Awesome Blogger Award

Thanks so much, Kirstie, for the nomination!! aaablogfathersjoy.wordpress.com I think you’re awesome too, but I won’t make you answer any questions again. 😉

Created by Maggie
This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.

The RULES

Thank the person who nominated you.

Include the reason behind the award.

Include the banner in your post.

Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.

Answer the questions your nominator gave you.

Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.

Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.

Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

The Questions:

  1. What is your favorite thing (genre, type of book, etc) to read?

I love Christian historical fiction, and I don’t mind if there’s a little romance in it either. 🙂

2. Is this the first time you’ve had a blog?

Yep!

3. What was the first dream job/calling/profession you wanted to pursue (ya know, the one when you were five)?

I wanted to be a ballerina! And, I would always add, a chef at Subway. Lol, I guess I considered the people who made sandwiches worthy of the title chef. (But really, Subway is pretty great! :P)

4. Top books that changed your life?

The Bible (and it continually changes my life!), Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy, and The Mark of the Lions series by Francine Rivers

5. Favorite holiday?

Christmas, for sure!

6. Favorite Bible verse?

Ooo, this is a fun one… Hmm, well, this is one of them for sure (it’s been speaking to me lately):

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

7. Favorite vacation spot?

Probably the California beach. Waves just amaze each time I see them. God is awesome!

8. How many languages do you know?

Well, depending on what you mean by “know.” English I for sure know. I have also learned a little Spanish.

9. Favorite first name?

Grace! Just call me that. Short and sweet. 🙂

10. Pet peeve

My pet peeve is when people ask me a question I don’t know the answer to, it’s pretty frustrating for me. But God knows. 🙂

Now I’ll nominate three awesome bloggers whom I really look up to!!

Madyson Grace

Belle

Bekah

You’re not obligated to do this, but if you do decide to do it, here’s my questions for you:

  1. How long have you had your blog?
  2. What is your favorite hobby (not counting writing)?
  3. Top books that changed your life?
  4. What was your very first dream job (like as a kid)?
  5. Favorite Bible verse?
  6. Reason for starting your blog?

 

Hope you are all having a wonderful day! God bless! 🙂

 

 

 

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Hurt vs. (Godly) Regret

Hurt

Caressed by a faint little breeze

that mocks the heart of me.

Ravaged by a hurt that

takes me and

breaks me and

makes me

defenseless. At my

wit’s end, the end of me

wins me and

woos me and tries to

subdue me.

I am mocked by the breeze.

I am weak.

 

Regret

Thrown by a hurricane

that shakes the core of me.

Captured by a regret that

takes me and

breaks me and

makes me

reach for a defense. At my

wit’s end, true Strength

awakens me and

woos me to

lose me and

keep Him.

I am shaken into release.

I am free.

 

“The sorrow that God uses makes people sorry for their sin and leads them to turn from sin so they can be saved from the punishment of sin. We should be happy for that kind of sorrow, but the sorrow of this world brings death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLV)

Hidden Things

Fifteen-year-old Molly leapt across the open field, too much in a hurry to bother dodging the anthills or the orange poppies.  She carried a wooden treasure box, a silent thing which had only recently belonged to her.  From high up in the sky, the sun peeked halfway out of a cloud.

Molly knocked on Nathan’s looming door.

Moaning its way open, the door revealed the tall, dark Nathan, her secret friend.  Pa would never let her meet with him if he knew.  He did not understand friendship between a boy and a girl, always believing it could only mean romance, which to him brought the most hurt in a person’s life.  Though Molly did not believe romance would ever arise out of this friendship, she always noticed how Nathan looked at her in his careful manner, and wondered if it would happen, and if it did, if it would bring any pain at all.

Molly held up the treasure box. “He couldn’t take it any longer.”

He blinked.

She tried to ease him with a smile.  “I’ll show you.”

Then she pushed passed him through the doorway and settled down on the couch in his living room. Matter-of-factly, she pushed off the stacks of books, the t-shirt and hat, and the plastic McDonalds’ drink from the coffee table onto the floor to give some space for her box.  She could not blame a lonely eighteen-year-old bachelor for such a mess.  Instead, she patted the space on the couch beside her, making sure not to mention it.

“Come and see!”

He came over and sat down beside her.

“I haven’t looked yet myself. But I think they will give me… the answers.”

Nathan stared at her intently, those dark eyes troubled or perhaps lost.  Molly did not understand him sometimes, but neither could she ever understand Pa.

“No,” the young man pronounced, rising to his feet.  “I don’t want to be a part of something where I don’t belong. Like you always say, your father wouldn’t like me very much.”

“I’ve told you so much about myself already, and you have told me things as well. Why shouldn’t you see?”

“This is between you and your father.”

Molly frowned.  “Nothing is between my father and me. He won’t talk to me, so how are we supposed to understand each other?”  She stood up and touched his arm.  “You’re the only one I’ve got, Nathan. And I can’t do this alone .”

Nathan studied her hand touching him, and then he lifted his gaze to her face for a long, quiet moment. Molly quivered with a confused sense of delight.

At last, he plunked down on the couch, eager to end the awkwardness.  “All right, let’s see what’s in this thing.”

Together they struggled to open the lid.  For a moment Molly feared it needed a key, but after Nathan pried at it with a knife, it swung open.

