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Time for a Journey Back

This academic year has been two of the most academically challenging semesters I've had—taking college algebra should be hint enough. Since August, one particular thought has echoed in my head at the due date of every assignment, I could be doing better. I love academia, and I plan on entering a profession that lets me learn for the rest of my life. But I also love to create. I love to paint and draw and craft words.

I knew that this season of my life would come—the one where I can't write. I even offered my small wisdom on the topic to the writers at Go Teen Writers. But, I never knew that this season of my life would come—the one where I'm afraid that I can't return.

I'm ready to make a journey back to writing, although I know that my writing life won't ever look like it did a few years ago. But, where do I begin? It's been so long, do I even remember what makes a great story? If it won't come as easy, will I still enjoy it, will I find it worth it? H…
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What God Has Done Cannot Be Contained to One Post

It's been awhile, hasn't it. I'm sorry. It was never my intention to take so long to put into physical words the lessons that God has taught me this summer. I've struggled to come up with some original expression of how I've processed what I've learned. I recently reread what I wrote in my journal on the 8th of August:

So many amazing things have happened this summer and I want to share with others the might works of God. I have no idea where to start. Right now, I'm mostly overwhelmed by all the lessons God has taught me and [the] ways He's worked in kid's lives. I also miss my campers a lot. I miss their laughter, their jokes, their friendships. They made me smile.
I could talk about how my expectations or fears were either fulfilled or not. Every week was a surprise of some kind. I could talk about how amazing it was to lead three girls to God's salvation. I could talk about the struggle of [one of my campers] and her hate towards me. I could…

On Sharing my Summer Stories

Right now, life is just a bunch of scattered thoughts. If I had lengthy content to go with all of my big ideas, you would have enough blog posts to read for the next six months. But, I don't. Instead my brain jumps from thought to thought without fleshing out an idea completely. Something happens every day that I think I could or should write about, but the thoughts pass with my chaotic life and never manifest as solid content.

I don't like that.

I want to do life, make mistakes, and learn enough to teach others. God has caused me to realize certain things about him and about life--I can't help but think it's sort of wrong to not let others know about all He's done. I think of Psalm 145:4-7, where it says,
"One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the night of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatn…

Things You Must Know if You Want to Be a Writer

So, you want to be a writer. Good. There are so many stories in the world and in the minds of many that need to be told. Know that being a writer is like having a superpower. You have the power to build worlds and create characters that live lives that inspire and encourage others. This power can also destroy people too, you know, so use your ability wisely. Because of your power, you'll probably feel a weighty responsibility, a form of guilt to write. After all, they are your stories, and if you don't write them, who will?

Know that you can't make everyone happy. Not everyone will love your story as much as you, and some will reject your work, outright, if you desire to seek publication. By aspiring to be a published author, you will have to give others the power to hurt you.

Know that to write certain events, you will have to think through what it's like to feel certain emotions. Perhaps, you'll have to remember events that you don't want to, feel things you n…

Writing "The End" During a Crazy, Ongoing Life

I've sat down to write this post many times. Every day for nearly a week, I've attempted to put into words what it has been like to finish my WIP and adapt to life back home all at the same time.
Overall, I've been fairly productive. I knew I had to get my current WIP done before I move to camp to be counselor for the summer. I'd try to get up by nine every day, which turned out to be very difficult. College sucked more life out of me than I had thought. So, anytime my brother needed to be at school early, I volunteered to take him so I had a reason to get out of bed. I learned to create an instrumental playlist on Spotify that could help me get focused quickly on my story when I made time to write. Within two weeks, I'd rewritten and edited the last 34,000 words in my dystopian/utopian mashup novel.
In addition to finishing the book, I wrote the synopsis, blurb, pitch, and query letter. I finished reading "Discipling" by Mark Dever and "Go Set a Wat…

Poem: I am an Anchor

I am an anchor.
Intentionally built to sink,
To ground someone else
While they float in the sky.

Chained to the clouds,
I fight,
Against the tides, against
The wind.

The tugging means
That I am alive.
The fighting provides
Me with breath.

What if the chain breaks,
I fear.
I can't lift myself,
I know.

Worry is real,
But fighting is life.

My Commentary:

I'm not really sure how I thought of this poem. Largely, it's about the hurt that comes when you choose to find your identity in your service to other people. Helping people shouldn't become our obsession, a source of bitterness, our identity. Without the grace of God, that's exactly what service becomes.

Lessons Learned at College: A Matter of Pride

Frankly, I don't deserve the awesome experiences I've had over the past school year. I didn't deserve to have such an awesome group of friends and a great relationship with a handful of guys from my brother hall. So many moments made me smile, and I'm overwhelmed by God's grace to give me such an amazing first year.
Looking back at pictures, I'm reminded that God blessed with me friendships and experiences when I stopped trying to "make things work."
My first semester was really good, but I'll admit to trying to hold too tightly the plans for my own life. Even still, I enjoyed my first semester. But I loved my second semester, and God blessed me abundantly. The second was very different from the first. I didn't stop caring about having cool experiences or having good friends, but I chose to care first about my love for God. It sounds so simple, to fall in love with Jesus before falling in love with being a college student. But, trust me, it cha…