The Blue Sky Tag

Post: Tag                     Category: Lifestyle

The Blue Sky Tag

 

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I was tagged for this by Natasha from A Camera and a Dreamer 

Thanks for the tag! I will enjoy this (but I have no idea how I’m going to get eleven people tagged??? 😀 )

Continue reading “The Blue Sky Tag”

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Thoughtful| Teshuva, the Return

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We, as finite creatures- tend to drift. To float away weakly after the pleasures of the world. We exchange the wonderful blessings of Christ Jesus, for the fleeting pleasures of sin. It’s a rip-off, but we don’t mind. It doesn’t matter to us. But it should.

Many of you have probably heard the C.S Lewis quote about the children being more content with mud pies than with the vacation at the beach. That’s us. We’ll take the mud pies, disguised to look like candy- and devour them.

But there’s good news.

We’re not given over to our sin as unbelievers are. The Lord will never forsake His own. He pursues us, He loves us freely. And above all- He convicts us. Have you ever felt that terrible poke right before doing what you know is wrong? Most of the time, people refer to that as your conscience. But did you know that the Holy Spirit, while being a comforter- is also a convicter? God doesn’t wink at sin, and He has indwelt us in the person of the Spirit. He is merciful and gracious.

I feel that the things that I have been doing are drowning out the love that I ought to have for God. I cry out, asking why God isn’t answering. Why isn’t He there? Well, He is. Sometimes God doesn’t answer the way we want Him to. Sometimes we alienate ourselves from Him. We neglect reading His Word and praying. And then we wonder why we don’t ‘feel’ Him there.

The Psalm most applicable that I can think of to repentance (turning away to return) is Psalm 32. It tells us what happens when we do not confess, and I gives us encouragement to return.

Blessed Are the Forgiven

A Maskil of David.

” Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

I acknowledged my sin to you,
    and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
    and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Therefore let everyone who is godly
    offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
    they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
    you preserve me from trouble;
    you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
    which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
    or it will not stay near you.

10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
    but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
    and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”

~Psalm 32

Sadly, sometimes it’s so easily said, and not easily done at all. I know when I’m in a ‘spiritual rut’ or find myself backsliding back into sin- sometimes the last thing I want is to return. Even though He loves me freely. Even though my current path will only lead to destruction. I still am content to wallow in the mud.

Sometimes we must wallow in the mud for a while to be brought to utter humility. We see our need of Him more clearly when He ‘hides His face’ from us for a while. But then, like the prodigal son—we return. He brings us back like lost sheep into His fold. We feast once again on green pastures. He restores our cast-down souls. He gives us drink from the clear, still waters.

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He makes us to lie down in peace.

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Thoughtful| “Once Upon a Birthday”

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“Growing up is never straight forward. There are moments when everything is fine, and other moments where you realize that there are certain memories that you’ll never get back, and certain people that are going to change, and the hardest part is knowing that there’s nothing you can do except watch them.”     

~Alden Nowlan (no idea who this is 😉 )

From the above quote…you may guess what this post is about. Growing up. Getting older, and leaving behind the days of littlehood. This has been put on my mind a lot lately. I have to admit, I’ve been thinking about it for years. I think the first time was when I was six years old. The world was big, the grownups were so very…grown up. I look back and can’t help but blush at some of the things I thought as a really little girl. One thing that I think is funny is that I thought I would have a ‘special someone’ when I turned sixteen. Then it was all the story of Sindersoot (aka-Ascenputtel, Cinderella) and all those other beautiful fairytales. Well…I turned sixteen and um- yeah. I had figured out long before then that my childish thoughts were just not the way things actually normally happen. I blame the Little House on the Prairie tv series with Melissa Gilbert playing Laura. Do any of y’all remember how Mary had a ‘special friend’ when she was maybe fourteen? 🙂 Anyways…yes. The more people I meet the more funny little kid stories I come across.

The reason it’s come to my mind RIGHT NOW is my big sis, Hannah- just turned eighteen. And I will be eighteen next year. We’ve been pretty close for a pretty long time now, and I’ve always felt left behind whenever she crosses into another season in her life. We really do grow at a different rate. Everyone is just so different.

There’s one thing I’ve decided about this tricky business called ‘growing up’. I don’t want to forget all my memories. And I don’t want to be sad, depressed, or bitter about being left behind. Because I’m a unique person, who God is shaping day-by-day into the image of His Son. And I can enjoy where He’s placed me. All to soon, I’ll probably be wondering where the years went. I’ll be one of the older and (hopefully) wiser people who’re always telling us teenagers to be content. To just enjoy where we are right now. Here’s another quote about growing up:

“One of the oddest things about being grown-up was looking back at something you thought you knew and finding out the truth of it was completely different from what you had always believed.”

