Just so You Know...

...I'm taking an Internet and iPod break starting tomorrow (Sunday) and running for a week (until the following Sunday). Feel free to continue to comment and read and all that.

Also, don't forget to enter the 100 Followers Giveaway! There are a BUNCH of cool prizes you could win! So head on over HERE!

See you in a week!
God bless you!
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Girlz Like You Interview: Sarah N., 15











This is one of my favorite interviews. Sarah is such a godly young woman, and she constantly inspires, encourages, and motivates me! I got the privilege to meet her in person in September. I am proud to call her one of my best friends in the whole world! I hope that you too are inspired, encouraged, and motivated by this interview.

(Check out more Girlz Like You interviews HERE)


Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a teenage girl who loves Jesus. I am the oldest of six kids, and we are all homeschooled. I’m 15 and in 10th grade. I have been an entrepreneur since I was 12 making hair bows and selling them to family, friends, and local stores. 

What are some of your hobbies?
I really enjoy reading, running (most of the time), chatting and skyping with friends, and making hair bows and other miscellaneous stuff which I sell for my business, Beau-Nanza.

When did you get saved?
I was saved when I was 5. We were riding in the car on the way to a Bible camp. I remember that the song “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” was playing on our kid’s CD. I don’t remember a ton, but my parents said I asked a bunch of questions about what the song meant, and I guess it touched my heart because I prayed right there and then in the back seat to ask Jesus to forgive me of all my sins.

What is one thing that God has taught you in 2011?
God has taught me to wait on Him. There are many things I would like to do, and some of them, I can’t wait until I do them. But God says wait. It’s very hard, but I know it’s for the best.

What are some of your goals for the new year?
My goals for the new year....hmmm....I really don’t like making “resolutions” because by the end of February, they are fading away. So, I just want to be more Christlike and read my Bible more. Those are two things that I am really struggling with.

What is your favorite thing about God?
Wow, it’s hard to pick just one! One of my favorite things about God has to be that He is always there for me. No matter if no one in this world cares, or if I’m feeling all alone, God is there, He cares, and He comforts. This really helped me when my mom, sister, and best friend were all in the hospital in pretty bad situations within a week or so of another.

What is your favorite way to serve God?
I went to a camp last summer, and I hoping to go again this summer. This camp is called Christian Youth in Action, or CYIA for short. CYIA is a camp that teaches teens to share the gospel through 5-day clubs for 5-12 year olds. Then during the summer, we put on the 5-day clubs. It was a really great experience, and it showed me that I want to go into missions teaching kids.

Tell us about your newsletter, the Mission Mag.Mission Mag started because some little girl (me ;)) decided she was going to do something big. It started as a little newsletter with no name that was like the family newspaper and told all about what our family did. This newsletter only went out to immediate family and a few other family members. It then grew into a Christian kids' newsletter called “The Christian Kids Club” after I started getting a friend’s newsletter, “The Christian Girls Club”. Yes, I pretty much stole her name. That’s why a couple months ago, I held a contest to change the name. One of my readers sent in “Mission Mag," and I liked it, so thus, it became the new name. :) I have really enjoyed making Mission Mag. It has taught me a lot about writing, editing, and working with other people.

What is your main goal for the Mission Mag?
My main goal is probably to show kids and teens the true love of Jesus, have them accept Him, and to grow into a deeper relationship with Him. If one person is impacted through Mission Mag, the newsletter has done it’s job.

Do you believe that it is God's calling for you to do Mission Mag? Why?
At first I wasn’t sure, but it must be because we have been SOOOOOO close to shuting down a ton of times because of lack of submissions, and then all of a sudden, it was like the floodgates were rushing open! Even if it’s not God’s will for me to continue for much longer, I have learned a ton through this experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What is your favorite Bible verse(s) and why?
One of my favorite Bible verses is Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, which says, "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."

