Sunday, December 18, 2011

And So it Begins

Hello, folks, and welcome to my not-posted-in-very-often-anymore blog! Yes, sad, but true. I've been trying to come up with an entertaining topic, which hasn't been working very well because my mind is all muddled as of late. I have so much to think about! Christmas is coming in 6 days (!!!) and I've kept myself extremely busy preparing for that. I've FINALLY finished all my Christmas shopping, which I'm happy about because I have a VERY busy week coming up. My busiest week in December.

My busy week consists of 3 orchestra concerts packed into Tuesday and Wednesday, a 6 hour orchestra rehearsal today (Monday), company coming over for a Christmas party on Thursday, family on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, and then the busyness of Christmas Day, of course. Which should be very fun. :)

We'll see how these next three days keep my sanity intact. Expect to find my next post crammed with craziness and hyperness and just.... the effects of complete exhaustion! My next post will most likely come in the New Year, but I'll try and see if I can get one in before then.

Here's a lovely picture of my orchestra's concert poster!! :D

SO! I have decided something. From now on, at the end of each post, I am going to answer any and all questions that you post in a comment, right here in the post! That way, I don't have to answer in a comment that you may never see.

Here we go! In answer to book blogger: Yes, number four on my list is definitely a good one, isn't it? ;) I'm looking forward to our concerts this week!
To Emma: I love number 7 too. :) My first novel was... about 230 pages, and around 37,000 words. Amazing how it took me 2 years to write that many words, but only took me a month to write 50,000, huh?

Alright! I know this has been incredibly short and boring, but I really have nothing else to say! This is one of my New Year's resolutions (I'll be making a post of all my resolutions later on): to make my posts far more interesting and readable. So that you'll actually WANT to take the short journey over to my little corner of the world and read my thoughts. Literally.

Ciao, my friends! Thank you for reading this pointless post. Many awards to you. Have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!!

*shoots off fireworks*

Here's an even more pointless and random question: What do you think of my new blog background? :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Goodbye, Stress...

I'm done!! I'm finished the dreaded month of November! Okay, so it hasn't been that bad, especially because of the Oregon trip, and fun church stuff, and the dance. But the stressful part of it has been NaNoWriMo. And I'm done with that! For good! Well... until next year, that is. ;)

My book is not even near to being done, but I got 50,000 words done and it feels wonderful! I finished at exactly 9 minutes to midnight. To all the other Wrimos who finished, CONGRATULATIONS!!! :D I reward you with cookies and hot chocolate. You deserve them!! And all those who tried but didn't quite make it, you're still amazing! Never forget it! It still took a lot of effort and time, even to just TRY this challenge! Kudos to you. :)

There were times I wanted to give up. There were times I just wanted to throw the computer out the window, or destroy my Word document, or tear up my "ideas" notebook. But the better part of me restrained my hand. I pushed on. And all the effort, all the late nights, all the caffeine (in truth, it wasn't that much... I'm not a big caffeine person :P), all the endless strings of words running through my head in a big muddled mess, they were all worth it! Worth every bit of it. I got 50,000 words down, jibberish though they may have been, and it was worth the effort. Worth the pain. And, though I shudder to say this, worth the stress.

Another major thing that happened in the month of November was what I had been waiting for for three months. The OYAN novel contest results (for those of you who don't know, that's One Year Adventure Novel, THE best writing program there is). Yes, the results were announced in a live webinar by the teacher of OYAN and his amazing wife, Mrs. S. They were certainly dressed to fit the occasion! Mrs. S was wearing a pretty dress, while Mr. S. conducted himself in a tuxedo and bowtie. They took some time to announce the 8 finalists and the 3 winners, yet my name never came. The 2011 OYAN novel contest has been lost by Julia Duke.

But I have not given up hope! There are more years to come! More novels to write and more contests to enter! Hopefully more contests to win. ;) And honestly, I'm not surprised I didn't win this year. It was only my first year entering, with my very first novel, so I hadn't a whole lot of experience. This next novel I'm working on shall be a million times better, I can promise you that! For all those who supported me, gave me encouraging words, and pushed me on to finish my first novel, I thank you. It is an experience I would not give up for the world.

With the stress of November over, I can focus on a new kind of stress. A much happier and enjoyable stress. Any ideas? That's right! Christmas!! :D
Now that I can put my writing behind me until after Christmas, I am able to fully enjoy this glorious season! I've already started my gift lists for my friends and family, and my own personal Christmas wish list. On Saturday, we went to Aldor Acres and chopped down a Christmas tree! It's rather short, but it's beautiful, and bushy, and our first real tree in 2 years! We had this ugly, skinny, fake one for 2 years because my dad decided he didn't want a real one. I hated it. :P But we have a gorgeous tree now that is still waiting to be decorated and already has a few presents underneath it. :)

Things I'm looking forward to this Christmas:
1. Snow! (and fluffy snow, not slushy :P)
2. Carolling!
3. Christmas baking!
4. Orchestra concerts!
5. Gift shopping!
6. Writing Christmas cards for people!
7. Drinking hot chocolate with candy canes thrown inside! (mmmm... so good :))
8. Christmas dinner with the family!
9. Decorating the house!
10. Wrapping presents!
11. Hearing the Christmas story in church!
12. Getting together with family and friends!
13. Snuggling up in warm blankets by the fireplace!
14. Reading late into the night!
15. Wishing everyone the merriest Christmas EVER!

