Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I have a dream...


or two, or three. And don't you dare tell me they aren't possible. Because I know if I really try, I can accomplish anything.
With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
I want to be an author.
And a midwife.
And a sign language interpreter (for music).
I want to go on hundreds of mission trips, whether they are going half way around the world or just going to the grocery store.
I want to visit orphanages and sing (with a guitar) to the children.
I want to sing and play piano at my church.
I want to play the violin.
I want to be a small group leader.
I want to get married and have a bunch of children and raise them to be God-followers.
I want to homeschool my children.
I want to adopt.
And so much more.

The things I want to do--the things I want to be--are unlimited and unstoppable. Nobody can stop me from dreaming. And nobody can stop you either. We can't let everyone else decide for us what we can and can't do or be. We can do all things through Christ. Not some things. As Christians, we have no limit. With Christ, we are unstoppable.
Lets not let anything stand in our way today. Go and do. Go and be. And stand with God at all times.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Things Above: When Your Thoughts Are Out of Your Control



Yet I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
At night,
I look up at the stars
and I see the Lord's handy work.
During the day,
I look around at the trees,
the grass,
the birds,
and the bees.
Again,
I see the Lord's handy work.
During the night,
I lay awake,
afraid
of what tomorrow might bring
and I shudder.
What do you do
when the night haunts you?
You fix your thoughts
on things above.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
 God is true,
He is honorable,
and right,
and pure,
and lovely,
and admirable.
He is excellent
and worthy of praise.
So why
is it so hard
to think about such things?
Instead,
 I find myself thinking
of unworthy things.
Things that come from the evil one:
his lies,
his words,
they steal away at my thoughts,
my mind,
my heart.
But,
"Guard your heart"
they say
and I try.
But what do you do
when the evil one
is coming after you
with such a force
tearing you apart?
You fix your thoughts
on things above.
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
But when the waiting gets tough,
what do you do?
You fix your thoughts
on things above.
At night,
I look up at the stars
and I see the Lord's handy work.
During the day,
I look around at the trees,
the grass,
the birds,
and the bees.
Again,
I see the Lord's handy work.
Think about such things
and smile.

My Thoughts: Keep you thoughts away from all the bad in the world. Instead, intentionally seek out the Lord's goodness. Life is hard and its so easy to think about everything that's wrong, but we need to stand strong in our faith, build walls around our minds to keep the evil one from spilling evil thoughts inside, be brave and courageous, and wait for the Lord's perfect timing. Its not going to be easy, but in the end, it'll be worth it.
Since you have been raised to  new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. Colossians 3:1-2
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. Hebrews 12:2
So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:18
But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13

Growing Deeper and Deeper and Deeper

So aside from all the drama that's going on in my life (that I am not willing to tell you about at this moment), life isn't so bad. I mean, I've been doing some ancestry search at the library after co-op on Thursdays and that has been incredible! I love searching ancestry stuff. : ) The boys are starting to get into a fabulous routine! I've started a "Growing Deep" personal devotion thing that is going beautifully. We started it in our youth group as a thing we have to complete if we want to go on a mission trip to Mexico in January, but I'm not doing it just to go on the mission trip. I'm excited to use it as a way to get closer to my God and I'm loving it so far! Soon my small group will be starting a devotion called, "Brazen." I'm super excited about that because I am super insecure and this is supposed to help us become secure and release our inner brazen : ) I love it!

Oh, and tomorrow night is a lock-in at my church. I'll be going to that too. We'll see how that goes. It starts at 7pm and goes till 6 in the morning. I'm excited, but I'm going to be SO tired.
So there you go. A nicer update on my life. See, its not bad here at all <3
Love you guys!
God Bless, Amy Kathleen

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Still That Girl?

