New Iterations–February Goals

Welcome, my lovely ladies and gentlemen, to my first post of re-stating my goals!!! Boring, I know. But that’s not going to stop me!!! Ha ha.

 

Anyway, as promised, this is a post re-stating my personal goals in light of February. I’ll show my goals for this year with notes applied to this month and how I plan to reach those goals. You can also check out my original goals and how I did with them in January. Thrilling, right? I know. I’m awesome. ;D

 

In February of 2018 I plan to…

  • Drink more water–This month I cutting out absolutely all soda and plan to drink at least 32 ounces of water a day.
  • Grow closer to God–I’d like to stay consistent with my daily Bible reading and pray more often.
  • Save money and buy less–This month, I’m taking a short hiatus from actually saving money. Now, granted, I’m not going on some crazy spending spree but I’m not going to actively try to save back cash for the bank, considering how well I did last month. I’m just taking a break and will pick back up actually saving in March, while this month I plan to just buy a few things and try not to overdo it on either end of the spectrum.
  • Tone up–This month I’m going to try to do fifteen sit-ups and ten push-ups a day, and by the end of the month I’d like to be able to hang for a minute from my pull-up bar.
  • Run more–I want to go for at least two runs a week starting on Sunday.
  • Get and stay organized–I want to re-organize my bedside table and my electronics, as well as keep my surfaces as tidy as possible.
  • Live a more scheduled life–I’m going to schedule several blog posts and writing periods.
  • Read more–I’d like to read at least three novels this month. Honestly, I’d like to read about eight, but as busy as I am that’s probably not going to happen.
  • Improve at music–Starting tomorrow, I’d like to not miss a day of playing piano during the week.
  • Write more–I plan to write at least 4,000 words this month, preferably more, and I plan to finish one of the last scenes in my novel. If I work hard at writing I could easily triple that goal but I’m also a high school student and have other goals I’m trying to work at, so I’m aiming pretty low.
  • Post more on this blog–Like I said, several posts are coming this month, the most notable being a review of The Majesty of Grace, an old childhood favorite.
  • Finish reading the Left Behind series–I plan to at least re-start Glorious Appearing by the end of this month.
  • Eat more healthily–I plan to be pretty good this month and eat within my calorie range on most of the weekdays and some weekends.

 

Talk to me! Do you all set monthly goals? If so, what are they? Do you all enjoy any of my goals, such as reading or running?

 

I’ll be back soon!

–Abby

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A Month in Review: Resolution Recap

Hey, y’all. I can’t believe it’s the end of January all ready! Well, actually I can, hence I’m writing this blog post. Ha ha…that wasn’t funny, I’m sorry.

 

So, I KNOW this post will be extremely dull, especially if you haven’t read the first one, but, unfortunately, that cannot be helped, as my new-year-new-beginnings crazy self all ready told you I would do this. So here I am.

 

This month has been PACKED. As the bells toiled 12 in the AM of January first, I was surrounded by my family and church family. I bought a Fit-Bit on the second. I got back at my school work on the fourth (ugh!). This year my church started something special called Winter Warm-Up. Every Wednesday night a guest speaker preaches. I’ve enjoyed that. During the early weeks of January I survived my semester exams with pretty good grades–I think the lowest grade I got was a 90%. Not too shabby. Then, a few weeks in, I caught a cough. It didn’t start as much, but now, as I sit here typing this almost three weeks later, I have a headache. My chest is congested and my sinuses feel absolutely nasty. If I don’t drink enough water my throat is raw. As you can imagine, fighting a cold-cough combination has taken a lot out of me, so I didn’t get as much done as I would’ve liked. Anyway. On to the recap.