Yes, so much joy. :) Christmas is such a beautiful holiday, but what makes it truly beautiful is the love of Jesus found in the hearts of everyone around you. Those who know the true meaning of Christmas. Not Santa, not reindeer, not elves. Jesus Christ. The precious child that was born on Christmas day, and who reigns in heaven today as our LORD and Saviour.

Happy Advent season, everyone! God bless you!

Question of the Post: What are you looking forward to this Christmas season?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Renovations Galore!

As you can see, my blog has been undergoing a lot of renovations lately. I made myself a bucket list, I made a page for my "snibbets of writing," and, to make it easier for you guys to know when I've posted, I've added a "Subscribe" button. Thingy. Which will send all my post updates to your email. Guaranteed to clutter your inbox.

I'm thinking of making another page. This one will be for suggestions for YOU to give ME. All you need to do is comment and let me know what you think of my blog layout, suggest blog backgrounds, suggest ideas for posts, give me challenges, all that fun stuff. I would love to hear from all of you! I want my blog to be highly entertaining for you guys. So, please let me know!

Last week was a very unproductive week. I was sick, which made it difficult for me to accomplish my schoolwork or get much writing in. For NaNoWriMo, I have only just passed the halfway mark (25,000), which makes me at 28,000, but I have a week to go. Only! I should be able to get to 50,000 if I write 4,000 words a day. Right now, I can't see that happening, but.... I'm determined. I'm going to try. I will push for the goal! And if any other WriMos are reading this, take courage, my friends! It's not over yet! I know you can do it! Yes, even you, Bethany. ;)

Despite an unproductive and cold-infested week, the weekend was fabulous. Full of dancing, and writing, and piano playing, and chatting with some really great friends. The dancing part of it was a youth Scottish Country Dance at my church. It was a blast! For once, we actually had almost an even ratio of guys to girls. There were only 2 more girls than guys for the first little while, but then 3 more showed up and it was 5 more girls. We usually have WAY less guys than girls, making it somewhat of a pathetic dance. :P Only about 20 something people showed up, but like our dance teacher, Rebecca, says: "It's not the quantity, it's the quality."

The dances we did included the infamous Virginia Reel, Strip the Willow, the Dashing White Sergeant, and the Postie's Jig. We also did a circle dance at the beginning, but I can't remember what that's called. They were all super fun! Rebecca taught us the steps and then we danced away. :D

On Saturday, we got a new vehicle! I will post a picture of it if I can. It's a green GMC suburban, an 8-seater. The seats are super comfortable and there is a lot more space than in our old safari. I heartily approve of it! :)

While the rest of the family went out to test the new vehicle, I stayed home and wrote at least 3,000 words for my NaNo and practiced the hymns for Sunday (I played piano in both services). Sunday was a stressful, yet beautiful day. How can that be so, you ask? Well, it was stressful because I led the congregation in song by playing all the hymns. I always get slightly nervous about that. It was beautiful because it was the LORD's day, and the LORD's day is always glorious. We get to worship God in His house! I always look forward to that. In his sermon, my pastor said that the days of the week were created for the Sabbath, and not the Sabbath for the days of the week. I thought that was an interesting point. The entire sermon was about how we should rest on Sunday from our productive work, the work we do on the week days. The work we do on Sundays should be for pleasure, and not for producing. Good sermon. It really made me think.

Tuesday was pretty much an awesome day. I got up at 6am and worked for 3 hours around the house as a surprise for my mom. I cleaned up all the main areas and organized some things. Work gives me a great sense of satisfaction and is a wonderful stress-reliever. It helps me to clear my muddled thoughts. I also was able to get a good start on my schoolwork. I'm trying to make up for the lost time of last week.

Hope this post wasn't too boring for you! :) I'll try to spice up my future posts. But first, I'm going to need super creative suggestions from all you creative peoples!

Question of the Post! (since I've decided to do that from time to time, just to be a copycat :P)
Have you started listening to Christmas music yet? What are your favourite Christmas carols?