Hey everyone.
It's been longer than I had wanted it to be since I posted last, and that is because life happened.
I am more exhausted than I think I've ever been and more sick than I think I've ever been.
Everything hurts.
I currently have (though is this not a doctors diagnosis) croup, the flu, a yeast infection, and terrible constipation (though I am always constipated). I've had a headache everyday since moving and depression and anxiety have struck me.
And I'm reading The Scarlet Letter. Though hard to read, it is actually very good.
But that has nothing to do with anything but my possible altered speech.
My best friends and support group is in Minnesota and I am stuck here, being a bully because of my exhaustion, and feeling depressed therefore because of it.
I am officially off sugar, wheat, and dairy. I am told to drink straight up lemon juice every morning and with a meal I must swallow--like a pill--a garlic clove (cut to be a swallow-able size). It's supposed to get rid of the yeast infection.
Also, I am going to get blood drawn and tested to see why I am always sick.
On the bright side, I haven't had a headache yet today, thanks to my amazing chiropractor who told me I stand weird.
I wonder if its not too late to still be that girl I once was. The one who was always happy and healthy, the one that had faith-like-a-child. Is it still possible to go back to being her? Was that even who I was? My friend here likes to remind me of when we lived here before and--get this--how I was so mean.
That hurt.
So is there even any nice, good, happy, healthy, and faithful girl to go back to? The girl I thought I was never really existed, therefore, do I even have a chance to change? Do I have that in me?
Nevertheless, there is never a doubt in my mind that God is good. He is holding me and this frightful situation in His hands and, with that knowledge, I will fear no evil.
Besides, in Christ I can change, right?

Please note that this is not all cause and effect from moving to this state. It's been amazing and I know it will be well.
Also, this is only an update on me and why I haven't posted in a while. It is not to get sympathy from everyone. I need not that right now, but instead may you--my lovely readers--pray for me? And for my family, who seems to be living in frustration with...I'm not really sure what actually. My three-year-old brother could use prayer too, though this is a bit late to ask. He went to the hospital late on Saturday night because he was breathing weird. He has/had croup also.
Thank you all so much! And please be sure that I will be posting my normal stuff soon. ; )

Enjoy : )

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Drama, Drama, Drama

Sorry everyone for all the drama about moving here and all. I guess its just all that I have to say for now.
And turns out, its not so bad here. We've been here for a little over a week and a half now. We've gone to our old church (the one I became a Christian at), to our old youth group, and pretty much announced our arrival by showing up to places unannounced. : )
But I am still afraid of all the drama this place comes with. : ( When we lived here before we were caught in the crossfire of so much drama it made our heads spin. While we were living in Minnesota, there was hardly any drama at all!
The difference is clear to me though. The people here and there are so much different. And I like the ways of the people here better (as of this moment anyways). I'm sorry, Minnesota.
You see, Arizonans always want to be around each other--even the introverts. And Minnesotans don't see each other as often. Therefore, by seeing each other more often than not, Arizonans have much more drama. Does that make any sense? If not, oh well cause I'm not going to explain it another way. Sorry. ; )
So when I get here my friend tells me all about her "boy drama" and how she has so many guys that have a crush on her and this and that. Then she goes on to telling me how happy she is that I am here now and how hopeful she is that at least half of the guys that like her will now go on to liking me instead. -_- So not cool, guys.
Anyways, here are the pictures of the trip that I promised you all (also something I forgot to share with you that happened while we were still in Minnesota)...
 I miss these girls so much!!! <3
 The weekend before we moved I was Baptized!!! <3 : ) It was such a blessing! Thank you Jesus!
 My friend snuck this picture of us...I don't know why I like it so much.
 I miss you, girl!
 Okay, so on with the pictures of our trip....
 First morning on the road, I got some amazing pictures! <3

 This one is my favorite! <3 : )

 My cat, Willow Mae, didn't love the ride. She road in the camper most of the way. We couldn't stand her walking all over us or meowing.
 My brother, Levi (3).

