Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Year

Hey there! It's Caraline. Happy New Year!

I've been getting in the mood. This, of course, includes cleaning, cleaning out, and rearranging. Nothing feels better than a clean room, a new furniture arrangement, organised drawers, and an organised closet! :) School starts this week though, ugh. (*long, deep sigh.*) However, deep down I am ready to get back in a good routine again. Studying, waking up earlier, eating healthier, working out.... worshiping, exploring, and glorifying Yahweh every day! Those are my goals, anyway. 

2013 wasn't an easy year. It's hard when some of the people who are closest to you are hurting. What can you do? What can you say? How can you even understand what they're going through? It's been really hard. But you know what? The year is over, and it's time to start anew. Isn't it soooo exciting to think about going into a fresh new year? It's an amazing feeling when you can forget about the things you didn't do, the things you should have done, you could have prevented, you failed at.... and start with a fresh mind and spirit, with the whole year before you! 

I hope you have a great new year, and are as excited about 2014 as I am! And above all - don't neglect the one who matters most this year. Don't let your Bible get dusty. At the end of our lives, we will wish we had spent so much more time digging deep into God's word, and investing our life in Him. As one of my favorite Mumford & Sons songs says: "where you invest your love, you invest your life." Isn't that convicting? There are so many things that I love and enjoy that have nothing to do with God. Those things are not bad, but shouldn't replace our Creator. And if we study God, we will be rewarded! I wrote a verse from Psalms on the first page of my Bible, and it says: "You who seek God, let your hearts revive." You will begin to notice a change in your life when you have been diving into the word. So lets "not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Let that be a reminder to us this year, and lets work together to achieve our goal, so that one day we can say "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith"! We should want to look back on our life with a smile, not with regret! So if not now, when? Let God be in the middle of your every day, every decision, every thought, every word, every conversation, every task, every action.... and let me be the first to say it's not easy! (At all.) But it's what we're called to do, so give God all your attention. He wants it. He asks for it. He deserves it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

20 Random Facts About Me

Hey, Caraline here! Bailey made a post a really long time ago titled "20 random facts about me", and I never wrote my 20 random facts! So here we go....

1. My favorite animals are wolves
2. My favorite color is mint 
3. I really love God's creation 
4. I love watching movies
5. I'm a soprano 
6. I'm the oldest of 4
7. I listen to music all the time
8. I play volleyball
9. I love Proverbs
10. My favorite subject is Fine Arts
11. I love reading
12. I absolutely love rainy days & storms
13. I have a big, sweet, furry German Shephard/Chow Chow 
14. My Dad is a pastor
15. I love the aggies
16. I love Sherlock
17. My favorite Avenger is Thor
18. I've been to Public School and Private School, but have been homeschooled most of my life
19. I enjoy popping toes and fingers (my own, and others ;)
20. Math drives me crazy
Yep! You'll have to wait till next time for more random facts about Bailey and I! Hope you enjoyed it, and learned a thing or two about us crazy gals. ;)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Careless Words

It was Friday. I was sitting in the car with Bailey, her sister, and her mom. We were on our way home from a stressful day (almost 11 hours!) of babysitting. I was having a conversation with Bailey's adorable 7-year-old sister. I said something that provoked her to say "You're a MEANIE." We just laughed, but Bailey's mom used the opportunity to teach us a lesson about our words. It went something like this....

"Don't call Caraline that!"
"I didn't mean it in a bad way."
Bailey- "Is there a nice way to call someone a meanie?"
"I didn't really mean it."
"Did you know that Jesus said we are responsible for every careless word we say? That means that even if you didn't mean it, you still said it. And it was still rude!"

This silly conversation really made me think about how many times we say things we shouldn't say even if we're just "joking". They are nevertheless thing we shouldn't say, even if we "don't mean them."

Here's the verse that Bailey' mom was referencing-

"I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak...."
Matthew 12:36

EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. Every one! It's scary to think about. This is a good reminder that we need to be careful what we say, because we might hurt someone, and we will be accountable for it!

I could say a lot more on this issue, but I have to go so I'll leave you to your thoughts. :) Can you think of any other verses that relate to this topic? Here's one that popped into my head....

Ephesians 4:29

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Done with school

Yes, we are now officially DONE with school. And we have been, actually, since Wednesday May 1st! Here are some highlights of our school year!

First... meet our class!!