~Patricia Briggs

That’s something I can identify with. As I get older…things I thought are torn down and replaced with reality. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It is often a very painful thing (depending what it is), but not always something that will devastate you. Read this Bible verse for a very telling thing about growing up.

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

~1 Corinthians 13:11 

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Have you had any similar thoughts?

Do you have any favorite childhood memories?

What is ONE memory that you never want to forget?

~Emmaline

p.s The cake for the post is the one I made for Hannah’s birthday. It was a two layer cake, one layer raspberry- the other vanilla. With chocolate cream cheese frosting, and strawberries on top.

Thoughtful| “Forgiveness”

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This post is one that’s been set rather immediately on my mind because of some things that have been going on in my life.

This isn’t a post of self-pity.

This isn’t a post telling you it’s all someone else’s fault.

This isn’t a post to tell you if you forgive someone they’ll be automatically changed.

Sometimes life seems like those broken pieces of glass. Getting broken is painful. Being sinned against (and sinning against someone else) hurts. There isn’t an easy fix all the time. Not every relationship can be fixed by simply setting up a day, meeting,

and

T A L K I N G   IT  OUT.

People will probably be bitter, have scars, and just be hurt in general. Forgiving someone isn’t just saying you’re sorry something happened. It’s much more difficult than that. If it was that easy, probably no one would have any problem with saying it. True forgiveness is HARD and takes a big dose of grace and humility. Asking forgiveness takes a pride-smashin’ session. And forgiving someone? It takes exactly the same.

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For a while, I was feeling pretty comfortable with life (probably a bad sign). There were maybe a few small arguments once in a while…nothing major though. Then, out of the blue to me (also probably a bad sign) things starting coming up. I ended up hurt. There was a lot of emotional taxation. There still is. I was also angry. I didn’t understand why it was happening to me, or what I has done wrong in the particular situation. But I can already see it being used for good. It hurts, it’s maybe very inconvenient, and it makes me sad–but God has been drawing me nearer to Him through it.

Motivation for forgiving others…

“Why should I forgive someone (especially if they don’t even ASK forgiveness) ?” that question was going around in my head.  At one point, someone asked me if I hated them and if I didn’t, why didn’t I? I was so tempted to just run off feeling even more hurt. But in that moment someone else told me to ‘start with the obvious’. Now, that probably doesn’t make much sense, but thankfully- I knew just what was meant. The person I was dealing with was a ______ in Christ. Christ had forgiven them with His blood- just the same as He’d saved me. I had no right, absolutely none- to hate the person. Yes, I was hurt. But I have been commanded to love, not to hate.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

~Ephesians 4:32, ESV.

You have every reason to love, and NO REASON to hate. Especially someone who is your brother or sister in Christ. If I could remember that every time I wronged someone or was wronged- there would be a huge forgiveness party! We would all be asking forgiveness.

WE HAVE EVERY MOTIVATION IN CHRIST.

~Emmaline

WIRW #5.

Hello!

At the suggestion of a friend and reader, I am going to do another installment of What I Read Wednesday! I have chosen to review some books I just recently read. Where Hope Prevails by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan, and Till We Have Faces by C.S Lewis.

Just a little background on the chosen books. Where Hope Prevails is the 3rd book in the Return to the Canadian West series. So, if you’re thinking on getting the book, you might just want to purchase the other two first :). Till We Have Faces, on the other hand–is a retelling of the ancient myth of Cupid and Psyche. It’s the kind of book you would expect to be assigned for some mythology reading. Weird me…I bought it as an interesting read. I had read it once before at a dear friend’s house–and found it fascinatingly strange. I don’t think I really understood it the first time I read it, because frankly- it’s a bizarre read. And so when I found the book for the lovely price of $2.00, I determined to give the book another try. And here we are!

 

Where Hope Prevails

By Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan

Return to the Canadian West Book # 3.

My rating- 4.5 stars

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Because this book is part of a series that I haven’t reviewed…I will provide the synopsis.

She leans forward for her first glimpse of the little mountain town that has captured her heart, but something has changed.

Elizabeth Thatcher’s highly anticipated return to her beloved Coal Valley after a long summer with her family back east is filled with surprises . . . and not all of them good ones, in her estimation. Maybe the worst one of all relates to her treasured students. Can she adapt and learn to cope with this enormous change?

