the sunset. We went back the next day and spent most of the day there, hiking around the rim and having fun. We rode on a bus for about a half an hour out to almost the furthest point of the rim, and had some very interesting conversations with some very interesting people while we were driving out there. ;) And the last time we went was the next morning, at roughly 5:00am. Yeah. I know. We all got up at about 4:30ish to go and watch the sunrise...and it was freezing!! It being so windy didn't help either. :P That's why we all have jackets tightly wrapped around us in one or two of the pictures towards the end of the slideshow.

Oh, and I'm entering this picture of the sunset in the Grand Canyon in KayleeBeth's photo challenge:

It was a hard pick, because there were a few others that I really liked as brother and my dad liked another pic better than this one (you could see the Canyon better), but I loved the sun rays in this one, and I just had to use it. :) The sunset was absolutely gorgeous!

Annnnnd...that's all for now! We're heading today from, uh, somewhere in California (about an hour outside of LA) to Yosemite National Park! I can't wait! :) Hope everyone has had a wonderful week so far!

Monday, July 9

some thoughts about life and death

the two times i have come closest to death happened two days in a row.

not death happening to me, personally. but to others around me.

yesterday, my dad was driving early in the morning to find coffee and signal. for his phone, that is. as he was driving, a police car...a fire ambulance sped past him. later he saw them, crowded around where a car had driven off the road...and down the drop-off, several feet below. they loaded the person, loved and precious in the eyes of our Lord, into the ambulance.

that evening, as we drove by, merrily coming home from our day trip in San Diego, we quickly sobered when we saw flowers and a sign where the accident had happened.

life is so fragile.

today, a dear friend of mine, whom i've met only once, but who is a sweet sister in Christ...their very, very close family friend passed away today. she has... had been in the hospital for many weeks, for several things going on in her body. her husband, my friend said, was given peace by our loving Father, but i ask all of you reading this to please pray for him and for my friend and her family, as this is obviously so painful. i praise the Lord that this precious lady is now rejoicing in heaven with our Lord Jesus, but i weep for those here on earth who will miss her.

life is so fragile.

why? why must it be so? if i look at it in anger and pain and despair, it looks as if God is mocking us, mercilessly reminding us of our frailty, of our weakness, in contrast with His Almighty strength.

but i know that is not truth.

what is truth is that our Savior loves us. i know, as surely as the sun rises, as the Psalmist says, that our Lord and King is a loving God, and that while He is rejoicing in heaven, He is weeping with His beloved ones here in this fractured, broken world. the ones who miss their dear friends and family members, who have lost loved ones in the the end of an a hospital...

although i'm not quite sure what the point of this post is, other than to let out some of the thoughts tumbling around in my mind, my soul, begging to be heard...maybe, out of all that, this is one lesson learned:

how precious life is. how dear, sweet, and precious life is.

may we not forget that. may we always bless each day, grateful for the life given us by our Savior.

Wednesday, July 4

Happy Independence Day!

4th of July. Red, white, and blue. Flags. Fireworks. Family. Friends. What a wonderful celebration, no?

How blessed we are to live in this amazing country! I really mean it when I say this twisted, fractured world, it is such a gift from God to be able to worship Him without fear of being arrested or killed, to have food and clothes and shelter and more, to enjoy fellowship with friends at church, to move around freely at home and abroad - in other countries, my family wouldn't be able to travel around together like we are! And we're having so much fun! We're driving down the highway right now, listening to upbeat music (tobyMac!), singing and smiling and having an overall amazing time! :) {Speaking of having an amazing time, I have some incredible pictures to share later from the Grand Canyon!!}

Anyway, I am so thankful for the independence of this amazing country called the United States of America! Oh, sure, we have problems. We're human, tempted by our flesh, the world, and the enemy. Our government isn't perfect. Some of our laws are screwy and saddening (you know, legal abortion, gay rights, etc.) and we need to continue praying against those laws and for the people behind them, to love them like Jesus loves us in our imperfection.