P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends! :) May it be filled with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, etc., lots of fellowship with friends and family, and above all, God's abundant blessings!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Daydreams of a Fall Afternoon

As I write this blog post, I am sitting here in my room, dreaming. My mind is far from the biology book on my desk and the notebook waiting for notes to be written. I'm staring outside. At the bare trees, and the cloudy sky, and the slight wind rustling the remaining leaves. It is a normal fall afternoon, filled with the last bits of school and many hours of music practice. Yet I sit here in silence. Thinking. Dreaming. And dreaming big. Dreaming of my future, dreaming of the past, dreaming of the next words in my story. But most of all, I'm reflecting on the numerous blessings God has given me. The countless friendships he has allowed me to make, the wonderful summer I had, both at home and in Poland. Weekends of pure joy and days of learning more about God's amazing creation. These dreams and reflections fill me with hope. A hope that through God's mercy and love, this hurting world will be transformed into a God-serving nation. That the hearts of a depressed and sorrowful people will be conformed to the light and will begin to see God's love in its fullest. That is my earnest desire.

I dream.

I hope.

I love.

I live.

I live for God.

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
~Psalm 18:2

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God."
~Psalm 20:7

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
~Proverbs 3:5-6

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
~Romans 8:28

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Day is Past and Gone

Yes, I have stolen the title of a hymn to use for my post title. But not in vain. The exciting weekend is over, the wedding day a thing of the past. Rebekah has taken on a new name and she is happily off on her honeymoon with her husband. It was an amazing wedding. Everyone looked gorgeous and picture perfect! Not for MY camera, though. My camera never takes perfect pictures. Never. Even if I bang it up and scold it and threaten to throw it in the creek. :P
Everyone was in good spirits at the wedding, especially me. I felt truly blessed to be able to reunite with several of my friends who travelled with me to Poland, and to meet two people who I have been longing to meet for ages: Elisa and Nathan!!! I only knew them over the internet, but finally got to meet them in person this weekend. :D They were awesome!! I also got to meet many of their awesome friends! :) We had a crazy time at a table in the far corner of the reception hall, tearing up the table decorations and mixing a "drink," if you could even call it that. :P It was a mixture of sauce, water, candle wax, and other weird stuff.

The third day of the weekend in Oregon was Sunday, so we stayed for church and then for their fellowship meal afterwards. The awkwardness of meeting people for the first time was over and I found myself having quite a lot of fun! After the meal, a bunch of the teens walked over to a gym and played basketball and volleyball. My sister and I joined in volleyball until we had to leave. Our last moments together were sad. At least for me. I didn't want to leave. :( But alas, all good things must come to an end. All good earthly things, that is. If you know what I mean. :)
Yes, that was my weekend. Very, very exciting. And epic, if I may use the term. :D One of my biggest dreams has become a reality! And I will always be thankful that God has allowed this amazing thing to happen, after so many prayers. :)

NaNoWriMo has been going downhill lately. I am currently only on 14,654 words and slowly making my way up, but I'm supposed to be at 23,000 today. The weekend was a pleasant distraction. I don't regret it in the least. But I really have to procrastinate about my procrastinating and get serious about this again. Another problem is that my ideas are running dry. My imagination is failing me for the first time this month. I have reached Chapter 5, but I have no clear picture what is to come next in the story. I'm really having fun with my characters though! They're my favourite ones yet! :D So, that's a plus.
Alright, I have decided to give in and post my short story. I will do small sections at a time, as it is much too long of a story to post all at once. Please let me know what you think! I always like feedback!

by Julia Duke

I stared at the crumpled letter lying in the corner, neglected by all in the room. Tears stung my eyes and I clenched my fists in anger. I glanced round at my family. Jerry sat in a numb state on the sofa, fixing his gaze on the ground. The half-empty coffee mug on the table left evidence of Mother’s previous presence in the living room.
I returned my gaze to the letter and shut my eyes, trying not to believe it, trying so hard to forget it. The delivery of the yellow telegram had dashed so many hopes to pieces. From the moment the officer placed it into Mother’s hands till the time she opened it and began to read, I knew. The way her eyes pooled with tears before she even came to the fatal words. The way her gaze drifted towards the wall, her face growing pale and her grip on the paper loosening. My heart racing, I snatched the letter out of her hand and read it out loud, not believing at first. Not wanting to believe. My eyes scanned the words again. Walter Tarnika. Killed in action.


