Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Sometimes I see life like looking through my window. Beyond it, I can see beautiful things—trees flourishing, birds soaring overhead or singing happily in the trees, the cats and dogs running around in blissful freedom—but I’m behind the glass panes, unable to reach the beauty before me, trapped in a humdrum place dreaming of a day I’ll step beyond the window panes into something greater. With these thoughts, discontentment sets in.

Sun in Window

I’ve been pretty discontent for the last couple of years. Life just hasn’t been everything I wanted it to be.

But isn’t that silly?

Life isn’t supposed to be all frolicking and sunshine, how would we get anywhere if it was? How would we learn and grow without those storms life brings? But does that mean life isn’t beautiful?

Gracious no!

What are rainbows without storms?

God has been trying to teach me contentment lately, something I have fallen so very short on.

I love those WHOA moments in life. Those moments when we discover something we’ve always known, we’ve heard over and over again, but never really thought about it. Then one day the Lord brings it to our minds and all we can think is, “WHOA.” Fairly recently I’ve been having quite a few of those moments as the Lord shows me why I should never, ever be discontent.

I have learned much about why we should be content with where we are in life, but the greatest one is this:

“For the Father Himself loveth you…” John 16:27

Wait a minute. The very Creator of the Universe, the One Who has been since forever, the almighty, all powerful Being loves…me?


God loves you.

Of course we all know this. It is one of those things we hear over and over again. I knew that, but when I think about it at a more deeper level, I realize how amazing it really is.

The One Who makes the very Earth go round LOVES me, wholly and unconditionally and for all of eternity.

And yet I’ve been discontent? How is it even possible to be discontent with this knowledge?

Now then, doesn’t someone who loves us THAT deeply want the best for us?


We were not put behind a window, watching the world go by and dreaming of the “then’s” of life. The many years away when “things will be better.” How many times do we tell ourselves this? I probably do it about 5 times daily. “Things will be better.” “Life will be much more exciting in a year or two I’m sure.” “I bet in a few years things will be great!” I spend so much time thinking about the “then” I’m not focusing on the “now”.

God has not placed us where we are to look out through those window panes, wishing for better. There ARE NO window panes. There is not glass blocking us from the good things in life.

We have it right here.

I dream of huge things like traveling to other countries and spreading God’s word or opening a home for teenage girls in need or becoming a best-selling Christian author, then I pull myself away from these dreams and look at the chores that need tending to and go “WHYYY?”

I believe God wants us to dream. He made us to create and do and be. But sometimes we get so caught up into the dreaming, we forget the actual doing. We look at the daily humdrum things of life and feel so discontent with where we are.

We need to turn away from those fictional window panes and look at where we sit and find the beauty there. God loves us. He has a plan for each and every one of us; we are where we are for a reason. Just because we may not be out preaching in a foreign country does not mean we are not doing good.

Wherever God has called us is exactly where we need to be. ALL the places of the world need to see His light shine.

God loves us, He cares for us, He wants the absolute best for us. If we are following Him and doing what we believe He wants us to do, then why should we be discontent? He knows us better than we know ourselves after all. So if He puts us in a place, then it has to be better than anywhere we might want to be.

So let’s stop focusing so much on the “then’s” and look to the “now”. Let’s live the lives God has set for us now.

God has been showing me over and over and over again how beautiful life really is, no matter where I am or what I’m going through. From the largest down to the most minute things, beauty is all around us.

With God’s unconditional love for us, and beautiful plans for each and every one of our lives, how can we not be in utter contentment?

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6

Sun in the Trees

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

100 Cupboards Book Review

100 Cupboards CoverSynopsis

Lying in bed at night, twelve-year-old Henry York can’t ignore the thumping and scratching he hears on the other side of the attic wall. He scrapes off the plaster and discovers doors—ninety-nine cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he hears the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room—with a man strolling back and forth! Henry and his cousin Henrietta soon understand that these are not just cupboards. They are, in fact, portals to other worlds.

100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson is the first book in a series of intrigue, adventure, fantasy, and world-hopping. I spotted it one day in a secondhand book store and had heard of the title before so thought I’d pick it up. I’m very fond of world jumping stories so was pretty excited about trying this book.

I was not disappointed.

Wilson has a very humorous flavor to his writing, making the reader smile and chuckle at every scene. Though the story did become its best about halfway through, I was pretty hooked from the beginning just from the quirky characters and writing style. As I followed Henry’s adventures as he tries to find out the puzzle of why there are these strange cupboards in his walls, I was deeply drawn into the mystery and fun of it all. This book had a very captivating flavor to it that really sets it apart from lots of fiction.

