Sunday, December 9, 2012

Say it, learn it, live it.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 
Philippians 4:13


"Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind, than on outward circumstances."
Benjamin Franklin

A dream is a wish your heart makes

After all, Disney isn't their generation, it's mine. The little girls I watch after school beg me to put in a movie on half days. Seeing their shelf-full of classics, "How about The Little Mermaid?" says I. "No, we want to watch the new Katy Perry tour movie."

In my opinion, a lot of the classics came out in the 90's and early 2000's, which would have put me at a prime age for Disney to captivate me with their stories. I was about three when I saw my first movie in a real theater. It was Hercules, and I was hooked.

Disney movies literally can make my day. If Aladdin is on ABC family, you know what I'm doing that night. When I go to my dad's house a couple days every week, I expect there to be a stack of library movies with the Disney logo right front and center on each disc. I still remember all the words to the songs, and you bet your lunch money I sing along, loud and proud.   

Sadly, I fear that some recent Disney movies would have Walt rolling over in his grave. Only select few have played on my heart-strings just as they did when I was a kid. The Princess and the Frog, and Tangled, were done in the spirit of the great princess movies before them. Tip of my hat to the fine people that got that right.

The classics, the movies that took a little more effort than an all-star cast and extremely high budget production department, are the ones that I'm referring too. These movies are meant to be seen as inspirational, exciting, and beautiful stories, told for a greater purpose.
By looking at "the moral of the story" of one of my favorites, perhaps we can establish why these movies are so beloved.

Be kind, have faith, and your dreams will come true.
If there ever were a greater message, I've yet to find one. Though she is not the most adored princess by spiteful feminists, (seeing how she had to find a man to sweep her off her feet before her life really began), Cinderella is an inspiration, and I think they're all just jealous. She is a beautiful character, she is patient, and selfless, and she sings the most exquisite song, "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes."

"No matter how your heart is grieving, if you just keep on believing, the dream that you wish, will come true." 

The Little Mermaid taught me to never give up.  Pocahontas told me to accept those who are different than me. Mulan said that anyone can be a hero. Beauty and the Beast proved that beauty is truly found from within.
The list goes on and on.

In my eyes, it's plain to see that these movies are more than entertainment, they have guided my opinions about how I should treat others, and in turn, how I should demand respect for myself. Some could say that they're just silly kids movies, but honestly, I don't think that these people have taken the time to understand the outstanding messages that these movies withhold.

Disney, I will forever be a fan, and to all you haters, Hakuna Matata.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I'm eighteen, I'm an adult, I can do what I want. I can get a tattoo. I can pierce my body. I can go bungee jumping, I can skydive. I can change my name, I can buy fireworks.
I don't have to ask my mom if I can do any of these things. I can just go out and do them.

I can buy tobacco products, I can gamble. I can go to a strip club, I can buy porn. I can serve alcohol.

I can be convicted as an adult and go to real adult jail. I can sue someone and be sued. I can buy a lottery ticket. I can purchase a hotel room, I can get a loan. I can drive at any time.

With a license I can carry a weapon.
I can enlist in the military. I can vote.
I can buy those moronic devises off of info-mercials. 

I can legally do all of these "adult" things. However, the way I feel about my personal freedom or my sense of self-sufficiency hasn't changed in the slightest. What this list feels like is exactly what it is, a list. Applying it to my life is proving to be difficult, because I don't picture myself any different at all.

I still have little to no adult responsibilities, I live rent free, I don't pay for insurance, I still hug my parents before going to bed. As a matter of fact I feel younger, just the other day I had a Disney movie day with my dad. Call it a mid-life crisis. 

I've cleared my own path and made choices for myself for some time now, long before the state labeled me as an adult. But I was looking forward to the added responsibility of this title; however, now that I have it, it has lost its appeal.
Now, when I screw up, I'm no longer a child, and I should know better. I don't want to be seen as incompetent or misunderstood by my fellow adults. I should know how to do adult things like change a tire, claim my taxes, or manage my bank account. But the truth is, I still need help.

Maybe in August, when I finally start college, I'll feel like I need less help. Maybe I'll feel more like an adult. After all I'll be living on my own, paying my own way (mostly.) Because I can, maybe I'll eat cake for breakfast every day, or pull all-nighters with my friends. I think that that final sense of freedom, the feeling that I am in complete control of my life, will be my indication of adulthood. Not the fact that I can smoke, or vote, or whatever it may be. Those things are what I am told makes me an adult.

