Free by Careena Campbell {Book Spotlight} Happy book release week!

Hello, hello, my friends! Long time no see! I am so excited and honoured to be a part of Careena’s release celebration and book tour of her beautiful book, ‘Free’.

As is common of a student in year twelve, I barely had any time to finish reading Careena’s book by the posting date. However, what I did read I found beautiful. The book is riddled with familiar hymns and the setting is exciting. From what I’ve read, I would recommend the book for younger children, although I am sure all ages would enjoy a book like this. There aren’t very many books these days that aren’t trying to bend to the world’s standards. I am so excited to finish reading this book, and once I do, I’ll be posting a full book review on here and on my writer/bookish instagram account.

What is ‘Free’ about?

17-year-old Ruth is used to being independent and trusting God to provide for her needs, even with the little protection life in the 17th century provides her. But when a strange turn of events lands her on a cargo ship with no immediate way off, what is Ruth to do? The sailors are rough and rowdy, but Ruth finds First Mate Leonard particularly intimidating. What is hiding behind Captain Edward’s passive nature? Will she ever be free? As the sailors face the trials of ocean travels, they realize their young servant holds a key to peace and happiness that they don’t have. A truth that could change their lives forever. But does Ruth have her heart open for the ways in which God wants to change hers? A heartwarming tale about faith, forgiveness, and rediscovering what freedom really means.

Also, Careena created a trailer for her book! How epic is that?!

She also posted a Youtube live Q&A, where she answered questions about her newly released book!

About the author

I believe that what we fill our minds with influences who we become. My whole life I’ve wanted to create books I had a hard time finding as a kid–stories that were just as uplifting as they were exciting.

@careenas_adventures
Goodreads
Author website

Buy the book on:

Goodreads

Amazon

Other book tour participants:

March 8th: Amanda Tero
March 9th: Alexandria Miracola
March 10th: Effie J Stock
March 12th: Zielle K. S.

If you decide to read this book, leave a review! Being an author is a small business. Leaving reviews is an incredibly helpful way to support the author. Even if it is just, ‘I liked it’, if you read this book, I am sure Careena would very much appreciate a review left on Amazon or Goodreads. If you decide to read it, comment down below!

Once again, a HUGE congratulations to author Careena Campbell for publishing her first novel! Publishing a novel is a very hard and incredibly exciting thing to accomplish. Check out the other lovely lady’s book tour posts! There are author interviews, book reviews, and more!

Romanov by Nadine Brandes {Book Review}

My blood is my crime.

If you look at it, it’s still red. If you touch it, it’s still wet. But if you listen to it, it speaks a single name in a pulsing chant.

Romanov.

Romanov.

Romanov.

Those are the first few lines in the book, and if they don’t immerse you into this wonderful goodness that is Romanov, then I don’t know what will.

There are beautiful quotes scattered throughout the book. I love it.

I have a story I was meant to live. And not even you can unwrite it.”

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are to either release the spell and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

First thoughts

I couldn’t put this book down! I read it twice, and both times I was hooked. Nadine has a way of ending each chapter leaving you yearning for more. I absolutely loved this book, but I really think this is one of the books that some people will love and others won’t at all. So it’s really up to you to form your own conclusion! But here are my thoughts.

Characters

The characters are done wonderfully. I loved the dynamic between all the characters especially between Nastya and her family (particularly with Alexei; I loved their relationship!). 

Nastya’s internal conflict was done so well! I felt everything that she felt. Which was a lot. The book had a lot of feels and it was amazing. However I felt as though a few of her thoughts were scattered randomly and didn’t fit in some places, which made it feel slightly repetitive and forced in a few places. But you can really feel her internal struggle which I love, and it also made the book very character driven, which I also love! And I love her personality! It’s strong and impish and cheeky and smart and brave but also vulnerable and she struggles with her morality a lot. 

