Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beauty, Pain, and Honesty

I was going to post a review today, but instead, I thought I would talk about a song that has been on my mind recently. 'Pretty Hurts' by Beyoncé is a song from her new album. Now Beyoncé isn't a very good role model for teens, but this song is probably one of the most meaningful secular song.

[Verse 2:] Blonder hair, flat chest
TV says, "Bigger is better."
South beach, sugar free
Vogue says, "Thinner is better."

Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever's worst
Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts (pretty hurts)
Pretty hurts (pretty hurts), we shine the light on whatever's worst
We try to fix something but you can't fix what you can't see
It's the soul that needs the surgery
Ain't got no doctor or pill that can take the pain away
The pain's inside and nobody frees you from your body
It's the soul, it's the soul that needs surgery
It's my soul that needs surgery
Plastic smiles and denial can only take you so far
Then you break when the fake facade leaves you in the dark
You left with shattered mirrors and the shards of a beautiful past
I never thought about perfection being a disease until I listened to this song. Thousands of girls are suffering with eating disorders, but hide it so well that no one knows. Girls and boys hurt their bodies continually over the fear of not meeting the standards of a 'thin body.' Why?  Because in this culture, appearances are valued above the inside.
This message is everywhere. The pressure you receive from your peers, adults, and yourself. Our often reaction to pain is to hide it  You can't tell anyone. Keep it to yourself. When you think about it, inner pain is more damageable and burdening than outer pain could ever be.  In our world, we do give more attention to whatever's worse.
The truth is: Concealing our pain never gets rid of it.
 We hide the one things we shouldn't hide. Being honest with ourselves and other people is overlooked as a sign of weakness in our culture. (Francesca Battistelli said something like that at a concert.)  What we forget to realize is that life is often found when we tell someone, when we're honest. Beauty is not found in skinny bodies and makeup. Beauty is giving our insecurities to God and believing in Him, instead of the lies.
This song connects to Francesca Battistelli's new song, 'If We're Honest.' Please take time to listen to it. It's amazing.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Minutes Challenge

During this week's Monday Minutes Challenge, I'm doing a prompt based on this picture. 285 words.

By the time I reach the top of the hill, I catch his red shirt disappearing out of my sight. “Oh, Darius Knight, you are in so much trouble!” I shout, even though he can’t hear me.

I kick a little rock and watch it roll. My parents are so thoughtless. Mom knew I just got back from the worst dance in my life, but she sent me here anyway. She would kill me if I come alone and the day would become worse.

Every step I take I almost stumble. This dress will be ruined when I go in that dark tunnel under the stone bridge. That didn’t sound too bad. Messing up this beautiful, blue dress would be the highlight of my day. That way I could throw it away. Never be reminded of that horrible dance.

The pollen blowing in the wind makes me sneeze in my black hair.  What is Darius thinking? He knows that the wanderers live under the bridge. Or used to. Rumors says that they left. Feet away from the entrance, the grassy ground turns to dirt and gravel.

I imagine what my ‘friends’ would say if they saw me here. The thought reminds me that I don’t care. “Darius, get over here if you know what’s good for you!” My echo startles me. I listen for his laugh, but I hear nothing. Usually, I hear the wanderers’ voices.

I bend over and place my hand on the brick frame. I’m in.  Despite the mud sticking to my dress, I stand. Darkness encases me. My mouth opens to say his name again. Words escape me when a hand clamps over my mouth. Something sharp pokes at my throat.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I'm An Outcast

I’m an outcast, my emotions driven.

Made one wrong move and now I’m hidden

Too scared to speak against the pressure

Now I’m broken beyond measure.

I try not to cry ‘cause I know it’s weakness

You betrayed me and I thought I deserved it.

But I can no longer hold it in.

Darkness wins, and I cut my skin.

Hear your words piercing my heart.

Hit the center with your darts.


I’m an outcast, time has passed

Through the trials, I did last.