This verse shows us that we need to choose godly, encouraging friends. I found these verses last summer while I participated in the 2011 National Bible Bee Competition. To understand why this verse is so special to me, you should probably know a little more about the Bible Bee. The Bible Bee is a Bible memory competition. This year my age group (ages 15-18) had to memorize 800 verses and do an in-depth Bible Study of 1 Peter including knowledge of the greek words, their meanings, and cross-references for them during a 12 week period during the summer. After the 12 weeks, there was a competition day. This seems like an impossible challenge to most people. To me, it nearly was, but I was ready to undertake it. Now lets fast forward a couple weeks into the whole process. I was beginning to realize how much they had put on my plate. But, because I found a great group of teens that were also doing the Bible Bee, we all encouraged each other and kept each other going

By the 10th or 11th week, I was getting really discouraged and ready to give up. But because I had friends encouraging me, I persevered, and went through with it. I did not memorize all 800 verses - not even close! But, I did finish stronger and am more Christlike than I was at the beginning of the summer. If I did not have others to help me up when I fell just as the verses say, I probably would've given up by the 6th or so week. Through God's grace, and the company of amazing friends, I made it through all 12 weeks.

When I was memorizing my verses for Bible Bee, I came across Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. When I saw the content of the verses, I was so encouraged because I knew that is why I hadn't given up on this amazing challenge. This is why we need to choose our friends wisely.

Who is your #1 inspiration?
Ahhh! I hate questions that you have to pick one thing or one person! :P I don’t have a #1, so I’ll just tell you my couple people who I look up to.

My Dad - My Dad is amazing. He has gone through so much, and He loves the Lord with all his heart. He keeps me grounded. He reveals my mistakes, even when I don’t want him to. He loves God, and he loves his family.

My Mom - She is such a godly lady. I can talk to her about anything. She does an amazing job raising us and homeschooling us.

My Mom’s two friends, Ms Kim and Ms Julie - They are second moms to me. They are grounded firmly in the Lord, and I wish that I could even have a portion of their love for the Lord.

My best friend since practically birth, Ruth - She is the best friend anyone could ever ask for. We have had many adventures together, and she loves Jesus with all her heart.

My best friends, Talia, Kara, and Brydon - I was praying for godly friends, and God just placed you all into my life. I don’t know where I would be without you all, and I thank God everyday for you guys.

What is your view on modesty?
Modesty is very important to me. Why would I want to show all that off anyway? I think we should totally be modest and save ourselves for our future husbands.

What is your view on purity?
This piggybacks off my last answer. Purity is big. It is also something I struggle with. I am totally for it, but my fleshly desires kick in, and it gets hard. I really think we need to be totally pure, not just outwardly, but inwardly as well. We need to guard our thoughts from evil, not just our bodies. Something I ask God for pretty much everyday is that He would keep my thoughts pure. If we ask, He’ll listen and help us (Jer 29:12-13).

What is your view on courtship?
I am all for courtship. I have already announced to my parents that I do NOT want to date, I want to court. Courtship takes a lot. I mean, you can’t just go out with any old guy. The only guy I’m going out with is the one I KNOW I’m gonna marry. And my Dad will get to know him really well before I do. And (this is a funny thing I want for my courtship) he must get along with my brothers (they’re very hard to get along with :P). But yeah, I think courtship is a great idea.

Are you waiting for God to bring the right man into your life? Explain why or why not.
Yes. Period. I don’t get how people could go from one person to another. At one point, you’re good friends, then you're bf and gf, then you’re worst enemies. Basically, dating just ruins friendships. I’d rather keep it where we are good friends. It’s really hard to wait, though. Sometimes I get jealous of my friends who have boyfriends, and I wish I had one too, but I have to keep reminding myself why I am saving myself. And that’s why I’m waiting. To give my husband my FULL heart. Not just the little that’s left over at the end of my dating career. :P

Do you have any advice for girls about faith, friends, and life?
Find a Bible reading plan and do it with your friends. Accountability is the best way I’ve found to stay doing something (Ecc 4:9-10). Pick good friends. Sometimes you have to let friends go that are dragging you down. Try to witness to them, but if you find yourself being dragged down instead of them being lifted up, sometimes it’s not worth it. I have found this out already the hard way. Just keep loving Jesus and everything else will fall into place.