Her Mountie, Jarrick Thornton, hasn’t yet proposed, but she already knows what her answer will be. His duties take him away from the valley much too often, in her view, but the two of them, with patience and understanding–and one significant misunderstanding–are learning to know each other better.

The dark cloud looming on the horizon in Beth’s mind, though, is filled with questions about where their future might take them. As a member of the RCMP, Jarrick is stationed wherever his superiors send him . . . but what about her teaching position in Coal Valley?

Beth attempts to do her best with each obstacle she faces, but does she rightly assess each situation as it surfaces? Good intentions don’t always lead too good results. . . .

A companion story to Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart TV series

 

This synopsis is found here.

So…uh. That’s the synopsis, but I gotta’ admit…it slightly ruins the other two books. Not hugely (it’s not my fault if their synopsis ruins it!)– but just enough.

I’ll just give some quick thoughts on the book…

Pluses and Minuses…

//The return to Coal Valley was anticipated, and I thought it was a good thing.

//I was surprised at the little things that bothered Beth. Hmm…I still haven’t figured out why she was so upset at the stumps?

//I did find the challenges to be exciting. I think they enhanced the plot.

//The conflict between Beth and Harris Hughes–was frustrating. But I think it was frustrating in a good way. It made me wonder how it would all ‘end’ (it’s not quite over yet…another book must be in the works!).

//Julie…yeah. I like it whenever she enters the story. Mind you, she’s not very wise–but sometimes you just need a slightly frivolous character. And she’s gotten better over time, too.

//The romance aspect. So, I’m TRYING not to give anything away. Although please note that the synopsis is the culprit this time. This book picks up where the last one left off. I think that it was a good idea to show the confusion that occurs during their relationship. It’s good to throw in a little misunderstanding every now and then.

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So that’s my very-basic-opinion of the book.

Till We Have Faces

A Myth Retold

By C.S Lewis

My Rating- 5 stars

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I thought I might just take a picture of MY copy of the book for once. And as you can see, it contains the lovely $2.00 sticker :). 

Pluses and Minuses…

//To be completely honest, the first time I read this–I just didn’t understand it. I would recommend brushing up on your mythology a wee bit before tackling this book.

//I really have NO idea why I like this book exactly. It’s a very interesting story though.

//At first you feel, (along with the main character Orual) that Orual is wronged. That it’s Orual who’s wrong. Then later, well…something just happens. You’ll have to read it, because I really can’t quite explain it.

//I’m sorry…for some reason I just enjoy reading it.

//Age sensitive material..there are some references to some things in here which requires some discretion. I think I would probably set the book depending on maturity. But I guess maybe as rule of thumb ages 13+?

//But one thing that super annoyed me…was the false god aspect. Ungit, Cupid, etc. But hey! It’s a book on mythology. So duh. That’s obviously what I signed up for. 🙂

//I’m not a Lewis geek. I do love this book and the Chronicles of Narnia though.

 

Well, there ya’ go! Please feel free to comment if you happen to have read either of these books and want to share your thought(s) on them.

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Have you read either of these books?

Do you enjoy reading mythology, or are you going *blech* right now?

Are you familiar with Janette Oke books?

What do you think of C.S Lewis? 

Have you read any of C.S Lewis’s other books?

 

~Emmaline

The Quest for Queen Rii

Hi again!

Why in the world am I writing another post today? The lovely reason is that I am going on vacation with my family! And so I will be absent for the rest of the week… 😦 But this is another writing post. Another one of my books. The story behind this book is simple: I was doing an assignment for my writing class. It was the very last assignment in the book. The task? Write a short story/novella from scratch. I quickly found inspiration and got started. And uh-yeah, I’m still not finished with it. I am exceedingly bad at writing short stories. I always end up with a full-length novel (if I ever finish the particular story).  But anyways, I present the cover and the information for The Quest for Queen Rii.

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I am actually rather proud of this cover. I love the way it turned out. It took a while to please me, but after a while- VICTORY!

 

Synopsis

One immortal fairy must give a baby to Jennisaar every year…

An Unwanted  Princess… and an unusual one at that!  Is a heroine who is a princess normally also a centauress? 

An Exiled Skinchanger/Shapeshifter… Bror knows what it is to be different. On his first hunt he was exiled for turning into a lamb–instead of the lion he should have been.

And a Fairy Queen… Every year I am forced to give a baby to the land of Jennisaar. I am cursed. I only wait for another person to set me free that I may resume my throne and have my children returned to me.

WILL BE THROWN TOGETHER… here now our paths intertwine. Can we overcome the woes that await us? Will we be freed from the curses that plague our lives? We must find peace, for it is truly what we were made to enjoy.