In my opinion, most of that list, (aside from the obviously commendable items, such as military enrollment or voting) should not be labeled "adult" perks but childish mistakes. Before I go and tattoo "I <3 Johnny" on my arm or triple pierce my eyebrow, maybe it would be smart to consider the long term consequences. Like the fact that both of those things will not look appealing within the next thirty years. A lot of students who are just turning 18 aren't thinking about how much of a regret this could potentially be.

Even though this uneventful "landmark" of turning 18 has been somewhat of a letdown, after all is said and done, I know that only I can determine what sets me apart among student my age. Because I am an adult, I will make the grown up decision of resisting the urge to do some of the things on that list just because "I can." 

1 Corinthians 2:6 
"We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing."

2 Corinthians 1:12
"Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace."

"A Hope in the Unseen"

In the book, “A Hope in the Unseen,” The main character Cedric Jennings is constantly ridiculed for his love of knowledge. His goals and ambitions are seen as arrogant, and he is left to be an outcast.
At Ballou High School, it’s not “popular” or even socially acceptable to be smart. Intelligence is left at the bottom of the list of most desirable qualities. However, at my high school, that concept is exactly the opposite. 

For his achievements in learning, he would receive awards; countless t-shirts, medals, and certificates. He would be an AP scholar, on the honor roll, an IA assessments top 1% member. His fellow students wouldn’t look down on him for these accomplishments, we would hold him in high regard and strive to be more like him.  

However, perhaps Cedric would only be considered “a brain” at his school. Most likely, Kennedy has a more rigorous and challenging class selection than Cedric’s school, which would put him closer to the middle of the pack, considering all of the academically talented students we already have. 

But to compare his social experience at Ballou to what it would be like at Kennedy, all I can say is that high school is still high school. If Cedric would continue to isolate himself and see himself as better than his classmates, then who’s to say he wouldn’t be bullied here? Not for his intelligence, but for his attitude. From what I know about my classmates, (and myself) a know-it-all is about as annoying as it gets. We’re all just trying to make it through and do our best here; we don’t appreciate those who look down upon those that should be treated as equals.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Someone dies of hunger every 3.6 seconds

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."
- Mary Flannery O'Connor

Sitting in my Sunday school class today, this quote appeared on the projector during a short video. For some reason it really caught my attention. I quickly typed it into a memo in my phone, and set it aside for further deliberation.

There is no denying that this quote is flawlessly accurate. When we are faced with adversity, the truth of the matter is that it simply will not change itself because of the way we feel about it. The truth doesn't care if you like it or not.

The video went on to explain that this quote can be used to relate to how Americans deal with issues such as world hunger and poverty. If we keep things out of our sight, it is easier to keep them out of mind. We have less guilt at buying another pair of shoes instead of donating leftover cash to charity. We don't have to worry about the kid who will go to bed hungry tonight, we can go out for dinner with a clear conscience. When faced with the truth of our guilt, the issue does not change just because we are uncomfortable with it.

James 4:17 says "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."

We know that there is a demand for selfless people in the world, those who step up and care for the needy above themselves. We'd like to think that it isn't our responsibility, "those" people have got it covered. But why sit back? You've been called today to help.

Matthew 25:40- "The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

In the book, "The Hole in Our Gospel", the author talks about a friend of his who cut out all the verses that were about poverty, wealth, justice, and oppression in the Bible. Not because he didn’t believe in those verses, but because he wanted to make a dramatic point that for many Christians in America, we wouldn’t miss those verses at all. We may read and understand them, but until we follow up with actions, we are not living out our faith.

Both my school and church are about to go into full-fledged charity mode, starting with the Kids Against Hunger or "ONE" campaign and the "30 hour famine."

I'm providing links to both of these charities that I'm participating in in the next few weeks. Go ahead and click for further information.

It's a beautiful thing to feel convicted to do something about an issue that affects so many people. There is no better therapy or reward then what is gained by showing compassion and aid to those who can't make it alone. Show Christ through you, today, and everyday.   


Thursday, October 11, 2012

It goes on

“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.” 
-Robert Frost

Monday, October 8, 2012

Lead singers are very quotable

"Christianity is not about how much faith you have, but about who your faith is in."
-Mike Donehey

In a storm in my best dressed...

