January’s Over And I Dunno How

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Yup, I’m still trying to figure how that happened too. But 31 days have passed with the blink of an eye and we’re fully stuck in 2019.

It’s been an interesting month, that’s for sure.

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We welcomed the New Year the proper way: getting two big bags of popcorn and watching Lord Of The Rings.

I got to go on a retreat- and that was pretty relaxing. Fun. Peaceful. Plus I got to photograph the stars. 😀

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School started and we all collectively died.

Started working on secret project that’s pretty fun/death inducing.

The Long End aired and I DIED. BUCK- JULES- THE MELTSNERS- SKINT- WOW. Like wow. Mindblown. Mom wondered why I was screaming after the first part aired.

Started reading through the New Testament- and I’m in 1 Corinthians now! I think. Ish. Wait, maybe that was another translation.. huh..

Speaking of the New Testament, really enjoyed having Bible studies over videochat. 😉

A couple times I was sitting down to write posts but ending up watching something with my family instead. The posts can wait. But not my family, Incredibles 2, The Last Jedi, Antman & The Wasp, or Black Panther. Incredibles 2 was AWESOME. Also, if you haven’t checked out the short Bao DO IT. *dies* It’s so good. I’m watching that whenever I can, it’s just really really nice to have some non-stereotypical representation you know? 😀

There were 2 gigantic snowstorms and thus, two snow days. Which means freezing cold and beautiful pictures.

It also means getting to go sledding… even though.. uh… technically..

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I’m pretty sure that sign’s décor. Right? I mean, you can’t be a Canadian and not sled. Sorry. No can do. It’s like taking away Tim Hortons. As a citizen of this fine country, I was exercising my right-

Okay. Okay. Still, it was fun though. Hanging on for dear life as the elements attack you? *thumbs up*

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Had a bunch of people ask me why I was wandering around the premises in the dead of winter, wind blowing, camera out, in a skirt (as if that’s a bad thing) no less, taking random pictures. I guess I did look kinda weird- but honestly, I’m past caring. XD besides, I got good pictures. B)

Interviewed a bunch of kids and failed dramatically.

Released a new audio drama! 😀 Which you can check out on the Audiosmiths page here.

I guess this month has been about finding a balance. Some stability. I’ve had a hard time figuring out school, and as you know, blogging has been random, and there’s just been so much to process and sometimes, taking that one step is tricky. Y’know?

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But I think I’m getting there. Over time. 🙂

Anyway, it’s February now. Also the month I started blogging. *hollers and shrieks* how has it been one year since I started into this vast and crazy and wonderful and strange thing called blogging? I don’t know.

So I’m looking forward to that. As well as secret project 1 and secret project 2. And yes I have two. And no, I’m not telling you what they are. Yet. 😛

I think this post is done.

Oh wait, I still have to pick faves. Right. XD

Favorite Book

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I borrowed this way back in December and only now got around to reading it. smh I wish I read it sooner- it’s an sweet story about a girl who has OCD, and honestly, I really connected with her, even though we couldn’t be anymore different. I’d love to write this kind of book one day. 😀

 

 

Favorite Song

Do I honestly have to pick? You know as well as I do that I caaaaan’t XD- I actually have three.

Rend Collective’s Life Is Beautiful is beautiful. I think after like, the 20th time listening to it, I got my brother to use it for praise & worship- it’s that good.

And uh…. this is mushy, but I really liked Falling Slowly from Once the musical..

and  38 Planes/Somewhere In The Middle Of Nowhere from another musical, Come From Away. But I’m not linking that, too much mush for the day. XD (Actually, you probably shouldn’t check out anything from either of these musicals except The North Strand from Once. That one’s catchy. XD)

Favorite Quote

I think I like musicals more than I care to admit. XD

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Now this post is done. XD Seeya on the next one!

Life is a highway,

Jo

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Letter to my future self

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So a while back, I saw Bayance do a post like this, and I thought it was a really great idea. Since I’m young and impressionable (I’m being sarcastic) and the idea of writing something that I’ll answer later on seems pretty neat.

Because the truth is, I’m terrified, yet eager for the future. I’m nervous and excited. Nervouscited. Sometimes I’m grateful I’m not driving my life and God is, but other times I wanna poke my head out from the back and ask, “Where are we going? And can we stop for a break?”