But the life has still not come back.

Yet I feel there is something I lack.

I’ll search and try to find it.

And try to ignore my slits.

Hiding in the shell is all I do.

Keep to myself so there’s nothing I lose.

Put my head down, roll up my sleeves 

Like always, going through the routine.


I’m an outcast, and I’m surviving.

Took the punch, but I’m still living.

I stopped believed all you ever said.

Now I’m happy, being myself instead.

The light has come; I’m breaking free.

From the prison walls of insecurity

So now, I’m singing a new melody.

And finally seeing all I was meant to be.

I have scars, but they remind me,

Of the true and loving mercy.

What could finally give me peace,

Was locked deep inside of me.

I let it all out and now I’m full.

The things you hide make you beautiful.

 I wrote this poem a few weeks ago. Though it isn't about me, I relate to the feelings in it. I've in the midst of writing a novel and had a really cliché title to it. But the word 'outcast' rang my mind. So I changed the title to that single word. This word inspired me to write this poem.
I'm obsessed with Frozen. (Okay, that's obvious) Even before I watched the movie, Elsa's 'Let it Go' scene always stuck on to me. I don't agree with the, 'No right no wrong/No rules for me' line, but the basic meaning of the song is so true. We all have a tendency to hide the one thing that makes us special because of fear. This song inspired the last line of the poem.


Thursday, April 24, 2014


This is super late, but I really want to do it. Sorry! Please check it out! It's a great way to get insights and reflect on Jesus' words. Tessa Emily Hall's Friday Reflections.

This Week's Verse

"When you were spiritually dead because of your sins,
and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self, 
God made you alive with Christand he forgave all our sins
He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow
He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross."
~ Colossians 2:13-14 (NCV) (From her website Christ is Write)

Tessa's Questions

Do you ever feel guilty and condemned after sinning? Why do you think God wants us to feel convicted rather than condemned, and what do you think the difference between the two are?

Sometimes I do... a lot. I think God wants us to remember that though we have sinned, there's still hope for us. When you're condemned, you're punished. God knows we sin. So we're convicted of it.  Even though we are convicted, Jesus interceded for us and paid our dead.

Do you often find yourself trying to please God through a performance rather than giving Him your heart?

Yes. My human nature can't accept that fact that there's nothing I can do to earn salvation. Sometimes, I forget and try to do it anyway.

What are some steps you can take to develop a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

Like I've said before, I want to pray more. I should established a more personal 'quiet time' with Him.

 Describe the time you first accepted Christ as your Savior. Did you feel free from your sin and as if you were a new person? Or did you still feel guilty every time you messed up?

I did that once when I was a kid. It was too long ago to put into many details, but I do remember when I recommitted my life to Christ and He accepted me last year. For me, when I recommitted my life to Christ, part of me just wanted to strive to be completely perfect in every way. But once I looked past all that, I realized Jesus had already paid the price for me. Though it is hard for my flesh to realize, I have been forgiven by Jesus.

Discuss your own reflection of this Scripture (as I did above -- at least one paragraph).

The first step to giving your life up to Christ, is to realize that there is no way you can do it on your own. Even when you are a Christian, it's hard to see past all your sins. When we sin, sometimes we try to make it up by doing good things. One of the reasons this is such a great verse is because it reminds us of the Truth:

We are failures. There is absolutely nothing we could ever do to change that. But because Christ forgave us, those things don't have to haunt us anymore. Some bad things I've done in my life have been a constant reminder of why I am a failure. Instead of just remembering that sin, I remember that Jesus forgave me for that sin. By God's grace, I want to put that into practice.

Please check this out! I hope you like it!
This thing reminds me of one of my new favorite songs. So I thought I would post it.

In Christ,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Romances in Fiction

Recently, I've been reading Jane Austen. For those of you who don't know about her, she is a classic romance novelist. Her English books have been very popular. She is most known for her beloved story, Pride and Prejudice.