 Okay, this place is so awesome! : )
 COFFEE!! : )
 ...For ONLY five cents!!!!! : ) That makes me so happy! : )
 Don't ask... ; )
 WARNING: It wasn't as good as it looked. It was still good, but I was hoping the blueberry pie would taste better : (
 Mount Rushmore, we meet again ; )
 So beautiful ; )
 Okay, guys. This is just hilarious. They are lying to our faces right now. That is to a trail. -_-
 My Great Great Aunt Virginia's Sandwiches (aka Aunt Virginia's Sandwiches). They're soooo good!

 Ahh, this is so pretty!
 I honestly don't remember taking these last two, but they are gorgeous!
 Car trouble... : (
 Brothers!! <3 (Sara's boyfriend, Carter (6), Levi (3), and Nathaniel (2))
 Four Corners...again : )




 Arrived : )
 I don't remember taking this.. -_-
 Our first Arizona sunset <3

 Going to the mall with David and Sara...whyyyy?
 Just why? :')
 I started writing for this website...you should go check it out! Its fabulous!
Small groups at church is always fun ; ) <3

Well, that is all for now, my friends. Talk to you soon <3
In Christ Alone,
Amy Kathleen

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Arrived and Not Dead...Yet

So guess what, guys...We made it safely to Arizona. It took FIVE whole days to get here. It has never taken us so long to get here before... : /
Well, we had some car trouble with our van. It wasn't shifting well up and down the mountain and our van was overheating and two hoses were cracked and leaking. Grandpa got a ticket going down a 7% grade mountain going 70 in a 45! Dad left his phone at a Fazoli's and had to turn around and get it. Grandpa jackknifed Dad's truck (broke the side light cover of the camper, dented the bottom bumper of the camper, and rubbed paint on the front bumper of Dad's truck). We left on Wednesday night at midnight so everyone was EXHAUSTED and we had to stop several times the next day to rest. And every stop we made took about an hour each. (I apologize for the non-chronological order here).
But now we are here and we are all still alive. For now.
So all my fears that I mentioned before are still here. Confirmed even. But I know that God will make this good, like he always does.

Signing off,
Amy Kathleen
P.S. Please pray:
-that the AC gets fixed in our house.
-that I may have faith instead of fear.
-that we may use our faith to impact many here.
Keep your eyes pealed for pictures of our trip. <3 ; )

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Prone to Wander

Hey Everyone! Its a Thursday. We're in August. There's about 14 days till we move. I'm having a sleepover with a close friend of mine. This is sort of goodbye (sort of).
I was over at some family's house on Saturday and we had a mini-party (a.k.a.: a family-goodbye-party). It was fun but sad. I don't like goodbye's.
On Sunday we went to my cousins before-the-wedding party (I'm not really sure what you call that--its too early *running on little sleep*) that was another family-goodbye-party of sorts. We don't get to see everyone that often and that was kind of goodbye.
On Monday I invited a ton of friends to help us pack the house...there was about five friends that could make it...and it was a blast! I'm extremely sad about that though. Why on earth do these people have to make it so hard to leave them?!? (but I am so thankful for the help, you guys! Come again soon! <3)
On Tuesday we went to the lake with more friends--as usual on Summer-Tuesdays. It was a blast, as always.
Wednesday we picked up a friend of mine so she could spend the night and hang out with us at youth group. The real reason she came is so that she could meet that one guy I mentioned in a previous post...but he was--for one of the first times since my coming to youth group--was gone. And you wanna know where her was?
Too bad, I'm not telling you. That'd be rude.
; P
So now we have today. Thursday. Guess what comes on Thursday...the parts of the U-Haul truck. That basically means we begin loading the truck today....
I'm not going to cry.
I'm not going to cry.
I'm not going to cry.
Once we get to Arizona, everything will be fine...right?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

It's a Trust Issue; Prone to Ponder

Church was amazing today. All week I've been thinking about my need to trust God with everything--my fear of the future, of the unknown--and now this mornings message was on trusting God.
Miracles do happen, people.
"Can we trust God to [till] death?"
We focused on Psalm 20. David's posture is amazing. I guess that's what its all about; our posture.
Then I ask myself, "What is my posture? What does my posture, my faith, look like to those around me? Especially during difficult times? Am I really a good role model?"
I want to look like David. I pray that I do or will someday in the near future. Hands lifted high to the Father during every thing in life.
"Some trust in chariots and some trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7
Have you ever thought about what your posture might look like? Have you read Psalm 20 and pondered such things? Am I the only one?