Thank you so much for doing this interview for us, Sarah!

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Little Things

Sometimes, the simplest things make my heart soar. Like, for instance, playing Hi-Ho Cherri-o with my little sister this morning. A seemingly small thing, but to see her face light up and hear her cute giggle as we both enjoyed the game was just..wonderful.

Sometimes it's the little things that matter the most. Like hearing an encouraging word, seeing someone smile who you've never seen smile before, being able to encourage someone, or getting along with a sibling. And sometimes it's little acts of obedience that draw others ever close to God. Let me elaborate...

We, as Christians, are called to obey God. It's not a suggestion, like, "Maybe you could obey God today. If you want." It's a clear command. God commands it. But, a lot of Christians don't know that obedience to God is not just big things, like going on a mission trip, delivering Bibles to underground churches, or something of the sort. Although all those things are WONDERFUL, and many people are called to do those things, Christians don't realize that the little things we do also make an impact.

What if that kid no one likes at school could be impacted by you?
What if a little child is watching you and wanting to be like you, and you don't even know it?
What if how you talk to your mom could totally affect your attitude the whole day?

A smile or a "hi" can go a long way. Sometimes when I'm having a bad day, someone will show kindness to me that will totally brighten the rest of my day...or at least brighten it a bit.

So that's what I'd like to ask you. What if YOU could be the brightness to that kid at school? What if YOU could show respect to your mom? What if YOU could take the time to play with your little sister?

Little things seem insignificant temporarily, but in the long run, you'd be surprised how many people remember if you made a difference in their life by something you did or said - whether it was big or little. The point is: be on the lookout for little ways you can spread God's light. It's awesome to go on mission trips and preach the Good News of God's love and salvation, but if you are not reflecting Christ in your everyday life, how are the people around you every day going to be impacted?

Little things can impact people in big ways. So why not spread God's love by doing little things that will shine His light into others' lives?
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Girlz Like You Interview: Kristiana G., 14
















Kristiana from the lovely blog januarylemongrass has agreed to do a Girlz Like You interview for us!
(by the way, her blog is really cool! You can check it out - and follow - HERE!)

You can check out more Girlz Like You interviews HERE.


Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a "teen aged" young lady who loves my sweet Jesus! I am the oldest of seven children and would NOT trade it for anything! We homeschool and I enjoy it tremendously!

What are your hobbies?
I REALLY like photography and recently started doing photo sessions with other families (more on my photography HERE). I also enjoy sewing, reading, crocheting, chatting via google+, working with my grandparents who are missionaries to Mexico.

When did you get saved?
I got saved when I was about 4 years old. I remember my dad coming in the room and we prayed and I accepted Jesus into my heart. I also remember him giving me a special white angel bear. I still have it, and it reminds me of that special night when Jesus came into my heart. I was baptized when I was about seven - yes, I know, very young, but I still remember very clearly. :)

What is your favorite Bible verse?
To pick one would be very difficult, but I think one of my favorites is: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." -2 Corinthians 12:9. Its a great reminder that no matter what might happen, HE has everything under control and is bigger then any difficulty or triumph. It reminds me of a quote that says, "There is no Testimony without the Test."

What is your blog about januarylemongrass, about?
My blog is mainly a place to encourage other young ladies and share what is going on in my life and what the Lord puts on my heart. I also like sharing crafts, projects, and tutorials. It has also been really neat to meet new people like you and many others. :D

What is your main goal for your blog?
My main goal for my blog is to share my heart, faith, and my favorite things for others to read and enjoy.  I am NOT perfect, and I fully admit to that, but I think it is encouraging just to hear what other Christian young ladies are doing about their faith.  Each is learning something different and new.