Bailey Van Essen

Macy Ebletoft 

Kaela Liles

Kennedy Swift

Caraline Cardwell

And our lovely teacher, Mrs. Jarvis

Economics Luncheon

Renaissance Festival 

Formal and Symphony 


My team

End of School Party

Friday, May 10, 2013

Weird... but Hilarious

Hi guys! Bailey and I are finally done with school, and I honestly don't know what to do with myself! It is an awesome feeling. Be looking for a post coming soon with pictures from this school year!

So I'm not sure if you know yet, but Bailey and I are pretty weird, and we do some pretty weird things. (If you've known us for a while, you understand.) (And if you don't, you will find out soon enough.) Well, one of the weird things that Bailey and I like to do involves picking a random book, flipping to random sentences, and writing them down until we have a long, strange, random dialogue. It is tons of fun. I wanted to share one with you guys that I found when cleaning out my computer files that I think is pretty hilarious. We used one of my little brother's books. Here is the result:

Stacy unwrapped another object and Jason came running. “How old are the kids now?” yelled Jason. “It’s too late for that. Abbey’s the club president,” said Deedee. A heavy box of green soldiers came next. “We help, yes?” Shawn said. “What can it be?” Abbey said. Something huge was in the mudhole. “Well I’m not quitting.” Carly asked Deedee to come back too. Would his great idea fall flat? 
The garden hose cleaned things right up. Suddenly Dunkum’s fingers touched something slimy. Dunkum thought, “Am I in trouble?” “What’s weird about an old book?” Abbey asked. He was a little disappointed because he was hoping for the real thing. Mr. Whiskers kept hissing at Croaker.  “Sorry!” Richard said, holding his stomach. This is what happened. My face got hot. “Hey, snail slime!” he said. I pulled my gaze away from the Eye. On the back of Craig’s note I wrote, “hi”. Craig grabbed his throat and made fake choking noises. Just then, Richard Jensen cruised by with two of his friends. He said, “Not bad, for a little nerd.” That means she loved it. “What if he cries or needs changing or something?” “Wow!” Teresa said. Mistake!  Mom smiled but shook her head. “No, Jeffery." One plate. 

Yeah! You should try it sometime- it's really fun. :) Haha

Saturday, April 20, 2013

How the Commandments Relate to Me: Commandment #1 + an Update

Greetings to all my readers.  Remember me?  :P  It's been a while!  Life has been packed to the brim with activity lately, but fortunately summer is less than 2 weeks away for Caraline and I.  I'll be taking a vacation to visit family soon so hopefully I can get my act together and post about it.  The past... how long has it been?...Weeks?..Months?...have been full of school, extracurriculars, and just plain enjoying God's blessings. 

So I wanted to write a series about how the  Ten Commandments relate to a teenage girl.  Reading the Bible can sometimes be confusing because things were so different when it was written compared to things now, but really the truths remain the same.  A fourteen-year-old Hebrew girl in Moses' time would be pretty different from me or any other teenage girl - she would probably be betrothed to be married, even married, trying to listen to God's voice during this strange period of camping out after the Exodus.  I live a much more comfortable and modern life and I'm not planning on getting married any time in the near future :P, but even so the command which God gave to us in the Ten Commandments apply to anyone, any age, at any point in history.

I'm taking the commandments one at a time, because there's so much to say just about one.  And, even if a teenage girl in today's time has difficulty extracting applicable instruction, there's so much to learn about them.

"And God spoke these words, saying, 'I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:1-3

You shall have no other gods before me.  That's the first commandment.  The footnote for the word "before" says that the word "besides" also applies. 

This one's difficult because I'm pretty sure none of you are bowing down daily to some figurine you carved out of wood or anything like that.  But the kind of gods we are more inclined to make for ourselves are idols.  An idol is basically anything that we value more than God.  I would expand that definition to say that it is also anything that comes close to God, as well.  This is something I personally struggle with, because it's hard for me to see what my idols are.  As I said, I'm not bowing down to any material idols, but there's so many things that can be overshadowing your love of God in your life:
- Money/possessions
- Reputation/honor/pride
- Pleasure
- A relationship
- Intelligence/skill/a hobby
- A current problem you have to figure out
- Fear
- Insecurity
- And many more.

The first step to figuring out if there's an idol in your life is to ask God if there is one, if it's not at first obvious.  The second step is to ask Him to remove it.  Not that He will remove the thing (this only applies for some of the list above, like money or possessions or relationships), but that He will remove the idolatry. 