Mother’s face peered around the corner of my bedroom. I tried not to look shocked as her thin form came into view. Her hair lay in tangles, while her dress was dirty and worn, the top buttons missing from their usual places. I closed my book and leapt up from my bed, placing the hardcover back on the shelf among many others.
“What is it, Mother?”
“We need to talk. All of us. Jerry’s waiting in the living room.”
“What about?”
“The future. Our family’s future.”
I nodded and followed Mother out of my room, watching as her feet dragged along the floor. Jerry hopped out of the rocking chair as Mother entered, and plopped himself down on the sofa. I took my place beside him, while Mother stood beside the rocking chair, resting a hand on it. She heaved a sigh.
“Children… As you both know, things haven’t been going well for us lately. Money is running low, and we’ve had to ration our food.”
“I’ll say,” Jerry cut in, rolling his eyes.
Mother flashed him a look. Jerry grew silent and dropped his head.
“The thing is, there’s not much for work here and I can’t raise enough income to pay the mortgage for the house.”
Her eyes darkened, contrasting with her pale face.
“It’s been two weeks since the funeral. I think it’s high time we start a new life.”
I glanced at Jerry, then fixed my eyes back on Mother. “Meaning?”
“Meaning we’ll be moving. To another state. To a new town. We’ll meet new people and start a fresh life for ourselves.”
Jerry leapt up, his eyes widening. “We can’t move!”
“And why not?” Mother asked, her complexion weakening from the reaction.
“Because… All my friends are here! All of Celia’s friends! We can’t just leave them!”
I laid my hand on Jerry’s arm, attempting to stop him, but he slapped it away and continued.
“Please, Mother. I’ll find work. I’ll do anything!” He pounded his fist. “Oh, if I could only join up, then I wouldn’t have to be a burden on you two.”
Mother stepped forward. “Don’t speak that way! You know you’re not a burden on us. Listen to me.” She paced in front of the wireless, one hand on her hip, the other on her forehead. “I don’t want this any more than you do. But times are hard and this is the way it has to be.”
“Then I don’t want to be a part of it. I’ll leave if I have to. I’ll fake my age. Others have done it!”
I sensed a cue for me to speak, and stood up. “Jerry, you’re only 15! They’ll never let you through! And anyway, you can’t leave us. Dad’s gone, and you’re the man of the house now.”
“Well, I don’t want to be! Dad abandoned us! He left us alone in this world to fend for ourselves!”
Mother’s voice cut in, quiet yet sharp. “Don’t ever say that again, you hear me?”
A dull silence filled the room. Jerry stared at Mother, his mouth open in preparation for his next words, but they never came. I sensed the tension between the two and stepped back a little.
“Mother, I—I’m sorry…”
Without answering, without her face so much as flinching, Mother drifted towards the hall and disappeared.
I glared at Jerry. “Nice going.”
“Oh, you think I’m going to have pity on you? Just because of you and your friends? Jerry, we’re a family! We have to work together! Can’t you even try to understand?”
Jerry had nothing to say. At least, nothing worthwhile hearing. I turned and left him to dwell on his own thoughts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happiness Overcomes Stress

Hello, my fellow bloggers and critical readers! I see you have left many comments for me, making my decision to put my story up an easy one! Okay, SINCE you were so kind, I shall ask again. Would anyone like me to post my short story? Please comment below, in the little comment box thingy, expressing either your desire or your repulsion for such a thing as that.

Today I'm going to be weird and not talk about what the title means until close to the end. So, stay tuned! I have some very exciting news, and if anyone cares to read further, it MUST be any and all of you Oregonians. :)

Last Monday, as you know, was Halloween. Although, we like to refer to it as Reformation Day, the day when we celebrate Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Church of Wittenburg. My church had their annual celebration on this night, while hundreds of children around us trick-or-treated and celebrated the gathering of candy. We, Christ Covenant Church, had our own method of getting candy, however. Several booths were set up, with games for the kids and even some for the ambitious adults. I helped my friend Katelyn with a game called the "Holy Do Nots." The objective was to name the 8 Commandments in the Bible that are "Do Not..." or "Thou shalt not..." and then you would win a donut. It was surprising how many people couldn't remember the Commandments, even some of the adults!

Reformation Night lasted for three fun-filled hours. We had warm blueberry crumble, donuts, and the kids ate lots of candy on top of that and were bouncing off the walls. xD Fiddle music was playing in the background, but when they announced that Reformation Night was officially over, an upbeat song broke out on the loud speaker, making the cleanup part fun and dance-worthy. :D

You have made it to your destination! I will now talk on a subject that relates to the title, and how very exciting and happy news overcame the general stress of my life. First, the stressful part of it. Currently I am doing a thing called NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the entire month of November. It's actually not as stressful as I'm making it out to be because I'm doing surprisingly well! It's been one week and I'm already almost to 12,000 words! :D But it can get stressful at times, especially when I start getting behind and life catches up to me.

