Hello, my dear inspireaders! I was tagged recently by the wonderful Grace A. Johnson, whom I’ve known for a while now, for a post called “Reflections”. I would like to thank her deeply for tagging me; after all, this is the first time I’ve been tagged for a post! So thank you, Grace! 😀
The rules for this specific tag are rather simple, everyone!
- Thank the person who tagged you
- Share eight ways God has blessed you or things He has taught you this past year
- Tag five or more bloggers for them to talk about these same things
Now, onto these eight things I have been blessed with and taught in the past year! This post took me a very long time to write because I have so many little things that I’m thankful for every day. I know you’re probably aching to skim this post, but please read it; it’s filled with things that are very important to me, so it’d mean a lot if you stuck around. 😉
#1: The Kingdom of Pen
I’ve always been the person who makes lots of friends. Heck, I’m an extrovert! I love talking to people. But I never felt like I had a lot of friends who were writers – and from there Christians. The extent of writing that my friends would partake in was the odd story here and there about characters we’d made up for our fandoms when we were little. 😂
I felt a lack of writerly friends. Nobody else to talk to about the ideas I had, the writing I wanted them to see. I was feeling so lonely, even though I had all these characters, ideas, swirling around in my head.
But then my mom inquired into something that I had no clue would change my life. She had seen a post on one of her MeWe boards about a site called “Kingdom Pen” that was accepting applications for internships, and we dug a little deeper. I explored around the site, and liked what I saw! It was a site that wanted to help out Christian teen writers, of which I am one. And so I applied for internship; joining the forum about a day or two later.
And oh, man, am I so glad that I did that. I am so glad God is working through these people in my life.
I have met some of the most amazing people I know on that site. If it weren’t for Kingdom Pen, I wouldn’t have many of the novel ideas that I’m currently exploring today. I wouldn’t have been so much furthered in prayer after praying for others many times. I wouldn’t have the amazing friends to talk to that I do today! I am so thankful that God has given me the community of Kingdom Pen for me to talk about my novels or even random things in general.
I would like to give huge shoutouts to everyone who’s ever talked to me on Kingdom Pen, but especially the people in my close-community writing circle. They are the writers that have changed my outlook on both writing and life, and I believe that they are all some of the greatest blessings I’ve ever received. Words cannot do justice to how much I appreciate these people: Linyang, Issabelle, Grace, Lexi, Joy, Emily, Abigail, Katherine, Daisy, Hallie, Gideon, and so many more people. I am so happy that you guys have supported me, each and every one of you is a blessing straight from God. Please remember that I appreciate all of you so much. I love y’all.
Well, now, technically this happened in 2020, but the benefits of this have spilled over so much into this year and I need to talk about it.
In October of last year, my family sold our house and we packed up to move cross-country. We were moving to the prairies, where my mother was originally from, and were coming from a very busy, bustling Ontario. The atmosphere there, what with the impending restrictions that were becoming ever-more tight, was becoming one that was very stressful and we didn’t want to be there anymore.
And so we moved across the country to the prairies. We stayed with my uncle in the city for about a month. Restrictions were much more loose there and so we were settling into the lifestyle. My mom got into contact with some other homeschoolers in the area, and we arranged a gathering. There, I met the girl that I had no clue would become one of the closest friends I have. She was around my age and we had similar interests, hitting it off right away. We met up a few times to talk and hang out.
All the while, our family had been looking for a house. We were staying in my uncle’s apartment, and although he was practically never there, we needed a place of our own desperately. We dreamed of moving to an acreage – but knew that this was none but an impossible dream. After all, the land was rather expensive.
But remember my friend I told you about?
She had moved just that past summer from a tiny town about two hours away to a farm. Their family was looking to get into the sheep farming business, and that fall, they had bought about 70 pregnant ewes soon due to lamb. In the house they had bought, there was a basement suite that they were considering renting out, as well.
And that is where I now sit as I type these words.
We ended up moving into their basement suite, and we are so glad we did. I hang out with my friend and her two little brothers every day now! We also now have an entire menagerie of animals, not just sheep: we now have at least 10 ducks (with more hatching soon!), 5 bantam chickens and a multitude of chicks, two older New Hampshire piglets (and buying two more piglets, these ones Kunekunes, with a goat to keep them each company!)
Anyways, you can see that we are very happy now that we’ve moved. So thank you, Lord, for giving us these blessings.
#3: My Friend and Friendship
I briefly mentioned her before, but she deserves an entire point in herself. Since I’ve come here, she’s been so kind to me. We do our duck chores together every morning, and while I could certainly never forget about my other friends, she’s definitely among the closest people in my life.
She is a true blessing to me. We have so many similar interests. We both love to read, sing, act, listen to music… we even look similar. I pray for her a lot and I ask that you might, too.
If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have had a lot of story ideas. She patiently listens while I rant and rave madly about my latest story developments, too, and actually likes reading over my drafts (even though I may or may not gently force this on her). I’m so glad God has blessed me with our friendship and taught me about what true friends look like.
