A Close Encounter of the Awkward Kind

This stuff happens to me so much, I could have a book. Or a TV show.
Should I turn this into a segment?  ¯\_()_/¯

Also, just wanna give a shout out to the sun for giving me that awesome lens glare on my glasses. You’re a real hot bro, thanks.

*insert cheeky peace sign* ✌🏻 Bless.

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It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged…

…That a single story in possession of a good plot arc, must be in want of a million different movies.

Hello all, I recently decided that I was going to go and watch every Pride and Prejudice adaptation that I could find. So you don’t have to. I’ve done my research and now I’m ready to show you all of the joys and struggles that came out of it.

Before I rate these bad boys, I need to clarify. One of the biggest arguments you can get into with an Austen lover is which version of Pride and Prejudice is the best. Blood will be drawn if you say the 2005 movie with Kiera Knightly to any die-hard fan of Austen stories and will be adamant that the 1995 TV mini-series with Colin Firth is the best of the best. Because of this argument (and because I don’t wanna get attacked for disliking Colin Firth), I’m foregoing both of these beautiful films. I’m going to be talking about the adaptations that are really OUT THERE. The modernized, or almost parody-like versions of this classic story. Let’s hit it.

Unleashing Mr. Darcy (2016)unleashing-mr-darcy-853x570-movie
This is the most classic Hallmark TV romcom I’d ever seen. Set in modern day, our Elizabeth is a school teacher for a rich prep school, so she is salty towards the rich and then goes to live in New York with her aunt to professionally show dogs at shows, and meets the “stoic” and “mean” Donovan Darcy who is a judge at these fancy dog shows. The biggest problem with this rendition? He’s not actually mean or stoic, he’s kinda just an awkward sweet dude and it doesn’t match up with Darcy’s character at all. ALSO, THEY CHANGED HIS FIRST NAME TO DONOVAN? His name is Fitzwilliam, okay?

Favorite Quote: “I’m extremely irritated by how attractive I find you.” -Darcy

Final Verdict: It’s so bad…That it’s kinda good? Like if you were sick in the bed with the flu and your head is all cloudy and you just wanna veg in horrible romcoms made by the Hallmark Channel, then this is perfect for you. Rating: 4/10

Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy (2003)
220px-PrideprejudiceSetting: Provo, Utah. This is a modernized take with college student Elizabeth and all the other characters being fellow BYU kids or Mormon missionaries searching for a wife. The movie (although it has it’s odd twists to the story) surprisingly sticks with the original plot, however, the characters are the worst I’ve ever seen. You find yourself rooting against both Elizabeth, Jane, and Darcy. The only character that is good is Collins who is horrifically annoying (as he should be). The movie also manages to fit in the LDS religion quite evenly throughout the story, without taking away from the original story they’re trying to copy.

Favorite Quote: *Collins dramatically proposes to Elizabeth. She says no, and he speaks in church the next day* “I had a kind of… funny… encounter with a girl in this congregation, who will remain anonymous, but for the sake of the story, let’s call her… Elizabeth B. No-no, E. Bennett.”

Final Verdict: I never want to see it again, if I’m honest. Once was good enough for life.  Rating: 1/10

Bride & Prejudice (2004)220px-Bride-and-prejudice.jpg
This was actually amazing. A Bollywood-style adaptation filled with song and dance, and let me tell you, the song about Mr. Collins “No Wife No Life” is hysterical. It’s a perfect blend of the tale of girls getting married off by their parents while blending beautifully with the Indian culture. I had no idea there was going to be actual singing throughout and was pleasantly surprised. It’s bright. It’s fun. The only negative is the Darcy absolutely bombs, and you kinda want to hate him. The rest of the movie is amazing though.

Favorite Quote: “You, stop working and you, stop being such a coconut.” -Balraj (Bingley)

Final Verdict: You can bet I’ll see this a few more times in my life. Wanna watch a classic? Wanna watch a musical? Can’t pick which one? Here’s a perfect middle. Rating: 7/10

*PAUSE*
I’m sure you all are wondering where Bridget Jones’s Diary is gonna be in this list, as it is a very popular modernized adaptation WITH Colin Firth in it as well, but I’m here to tell you that it won’t be shown in this article. I’ve never liked the movie, so I don’t wanna rate it.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
*OKAY CONTINUING* 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-poster-e1455448403185.jpg
The best. A perfect parody. This British-American historical comedy horror movie has everything: Gorgeous 19th Century garb, martial arts, war, women fighting like the awesome people they are, and of course, zombies plaguing the earth. The basis of this film is that a plague has caused a zombie apocalypse and everyone has had to train to fight them in order to survive. The Bennet sisters are masters in a Chinese martial art form and fight to defend their family, which causes some stupid awesome scenes. Those who hate this movie tend to get lost in the fact that it’s all a joke and gets salty about how dumb it is. Yeah, that’s the point. Darcy’s character purposefully talks lower and gruffer than normal to sound attractive and Elizabeth is shown to be exactly as stark and tough as she is in the original. The best part though is by far Matt Smith portraying Mr. Collins. Complete GOLD, I tell you.