  • On drinking more water and no soda–Ok. I gave up soda completely on the second, but then I accidentally cheated and had a ginger ale (I didn’t know it was soda!) on the third. Then, I, with renewed vigor, tried until my friend Emmy had a going away party for college. I had two cups, maybe, of Dr. Pepper and Pepsi then. Then, when I got sick, I drank a two liter of Sprite over the course of several days, and I’m going to be on a hiatus until March 1st. Hopefully. I’m not one for extensive self control when it comes to my taste buds, as you can tell.
  • On my spiritual walk–Even though I have missed and am making up a couple of days of devotions, I really do feel like I’ve grown in the past month. I haven’t prayed as much as I’d like, either, but I feel closer to God.
  • On saving more $$$$—I have $75 dollars that I scraped together in January to put in my savings account, and only twenty of it came from Christmas. I can only think of about half a dozen things I bought in January–one of them being a FitBit (yay I can check that off my list!)–so I feel like I’ve done pretty good in this category.
  • On toning up–HAHAHAHAHA. I did well for about the first week of January. I exercised and had great intentions. But then I fell behind on my fitness challenges…and thought “eh, let’s do it next month.” In my defense, I did do quite a bit of walking at the beginning of the year and did simple exercises such as push-ups and squats for a couple of weeks. And then I kinda slacked off and then got sick and…nope, didn’t happen.
  • On running–I ran at the beginning of the month and then coughing and running at the same time didn’t seem like an extreme sport I was willing to try.
  • On organization–Actually, I’ve done surprisingly well in this category. I re-organized my bookshelves and most of my closet and fixed most of my room when it was in disarray. It’s a little bit messy now as I haven’t had ANY energy for the past week or two, but ya know. It was a good start.
  • On scheduling–I’ve been doing really well with this and have been using my planner. Go me.
  • On reading–So far this month, I’ve read a total of SEVEN novels and am half-way through a Jack London biography.
  • On music–Well, I passed three of my songs last week at my piano lesson. I guess that’s kind of self explanatory.
  • Write more–I’ve written roughly 5000 words this month, which isn’t a ton, but it’s about where my goal was. I feel like I’ve gotten off to a good start.
  • On Left Behind–Haven’t read any more of this.
  • On blogging–Check my archives, peeps. I’ll let you be the judge.
  • On eating healthily–I ate well for the first part of the month, but for the past two to three weeks, I’ve eaten terribly. I know. I’m a terrible person who doesn’t meet my goals. Shame on mwah.

 

Overall, I’ve not done terribly, but I’ve not been too good, either. I’m blaming that on chest congestion. All its fault ;D

 

As always,

Abby

Resolutions

I’m being a nerd and posting my “New Year’s Resolutions” on January 2nd instead of on January 1st. But, here you are. And, I don’t know if any of you watch Blimey Cow, but yesterday Jordan and Josh posted a video about more or less the ridiculousness of New Year’s resolutions. Thanks, guys. Really gave me encouragement to fulfill my goals. 😉

  • Drink more water–I’m a pop drinker through and through. I love Coke and Pepsi Wild Cherry and Dr. Pepper–you see my problem? Starting today, whenever I get a craving for soda, I’m going to drink something else instead of it, especially water, because, believe it or not, I hardly ever drink just plain water. No wonder I’m tired all the time.
  • Grow closer to God–This year I’m trying to read my Bible every single day without fail and spend some quality time with Him in prayer.
  • Save money & buy less–I have an allowance, I deliver papers weekly, and I walk a neighborhood dog and shovel the owner’s snow. This year, I’m buying a loft bed, a Fitbit, probably a gym membership, maybe some ice skates, and possibly a phone upgrade. And last year I spent a ton between a four-hundred dollar investment known as Spike, a trip to the Mall of America, and a shopping spree in Gulf Shores. And a word processor. Also, I’m apt to impulse buy small items that I don’t need and I really need to stop.
  • Tone up–I wouldn’t call myself very overweight but I’m definitely not slim and trim. This year, I don’t necessarily want to drop any pounds but just tone my muscles and get fit.
  • Run more–Running was a sport that I found out last spring I enjoyed, and it’s a great way to get and stay fit. This year I’m going to try to run as much as possible.
  • Get/stay organized–I hate clutter. I really do. But why is my nightstand covered with it? Especially since I’m moving into my cousin’s room in May, I’m going to try to be a more organized person. The problem is, I have too much stuff, so I guess you could say purging is part of this resolution.
  • Live a more scheduled life–I have a love/hate relationship with schedules., but I really need to schedule my time this year, between writing a novel, running a blog, reading voraciously, trying not to fail high school, and getting fit. I even bought a my first-ever serious planner.
  • Read more–This is kind of an odd goal for me, but I really do need to read more. I’ve hardly finished any books over the last several months, and I have dozens on my shelves waiting to be read for the first time and other at the library. This one is more of a get-off-Pinterest-and-read-a-book type thing than anything else.
  • Improve at music–I can hear Lizzie, my dork of a piano teacher, laughing in the distance. But, seriously, this year I would to practice more this year–again part of the scheduling thing–and really improve my skills and knowledge, especially concerning music theory.
  • Write more–This one is a no-brainer. I’m trying to write one thousand words a week on Though He Slay Me until my goal date, March 31, 2018. Currently I still have three hundred left over from last week along with this week’s thousand, so I’m going to really have to work at this. Nobody ever said writing was easy, did they?
  • Finish reading the Left Behind Series–I started reading the teen version in late 2015 and the adult version in early to mid 2016, which is when I finished the teen version. Last summer I started reading the traditional last book, Glorious Appearing, and never finished it. I also have to read the final sequel, Kingdom Come, and the prequel trilogy.
  • Post more on this blog–Last year I really failed at posting regularly on here, though I had good intentions. This, again, falls into scheduling. Besides my two posts a month already stated in my last post, I’m going to post at least two others a month, one of them being a book review.
  • Eat more healthily–I love unhealthy foods. French fries, ice cream, you name it. This year I want to do what’s best for my body and eat better. Salads and kale, here I come.