Her romances are well thought of and really good.  Awhile ago, I was reflecting on how different romance novels nowadays. In her books, there is hardly any public displays of affections, yet no one who read has Pride and Prejudice can deny that Elizabeth Benet and Mr. Darcy were in love.

The sexual content in young adult novels is quite disturbing. Sure, they might not actually do 'it', but many popular ones do the next best thing. (Catching Fire, Divergent, Matched) I'm not criticizing the plot or characters, just the sexual content. Of course, I loved Katniss and Peeta, but I don't think what they did was right.

Okay, so they didn't go all the way, but it's still something. Becoming physical with your significant other is not only immoral, but it is harmful to both people involved. How do I know? Jane Austen's books didn't involve much sexual content, but when a couple broke up, they still got hurt. The unmarried couples who get physical definitely will experience hurt. Of course, with dating, you never know how it's going to end up.

My point? These books promote something that can damage a person. Perhaps these books don't explore negative consequences, but in real life, they are there just the same. What is the dangers of reading books like this? When you really love a book, it's hard to see the bad side of it.

When I read Catching Fire, I had already developed a strong liking for The Hunger Games series. It's awhile since I've read the book so I can't remember what exactly happened. But even though I knew what Katniss and Peeta did was wrong, I kept making excuses. Deep down inside, I knew the truth, but it was hard to see it totally as sin when I loved the series so much. It was still a great book, but I do not agree with what they did, even if they didn't go all the way. No matter the circumstances were, that was wrong.

The Hunger Games isn't as popular as it used to be. (Well, at least the books aren't.) Soon, Divergent will fade away. But books like Pride and Prejudice? They have withstood the test of time. So what I'm trying to say here is: You don't need sexual content to have a good romance story. Romances are often based on how hot the guy is, but real love shouldn't be based on that. The connection between the two people, the unconditional love they have for each other. That's what it should be based on.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Minutes Challenge

Monday Minutes Challenge. (Click on the link!) I'm writing a story based on this picture. 297 words.

My hand grasps tighter on the burlap fabric that keeps me from losing my balance. Drops of water wet my toes. I’m careful not to let the swing shake. The sunlight reflects off the lake, making me glad I pinned up my hair today. I hate it when it gets in my face.

“Elina!” his light voice calls. A rustling sound comes from the trees as he appears, pushing the branches out of his way.

“How’d you know I was here?”  My head turns and the swing moves slightly.

“You’re always here.” Aiden’s straight face spreads into a smile. He takes a step closer, letting his hood fall off his head.

I notice his brown hair that is now clearly seen without the hood. “You ought to stop wearing that. I’m surprised you’re not burning up.”

His smile fades before his eyes drop to the ground. “You know why I have to,” he whispers.

“No one cares about that now,” I insist. I make a point to stare at him until he looks at me.

I do.” Our eyes meet. A feeling of guilt hardens my chest. I look back and pretend to make sure my dress isn’t in the lake.

“Well, I came here to tell you something.” He puts his foot in, causing a little splash.

The thought that still haunts me comes back. “Is this about your dad?” Please no, God, I pray silently.

“It’s not about anything Dad did,” he says immediately, not assuring me. “He told me yesterday.”

I scoot to the left of the swing. “What?”

 “We’re moving.”

A flood of thoughts entice me. Without thinking, I let go of the ropes.  My legs shoot up from under me. For a second, I feel nothing. Then water shoots from all directions.
Hope you like it!
In Christ,


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Never Forgotten (A Good Friday Poem)

Here's a poem I wrote last Good Friday and I forgot to post it. It's in the perspective of one of the disciples at the Garden of Gethsemane.

I recall that dreary night.
You knew what would happen.
But you were still full of light.

We walked to the garden.
Just us together.
One was missing.
The bond was not yet severed.

You took me alone with two other friends.
Never would've guessed it would all come to an end.