Zash. Ah Zash. Lovely beautiful broken Zash. I loved him. His internal conflict was such a struggle to read because I could tell how much it broke him. He is so sweet as well. Like deep down in that gorgeous Bolshevik heart of his is just a scared little boy who cares so much it hurts. However, his character arc felt a little flat, especially because of how Nadine chose to tie it up in the resolution. I thought his development could have been explored more as well as his relationship with Nastya especially at the end. And it seemed as though he was constantly going from stoic to gentle and friendly then back to stoic and since it happened quite a bit, it got repetitive. But ahhh he was so lovable. And I loved his relationship with Ivan. One scene, which I won’t spoil because I’m not cruel, really showed Zash’s transparency for me and his absolute brokenness. And it was done. so. well. Anyone who has read this book will most likely know which scene I’m talking about. 😉 

Now the Nastya and Zash romance. It was a bit of a hit, bit of a miss. I wanted more. There was so much room for more. But their relationship felt quite stagnant and never really resolved. I did really like them together though, don’t get me wrong, I just wanted more.

Alexei. Dear sweet brave smart young baby Alexei. I absolutely loved how wise he was, how calm, how brave and yet how cheeky he was, and his relationship with Nastya was so lovely to read. 

Overall, the characters are really well done! Zash is the only one I really wished Nadine went a bit in depth on just because I loved him so incredibly much. I really liked the family bond between the Romanovs. It was written really well. And I enjoyed reading it.

Plot

Ahh the plot twists, my friends! So good. Made me keep turning the pages. The great plot as well as the strong characters kept me wanting to read more.

The second half of the book… I did not expect at all for some reason, which kind of made it feel like 2 books, which was unfortunate because I liked both halves, but it really didn’t feel all that connected. But Nadine has this way of getting the reader’s hopes up while foreshadowing at the same time and then crashing our hopes in a painful but awesome way. XD

The ending was resolved nicely, and the fact that it ended beautifully but not everything became unrealistically good and perfect, which is great. 

Some things were a bit unrealistic, such as injuries and chances of survival. However I won’t spoil it here. 😉

Emotions

Oh my gosh. This book broke me in more ways than one. And the fact that I cared so much about the characters made it hurt even more when they were hurt. Otherwise, I wouldn’t care about anything that happened to them. But I had so many emotions! Like I said above when I was talking about Nastya, I felt like her emotions and thoughts could appear a bit randomly and sometimes felt repetitive, but I loved how I felt everything! I felt happy, happy and sad at the same time, horrified, and terribly sad. I cried, I laughed, and then… well I cried again. I squealed over the relationship between Nastya and Zash and the fact that he actually had the capability of saying something incredibly gorgeous and sweet to the girl he loved but could never say that he loved her. I’m a sucker for hate-to-love romances. 

Writing Style

I really enjoyed Nadine’s writing style!! It was super simple to understand, but it was also so intricate and beautiful and invoked all the feels. It was lovely. Some parts felt a bit like an info dump, unfortunately.

Imagery 

The imagery was great, but it was more internal than external which made it sometimes hard to picture things, mostly in the second half after they left the Ipatiev House. The worldbuilding was unfortunately quite lost on me. It was hard to imagine where they were, which made it difficult to focus on what was going on while trying to imagine where they were at the same time.

Flow

I felt that it flowed very very well. It was natural. However I feel as though the second half (my brain splits the book into two parts for some reason) wasn’t as smoothly moved onto as I had hoped. Maybe it was because of the sudden change of scenery/mood/pretty much everything that made it feel like a slightly different book. For some, while they are in exile it might seem dull or boring to some readers, but I didn’t find myself bored at all, surprisingly. I think it was because of the internal events, despite nothing happening for a while in exile.

Content

The romance wasn’t very in depth so no content warnings on that. It’s quite violent though. But it isn’t overly described so it’s violent but not very gruesome. 

Overall

Overall, I give this beautiful book 4 stars! I highly recommend it. It’s definitely worth checking out. And… the cover is gorgeous!!!!! Let me know if you end up reading this book! 