The book opens with Henry York coming to stay for a while with his aunt and uncle and their three daughters. As he tries to adjust to the bit of quirkiness of this family, he also discovers his wall is making strange noises. Soon he finds it covered in all sorts of curious cupboards. When one of his cousins, Henrietta, discovers it with him, they work together to attempt to solve the mystery of it all.

Henry soon discovers that there is much more to these cupboards than he ever expected.

With so many different doors, strange letters, fun characters, and mystery woven across every page, I found this story an extremely fun read.

The characters of this book really made it. I cannot say they were all well behaving, role models, but they were not all completely rotten either. Quirky is really the best way to explain them. Even amidst all the oddities happening around them, some of them act like it’s just another day. Though one of the cousins was pretty rotten, I fell in love with all the rest of the characters. They made me smile and laugh and constantly giggle at the bizarre things that came out of their mouths. Even if there wasn’t such an intriguing plot, I’d still probably love this book just from the fun the characters brought to it.

Appropriate Ages
The main characters are pretty young, indicating this was meant for young readers, though the story is so interesting I think anyone would enjoy it really.

Pretty much all the material was clean. A bit of use of magic was in it. There was also a couple of little crude things in it, but, again, it was meant for a young audience so everything was very minor.

There was some violence throughout it. I think the author was fairly careful with this though, because whenever there was a moment of violence, he never went into deep detail over it, and often violent scenes were quickly brushed over.

So for ages…mmm…probably from 10 or 11 and up I’d think.

If you like stories that veer away from the mediocre, I’d highly suggest 100 Cupboards. It brings a very fascinating way of jumping across entirely different worlds, the most interesting of characters, and an all around captivating plot.

The next book of the series is called Dandelion Fire and I very much hope to acquire it soon!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy New Year? Oh yes!

First of all, I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year, late though it may be.

I, personally, am always very excited about a new year. To me, it is like a blank canvas sitting before you. You do not know what will fill in the blankness, what the coming days will bring. You wonder by the year’s end what that canvas will look like, what memories have been painted on it, forever etched onto its surface. The start of a fresh new year is an exciting time, full of anticipation to see what the days will bring.

My new year days have brought a couple of very exciting, unexpected things. Both of which could be seen in our front yard just this month.

Car with Snow

A patch of snow? In our yard? Unheard of!

You see, where we live, we never get snow…ever. We may get a little flurry once every 4 or 5 years if that; thus, as you can imagine, we get pretty excited about our little flurries. So seeing some snow, even just a teeny tiny bit, is always a cause of ecstasy for us. It was very exciting to see snowflakes falling in our yard, a rarity indeed. A very merry new year’s surprise!

Though the snow was very fleeting, the thing it sits upon is not (unless it’s in drive I suppose).

I don’t know if anyone remembers my random mention of a rubber ducky keychain found in my A Little Bit of This, a Dash of That, with a Pinch of Other Stuff Post made back in September.

Here’s the little guy:

Rubber Ducky Keychain

I had mentioned that my mom got it for me quite a while back, claiming it would be the perfect keychain for my first car. Being the dork I am, I very much approved, but wished I actually had a car and car keys to go with it. I did not see that happening any time soon. So into the closet my poor ducky keychain went, for a very long time I suspected.

But wait…what is this…?

Rubber Ducky Keychain and Keys

Are those keys? Attached to said ducky keychain?


I am the official owner of a car!!!!!!!!!!

……….So you might want to be extra cautious on the roads.


Teehee. Just kidding.

My spectacularly fantastic grandparents informed me on December 21st that they were getting me a car for Christmas. My response was somewhere between

Dead Arthur GIF


Flying Wendy and Brothers GIF

I officially received it on January 2nd. A very, very good way to start the new year!

Ain’t she purty?

Lauri's Shiny Car

It’s such a blessing to have a car. It’s definitely something I’ve been in need of but just had no idea how I’d ever get one. I’m am so amazingly blessed to have the grandparents that I do.

That blank canvas of anticipation to see what all the days of 2013 will fill it with still sits in front of me, but I’d say thus far it’s being painted with some pretty glorious things.

I pray you all have a wonderful 2013. Let’s fill these blank canvases with beautiful memories, and by December, we can look back on it and think of all the blessings God has given us. Through the sunshine and storms, there is always something beautiful to be seen.

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