Monday, August 11, 2014

Bucket List: Fountain Play

So, on the surface, I have not accomplished a lot of what I set out to do this summer with my bucket list. 
 By the time summer turns to fall, I will have maybe accomplished a third of the things on my list. 

But one thing I have done, I think, is grasp the idea behind my list. Which is to live this summer to its fullest. 
  And with BBQs, camp outs, a mini road trip (I still need to write a post for...), late night swims, and so much more, my summer has been full!

I'm so grateful for my parents patience with me this summer. Allowing me to be somewhat irresponsible and crazy. They've tried to show me how to balance my summer fun with a fair amount of work. I hope I've learned more then I feel like I have. 

I'm also grateful for friends, old and new. I've forged many new friendships this summer. I've met people every bit as crazy as I am. And when that happens, they aren't so quick to run away when they see how weird you fact, they usually join in. 

I want to thank you guys for reading my posts, and giving me something to look forward to when I write them. I'd love to hear what you've been doing this summer! I hope to catch up on y'all's posts soon, but right now I don't have a computer, and my phone only let's me do so much. 

So comment with your summer highlights! Have you been camping? Swimming? Working? Riding? Or simply chillin in a hammock with a great book? 

These kids are weird... I'm not sure what's with the tongues...

Thanks for reading!!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bucket List: Sharing Jesus

I was a little disappointed in myself when I thought I had missed my opportunity to finish this item on my list. 
 Every year my church participates in a local parade. We 'dress up' our outreach trailer, part of our "Taste & See" ministry that hands out free coffee and often hotdogs at local events in the city in the hopes of opening doors to witness to people and invite them to church, and we walk the parade handing out Gospel tracts to those watching. But I had been fighting a cold that made it hard to breathe, and my parents were feeling under the weather a bit, the excuses just piled on. Really I just wanted to be lazy, so I stayed home. So I did. 
 I said I was disappointed in myself. I have a confession to make. I wasn't disappointed that I'd not been able to share Jesus. I was disappointed that I'd skipped out on one of the items on my list. I was more focused on my goals instead of God's goals for me. 
 But, as often happens when we take (or try to take) or lives into out own hands, God had a better idea for me anyway. 
 You see, walking the parade is definitely something that fits safely in my comfort zone. I hand these peoe a price of paper that does all the work for me. I don't have time to talk to them and answer questions. I have to keep moving to keep up with my church. Instead, last week at the a I or study I attend, there was a couple of people who admitted they didn't believe in this Jesus we were talking about. And they had some very different ideas of spirituality, of religion, and of who Jesus might be. 
 Unfortunately a lot of half answers were being given. Those that spoke up were speaking the truth to these two, but not always all of it. Missing one important bit here or there. That still small voice kept saying "You know that little bit Steph. It's important. Say it."
 I didn't want to. What if these people came back next week? They might remember my face. And worse yet, what if I didn't know an answer next week? (Cause, you know, perfect Christians know the answer for everything. And perfect Christians exists in the first place, also I must be one of them) 

 No, I can't - 

"You're fortunate enough to have sat under a pastor who, through Me, gives you what you need to lay the whole truth out for these people. And you won't share that gift with others?" 


"I'll give you the words if you let me. You don't even have to do the work. Remember, I did all the work already. You just have to tell them that." 

I don't remember what was said anymore. I just know that once I said the one thing I felt promoted to, the flood gates opened and all of my peers had answers too. I think that May have been what God used me for that night. Not necessarily to give those two the Gospel itself, but to help Him push my peers out of their comfort zones and to be better prepared to give an answer next time they were called upon. I think in a roundabout way, that is sharing the Gospel. The Good News. 

 For those of you who don't know, the good news is that even though we have screwed up, we've sinned against our perfect Creator. He loves us. And He loves us even when we are sitting there wallowing in our sin. Enjoying it even. But He knows the consequence of wallowing is misery, eventually. So he sent His perfect, sinless Son Jesus (who, by the way, came 100% willingly) to die a horrible death, paying the price, taking the consequence for our sin. Your sin. My sin. He died and took the just punishment for the sins you had commited. The sins you were commiting.  And those who have yet to commit. Because there is a chance that someday, you might look at yourself in disgust and want out of it. And there He stands, ready to wash you clean with the blood He shed. All it takes is admitting you are a sinful person. You did wrong and ONLY God can make it right. There is nothing, no work, that you can do to make it go away. When we are willing to admit that we are wrong and God is right, we become clean and can have the fellowship with Him we were created for. And finally that hole in your heart? That hole you tried to fill with drugs, sex, alcohol, relationships, money, etc.... It's filled.  

That's the good news.  