But, anyway, on to the news!! Oregonians, are you ready? :) I. am. going. to. OREGON!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D This weekend, for a very special friend's wedding! Her name is Rebekah U. and she's getting married to Benjamin F!!!! I'm so happy for them and even MORE happy that I get to come to their wedding!! All of you people following me that go to the RCC church..... I WILL SEE YOU THERE!!! :D

Oh, and one more thing. Here's a link to my brother's blog again. The poor guy only has 3 followers and he has such awesome posts and pictures! They can't go to waste! If you wish it, follow him. He would love you forever! :)

~Julia, your extremely excited and hyped up blogging friend~ :D

Friday, October 28, 2011

Of Pumpkins and Fall Festivities

19 followers now! Wow! Thank you everyone for taking the time out of your day to read my rather long posts. :P I'm sure you're all quite busy. I'd also like some comments, if any of you have any extra time. ;)
So, first of all, this post will definitely be more cheerful than the last one. I just had to get that out, and you know, I DID warn you about cutting in with a serious post once in a while. ;)

My family and I went to the pumpkin patch today to celebrate my little sister Jessica's birthday! :D She's turning 8 on November 3rd, so we thought we'd do something fun this weekend, while the family is all together. We went to Aldor Acres in Aldergrove, which has a pumpkin patch, a petting zoo, and hay rides! And we each got to pick out a pumpkin to take home and carve! My siblings have already been hard at work gutting out and carving theirs. Mine is still in waiting outside. Pictures will be posted once they're all complete.
We used to go to Aldor Acres almost every year, as a family tradition, but we've kind of gone away from that. I'm not sure why. So, we haven't been in years and it was great fun reliving the memories! :)
All over the farm, they had little rabbit hutches with adorable bunnies! There were both babies and adults. This is Jessica holding one of them.
This was in a little gift shop near the entrance to the farm. I wanted to get a shot of it because it reminds me of Winnie the Pooh. :)
Candy! I didn't end up buying any, but I thought it looked so pretty sitting there. ^_^
This was an old car set up on display. I'm not sure why.... I thought it was cool anyway.
I would absolutely LOVE to sit in one of those leather seats one day! They look so comfy!
This cow, in a pen with another one, weighs about 3,200 pounds! I believe its name is Zorro. This is Lydianna, my 9-year-old sister, comparing her height with his. ;)
Jessica, petting the adorable little piglets! There were about 8 others, but they were sleeping elsewhere in the barn, under the watch of a gigantic horse, and they came racing across the path towards their mother when they heard the "feeding time" bell.
A baby Shetland pony! Her name was Mindy and she was the sweetest thing. :)
This goat has rather odd shaped horns...
Feeding time! Look at all the piglets!
Guess who! The farmer and his wife! ;)
Lydianna feeding a goat kid.

Ahh! So cute! The goat on top stayed there pretty much the whole time we were in the pen. He later switched to standing on a log. It appears he thinks he's king! xD

The pumpkin patch. We went on a hay ride to reach this field. This is where we picked out our pumpkins!
On the way back to our vehicles, transported by means of a hay ride. Look at how mucky the road is!
That's one of the hay rides there.
Before leaving on the hay ride, we each got a bag of popcorn from a machine by the lineup. Yummy! After walking around the farm some more when we had deposited our pumpkins in our van, we left and picked up some icecream and cookies for dessert later on. And then we worked together and made dumblings and chicken stew for dinner! It was delicious! We watched a movie and then the kids drifted off to begin carving their pumpkins. And so ended a wonderful Saturday!

Just a quick question before I go! Would you all like me to post my story for the "Anthology of Hope"? I'm not sure if I want to or not, but if you guys comment, expressing your anxiousness to read said story, I will likely reconsider. ;)

Friday, October 21, 2011


WARNING: This will be quite a bit longer and quite a bit more serious than my other posts. There. You have been warned. Now, onward....
Have you ever taken a peek into others' lives to get your inspirations? Have you ever been truly moved and inspired by how another person moves through life? I have. Numerous times, actually. Two friends come to mind when I think of this, two girls that are going through a very difficult time, yet are still so happy and have a zeal for life that I often envy. Whenever I'm feeling moody or depressed, I think of these girls and it reminds me of the most important things in life. I don't have to be depressed. My problems are few compared to countless others. Yet I complain. But these girls remind me that God is the only way out of the sinful influences of the world, the idea that "life isn't fair." Sure, we question God from time to time, but I have learned that God has a reason for everything He does. And I mean everything. I feel extremely grateful and blessed to know such amazing people who remind me of this.

My first, but not only, inspiration is a dear friend of mine from church, Rebecca. Just a few months ago, she went in to get tested and found out she has lymphoma cancer. She's had to go in to the hospital multiple times and has had the first couple stages of chemo, losing her hair in the process. This has been really hard on both her and her family, but I think--at least on the outside--that she's been handling this all extremely well. She's keeping her eyes on God and not losing her faith through all her trials. I think Rebecca is an amazing example of a faithful daughter of Christ. I don't know how I would be able to handle being in her situation, but I would probably not be near as strong. Rebecca is still so cheerful, still so happy, and still loves God and the life He has given her. Everything has changed for her. She can't do many of the things she's used to doing, and she's kept on a strict diet as well. It must be frustrating at times, yet she remains faithful. It shows immensely by the smile I always see on her face. Please keep her in your prayers.
This is her blog if you want to keep updated:

