Wednesday, June 29, 2011


In my personal opinion, Purgatory does not exist. I've been taught this since I was little and my dad would teach me about the tribulation. (yes, my family has discussions on these things regularly.) Up until just recently, all of my friends believed same as I: Purgatory doesn't exist. However, in discussing with a friend these things, I discovered that he believed in Purgatory and we proceeded to get into a long conversation about it. I did a great deal of research on it and then wrote him with my response to his entire premise. I thought I would post it here. If anyone sees something theologically incorrect, I would love to know about it. :)

I've done quite a bit of research about our Purgatory conversation. If you don't mind, I'm going to send you some of my responses. Okay now I'm going to split these thoughts into two different parts: atonement and sanctification.

First, atonement. Now, we talked a lot about "getting rid" of our sins and you basically say that humans can get rid of their sinful nature on their own. Here's my question: if we can get rid of the very thing that causes us to sin...why did Jesus have to die? If he wasn't the bridge between us and God, if we could rid ourselves of sin without him, then why did God subject Jesus to such an awful death? We already had the "law". We knew what we had to do in order to be perfect. And the Israelites did indeed try to be perfect sometimes. They strove to follow the rules but their sinful nature always got in the way. Another thing: humans cannot be perfect. The only perfect person is Jesus. By saying you can be perfect on your own, you're essentially saying that you can become God. We can only be perfect through God's help.
John 15:5- "Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."

Our sins have been TAKEN away. Yes, they are simply "magicked" away by the grace of God.
Isaiah 4:7- "And he touched my mouth and said, 'Behold, this has touched your lip; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.'"
Hebrews 10:22- "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
Hebrews 9:11-28 (quoted here is specifically v. 26, however, the entire passage does support my point and v. 14 especially.)- "for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to PUT AWAY SIN by the SACRIFICE of HIMSELF." (emphasis mine)
Romans 3:20- "For by works of the law, no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin."
Romans 4:5- "And to the one who does not work, but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness."
Romans 10:13- "For everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved."

All of the above passages support my point: God has taken away our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. Our sinful NATURE cannot be taken away. Our SIN is gone. And that's my second point underneath atonement; our sinful nature will stay until God removes it in Heaven. Yes, it is, as you say, "magicked" away. It cannot be taken away simply by doing good. Yes, I know you say that then "What is the point of sanctification?", but I will be addressing that later.
Romans 3:10- "As it is written, 'None is righteous, no not one.'"
Psalm 14:3- "They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one."
Psalm 53:3 says basically the same thing.

Now let's move onto sanctification. Basically, your question is, "If the purpose of sanctification is not to remove your sin/sinful nature, then what IS the purpose?" My answer? The purpose of sanctification is to learn who God is and to make Him known. THAT is the purpose of sanctification. We do good works, not to better ourselves for we all have "fallen short" as John 3:16 says. We do good works to glorify God and to learn more about who He is. It's a learning period, not a purging period.
1 Corinthians 10:31- "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (now, in this passage, he was referring to the specific example of eating food that has been offered to you, but the point still stands that your actions and your purpose should be to glorify God.)
Galatians 5:13 and 17- "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another...For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other to keep you from doing the things you want to do." (point of this passage is two-fold: One, your freedom refers to your release from bondage from sin. Basically, Paul says use your salvation to serve one another NOT to rid yourself of your sinful nature. In fact (and this is the second point), he goes on to say that the "flesh" (referring to your sinful nature) is STILL THERE and it will always be there, battling with your conscience: the Holy Spirit.)
John 15:8- "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples." (And again, we see Jesus saying that God is glorified through us BEARING FRUIT. And we all know that bearing fruit is referring to the fruits of the Spirit or doing good.)