“To me, fearless is not the absence of fear. It's not being completely unafraid. To me, fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.”
- Taylor Swift

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What do you want to do before you die?

One of my favorite shows, MTV's "The Buried Life," asks this question during each episode. The four main guys on the show travel the nation accomplishing their bucket list, while helping others accomplish their own along the way. So far, they've crashed a parade, helped a man find his long lost son, capture a fugitive, donate computers to an elementary school, and so much more. I admire these guys because they took a different approach to how they wanted to live their lives, they wanted to live like they were dying.

What if you were to die tomorrow? What would you regret? I sure don't want to look back on my life and wish I could have seen more things or met more people. I guess you could call it a YOLO mentality, because it's true, you only live once. But that doesn't mean I want to do things I'm going to regret the next day. I don't want to live like there's no tomorrow, I want to experience the best things of today.

My friends and I have always joked around about having bucket lists, we talk about fun and exciting things we want to do, and weird and stupid things we've already done. I'm pretty sure that I was one of the first of my friends to actually sit down and write out everything I wanted to do. It was on a paper plate at my friend Riley's house, and to be honest, I can't find that paper plate anywhere. But from memory, I've recreated my list below.

*Travel Europe
Kiss a stranger
Jump into a pool fully clothed
*Ride a giraffe
See Train in concert
*Be in two places at once
Leave the country
Dine and dash
Get kicked out of a store
*Dunk a basketball
Go through the drive-thru backwards and on foot
Stay up all night 
*Meet Taylor Swift and/or Robert Pattinson

The items that have been starred are what I have yet to do, you could say they are the more lofty of my bucket list goals, but I have no trouble believing that they will get done. On a side note, if some of the items I've already done seem a little out of character for me, I can assure you that they were done without causing harm to my conscience. For instance, I dine and dashed at McDonald's, so I ordered food and then left. I got kicked out of Walmart for wearing a leopard print bra over my clothes, and I kissed a stranger for literally .3 seconds. Plus he turned out to be a very nice boy.

My point is this, I believe that everyone should have a bucket list to call their own. Even though the things on mine may seem silly or unimportant, they are memories I've gained and will gain because I took the initative to do them. It's a very rewarding thing to cross an item off of a list, it's something that you can look back on and smile at what you've accomplished. Why wait until you're dying to live like you're dying?

Isaiah 26:12
"LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us."

Colossians 4:5
"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity."

Galatians 6:10
"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."  


Monday, October 1, 2012

Would you kiss yo mama with that mouth?!

"So I went to the f%*#ing grocery store right?"
Umm no. Please watch your mouth. You sound pretentious and unrefined. You sound like you could use a vocabulary check. Do you even know what that word means? 

I hold the right to use this topic for discussion because for the longest time, I swore like a sailor. Believe it or not, I could curse with the best of them. A lot of my vocabulary consisted of harsh words and dirty jokes. I thought I was being funny, I thought I would get attention from it. It turns out I was trying to fit in for all the wrong reasons.
My thinking was that God didn't care that I swore, I rarely thought of Him anyhow, why would He bother to think of me?

Although I thank my church friends for their commitment to helping me with my walk with Christianity, they went about trying to get rid of this bad little habit of mine completely wrong. I was in 8th grade when I first started going to my church, and it was just for the mid-week youth program. I wouldn't dare cuss while I was there, because there were adults, and I didn't want to get into trouble. But at school I was a loose cannon, I didn't care if I offended anyone, I was just doing what I've always done. 

My church friends would scold me and tell me that swearing was "bad." They got on my case all the time and were not so nice about trying to understand why I held tight to this part of my life so closely. Someone still had yet to explain to me why it was so wrong.

This went on for another good two years I suppose, I had started to call myself a Christian by sophomore year, and I wanted to start acting more like one. At our annual ski-trip, my youth group huddled into one of the hotel rooms we were staying at, and my youth Pastor Tom began his message.

I don't know if he talked about anything other than swearing that night, but I sure don't remember anything else. He talked about how it says in the Bible that we should honor God with our words. Sure it doesn't give us a list of words that we can and cannot say, but if we feel morally convicted to abstain from saying certain things, it's because Jesus is trying to help you understand what He approves of.