Favorite Quotes:
“I shall never relinquish my sword for a ring. The right man would never ask me to.” -Elizabeth
“My daughters are trained for battle, sir, not the kitchen.” -Mr. Bennet

Final Verdict: I watch it frequently with no shame. Love it. Rating: 10/10

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012-2013)Unknown.jpg
An award-winning, modern-day web series conveyed in the form of vlogs, each episode is between 2-8 minutes long. Created by Hank Green and Bernie Su, this adaptation takes place mostly in Elizabeth’s bedroom as she is making vlogs for her college classes. Most major plot events happen off screen and are later acted out by Elizabeth and her sisters, dressed in costumes. It perfectly shows us as audience members how she sees Darcy before we ever even get a glimpse at who he is or what he looks like, and her biases against him. Although some of the characters are slightly unorthodox, there is not a bad character in this rendition, and they are acted out beautifully. Plus, since it’s just short vlogs on youtube, it’s easy to enjoy in short increments instead of a long movie. I also personally relate to this version of Lizzie more than any other version.

Favorite Quote:  “This party is preposterous. I hate dancing. It’s a waste of time, like saying nice things to people. Many of these people seem to be enjoying popular music un-ironically.” -Lizzie pretending to be Darcy
“I’m all for rich, single guys but who is my mom to tell one of us who to marry? What if he’s gay? What if he’s a serial killer? What if he’s a gay serial killer?” -Lizzie

Final Verdict: If you haven’t seen it, you must. If you have, well…Go watch it again. That’s what I’m doing as soon as I’ve finished writing this. Rating: 10/10

Honorable Mention: Austenland (2013)

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(Above, JJ Feild) Look at him. He looks like a perfect mix of the two.

This movie isn’t necessarily an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but it’s amazing. It’s about a woman who’s obsessed with all things Jane Austen, and books an Austen themed resort where you become immersed in the book’s culture, and the actors are characters in the books, hired to not only be Darcy and Co but to give you the “romance you can only find in Austen books.” There are twists you wouldn’t expect right away and some amazing actors. Including, Keri Russell, Jennifer Coolidge, Brett McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords, LOTR, The Hobbit), and JJ Feild (Who looks like an exact mix between Tom Hiddleston and Jude Law).

Basically, if you like Pride and Prejudice, you should just watch this for funsies. Because it’s pretty great.
Annie’s Awards of P&P Adaptations:

Cringe-O-Meter: Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy
Most fun: Bride and Prejudice
Originality: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Worst Wickham (But that kinda means best): Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Best Darcy: With humor, P&P&Z. With stoic silence, LBD.

I love you all. Most ardently.

*insert cheeky peace sign* ✌🏻 Bless.

Cross✞Fit

“Lift your biggest weights with your legs and your heaviest burdens on your knees.” -Jimmy Peña

Being able to exercise is a blessing and a gift that we have and let’s be honest: don’t appreciate very often. That is until we don’t have access to it anymore.

I’ve always loved working out. Some know this, some think that it’s just a recent love, but no. It’s been always. Looking at me, you may think, well if you love it so much, then why aren’t you more fit than you are? And I would tell you, “Well let me tell you.”

For a healthy, young person, my body should be in peak condition. However, my body is incredibly broken for a 21-year old and in many more ways than one. Because of the dislocating ribs/wrists, anemia, and head injury, it is nearly impossible to lift weights or run, or do any type of physical exercise. In fact, it WAS pretty much impossible when my head injury first happened.
All of these problems are still a…Well, a problem.
Which is why I love working out so very much.

Every time I workout, I am reminded of Grace. 
(Disclaimer: Not my best friend, Grace. I love her though.)
God’s Grace.

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I am reminded that although I am so broken, I can do incredible things through Him. Because there was a time (and still is, on bad days) when I couldn’t work out at all. When just walking was/is extremely difficult, so the fact that I’m standing here in this gym now is a blessing beyond belief. Every day I can walk or bend over is a blessing. Every day I can BREATH is a blessing.
By His grace.

Every time I get on a treadmill or lift a heavy weight, I relive and become a witness to God’s grace in my own life.

That’s why I love it so much. Worship leaders will tell you that singing makes them feel closest to God, while maybe writers will say the same thing, and that is exactly what working out is for me. It keeps my mind and body grateful for the gift I’ve been given and keeps me focused on who to show my gratitude. Not because of vanity and getting ripped (although the muscles is an added plus) but because of the joy in the Lord that it brings.

So the next time y’all think I’m a “gym nazi” or an “obsessed gym rat” (which is probably true), now you know why I’m that way.