I”m going to really have to work at these, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a jam-packed year. Do you all have any big goals this year?

–Abby

New Year+New Theme

Well, dearies, a new year is upon us.

 

It’s like a clean slate, just waiting to be colored on. It’s a field of opportunities, three hundred and sixty-five possibilities. It is a time for new dreams to be realized and old dreams to be revived.

 

It is a time of resolution. It is a time of change.

 

 

In honor of 2018, I’m changing my blog theme. I loved the old aquatic one, but it wasn’t really me. I’m not sure this one is, either, but with the new year maybe I’ll grow into it.

 

Also in 2018, I will be making some resolutions. And, for the first time ever, maybe I’ll have resolve the whole year round. Because now I have accountability partners. You guys.

 

Tomorrow I will make a post announcing my resolutions. And at the end of each month, I tell y’all how I did: how much water I drank, how far I ran, how many words I penned, how many posts I wrote, how much money I saved, how many books I read, etc. Then, at the beginning of each month I will restate my monthly goals with renewed vigor. (Ha!)

 

Have no fear. There will be normal posts, also–book reviews, lists, lifetime happenings, ramblings. But with a new year comes a new leaf, and this leaf is rather large.

 

 

Thank you for reading and supporting, lovely ladies and gentlemen. I pray you all have a blessed 2018, and that it will be your best year yet.

 

Ciao!

 

–Abby

 

 

2017 Recap

Hello, folks! I intended to post more this holiday season….maybe next year. 😀 Sigh. But, anywho, this will be my very last post this year. WHERE HAS 2017 GONE. Ridonculous, as my bestie would say.

 

In January, I welcomed in the new year with a bang! Just kidding. I was playing Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham and had actually sort-of intended to go to bed earlier but glanced at my phone and it was 12:01. I missed it. Oh well.

 

During the first few months of 2017, I started becoming a history buff, even more so than I had been before. Though I had my struggles in my math class and seldom enjoyed biology, the World History hour was the one I looked forward to.

 

NOTE: I am adding this ten hours later because, for some reason, I completely forgot to add that in March I went to Minnesota for the first time and went to the Mall of America with my family and aunt, uncle, and cousins!!! Truly my brain needs help.

 

In May, I started blogging! Sharing my thoughts and feelings with the internet has became a new enjoyment for me and I’m hoping to continue blogging as much as possible.

 

Also in May, two good friends of mine graduated high school. Sniff. I did cry at the graduation, if you’re wondering. I also left behind my freshman year–no more biology, yipee!

 

In June, my big sister turned 17! We spent her birthday in a AC-blasted car traveling through Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama for a week excursion on the white beaches of Gulf Shores. And then Tropical Storm Cindy hit and we stayed inside for four days out of seven. Twenty-two people in one house–it did go better than I expected, though.

 

In July, I watched an incredible airshow, turned 15, bought my first laptop, and went to my church’s annual Summer Jubilee. I also got hooked on Nancy Drew Mystery Games and shared a short story on this blog for the first time. And I started volunteering as a librarian.