The magic fire here is drawn, sweet voice lift up in ancient song.

Ilarminine douran (open to me the ancient flames)

Ishaka! Ishaka! (Mother! Mother!)

Imaadula Vescarii (I call unto you)

Ishaka ven douran (Mother of ancient flame)

Excerpt

 1.

ADELINE

Who I am, Unwanted Centaur Princess

There she is-will she remember me? Will she fail the quest? Will she even answer the call? She is discouraged for now- confused. But soon she will know what she needs to know and she will have a chance to free me from this curse. I need her. I NEED her.

I travel on in silence. My mother says I came in silence. It’s a fitting conclusion, really.  Tears stream down my cheeks anyway. I’m unwanted. I am a centaur princess. Born to privilege, raised to advantages. Why does my father hate me so? I brush my mane through with the tips of my fingers- I’m determined to stay clean and beautiful. No matter what, I will not forsake my breeding. It had all happened to me but a day ago. I smart as I remember what happened:

“Adeline, you must leave. Your father is very angry, worse than I’ve ever seen him. He wants you dead. You have become too powerful for him, my daughter.” My mother had pleaded with me to leave, but I would not. “Dear mother, I am a princess. My father cannot exile me. I must stay as is right for the centaurs’ princess to do.” I had insisted. Then my mother had left- and it happened.  Father rushed into my room with ten centaurs and ten centauresses. They soon surrounded me. “Escort the Princess Adeline from the palace and see to it she never returns!” he had yelled, spent of all decorum. The centaurs glanced around awkwardly. Apparently, they at least- had some feelings. They had a sense of dignity and propriety. Grofan and Groros, the twin centaurs, looked at me. I could see the despair in Grofan’s eyes- and the devastation imprinted clearly on Groros’s face. We played together as children, I always won our races. And since we had grown up, Groros had been seeking my hand. But father hated me, and I didn’t love Groros anyway. At last, the centauresses decided they would act. Grabbing me by the arms they dragged me out. Kiver, the Centauress who has always hated me- gave me a look of pure joy. I caught Groros’s eyes before they dragged me out, and I knew by that look- that he will never forgive Kiver. But all that matters little to me, for I have more problems on my hands. I have only a little food, menial water, and no place to go or stay. And I still don’t really know why my father hates me so. I am the fastest of all in our kingdom, it is true. But how does that make me more powerful than father? I must seek shelter. No, I must find it. I will find it. And when that’s done, I will discover why my father is afraid of me, as my mother said.

 

 2.

BROR

Who I am, Exiled Skinchanger/ Shapeshifter

Ah, look! I see her helper…the chosen one’s helper. She is the antidote- he will protect her. Neither of them knows it yet or is aware. But soon they’ll both know-and when they do…quick! I must speak to him, and soon. He has seen me many times before this. He just has no idea it’s me.

Chop! Chop! Chop!  This has become one of the many sounds I am accustomed to. I enjoy chopping wood. It’s a way to forget momentarily that I am in charge of guarding a wishing well instead of hunting with my pack. But they threw me out. It was many years ago- but I have lived on. I suspect my pack has lived on as well. I wouldn’t know; it’s not like I ever see them. That’s probably a mercy- is my dour thought. Perhaps you know someone who is different and is looked down on or treated badly because of it. Perhaps they’re even kicked out for it. Such is my fate. I was born into a shapeshifting pack. What did my pack shapeshift into? Lions. Those majestic creatures. But we (of course) also could be humans. When I was but ten years old, it was time to hunt with the pack. My father was the pack leader, and I wanted him to be proud. But instead of shapeshifting into my lion form- I changed into a lamb. My father was both furious and embarrassed. His son…turned into a lamb? It was not only unheard of, it was dangerous! What blood must be flowing in my veins to turn me into a lamb? And so the matter went before the council- and I was exiled. But my father who did love me…softened the blow. And sent me to guard the wishing well. He said it was an honorable task. He said all I had to do was await a time when I would be freed from my exile and able to return to the pack. He said a woman would free me from changing into a lamb. But after I was exiled- I discovered that I can also change into a lion like the rest of my pack. I prefer to think of myself as special instead of cursed. And then I made the discovery that I can also be a Skinchanger. Perhaps you think there is no difference. But I assure you, there is. A Shapeshifter has shapes that are a part of him that he can take on. A Skinchanger can go inside another animal and stay inside for a limited time. I’m not saying this is exactly the truth for all who are Skinchangers- but it is for me. So now I’m waiting for…I don’t know what. I’ll figure it out. I have faith in my father’s promise. I pick up the stack of new cut wood and dump them carelessly on the larger pile. Now for my chore: check on the wishing well. As I walk, I whistle. It makes me feel better- and helps me when I get close to the wishing well to remain composed. Why do I need to be composed? Because every time I get close to the wishing well, no matter how hard I try- I always am stunned by the breathtaking beauty before me. As I walk forward I see it is no different today: positioned in the middle of a quiet forest is the wishing well. Light comes in beams from the trees surrounding… the water of the wishing well gives off the usual blue sparkle. But as I approach…I see it- her.