And then there’ve been times when I was so, so tired of the road, of life and- I guess you could call this letter thing.. a reminder to keep going? 😛 I don’t know. But here goes.

(I just realized how silly this might sound, especially when I just did a letter to my past self. I have put my hands to the keyboard and there’s no pressing backspace. XD)

Dear future Jo,

Are you getting enough sleep or are you still staying up ridiculously late for “writing research”? Or are you forgetting that because you’re writing too much fanfiction?

I wonder if you’ll remember me? The kid that was you just a year ago? Maybe just shorter than you by a couple inches- speaking of, did you get taller yet? XD If you don’t.. well, I guess your old journals should remind you. Wait, you’re still writing a page a day, right? 😀

I have so, so many questions but I won’t know the answers til later. Whyy- so this won’t take too much of your time.

How are you? Really? and not just “good”. How are you? Are you still the same weird crazy writer photographer lover of God bacon crumble enthusiast person? Do you still love reading? Ooh, did you find any new books? Did any of your alphas publish?? 😀

How’s your family? Did we change in any way? Did we get to go to Minnesota and meet up with Uncle Danny, or did work get in the way again? Speaking of work, do you have a job now? Tell Mom and Dad I say hi. XD That’s kinda funny.

Did you finally publish your book? or more importantly, did you finally FINISH your book? 😛 As well as memorize all of Galatians, or did you slack on that too?

Have you met anyone new? People that became close friends? 😀 Ooh- did you ever have a meetup or anything great like that?

Was this summer as crazy as you thought it would be? As last as last year? As rich and good and growing-y?

I kinda wonder.

I wonder about what you will be.

If you’ll be different.

The thought’s scary.

But kinda cool, too. 🙂

Have you joined any writing contests- oh, oh, oh, and how’s the Audiosmiths? Is that still going? And did Buck Oliver get adopted yet? please tell me Jason didn’t end up with Jillian. Even better, tell me Jillian left town- pleeeease. I begst of thee! Did AIO have anything new up its sleeve?

How many words did you girls write in your fanfiction? 😉 It was at 57k when last I checked, and we’re starting a new book soon. Where you at?

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Also, can you do a backflip yet? You still wanna join American Ninja Warrior or something great like that, right? And how’s Bible Bee going- assuming you joined and studied and did the work. Did they let Canadians compete in semi-finals yet?

Or like finals?

Because I’ve been wondering.

I wonder a lot, and I wonder if you will wonder too.

Are you still blogging, or did you give that up after your first year? And did you change your theme and actually put effort into your blog design, or were you lazy like I am?

Is your prayer life stronger than it is now? 😀 And your walk with God in general? Hopefully that got stronger over time.

How much did you laugh at St. John In Exile? XD Or in general? And is your favorite movie still CA:TWS? And is you favorite hero still TWS? 😛 Oh.

He didn’t die right?

I mean, he can’t.

I sure hope not.

Ahhhh if you find the answer, please lemme know.

Of course, I won’t receive it in time. XD But that’s okay.

Did anything change?

And are you okay with that now?

Because I’m still trying to figure stuff out.

I think that’s it for now. See you…. soon, I guess?

With all the questions my brain finds no trouble in mustering,

Jo

P.S Will you even still answer this- or remember you wrote it?

P.P.S. Now I got nothing.

P.P.P.S. Byeeeeee!

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Y’know, I still wonder.

But I guess time will tell. 🙂

Life is a highway,

Jo

If I Knew Then What I Know Now (Plus pic for BIBPC, carol, and linky to more of the blog tour yikes this title is long)

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You’re not the only one, kid.

Not by a long shot.

There is only one you you of course, the dorky quirky awkward weird laughing kid who’s just not the same from everyone else, but there are other people with your dreams. Your quirks. And your alarming obsession of Adventures in Odyssey, good gracious.

You’re an annoying little midge of energy, so yes, the haters were right.

But you’re lovable. Sorta. So the haters were wrong.

Also, the haters’ opinions don’t really matter, so keep that in mind.