“Leave it all in the gym, but only after you’ve left it all at the Cross. The gym is fine therapy, but it will never be the Wonderful Counselor.” -Jimmy Peña

*insert cheeky peace sign* ✌🏻 Bless.

 

Introversion and “Comfort Zones”

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There are two things that people look at and think “welp, that needs to change” in others. (Granted, there are a lot more than two things, but I want to focus on just these two.)

  1. Introverts need to learn to be more extroverted in a ministry setting
  2. You need to “get out of your comfort zone”

Maybe you’ll agree with me, maybe you won’t, but I think the true meaning of these two things has been lost and has now become something different from what it really is about, so I’m gonna speak up. To start out, we have to lay the base that there is nothing wrong with being an introvert or comfort zones, however, there are negative connotations attached to both of these now and therefore people jump to assumptions and conclusions that aren’t even a part of the original meanings themselves.

I’ll tackle number one first, (crazy, right?). In order to understand why introverts are not only okay but needed, you must first be aware of the TRUE definition. Although shyness can be one of many personality traits an introvert can have, that is not what they are.

Extrovert: Recharges and gets filled up by the company of others
Introvert: Recharges with peace and quiet

Before going into this, I do have to clarify that there is nothing inherently wrong with either type of person, and neither one is better than the other. However, we live in a world where ANY trait or quality can be used for God-glorifying acts or for self-glorifying acts. Okay, cool, now we go.

The traits of an introvert are more reserved, usually quiet. More importantly, they depend on getting time alone, solitude, in order to recharge. They often get tired or anxious in large crowds. Because of this, introverts can be some of the best friends you can have. Some of my closest friends are introverts, and it is a huge blessing. They’re awareobservant, and they thrive with one on ones. They have an uncanny ability to form deep connections with people in small group settings.

I, myself, am an ambivert. I straddle the line between the two. I thrive in large groups. (Any of you who know me, know that I’m never lacking sound. I have a very loud and big personality) However, many don’t realize that my extroverted-ness in crowds is often due to me thinking that’s what the group needs. A class clown, or loud cheery disposition. Like Burt from Mary Poppins. In all reality, I am drained by large amounts of people and I also need that alone time to recharge. I’m an extroverted introvert, an ambivert.

I have heard so often that people who are introverted need to “be more extroverted” if they’re going to be able to minister to people, but I’m here to tell you that I disagree COMPLETELY.

Introverts and extroverts have to balance each other out, so why try to force them to be like all the others? You’ll see extroverts being greeters at churches (a wonderful and needed role) and will insist that introverts need to become greeters too so that they can “help reach people.” But NO. You’ll see the introverts quietly doing things in the background that are just as important as the extroverts. While extroverts are running around laughing and hugging everyone, an introvert may quietly go to someone they see in the corner (who might be an introvert as well) and talk to them in a quieter tone.
This is so important.

We mustn’t ever try to force introverts to be more extroverted because God has made us different for a reason. We can show more people love when we have all kinds in the church. There are countless times in the Bible where it shows that a quiet, stillness is important and not a “weak point” like many assume. We were ALL created in His likeness, and Jesus himself often went off to be alone many times.

“Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the varied grace of God.” -1 Peter 4:10

NUMBER DOS.
You’ve heard it. In any Christian setting, you’ve seen it. As Christians, we are always trying to lovingly push others out of their comfort zones and I am just as guilty of this as everyone else. We become cheerleaders on drugs, trying to pump people up to go do things they’re nervous or afraid of. Scared to go to a small group/bible study? WHOOOO YOU CAN DO IT, JUST GO.

Well, and this goes for introvert and extrovert alike, maybe we shouldn’t be doing that so much. Maybe we should encourage others to grow in their comfort zones.
*Brakes screech. Everyone screaming. Explosions everywhere.* Whaaaaaat.
Yeah, I’m serious.

I will say this about comfort zones: Contrary to popular belief, a comfort zone doesn’t mean you aren’t growing if it’s a healthy comfort zone. The definition of a comfort zone is “a place or situation where you feel safe, at ease, and without stress.” Do you know what I think of when I hear that? Yeshua. The Lord. He is our true comfort zone. 

I say all of this in regards to healthy comfort zones because God knows there are definitely unhealthy ones too. But listen. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t have fellowship, or shouldn’t go to group events because they’re too nervous. What I am saying is this: Fellowship, discipleship, all of those things are important BUT can be done in different ways. We need to encourage one another in growing closer to God in our God-given personalities. 

There is only one person who should ask us to leave our comfort zone, and that’s Big G. When He asks us to do something in His Name, quite often, it’s out of our comfort zone, but God will always be backing us up and giving us strength and courage in that situation if He asked it of us.

“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” -2 Corinthians 1:3-4

That may mean that extroverts: we don’t assume that those people in the back aren’t worshipping or aren’t ministering to others because we’re quiet.
Vice versa, introverts: don’t assume that people don’t love Jesus because they’re loud and don’t like solitude like you do.
Everyone has a purpose and we shouldn’t try to have people fit the mold that WE fit into.