That night I felt guilty. Not one of my friends had made me feel bad about the language I used. But when Tom talked about how we need to be a light for the world, I understood that my light was dim, and I needed to let go of something I'd been clinging to for a very long time.

From then on it became a daily struggle to watch my mouth, it was difficult, probably one of the hardest things I've ever done actually. But God blessed me with a clean heart and I was able to drop cussing cold turkey. I would slip up occasionally of course, but over time it's gotten so much easier.
My life has changed for the better since I've cleaned up my mouth, and I'd like to say that my light shines a little brighter. The way I speak sets me apart,when people ask me why I don't swear, it sets me up to explain to them about my faith. It's something I wouldn't be able to do if I hadn't made the decision to change.

I found a whole bunch of verses on cursing, so here's a few of my favorites:

Ephesians 4:29 
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Ephesians 5:4
"Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving."

Exodus 20:7
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain."

Colossians 3:8
"But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I choose neither

Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? Democrat or Republican?
To vote or not to vote?
I understand that it is my duty as a citizen of the United States to get in that little booth and just pick one come November. But I find it hard to come to a conclusion about if I actually want to vote for either candidate.

A good percentage of the campaign commercials out there right now are depicting each man as an evil, self absorbed, power hungry maniac. Let it be known that I'm not having this dilemma due to these hypocritical commercials. It's because I agree and disagree with certain parts of each candidate's vision for the future.

Let's start with Mitt Romney. To be honest, I find it hard to like him. I was raised in a Democratic home and I'm not sure if I'm biased or if I really just don't like his sense of humor. What with the whole, "47% of Americans are lazy bums who only rely on government handouts," thing. You don't insult half the country. That's bad strategy.
When it comes to his economic stance, I like him a bit more. He knows what he's talking about, I just need to get a handle on some statistics to be certain that his plans to decrease the debt will be successful.

President Obama made me cry. A good cry mind you, when I listened to his acceptance speech at the Democratic national convention. I felt proud to be an American, I felt hopeful, I felt like voting for Obama. Now I'm not so naive that I'm going to vote for a guy because he can deliver a kick-butt emotion-filled speech. I need to know that he's going to take care of me when I'm trying to get a job after college, and overall set the course for economic growth in our country.      

I'll be looking at a few different topics, topics that I believe are crucial and important in my decision making process. 

Romney- Recipients should go to work immediately
Obama- Needs to do more for encouraging recipients to go to work and not be dependent.
There's one for Romney, I am definitely on board for helping the poor and less fortunate, but I think there are a lot of problems with our current welfare system. I've seen too many families buy endless carts of junk food with food stamp cards. While playing on their iPhones mind you. We need to be helping those who really need it, we need to be giving welfare to those who are going to be responsible with our tax payers dollars.   

Romney- Only legal in cases of rape, incest, or pertaining to a mother's health.
I applaud him for standing by pro-life, but you can't say "It's alright sometimes." The Bible clearly says that abortion is wrong. I'd like it if he were backing his beliefs 100%. He also has been known to flip-flop on these type of issues, depending on the vote he wishes to get.
Obama-  Pro-choice. No, just not okay with me.

Obama- His plans involve the goal of having nearly all Americans to receive at least one year of formal education beyond high school. He's spoken about how he will do the best he can to make it easier for every student to go to college, and not be in debt for the rest of their life because of their student loans.
My only concern is that there still won't be enough job creation when my generation wants to enter the workforce. 
Romney- When researching this topic for Romney, I didn't find a lot of answers. "He will equip state leaders to achieve the change that can only come from commitment and action at the local level. He will also ensure that students have diverse and affordable options for higher education to give them the skills they need to succeed after graduation." Sounds nice, but how exactly is all of that going to work out?

The environment: 
Obama- While he was in office he has more than doubled production of renewable energy from wind and solar, while investing in over 15,000 clean energy projects across the country.
Romney-Would cut funding for clean energy, including ending the tax incentive for wind energy, which could cost 37,000 American jobs. Meanwhile, he would continue providing billions for big oil companies. 

Global warming is real. We are using fossil fuels recklessly and foolishly, and there will be consequences. We need to treat the Earth God put us on with respect. I'm not a being a tree-hugger, I'm being practical. 