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bucket List: Under the Stars

 Kicking off my bucket list accomplishments is a night under the starts with a good friend of mine. I went over to her house last night to spend the Fourth of July being awesome, with an awesome person. 
 Her brothers dog Elsie (gee I hope I spelled that right) chased the embers of our little table fire and burrowed behind us when the neighbors started their fireworks display. 
I was also introduced to these delicious sodas. Find them. Find them and try them yourself. Yummy! 

At the end of the day we watched "A Cinderella Story" with Hilary Duff What's-his-face... tall, blonde, and broody. Chad Michael Murray! 
Then we camped out in the bed of her truck, under the gorgeous starry sky!  
 What did y'all do this fourth? What's your favorite cheesy chick flick? 
Thanks for reading!
  ~ Steph 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Bucket List 2014

Hello all! It's been too long. But I hope that this will change. I've decided to challenge myself this summer to get out with friends more often, so I've compiled a list, with their help, of fun things to do before the summer is over. And I'm going to write a blog post for each and every one of the items on my list that I complete. 
My list~~ 

1) Share Jesus
2) Go to a concert
3) Mini road trip with friends 
4) Collect change all summer, and cash it before school starts again
5) Go to the beach and build a giant sandcastle
6) Go to a water park
7) Make a music video
8) Eat outdoors, on August 31st (National Eat Outside Day)
9) Sleep under the stars
10) Visit a photo booth with a friend
11) Visit the pirate's treehouse (a local attraction)
12) Attempt to break a world record
13) Go to the outdoor theater
14) Fly a kite
15) Play in the water fountain (with my niece and nephew?)
16) Have a bonfire
17) Run a 5k
18) Pick flowers from a 'u-pick flower patch'

What are your plans for the summer? Is there anything you would add or take away from my list?
~~ Stephanie 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fear of Water

Heart pounding in my throat, my palms feel clammy as I look down past my feet. The water ripples and sloshes against the dock. 
I can't believe I'm doing this. Why am I doing this? 
Time has run out and I know I'm being watched as I toe the edge. 
There is no turning back. 
I jump and life around me is moving in slow motion. Voices rise and fall but the rush of blood through my veins impairs my ability to distinguish any words. My toe pierces the water and one word flashes to my brain.


Before another word can replace it time snaps back into place and my whole body plunges into the depths. 

The water covers my head. Water is at my eyes, nose and lips. I kick my feet. My hands move over my head. I can't feel the air. 
I'm too deep.
Don't panic. Swim. Don't Panic. Swim.
I break the surface and take a gulp of fresh air. 
I feel the smile on my face. 

I did it.

(I took the cold water challenge, though the thought of submerging my head in frigid water nearly induces a panic attack. However, I won't be sharing the video as I have tagged friends in it, using their full names. But I wanted to take this opportunity to do some writing, hope you find it...interesting.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Everything is new in the spring....

Springs themselves are always so new, too.  No spring is ever just like any other spring.  It always has something of its own to be its own peculiar sweetness.
Anne Shirley - Anne of the Island

If you couldn't tell by the picture, I'm reading Anne of Windy Poplars. But the only satisfactory quote I could find about spring was in the previous tome of the Anne series.

I took this picture on my break at work today. It was around two thirty in the afternoon and as I was diapering wee lads and lasses (an unromantic occupation, I know. There it is folks, my career choice in all its smelly glory) I looked out the window in front of me and it being slightly opened to freshen the air indoors, I caught a delicious whiff of green grass freshened by yesterdays downpour (And would you believe it? Sunday's snow!) I saw the sun beating down on the baseball field on the other side of the parking lot, I imagined it's warmth on my arms and face and I knew I had to spend my break out in the glorious sunshine. Well, when it came time I garbed myself with my jacket and betook myself to that field with my coworker's warning "Don't get wet", still ringing in my ear.
I walked across the concrete and felt the slight breeze mix with the warm rays of sunlight. As I reached the fence surrounding the field I opened my book and quickly lost myself in Anne's letters to Gilbert.

For the record, Windy Poplars is one of my favorite in this series. Because we have already moved past Anne's struggle to admit feelings for Gil, and we get to see the delightfulness of a real love based on friendship.

Anyway I lost myself in it.... aaaannnnd, stepped right into marshy grass. You see, while it may look  like spring, even feel like spring at times, it is not quiet arrived yet. So, for the next fifteen minutes of my day I paced a short amount of ground in my soggy shoes and imagined I had the toasty-est toes I'd ever walked on and pretended this cold winter was over.
 So I came to earth with a thud and walked into work again with my cold, wet feet. Feeling happier for the few minutes of warm, sunny, imagination I was blessed with today

How is the weather where you are? What are you currently reading? What is your favorite season?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mrs. Harris: A Character Study

I listened to this while writing this post, so I thought you may want to listen while reading.