So here we have it. My opinion on these two things.

  1. Introverts, as long as it’s healthy and biblical (just like everything else), you do you.
  2. When your life is falling apart at your feet, find your TRUE comfort zone.
    The Creator.

*insert cheeky peace sign* ✌🏻 Bless.

Winter Olympics 2018

It’s the blog post that no one asked for, but everyone gets. I’m gonna list of some of the better moments from this year’s Olympics. There were a lot of amazing wins and a ton of history-making moments. There were also a ton of mishaps like Jackson/Timberlake wardrobe malfunctions, bully skaters, poor sports, and Russians doping for curling. (Drugs for curling though. Wowzers, amiright?)  However, unless I find those bad things to be funny, then I probably won’t list them. Let’s focus on the good, huh?

Most of you know that I really don’t like sports and know nothing about them. So why did Annie watch sports every day, all day, for a month, you ask? My dear father answered that perfectly: “You like to binge watch shows. So you binge sports for a month and then you don’t need to see any more sports for another two years.” Yep, that’s real.
The Olympics are particularly fun because I go into them with practically zero knowledge of most of the sports or athletes and I come out crying over everyone’s stories and can rant off fun facts for a good ten minutes about figure skating jumps.
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Not to mention the fact that the Winter Olympics are completely psychotic. Whose mum let these kids launch themselves over a hundred meters in the air down a mountain or rocket down a track going 80 miles an hour in a sled? It’s a competition of the stupid stuff people do, and I love it.
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Let’s do this.
First. The gems of the Games, I like to call: Unauthorized Bois™️

 

There was the streaker in the tutu, just trying to spread Peace+Love, and then the unauthorized man that snuck onto the Opening Ceremony stage, not once but twice.
It begs the question…Who’s in charge of security there?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Snowboarding

First of all, Chloe Kim. Let’s talk about this amazing girl. She won Gold for Team USA, as the youngest woman to win a snowboarding medal in half-pipe. Being a 17-year-old girl, she didn’t want to cry after winning because she worked so hard on her eyeliner and posted these tweets IN BETWEEN HER RUNS.

 

A blessing to this world.
Next, we have the greatest team in snowboarding. The Finnish team aka Team Knitting.
They were caught doing their favorite pastime back in Sochi and stepped up their game this year.
knitThe cameras caught their coach nonchalantly knitting while sending his boarders down the slope.
It was shared later that it is not just the coach that does it but the whole team gets together and knits and is currently knitting a blanket for their president’s newborn son.
IS THAT NOT ADORABLE?!
I wanna be Finnish. 🇫🇮💙

Red Gerard holds medal_1518437126632.png_12983236_ver1.0
And of course, the pride and joy of America. The swearing 17-year-old boy who binge-watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine the night before his run causing him to oversleep, borrow someone else’s jacket, and win USA’s first Gold of the season after starting in last.

Disclaimer: No, I will not be talking about Shaun White. He’s out, man. I’d say to move over for Red and Chloe, but they pushed him out with their skills all on their own, son.

Bobsledding
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You know what it issssss. Bobsledding, the second best Winter Games sport. (Fight me if you disagree, have you not seen Cool Runnings??)

And you can bet I’m gonna talk about the two greatest bobsled teams. Because the Olympics are more than just winning medals. ✌🏻

The Jamaican Bobsled Team, Women’s Edition:
It was history in the making as the first female bobsled team from Jamaican made their debut this year. There was a ton of scandal around it because their coach quit while they were AT the games, and took away their sled. But! In the true spirit of the Olympics, Red Stripe (the beer company) bought them a brand new sled so they could continue to compete. 🙌🏻
Bonus: They danced it out during the Opening Ceremony with no cares. #Respect

The Nigerian Bobsled Team:
Okay. These ladies are my favorite of the whole year and all events. Made up of runners, these women from Nigeria decided to become not only the first women’s team from Nigeria, and not just the first bobsled team from Nigeria in general, but also the first bobsled team from AFRICA. Mmmhmmm. These ladies rule. They built a homemade wooden bobsled and started a Gofundme account that had the whole world pitching in so they could make it to the Olympics.
If that isn’t the meaning of the Olympics, then I don’t know what is? #CoolRunnings2
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Figure Skating

Ahhh, yess. My favorite. Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue. We all love them. No one was surprised when they got Gold. Moving on.

Yuzuru Hanyu is also pretty obvious, but how can I not talk about him? Two consecutive Golds in a row. Beautiful. The poise. The style. I can’t. Since I could go on about his skills forever, I’m going to address how much of a drama king he was.
Here Yuzu comes in like two days late with an ARMY of bodyguards like some suave mob boss and stole all the media’s attention while simultaneously hardly talking to anyone at all. THEN after having a huge media blackout prior to the Games, he shows up late at night to practice with every camera in the country watching him and does like two simple jumps, bows, and walks off without saying anything. What a guy. Even with all this, he was still the sweetest person ever, so at least he’s not mean about being the Olympic King.