At this point I'm literally half and half. I know I can't have the perfect candidate, nobody's perfect. But I wish one of them would do or say something to solidify my decision, to tip the scale so to speak. 
I don't want to go in there and pick the wrong guy, what if he majorly screws up and I regret my decision? 
I've got about a month and a half to nail down who I'm going to choose, but to be perfectly honest I might write in Chuck Norris. He would get stuff done.

Philippians 1:9-10
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,”

Monday, September 17, 2012


Here is a top five list of things that make me paranoid:

1. The foreign ladies at nail salons. You know that they are talking about you.

2. Walking up the stairs at school with a skirt on. There's most definitely some little perv under there.

3. When taking off in an airplane and you've seen the first Final Destination movie and everything seems like a sign that you are all going to die.

4. Hearing your name in a conversation and thinking, oh my goodness they are talking about me.

5. Sending a text about someone to someone else, then freaking out that you might have accidentally sent it to that person.

6. Thinking that people will hate my last minute, crammed for time blogs

I know that was six things, not five. I knew you'd notice my flaws. That's number seven.


Vanity: Definition:
Excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments; to be conceited.
In other words, you think you're all that.

You're so pretty!
Thank you, I've worked really hard to be born of my parents who have supplied me with half of their genetic information and somehow created a physically attractive offspring.

But no, nobody says that. 

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out the appropriate response to a compliment that no one has ever once actually done anything to deserve. "Thank you" is most definitely out. I feel as though thanking someone after a compliment is such a weird concept. Doesn't it make more sense for us to just reciprocate their actions and say something that we like about them? And why not even take it a step further and compliment something we like about their personality, not their appearance. We are all so caught up in looks that we forget that God spent time making you the person you ARE. I'm almost certain that for every one, the way they look was just a last minute, nonchalant decision, that wasn't ever meant to be dwelled upon nearly as much as it has.  

When faced with nothing but a vain and shallow compliment, before offering a vain and shallow response, I believe that we should think about what we should really see in each other.

1 Peter 3-4
"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Shoutout to all my Jesus freaks

There are a few select places in the world where someone can feel completely safe and accepted. Somewhere where they can be themselves in front of other people. People that care about their futures, not to mention their eternal souls. For me, that place is not necessarily in one stationary spot, it's wherever the people in it are at.

My church youth group has become an extended family to me. Every single person in it holds a special place in my heart, and every one of them is not like the other. There's my closer circle of friends, my girls, the ones that are in my grade, and go to my school and never fail to be an ever-present aspect of my life. These girls are my rock, they're my best friends. When I look back on my high school years, all of the good times spent with them with most definitely come to my mind first and foremost.

Then there's the odd ducks, the loners, the skaters, the goths and the nerds. Yet at church, none of that matters. We still say hello to each other, we treat each other with the respect that they deserve and the respect that Jesus asks that we give. I don't know what it is about being there, but I never feel out of place, or that I have to be someone that I'm not to gain the approval of the people around me. I hope that everyone else feels the way I do, because sometimes we all need a home away from home.

I'm so blessed to have such a great group of people that want nothing but the best for me. I have an ever-present force behind me, which makes it so easy to understand how fantastic God's love is for us. He gave us the ability to love and support each other so that His love can be felt as that impenetrable force.

These people have heard my testimony, they've heard about how far I've come and most have been around long enough to see me through it. Without them, I honestly don't know where I'd be. They know my struggles and pray for me. In return I try to know everyone by name, each and every single person that comes through our doors on Tuesday evenings should leave feeling that they were welcome. In time I learn about their struggles, and so the cycle continues.

Never once have I said, "Wow, I really wish I hadn't gone to youth group today." I don't regret missing out on things I could have been doing instead of being at church. I don't regret going to church instead of being lazy and staying home on the couch, in fact, it's the complete opposite. If I don't go I feel like I missed something funny that Gage did, or an important message that Tom shared, or my friends' little brothers trying to be cool and failing miserably once again.

I have so much thanks for all of these amazing people that have changed my life. Oakland Youth Group, I owe you one.
Act 12:5
"So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him."

Acts 16:5
"So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers."

1 John 4:19
"We love because he first loved us."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Let them eat cake

Recently it's been made apparent to me that I'm overweight and that I'm not allowed to eat dessert anymore. In fact, everyone in my age group is just a fat lazy sack and it's absolutely necessary that we are denied little pieces of cake and tiny cups of cookie dough or pudding.