Help!

So I've been trying to brainstorm a new name for this blog. Something that fits, that I love, and that is catchy (to a point). Please comment with some ideas!!!
Here are a few that I've come up with thus far:
  • Prone to Wander
  • In Christ Alone
  • Live. Love. Faith. Purity.
  • Dear Amy
  • When Given a Pen...
What is your favorite? Have any suggestions/other ideas? Please comment below! <3

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A New Novel Idea...

Lying in bed, putting my brother to sleep, I allowed myself to dream. Or rather, I couldn't keep myself from it. As a result, a new novel idea let loose:
A girl, around 16 years old, has had heart problems since she was twelve. She's been wearing a heart monitor on her belt since.
At youth group one night, a new kid, a boy around her age, showed up. New kids show up all the time; there wasn't anything curious about it. Until her heart skipped again. As usual, she fell to the floor, unconscious. Upon awakening this new boy pulled her aside. Apparently one of the other kids there had told him what happened and how it was nothing unusual. The youth pastor knew what to do and took care of it, so it was no big deal. After all, he was a doctor before becoming a youth pastor. The boy asked her, "You don't actually have heart problems, do you?" A shocking question, coming from this new kid. She stared ahead, refusing to answer. "I checked your heart monitor after you fell. It didn't show any signs of your heart skipping a beat--like they said it does." He looked her in the eyes. "I know what's happening to you and I can help."
...
So what do you all think? Don't steal the idea. I'm declaring copyright. ; )
I'm really excited about this idea and I'm ready to get started with the plot. Though I won't be completely abandoning the Darrion Marine story. <3

Have a blessed weekend!
Amy Kathleen

Friday, July 22, 2016

What's New...

So hopefully everyone knows by now, we are indeed moving. All the way across the country.

*dramatic pause*
Yes, we are, once again, moving to Arizona. *happy dance* But honestly, I have mixed feelings. I mean, it's been three years living here in Minnesota-- I should have mixed feelings. In fact, when the news was much newer I felt bad by not having mixed feelings. I was praising Jesus all the way for this amazing and miraculous news.
But then it hit me.
I mean, things here haven't been great. Life at home has been extremely difficult. But outside of home? With my new writing friends? And the youth group (I finally started going!)? That was great. And I'm going to miss that. A lot.
I am honestly afraid of what life will be like again living in Arizona. I'm afraid of the influences. I realized something drastic the other day...
I have never been boy-crazy. I mean, I hope to get married one day, but I'm not pushing for that to happen. I trust that God will bring him into my life at just the right time and I don't want to screw that up by dating every guy I meet. Forgive me, but I hate the dating game.
I'm not even sorry for saying that. : )
Anyways, so when we last went to visit Arizona in February I was talking with a close friend of mine and he was trying to get me to say who I had a crush on. I didn't have a crush on any guy at the time, but my sister got it in his head that I did, so I had to come up with someone. Originally my answer was a guy I had a dream about marrying once whose name was Ryan. That satisfied him until he realized that Ryan isn't a real person. Then I went to my back-up guy, Fitz, from my favorite book series Keeper of the Lost Cities (by Shannon Messenger). Then he found out he was fictional as well. So, I finally gave way and said I was interested in a guy in my youth group (Lord, please don't let him be reading this!). Then he started asking all sorts of questions about this guy from my youth group. I answered them all and began thinking. Suddenly, I really did like the guy. I was becoming boy-crazy and I'm sad to say its been going on for a few months until I made this recent discovery.
And it wouldn't have happened if I never went to visit Arizona.
This is what I am afraid of; losing my purity because of the pressure/example/expectation that I face in Arizona. While I am here I can easily tell you I refuse to lose my purity, but there?
Is this me being afraid of the unknown?
Mom and I keep reminding ourselves; mosquitos and wood ticks--reasons enough on there own to make anyone want to leave.
Also, though, the memory of the difficulties we've suffered as a family over the past three years makes us want to leave.
But my friends here-- I don't want to lose them. Some of them I just made at a writing conference (more on that later) and some that have helped me through so much during these painful few years.
And then there is distant relatives. Most of my family (distant relatives) lives here (though I am happy to announce that my aunt, uncle, and their five children are moving with us!).
I keep telling myself that once we get to Arizona, everything will be fine. All my old friends will help us unpack and life will be as it was before (sort of). But I don't want to forget all of you up here. I'm afraid I will forget all of you in the busy/craziness in Arizona. I know I won't. But I'm still afraid.
But why is that? Why am I so afraid? I say that I trust God. But if I still have this ever present fear living inside of me, have I really put my full trust in Him?
Guys, this is heavy on my heart. Please pray that things get better--that I can put my full trust in God and his plan in all of this and fear no more. Thank you! <3