 

In August, I posted my first devotional to speak of. I learned what God wants me to do with my life. And a good friend of mine, who, as afore mentioned, graduated in May, went away to college. SNIFF.

 

In September, I began my sophomore year of high school and watched An Affair to Remember for the first time. And I forced my bestie to watch The Princess Bride and a Star Trek movie. Needless to say, she liked them. AND—I started reading the Ascendance Trilogy! SO GOOD.

 

In the later fall months I took my first hunter’s ed course. We learned everything from how to cradle a gun to how to skin a rabbit. October came and went. I finished the Ascendance Trilogy. AND I ALMOST FORGOT MY COUSIN GOT ENGAGED. I’m a terrible person.  I went to an apple fest–and bought a $15 dollar antique book which I thought might be an original and wasn’t–and almost threw up after coming off one of the rides. Good times.

 

In November, I published an original poem on this blog for the first time. I also went to a pumpkin patch when it was approximately twenty-five degrees outside. On the bright side, there was a zipline. On the downside, I was wearing a skirt. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner, and I finished almost all of my Christmas shopping on ‘Black Friday.’

 

December came…and is still here, for today, at least. I played a song during one of my church’s services, which was the first time in about a year. I participated in my choir’s Christmas cantata. I gave and received many Christmas gifts and had a glorious holiday, complete with snow. And now I’m on Christmas break. YIPEEE.

 

Well, that about sums it up! Next year will be even busier, with my sister and cousin graduating, a different cousin (the one who got engaged in October) getting married, and myself moving into a different bedroom with a roomie for the first time in five years and hopefully starting a summer lawn care business and *DRUMROLL, PLEASE* FINISHING THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY NOVEL, THOUGH HE SLAY ME, IN MARCH! If I stick to my word goals, of course. YAY.

 

What has happened in y’all’s lives this year? Comment down below to let me now!

 

Have a blessed New Year!

 

–Abby

 

Original Poetry: Winter 2015

I’m just a girl who believes in Jesus

I’m just a nerd who follows Christ

You can’t change me. I’ll follow Him anyway

For He had the love to die

 

He is my Savior

My Kinsman Redeemer

My Master, my King, my Friend

I will serve Him

And I will trust Him

For He had the love to die

 

I’m just a girl who loves her Jesus

I’m just a nerd who worships Christ

Though you can’t change me, He can change you

For He had the love to die

Please Be Real

I debated about posting this. I almost didn’t. But I am, so listen up. 😀 Just kidding. *puts on serious face*

 

I don’t like fake people or people who try to make me think that they are different than they really are. And neither, I believe, does God.

 

Now, granted, I have been guilty of being ‘fake’ myself a time or two. And I’m not proud of it. From my understanding, it is a form of deceit, much like lying. And since we all know and agree that lying is a sin, why don’t we come to the terms with the fact that intentionally false appearances are, also?

 

Proverbs 19:9 reads “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.” Now, all Bible believers would agree that lying is wrong. We have been taught that since childhood. In my house, if you lied to Mom or Dad, there would be consequences that you wouldn’t forget for awhile. But what is this ‘false witness’ who is going to be punished?

 

From Webster’s 1828:

 

False–adjective

1. Not true; not conformable to fact; expressing what is contrary to that which exists, is done, said or thought. A false report communicates what is not done or said. A false accusation imputes to a person what he has not done or said. A false witness testifies what is not true. A false opinion is not according to truth or fact. The word is applicable to any subject, physical or moral.

 

Witness–noun

1. Testimony; attestation of a fact or event.

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. John 5:31.

2. That which furnishes evidence or proof.

Laban said, this heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Genesis 31:44.

3. A person who knows or sees any thing; one personally present; as, he was witness; he was an eye-witness. 1 Peter 5:1.

4. One who sees the execution of an instrument, and subscribes it for the purpose of confirming its authenticity b his testimony.

5. One who gives testimony; as, the witnesses in court agreed in all essential facts.

With a witness effectually; to a great degree; with great force, so as to leave some mark as a testimony behind. He struck with a witness [Not elegant.]