I know that obesity runs rampant in our country, and we are the worst offenders of over-eating. I blame Texas. But school desserts are cherished, at least at my school, and it has caused an upset in our cafeteria that they have been removed.

What I would like to know is how taking away the only good part of our school lunch by eliminating sugary desserts from the menu is going to do much good. They other day I had a hot dog, pretzels, apple juice and a granola bar for lunch. All of these things are still available for me to buy at school. Definitely a high carb, high sodium lunch, yet still lacking a tiny cup of jello, therefore it's better for me? I don't buy it.

Teenagers can still find ways to be pigs. We'll go down the street and scarf frostys from Wendy's. We'll bring food from home. Heck, we've got two other meals of the day that they can't even touch. You better believe I'm going to be eating cake for breakfast and dinner at my house.

Fat kids will still be fat, skinny kids will still be skinny. Has it been made clear that bringing back the desserts would make both of these kids happier?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Algebra>absolutely nothing

Can anyone tell me why I'll need to know the quadratic equation later in life? Anyone? Because I can't really see its usefulness in real life situations. Like ever. For any reason at all.

Oh no, that man is choking, someone give him the quadratic equation.

You're really trying to rob me? Don't mess with me pal, I know how to use the quadratic equation.

Should I put "can use quadratic formula" on my resume for Arby's?  

Hey pretty lady, I passed algebra one and lets just say I have extensive knowledge of the quadratic equation, want to date?

The truth of the matter is that the only reason I'm forcing myself to sit through just under an hour of torture everyday my senior year is so that I can rightfully say I took 4 years of math in high school on my college applications. I have absolutely zero desire to actually be taking pre-calculus. It's disgusting. Calculus is just algebra's cynical cousin.

There was an article in the New York Times debating if algebra should be a required class to take in most high schools, due to the fact that it is rarely used outside of the classroom once students leave college and enter the real world. It doesn't teach life skills, it doesn't enhance your ability to get a job, it has even been proven as one of the main reasons students drop out of high school.

The link to the full article is below.

Can I get an Amen? I've lost so many brain cells sitting in math classrooms listening to teachers drone on and on in a language I do not speak. I would rather be doing something much more productive with my precious time, thank you.

So before you try to convince me about how this class isn't pointless, and that I'll use algebra in my everyday life. You are sadly mistaken, and unfortunately I have already resumed tuning you out. 

"Don't have sex. You will get pregnant. And die."

So you're 14 and you've already had sex with three different people? Your mother must be so proud. Oh, sex is no big deal? Please tell me more about how you are immune to STD's and pregnancy. You thought he was the one? Yeah, well, he wasn't.

Why is this even a topic for a blog? Why is there a show called teen-mom? It blows my mind.

Want to hear some statistics? I'm sure you do.

  • Although only 13% of teens have had sex by age 15, most initiate sex in their later teen years. By their 19th birthday, seven in 10 female and male teens have had intercourse.
  • Seven percent of young women aged 18–24 who had had sex before age 20 report that their first sexual experience was nonvoluntary.
  • A sexually active teen who does not use a contraceptive has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year.
  • Young people aged 13–24 made up about 17% of all people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the United States in 2008.
  • Although 15–24-year-olds represent only one-quarter of the sexually active population, they account for nearly half (9.1 million) of the 18.9 million new cases of STIs each year.
  • Each year, almost 750,000 U.S. women aged 15–19 become pregnant.  
  • The U.S. teen pregnancy rate continues to be one of the highest in the developed world. It is more than twice as high as rates in Canada.
  • Fifty-nine percent of pregnancies among 15–19-year-olds in 2008 ended in birth, and 26% in abortion.  
(Information taken from )

So here we've got unplanned pregnancy, STD's, rape, and abortion, all up front and on the table. There's no denying the stats. This is what's happening in our country right now. It's not a joke, lives have been altered and futures have been crushed. All because these kids just couldn't say no?

 Yes, kids. You live with your parents. You don't pay bills. You are a freshman in high-school. You are a kid. You want to have sex? No. Go play with your dolls.

No one is perfect, not a single person can honestly say they've never made a mistake. Having sex before you are in a committed marriage relationship is not a harmless mistake. A mistake is when you leave your lights on in your car and the battery is dead the next morning when you need to go to work. A baby is not a mistake.