I know that you don't have any actual Biblical evidence for Purgatory and I understand that and accept your arguments as valid anyway. However, I did feel that I needed evidence to provide as I am not quite as learned as you in these matters. (so now you know I'm not just making it up basically lol.) Also, I did try to make sure my points made logical sense so that you could also understand the point and see how it countered yours. Anyway, those are my thoughts! Let me know if something doesn't make sense and I'll try to clarify it...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I hate goodbyes. They're so final. They close the door on something and force you to move on. Goodbye means forever, eternal, no more. I have had so many goodbyes this year; so many "last" times. It depresses me greatly. Everytime I go through something else, I can't help but think this is the "last" time. All of my classmates see graduation as an exciting experience. They look to the future with hopeful grins. All I can do is look at what I'm leaving behind. All the people, the experiences, the memories, yes, even the work. I know that nothing will ever be the same ever again. It saddens me to no end. I hate it. Sometimes it depresses me so much, I feel like crying. I just have to ignore it and move on. The funny thing is, no one else seems to feel the same way. At graduation, everyone would come up and smile and hug and cry excitedly. I spent the entire time in a daze, trying to figure out why everyone was so excited. I hated every moment of graduation. I hated every time someone would send me a card telling me "congratulations!". Why are they congratulating me? I'M LEAVING. And I hate it. I look around my room and see trophies that weren't won, books that weren't read, A's that weren't achieved. I see faces in pictures that I will never see again. I see accomplishments that will never be achieved. I see opportunities never mastered. To me, graduation symbolizes death. Death of a life that will never be lived again.

All of this makes me feel empty. Completely empty. I force myself to smile and laugh and carry on but it's fake. false. delusional. almost maniacal sometimes. I feel crazy. I feel like screaming and collapsing. I feel like falling down and crying out until someone hears me. My disguise is so well placed that I don't even recognize my pain. I don't even understand how badly I hurt inside. And yet...why do I hurt? Why do I have pain? What trauma caused this utter despair that I feel?

Life hurts. It's part of being human. We're so fragile. So frail. So easily broken. Our minds are blindsided by strong emotions like rage and hurt. Everytime you turn on the tv, you see stories of people dying, killing one another in brutal ways and going insane. I hurt for my world. I hurt for the people I see on the street. I hurt for my friends. I hurt for my family. I just want it to stop. I want everyone to stop hurting, stop having trouble, stop crying. When will it ever stop?

"Maranatha!" my soul cries out in anguish. Oh, Lord. Maranatha is my cry.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I'm reading this amazing new book called "Radical" by David Platt. It's really amazing and I'm learning a lot from it. He talks about how our Christianity has been put into a nice little box for our nice little culture. We can't make Christianity seem unappealing, we can't make it sound hard, we can't be straightforward with people about it. According to our culture, it's all about the advertisement. He goes back into Scripture and shows us how Jesus was quite blunt. "Take up his cross and follow me" doesn't exactly sound fun. In those days, a cross was a torture device. So basically, Jesus was telling people "take up this torture device and follow me"..............oh yay. That sounds like SO much fun. The Bible even tells us that Jesus had very few followers. 120 was the max by the end of his time on the Earth. Christianity is hard, it's dangerous, it can even be scary at times. But, the point is, it's worth it.

How many religions in the world depict God actually coming down to the humans to make life possible for them? None. How many of them show such love and sacrifice as Jesus did for us? None. Christianity is completely unique in the fact that GOD showed us such love and mercy. Our religion is one of mercy and grace. Most other religions require fear or works. Our religion requires commitment and love. Jesus actually allowed himself to be fully exposed to ALL of God's wrath towards sin. Let's put it like David Platt does. Imagine yourself looking at a huge dam from the bottom of it. Suddenly, the dam breaks and all the water starts pouring out at you, like a huge hurricane ready to suck you to your doom. But then the ground opens up and swallows the entirety of the water. All of that raging death has been taken by something else. Jesus swallowed all of God's wrath for us. He took that punishment because he loved us so much. Agonizing torture was the least of his worries that night. That really hit me. I could've been the one to endure that. Living in the darkness, never feeling God's love and guidance. But Jesus took that for me. He was willing even though he knew how much it would hurt. It makes me wonder if I would do the same. Until the answer is, "yes", I need to keep becoming more like Jesus. I will never be perfect but I must be willing to lay down my life for his cause. Only then can I truly become a radical Christian.