What is something God has been teaching you lately?
I think the Lord has been working on my heart for missions. For me it is often difficult to step out of my "comfort zone" and reach out to people that I know I should be reaching out to. I have always wanted to be a missionary, and I thank my grandparents for putting that desire in my heart. We have always been in very missions-supportive churches. Ever since I was little, I remember all of the missionaries that would come to our church in January for the missions conference. All of their stories just tugged on my heart. I know that if that is what the Lord is calling me to be, a missionary in a foreign country, I need to learn here. Because if I can't do it here, how will I be able to do it there? Why should the Lord send me there if I can't even do it here? This is a subject I could write about for pages and pages. :)

What is your favorite thing about God?
 My favorite thing about God is that He is always there to comfort us and help us when its REALLY hard to be patient with that the little brother or sister who won't sop fussing, or when you've had a bad day. My other favorite thing is how He brings amazing people into my life and heart. <3

What is your view on purity, modesty, and courtship?
I believe in saving my very first kiss for my my future husband. I believe that saving your first everything is a very precious gift and is REALLY special! I don't believe in having a boyfriend; guy friends are good, but when it gets to be something more it is easy for your purity to become in jeopardy. Modesty is very important to me. I enjoy dressing fashionable without wearing super skinny jeans or blouses that show to much. I mostly like wearing skirts but I also enjoy wearing jeans, but I just find skirts more comfortable :) Courtship.... all the way! My parents had a dating relationship and they both regret not courting. Unfortunately, they were totally unaware to this concept at the time. I love the whole idea that my future husband will have to talk to my dad before he approaches me. I have always liked the idea of courting.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a missionary :) I'm not exactly sure where yet (although I'm hoping for Mexico :) But we truly all are missionaries spreading the light of Jesus. We always pray that wherever we go we will be a light. When you truly, really and deeply have a relationship with God it just shines from within you. :)

Do you have any advice for girls on life and faith?
I think my advice would be make sure that your relationship with Jesus is truly real and sincere. When you don't have a truly real relationship with the Lord it is oh, so easy to slip and fall, and it becomes hard to find your way up. Guard your hearts, because the devil prowls like a lion to ready steal, kill and destroy.

Thanks so much for doing this interview, Kristiana!

Readers - don't forget to check out Kristiana's BLOG and her grandparents' WEBSITE.

(picture courtesy Kristiana)

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Satisfied in Him

I keep finding myself grumbling on the inside.

122 followers? That other blog has hundreds more. And their posts aren't any better than mine!

44,000 pageviews? That's pretty cool. But wait til you see how many pageviews HER blog has! over 200,000!

And so on and so forth. I find myself grumbling because, although I realize I am immensely blessed, I am not satisfied. I keep hoping that maybe when I get more followers and more pageviews I will feel like a "cool Blogger" who other Bloggers dream of being friends with, gaining words of encouragement, inspiration, and conviction from my blog. But each day I find myself unsatisfied because I keep comparing myself to others instead of being happy with the followers that God has already blessed me with, the pageviews God has already blessed me with. Like the lyrics of a Johnny Lang song say:

"If I can only reach one set of ears, I know that I fulfilled my purpose here." (One Person at a Time, Johnny Lang)

A verse that came to mind as I began this post is Romans 12:2. It says:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

God's will is not for me to try to be like other Bloggers. His will is not for me do my posts one way or another because I think I will gain more followers and more pageviews if I do it a certain way. His will is not that I would be envious and jealous of other Bloggers. His will is that I would be me and that I would shine His light.
If I am trying way too hard to portray someone I'm not to you, then the real me won't shine through. And that's totally not what I want. I'd like to be real, and I'd like to be satisfied with what I do have. I'd like to be an instrument of God. I want to tell you about Him and let Him do the rest. Because, honestly, if this blog is all about me, then it's not going to be all about Him. And that is the last thing I want.

