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Posted in Uncategorized

The Keys to Succeeding

I stare at the sheet of music and sigh. I cannot make the sound I hear in my head come out on my violin. I’ve tried playing it so many different ways, but the soul of the music escapes me. I flop down on my bed in hopelessness. The notes seem to smirk at me. They seem to know that I must learn and play them perfectly within two weeks and they do everything in their power to make me want to give up. “Am I missing something?” I ask myself racking my brain on how I can somehow make the sounds I need. “Is there something that you need to be able to play this song that I don’t have?”

I stare dejectedly at my beautiful violin. I have been given so many opportunities, been blessed so many times when I have seen what music can do, that I know I can’t give up now. God has given me perseverance to make it this far, he can give me what I need to continue.

I pick my violin back up and place it back on my shoulder. I play again and listen to the music, playing the notes as they call to me, whispering their happiness, sorrow and anger to my fingers. It’s still far from perfect, but now I can feel the music.

Perseverance and determination are the keys to succeeding in anything. Because oftentimes it is the moment you give up that you are just a one step away from your destination. But it is hard to persevere without God because without him we can do nothing. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” I would not have gotten as far as I did if it were not for the Lord’s power and strength that have sustained me and kept me going. With the Lord’s help I will play that song perfectly in two weeks and will continue and grow in my music. He is my strength forever and with Him there is no obstacle I cannot overcome.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Book Conundrum

I am one of those weird people who only read one book at a time. I have never read two or more books at once. This week however, I was forced into a situation where I had to read three books at once to get them all done in time. This however, was not exactly how it played out. Instead I was stuck with three books all half-read but seemingly frozen on one page. I didn’t really have the will to read any of them and when I started one, I always thought I should be reading one of the others. As you can see, this has caused me quite a conundrum.

I’ve found that reading more than one book at a time actually takes longer to finish all of them, because you are trying to finish them all simultaneously rather than if you just read one book, finished it, then moved on to the next. I am also not a multitasker which causes me to forget everything that happened in the last book I read.

So, I’ve decided to only ever read one book at a time, no matter how quickly I need to get them done. My brain just does not function with so many characters, plots and ideas to keep track of. I need my complete focus on each book I read and I can’t give it when I am always trying to just keep the books straight.

Posted in The Squirrel

The Squirrel

When you think of a squirrel you immediately think of lots of energy. At 5 feet with flaming red hair, there is not a better name for the Squirrel. She is bouncy and goofy and there is never a dull moment in her presence. She is a major fan of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Hunger Games, Narnia, and need I say more? She has an endless store of knowledge on any of these topics, yet she is not limited to geek talk alone. She will engage anyone in a conversation and her friendship is worth a million rings of power (excuse my lotr reference).

While the Squirrel is energetic and fun she is also very matter of fact. She always gets straight to the point and she can understand exactly what someone is saying underneath all the fancy words and sweet talk. She will always do the work assigned to her and is always willing to help. She is extremely smart and once she understands a concept, she will remember it forever.

Sometimes, because the Squirrel always seems so cheerful and is always joking around, people forget that she can be serious as well and  that she takes things really close to her heart, even if she does a good job hiding it on the outside. She has one of the deepest and most thoughtful hearts of anyone I know. And I know that no matter what she has going on in her life, I can always count on her. 

I hope the Squirrel knows that I do see her big heart and that I appreciate her just being herself. I am so thankful for every moment I get to spend in her company and am so glad that she is my friend. 

Image retrieved from: http://www.havahart.com

Posted in Mrs. Idealist, Uncategorized

On the Road of Life

Recently I have taken my Driver’s Education class and I am now waiting for my chance to drive with an instructor. So in the meantime I am driving with Mrs. Idealist in empty parking lots. Yeah. So I found that driving is a lot harder than it looks. I keep pressing the gas pedal instead of the brake, which, as you can imagine frightens my mom and myself tremendously. If there were any cars in the parking lot (thank goodness there aren’t) I would somehow find a way to crash into them. My greatest fear is tight turns. I press hard on the brake and take them at a crawl. That’s not going to be great when I’m actually on real roads. The winding roads and sharp turns of the Carolinas are not the best suited for beginning drivers.

I am also terrified of the semis I know I will have to encounter when I finally do get to drive on the roads. What if a semi driver doesn’t see me and crushes me? How do I know I’m far enough over on the road when a semi comes my way? What if the brakes on the semi fail on a hill and they crash into me?

Okay, so maybe I’ve thought a little too much about this, but I can’t help it. My mind has a mind of its own. My biggest question though, is how can people react so quickly on the roads? How can people see a danger and immediately know what to do? Of course not everybody can, as we see from the many accidents that happen daily, but I have witnessed a few close encounters with my parents that would have been accidents if they hadn’t reacted as quickly as they did. I think the key to this is defensive driving. By this I mean always assuming everybody else doesn’t know what they’re doing and you are therefore anticipating what could go wrong in order to always be prepared to prevent an accident. This is a hard thing to do especially when you are first learning to drive and there are so many other things to remember, but I personally think that it is the most important thing to do in order to be safe. The most dangerous thing on the roads is assuming that another driver knows what they are doing when they really  don’t.