"And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."" ~Luke 9:23

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


"Make it complicated. I like complications." - Jamie from The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Whenever I think of my life, I always think of that quote. No matter what, it always seems like my life just gets so complicated! Nothing is simple and, that would be too easy. If there's one thing I know how to do, it's how to make things complicated. For example, I can't take a normal essay and just write it. Nope, I have to create a thesis, think about the implications of the thesis, write down all the points that support that thesis (with subpoints of course) and then extrapolate all of those points and subpoints to ensure I'm not saying something wrong. And that's just to write my outline! Fortunately, this only takes maybe 10-20 minutes but still. How many steps does writing an outline really need?

I make my relationships complicated too. I can't simply enjoy a day with my family. I have to create conflict somewhere at sometime. Don't ask me why! I have no idea why I need conflict. I seem to feed off of it or something. o.O yes, I know that's weird. But I do! I think because it puts me in control of the situation or something. Oh yeah, that's another thing that's complicated. I always need control. I'm also very nosy and when you put those two together....well let's just say I'm often right in the center of drama. I don't often start it and it's almost never my fault. I'm just always mixed up in it somehow! I have no idea how/why. It just happens. Everywhere I go, things seem to get more complicated. I don't know if that's normal but it's how my life has always worked. It would be fine if I knew HOW TO DEAL WITH IT. But I don't. I'm a simple person. I like lists and I like instructions. I like knowing what to do and how to do it and when to do it. Unfortunately, when things get complicated, instructions get complicated. The way things work gets complicated. I don't like it and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it.

So anyway. On a more enjoyable note, I have officially become obsessed with Doctor Who. I always liked it but I never really watched it in earnest until now. I have completed Seasons 1, 4-6. :D (I haven't watched Seasons 2 and 3 because I don't like Rose and I don't like Martha.) I would just like to take a moment and say that David Tennant happens to be one of the most amazing people on this planet and he was the best Doctor. Ever. No question. I love Amy and I love Rory but I'm not so sure about the Matt Smith version of the Doctor. He's growing on me though. Anyway, that's my little geeky moment. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Well today I thought I would just post 20 things about myself that not very many people know. :) They'll just be kinda random things about me. I didn't feel like trying to sort through graduation and all that stuff right now. Maybe next week....

1. I can only draw swords. I can't draw faces or trees or anything else.
2. Words of affirmation and touch are my love languages.
3. I am INCREDIBLY controlling.
4. I'm self conscious.
5. Well okay there are parts of me that I adore but then again there are parts that I'm not so sure about. :/
6. I do actually like the occasional chick flick (SHHH!! DONT TELL ANYONE!!!). I hate most of them because they have little plotline and no common sense but there are a few that I appreciate.
7. I'm a fraidy cat. :P
8. I love reading. But not just reading lame modern books, I love reading stuff like the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Count of Monte Cristo.
9. I'm actually kinda violent.
10. I'm scared to death that I'm not as brilliant as all the professionals tell me.
11. I've always wanted to either learn Irish or Native American dancing.
12. I adore public speaking. So.much.
13. I would love to learn some form of martial arts.
14. My lifelong dream has been to be an actress but that's not going to happen.
15. I'm really self conscious about my voice.
16. I love playing the piano and singing throughout my house.
17. I'm really trusting.
18. I've been hurt a lot because of number 18.
19. I often feel very lonely.
20. I don't submit to any kind of authority well at all....

So that's just a couple of things about me! :) After this weekend maybe I can go a little deeper and check out some of the things God's been teaching me lately. (NOTE: these are not fun lessons :/)

"Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to you." ~Proverbs 22:17-19

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Well for this post, I'm going to talk about something a little bit different. I'm going to address the recent death of Osama Bin Laden. But before I do that, I want to quickly say that my college trip to Liberty University when fatastically and I have felt God leading me to go there. So I will be attending Liberty University next fall. :) Now that that's been taken care of, let's talk about Osama.