So I'm going to try to become more satisfied knowing that God is all I need, not the perfect amount of followers or pageviews. God knows who needs to read what I'm writing on my blog, and He wants me to be genuine and to know that I can only be satisfied resting in His arms...and nowhere - nowhere - else.
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Confessions

Some Bloggers title these posts "Things I Probably Shouldn't Confess," but in my personal opinion, why shouldn't you confess them? Different people have different personalities, so why not let yours shamelessly shine? :-)

1} I'm not big on the whole "vintage" thing. I'm not into vintage clothes or older music, and although I think vintage cameras are cute, I'd much rather carry around a camera that's going to produce good-quality pictures. The one vintage thing I would love to own is a typewriter.
2} I'm not big on the whole lowercase letters deal. I mean, I think it can look cool (LOL my sidebar titles are lowercase), but I don't like them for all the time. And, on that note, I think the Lord's Name should always, ALWAYS be capitalized.
3} I would love to own a fancy ball gown! They are so beautiful and majestic.
4} I totally don't understand how some people like to write but don't like to read. Can someone explain that to me? :-)
5} I used to do ballet, but currently I am terrible at any kind of dancing.
6} I need to redraw the winner for one of the prizes for the last giveaway (I'm busy today, but I will do it soon!).
7} I'm a big procrastinator (see above).
8} My mom took me shopping at Kmart yesterday, but I didn't find anything (except jeans, but I didn't buy them). I wanted to spend money (LOL). Fail.
9} I'm writing this on my iPod.
10} I've never owned a for-real cell phone. I have an old one, but it doesn't call anybody.

If you do a confessions post, I'd love to read it! Leave the link in a comment.

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Girlz Like You Interviews: Miss Raquel D.










(Check out more Girlz Like You interviews HERE!)
By the way, I will do a "real" post soon :-).

 Thanks so much, Miss Raquel, for agreeing to do this interview for us!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m the daughter to two wonderful parents, second-oldest child of seven children, a friend to many…and most importantly, a daughter of God. :) (You can find out more about me on my About Me page on my blog…)

What are your hobbies?
I have quite a few…but I think my favorites are writing, reading, crocheting, horse-back riding, hanging out with friends, and blogging :)

When did you get saved?
 September 2001…9/11 had a great impact on my receiving the LORD as my Savior. It got me thinking about where I would go, if I had died in one of the Twin Towers.

What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
 Well, goodness, I can’t pick just one! :D haha But one of my favorites is Psalm 37:4-6. It has spoken to me in my areas of my life…and encouraged and blessed me to know that no matter what happens in life, the LORD should always be my main focus.

Who is your #1 inspiration?
 My Mama. :) And I also have some close friends and ladies who I really, really respect and look up to.

What is your favorite thing about God?
That He is always there…and never changing.

What is your view on purity, modesty, and courtship?
Oh, goodness…I could take up two whole pages writing on this subject! :) I would suggest that you check out articles that I’ve written on my blog about these subjects. They’d be the easiest way to direct you to my views. But, all in all…I think purity and modesty are huge Biblical standards that I think everyone should set in their life. Courtship – it’s different with different people. Do what you feel convicted to. Not what other people say is ‘courting’.

What do you think about guys and girls being friends?
 I think it’s an amazing and natural part of life. I’ve written quite a few posts on my blog about guy/girl friend relationships. God has blessed me with some amazing guy friends. Seriously, I don’t know what I’d do without them.

Are you waiting to kiss until marriage? Why or why not?
Most definitely! I just feel that that’s what the LORD wants me to do. And from what I’ve heard from those who have waited (and are now married)…waiting for that first kiss was one of the most beautiful things they ever did.
When you go through trials, is there a certain Bible verse or attribute of God that encourages you?
I have a few certain verses that I recite to myself under different circumstances. Does that make sense?