#4: Re-discovering God’s Grace
I used to feel as though I knew God. I prayed, asked for mercy, but I wasn’t really knowing God. I was only going through the motions, and sadly, so many Christians live their lives like this. They pray, ask God to forgive them, dutifully read the Bible, but don’t stop sinning. I myself still struggle with cutting off sin when I’m tempted. After all, it’s human nature. It’s impossible for us not to sin.
But I have asked God to truly lead me to Him, and I can see His works in my life. He has been helping me towards becoming a better Christian. I have been trying harder to display kindness towards my friends (I’m usually very sarcastic) and make a bigger effect on the people around me. I pray so often for the people I know (hello, KP buddies) and I really want the people around me to see God’s glory working through me. I want people to know that I love God, and even though I am nowhere near perfect and still deal with my own personal struggles every day, I want God to simply take me and help others see what a great God he is. I find that the more I pray, the less room in my mind there is for sin. And I want to keep praying!
God has helped me come away from self-deprecation, as well. I still struggle with it at times, but I used to find accepting myself hard, especially as I got older. He has given me confidence for everything I do, and I am so terribly indebted to Him. He has taught me to love myself, Him, and others, and this is very important to me.
God has brought His grace back into my life and I am so glad of that. Thank you, Lord, for keeping me from straying from you! I love you! 🙌
I’m very thankful that God has blessed me with finding more time to write. My stories are coming together very well – I am considerably close to finishing the first draft of my novel – and I am so very happy that He has given me the time to pour out what’s in my head. If not for Him, neither me nor my characters would exist. My friends on KP, my blessings in disguise, have also motivated me to write more often. For those friends who are reading this, I love you all so much. Thank you for being the blessings that you are. And I am thankful He has given me the time to write poetry, too – I’ve always liked poetry. I’m thankful that He’s also given me the courage and time to start this blog – it had always been a dream of mine to post somewhere, and now I have my own little corner to do so. ☺️ So thank you, Lord, for the blessing of writing and pouring out my words.
This one may seem a bit simple, but I really am thankful that God has given me – and you, and all the people in your and my communities – life. I’m thankful for even the everyday life that I see around me – grass growing, flowers blooming, birds singing. He gives us all of this because God is so gracious, and I hope that you can see that. So perhaps thank God sometime for even the simple gift of life and the world around us.
I am so thankful that God has given me family. I have a very close bond with my older sister, but when we moved, she decided to stay behind to work at her church. As of late, she’s decided that she, too, wants to move out to the prairies in July so she can be with us. I am so glad I have her, and I look forwards to her coming back. I love her dearly and wish I could constantly be with her.
In all honesty, I think that we all take our families for granted. Especially during this isolating time, people can come and go through our lives as they please – and too often, they choose the latter. Our families are with us forever, however. They are the ones God has given us whom we can count on to be there, even in the midst of complete and total chaos. However, we seem to gloss over them. We talk about our friends and ask God to touch upon them, sure, but where do our families come into play?
God has taught me about the sheer importance of family. He’s told me to appreciate the people I have around me, to appreciate the simple fact that we have each other. And I am thankful beyond belief for my mother, father, and sister.
#8: Our New Church
We began going to a new church recently, after our move. And I could not be happier. During quite a few of the sermons – especially during the singing, music is so very empowering to me – I found myself having to hold back tears just from the sheer fact that Jesus Christ died for you and I, and He loves and forgives us. Humans were meant to be judged initially! After Adam sinned in the garden, he brought God’s judgment upon all of humanity. We were supposed to be condemned.
But God loves us so much – more than these words you’re reading right now can describe – and he sent His Son to die for us, for every single sin that has ever happened, is happening, and is going to happen. God loves us that much. He couldn’t stand for us to be apart from Him in a void of sin! So He sent His only Son to be the bridge over that gap. We were supposed to be judged, meant to die, but GOD LOVES US!!!
I cannot express how important that is. Not even italics or bolding it or using a thousand exclamation marks can come even a fraction of remotely close to how true and important those three words are. God bridged the gap – for us. He gave us the world around us, and our family and friends, because He loves us that much.
And that takes me back to my original point. Going to this new church – I feel like every sermon is speaking directly to me, into my heart as a sinner. I find myself praying so much more often, and I am so thankful that God has given our family this church because He is most certainly working his grace through that pastor and his ministries.
So thank you, Lord, for never changing even in this state of chaos. I have been relying on God much more lately. I thank God daily for the church and for everyone and everything I know and love.
Anyways, I know that this is by far the longest post I’ve written. Congratulations to those of you who didn’t skim 😉 These things are all so important to me. I’d like to thank Grace again for tagging me for this post, because it actually made me realize how much I am thankful for God giving me the things around me.
Any other Christian bloggers reading this – I tag you. I want to know what all of you think. I choose you to speak about what God has blessed you with. Remember this: God loves you. You are a blessing.