My mood: Nathan Chen walking towards the women’s bathroom on accident on live television. This kid. 🤣
Nathan Chen didn’t medal, but he made so many records that he’s still a winner. Completing INSANE tricks that had never bee done before, he blew away the world with his quad jumps. However, and I may get flack for it, I am glad he didn’t win anything yet (it’ll come) because he’s so young and I’d hate for him to get cocky over it. He’s got plenty of time to master ALL of the parts to figure skating and not just the quad flips.

Bonus Favorites

-The Rio-famous Tongan in the Opening Ceremony who learned how to ski just so he could go to the Winter Olympics, oil up and carry his nation’s flag shirtless in negative degree weather.
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Boy, you crazy.

-Doubles Luge became a sport this year (why?!) and right before two men shot down an icy slope whilst laying on top of each other, one man looked at the camera and shouted, “Risk it for the biscuit, baby!”

-Some teams represented with SUPER DOPE outfits including the alpine skiers from Mexico, and the Norwegian curling team.

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 12.39.35 PMPyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympicsn3

 

What a time to be alive. I loved it all. Now I’m good until the summer Olympics.

*insert cheeky peace sign* ✌🏻 Bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 Dreams for a 21-Year-Old

I’m not much for New Years Resolutions. I’ve never done them, and don’t really want to. However, as it is my 21st year alive, I’ve decided to list some dreams that I would like to do before I level up again. Some are pretty mundane and some would mean the world. That’s just how I roll. It’s the end of January so I don’t have lots of time, but hey, I believe.

1. Introduce another friend to the ways of good coffee.
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I’ve been known to have some influence on my friends’ taste in coffee. I could list all of the friends I’ve converted/ruined their experience over “normal” coffee, but that would be quite extensive. As many friends as I’ve affected, it still brings me fabulous joy when I do it all over again. This is a pretty obvious goal I have since I’m always down for a bigger coffee fam.

2. Pronounce ABBA in public confidently.
I know I’m the Dancing Queen, but that doesn’t answer the biggest question.
Is it Ah-ba or Aw-ba?! I don’t know, and I’m scared to get reprimanded.

3. Finally, learn something about sports.giphy (1).gif

The Superbowl is in like a week, maybe I can start there? Learn about the home runs and those cheeky swish scores or whatever.
The real goal would be to retain the information once I learn it. I’m honestly not sure that’s possible.

4. Go grocery shopping for a meal and buy only the best brands of everything.
I’m cheap, what can I say?  ¯\_()_/¯

5. Break out in random song at full volume instead of the quiet humming I normally do.*
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*With people in the room.

6. Go backpacking again.
It’s one of my favorite things to do, believe it or not. 10 days out in the wilderness. Busting out like ten miles a day. Whew. Good stuff.

7. Read two books in one day.
I’ve done over one book in a day, but not a full two. Challenge accepted.  giphy (3).gif

8. Spell “restaurant” correct on the first try. (Don’t hate)
It’s a struggle, I will admit. That darn U, guys.

9. Become a wine connoisseur.
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It’s a thing.

10. Talk in only movie quotes for the whole day.
I once went through a whole day talking in only Dr. Seuss quotes in middle school so movie quotes would be lots easier.

11. Floss for three days straight.
This is probably the hardest thing on here, tbh.

12. Go out on the town with my brother and sister. #clubbing
It’d be super fun, I guarantee.

13. Line up 100 dominos. Marvel at their beauty…Then put them away one by one.

14. Get a different hairstyle.
We’re talking dyed again, or like something completely different like a perm or super short, etc.

15. Tutor someone in something I know nothing about.
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16. Go see a musical. On or Off Broadway.
I just wanna…So bad.

17. Travel with my dad.
He’s my number one choice to go overseas with and always will be.

18. Learn the greatest song ever on the piano.
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19. Dress up super fancy and then go eat somewhere like Chick-fil-A.

20. Vacation to good ol’ Leavenworth, WA with my mum who grew up going there.
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It’s a real life Stars Hollow, fam.

21. Walk up and down a set of stairs without gasping for air.
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I get tired fast, don’t judge. Also, tripping.

There you have it.

*insert cheeky peace sign* ✌🏻 Bless.

 

 

 

 

Goodhearted Giggles

Everyone knows by now that I love to laugh. If for some reason you don’t believe me, then just ask any one of my housemates what I do all day, every day. Their answer will be something along the lines of:
*cheeky eye roll* On her phone giggling or laughing uproariously at a person or joke.

Whether I’m completely alone or surrounded by a huge number of people, I laugh at things on my phone or computer aloud all of the time. They usually don’t even ask me what’s funny anymore because it happens so often.

Because of this, I’ve decided to impart to you 20 of my most favorite Christian memes that I cackle at every single time I read them. Enjoy.