For example…

When I’m feeling anxious or scared: John 14:27

When I’m feeling depressed (which is rare) or sad: Jeremiah 29:11-12

When I’m feeling like I need some encouragement and direction in life: Psalm 37:4-6

When I’m feeling excited and happy…and truly realize how blessed I am in life: 1 Samuel 2:1-2

I would encourage each of you to look up those verses. They are very dear to my heart and I hope they bless you too.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
 Ever since I was about 3 years old, I knew that the LORD wanted me to get married and have lots of little ones. ;)

Through my pre-teen years, I prayed for direction to know what to do before I get married.

And at the moment…the LORD has shown me that He just wants me to be me. A daughter…and sister…and friend…and I pray that I am an encouragement to others in all those areas in life. Because the only goal I have in life, is to bring glory to God. When I die, if I have not accomplished that, I will not have accomplished anything.

What is your goal for your blog?
 I began it as an encouragement for young Christian girls out there (like me). For them to know that they’re not alone in this world. That there are other teenage girls out there…who have the same struggles…who have the same interests…who love the LORD…etc.

And of course, it’s my little internet outlet for me to share fun, random stuff ;) heehee

Do you have any advice for girls on friends, life, and faith?
 Friends…take a lot of work. Just like any relationship in life, friendships are hard, beautiful, crazy, painful, and amazing all at the same time. Just because you and your friend have a little spat, doesn’t mean that it’s the end of your friendship. Work through your differences, and you will find that on the other side of this little river, your friendship is stronger than ever.

Life…you cannot live without God. God created life. He understands it better than you do. Leave your life in His hands…give Him the pen (because, let’s be honest…He already has it…you just keep trying to grab it away from Him)…and He will draw a life for you that you would never have even possibly fathomed.

Faith…is an essential part of life. Without it, you.will.fail. So I suggest you find Someone to have faith in. And if it’s your little statue of buddha, a picture of the virgin Mary or that little spirit that people call allah…then, I’m sorry, but your life isn’t going to go anywhere amazing. Not trying to be mean or anything, but John 14:6, Jesus says: ‘…I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’ That pretty much sums everything up. :)

Talia, thanks so much for featuring me here on your blog!! I pray that my interview was a blessing and encouragement. :) To anyone reading this, please feel free to stop by my blog and leave me a note in my Guestbook. I would love to hear from you. :) I will be checking back on this interview to see comments too. :)

Many blessings on each and every one of you!

::hugs::

Thanks so much for doing this review, Miss Raquel!

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Girlz Like You Interview: Allie, 14











(Check out more Girlz Like You interviews HERE!)

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was adopted from China and ended up living in a wonderful home with wonderful parents who gave me a chance to knw our Lord and Savior.

What are your hobbies? I like tennis, piano, singing, writing stories, taking random pictures, and hanging out with my friends and family.

When did you get saved?
I wish I could say that I got saved when I was young, but I didn't. I found out what real Christianity was once I became older and more into the Word and understanding it. It all started at Camp Kellog in 2010.

What is your favorite thing about God and why?
My favorite thing about God is that you know that He'll never leave you and will always love you no matter what. He also forgives your sins and never looks down at you.

What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Isaiah 40:8 - The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God stands forever.

I love that verse because it's true. Everything may die and become weary, but God's Word will never. (I have it memorized) :)

What is one thing that God has taught you in 2011?
He taught me how to stay strong in walking with Him.
What are some of your goals for 2012?
I don't really have goals right now I can think of, but in my future I want to be a missionary and teach kids out in the world about God. My mother asked me how I would share the Word if I go to a place where they don't allow God and how I wouldn't die. I told her, "If I have to, I'll die for the faith and trust in God because Jesus died for me ,and that I wouldn't leave Him because He never did leave me."
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a nurse and help sick kids and adults become well. I tend to care too much. I also want to be a music teacher.