I don’t know how to tell you, kid. I don’t know how to tell you that people will break your heart and what you thought was right is wrong and that things will change with the snap of a finger and you’re gonna have a lot of curve balls whizzing your way, so please learn to catch, kay?

Your “friends” are shallow, but be nice. Don’t collar the big kids even though you know they’re being jerks. If you do, don’t lie about it. Lying is evil. And don’t think you’re all that smart, why don’t ya? But do learn more. You’ll need it.

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Remember how you said you had nothing to live for? Ohhh boy, you be wishing you could take that back. Look around you. Look at the little miracle baby of the C’s, that little tiny thing that everyone thought was a dangerous tumor. Her? She’s gonna grow up to be a sweet little terror, and you’ll be chasing her around a hall more times then you can count. Good on ya for not wearing high heels.

Books are portals to another world. I’m glad you spend your head off in them. Also, pick up a pencil soon- you’ll be writing your own before you know it.

Love your family. Love love love them. They’re broken and not perfect, but still good. Also you’re a part of it.

Bacon crumbles exist. You’ll love them.

Good gracious, stop assuming things are gonna be carved out for you, like an easy puzzle. You gotta start doing things yourself and get it done. People are gonna depend on you whether you like it or not. And if not now, definitely in the future. So get used to it.

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You’re gonna meet people in ways you didn’t expect and you’re gonna pour your heart and soul into projects you would never have dreamed of doing. So attack that homework while you still have energy.

It does get worse.

It will. It will hurt so bad you can’t breathe.

But it will get better. I can promise you that. Don’t take my word for it. Take God’s.

Also, never ever ever skimp on the Bible. Ever. You’re gonna need that weapon. You’re gonna need to be armed and dangerous.

Uh, no, no, I didn’t mean to practice knife throwing, especially because that’s our last good knife. Thank you.

Things are gonna change. Not all of it will be good, but there will be good changes. You’re gonna meet people you can’t imagine life without and yet don’t like.

Okay admit it, you like that person.

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Write, my friend. You’ll love it. You’ll love making up stories and charries and daydreaming and plotting terrible deaths. Surprising, I know. And it’ll help you. So much.

No, no, screaming because of jogging pants and not jeans isn’t normal, no matter how much everyone thinks it is. Don’t be emotional when you respond. Calm down. count to ten. Punch that meanie in the nose. Don’t do the latter one because it won’t make you feel better. Instead… uh… I haven’t come up with how to handle that guy, but as Jesus says, treat them like you would a tax collector.

Run for your life!

Sorry, wrong context, friend. Speaking of, you do need to understand contest very, very well. But you pick your battles, and you stand up to that guy. To your fears. To that goal. To that line. You got this. Life won’t give you a bowl of opportunities and tell you to pick, so keep your eyes peeled for anything you find, and take it.

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Connie and Mitch break up. Tom Riley dies. Old Yeller gets shot. Iron Man gets hurt. The Baudelaires are confusing. The stories and life are similar in a way: they don’t go the way you expect.

Unlike the stories, your life story is being written by the Perfect Author, so never fear.

There is always a reason to laugh. I know there will be days when you’ll feel like drek, but trust me, you can find something to smile about. Care for something other than yourself, and do it a lot. Pray constantly. Pray continually. Don’t get out of touch with God.

Get stronger. Practice your high kick, especially on your right foot. It’s terrible. Push yourself to excellence, but stop for water. take care of yourself, and learn how to braid so nobody objects to your ponytail for the hundredth time in a row.

Observe people. Note their reactions, their fears, their movements, how they think.

Don’t be creepy about it though.

Man, there’s too much I wanna tell ya. Too much. Too much about loving and hurting and living and dying and reading and writing and fighting and resting and the time of day and how the year’s gonna fly by before you know it and Aragorn is brave and courageous but he is broken too and broken pieces can be fixed and people like Blackgaard will be defeated and-

…and you’ll find your way.