7bcc4fdc65f0815d9cd6dcf4189d9acfKiller.

75e50d8879e34363ecc9d8c39c937dc4
Seriously the most accurate thing I’ve ever seen.

13584213_1083096601785313_1811133476_nIs this a pun? I can’t tell over how loud my brain is laughing.

6f7ec6cd0e5dda7e20de93c6a4720696Hey! I run…To Jesus. *finger guns*

8cacf8ab9f04bed7a8f1559454e11daeSorry? ¯\_()_/¯

Armor-of-God-christian-memeI can’t tell you how many days I looked at this every day for a good laugh.

26169915_1840187362672311_9193688436488544830_nAhh, Tumblr humor. My people.

cba7c26fff21caa91584f4104cd00c95There’s no H in Amen. It’s Cap for me.

25299417_1741249372566594_8285948434928084474_nCan’t go wrong with a little All Star jokes.

d5a8db9cffc23a89e157236796dcbd91This is by far, the greatest Christian pick up line, ever.

cb97730eec265adc48fb75536a32ac43Don’t even TRY to turn down my main man, JC.

fbaf6ef02af29549ed772c2355c1aa9fWhat do you wanna bet a can of wine comes out?

c06d362013a0863fa90bc80ad9f07a46Speaking of wine. Classic Office joke.

via-Shalee-Harding-PinterestI’ve said this to my mum. ¯\_()_/¯

IMG_2354Here are the verses so you can have a good laugh:
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (Nice. Love.)

John 4:18 “The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” (I’m dead)

fdd5b085dba5ade1b6c707c79d5232a6That breath is the deepest breath ever, I tell ya.

spirit.jpgIt’s too real.

silly songsYes. Classic VeggieTales joke. Larry forever. 🙌🏻

06345ddd10423b0f519791a0ebbefdfc😂😂😂

d42b623d004c8dcb5d14c1091439209eAccurate. XD

Well folks, there you have it. I hope you had a couple laughs from that. I sure did. Christian memes have quickly become some of my absolute favorite type of jokes. Right up there with Monty Python, Princess Diaries, and George of the Jungle. I hope everyone who reads this has extra smiles in their day. And without further ado…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

giphy*Diabolical laughter*

*insert cheeky peace sign* ✌🏻 Bless.

Are Vacations Real?

I recently took a “vacation” with my friend. By that, I mean that we went on a nearly two-week road trip where we had fun, but more importantly, had a task set before us.
Let me explain.
My friend Brooke sent me a message one day that she was going to go spend Christmas with her dad and joked about me coming along. Although it started as a cheeky joke among friends, it soon became apparent that the Lord was telling us both it was something that needed to happen. Brooke had been struggling with some things, as had I, and every time we gave excuses for why it was just a silly whim, Big G would not only shut down those excuses but also put our hearts at rest over many of the struggles we were facing. Adding onto that, we both got the feeling that our main man JC was telling us that our trip was about being lights for Him. In every town we stayed at, in every store we walked into, with every person we talked to. I’m talking more so than normal. As Christians, we are called to be salt and light [Matt. 5:13-16] in life, but for some reason, we felt that we were supposed to go 150% salty and lit.
So we did our best.

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This is Brooke, so you have a nice lil’ visual.

Now I do want to be clear on a few things:
1. Having a task of showing as much love and light as possible to people is awesome. I’m definitely not complaining one bit.
2. Because of our readiness to go spread God’s Love as much as possible, evil definitely followed. Struggles were evident throughout the trip. Every day was a fight. What can I say? It was a learning experience.
3. No matter how hard the day was, Big G always gave us something awesome to enjoy.

Because there was some seriously awesome stuff, I’ve decided to show the awesomeness of what God has created, and also the blessings He bestowed on Brooke and me during our 40+ hour, 2,500+ mile drive through four states. (Brooke appreciated these things obvi, but these are what really impacted me. It’s my blog after all. She was impacted by different things I’m sure, so you can ask her if you want.)

First off. PALM TREES. These weren’t shocking to Brooke, but I’ve never been to Arizona or Nevada before. Or anywhere that has palm trees before. These are my new favorite thing. I mean, I’ll always choose trees and mountains over the singular colored desert of AZ, but dannng those palms are beautiful. Which is why I made Brooke stop what she was doing so I could take these photos.
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I saw tons of cacti for the first time too. Like those ones that you always draw when you’re creating a desert picture as a little kid. Starts with an S. I never did understand what everyone called them. ¯\_()_/¯

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The other awesomeness was to get some good ol’ fashioned sunshine and warmth. While it was a cheeky 7° in Dillon on Christmas Day, I was sizzling in 78° weather in Tucson. I can feel your jealous rage through the screen, tbh. Settle down.

Now. What’s one of the best ways to soak up God’s glorious creation if not a wonderful sunrise and sunset? Fear not, sweet Concorde, I deliver.