So what else is new with me? Well, earlier I said I was going to tell you about the writing conference, so that is a great place to start.
I went to a writing conference/workshop/thingy a few weeks ago and it has been LIFE CHANGING! I will be coming back to this next year!
I met one of my favorite authors-- Jennifer Nielsen.




And I made amazing new friends.




And I learned a lot and it inspired me so much! <3 <3 <3

Other new things-- my aunt (the one that is moving with us) had a baby!! <3


I recently met up with some of my writing friends from the conference (and from co-op).

And they inspired me to outline my novel and keep writing {cause I'm not alone in the battle}. <3


Well, that's all I have for you for now. <3 God Bless!

So I've Been Thinking...

...which can sometimes be scary. Ha!
Anyways, I'm thinking about posting monthly. I don't want to sign up for more than that though.
Cause I'm afraid if I "sign myself up" for anything more that I will feel too overwhelmed and not do it.
Sorry guys. This life... : (
But I CAN easily (I hope!) promise a monthly post. ;-)
I pray this works out! <3
God Bless, Amy Kathleen.

P.S. Oh, and 25 days till moving day! Yikes!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Given a new name...

What's New:
Schools over... kind of, anyways. You never really stop learning. But our co-op is over, which gives me a lot more time to write and do other such things.
I have a writing conference coming up in June that I am so excited about! Gotta get writing ;-)
My sister is graduating, which is weird.
I was going on a mission trip in July but it recently got cancelled... :'( I cried.
I auditioned to be on the worship team at my church!!! :D Not sure if I made it yet, though... :/
I'm moving to Arizona in September (instead of July, like it originally was going to be) and we are moving back into our old house... which is weird....
Uh, I can't really think of anything else that is new other than this right now, but I am hoping to be posting more soon <3

Side Note: I'm not sure how long its gonna last, but I have changed the name of this blog to "When Given a Pen...."

By Grace Alone,
 Amy Kathleen

Friday, January 22, 2016

What Time is it?

Car wash time!
 While Mom is at her Bible Study, the boys wanted to give there cars a wash :-)
 I really like this activity for them because even though it is water and can get a little messy, it's quick to create and keeps them occupied for a looong while :-)
 We blended water and dish soap, poured it into one bucket while in the other we put clean water for the rinsing (in this picture the clean water bucket looks really soapy) and finally a towel for drying the cars.
 Oh yeah, and old tooth brushes to scrub with. :-)



 I can't imagine a life without these three boys. I love them! :-)