Do you believe that the media (TV, music, books, magazines) influence girls today? If yes, in a good or bad way and why? If no, why not?
I think that a lot of media does influence girls today. If a girl influenced girls to wear this brand of perfume or a new hairstyle, I bet that they would want to get it and be like the person that was commercialing the product. Some things that people show off to sell is sometimes good, but also bad. I saw this commercial on these CDs called, "I Can Only Imagine" and we called the number and my mom ordered the CDs because on the TV it said that you couldn't find them in stores. I really like the music and that can be one good thing.
What do you do when times get tough?
Half of me wants to put stress on people and yell at them, and the other half of me wants to just calm down and think about every little thing one by one and how I can fix or go through it.
Who is your #1 inspiration?
My mom because she inspires me by her work and words and also her love to God. #2 would be my dad because he inspires me and tries to listen to me and does his best to help me when I have a problem.

Do you have any advice for girls on faith, friends, and life?
Always believe in God because there are some questions Google can't answer. ;)


Thanks for doing this interview, Allie!

p.s. Happy late Valentine's Day, everyone! 

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Girlz Like You Interview: Alisha H., 15














(Check out more Girlz Like You interviews HERE)

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Well, I'm the oldest of four kids, two of whom are adopted. I've been homeschooled most of my life. I love writing, music and friends. I was diagnosed with a rare liver condition when I was four months old, and am currently battling with another illness which is currently undiagnosed.

What are your hobbies?
Music, reading, writing.

When did you get saved?
Well, I was about four when I asked Jesus into my heart.

What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Definitely 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. "

Who is your #1 inspiration?
That's a hard one. There's so many incredible people I look up to in my life and who inspire me. My number one would probably be my best friend's mom. She's been like a second mother to me, and has been inspiring me since I was young. But there are so many people in my life, so it's hard to pick just one.

What is your favorite thing about God?
I love the fact that God gives second chances, and doesn't get upset with me when I don't "get" it. I also love that He's trustworthy, and even when I don't see what's going on, He has a plan.

What is your view on purity, modesty, and courtship?
I think all three are great qualities. I also think the second two play into the first. I don't actually know if I'm all for courtship, as in I don't know if it is something I would want to pursue, but I definitelythink it's a great idea and would love for my family and friends to play a big role in my dating life.

When you go through trials, is there a certain Bible verse or attribute of God that encourages you?
Well, that would probably be my favorite one, 2 Corinthians 12:9. Another one I love is Hosea 2:14.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I would love a career in medicine, however that decides to play out.

What is your goal for your blog?
I went into this whole blogging thing not really having a goal, just planning on writing about my life. Now, though, I do want to be able to encourage others, but I still want to be real and honest and share with people my real struggles, and if they can get something out of that it's just an added bonus. I guess I just write what's on my heart and let God do the rest.

Do you have any advice for girls on friends, life, and faith?
Hmm...I don't know if I'm in a place to be giving advice when I know so little about life myself! One thing I would say is that you don't have to figure everything out. Life is messy sometimes, and it's full of heartbreaking moments, and those are ok. I know what it's like to hurt and to wonder where God is in all of this, and that's ok too. As much as we think we should have all the answers, it's ok to not know. God can take all our feelings, and our questions, and our hurts, and even our anger. To be a good Christian you don't have to fit inside a little box where everything is neat and proper. Life is messy sometimes, and nobody gets that better then Jesus. Life hurts, but Jesus heals, remember that.

Thank you so much for doing this interview for us, Alisha!

More Girlz Like You interviews are coming soon, so stay tuned :-).

(picture courtesy Alisha)

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VFW Banquet

I was gone this weekend, so I have a good excuse for not posting :). Hehe.

This weekend, my family drove four hours away to go to a Veterans of Foreign Wars banquet. We had heard that I won 1st in an essay contest, Patriot's Pen, and my sister was partaking in a speech contest called Voice of Democracy. At the banquet, I was to give my speech and my sister was to find out if she placed (there were 15 other Voice of Democracy high schoolers in the finals).
And guess what? My sister Haley placed third! She did a wonderful job. Here are our speeches...