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Sunset | Tucson, AZ

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The first sunrise of the trip followed by me screaming The Circle of Life | Salmon, ID

Honestly, the greatest wonder of the whole trip was after nearly a week of seeing the same colors due to Arizona, Utah, and Nevada…Seeing snow, mountains and trees again in my beautiful Idaho.

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It’s a magical place. | Stanley, ID

(I just gotta say that I took this picture accidentally. Don’t ask me how it came out so fabulous because I have no idea.)

Probably the biggest blessing and answer to one of my struggles I had was the ability to see some of my best friends ever, and Brooke finally getting to meet them. Including one of my mentors and good friend whom I’ve known since I was 14, Carol Hazen. A woman who encouraged me to seek Jesus and who gave me the wisdom to know that you can do so in goofy ways. Like through a silly blog.

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Cole and Rachel. 💜 Boise, ID

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Isaac, Grace, and Caleb 💜 Garden Valley, ID

Overall, the trip was an adventure. Sure, Brooke could have nearly died from a severe allergic reaction, and my head nearly exploded like five times, but hey. The good always outweighs the bad, and we both survived so it’s all good. 🙌🏻

I guess my biggest takeaway from it all, that I kind of alluded to in the title, is this:
The definition of a vacation is to go somewhere away from your home for a relaxing and restful break. The problem with that as a Christian is, as long as I’m living for the Lord, evil will never stop trying to stop us. Are vacations real then? We had buckets of fun and were filled with peace over many things, don’t get me wrong. But I definitely wouldn’t consider the trip relaxing, and I think that’s absolutely okay. We had a job to do, and I think we did a pretty good at it. We fight the fight, and God will fill us with the rest and relaxation we need. Not different geography.

The devil never takes vacations, so why should we? 💪

*insert cheeky peace sign* ✌🏻 Bless.

 

 

 

Perspective of Being

Being alive. It’s a great thing. Sometimes one of the best and coolest parts of living is to look at life from a different perspective. To recognize things that we may not have seen in the first place. I love it, so I wrote a little story. Enjoy.

They walked down the sidewalk side by side. One walking fast, her small legs working twice as hard to just keep up the pace, the other strolling leisurely, seemingly gliding over the ice and snow patches. Both continued to walk in time with the other, the tall one humming Amazing Grace, the girl trying to keep all of her books in her arms as she scurried towards her house.

“I just can’t figure out what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Should I be in college or what?” the girl muttered. The other stopped humming and chuckled at her. “I mean really, I just don’t know.”

“Patience,” the other said calmly, looking both ways at the end of the sidewalk.

“I guess I just need patience,” she sighed, instantly stepping into the street without looking. “I hate patience.” Another rumbling chuckle came from her partner as they began to cross the street. “I don’t know what to think, maybe I should-”

She heard the screeching of brakes and whisked her head to her right. A car skidding towards her fast, she stood watching, completely frozen. Suddenly she felt something grip her shoulders and yank her backward with a “Ha! Gotcha!” The car narrowly missing her, before slowing to a halt. She closed her eyes, gasping for breath, and clutching her books against her chest tightly. Her partner, still holding her shoulders, wrapped her in a hug, filling her with a sense of safety.

“Thanks for saving me there.” she breathed in an uneven voice looking skyward. The other smiled warmly at her, letting go of her slightly.

The driver jumped out of their car, running to her with panic in their eyes.

“Oh my god, are you okay? I’m so sorry, I lost control on the ice and didn’t see you and then I couldn’t brake in time,” the driver exclaimed in a nervous panic, looking over the girl’s body as if trying to find any injury. The girl nodded, still trying to find her full voice.

“It-It’s okay. I’m completely fine. Haha, I guess I have a pretty great guardian angel or something,” the girl said to the driver with a small smile. A few questions were thrown her way before the driver seemed to feel comfortable enough to leave her alone, and got back in their car and drove away slowly, leaving the two in the middle of the road.

“I suppose the street isn’t the best place to stand and replay a near-death experience,” the girl mumbled. “You would be correct,” the other said, both walking to the sidewalk on the other side.

They began to walk up the steps to her house in a melodic unison like before. In an instant, the girl tripped up the stairs. Right before she slammed her face into the steps, the other grabbed her shoulders, pulling her up at the last minute, causing her to hit her elbows on the ground instead of smashing her face in the ground. Her forearms scraped against the concrete and books flew everywhere.

“Ooooww,” she moaned, slowly pulling herself off the ground, checking the cuts on her arms and grabbing the books that had fallen.

“Girl, what are you doing?” the other chided, but looking at her with love despite her ability to get herself into trouble all the time. “You’re going to make this job very difficult, you know?” Another chuckle emitting their chest.

“Lord, I probably make protecting me a very hard task for those angels you gave me what with how horribly klutzy I am,” the girl prayed aloud.

“Good thing I have some help,” the other said with a goofy smile.