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it? Do you agree or disagree with some things I said about the book?

What if nothing changes in 2021.

Hello hello everyone! Long time no see! Can you believe it’s already 2021?

2020. What a year. Everything I thought wouldn’t happen… happened. Everything I thought would happen… didn’t happen. But because of this year, I learned to appreciate the little things more. I learned to let go and just let. things. happen. You made it through this year, lovely. You are breathing. You are alive. I am so proud of you.

2021 a big year for me. It is my last year of school (I transferred to public school from homeschool last year for those of you who didn’t already know), I’m back to theatre (if all things work out), and then I’ve got to do the scary thing called ‘figure-out-what-I-want-to-do-after-school’. And hopefully this year I’ll get a job. And drive more. What is your year looking like? Do you have new year resolutions? No new year resolutions?

Anyway, this post has nothing to do with the fact that I’ll be in grade 12. *screams*

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts going around saying things like, ‘2020 2.0’ or it’s going to be a worse year, or all of your problems are not going to go away with the new year, nothing’s going to change, and all that.

I’m not going to disagree with the statement that all of our problems are not going to change just because the clock struck twelve on December 31st.

But just because our circumstances don’t change, doesn’t mean we don’t have to. Don’t ever let circumstances stunt your growth.

And you know what? This earth doesn’t matter. Our hope shouldn’t rely on the wish that 2021 will be a better year. Our hope relies on Jesus. Our hope relies on his promise that when he returns he will create a whole new world filled the most unimaginable peace, joy and love. No tears. No suffering. No pain.

I’ve seen a thing going around where people choose their word for the year. Words like ‘diligent’, ‘dedicated’, ‘kind’, ‘free’.

My word is ‘growth.’

I love this word because it’s so broad, and for me, growing, or going up, is the only way I want to go. A quote from K.M Weiland’s historical fantasy book ‘Wayfarer’ which I am currently reading and highly recommend says, ‘There exist two ways to move in this world: up or down. One cannot remain still. A man who refuses to climb is a man with no self-regard whatsoever.’

I want to grow in Christ, grow in who I am as a person, grow in faith, in kindness, in love. And something that I’ve always struggled with is comparing myself to other people and always caring what they think about me. Well I’m gonna grow in God’s direction. Not the direction of the girl I used to wish I was like. Not the direction that my classmates tell me I should go. Not the direction the whole wide world says I should go. God’s direction. His opinion of me is the only opinion that matters.

Another quote from ‘Wayfarer’ says, ‘Care too much for the praise of a man, and I can give you my oath you’ll be disappointed every time.’ I can relate so much. I’ve cared what I look like, I’ve tried to change the way I act around certain people to try and fit my idea of what they want to see or someone they would want to be around. But why try to hard to change myself to be liked by people when I can just be myself and be loved by the right people?

This post is more meant for myself than it is for any of you. Sure, you can take inspiration from this but this is for me. I have spent way too much wasted time wishing I could grow, instead of actually putting in the work to make myself grow. I wanted things, but I didn’t want to do the things I had to do to get there.

Anyway, I went on a bit of tangent, but you’ll find I do that a lot on this blog so if you don’t like that then you don’t have to stay. 😉

And that’s me being real and vulnerable and all my thoughts on a page. XD

This is my journey. I’ll stumble along the way most definitely. But the only thing that matters is if my eye is kept on the direction that Jesus wants me to go.

That’s my post for today! Thank you for reading!

Where Monsters Prey + A second Co-Written Poem

Please read this! It’s so important.

Spread the Spark

Over the past couple weeks a friend and I, Anna from Anna’s Ideas (https://ideasofanna.blogspot.com/) have been working on two poems. The poem I am posting is called “Where Monsters Prey.” And you can find our second poem, “Rescuer’s Facade,” on her blog.