Say it with me, "No."
See how easy that was?
Want to have sex?
Ha! Brilliant.

 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
"Run away from sexual sin. Every other sin done is outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually, sin against their own bodies. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body." 


Oh darlin', don't you ever grow up

Think about your childhood. Do you remember your favorite game? Your favorite cartoon show? What would you lie in bed and think about before you went to sleep at night? Did you wonder what you would be like when you were older? Are you currently living up to that standard?

As a kid, I would picture myself all grown-up. I would be an excellent dancer, musician, and athlete, there was nothing that could stop me. I was going to be the perfect representation of a well rounded, skilled, and confident young lady. I've come to the conclusion that I've let myself down.

The dream of being a dancer was short-lived, mostly because I never let it get off the ground. I wanted to be a ballerina, without ever taking a single ballet class. I gave up playing the flute, I was no good and the band director thought I was the spawn of satan. I also can't sing a note, so that was out. Now, being an athlete was different. Being physically fit and playing sports is something that I was going to do if I wanted to or not. My family is chock-full of jocks. However, to date, I've managed to quit tennis, track, basketball, and softball.

So is it safe to say that I haven't become who I wanted to be? I am not even close to the renaissance woman I pictured myself as. Though at this point in my life, I'm one hundred and ten percent certain that I love the person I am. I wouldn't change any mistakes made, or any flaws I believe myself to have. I am me. But...I still can't help but feel ashamed that I let a little girl down.

The novel I chose to read for my AP language and composition class is called "Reviving Ophelia; Saving the Selves of Innocent Adolescent Girls." Briefly, this book is about the author, Mary Pipher, and her findings as a clinical psychologist to young girls. She tells the stories of some of her patients, and the reasons she believes that at a certain age, young girls lose themselves.

What I have taken from it so far is that young girls are resilient, confident and excitable. They play sports, read books, and play pretend. They go outside and actually enjoy being there. The innocence of a child is one of God's greatest gifts, it's  irreplaceable, it's beautiful. But sometime in early adolescence, little girls lose their way. They don't want to be seen with their parents, they care about what people think. They push down their feelings and their ability to express themselves into tiny compressed boxes. Many girls develop eating disorders or even drug addictions to cope with he new set of norms that they're supposed to follow.

Though my story isn't quite as dramatic, I definitely lost myself in my pre-teen middle-school years. There was no direction for my life, there was only trying to get through every day without embarrassing myself or looking stupid. I had no knowledge that God had a plan for me or that He even cared. I would cuss, lie, and do things solely to gain the approval of my classmates. The gangly little girl in overalls was nowhere to be found. All that was left was this stranger who thought that the only way to be accepted was to have stick straight hair and paper-thin shirts from Aeropostale in every color of the rainbow.

After coming to the realization that I'd let myself go, so to speak, everywhere I looked I saw girls at this crucial age. It's even brought me too tears to think that in a few short years, they will be reaching this terrifying tipping point. A good number of them are going to lose their drive and ambition to grow up and be whatever they want to be. It's downright depressing. 

I can honestly say I would give up anything to be a kid again, and to stay that way. If time machines and Neverland existed, you know exactly what I would be doing. Dirty finger nails? Who cares? Still wearing last year's outfits? Why not? Boys at recess are trying to kiss the girls? Eww gross!

I understand that aging is a part of life. And that the little second and fifth grade girls I watch after school will experience it just as I did. Someday she'll get her heart broken because of some punk who doesn't understand what fantastic girl she is. Or she'll get made fun of at school for not having cool enough jeans. I understand that everyone has to go through it, but it breaks my heart.

Thank goodness for Taylor Swift, and her ability to have a song for nearly every emotion you can feel.
This song is called "Never Grow Up," and if you have a special little girl in your life, I'm obligated to warn you that you might bawl your eyes out just a little bit.

So I'm not a dancer, a musician, or an athlete. I'm not currently living up to the standards of the person I thought I was going to be. However, I'm a volunteer, I'm a hard worker, I'm a good student and a good person. I've been down the road of self-destruction and I came back alive and changed for the better. Overall, I think I've done myself proud.  My only hope is that other girls can make it out with at least a small part of that little girl still inside of them.

3 John 1:4
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."