The girl grinned to herself, feeling a familiar sense of peace wash over her, and began to sing Amazing Grace. As she walked into the house, her partner stood watching from the front of the house for a few moments before being joined by five more figures.

Her angel chuckled once more and entered the house.

 

Well, there you go! Angels to me aren’t always the stoic, warrior types, although that is also true. They rejoice in the Lord, are full of joy when a sinner repents, and I bet they are sorrowful when we are heartbroken. That is why I chose to write them in that way. Perspective, yeah?

Let me know if you liked it and want me to write more happenstances like that. I often look back on events from my life and can see this happening constantly, and find it very comforting.

*insert cheeky peace sign* ✌🏻 Bless.

The Lifely Plot Twist

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“Not only this, but we will rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4 NET

She smacked her hands together, white chalk flew into the air all around. Stepping up to the bar, she gripped the cold metal. She shifted the weight between her feet until she felt a balance, making her feel as sturdy as an oak and pulled the bar off of the rack. Lifting the bar over her head and onto her shoulders, she started off the warmup squats in her workout, counting off the reps in her head. In an instant, pain shattered through her head causing her to drop the bar mid-crouch. Seconds after that, all eyesight went completely black. She fell to the ground in a blind stupor and clutched her head, shouting in pain. 

I’d love to say I just wrote that fictional little tidbit off the top of my head, but, that is the true retelling of exactly four years ago today. The day my life completely changed, and trust me, that’s not overexaggerating it. So happy anniversary to me, I guess?

I sat and thought for weeks about the tone and thoughts I wanted to bring to this post for this very day. I could talk about all the pain it causes me in more ways than one. I could give a full, detailed explanation of how I got the injury in the first place. I could go full Annie and explain it in a silly way and shrug off the problem making it sound like less than a problem then it is in fear of people thinking I’m melodramatic or being selfish by telling the truth. Even now as I write it, I don’t think I ever came to a decision on what to do, so I guess I’ll do all of it, as terrified as that makes me.

(Before we continue, I want everyone to know that I’m finally telling all of this because I felt it was the time to do so, and I in no way am telling it for sympathy or out of self-pity. Cool, cool. Please continue. )

Ehem. So. For those of you that don’t know: I have a chronic brain injury, however, the problems don’t simply stay in my fancy lil’ cerebrum. Here’s a very simple summary of the physical pain:

  • A constant, every day,  4-year-running migraine. You know the whole throbbing, piercing, sensitivity to noise and light thing? That’s the one, just 24/7.
  • Constant dizziness and nauseous.
  • My eyesight gets blotchy often or can go completely black. Almost like when you black out, only I’m still conscious and just kinda wondering who the heck turned out the lights.
  • Speaking of, at times when the pain worsens, I can black out for realsies/lose consciousness.
  • The severity of the throbbing in my head can become very physical in that my head with shake with the thudding up to full body convulsions.
  • An inability to focus for very long, causing every daily task to be profusely harder.
  • Numbness in my limbs at times
  • When the pain is more severe, I can lose all feeling in my arms and legs, sometimes causing temporary paralysis in my legs.
  • Also when the injury flares up, my brain to body function lessens causing my speech to slur, lose balance completely, have late reaction time in movement and speech, etc. Basically, my mind and body act like a drunk person.
  • Due to the throbbing head pain, it’s very difficult to sleep, so I’ve also acquired insomnia over the years.
  • Through all of these problems, I’ve also struggled with extreme anxiety and depression for the past four years due to the amount of physical pain wrought on my body daily.

The gist of everything really is that I live in a constant state of waking up and not knowing if it is physically possible that day to go to the store, make a meal or even take a shower. The worry that I’ll have to ditch the people around me out of the inability to do anything except lay there and cry.
But through all that…I’m okay. Don’t get me wrong, physically: I’m completely destroyed. Emotionally and mentally: there are definitely days of struggle, but I survive. How you ask? All I can say is the love of Jesus Christ. Without Him, I’d have been dead years ago and that’s just straight up fact.
His Love and His Promises.

“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.” Revelation 21:4 NET

Every day I wake up and thank my Lord for keeping me alive even though on many days it would be so much less painful if I was dead. That is why I look on today with love and not regret.
Sure, there are bittersweet and sorrowful emotions, and there used to be many angry and spiteful feelings too.  I am only human. If I let myself, I could easily look back on these four years and only think of the nights I spent awake, weeping in pain, begging for it to stop. OI could remember all the times where my experiences and pain helped someone to see God in life situations that are pretty crummy.

I look back at my life today and am reminded of what I’ve gained, not lost. The empathy, perspective, patience, and most important, the dependency on the Lord that I’ve gained throughout all of this. The pain may not have lessened in four years, but my strength in the Lord has grown and that’s what matters most.

So, happy anniversary indeed, “For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

*insert cheeky peace sign* ✌🏻 Bless.