Two Years Ago I left Missouri//Bringing Ya’all Up to Date :)

Two Years Ago I left Missouri--Blank Pages

It’s been almost two years since I moved away from Missouri.

So, to my fellow Missourians who are wondering how I’m doing, this is for you πŸ™‚

That first year away was so hard. Most of you know. But, hard as it was, I’m not sorry it happened. It made me be stronger than I ever thought I could be πŸ™‚ I’ve grown so much these past two years. No more is the little girl who was scared to death of talking to people, who never fit in, who was still so young and insecure.

Main points of the last two years
  • My relationship with God has soared in the past two years. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’ve grown so much spiritually πŸ™‚ A fire has ignited in me and ain’t nobody gonna put it out πŸ˜€
  • I’ve realized how much I enjoy writing. Before, it was kind of a hobby, but I never really believed I was good at it. I’m not sure exactly when that mindset changed. Little by little it dawned on me. A lot of things happened to me to make me realize, the class I took at camp, getting a couple of my stories published in a magazine (You can read them here and here), writing the play for the homeschool Co-Op… And more πŸ™‚ I’m continue to grow and improve, and we’ll see where God takes me with it πŸ™‚
  • This may sound slightly bad… But moving away, not seeing or being around my older siblings, forced me to develop more of my own personality. For as long as I can remember I’ve tried to gain the approval of my older siblings, and tried to do things the way they did. If they liked a certain movie or disliked a certain movie, chances are I would like or dislike it too. I didn’t even realize it a lot of the time. Getting away, I had to learn to do things me own way. I realized “Wait, I actually don’t like this artist, or song, or movie…” “Why did they always do things this way??” πŸ˜‰
  • I’ve become WAY more of an extrovert. Having to start completely over with making friends, I realized how much I need people, how much I enjoy spending time with those I love. I’m way more a social person than I ever thought possible. Not that I don’t still have my moments… There are still times when I need space and you’re taking your life into your own hands if you speak to me πŸ˜‰ So I’m an extroverted introvert?
  • I’ve learned to accept this awkward, clumsy, occasionally graceful, unathletic mess that God has made me πŸ˜€
  • I know. I’m not sure I can elaborate. I know what I’m being called to do, where God wants me now, where I want to be years from now. Secret hopes and dreams are being stockpiled πŸ˜‰ You’ll just have to stick around to see what that means!

I could probably write a book about everything I’ve learned the past two years, but you get the idea πŸ™‚ I still miss Missouri so very much. It will always be home. Nothing is going to change that πŸ™‚

I’ve learned not to think about it. It hurts too much when I think about it. Someday, maybe I can think about Missouri and my life there without tearing up (inside and out), but I kinda doubt it.

*Opens arms wide* I’ve got a crazy blessed life. I love the life I have. I now greet everyday with a smile and an Owl City song (Ha πŸ˜‰ )

There are a lot of new opportunities coming up for me… I’ll be starting work at a local ice cream shop soon, I’m going to be helping my mom with a writing class for our Co-Op starting this fall, I’m going to camp this summer…Β  I’m excited about all of them πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.

Stay strong, you all. Life may be difficult at times, but stay strong. God will get you through it πŸ™‚

~Esther

*Twirls cape and vanishes*

Do Things Ever Really Get Better?