We tried, but we were weakening.
Couldn't stay awake, resolved to dreaming.
You said, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
You stuck by us, even though you knew we were going to flee.

Finally, the hour came.
The guards were sent.
The missing one kissed your face,
But you still called him, 'friend.'
We ran like scared children without a trace.

Some of us came back, some of us didn't
But even though the night past,
For three days we dwelt in it.

Yet everyone left you alone that night,
You were still faithful to us; you won the fight.
You fulfilled that promise, on the mountain.
It was a lifetime ago,
But no one has forgotten it.

We didn't finish that short night.
We betrayed you, shattered your trust.
You were alone,
When the curtain was torn.
And death was crushed.
How amazing.
That you did it all for us.

(Based on Matthew 26: 36-56)

To read the rest of the story, read Matthew 27-28.
Thank you for reading:) I hope you had a great Resurrection Day! Jesus has indeed risen!

In Christ,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beyond our Imagination

The lights flash on.

Screams  get louder.

So loud it makes your heart pound.

And then... you walk on, microphone in hand, ready to wow the world.

Have you ever pictured something like this? Your passion is an influence of your goals in life. Nowadays, we want to make a name for ourselves using our talents. I'm sure everyone has imagined being famous.  What could be better than doing what you love as a result, everyone knows your name because of it?

No matter what talent you have, there's a big chance you have desired fame at one point in your life. I know I have. I still do, just in a different way.

What's wrong with it? It might never happen of course, but it's sure fun to imagine. I'm guilty of thinking about it a lot..You see your favorite _______ doing what they love and amazing everyone. Then you start to daydream about your own talent, wondering if it'll ever happen.

We live in a fame-adoring culture. Turn on your TV tonight and see. Countless reality TV shows encourage us to follow our dreams. While the popular shows are singing completions, it's not limited to that.

What is the disadvantage of imaging and desiring fame as one of our main properties?

It limits us.

I'm serious. Close your eyes. Think of the best possible scenario. Say you get discovered. You get famous for whatever talent you posses. Go bigger than that. Awards. Tours. Movies. Medals. Trophies. Whatever you like.

Now, whatever you imagined, whether it be writing a book that becomes a classic over the years, or going to the Olympics, I guarantee you it's nothing compared to what God has in store for you. When we make fame as a important goal, we're thinking of ourselves. God has different properties than the world does. Unlike our culture, he could care less who knows our name. He doesn't take that into proportion. Instead, He cares about the things that are truly worth living for.

Like living for Him.

God has an a purpose for us. All we have to do is realize that our story that we have written for ourselves isn't worth it. No matter what it is.

If you're struggling with identify and afraid that you're not popular enough, remember that God loves you. He loves you more than your friends or family ever could. Unlike them, He'll never fail you.

I know it's hard to think of, but if make glorifying God as our #1 goal and let Him write our story, He'll do something beyond our imagination. Will it be as glamorous as a world tour? Probably not. But it'll be much more than that.

I don't need my name in lights,
I'm famous in my father's eyes.
Make no mistake, He knows my name.
I'm not living for applause, I'm already so adored
It's all his stage,
He knows my name.
He calls me chosen
 Free forgiven, and child of the King.
His forever, held and treasured.
I Am Loved-
'He Knows My Name'- Francesca Battistelli

"This is why I remind you to keep using the gifts that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. Now let it grow, as a small flame grows into a fire." 1st Timothy 1:6

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Minutes Challenge

This week I'm doing a prompt based on this picture for the Monday Minutes Challenge. 

The coldness of the rock felt hard on my bare legs.   Deep inside me, I wish I could be calm like the waves, but the anxiety has won over. I’m going to break down.

Tears form and my vision becomes blurry. “Why, God, why?” I whisper. I hide my face in my hands as if I don’t want Him to see me this way. I can’t avoid what a liar I am. Even my dress presents me in the wrong way. I hate how the whiteness of my dress contrasts with the scars on my wrists.