The next step is probably the hardest, for me, at least.  And that's to let it go.  Not to materially give up the item, if that applies, because sometimes you can't do that.  But trust God with it. Trust Him to provide for you, instead of desperately trying to gain enough money with your own abilities.  Trust Him to steer your relationship or reputation in the direction He wants it to go.  Trust Him with the problem, insecurity or fear.  And trust me, this is hard.  Letting go is really hard sometimes.  But Jesus says, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30.  That's the great thing about being a child of God.  You can let things go.  You can give idols up to God, and He will help you. 

The last step is to do what you can to stop the idolatry.  You will probably need to correct sinful mindsets and make limits for yourself.  Of course, those things can't be done without His help.  And it won't be easy.  But it's worth it.  Because when you can worship God, and Him alone, without Him being clouded by any other gods, it's so much better.

I heard a saying that was something like, "Don't hold onto things too hard, or it will hurt when God takes them away."  That's why I struggle to make sure I don't become too attached to anything.  All the things we idolize will pass away, but our relationship with our King lasts forever, so that's what we should hold onto with all of our might.  I'm so thankful He will never take that away! 

I ask for your prayer as I personally try to fight idols in my life, and I hope that God blesses you immensely this week.  Or month.  Or however long it is until I post again!  :P  Have a great Lord's day tomorrow, everybody!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Life, and a poem

Hello friends! This is Caraline. Good GRIEF. I have been sooooo busy lately, and I know I can say the same for Bailey. Thankfully, we have less than 5 weeks left of school. Unfortunately, it only gets harder starting now as we begin studying for finals, preparing for our debate, and finishing up various projects and presentations. Thankfully, I've had a few short but helpful breaks lately from school. For example, I got to go see see the Host with my Dad last night! I've been listening to the book by Stephanie Meyers, who is also the author of the Twilight Saga. (I'm not into those at all, but the Host was AMAZING!) I was really excited about the movie, and it was pretty good except for the excessive kissing scenes. (MAN, THERE WERE LIKE 20!!!) My family went to an Astros game a few days ago together. (Yes, we were spanked by the Rangers.) Last week we got to go to a David Phelps concert! That was really fun; I love listening to David Phelps. I also have started assistant coaching a volleyball team, which is awesome. Between church volleyball, practices for my team, and Spikesport, I've been playing volleyball almost 5 times a week! It is so great, I really enjoy it, but yes.... my life is really full right now! I can't WAIT for summer when I can actually have some free reading time, and time to just relax... I am SO ready.

Anyway, I wanted to share a poem with you that we had to write for school! Tell me what you think. ;) Maybe Bailey Bo will post her poem too! Here's mine: it's called A Trip to the Beach. Enjoy!

 The day was warm and bright,
the girl jumped out of the car and into the light
She couldn’t suppress a smile,
one that was wider than the river Nile

She kicked off her flip-flops, sprinted towards the soft sand,
grabbed a handful, and gradually let it fall through her hand.
She started a small seashell collection,
And her Grandmother helped her make sand castles to perfection

Next her eyes shifted to the deep, blue water
But before she could move, a voice called for his granddaughter
She hurried back, was smothered with sticky sun-tan lotion,
Then she turned and ran again towards the beautiful, foaming ocean.

First went her toe, then came the rest of her
Feelings of bliss swarmed through her mind in a blur
Holding her breath, she closed her eyes and dove under
but when she submerged, she frowned at the sound of thunder.

The child’s eyes filled with tears,
as she looked up, and the dark clouds confirmed her fears.
 Pretending she heard nothing, she continued to play,
but her Grandmother ran over, and said “I’m afraid that’s all for today!”

She solemnly made her way back to shore,
Grandfather sighed, and said “I wish you could’ve played more.”
As she dried off, and was about to step into the car,
she heard a familiar noise coming from afar

Her Grandfather smiled and gave her a dollar,
the young child laughed, and felt three feet taller.
Running towards the music, which grew louder with every stride,
she spotted the ice-cream truck, but got ran over and she died.

Yeah. Mmhmm. :) I actually hadn't intended for it to end like that, but I seriously couldn't think of anything to put at the end (and it had to rhyme with stride) so I just decided to surprise everyone. Anyway, I need to get back to my books! Have a great week! ♥