She's the one on the right ;)
Mrs. Harris was played by Dame Wendy Miller and appeared in Anne of Avonlea in 1987

I'm not even going to get into the character from the books named Mrs. Harris...oh wait, even if I wanted to it would be impossible. Because she doesn't even exist.

 Now, I'm going to try to keep the ranting down to a minimum. I know that strictly speaking Mrs. Harris isn't in the books, but her character is the compilation of several characters. And while I don't appreciate that people can't seem to stick to a book whenever they make a movie, I do want this post to be full of positive things rather then negative. So I'm just going to move on now....

At first glance Mrs. Harris is an invalid old lady, who, while not being outright cruel, is seemingly unkind to her family at times. Upon further inspection we find that she is extremely manipulative and self centered.
 It is only when we reach the third layer that we discover her seeming cruelty is an act. We have on or hands a mother trying to inspire her daughter to grow a backbone. She is mistaken in the way to go about it (there is hardly a contradictory or disrespectful bone in her body). But because this method of reverse psychology (because yes, that is all it is folks)  worked with her son, she refuses to admit that she is wrong about her daughter and is too stubborn to change her ways at this point.
 I think she is relieved when Anne comes along and sees through what she is doing. Especially when Anne doesn't call her out on it, but instead plays along, helping Polly (for those of you who aren't aware, Polly is Mrs. Harris's daughter) finally stand up to her mother where she should.

What are your thoughts on Mrs. Harris? are you able to look past the fact that she is a character completely made up for the movie adaptation? Do you love to hate or hate to love her? Or somewhere in between?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A little question...

 Hey, just thought I'd pop by to ask you all something. What is your favorite literary character?
  Please answer in detail, with their name, what book they are from, what your favorite traits are that the character possesses. Anything else you can think of.  I'm not going to tell you just yet what this is for, but you will soon find out.  Thanks!

Monday, January 27, 2014

I Know How to Share My Things!

And... That was the best title I could come up with under pressure. Self imposed pressure, but pressure nonetheless. 
 I work with children and this phrase is something I'd like to hear little voices say much more often. I have these titles listed on my paperbackswap account, but I have, and have had, no takers for a very long time. 
Here is a list of the titles and conditions of each book in the picture (below), comment if you are interested in any of them. All of these books I am sending out at no cost, just because I want someone to love these. 

1) Emma by Jane Austen...well loved, creased spine 'old book' smell, 

2) Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte....creased spine, crumpled flyleaf, otherwise like-new condition

3) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne...Yellowed pages, creased spine, 'old book' smell

$)  Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson...Scribbled inside front cover, yellowed pages, 'old book' smell

6) Mansfield Park  by Jane Austen... creased front cover, faint penciled price on flyleaf

7) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn  by Mark Twain...yellowed pages, 'old book' smell creased front cover

8) Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne...sticker on front cover, creased front cover, 'old book' smell, otherwise like new

9) The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy new condition.

10) Ella Enchanted  by Gail Carson Levine...creased spine, 'thumbed' edges and corners

11)Writing Jane Austen by Elizabeth new condition

Comment and/or message me for more details or to let me know you are interested. If you comment it makes it easier for everyone to know what books have been claimed alreasy without my having to update!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Confessions, confessions.....

Hello lovelies!
  As this blog is called Confessions of a Used Book Store Waif....I will be confessing some things in this post.

 You may recall that in November I had planned on participating in NaNoWriMo. Well, confession number one is that, although I participated< I failed in completing my novel. I did however get fairly well along before I because overwhelmed with life details and put it on the back burner. For now.
  Then, I told you that I wanted to do a Post-A-Day challenge for my blog in December, but in the last few days of November my grandmother went to the hospital with severe fatigue and breathing problems, that ended up being due to pneumonia. She was put on a respirator to help her lungs function properly and seemed to be getting better. But a few days later, after the doctor had tried to take her off the machine and her lungs still weren't working properly without it, my grandmother asked to be taken off of it anyway. That night she went to be with her Savior, Jesus.
  So the month of December went a little crazy, but I think it was used for good things by the grace of God.

Now, does this mean I am ready to be blogging again this month? No. I would like to take a short (this time planned) hiatus from blogging. I'd like to use the month of January to concentrate on daily Bible reading, and growing closer to my Savior.

 In February I'd like to work on blogging and writing more. I have a small goal for each moth this year, but I'm not going to share them all right now and risk boring you all to death. But I think this is a better way of doing "resolutions" which I never really to into anyway.

 So for now Tootles! And bless Jesus!