Where Monsters Prey

~

Deep in the darkness

Where the monsters hide

Just out of sight,

Is now where we find shelter.

We thought we didn’t know them,

And that their presence was

Far from us.

Their purpose,

Unclear.

Because they were just,

The shadows in our closet

The creaking down the hall,

The branches in the window

Waving, tall.

Familiar frights

That had our trust,

We always said they couldn’t hurt us.

So we didn’t see, all this time…

Danger was so close to us.

From strangers to family,

The monsters became.

When it was no longer

The white van down the road,

That stranger…

View original post 629 more words

9 Things Wicked Tells Us About Life

Hi everyone! Hope you all have been well and keeping safe, sane, healthy and joyful!

A few months ago, I wrote a post called, “Nine Things Les Miserables Tells Us About Life”. It is still my favourite article I have written, If I’m being honest. But then I remembered Wicked, the West End and Broadway musical. The musical that I watched for the first time almost a year ago and enjoyed it to bits. The musical which contained the songs that I sang and listened to 24/7 while my brother begged me to stop. While I haven’t had the pleasure of being a part of this production, the soundtrack is absolutely amazing, just like everything else about it. And then when I was wracking my brain for an article to write, I remember that yes, just like Les Mis, Wicked has some nuggets of truth that ya’ll deserve to hear.

Continue reading “9 Things Wicked Tells Us About Life”

‘Welcome to the real world’ they say

Why is it that as soon as we hit a certain age, we are suddenly old enough to be exposed to the ‘world’? ‘You’re already sixteen,’ they say, ‘Just watch it!’ or, ‘Just say it.’ or, ‘Just do it.’ But why is it that age defines what we can and can’t be exposed to? Why does it become so easy? Why does it suddenly become normal to purposefully expose ourselves to bad language or inappropriate movies or books, just because ‘we’re old enough’? Is this something we’ve been waiting for? Does it make us feel more mature?

They say, ‘Welcome to the real world.’ I have always been in the ‘real world’. But what I don’t want to welcome myself to is purposeful exposure to the things that aren’t pure in the eyes of God. The ‘real world’ is not what God had intended. His idea of the ‘real world’ was perfect, pure, and sinless. The fall of man brought sin and darkness into the world and along with it came impurity and peer pressure.

It’s so easy to just follow along because we’re afraid we might get teased or we might be laughed at for ‘acting younger than we are’. But there is a difference between immaturity and being wise. Maturity in general and spiritual maturity is knowing what to stay away from, being discerning and including God in our decisions. What we look at and what we do is between ourselves as individuals and with God. It’s not between us and the world; at least, it shouldn’t be.

But don’t be discouraged; staying away from these things is not immature, and it’s not us being afraid of encountering impurity. There is impurity all around us; always has been and always will be until we are in the presence of God. What I’m talking about is exposing ourselves to it on purpose just because we’re ‘old enough’ in the eyes of men. But in the eyes of God? His perfect idea of good and bad is different to the world’s idea of good and bad. No matter what age we are, he commands us to fill our hearts and our minds with kind, gentle, loving and pure things. (Philippians 4:8) Things that are positive and things that bring glory to God. He commands us to guard our hearts, because what is in our hearts, shows through in our actions and lives. (Proverbs 4:23) 

But what can we do? It’s scary and it’s hard to stay away from it. It’s scary to think that we’re not strong enough to fight it off. Purity requires power. It’s impossible to do it in our own power. But all we have to do is to ask God for his guidance. We only have to abide in him and he will abide in us. All we have to do is lean on him and put our trust and faith in him. He is willing, able and powerful to carry us through; and he can make us strong even when we feel like we’re not strong enough. God isn’t going to abandon us. The times that we are need of his guidance and when we are being tempted are the times that God is the most present and he is working great things for our good.

Thank you for reading!

Disclaimer: Backround featured image photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Of T-Shirts, Tattoos and Weird Characters {The Real Neat Blog Award}

Hello everyone! I hope you are all staying safe, healthy and enjoying life!