Another girl that immediately pops up into my mind is a girl I know, but have never met, from an online writer's forum I'm a part of. I don't know her real name, but we all call her Skye. Instead of attempting to explain her situation in my own words, I'm going to post a little of what she wrote. Some of it is directed to the forum people, so you can ignore those parts. ;)

"I have some health problems, and I need to explain them because there are several things I won't be able to do that need explaining. Okay. Well, I have a whole lot of allergies and because of that I live on a diet of meat, seafood, sweet potatoes, milk, butter and cinnamon. I have to stay away from all fragrences, perfumes, soaps, lotions, air fresheners, cleaners, etc., and because of so many things I can't inhale it's very hard to go out in public at all. My adrenals are really weak and I don't have much energy. So I have to budget the energy that I do have carefully--I have to plan my tips downstairs and upstairs so I won't have to climb them too much, or decide when to go to the store with my family and when I need to stay home, that sort of thing. Because of all the
trouble with chemicals I haven't been able to go to church in about a year now. It's been very hard for me, emotionally and physically, and not being able to see my brothers and sisters in Him there. But Jesus is helping me! I'm holding on to Him and He will see me through. I just need to explain because there are a lot of things I can't do concerning reading and critiquing, and watching too--I can't watch anything intense, anything where the character gets hurt or killed or somethin' like that. Loud noises and explosions and shooting will mess me up as well; I can't watch Star Wars any more *wails* and I have to leave the room on the bad guy scenes in stuff like Wall-e and Up and Tangled, or anything, really. I may not be able to critique or be on the forum or even the computer much, depending on how I'm doing. My health is really unpredictable and I have good days and bad days, but it's never constant. If I'm on at all, that means I'm doing okay to fairly well! :D I collapse, faint, crumple up, get dizzy, nauseated, headaches and constant fatigue a whoooooooole lot, so be warned!"
And another post of Skye's:
"My Khara Allundil and I were watching Enchanted last winter together with her brother and sisters and mother: it was my first time to see it. We were having so much fun laughing over that utterly peacock-ish prince Edward and the silly, maiden-ish, innocent Giselle and Pip and all the little things that are meaningful or funny or sweet. We got to the part where the queen pushed Giselle into the well on her wedding day. Nathaniel scampered up to her and huffed, "my most adored queen, where did you send her?" and Narissa answered, in that thrilling deep voice she has, "to a place where there are no happily ever afters."
That sort of struck us both, and we started thinking about it. It's will never find a happily ever after if you look for it in the world. But if you look up, if you look to Him, then yes--Heaven, we both decided. Heaven is our Happily Ever After.
If I die in this time of trouble, I know that I'll go Home, I'll go to my Happily Ever After, forever with Jesus. But I don't believe He wants me to die yet. There is so, so much that I still want to do for Him here, so many stories I want to tell, so many songs I want to sing. There are promises that haven't been fulfiled yet, adventures that haven't been resolved yet. I want to tell those stories, sing those songs, live to see what my adventure's ending will be. I want to make people see through my eyes and point them to Him through my writing...through everything I do. So I'm not giving up, and I'm not about to give in: as long as I'm still here, there is work yet to be done for Jesus. But like Mr S says, the stakes keep getting raised higher and higher, and this body of mine can only take so much.
I was checked in to see a doctor on Saturday--hence the status.
They're trying to test me to figure out what's wrong and if we're missing some underlying problem like a heart failure, a tumor, a low endocrine count, anything that we haven't checked yet. All of my symptoms match up to adrenal problems, but we need someone professional to be able to say for sure that it is or it isn't. The doctor said that there isn't anything else anyone in our area can do to help me, and I need to go to a bigger hospital in a different state for more resources and variety. I'm on the waiting list, but it could take until December to get me in, and until then I'm in a very delicate and dangerous position. All the tests they have run and will have to run on me make me react rather violently, because I'm allergic to so many of the innumerable things that wouldn't hurt a normal person. Simple things like hand sanitizer on the doctor's hands or the metal of the machine, or the soap they washed the sheets with, almost everything makes me react and it puts a load on someone who's already loaded down and can't carry any more weight. But I've been extremely weakened and I can't walk or leave my room hardly at all. I couldn't be admitted to the hospital permenantly because of all the allergens there that would absolutley kill me.
I have good days and bad days, the good days being when I can get things done around the house and reply to letters, write stories, finish school, all of that good stuff...the bad days being when I'm bedridden or too weak to get downstairs. I would appreciate it if anyone who cares to pray would keep praying until we can get to that hospital and back again, in December. I'll try to keep you guys posted if you'd be interested in keeping up.
I can have my laptop with me for school purposes, and thus I've been able to log into the Forum, most thankfully! *happy* If I'm not on or can't reply to your PMs quickly, that will be because a chain of bad days have weighed me down and I'm struggling, so please know it isn't because I'm ignoring you or anything. I would never do that. If you will pray for me, please pray that as long as these symptoms don't go away, I'll have the strength to bear them--losing consciousness, migranes, fatigue, weakness, throwing up, losing weight, not being able to sleep, not being able to focus or concentrate on anything, not being strong enough to leave the house or see anyone in public almost at all. And just overall some loneliness that's been trying to eat me up from the inside out, which is hard to wrestle down. I'm trying my best to keep my eyes on Him. He is helping me; God is so good.
There are some people in my life who don't understand my situation, and are also very forceful and domineering. When I tell them I can't do something or go somewhere, they'll drag me in whether I can or not, and I'll react, and things just get worse. So if you could pray for them to please at least let me decide for myself, even if they don't agree or understand. That would be a wonderful relief.
I hope this isn't too long or grumbly or anything. God bless you guys. You're amazing, all of just blows my mind, all that you've done for me and how much you care. This forum is a tremendous blessing. I can't think of any words to thank you enough, but thank you, thank you, so very, very much--it means more to me than you'll ever know. I would like to thank in particular Valerie, He-Who-Calls-Himself-Cyreno, Sir Marshall, Ray, Ruby, and guys are beyond the limits of any words I could muster, and I love you all as brothers and sisters in Christ so much. All my thanks to everyone who has commented or sent me messages, and anyone who ever does! I may not be able to reply to each and every one of you, but I'm thankful to every individual and I pray God blesses you all in special, amazing ways.
All my heart, and in His hope,
<3 Skye <3