We’ve all heard people say it. You’re going through a hard time and all people can tell you is: “Just wait, things will get better!” But do we really believe them? Do things ever really get better?
Keep reading, maybe I can help πŸ™‚
Β June 2016 through June 2017.
That sentence pretty much sends a shudder through me.
Most people who know me know that the last year has been very hard for me. Some people more than others. There were times when I would just want to give up, but I kept praying that God would somehow make things better for me and help me understand what was going on, and help me get through.
He answered my prayers completely πŸ™‚ It didn’t happen instantly. I suffered for a long time. Then I found a place that helped. A place that God knew I needed πŸ™‚ Camp. It helped me refocus and find my freedom again. I found friends, and purpose in life again, I felt free again. I was no longer burdened down with all my emotions and sadness. I started not just living from day to day, but actually smiling when I woke up in the mornings, like I used to.
And after that the blessings kept continuing…. We found a Co-Op/homeschool group, which was exactly what we had been looking for for quite awhile. We’ve gotten together with them a few times, I’ve met some people that I think may quite possibly turn out to become friends of mine πŸ™‚ Through the school year this year we’ll be doing Co-Op classes. I’ll be able to do theater again!!!! Oh, that feels so good to say ^_^ I’ve been out of theater way too long πŸ™
God is giving me lots of new opportunities. I couldn’t be happier ^_^ I’m getting the chance to be a teenager again ^_^
Β Do Things Ever Really Get Better?--Blank Pages
If I had I choice… I’m not sure that I would rewind my life back to before we moved. Yes, I would rather have never moved and I miss Missouri so much, but there are starting to be some rewards from moving. I’ve grown in my relationship with God (Something that probably wouldn’t have happened so quickly if I hadn’t moved), I found my camp, another home that I never would have found otherwise. I’ve grown up so much. It’s crazy. I’m so different from that little girl I was a year ago.
So what I want to tell anyone who is struggling out there, people that are going through tough times, it will get better. It will. No matter how hopeless your situation looks, you are not alone. God is with you, and he can do something beautiful with your life. You just need to be patient enough to see that.
I didn’t really believe this not long ago. I had people tell me: “It will get better, don’t worry” I would nod my head and pretend like I heard them, but in my heart I could not believe it.
How could things get better, I thought. I don’t see anything changing. Nope, I’m going to be completely miserable for a loooong time.
That’s what I thought. I would pray and pray and ask God to help me, to tell me what to do. Then, all of a sudden, things did get better.
Life can’t be Buttercups and Rainbows all the time. Imagine what we would be like if that was the case πŸ˜› That’s a conversation that I had at camp this summer. Why does God let bad things happen to us? That question would take a whole new post to answer, but I think that Jesus answers this the best:
Β β€œI am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.Β 2Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;Β  and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15: 1,2
I hope this brought you some encouragement today πŸ™‚
Jesus loves you!!
~Esther

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Going to Camp for the First Time//Growing Up

Hey ya’ll! A lot has happened in my life recently πŸ™‚

First of all, I found a piece of home in New England. In a place that I never expected πŸ™‚

At the end of June my family went up to help at a camp a couple hours away, getting everything ready for the camping season. Our church here helps out there a lot during the summer.

So I went, expecting it to be the typical Christian camp. My family has never sent any of us to camp before, and I had never really thought about going.

I think I fell in love with it the first day πŸ˜‰ It was out in the country, had these neat old cabins, was near a lake… And the people there accepted me right away. Everyone were asking me if I was coming to camp that summer. People actually talked to me, which meant the world to me πŸ™‚

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One of the boys cabins πŸ™‚

I did a lot of praying and thinking there. One night I went out walking. I looked at the stars (The stars, yesss! It felt so amazing to see the stars again ^_^) and prayed and asked God a lot of questions. Then right before I went back to the cabin I heard the sound of all the counselors singing hymns. It was a magical moment πŸ™‚

It’s hard to explain, but that week made me a better Christian. I had kind of lost my spiritual fire, but it came back strong after that week πŸ™‚

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By the time it was time to leave I was determined to ask Mom and Dad if I could go. Boy, was that whole deciding if I could go process a roller coaster πŸ˜‰

It went something like this:

Maybe, no, maybe, no, yes, maybe, yes πŸ˜‰

But finally, after all that, I was there. At an official week at camp. I couldn’t believe it πŸ˜€

I would tell you everything that happened at camp, but that would probably take about 30,000 words to do πŸ˜‰

It was so amazing ^_^

We sang a lot of songs, played a lot of games, made friends, had devotionals… So much πŸ™‚ I was in a great cabin and had a great counselor. I felt like I belonged there, no one made me feel like I was out of place.

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This was part of the live-action Clue game that we played one night πŸ™‚ This is me and my cabin talking to Reverend Green.

Going to Camp for the First Time//Growing Up--Blank PagesMy sad attempt at tightrope walking πŸ˜‰

Going to Camp for the First Time//Growing Up--Blank PagesChapel. It was so amazing to be able to hear all the kids singing every day.