I know that a couple of people have tagged me for tags/awards, but I can’t seem to find them, so if that was you, could you please provide a link if possible? I’m so sorry it’s taken me a long time to do them, I’ve been very busy.

Thank you to Noah@LifeInKyoto for tagging me for the Real Neat Blog Award! I highly recommend you check out Noah’s blog. He posts a ton of cool and interesting things. Go and follow him! You won’t regret it and I’m sure he would appreciate it!

The Rules

1. Display the blog award logo in your blog.

the-real-neat-blog-award_coltonbeckwithrpc-1

2. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.

3. Do not forget to link to their blogging website.

4. Answer all the questions they have given you.

5. Nominate 7 to 10 bloggers of your choice.

6. Ask them 7 questions.

The Questions

1. What’s your favorite part about where you live?

Well, I like how it’s pretty chill here down under. And I like the weather, not too cold, not too hot (sometimes). Favourite part about my home on the other hand, is the fact that my family is here. And my bedroom! It’s the warmest place in the house in the Winter and I’m a sucker for the cold.

2. Where is the furthest place you’ve gone from where you live?

I have been to the Philippines twice, once when I was four, and once when I was nine when we stayed there for about 5 months. Such a great experience, and I would love to go again since all of my mom’s family is there!

3. What color is your favorite T-shirt?

I don’t really have a favourite top, but one of my favourites is a mustard yellow colour.

4. When did you start blogging?

I started blogging back in November 2015, but this blog which launched in December 2019 is still quite new.

5. Have you tried lamb meat?

As in just lamb? Well yes, but I don’t like it very much.

5. If you had to have a tattoo, what word would be on your arm?

I’ll extend the question a little. I would have a lion tattooed on me because it reminds me of God (you know, because of Aslan), and if I had a word tattooed on my arm, it would probably be… hope. Or faith. Or love. XD

6. What is your favorite yet weird character in a fiction book?

Hmm… I don’t really have a favourite character. But I really like Beck’s little sister from A Thousand Perfect Notes. She’s cute! My favourite characters depending on the book I’m reading, and A Thousand Perfect Notes was the last book I read. Yes, it was a long time ago. I need new books.

I tag…

Jo

Trudy

Kenechi Duatron

Rhi

Lilia

@Anyone else

My Questions For You

I’ve answered some of the questions just for fun. My answers are in brackets next to the question in italics.

1. Why is your blog called what it is? Or if there is not much of a story, when and why did you start your blog?

2. Which female/male celebrity do you wish you were related to, and which male/female celebrity do you look up to?

3. What is one thing that you own that you should probably get rid of, but just can’t?

4. What would life be like for you if you could become a published author? And what would your bestselling book be about/what genre would it be?

5. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender? (My parents would have named me Uzziah XD)

6. Do you sleep with a nightlight or not and why? (I can’t sleep or function when it is pitch black. It feels so claustrophobic and I feel so enclosed and terrified and it feels as though I can’t breathe. Which is why I don’t like going to camps sometimes because everyone sleeps with all the lights off so they always have to accommodate to me and I feel bad. XD)

7. What is one of the strangest dreams you have had?

I hope you enjoyed my answers, and the questions. If you weren’t tagged or you’d rather not make a blog post about this, feel free to answer the questions I asked (or that Noah asked) in the comment section!

What is your favourite tag that you have done? What are you doing to keep occupied during quarantine?

The questions that I ask at the end of my posts are there because I legitimately would love to have a conversation with you, as I am (usually) a talkative person! I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on what I could do better on my blog for future reference.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S The backround image in the featured image is from Canva.com

The Half-Wyvern by Drake Redwing {Author Interview – by Kirsten J. Foster} {Guest Post}

The Half-Wyvern

The Half-Wyvern Trilogy

A Book Review by Kirsten J. Foster

If you’re like me, books are one of the best things to have taking up space in your house.  You have them sitting on your shelves, on tabletops, in boxes, in bags, and even on your electronic devices (eBooks or audiobooks, anyone?)!

