~Highlights From 2017~ 2018 is Almost Here!

2018 is almost here! It’s hard to believe that 2017 is about to come to a close. Reflecting back over the year… It was a good one 🙂 So much happened. It started off super rough. I was so done mentally, done with being lonely and feeling sorry for myself. The resolution I made for 2017 was to have a better year than 2016. But then it all turned around and ended up as a year that will be very special for a long time ^_^

Here’s some of the my highlights of 2017 🙂

  • My trip to Missouri. Even though it was really difficult (There was a lot I was dealing with.), it was good to go  spend time with some of my siblings and nieces and nephews. It all was very bittersweet.
  • Camp. Where I found healing 🙂 Everyone that I met there, everything I did… All the fun I had 🙂
  • Co-Op. I’m not sure that I could have survived another year without it ^_^ The people there especially. Everyone there accepted me as one of them without a moment’s hesitation. It didn’t take me long at all before it became a normal part of my life 🙂
  • One family that I and my family has gotten close to in the Co-Op 🙂 They’re the sweetest family. We’re really similar, but different at the same time. They’ve been such a blessing.
  • Theater. That’s one of the classes I’m taking at Co-Op. I wasn’t sure about it the first time I went, but it definitely went up from there 🙂 One of the first classes I volunteered to help write the script. I’m so glad I did ^_^ I had no idea I would enjoy it so much.
  • Thanksgiving. I’ve never really enjoyed Thanksgiving that much, but this year was different 🙂 I did a lot of the baking and helping with preparation,which I really enjoyed. And then we had the family mentioned above over for dinner. We ate good food, talked, played games afterward… It wasn’t anything fancy or spectacular; everything was very low key. It was one of, and quite possibly the best, Thanksgivings I’ve ever had 🙂
  • Going to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Aaaaaaaaahh!! I saw it about two weeks ago, so I’m still fan girling about it ^_^ My brother and I dressed up as jedi. We went with people from our church. It was so much fun XD

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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 🙂
 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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙁
God is giving me lots of new opportunities. I couldn’t be happier ^_^ I’m getting the chance to be a teenager again ^_^
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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 😛 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:
 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;  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 🙂
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 🙂

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

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 😉 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 🙂

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One of the boys cabins 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

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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 😉

It went something like this:

Maybe, no, maybe, no, yes, maybe, yes 😉

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

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

It was so amazing ^_^

We sang a lot of songs, played a lot of games, made friends, had devotionals… So much 🙂 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 🙂 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 😉

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 🙂 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 🙁 ) I managed somehow to not start crying, surprisingly 😉

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 😀 In a couple years, when I get old enough, I might think about counseling there 🙂 I think it would a great ministry for me, to be able to teach kids about God and the Bible 🙂

After we got back, my brother Noah and I talked for about three hours about everything that happened at camp 😉 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 😉

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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 😛 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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂

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

Bye for now, peeps!

~Esther

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