Monday, December 28, 2015

Happenings of the Month: December 2015

So, I’ve decided to try out a new segment on my blog, morphing things I’ve tried before and adding in some inspiration from other blogs. You remember my Entertainment of the Week posts, right? Well, I enjoy the concept of those, but they’re difficult to keep up with weekly. So I’m going to make it a monthly thing instead. I really love the idea of doing a monthly wrap-up, though (My blogger friend Katie does really fun ones on her blog A Writer’s Faith – check out her most recent one here). So I’ve decided to combine the two ideas. You’ll have to let me know what you think. Here we go!

Monthly Happenings Dec 2015

Entertainment of the Month:

  • Movies/TV

Cinderella (2015) – I saw Disney’s live-action version of this classic fairytale when it came out in theaters earlier this year. I loved it then and recently bought it on a whim. Everyone loves the idea of a Cinderella story; seeing it fleshed out in live-action is really wonderful. The film maintains a sense of fantasy with the vibrant colors and unique camera angles while telling a beautiful story of courage, kindness, and true love. I highly recommend this one.

  • Books

Maid to Match by Deanne Gist – Tillie Reese is on the cusp of everything she ever wanted. As part of the prestigious Vanderbilt estate at the turn of the nineteenth century, she’s in the running for the coveted position of lady’s maid to Edith Vanderbilt. With this position, she can travel, wear beautiful clothes, support her family, and help the poor. But though the Vanderbilts are immensely kind, they are strict about romances among their staff. And Tillie is about to experience sparks with Mack Danvers, a mountain man suffering through employment with the Vanderbilts for one purpose only: to help his sister. Tillie’s determined to experience life; Mack’s convinced that she’s dooming herself to lifelong unhappiness. Which way will true happiness lie? This is an adorably sassy, sweet story. I wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers, as it is quite heavy on the romance, but it’s clean and highly satisfying.

  • Music

"Light in the Hallway" – Pentatonix – From the acapella group’s debut original album comes this gem of a lullaby. It’s haunting and uplifiting all at once; I’ve got it perpetually stuck in my head.

"Epic Bruno Mars Medley" - Peter Hollens & Roomie – I am completely in love with Peter Hollens’ music, and he has the most wonderful way of doing Bruno Mars songs. Seriously, check this out.

My Life This Month:

Having a break from school has been wonderful, and I’ve prepared a lengthy to-do list for myself during the break. Unfortunately, I seem to be falling behind on that list. Gotta remedy that problem…

Christmas, of course, dominated the month of December. I was very much in the mood for Christmas music this particular year and listened to a lot, mostly through my Anthem Lights (Holiday) Pandora station. We bought a star for the tree for the first time in very possibly forever. And, to my great surprise, all I could find were ones with lights in them. I wasn’t happy initially, but the star we went with has softly changing colors, and I’m rather pleased with it. In addition, I managed to get fun WIN_20151227_23_26_12_Propresents for everyone and stayed basically on budget. Yay! I also received amazing presents from my family, including the entire Harry Potter novel set. It’s so pretty!

With the rest of my break, I’d like to get a handle on some writing. I’ve done almost none in the last few months, and I miss it so much! But I’ve got to stop relying so heavily on inspiration. It is, as the saying goes, extremely fickle.

I’m going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens this week! So excited!

Other Web Things:

The Storymonger (one of my personal favorite bloggers) is starting a web serial. Get a sneak peek here!

5 Reasons You Should Be Investing in Other Blogs - This Incandescent Life

Green Gables Fables – This modern adaption of Anne of Green Gables and its sequels is absolutely captivating. They’re in Season 2 now, and I am always on edge of my seat waiting for each week’s episode.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Let me know what you liked or would like to see more of. What was your December like? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, December 18, 2015

My Month in Proverbs: Part 1

Before I get into today’s post, I’d like to quickly mention that I’ve chosen another winner for my Reading and Writing Giveaway. I was unable to get ahold of my previous winner, so the new winner is Athelas Hale! Congratulations! I’ve sent you an email with the details.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been going through the book of Proverbs, reading one chapter a day. I intended to finish it in one month (31 chapters is handy that way), but my laziness has stretched it out. Anyway, from each chapter, I picked a verse or two and expounded on it for myself. Now I’d like to share some of those thoughts and verses with you. I’ll probably do about 4 or 5 verses per post, depending on the length. Let me know your own thoughts on these verses in the comments!

Month in Proverbs Part 1

Proverbs 1:32-33 “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

Wisdom protects us. Complacency leads only to destruction. We think that it will keep us safe. We think that, if we only keep to our routine, stay safe and normal, don’t draw attention to ourselves, blend in, we’ll be fine. But that’s a lie. Complacency doesn’t help us. It doesn’t bring us peace. Only in the wisdom and truth of the Lord can we find rest.

Proverbs 2:10-11 “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”

The closer we grow to God, the more we love learning about Him and gaining knowledge. I think about the many times during school when I complained and didn’t want to learn whatever I was studying at the time. Wise people love to learn, especially about our Creator and Lord. They recognize that knowledge is a blessing and that, on our own, we know nothing. I want to be wise and embrace the lessons that God sends my way.

Proverbs 3:21-22 “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.”

Good people get into bad situations. It happens. We often say that they were “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Yet how many tragic deaths and wrongful convictions might be avoided if people applied their brains? How many situations that go badly might never happen if people thought about the situation? Discernment, recognizing a situation for what it is, is protection for the innocent.

Proverbs 4:18-19 “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.”

The dawn of day is a beautiful, peaceful time. Sitting quietly and watching the sunrise is an amazing experience. Thus, this imagery is gorgeous. Everyone knows what it’s like to stumble around the house late at night when it’s pitch black inside and out. We hit corners, step on Legos, and get ourselves into general pain and frustration. The path of the righteous is full of light and peace, not darkness and confusion. Why wouldn’t we want to follow the beautiful path?

Proverbs 5:23 “For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.”

God’s people should be marked by discipline. We often view discipline in a negative light, thinking of it as something that takes all the fun out of life. That view is skewed. Discipline isn’t the absence of joy, but it is the setting aside of folly, which leads to death anyway. Joy and folly are very different things. One is healthy and beautiful; the other is destructive and selfish. Thus we should run after the Giver of Joy and run from the Bringer of Folly. Discipline is a life-saver.

What do you think about these verses? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to discuss them with you!