When you have this many books on your shelf (or book bank on your electronic devices), you’re always looking for the next great book to add to it.  You’re looking for that next story that has you on the edge of your seat with bated breath as you watch the characters strive for their goals.  You’re always looking for that next favorite author who writes stories that come alive in your mind or bring you to tears with his or her words.

Today, I would like to share an interview I had with author Drake Redwing as he talks about writing and his book coming out soon.

Continue reading “The Half-Wyvern by Drake Redwing {Author Interview – by Kirsten J. Foster} {Guest Post}”

A Threefold Chord is Not Quickly Broken {A Guest Post by Kirsten J. Foster}

“Two are better than one.” This comes from a verse in the book of Ecclesiastes, which says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NIV)

People can do many things better alone – like certain chores and tasks – but teamwork is a better option sometimes.  Have you ever seen a sailor sail a large ship alone? Does a warlord go to conquer a city by himself? How about an organization or ministry director?  Do they do everything alone? Of course not! One person alone would never take a city by himself, a single sailor could never handle such a large ship at sea, and the director would be overwhelmed if he/she tried to handle matters alone.  These things require a team effort.

Imagine you’re hiking through the woods alone, just enjoying yourself and the nature around you.  However, you slip down a steep bank and hurt yourself. First, it is a bad idea to hike by yourself (Ecclesiastes 4:10), and second, you have no one there to assist you or get help!

However, when two or three of your friends join you for this hike, there are many great benefits:

a)     You are safer together

b)     You are less likely to meander off and get lost

c)      If one of you stumbles, the others are there to keep you steady

d)     If you come across danger, you have a better chance at fending it off than if you were alone (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

Now you have heard me talk about some of the benefits of the power of companionship, but you are probably thinking, “What does this look like in real life?”  I thought I would take some artistic liberties and give some examples of companionship that I have seen and read in movies and books.  Please note that these ideas are my own and might be different from your views.    

Bonanza’s Cartwright Family 

Stories of love, loyalty, friendship, courage, and family play a major role in this western TV show that aired in the 60’s and 70’s.  In multiple episodes, half-brothers Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe demonstrate sibling troubles, but they also show how teamwork can accomplish more than going alone.

When Little Joe needed help rebuilding a large logging flume that a group of men damaged, his family came alongside and helped him out – and they even completed the project in record time!  If Little Joe chose to work on the project alone, would he ever be able to accomplish that much?  (Fourth season, The Quest)

When Adam did not meet Little Joe at Signal Rock, what did the youngest Cartwright do?  He sent word to his family about the problem at hand, and the three of them set out to find their lot kin.  Together, they could cover more ground and have a better chance at finding Adam rather than if Little Joe searched the desert alone.  (Third season, The Crucible)

When Little Joe did not know how to handle a situation concerning a deaf girl, did he choose to fight his conscience alone?  Instead, he told his problem to Ben, who gave him careful advice on what Little Joe could do. It can be a large burden on a man to deal with stressful problems alone, but when he has a partner to share some of that burden, things usually move along much smoother.  (Second season, Silent Thunder)

Most of the time, when a fist brawl erupts and one of the brothers is in the middle of it, the other two step in.  Most of the time, it is only because the chaos is getting out of hand, but sometimes, the two will do it out of pure protection for their kin.  Three men can overtake a group better than one alone.

The Cartwright family shows us the wholesome values of family and collaboration, which we can apply to our lives.  We may not be wandering deserts in search of lost family, but we can most certainly use the example of teamwork to cover more ground as we do assorted yard work.  Building a flume to get timber down to sawmills may not be our issue, but it is handy to have some extra help when fixing a house or outbuilding. Whatever the case, this family of hard working ranchers show us that collaboration can achieve more than if we’re alone.