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Love,

Jo

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Well, another sign of my past is the above picture, friends, ^, which is also my picture for BIBPC. This category was so much easier, thank you Megan, tradition. And here’s mine. See, every Christmas Eve, we go on a marathon of AIO’s Back To Bethlehem, and it’s something I hope to be doing til I’m old and gray (and with those same cassettes XD)

4 days until Christmas Chances, people! Ahhh. You can catch more of Audiosmiths with Hannah and Enni’s lovely posts. Well maybe not Enni’s because she messed up my name. 😛 For now, though, I’ve taken a break from editing the audio drama and worked on a carol. I hope ya enjoy, bad though it may be. 😉

https://www.dropbox.com/s/anjxh0voag0qvid/Oh%20Holy%20Night.m4a?dl=0

(And if the linky doesn’t work, then uh.. lemme know)

 

I’ve Been Tagged! The Get To Know You Tag

 I guess I better start running faster, hm? xD Hi, y’all, and happy Saturday!

 As you can see, I’ve been tagged.

Rules:
Link back to the person who created the tag: Savannah
Thank the person that tagged you: Anna & Pearl
Share the tag graphic below: well, above, but hey, it’s there!
Tag 11 other bloggers: *squints at this* Maybe.

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Appearances…
Names: Jo
Nicknames: Okay, well guess what? Jo IS my nickname. 😛 I have also been called Jo-Jo, Jin-Jin, Joey, GoJo (*glares at Tess and Madi*) and Jonah. Don’t ask. Oh, and according to a 4 year old, I can’t be Elsa, so I’m Anna. *shrugs*

Hair Color and Length:
Darkish brown hair that glints mahogany and reaches my back. Kinda.

Eye Color: A decidedly brown shade, but I like to think the edges are tinged with grey.

Braces/Piercings/Tattoos: Nope, nada, none.
Righty or Lefty: Both, actually. Mostly lefty, though.
Ethnicity: Primarily Filipino, but there’s more than that, I’m sure. 😀

First…
Novel Written:
My first novel written would be Just Come Home, which has been given so many other names in the past it’s no use to keep track of em all.

Novel Completed: Er, not even close. I’m hoping to finish this year.
Award for Writing: I won tenth place in a poetry contest, but let’s be honest, that’s nothing.

Publication: Nothing so far.
Conference: Nadda, nothing, nope!
Query/Pitch: 😉 Wouldn’t you like to know..

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Favorites…
Novel (That You Wrote): How dast you make me choose!! Maybe.. uh…Mirages, probably. 😛
Genre: Hm, I like historical fiction (like Tom Sawyer) and real life (The Mother Daughter Book Club) But I love em all, it’s hard to pick!

Authors: Ahh, okay, the classics. C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Phil Lollar, Kathy Buchanan, and a bunch more. XD

Writing Music:
Most anything The Piano Guys, Simply Three, One Voice Children’s Choir, and movie soundtracks/songs.
Time to Write:
Anytime is a time to write! Like, whenever and where ever. 😛
Writing Snack/Drink:
Bacon crumbles, ice cream, brownies, anything that’s good. XD Ooh, I like slushies while I work.
Movie:
*rubs hands evilly* The Greatest Showman, Brave, Lord Of The Rings, The Avengers, and Warhorse. MA HEART!! Oh, and Dunkirk. The list can go on and on.
Writing Memory:
I remember first writing a story I have long forgotten the name of about a girl who lives on the streets, tossing the paper away, and my sister finding it, reading it, and telling me for a 7 year old, it was good. 😀
Childhood Books: Abeka Book Readers, Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and A Series Of Unfortunate Events.

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Currently Reading:
Geography 9, Excursions In Literature, North! Or Be Eaten, K.M Weiland’s stuff, and The Rose And The Balloon
Writing:
XD XD Just Come Home; Donut Trees, a short story I’m hoping to submit to a local magazine, Skirt Girl & The Hockey Rink, and some fanfiction. 😛

Listening to:

   The Piano Guys, Symphony by Clean Bandit, Something Just Like This by Iforgotwhobutthankyou :P, Tell Me Again by Skye Peterson, and Well Done by The Afters (YES THEY RELEASED A NEW SINGLE EEEP!)

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my wonderful desk… that I never write on. 😛

Future…
Want to be published?
100 % YES! I’m waiting, and praying, and working toward that.

Indie or Traditional?
Er, Indie for the most part, but I’d be totally fine with traditional.

Wildest goal?