This may be taking it a step too far, but I believe that in a way, we have to “defensive drive” so to speak, in life. I don’t mean assuming everyone is stupid or infantilizing them, but rather always being a step ahead in order to avoid the “accidents” of life. We must think forward to the future and be prepared with the appropriate reaction  when things go wrong in life. Angry driving is a great risk to the driver and to everybody on the road. Overly cautious or inattentive driving isn’t much better. Staying calm and ready to handle anything is key. On the road of life, we must always stay alert and prepared. Don’t let life catch you off guard.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Step Forward

” The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.”

~Proverbs 15:31-32

I am a sensitive perfectionist which is a terrible mixture. I always want what I do to be perfect, and if it isn’t, I start feeling like a worthless pile of goo. (Okay, so maybe I’m a bit dramatic). But what is even worse than failing is when someone points out my failures even if it is in the spirit of kindness.When someone criticizes me I feel like I can never do anything right ever again and that I failed myself and everyone. I go into self-doubt and moping mode. It’s pitiful.

Two days ago I was criticized by someone whom I admire while at the same time I am slightly intimidated by. I took the criticism as a reminder of all my flaws and was miserable. But I was reminded by a faithful friend (the Word of God) that I was looking at it all wrong. This isn’t a time to feel bad about myself. This is a time to do better. I’m never going to be perfect, but there is always room for improvement.

I have to use every word of criticism and every pointer as a step forward instead of a step back. I realized that I am actually doing myself more harm by taking every piece of advice and doing nothing with it. So I’ve decided to use criticism as an incentive instead of a discouragement. And while it may still hurt when someone tells me that I pretty much suck, I know that it does no good to sulk over it. Besides I love proving people wrong. With dedication, passion and strength from God there is nothing you can’t accomplish even if the world says that it’s impossible. So don’t let criticism make you give up. You can accomplish anything. Turn the impossible into the possible.

 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13

Posted in Uncategorized

Three Lovable Companions

There are a lot of things in this world that make me smile. But there is one thing that does it without fail every time. Well…okay except for the times when they bark. Yep, it’s my dogs. There are three of them to be exact. One nerdy scaredy-cat, a princess who thinks she can take on the world and a big doofus who stumbles over his own feet. They are each different and every moment they surprise you by doing something adorable, or more usually, entertaining.

Take right now for an example. I gave the big doofus (a golden lab by the name of Niko), a horse treat as a substitute for a dog treat since we are currently out of his big treats. He brought it over to his bed and instead of eating it, he is rolling on top of it, batting with his paw and trying to figure out what in the world it is.

The Princess aka. Tatiana (yep, she is literally named after a princess) is barking at Niko from a distance of about 8 ft., wanting to play, yet wisely afraid of Niko’s large size in comparison to her tiny Papillon build.

The strange anorexic and nerdy Papillon is called Pippin. As you might’ve guessed (or maybe not depending on your level of geekiness) he was named after the character from “Lord of the Rings”, Pippin (Peregrin) Took. Unfortunately, he turned out to be very different from the lovable, funny and happy character from that amazing trilogy. Pippin (the dog) is a bit of a grump who sleeps all day and doesn’t really like to be touched. In fact, he is more like a cat than a dog. At the moment he is sleeping in his favorite spot on the back of the couch and is completely oblivious to the fun just a few feet from him.

Niko is now finally attempting to eat the horse treat, though by the looks of it, I don’t think he likes it. Dogs continue to amaze me in their ability to completely change my mood and to make me smile at the times when I really need it. Sure, a lot of the time they can be annoying, but the times when they’re not are worth every “accident” you’ve had to clean up and every deafening bark you’ve tried to quiet without success. Dogs are special and I thank God that He gave them as loyal and lovable companions to human beings.

Posted in The Extrovert, Uncategorized

The Extrovert

There is a saying that all blondes are dumb. That statement however is a gross generalization and is frankly, False. Yes, it is true that a lot of blondes are a little shallow, but that is only because the world has made them that way. But the Extrovert is different. The Extrovert is spunky and fun, yet not without a brain. She is a blonde and smarter than most people I know. She is quick to learn things and isn’t afraid of anything (at least so far as I know). There is something about her personality that makes you immediately like her and want to hang around her. She has the amazing talent to make a boring social gathering suddenly the most fun you’ve ever had and she is definitely the life of the party.

However, the Extrovert has the terrible tendency to see herself as nobody in particular and not to realize how special she is. She herself hides behind the common phrase “dumb blonde”. Whenever she fails at something she will use her hair color as a shield. And though she meets insults (especially those meant as a joke) with another joke, she actually takes each one to heart. And while on the outside you could never guess that she cares what other people think, on the inside, it matters a lot to her.

Now don’t go and get the idea that the Extrovert is vain; no, that is not why she cares so much about how she is viewed. Rather, she is always trying to please people and meet their expectations for how they think she should be, when she is actually perfect (well, as perfect as you can be in an imperfect human world) just the way she is. The Extrovert cares about everyone and the special thing about her is that she always knows the right thing to say to comfort or encourage someone. She can walk the line between funny and serious with a perfect balance that few can accomplish.

In conclusion, the Extrovert has made an impact on so many people, myself included and I hope one day she will be able to see what a difference she has made. Blondes can be funny, caring and smart. And not just smart in the way of schoolwork (which the Extrovert is also), but on a much deeper level. The Extrovert isn’t just smart, she is witty, perceptive, and discerning. I am so glad that she is there to make the party a little more fun.