Like I said, it was the closest thing I’ve found to home in New England πŸ™‚ The day I had to leave everyone was asking why I had to leave. No one was very happy with me ;P (I had to leave a day early πŸ™ ) I managed somehow to not start crying, surprisingly πŸ˜‰

It was really good for me. It was very different from anything I had done before. I’m definitely planning on going back next year πŸ˜€ In a couple years, when I get old enough, I might think about counseling there πŸ™‚ I think it would a great ministry for me, to be able to teach kids about God and the Bible πŸ™‚

After we got back, my brother Noah and I talked for about three hours about everything that happened at camp πŸ˜‰ It was a Sunday, and almost everyone was gone, so we started talking and completely lost track of time. That’s how much happened to us at camp πŸ˜‰

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A random thought that may seem completely unconnected but to me it isn’t…

I’m growing up. It’s so weird, but I’m not such a little girl anymore πŸ˜› It won’t be that much longer until I graduate. I’m realizing that more and more… I had a lot of people asking me what I was going to do, where I was going to college… The other kids my age talking about college and careers. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing πŸ™‚ It’s weird to think about, but it’s going to happen sooner or later, whether I like it or not. All I can do is prepare for it πŸ™‚ It feels real to me now. It never really has before. I know what I want to do now, what I think God is calling me to do. And I’ll just have to wait and see what lies on the road ahead. Whatever happens, God will be with me πŸ™‚

“I’m going on an adventure!”
-Bilbo Baggins

Bye for now, peeps!

~Esther

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Thoughts About 2016 and Moving-Part 1

So, in short, 2016 was probably the least enjoyable year of my life. Maybe even the worst. That doesn’t mean good things didn’t happen in 2016, some very good things did. Elegant Evening, my brother’s wedding, Co-Op. The year started out great, but then got steadily worse…

Things kind of started in March when Mom talked to me about a couple job applications that Dad had put it, which didn’t sound like he would get. In which case we would probably move to the town where our church was. Which would have been great! I would be super close to my best friend, the church, and closer to a lot of things. It would have been a little different, but not that much.

And then both of Dad’s job applications started getting more promising… He had a couple of phone interviews, and it was going farther than any other application that he had made before. And then it became more apparent that we would be moving. Not just a half an hour away, more like 14 or 20 hoursΒ  away.

I think March 30th or 31st was the day that I knew this thing was going to happen. And it still didn’t seem real. Moving? Really? Our family doesn’t do that. It’s just a joke, right?Β But no, it wasn’t. I remember going to my soon to be sister-in-law’s wedding shower that her church had put on for her and feeling so numb and ready to cry knowing what was coming. And not being able to tell anyone… That was very hard. One Sunday at church I want up to my best friend and hugged her and started crying. Of course she asked me what was wrong, but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone… Mom and Dad hadn’t even told all my siblings yet so of course I couldn’t talk about it.

And then one day in early April Dad called from work to ask us if we could take a week long vacation to Massachusetts in a couple of hours. They wanted him to come for an interview in person. So we packed up, and left two hours later. It took maybe 6 days to get there and back. And Dad was really impressed with the place there, everyone thought that the area was really pretty. And it got even more complicated… Dad got an offer from the place in Louisiana, as well as an unofficial one from Massachusetts. So Mom and Dad asked all of us where we would rather live. It was a hard choice… But I couldn’t shake off the feeling that Massachusetts was where God wanted us to be. And that’s where Mom and Dad decided to go.

I don’t remember how soon we told everybody… We talked to all our siblings on the way back to Missouri, and I think we told the people at our church soon after that. It was so hard telling friends… I cried, and choked up and couldn’t talk and felt guilty that I hadn’t told them before.

And then cleaning. So much cleaning. Which really wasn’t much fun, but it had to be done if we were to sell our house. So with cleaning, getting ready for the wedding, and Co-Op, we were quite busy for awhile. And then Co-Op ended, Luke got married… But cleaning didn’t end until we left. I had so many plans of saying goodbye… To my woods, the house, my friends… Not many of them got done. I don’t know why, I just couldn’t say goodbye. And since we hadn’t sold the house I knew we would be back.

The night before we left Luke and Hannah came over, and we all went to buy fireworks with them. We piled into their little red car after supper and drove 20 minutes to get fireworks just like we had done every year for as long as I can remember. The drive back I remember playing music full blast, and the fireflies flying past us like shooting stars in the night. I can’t remember if I cried or not.

So we shot fireworks off, and then talked, and I hoped that that night would never end… But eventually they had to leave. It was not easy for me to say goodbye. I hugged Luke and didn’t want to let go… And then they left. I haven’t seen them since then.

After they left we all got ready for bed. The house was completely empty, except for a recliner, and a couple other things. Everyone except me was sleeping upstairs; I had the basement all to myself. I went down, started getting ready for bed, then collapsed on the recliner cryingΒ  like I never had before. I cried so hard that night. Up to then I had wanted to cry, but it would never come out. It all did then.

~to be continued~

Click here for Part 2