First off, I am ecstatic he is dead. I've seen a lot of my friends talking about how we should never be happy someone is dead and that as Christians, we should have mercy on him. I completely disagree. How many more people should have been allowed to die through his hand? He was not an innocent man and he did deserve death. If someone attacks our country and threatens thousands of lives, we should not stand back in the name of mercy! Our country must be preserved in order to save those innocent lives. Its a hard decision, yes, and we definitely should pity him as he faces Judgment now. However, his death is welcome and necessary. It is not a death; it is a triumph of good over evil. Saying that this is not a good thing is like saying Hiroshima was not a necessary action. Now I understand that that too is controversial, but again, it was necessary to protect more lives from being taken! Sometimes you have to choose between death and more death in policy. When those choices are presented, you have to choose the one that preserves the most life. That is the choice America made in both instances and it is the right choice. We are not celebrating a death, we are celebrating the conservation of more life. Those who say we should not be proud of America are wrong and quite frankly, make my blood boil. We triumphed over the Bin Laden. We triumphed over Al Qaeda. We triumphed over evil.

Moving onto another topic that is very near and dear to my heart, General Petraeus' appointment to the CIA. Most people look at it as completely political and scoff at Obama and blah, blah, blah. I find it quite amazing. Why? Well in case you didn't know, I want to work for the CIA after grad school. And Petraeus is one of my personal heroes. He is a military genius and rather conservative. I've never met him personally, mind you, but I look up to him quite a bit. So, working under him in the CIA would be a dream.come.true. :) I honestly don't care about the political reasoning behind it (which is probably bad...but whatever!).

so anyway. That's just my personal take on two news stories right now. :) Sorry if you were expecting something deep today. ;)

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Well, I've decided its about time that I talked to the internet people about this. I'm really frustrated right now about two things.
1. College. I hate this decision. I thought it was going to be so easy for me. I've known where I wanted to go for about seven years now: Patrick Henry College. God apparently has other plans because I am getting minimal scholarships from them. Sure, I can still go there but I have to clean out all of my savings and my parent's savings as well. I can't ask my parents to do that! Their financial security should not have to be unstable simply because I want to go a college. Besides, there's no guarantee that next year they would grant me enough scholarships to attend another year. PHC was looking worse and worse when Liberty University came and offered me $25,000 in scholarships. That's nearly a full ride! I was worried until I found out Liberty and PHC were two of the three colleges in the nation that had my major: Strategic Intelligence. So, I decided I was going to Liberty. The only problem is that a friend who I trust (and who is a lot like me) told me that Liberty wasn't a good environment for me. He said that Liberty was shallow, the teachers are not the leading experts and that the program for my major isn't as good as PHC's. So now...I'm confused! I want to succeed and PHC is looking like that would be the place to push me into the forefront of my field. But do I really risk my family's financial security simply so I can fulfill a dream? No. I can't.

2. Friends. I have a very dear friend. (Let's call her Sally for the sake of brevity) I love Sally dearly but she has been frustrating from the beginning of the year. Debate is very important to me. Very very important. I work constantly on debate; writing briefs, brainstorming ideas, strengthening my case, researching Russia. In my three years of debate experience, I have never once had a good/great/hardworking partner. (Well except for once and that was a different style of debate). Honestly, I'm getting frustrated. Every teampolicy and (up until this last tournament) every parliamentary round I have ever debated was stressful. I am always the one carrying my team in finals or semifinals. Never once has my partner thought of a good argument on their own or been as good a speaker as I am. I'm discouraged every time I debate because there is so much pressure on me. Instead of the pressure being split between the partners, it all falls on me. If I mess up, that's it. The round's over. We've lost. There's no chance for redemption, no safety net. It's done. It may not effect other people, but I feel that strain. I want to succeed, in fact, I need to succeed for debate scholarships! But I'm always scared that I'll mess it up and then it'll be over. It's killing me that I can't find a partner that cares as much as I do. I adore debate but I hate debating. It's a horrible dilemma that I can't seem to get out of. My partner this year has told me multiple times that she hates debate, she doesn't ever want to debate again and that she doesn't care about debate. THIS KILLS ME. There's no incentive for her to do well or to work harder and so she doesn't. I, again, carry my team forward, killing myself in the process.