“Who are you?” I gasp. “I am the spirit of the wishing well. I have seen you often before- though I doubt you knew it was I.” she replies in a soft voice. “Don’t you have a- a name?” I stammer. I don’t like the idea of a- whatever she is not having a name! To my surprise she bursts into a tinkle of silvery laughter. I shiver. Her laugh seems to cut through my very soul. “My name- ah! I have not heard anyone say my name in years.” She says. “Why not?” I decide to be a little more in control of this unusual situation. I am a Shapeshifter of royal birth- of the lion tribe. I am not of mean blood. I am a lion. By now I am peering inside the wishing well and looking at the spirit’s face. She looks very like a woman- a beautiful, queenly woman. “Oh, that tends to happen when you are as old as I and all those who knew you are dead.”This is really getting out of hand. “You said you’ve seen me before.” The spirit smiles. “Oh yes…yes. I have, in the form of a doe.”I gulp. The other day I shifted into lion form and went on a hunt in these woods. There was a doe- and I naturally tried to catch her. But she disappeared and I didn’t see her again. The strange thing about this doe was that she was pure white- much like I myself am, when in lion form. “I didn’t know it was you, whoever you are. I didn’t mean…” I stop when she laughs again. “It’s okay, you know.  You couldn’t have caught me anyhow.” Somehow, I don’t doubt that’s true. “But no more beating around the bush…Bror. We both want something dreadfully- and have both been waiting for it.” I stiffen. Yes, there’s one thing I want. I want to go home and join my father in the hunt. Soon- I would have to take his place as tribe leader. “We have both met with sorrow. But I am come to tell you…that the promised woman is come. She will free us both.”I shiver- this time in excitement. “Then- you are the promised woman!” “No, not I.” “No?” “No.” disappointment takes me. “Then who is?”The spirit’s eyes fill with sympathy- then with tears. A thought hits me- can spirits cry, and shed real tears?  “You’re not only a spirit, are you?”I ask. “No. I am an immortal fairy. I am cursed.” She replies. “How are you cursed?” is my next question. “I am cursed with having to give a baby to Jennisaar every year- my own child.” No wonder she cries. My mother cried when I was sent away. “Who will save us? Who?” I ask again. “A woman who is a centaur. She will come here soon- and she will need your help. She will want to use the wishing well.” This is too bizarre! What in the world would a centaur want to use the wishing well for? Centaurs are content in themselves. They’re never discontent with who they are and what they do!  “You don’t believe me, then?” her voice to me sounds understanding-yet reproving. Yet I feel guilty even speaking to her. So I simply remain silent. “Did you truly think that the promised woman’s coming would make sense? That it would be obvious that she was the one? You thought-Bror- that it could only be a woman who was wholly human?” “I hardly know what I thought at all.”

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Well, that’s it. All I have for the rest of this week. As always, feel free to comment all your feedback, advice, questions, comments, etc.

Have you ever written anything in the fantasy genre?

Do you enjoy fairy tales?

What’s your favorite person to write in? (Mine is 1st person 🙂 )

 

~Emmaline

Bible Verse of the Month

 

Psalm 42_7

                                                            I created this at canva.com!

                                                              ~Emmaline

 

 

That Day When…

That day…when you just don’t feel like God cares for you.

Remember HIS faithfulness. Remember: ‘His mercies are new every morning…’.

That day…when you are angry at someone and tempted to think: Why does God accept them?

Remember how Christ is: ‘not ashamed to call us brethren’. Remember that ‘if God would count iniquity, who could stand?’ YOU WOULDN’T BE ANY MORE ACCEPTABLE! Remember: we’re all saved by the same grace, and accepted ONLY because of Christ.

That day…when you desire something more than anything, and can’t get it.

Remember that HE is your all. That when you place all your hope and trust, (and yes…your DREAMS) in His care- He promises to bless you. What better hands could I possibly have to put all my dreams in? NONE.

That day…when you’re worried out of your mind.

“Cast all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

 

~Emmaline