J. R. R. Tolkien’s Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee

 

Middle-Earth and the fate of all living things depends on a single Hobbit to stop the growing evil in the east that threatens to take over the world.  Throughout all three books, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee go through many challenges and trials that a Hobbit could never imagine! However, through all of it, they remain friends.

Let us take a look at Sam for a moment.  He had the choice to remain in The Shire and continue living a simple life, yet he still decided to venture into the unknown with Frodo.  When things got really hard, and he had the chance to desert Frodo, he chose to keep his promise to Gandalf and remained with his friend.  Because of Sam’s choice, he was able to help protect Frodo from greedy Gollum (The Two Towers) and prevent his friend from slipping the Ring of Power on a few times.

If Frodo were to embark on such a quest alone, who knows what trouble he would run into!  Or what about those times when the ring seemingly called to Frodo, and Sam had to tackle his friend once to prevent him from making a horrible decision? (The Two Towers 2002 movie addition) 

Everything I have said here goes back to that verse in Ecclesiastes: “Two are better than one.”  Because Sam went with Frodo, he was able to help his friend prevail in many challenges and keep him accountable with the ring.  Together, the two of them demonstrate deep loyalty and outstanding partnership. 

Kirsten Foster’s Concord Mason and Daniel Roberts

When you live in the wild land of Montana Territory, I would highly recommend buddying up with someone!  Well, these two young men do just that. One being trained to live off the land and fight and the other having the knowledge of books and business, Daniel and Concord both embark on an adventure that neither of them can imagine as they both seek to discover their calling in life.

In this example, the two young men have different skills that can help the other.  If Daniel is facing a mountain lion, then Concord can protect his friend with the help of a rifle. 

On the other hand, let us say someone plans to swindle Concord in a business deal.  In that case, Daniel knows how to sniff these things out and is able to prevent his friend from falling into a troublesome trap.

The two men have very different skills, and they can each use them to help the other.  Together, the two of them stand a better chance in the rough country and lawless towns than if either went alone. 

In addition, they can help encourage and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  Concord deals with insecurity in life, and Daniel helps him through his insecurities by sharing encouragement and sticking by his friend’s side.

Daniel, on the other hand, has only ever dealt with an occasional stage hold up and lived in town his entire life, so living in the wilderness with the constant threat of robbers is a fearful experience for him.  However, good ol’ Concord is there to reassure and protect his friend. 

These are all good examples of what collaboration and friendship look like in our world.  However, there is a final example I would like to share. 

As a Christian, each of the three strands mentioned in Ecclesiastes 4:12 is a part of my life.  Christ is one of those three strands. He is the strongest strand in that threefold cord, so that when the two weaker ones break, He still holds us together.  Though my life may be a wreck and my family a mess, I still have Christ as my stronghold.

In Nahum 1:7, it says, “The Lord is good, a refuge and stronghold in times of trouble.”  Our friends may have walked away from us, and we may feel alone in our sufferings, but the Lord will never leave you.  It may feel like the world is crashing down around us, and we are slipping away with it, but God is holding onto you. He is that strand in the threefold cord that will never break, no matter what.  

The Conclusion 

For Christmas last year, I braided western-looking braids out of hemp cording.  Sure, one strand alone is easy to cut with a pair of scissors, but try cutting the braided cord.  It’s a lot harder, isn’t it? It is the same with companionship and collaboration. When two or three people are battling a dangerous animal, it is most likely that the animal will lose because it is outnumbered (Ecclesiastes 4:12).  Safety in numbers.

On the other hand, think about those times where you feel hurt and lost inside.  Those times where you don’t know what to do. You do not have to hide your feelings from everyone.  It can actually be dangerous sometimes to keep painful feelings bottled inside.

We should not feel like we have to cope with these things alone.  It’s good to have a shoulder to lean and cry on at times, and it feels good to know that there is someone out there who you can talk to and share your burdens with.  It feels good to know we have someone we can depend on to help us. 