Molly did not realize what she had expected until she saw the neatly folded piece of paper.  In her imagination she had envisioned a photo of her mother or her mother’s jewelry or some other item her mother had prized, just to prove she had a mother.  But paper meant importance, that something far more terrible must have happened rather than her mother passing away.

Carefully, Molly read the letter over, and then set it down, not knowing whether to smile in relief or to sigh in disappointment. The good news: her mother was alive and well in a little town in California. The bad news: Molly likely would never get to meet her.

Just then a knock came at the door.  Nathan rushed to open it, and, behold, Molly’s father appeared, hovering over the tall young man.

“Who are you?” he asked Nathan gruffly.  Then he looked passed Nathan, at Molly on the couch, noticing the treasure box in her lap.

Sheepishly, Nathan bowed and then ushered the man inside to sit down on the couch.  “I’m Nathan. Your daughter’s a good… friend of mine.”

Molly’s father glared first at Nathan and then at herself, without taking a seat.  “Why don’t you tell me things?” he demanded.

Tears streaming from her cheeks, Molly lifted the paper from the treasure box and handed it to him.  “I wonder the same about you—you rarely speak to me. Well, I don’t mind that part, I guess, but I just… I just wish you would smile.”

Hesitantly, Nathan edged away into the kitchen, to avoid intruding on matters that did not belong to him.

Pa lifted the letter closer to his eyes, perhaps to avoid replying to his daughter’s heartfelt plea.  He read the letter through, intently, and then he read it again, sinking down on the couch to examine it more closely.  “I haven’t looked at this in so long,” he whispered. “Your mother… she wouldn’t like what I’ve done.”

Molly stared at him. “What-what is it…”

He turned towards her, revealing the pained look on his face.  “I’m going to take you horseback riding today, Molly.”

“Truly?” she whispered.

She delighted to see the creases in his eyes as his lips curved into a definite smile. “Go on now, Molly. Let’s go home and get ourselves lunch before we go down to the stables.”

Molly stared at him, wonder filling the hole in her heart.  She had always wanted to go horseback riding, to ride a gallant beast across a field of flowers like a fairy princess. But for some reason Pa had always refused to let her, until now.

Hardly able to contain her excitement, she snatched the treasure box and darted out the door, eager to return home as soon as possible.

Before he followed after her, Pa turned to Nathan again.  He did not speak a word to the young man, but the light from the open door revealed Nathan’s face in the shadows of the room: calm, but deeply sorrowful.  Pa smiled at the bachelor, reassuring him that one day he and the optimistic young lady would meet again.

God’s Kind of Romance

A man is walking on the beach. The beach represents his life. There are two sets of footprints on the beach: one is God’s, and the other the man’s.  Occasionally there is only one set of footprints. “Why was there only one set of footprints during that time?” the man asked at the end of his life. God answered, “The two sets of footprints are the times I walked beside you through life. The one set of footprints are the harder times in your life, when I carried you.”

When my cousin told me that story, I exclaimed, “God is sooo romantic!” And we both laughed.

And as I thought about it more, I realized how true my whimsical statement was.

Romance doesn’t have to mean the mushy gushy falling in love with the opposite gender. In Anne of Green Gables, Anne used romance to describe nature and friendship. I think of romance as cuddled up in blankets on a winter night drinking hot cocoa, and I also think of it as God chasing after us, beckoning us to choose Him, to accept His gift of Jesus to take away our sins.

“[He] wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:4

God surely carries us in the harder time in our lives, if we choose to trust in Him. He surely walks with us if we choose to walk with Him. He longs to take the most unworthy people and transform them. He loves to show love to the unlovable.

“I will plant her for myself in the land;
    I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.
I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ‘You are my people’;
    and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” Hosea 2:23

The story Emma by Jane Austen is fresh in my mind after watching one of the movies last night. Emma is the story of a middle class young English lady in the 1800’s. She completely misunderstands everyone, and even purposely is prejudice against people (yes, very similar to Pride and Prejudice, in those respects). Mr. Knightley ends up being right about practically everything she was wrong about. Emma responds to this discovery with deep regret, realizing how much she loves him. In return, Mr. Knightley forgives her, and loves her all the more. This gives a picture of how God loves us.

Ultimately, repentance wins God’s heart. He loved us before, but whenever we show we love Him, too, and we understand He is right about everything we were wrong about–well, the angels rejoice wildly with their instruments up in heaven. Jesus intercedes on our behalf, allowing us to have a relationship with our Creator. And His Spirit comes to dwell in us, so we may have power to will and to act according to His good purpose.

When our hearts are set on Him, anything is possible. Don’t give up, your bridegroom loves you. He calls us on the adventure of a lifetime, and in the hard times, He will carry us. In the good times, He will walk by our side.

“As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” -Isaiah 62:5

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” – Exodus 15:13

 

It’s Here

Regardless of my name, I don’t fully understand the gift of grace You gave me, that I don’t deserve. Help me to realize more and more who You are and who I am–the death You conquered on that cross and the life you offered to me when You lived again. Amaze me. Redeem me. Fill me with wonder–anything to pull me out of my false assumption of You as a cruel master into Your loving arms as a wise Father. Help me not to doubt Your power, not to be foolish enough to squish You into a human-sized box where my lack of faith tells me You can’t forgive me. Thank You that Your forgiveness is God-sized and therefore perpetual, on and on. Thank you for Your grace, Jesus, even though I don’t fully understand it.

All I know for sure is it’s here.

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25a