Ohhh boy, you wanna go there? Okay then. I want to publish a book, travel North America cross country with all my earthly possessions in a pickup truck, go to California and see of Adventures In Odyssey need a voice actor, then go to Colorado and see if AIO needs a writer, then visit all my blogger friends and go to Bible Bee.

 There.

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Now… on who shall I bestow the honor of doing this tag?

Tess @ Steeplechase

Emmie @ Write Away

 Yay! Two! Okay, me done. Me go write. Goodbye.

Actually, no I’m not! XD Keep an eye out for some upcoming things… I’d tell you now, but I’ll be mean and keep my fingers from typing more. 😉

 

 

 

Sa Wakas! (Or, In English, At Last!!!) (Random Photography+ Summer Recap+ Boring Plans Nobody Wants To Read)

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First off, I am really, really, reaaaaly glad my pictures are visible again.

Also, second off, if it seems I’m using a lot of Tagalog phrases, there’s a good reason for that. One of my charries is a second generation Filipino, which I’ve been wanting to write for a while.

Anyway, how are you world?

Not very good, I know, I know. But you’re still spinning and coping, and inching away from summer all the same. Take a break, why don’t you?

(Actually no keep spinning, we’d be in huge trouble if you didn’t!)

Summer’s officially over.

And I– don’t mind?

How odd.

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It’s been a great summer. A hard one, but a great one nonetheless.

Let’s see..

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May was a happy month. May was when my sister flew back home, we drove to Buffalo, the cherry blossoms bloomed, and I started working on Mirages. May was a giant birthday prank, with lots of secret texting and emailing. May was joining Bible Bee, not realizing how much it would change my life. May was when summer warmed up, May was when it was all okay, May was the calm before the calm before the storm.  (That’s intentional)

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June was a whopper.

Lemme just say that.

In June, I got to fly out and see family. Family. And my folks’ definition of family extends to the inlaws’ inlaws. Somehow we all fit and it’s awesome. I got to hang out with cousins I haven’t seen in 4 years. And steal donuts. June was heavy plotting month. PLOT PLOT PLOT. It was fun. June was when I first met my Camp NaNo cabinmates, some of whom I’d just met and quickly became close friends.

And June was when I got my DSLR and life through these lens has never been clearer.

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July was HARD.

Yet somehow it wasn’t quite the storm.

Still, it was HARD.

July was Camp NaNo. July was Niagara Falls and Royal Ontario Museum and deep downtown Toronto and fireworks and late-into-the-night-discussions.  *gulps* July was typing away for dear life, blasting music at 100% at 1 AM, July was gulping all the bacon crumbles, July was all the “nobody asked you to join Camp NaNo” and the “you spend too much time writing” and the “do something more productive with your time” and the “go read a book” and pushing and failing and giving up and not giving up.

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July was cabinmates who were really friends who knew me too well and yelled at me not to give up. July was a caring, interested person who thought I was a hard worker and treated me like an equal. July was a sticky hot summer day spent under the shade of a tree. July was a surgery, anxious waiting. July was all the accusations fired and finding solace in the Word.  July was dreams refusing to be dashed.

July was no sleepy month.

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August was a downpour.

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August was me wrestling with a lot of questions, hoping to find the truth. August was rest from Camp NaNo. August was bonding with friends I didn’t know cared. August was baseball, and the smell of leather.

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August was the crickets chirping late at night, August was reading past nonexistent bedtimes, August was re-reading my stories and making new ones. August was silent stares, and earphones on almost perpetually. August was being up at 7 am washing dishes and belting out songs that surprisingly didn’t wake anyone up. August was watching the sunrise. August was intense Bible study that I loved and memorization and Greek words and the joy of knowing God more than I ever did before. August was teaching an eager girl how to secretly take pictures, and helping kids climb and swing from bars and block punches. Don’t ask. August was music, and words, and pictures. August was trying to find a safe place.

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It still is.

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It’s only at the end of summer we’re grateful for it, why is that? 😛

And that’s been my summer.

Before I’d be griping that we couldn’t go camping or to an amusement park or hiking or to the fair, or any of the other things I saw other kids doing, and I wanted to but never did.

This summer I wanted to take every opportunity that came my way. I wanted to take it, no matter what.

And I did.

And for that, I am grateful.

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And now September’s coming and the recap is done and I’m left asking myself something.