Think back to what I said about Little Joe and Ben.  Little Joe could have chosen to try to solve his problems alone concerning the deaf girl, but he admitted his weakness and turned to his father for help.  With a few comforting words and wise advice from Ben, Little Joe found the encouragement and ideas he needed to solve his problem.

The power of love and friendship.

Finally, remember that God is one of those three strands in life.  He’s the strongest one that holds the other two together, even when they break.  He is the one in control and will always be by your side, no matter what.

I challenge you today to remember the amazing power in collaboration.  Sure, there are many things that you can do best alone, but there are just some things that work best when you do it with others.  Besides – it can be a lot of fun to do stuff when you’re not alone!  

And that fantastic article was written my very good friend, Kirsten Foster. I’d like to once again thank her for her contributions to my blog, and I hope you were encouraged and blessed as you read what she had to say. 🙂

The Mystery Blogger Award

Hello everyone!

I’ll try not to make it a habit to post tags too often, but I thought I’d just do this one, just so you all can find out a bit more about me since this blog is still fresh.

Thank you to the lovely Abi Lyn for tagging me for this award! ❤

First up, the rules!
1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
2. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
3. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well. (This award was created by Okoto Enigmas.)
4. Answer the 5 questions you were asked.
5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
6. You have to nominate 10-20 people.
7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
9. Share a link to your best post(s).

I thought I’d splatter the post with a bunch of corny gifs to spice it up a little. Alrighty, let’s get started then!

Le Questions

1. What is your favorite meal for dinner?

Oh, anything with potatoes in it. Or soup, because weirdly enough, I’m a soup addict. Or rice paper rolls. *licks lips*

Oh look, it’s Michelle!
2. What’s your favorite kind of fruit juice?

I don’t drink juice a lot, but if I had to choose, mango or orange juice is nice.

This is a very dizzying gif…
3. What is your favorite type of music?

I love all kinds of music! It depends what mood I am in. I’m usually listening to contemporary music or songs from musicals, but I love a Capella as well. I’ve currently been obsessed with the Wicked soundtrack and Rachel Platten songs.

4. What is your favorite room in the house and why?

My bedroom, because it’s comfortable and quiet, and I can sing really loud, and because our house doesn’t have a lot of rooms other than other people’s bedrooms. But I also love it in the family room when everyone is there, because it’s cozy and I love spending time with family.

5. If you could become fluent in one language in an instant, what language would it be?

I think I’d pick Tagalog (Filipino), because it’s natural to want to know your own language. If I had a second choice, I would pick French.

3 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I’m a Hufflepuff. 36% Hufflepuff, 23% Gryffindor, 21% Ravenclaw, and 20% Slytherin.
I thought this was Ricky Gervais for a second

2. I was homeschooled all the way up to grade 10.

3. I’m secretly Hermione Granger even though I’m not really like her, and I only wrote this because I couldn’t think of another fact about me.

I nominate: (apologies if you don’t do tags)

Noah @ Life In Kyoto

Rhi @ Marshmallow Harmonies

Sarah @ Paraphernalia

Jo @ Pananaw

Kenechi Duatron @ Randomgirlsramblings

Trudy @ True Story

I also nominate all the other Hufflepuffs out there, and anyone else who would like to do this award/tag!

My questions for you

  1. What is the strangest story and/or blog post you have ever written?
  2. What is your current favourite book and why?
  3. Are you an extrovert, an ambivert, or an introvert?
  4. Would you rather have one wish granted right now, or three wishes granted five years from now?
  5. What qualities do you look for in a friend?

And last but not least, my favorite post to write was 9 Things Les Miserables Tells Us About Life.

I had a lot of fun with this post, so thank you once again, Abi, for nominating me!

| Do you like doing tags? | Which Hogwarts house do you belong to? | Do you like potatoes and soup? | Will you do this tag? |

P.S The backround featured image is from Canva.com