Sunday, March 26, 2017

When You Weren't Invited

Dear friend,
You weren't invited. You weren't noticed. You weren't chosen.

It's past midnight and you're scrolling through Instagram, seeing the fun photos and exciting captions. And you weren't there. 

Why? You wonder. After all your effort and time spent, they overlooked you. And the lies seep in. You're not funny enough. Not pretty enough. Not fashionable or thin or curvy or good enough. The friends you thought were your best stop responding, stop speaking.

But friend, this is not who you are. I've met Rejection a few times, and he's not a nice guy. He weasels his way in and replaces your expectations with disappointment and pain. He steals joy and brings down weeks.

When this bully walks into your life, there are a few things you must remember:

1. You are accepted.

Darling, there is a love, a friend, who will always accept you. Yes, you've heard it before. He may not seem like enough now, but when you but your hand in His, Jesus will be with you where you go because that's where true love goes. He doesn't give His heart in pieces because he is faithful even when we are not.

|| I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you. - Isaiah 41:9 ||


2. You don't have to be "enough."

No, not everyone will like you. You won't be everyone's best friend. And that's okay. There are and will be people who place unfair, unreal expectations on you and that's stupid. Who you are, who you really are, is who you're made to be. You will never meet everyone's expectation of enough. But you are not in competition with any one else. You are your own kind of enough that no one else is because someone else's enough-ness does not change yours.

3. They weren't trying to hurt you.

Those people who rejected you? They've been rejected too. There's a 99.9% chance they didn't mean to exclude you. They weren't trying to point out your flaws or make you feel bad. From what I know about other people--they're battling the same things as you. Their fight may look different, and you probably can't see it, but it's there. People are just people. It doesn't matter how exciting their Snapchat stories and Instagram posts are.

4. You can rise above it.

Don't let rejection define you. Instead of focusing on the loss, focus on the new. Growth happens in the breaking. I'm not telling you to get revenge or become a passive-aggressive subtweet-er or block them on every social media. I'm telling you that you can move on. Move on from the hurt into a new day. And yes, there will come a time when you hurt again but it's not because something is wrong with you. It's because life hurts sometimes. Don't let yourself get caught in the hurt. Keep living. Keep trusting God.


There isn't an easy answer to rejection. It hurts. But if no one else has told you, and even if they have, let me tell you: you're beautiful. You're lovable. You're unique. You're needed. You're wanted. You will be okay.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Lost Girl of Astor Street Clue Hunt #17 - Book Review

4.7/5 Stars

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill

Tornado sirens went off while I was reading the Lost Girl of Astor Street. My first thought was that I’d have to keep reading in the bathroom safe area.

This book had me at the edge of my seat even before Lydia went missing. From Piper to Mr. LeVine, each character came alive within the first words they spoke. I was enveloped in the 1920s, not with flashy name dropping but with living, breathing people who showed me around without showing off.

The Plot
****
The primary plot is the mystery of Lydia LeVine’s disappearance. Piper refuses to be useless to the investigation, gradually doing more and more to aid the officers involved. But the mystery isn’t the only thread pulled through the novel. Plot lines surrounding Piper’s family, friends, and enemies work together like players in a jazz band.

The twists and turns caught me off guard, exactly as a mystery should, and yet were set up so well beforehand. I laughed, I cried. There were moments I wanted to throw the book across the room but couldn’t because I was reading on my laptop. I loved it. The only issue I had with the plot was that, towards the end, it slowed down before speeding up a little too quickly. Things could’ve taken a little more time to wrap up.

The Characters
*****
Oh. My. Gosh. The characters were my absolute favorite part. Stephanie Morrill is a master of characters. Each one, major and minor, spoke and acted like people. Everyone was a person, with their own goals and motivations. Piper was the spunky, strong lead. Detective Cassano foiled and fit with her in the perfect way. All of Piper’s relationships with everyone Personalities and backgrounds were established without jarring info dumps. I rooted for the heroes and understood the antagonists.

The Setting
*****
Lost Girl didn’t take place in the 20s because it’s a fun time, and it didn’t take place in Chicago because it’s an interesting city. 1924 Chicago was part of the plot, the true home of the characters. Social class, mobsters, locations, and even fashion painted the picture without becoming overwhelming and distracting. It was perfect.

I’m in love with this book. So much so, that even though I got a free ARC on my computer, I pre-ordered a hard copy so I can force it into my friends’ hands and make them read it.



I received a free copy of this book. The review is mine entirely.


Everyone


Clue 1: Stephanie Morrill
Clue 2: Some Books Are
Clue 3: Gabriella Slade
Clue 4: Page by Page, Book by Book
Clue 5: Pens and Scrolls
Clue 6: Singing Librarian Books
Clue 7: Heather Manning
Clue 8: Annie Louise Twitchell
Clue 9: Noveling Novelties
Clue 10: Kaitee Hart
Clue 11: Classics and Craziness
Clue 12: Zerina Blossom
Clue 13: Rebecca Morgan
Clue 14: Keturah's Korner
Clue 15: That Book Gal
Clue 16: Anna Schaeffer
Clue 17: Hadley Grace
Clue 18: Lydia Howe
Clue 19: Ramblings by Bethany
Clue 20: Matilda Sjöholm
Clue 21: Lydia Carns
Clue 22: Broken Birdsong
Clue 23 & Clue 24: The Ink Loft
Clue 25: Roseanna M. White

Monday, January 23, 2017

New Season

This is my last semester of high school.

Last year, I was desperate to get out of high school. My junior year was, in a word, terrible. There were good moments. It got better towards the end. But I was miserable for a significant portion of my 11th grade year.

My sophomore year, I saw my high school career ending a whole lot differently. I imaged a graduation ceremony with my friends, staying in touch and even as close friends with several of my current high school friends. Now, I'm not good friends with most of the people I was friends with that year.

Six months ago looks much different than right now. I had no idea what the semester would look like. I didn't know who my friends would be, what dual credit classes I would take, or when I would get my license. I didn't know I would get a smart phone, a job, and a two hour drive to debate club. I had no vision for the rest of the year or the next.

I spent the fall semester figuring things out.

I found myself doing something I dreamed of since I was twelve and getting paid for it.

I found myself with stress and pressure and learning to deal with it.

I found myself making friends with just the people I needed and feeling included again.

I found myself preparing for a new season.

That's what senior year is all about, right? Getting ready, planning, figuring things out. What I've figured out? God knows what's best.

Trusting God doesn't mean knowing what's happening next. Trusting God is believing that whatever happens, God knows what's happening next. He isn't surprised by that heart break, that disappointment, that choice. He knows you, He knows what's best for you. And for me.

I'm still figuring things out. Which was my excuse for blogging like, never. So for the sake of figuring things out, I'm going to put some things on this blog I wouldn't have before (like the occasional book review, or photography experiment). Basically, I'm going to blog every week I can with whatever I want to post. (You probably don't care, but I feel like it'd be weird if I started posting different stuff with no warning.) 

New seasons are scary, but they're also super exciting. Yeah, I'm nervous. I'm getting ready to go to university, and I don't know how that's going to treat me. But I'm not scared.