This same partner has recently been grounded because of some bad choices. (NOTE: The next paragraph may not seem to make sense and be really petty. But it's how I feel so here goes...) At first, it looked like we weren't going to be able to compete at Nationals. Through the grace of God, her parents finally allowed her to go. I was talking to her and she told me that she is only grounded for two weeks and then she has limited access at Nationals. Now before I can really explain why I'm upset, let me give you a little background: I lied to my parents about a relationship two years ago. When they found out, I was dead. I had no life for seven months and I learned my lesson well. I have never lied since then. This situation my partner is in is ten times worse. However, she's only grounded for TWO WEEKS???? This is so upsetting because 1) SHES NOT LEARNING ANYTHING (she was grounded once before for doing this and it was LONGER than two weeks. That situation was much less severe than this one) and 2) She put me through hell and she's not even getting punished????? That may seem really really petty and mean but I'm just frustrated. I wasted my pity on her, feeling sorry for the situation, trying to make her feel better for WHAT? being grounded for two weeks??? That's not worth my pity! Or my time!

So now, yes, I'm frustrated. I feel rather betrayed and there is even ANOTHER situation with a former partner who believes I've betrayed her when I've done nothing. It's caused even more drama and it's pushed me to the point where I want to just stay in my room, curled up on my bed, and NEVER COME OUT. EVER. But the thing about this is, I can't tell anyone about this! Telling my parents is like suicide, telling my friends will only create a bigger rift and more drama, and telling my sister is laughable. All I can do is push my emotions down inside me and continue as I've done all year, just ignoring the world and hoping I don't explode. Who knew that you can survive despite being a psychological mess?

"A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." ~Proverbs 18:24

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"The Song"

The notes dance across the page,
Rolling like the green hills outside.
Soaring and Singing.
Dancing, Weaving.
Intertwining hope and love,
In a world that has none.

The violins sing their song.
Unique and Delicate.
It rises into each heart
That hears the sound.
Beauty unbridled, untainted.
Darkness is not welcome here.

The piano sings its song.
Loud and triumphant.
It brings inspiration,
Filling the room.
Bringing courage, strength.
Darkness is not welcome here.

The drums sing their song.
Slow and steady.
Never missing a beat,
Setting the tone for all.
Rising steadily, slowly.
Darkness is not welcome here.

The chorus sings their song.
Wild and pure.
Giving an air of freedom,
Becoming irresistable.
Pulling dangerously, ferociously.
Darkness is not welcome here.

The notes dance across the page,
Rolling like the green hills outside.
Soaring and Singing.
Dancing, Weaving.
Intertwining hope and love,
In a world that is now,


"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two." ~St. Augustine

The quote above is so true! As a teenage girl, I can get so caught up in the feelings of the moment. I forget that I am a hormonal girl that doesn't necessarily always look ahead. I'm always right here, right now. If I ever believe that I've "falling in love", I just have to come back to this quote and remember that love is a choice. It's not a mushy feeling, its not the flip your stomach does, its not the weakness in your knees. Its an everyday decision to put someone else's well being before your own. Before I can learn to do that, I do not deserve the love of another. 

"But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children." ~Psalm 103:17

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I am a student leader for the middle school youth group at my church. Today my youth pastor, Will, was talking about simply "chilling out". He said we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to chill. That really spoke to me in a way that I had never thought of before. No matter what I am doing, I am always talking with SOMEONE. I could be alone in my room and still on facebook and skype and texting all at the same time. I never take time to simply breathe and listen to God anymore. It's all about my social life. My grades are even hurting because of it. Facebook and skype come before everything else and that's not how my life should be. I have been wondering why I feel exhausted and out of touch lately and God gave me the answer today. I have slowly drifted away from what I was meant to do with these last few months of my high school years. Technology is amazing but I have let it come between me and God. That can't happen, especially when I'm trying to figure out what college to go to.

I need to take a break. I'm getting off facebook and skype for two weeks. By that time, it will be the last tournament of STOAtx for the year: PITOC. Hopefully, I will be able to get back on facebook and skype without getting distracted. If not, I'll just take it away from myself again. I can't allow myself to stay in the rut I am in now. I have to listen to God and get back to where we were. Without his guidance in these pivotal few months of my life, I could make some seriously wrong decisions. I can't and shouldn't allow myself to do that. I'll just chill and who knows? Maybe I can even clean out my room as a result. :)

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."