If you got through all that, you will see why Skye, in particular, inspires me. She knows she could die, yet she's so happy and, above all, she loves God. Thank you for being my inspirations, Rebecca and Skye. <3

Question: Who inspires you? Reply with a comment! :)

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.
~Psalm 42: 5-6a

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
~Matthew 11: 28-30

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
~Philippians 4:6

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hey again! Remember me?

Oh, my dear internet, how long will you deceive me?! Must you continue to torture me so? It is true, I'm afraid. My internet has been broken for quite some time, and is still out of order. I'm currently using someone else's internet, otherwise I wouldn't be posting. BUT we should be getting it fixed soon and then I'll be more consistent!

Unlike the weekend I talked about in the previous post, this last one has been extremely eventful! Saturday wasn't much to brag about. We did a ton of work. But Sunday was exciting! It started out early in the morning at church. It was my turn to play the hymns, which I had been practicing for ALL week, but I was still a little nervous. I got through all the songs with only a few minor mistakes, though! Happy! :D That had been my 3rd time playing in a morning service, though I had already played twice in our evening services.

As Thanksgiving was the next day, on Monday, (Canadian Thanksgiving, in case you were wondering), a lot of people had their Thanksgiving dinners on Sunday afternoon or evening, after church. My family and I had the priviledge of being invited to a friend's house for lunch/dinner. The food was delicious! Sadly, I forgot my camera and have no pictures to show you. :P

After a spendid dinner and a fabulous visit with our friends, we came back home, our stomachs full and our hearts warm. The only thing that wasn't so great was my head. I had a splitting headache and ended up dropping into bed at 5pm. I awoke again at 9:30, thinking it was morning, so I was utterly confused for the rest of the night.
After a restful sleep, I awoke to a school-less day. And what a glorious day it was. Not that I have anything against school, but it was wonderful to have a break. The sun was up, the sky was blue, and my heart was full of joy. Yet, we still had no internet. Thankfully, we have a Starbucks a 2-minute drive away from us, so my sister, Mom, and I whipped down there to use it for a couple hours.

And that was my weekend. Nothing too exciting, no pictures to share, not even a very colourful post. :( I guess I'm just not in a very creative mood. Which is odd for me. :P
Since this has been shorter, I thought I would share with you the introduction for a short story I'm writing. If all goes well, this story will be published along with a collection of other stories, poems, and artwork, which will all center around the theme of hope. I'm doing this with an online writer's forum that I'm a part of. We hope to raise funds to go towards the catastrophic disasters and the people who are going through these hard times.
My story is set in WWII, during a time of great hardship for a lot of Americans. It's only just over 1,000 words right now, but it should be 1500-2,000 words by the end. If you read this short excerpt, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think! :)

I stared at the crumpled letter lying in the corner, neglected by all in the room. Tears stung my eyes and I clenched my fists in anger. I glanced round at my family. Jerry sat in a numb state on the sofa, fixing his gaze on the ground. The half-empty coffee mug on the table left evidence of Mother's previous presence in the living room. I returned my gaze to the letter and shut my eyes, trying not to believe it, trying so hard to forget it. The delivery of the yellow telegram had dashed so many hopes to pieces. From the moment the officer placed it into Mother's hands till the time she opened it and began to read, I knew. The way her eyes pooled with tears before she even came to the fatal words. The way her gaze drifted towards the wall, her face growing pale and her grip on the paper loosening. My heart racing, I snatched the letter out of her hand and read it out loud, not believing at first. Not wanting to believe. My eyes scanned the words again. Walter Tarnika. Killed in action.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday... At Last!