Now what?

I know I wanna continue growing in the Lord. I know I wanna write my stories.

But I don’t know much else.

I don’t know how I’m gonna commute to my first job, if I get one next year. I don’t know if my stories will ever be good enough. I don’t know how I’m gonna handle school. I don’t know what will happen during Christmas break. I don’t know how the year will end, or the next year begin. I don’t know and all these speculations are filling my head too much.

I know God does.

And that’s enough for me.

All the intricate details of my life, I can leave in His hands.

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But I do know that writing is gonna level up. I love my stories, and maybe they’re worth being told.

Maybe after I finish Mirages, I can finish What Goes On In A Small Town, and polish those. Maybe I can start Remember Me, and maybe I can write Skirt Girl And The Hockey Rink.

I can’t wait.

So goodbye summer. I won’t forget you anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

Summer Went Out With The Sunset (Or, In Which I Post Some Pictures In The Hopes You Can See Them.)

Greetings everybody! Well. It looks like I’m gonna need some audience participation. My pictures haven’t been showing up recently, have they?

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Let’s see. If you all can see these pictures of clouds and sunsets and whatnot, yay!

 

If not… boo.

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Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the 25th of August, right?

*sobs*

Summer’s over.

NOOOOOOOOOO!!

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I don’t want summer to end! I like waking up and doing nothing in the mornings except just watching the view outside. I like the lemonades and the barbeques and the air conditioning. Please don’t tell me it’s all gonna end!!

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But y’know, I’ve had a great summer, and I’m grateful for that.

Next Saturday is the first of September, the start of a new month, the start of a long haul. And I gotta admit I’m excited for that too.

 

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I’m excited to feel cool air when I step outside, to make a huge dent in the mountain of schoolwork looming in front of me, to have a good reason to wear my boots and kick up leaves.

Not to mention Album 65 of Adventures In Odyssey is gonna air on the 6th, and boy am I excited for that!!

Ok, it’s official. I’m a hopeless fangirl.

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I’m glad summer is over and sad at the same time. So many things have happened and I need at least a year to process it all.  xD

But I’ve gotten to make the most outta these months. And I’m content.

 

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Now I’m really hoping you all can see these pictures, because they’re my favorite group of sunsets. I experimented with a lot of filters and effects, and I must say, I’m quite pleased with the results.

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Some of the effects make it really vibrant, which I’m still deciding if I like that effect. It\s been pretty interesting.

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I kinda like this picture, even though it’s heavily colorized. 😛

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I better get back to re-writing. My charries have become quite annoyed with me for leaving them uncompleted for weeks at a time. I guess I’ve been a wee bit too busy staring at the sunset.


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 Well, see ya.

10 Years From Now

A year ago, 2018 seemed new and mystical, a year that held the unknown.

Smack dab in the middle of the year, and it’s very much the same, but so different.

I never expected to be into photography. That I’d start a blog. That I’d be in the middle of writing 2 novels. That everything that’s happened in this year alone would.

And now, I’m seriously wondering what is gonna happen in the future.

Have you ever started those life plan thingys (yes, that’s a word and I made it up, live with it :P)? The ones that go for months and years? I sorta have, only I don’t quite know what to put on it. Anyway, someone once, as part of a tag, asked me what I saw myself doing in 10 years.

I don’t even know what’s happening in 10 months. Or ten weeks, let alone whole years.

I still don’t know.

The future seems so uncertain right now.

And that’s ok.

Because I’m not in control of my life, God is. And the more I think about the future, the more I realize that I can’t rely on myself. I’m weak, and young,  and unexperienced. There’s so much more I have to learn and so little I already know.

Which is why I must rely on God to provide for the future.

And, you know, that’s very comforting. To know that I really am in the palm of God’s hand, that He cares, and that He will be the one providing and showing me where to go. My awesome sister put it like something this: God’s taken care of us already, I know He is able to continue and already is taking care of us.

We just have to trust Him, because in His perfect timing, God will show us what will happen over the years.

So does that mean we should stop thinking about the future? NO! Sometimes it’s fun to wait for things with eager anticipation. Should we worry? No. Because God is in control. All the time.

And I can’t wait to see what He has for me. 🙂