Friday, February 4, 2011


This post won't be so much what God has taught me as asking questions. I know that this will be a little weird, but of course I'm a hormonal teenage girl. ;) I wrote this a little while ago, asking some questions and just thinking through my feelings right now. I'm not sure what's going to happen and I have definitely changed the names.

I don’t know what to do. I’m leaving in six months. I’ll have a whole different life in Virginia. But, I don’t want to leave him. Staying isn’t an option and he’s most certainly not going to keep in touch! Mom won’t be there to bridge the gap. He’s so absent-minded…it’s one of the things I love about him but it certainly doesn’t help in this situation. Why can’t I be less possessive? Why can’t I just leave this up to God? I mean, I want to trust Him. And I know that He will have the best man possible in mind for me…I just want it to be Debater. I could actually see myself being so happy with Debater forever and ever but I’m not sure if that’s what God has planned for me. I know I am attracted to him and I don’t actually think anybody knows exactly how intense it has become. I know that Debater thinks I’m nice and probably a little weird but to the extent of my knowledge, that’s as far as it goes. If we could keep in contact over the next year, I would be thrilled. If he came to PHC, I would be ecstatic. If we did (by some weird happenstance) date and get married……my life would be so much better (I think). I think I love Debater. But I’m 17!!! What do I know of love? All I know is that I would do anything for him. Maybe that’s dangerous, I don’t know. All I know is what I feel. But hey, I don’t know anything. This could be obsession; this could be love. I wouldn’t know the difference. He could be incredibly frustrated with me or he could adore me, I STILL wouldn’t know the difference! I’m inexperienced and have no one to talk to. I know that I need to focus on God and seek Him first. It’s so hard though! Debater keeps getting in the way. If God told me no, I think I could understand. But the thing is that I don’t know if God’s telling me no! Maybe it’s my fault, but I just don’t know. I just….I just want a definite no. I know that simply means He has something better in mind and I accept that. I just want to know!!!!!!!!! I want to know who. I hate suspense and I hate just waiting. I know it builds trust and I know I just am supposed to trust God but it’s so hard! I just wish someone would just tell me what to do. I don’t want to screw everything up but I don’t want to let go of Debater. I almost know what I need to do but I just…………find it so hard. 
Proverbs 3:5-7- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil."
God, help me to trust in you with everything I am. Help me to forget my desires and my will so that I can follow your desire and your will for my life. Let me not be wise by my standards, but by your standards. Lead me, guide me, and make straight my path.


Monday, January 17, 2011


I never want life to become an endless circle of monotony. I want to wake up every morning knowing that it is a new day with new experiences. I want to waltz through life, dance through every day, and laugh at trouble. I've never been one for depression and feeling sorry for myself. Waltzing always seemed beautiful and wonderful to me; especially now. I think going through life trying to be as graceful and beautiful as a perfectly executed waltz is exactly what people should do. Keeping in time with the music God has provided and letting him twirl you around and around on the dance floor is exhilarating and fulfilling.

I've always had problems submitting. My personality likes to take charge and lead the way. I was learning to waltz just the other day and my instructor kept telling me "NO let ME lead!".I found this a metaphor for how I live my life. I'm constantly trying to pull God in the direction that I want to go, pretending that that is the way that would make the waltz most beautiful. All it does is mess up the dance and cause it to fall apart. When we try to pretend like we are in charge and know what is best for our lives, our life falls apart. Only when we submit to God's authority and let him lead us through the dance can our life actually become graceful and beautiful like it should be.

I'm sitting in my room (which is now clean!) and just looking around at my walls. I have a billion pictures, nametags, posters, drawings and other memorabilia hanging. As I look around and remember events and people, I realize how far I have come in the last few years of my life. I've changed so much. However, I haven't made me into what I am. It has been my experiences and the people in my life that have molded me into the person I have become. So many people try to forget the past, but I feel that the past is a wonderful thing to be remembered and enjoyed. God gave us memories so that we could remember past experiences; both to laugh at and to learn from. I hope I never forget those who have influenced me so greatly and the amazing times I have had with my friends in my high school years. I love them so much.

Life is meant to be enjoyed and remembered. We were not created to spend our lives hiding or depressed. Waltzing through life with God as your dance partner can only lead to joy and blessings. Who wouldn't love that?