The day has finally arrived! Or, shall we say, the day has passed and gone? The truth is, I thought I wouldn't be posting today. This is why: after a long and full day of school and hours of music practice, I came to my computer only to find that the internet had crashed. >.< I can't tell you how annoyed/upset I was. Not to mention, I was tired and had a headache, which only succeeded in making things worse.
But, anyway! Enough of that. My internet is again working! And I still intend to give you a happy and entertaining post, as previously planned. It is time to forget the sorrows of the past and move on to brighter things! :D
My weekend was quite uneventful, sad to say. I was hoping for a weekend full of excitement, so that I could give you something great to read about! But, alas, it is not to be. Aside from creating this blog on Saturday, we didn't do a whole lot. We were unable to attend church on Sunday, due to both of our vehicles going on strike. One of them is in detention right now and will soon be put into her right mind. I hope. Our vehicles are VERY unpredictable and incapable of being trustworthy.
I don't know about you, but it certainly feels like fall to me! It has been FREEZING in our house lately, especially since our heater isn't working. :P My bedroom is like an ice rink! I'm convinced it's the coldest room in the house. Luckily, I am well supplied with blankets and oversized sweatshirts that keep me warm while I do my schoolwork. (Did I mention I'm homeschooled?) :)
Hmmm... what else? Oh yeah! On Sunday night, we watched How to Train Your Dragon, one of my all-time favourite movies! :D If you haven't seen this, you must! It is such a cute story and the characters are very well developed. If you like Medieval Times, Vikings, dragons, oceans, fantasy, and Irish brogues, then you'll LOVE this movie. It has all of those combined! That's certainly MY idea of an enjoyable and altogether amazing movie. :D
This is Hiccup, the hero of the story. He's awesome. ^_^ I love how he's still so humble by the end of the story, and how he's willing to give his life for his friends.

Astrid is another awesome character in the movie. She's funny, sweet, and not afraid to take on challenges. And she's not a typical "girly-girl" or "damsel in distress" kind of girl. :)
Toothless!!! :D He's sooooo adorable! My favourite dragon in the show. ;)
He has his silly moments. Which I absolutely love. ^_^
The gang! These guys are all awesome in their own special way. The twins (the two fighting in the back) are hilarious! They never fail to make me laugh. xD
Awww!!! I love this picture! Astrid and Hiccup.... :) Oh, and look! Toothless has teeth! xD

Okay, if you made it through all of that, I congratulate you. You deserve a cookie! *gives you a handful of cookies, all different kinds* :D
One thing I must tell you before you leave is THIS: Yes, you can click on that. Go ahead! It's not going to explode on you! Come on... click, click, click!! xD If you clicked on it, you would've seen another blog, no? Well, yes! And no, that person is not a creeper. Well... maybe a wee bit of one. ;) He's my brother and he's a pretty awesome dude with a pretty awesome blog! He would love it if you would follow him! He takes GREAT pics! :D But he doesn't have cookies.... so make your choice. To follow or not to follow.
This is Julia, signing off. Goodbye, peoples of the world! :D

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Welcome to my blog! This is where you can peek into the deep chasm called my mind and discover what lies in my innermost thoughts. It's your chance! Take a glimpse if you dare. But I must warn you. This is no ordinary blog. This is a blog of uncertainty, where anything can happen! You just wait and see. ;)
So, first off, I am going to tell you my reason for making this blog. Okay, it's... um.... well...... I'm not entirely sure myself. :P But if you're here, I assume you're here to be entertained. Right? Well, you came to the right place! :D I hope. Anyway *cough*, enough of that. This blog is designed for fun and randomness and also to talk about my aspirations in life. Once in a while, I may break in with something serious that's been on my mind for a while and that I NEED to let out. You can skip those parts if you want, but I wouldn't recommend it. ;) Sometimes I just need to vent a little, so I'm giving you a warning in advance. But hey, I DID tell you this is a blog where you get to discover my thoughts, right? Right.
So there we have it, folks! I have successfully created a blog that I hope to stay consistent with. :P I'm still working it out with my schedule, but I'll probably post every Tuesday evening and Thursday or Friday evening. But if I forget to, PLEASE kindly spam my inbox by commenting and reminding me. Thank you.
I will be posting lots of fun stuff, like pictures, videos, polls, and other great stuff. But my creativity will most likely wear down after time, so please provide me with ideas! I need lots of ideas! :)
I'm looking forward to lots of followers and lots and lots and lots of comments! ^_^ But of course, I can't get comments until I get followers. So click the button at the top right hand corner! You won't be disappointed!
And now, one last note. Smile!! Because..... "A smile confuses an approaching frown." ~Author Unknown .... AND..... "A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." ~Phyllis Diller
Later! <3
~Julia, your happy blogging friend~