Arrayah’s words come to my mind, the words she said to me when she found out. “Jesus already paid the price for everything you did, Alina. You don’t have to keep punishing yourself.”

It seemed so impossible to think about: someone not only forgiving me, but paying the fine I owe. For years, I’ve tried to independent. But it only took one look at my wrists to see that I can’t be. Changing my anxious ways has always been a goal. In the end, I’m just lying to myself. I’m a mess. No one can change that.

Not even me.

“What could You possibly do for me, God?” I peer upward to the cloudy sky. A memory appears in my mind. Mom read a verse to me once.  There was something God said about the Israelites, his people, who were unfaithful to him. The words ring in my mind. “I will have mercy on No Mercy.”

I wonder how that could be true. The Creator of this beautiful ocean, forgiving me. Something tells me it is.




Saturday, April 12, 2014


Today I'm posting my Friday Reflection.

This Week's Verse

Tessa's Questions

List specific ways that you can stay "connected to the vine".
Like what Tessa suggested in her reflection, I think I need to pray to God in times of trouble. I need to not only pray  when I go to bed, but when I especially need Him. Usually, I go to pleasures that will not last, like music. But Jesus  constantly have to remind me that He is  the only One who is my unfailing Friend. He's always there, even when I'm sinning and he continues to stay faithful to me when I'm not faithful to Him.

Do you often find yourself facing the challenges of life on your own rather than through God's?
Often when I go through challenges I don't call on God. So yes. I know God does everything for a reason, but my own unbelief keeps me from calling on him. Sometimes I would rather go with something that lets me forget for a only a  moment, instead of relying on Jesus' everlasting comfort.

What is the biggest struggle you face in following God's teachings?
Underestimating what God can do in my life. I don't know why I want to go to other things when I can go to Him. When I get lost in the moment, I forget all He has done for me in the past.

Describe a time when God gave you something that you had prayed for.
My dad preaches once a month at a chapel at an assistant living center. One time, our computer was broke and he gave it to a friend to fix it. We were afraid that we wouldn't get it in time. We prayed about it and soon after, we found out that our friend had fixed our computer!

Discuss your own reflection of this Scripture (as I did above -- at least one paragraph).
God has a lot of amazing traits, but probably one that stands out the most to us is his grace and mercy. He never leaves our side, even when we continue to fall Him. Often, we don't remain in Him, but sticks with us. My piano teacher's bluegrass band covered a song call. 'He's Holding onto Me.' The main lyrics were: "I'm not holding onto Jesus/He's holding onto me/He died and rose again/To set me free." Those lyrics are so true.

Many sources tell us that all we need to do is follow our dream and believe in ourselves in order to do what we wish. But Jesus said, "But without me, they can do nothing." Sometimes I daydream about things I've always wanted to do. That's fun  every once in awhile, but this verse reminds me that without God I can't do anything that will be worthwhile.

Of course, we won't remain in him all the time, but He gives us grace and mercy. More than that, he proves to us of His love and faithfulness.

Here's one of the songs Tessa linked to on her reflection. I just listened to it... and it's amazing!
Cause I am a sinner
If its not one thing its another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
You are the Savior
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful

'Brokenness Aside'- All My Sons and Daughters

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I know this is really late, but I really wanted to do Friday Reflections this week. To find more about it, click here.

This Week's Verse

Tessa's Questions

Have you ever been tempted to follow the behavior and customs of this world? What was the result?
There are popular young adult series that I've been tempted to read, even though it has content that is sinful. I've always been tempted to watch shows or movies that have stuff in it that I shouldn't be watching. Sometimes I'll read a preview of a book that makes me want to read more.The excitement of the book distracted me from the fact that it had that things that are unpleasing

What is the biggest struggle you face in applying this Scripture to your life?
Sometimes I tell myself what I see won't affect me as long as I remember that it's wrong. But what I see affects my thoughts greatly as I've been experiencing recently.