But, in spite of the junk, I love this place. I love walks with my family and meeting up with friends and going to church and having little church in our RV and listening to Christian radio stations and seeing the sunshine. I love living in freedom in my faith. Most of all, I love my awesome God Who has given me all these things.


1st Amendment - Protects the people's right to practice religion, to speak freely, to assemble (meet), to address the government and of the press to publish.

2nd Amendment - Protects the right to own guns.

3rd Amendment - Guarantees that the army cannot force homeowners to give them room and board.

4th Amendment - Protects the people from the government improperly taking property, papers, or people, without a valid warrant based on probably cause (good reason).

5th Amendment - Protects people from being held for committing a crime unless they are properly indicted, that they may not be tried twice for the same crime, and that you need not be forced to testify against yourself. It also contains due process guarantees.

6th Amendment - Guarantees a speedy trial, an impartial jury, and that the accused can confront witnesses against them, and that the accused must be allowed to have a lawyer.

7th Amendment - Guarantees a jury trial in federal civil court cases. This type of case is normally no longer heard in federal court.

8th Amendment - Guarantees that punishments will be fair, and not cruel, and that extraordinarily large fines will not be set.

9th Amendment -Simply a statement that other rights aside from those listed may exist, and just because they are not listed doesn't mean they can be violated.

10th Amendment - Says that any power not granted to the federal government belongs to the states.

Monday, July 2

The Beautiful Blogger Award!

I was given the Beautiful Blogger award by the beautiful Piper from her beautiful blog on this beautiful day - how beautiful! ;) Let's get started, shall we?

1. Thank the person who nominated you and give the link.
Thank you so much, Piper for nominating me!!! That was uber-beautiful of you. ;) {OK, OK, I'll cut it out with the beautiful business...but all that's been said so far is so beautifully true! ;) haha}

2. Tell us how the idea of making a blog popped up and why you continue it.
Wellll...this isn't actually my first blog. My old blog was with Weebly - each member of my family had their own blog page altogether on the same blog in amazing blogness! (If that made sense.) To clear things up, just go here. Go ahead and look, that's fine. I'll wait.

...good, you saw it? Now, the reason my family started that blog (about 2 and a half years ago) was to record our traveling extravaganza! When we came back to Florida, it fizzled out quite a bit (except for my mom's blog). Later, I started this new blog, because I like Blogger better than Weebly. Aaaannnnd (sorry this is so long) - I continue this blog because I like to write. And post pictures. So there.

3. Describe a usual day of your life.
Um, ah, well, er...I don't really have a usual day in my life. Sorry! :) That's just the way my family is - right now, that is, as we're traveling around the Western United States in our RV. I could describe a usual day during the school year. But that would be boring. :P So, just suffice it to say that my days this summer are as varied as people on this earth. ;) Oh, wait - there is one thing that you can count on: most every day this summer we will have spent some amount time at some kind of museum. Just check out my mom's blog if you don't believe me. ;)

4. The best collaboration with a blogger?
Ah...I haven't exactly had any collaboration with any blogger yet. Well, I'm in the middle of one, I guess, answering Britt's interview questions...and so far it's been wonderbaar! :) {Sorry...too many Amish books lately. ;)}

5. Worst collaboration with a blogger?
See answer to #4.

6. Explain what having this blog means to you.
Oh, wow, well...basically just my journey through life. A place to improve my writing, share some of my thoughts, epiphanies, and just every day stuff. I also hope that through my blog others might be encouraged - that I would always point to Christ. :)

7. Nominate five bloggers for this award.
Okey-dokey, I nominate...

2. Emma at Beautifully Me
3. Ireland at A Pearl of Great Price
4. Melody at Rejoice Always!
5. Sophie at My Happy Place

That's it for today! So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu, adieu, adieu, to you and you and you. Ahem. I want to watch that movie! :) Anyone else think the Sound of Music is amazing?