 

 

So, basically, a false witness is someone who speaks untruthfully or, in this case, acts untruthfully. Let me illustrate:

 

I know several people who have the “no-pants-on-women” conviction. My family holds that standard as do several other families we connect with. The majority of the core families in our church hold that standard, and it is upheld for the church’s ministries (i.e. the choir, school, etc.).

 

Some people in our church, however, disagree or do not hold that standard. Does this make them any less of a Christian? No. Do I look down on ladies who do not hold that standard? No.

 

But, let’s say that we are attending a large, non-church related function such as Memorial Day Parade. (Just a note, this is loosely based off of vague incidents that have happened in my life or that I have heard about. The time and place are fictional.) Several people who hold the standard in question are going to attend, as well as several who don’t. I will be there, and I will be wearing a skirt. As usual. There is nothing out of the ordinary.

 

Now, as this is hypothetical, let’s say that you are a lady and you wear pants. If you see nothing wrong with wearing pants, and you can do so in complete faith, good for you! But you know that I am going to be there, and I’m going to be in a skirt. So you decide to wear a skirt.

 

Now, this can go either way, depending on your attitude and motivation.

 

If you think “Oh, Abilene’s going to be there, and she’ll be wearing a skirt, so I should wear a skirt, too, out of respect for her beliefs. I know she won’t be offended if I wear my capris but I want to respect her convictions,”, that is very considerate and I commend you.

 

But what if you think “Ugh, Abilene’s going to be there. I really want to wear those skinny jeans because they go so well with my shirt and show off my body, but Ab wears skirts. I guess I’ll just wear a skirt to make her think that I’m more spiritual,”, maybe there’s something wrong with your heart.

 

Now, I’m not saying if you wear pants that you’re more spiritual if you wear skirts, or vice versa. I know people who wear skirts all of the time and are less spiritual than people I know who wear pants. This was just an example.

 

But do you see what I mean?

 

The girl who thinks “I’m just going to wear a skirt to impress people. I really want to wear my jeans, but I want to make people think I’m better than I am” is what I would call a false witness. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying anyone who wears skirts is better than anyone who wears pants. This is just hypothetical and was the easiest example I could think of. But do you see how she would be a false witness?

 

She is lying about herself.  She sets herself up as something she’s not. And I know that I have been guilty of this, too, not necessarily in the area of dress standards but in my speech and actions, so don’t think I’m just having a big rant about people that I think are fake. I’m writing this all out for my benefit, too.

 

But wouldn’t you call someone who makes themselves appear as something different a false witness?

 

I think that especially young ladies struggle with this. We want to fit in, to get along with other kids our age. We think that if we dress a certain way or act like our ‘friends’ we can fool people. But, most of the time, we can’t. And so we come off as ‘fake’, because we are. Not because we want to be, but because we want to be liked.

 

And, I believe, that is one reason why many girls are unhappy. Because they aren’t being them. They talk a certain way and act a certain way and dress a certain way because they want to fit in, but those certain ways aren’t the real them. They could be more of make-up and Starbucks and high-end kind of girl but they hang out with kids who play street ball and haven’t tried a new hairstyle since fourth grade, so they pull on their old Nikes and suddenly become Bulls fans. They could have stellar campfire-starting and survival skills but their ‘best friend’ is a YouTuber so their hiking backpack gets stuffed in the back of their closet while they try to understand the purpose of vlogging. And some of them aren’t happy because they know that this isn’t who they are.

 

Well, my friends, it’s time to stop pretending and find out who we are, specifically who we are in Christ. It’s time to learn enough about our Savior to find out what He expects of us, so that we can be who we are in Him. Not play by another’s rules, but by His rules.

 

Psalm 139:14 says “I will praise thee: for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Do you know that means to me? It means that God created us the way we are for a reasonNot to mimic someone else or to change our personality to fit it, but to serve Him the way we He made us. So who cares if you play hockey but your friends are all about their grades? If they are truly your friends, they will love you despite your differences. You don’t have to dress like Taylor Swift to be cool. God made you the way you are and He loves you enough to go to a cross for you. And that’s the same God who created the universe. I think that’s pretty cool.

 

So, to summarize, God should be our focus. We should be who we are in Him, not pretend to be somebody that we aren’t.

 

–abby