List specific ways you can put this Scripture into action in your own life.
praying more. I never pray as much as I should and I know that will help my relationship with God.

Have you experienced the reward that comes with following God as opposed to following the world?
Yeah, I don't think anything the world feels comes close to the peace I have knowing that Christ forgives me, no matter what I do.

Discuss your own reflection of this Scripture. (at least one paragraph)
Paul said that Christ has set us free from being slaves of sin. To do that, I have to remember  that Christ is the only one who can do that. He not only changes the way we act, but he changes the way we think. Of course, every once in awhile we'll have a crazy sinful thought that comes from our heart. But because Jesus changed us, instead of wanting sin, we hate it. We'll always sin but because we're different, we'll respond to sin a different way. So now, God has given us a love for purity and good things that only He can give us by His grace.

Thank you, Tessa, for doing the Friday Reflections! I really enjoyed them.

In Christ,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Grace from Daughter of Jesus interviewed me so I gave you link so check the interview out and follow her blog. She's pretty, Christian, nice, awesome, and a great writer! Thanks Grace! :)



Monday Minutes Challenge

For this week's Monday Minutes Challenge, I'm continuing my story from the second time I entered the Challenge. Scroll below to read it. I'm using the phrase: "We will never be the same again" as dialogue.  210 words.

"We will never be the same again," I whisper. Our beloved childhood days were behind us. The days when we would race each other through the forest are only memories now. I remember those long walks to school, laughing with him, never thinking it would be more than it was.

He stands in front of me with eyes that were still blue. His smile was the same. That’s how I’ll never forget those days that made us who we are. I grasp the bonnet of flowers in my hand, but his face never leaves me gaze. The words of the pastor seem to be stuck in my head. Promise. Commitment. Until death.

If he wasn’t here, those words would scare me. Since we’re together, the words remind me that I’ll never have to let go till the end. Sure, things won’t be perfect, but they’ll be better than perfect because he’ll be with me through everything.

When we embrace, I whisper, “I’m never letting you get away again, Samuel Peters.”

He laughs softly in my ear. “Oh, Jessica, you don’t have to worry about that.” I wrap my arms around as we kiss.

Yes, we would never be the same.

And I would hate to be anything else.
Here's the old one:

Jessica carefully flipped the page on the photo album that she shared with her best friend. The picture of them together instantly captured her attention. Though it was only a few years ago, so much had changed between her and Sammy. The picture was a reminder of it.

“That’s a good picture of us,” Sammy said as his hand rested lightly on her shoulder. “It seems like that was a lifetime ago.”

She lifted her hand to turn the page, but stopped herself. “I think this was the last one we did.”

“Yeah, I think so,” he removed his hand to take a sip of his tea. “Well, I think I better go. I got a test tomorrow.”

“Okay,” she nodded, getting up and taking her cup to the sink. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

When she turned, he was already walking to the front door. “That sounds good. Bye.”

“Bye.” She wondered why he left so quickly while she put the cups in the dishwasher. Just as she was about to walk away, she looked at the photo album left on the table.

It was open on a new page, one she didn’t recognize. In the center was a more recent picture of her and Sammy along with a note. “Jessica, I know you’re the one for me because I know I won’t make you happy all the time. But I know without a doubt that you’ll never let go of me. I will do the same for you.  I promise you forever. By God’s grace, I’ll love you until the end.”

Before she could react, she noticed a little box left on the table. She grabbed it and ran to her widow. Happy to his headlights still in her driveway, she ran to meet him.
Hope you like it! Thanks! I want to thank Tessa and all the authors that help judge the contest. I really appreciate you guys. To find more prompts, click here.
In Christ,





Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Monday Minutes Challenge

Here's my entry for this week's Monday Minutes Challenge. To enter and read everyone else's amazing entries, chick here.

I am doing the prompt based on this picture.

The sky darkens. Thoughts flood my head.  We’re not going to make it.

His voice keeps me going. “Run!” Just am I’m to look back, he grabs my hand. “Keep moving!”

I open my mouth to speak, to tell him that it’s hopeless. An eerie sound captures my attention. The sound of birds, familiar birds. It pounds in my ears. I realize the truth. It’s calling to me.

I pull away from him. That sound. I hate it, but I must go.  No one can stop me. I peer upward.  Black birds soar towards a black hole in the sky. They screech haunting sounds. I almost trip over my gown as I run. The grass withers. My red hair flies up in front of my face.

Drops of sweat wet forehead. I keep running. Even now, my old life has a tightened grip on me. I can’t escape them. Surrendering to the dark is all I can do to survive. My eyes lock on the black hole.

The grassy ground is now rough. I look straight ahead. I’m running towards the edge of the cliff.

The wind pushes against me. My bare feet stop at the edge. But I lose balance. My hand turns white at the sound of my own scream. Still, I grasp on to the rocky edge as I hang in the air.

There is no hope. No one will save me now. Jacob is gone. He’s smarter than to go after me. I need to fall now. This is my fate. To be controlled by the darkness, a darkness that is the end of me. Words come to me, his words. “Sometimes survival is not worth it in the end.”



Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Hello! Today I am doing the Friday Reflections at Christ is Write. Every Friday, Tessa puts a new verse on her blog, reflects on it herself, and gives us a chance to reflect on it too by answering these questions.

This Week's Verse

Tessa's Questions

1. Have you ever felt looked down on because of your age? Or have you felt the need to prove to others that you are mature?
Sometimes. Since there are a lot of college students at our church, I spend some time with them. I don't think they really do look down on me, but I still feel bad because I'm younger. . I'm a little shy so I'm always afraid to prove myself to others.

2. List specific ways that you can put this Scripture into action in your own life. (Example: Sit with the girl at school whom everyone else tends to avoid.)
One of my friends who isn't a Christian has gone through a lot. I think I should try to love her unconditionally and NOT laugh and go along with everything she says. I could  witness to my cousin and grandparents who aren't Christians as well.

3. Have you ever been tempted to settle for living the average teen life rather than living only for God? What was the result?
I can be a little bit of a pushover sometimes. When my friends ask my opinion on something, I tend to say I agree with them when I don't agree with them at all. I hide when they're watching or doing something I don't want to do. Whenever they ask me about it, I make an excuse instead of voicing my true view on the subject. Only a few friends know what I'm truly thinking. As a result,  my friends don't know much about me and I forgot the true value of speaking up and discerning what's right and wrong.

4. What are steps you can take to grow in your relationship with Christ?
I am a music freak. I listen to all kinds of music. So I would say listening to more Christian music and being careful about what I see and hear. That would help me because music inspires me so much. I would get to hear something true and good instead of discerning what's good and what's bad in a secular song.

5. Are there any challenges you face in applying this Scripture to your life?
There's so much lies in the culture. Some of my favorite musical artists don't even have their priorities straight. Because of that, our generation is being feed lies that affect them, and me, greatly. Everyone's okay with talking about things like sex and profanity because they hear it on show or a movie. I have to remember to fight against the lies and remember what's truly valuable in God's eyes.

6. Discuss your own reflection of this Scripture (as I did above -- at least one paragraph).
Like I said before, I spend a lot of time with people that are older than me. I have to continually remind myself that just your young age isn't a disadvantage. I can listen to people who have made mistakes and learned from it. That's an advantage of being younger. But just because I'm young doesn't mean I'm any less important in God's eyes.

My Dad once told me that your youth is very important because you absorb so much. I have to be careful about what I absorb. Sometimes I find myself wasting my time on Instagram and ultimately, the Internet when I could be writing or doing something else much more worthwhile. What I see is in stays in my mind and even when I don't see it, it affects me. So I want to live every day for God and not waste time.

In Christ,