The after party was great fun too. I haven't laughed that hard in a while! Congratulations to the top 5 winners for Voice of Democracy - Jordin, Liberty, Haley, Emily, and David. All of their speeches were great.

I had a wonderful time at the banquet, and made some great new friends! I am so thankful for the opportunity I got to enter the Patriot's Pen writing contest, but I am even more thankful for what the veterans have done for us!

THANK YOU, VETERANS!
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Giveaway Entrants!

Notice: if it says "put the button the sidebar (3 entries)" for example, you MUST do 3 comments or you will not be entered 3 times. Comment theee separately like this:
Put the button on my sidebar 1/3
Did the button 2/3
Did the button 3/3

Thanks!
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Being a Christian

Some people think that Christianity is a ticket into an easy life.

Actually, it's quite the opposite.

Being a Christian, we will definitely face hardships, persecution, and trials.
Being a Christian, people will make fun of us, mock our faith, and try to get us to believe something different.
Being a Christian, people we thought were our friends will turn their backs on us.
Being a Christian, we will be looked down on.
Being a Christian, we will be laughed at.

In some cases, being a Christian means that you will be killed.

But you know what? It will all be worth it.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says this:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
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Little Smiley Things

My little sister is losing her voice, and she sounds adorable when she giggles.
I went bowling with my dad and siblings, and Dad told me I was using the wrong fingers. Funny thing is, I've been using those fingers for a while and didn't notice!
Chocolate frozen yogurt with gummy worms on top. No further explanation needed.
Looking back at old pictures and fawning over how different people look.
Playing the beginning of "He's a Pirate" over and over trying to get it right.
Eating yummy soup an bread for dinner.

One not-smiley thing is that I'm sick, along with some of my sibs. Your prayers would be GREATLY appreciated, especially since this weekend I'm giving a speech at a big banquet!

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Giveaway Note

Bethany from Hands That Bless is unable to sponsor the blue hat at this time, but she has offered to sponsor a 30% coupon to her shop. So sorry for any confusion. Also, somebody asked if you can enter to win one item. No, you cannot, sorry. By entering, you don't know which item you will win.

Thanks!
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100 Followers Giveaway!

114 followers??? Thank you guys so much!
To celebrate this milestone, I'm having a giveaway! Yeah! And there's some pretty cool stuff lined up for you to win.

I wanna say thank you to all the sponsors as well! This wouldn't be happening without you!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Sorry for any inconvenience!




Now, let's get to the prizes :-).









^Blue Rose Earrings donated by Kelsey.
shop//blog

30% Off Coupon to Hands That Bless!

Donated by Bethany.
shop//blog







^Lollipop Earrings donated by Hannah and Melody.
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^Any one item from Lilpaper Boutique (no custom orders).



^Any one item from Neesie Designs.









^Minnie Mouse Cupcake Earrings donated by mmagda.
shop









^These earrings donated by Tiffany.
shop





^A complete blog design (custom header, background, button, footer, arranges gadgets) donated by Blog Designs By Emma.







(one of her designs^)
^A custom blog design donated by Emma Margaret.
^This handmade bookmark donated by Korin L.








^This blue jade bracelet donated by Jesse Anne.
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Jesse also generously offered to send me my own in any color I wanted to review. I chose pink!











This bracelet is gorgeous. I wore it to church, and I'm wearing it right now! It is comfortable, elegant, and will match a lot of my clothes. It came packaged very nicely, and it has no dings, scratches, or marks. Plus, Jesse sent it to be very fast! If there was one thing about the bracelet that wasn't totally amazing, it's that it's still a bit too loose, even when it's on the tightest claspy thingy :) (my wrists aren't super skinny or anything). But, this bracelet is definitely lovely, and the fast shipping and good quality were added pluses!

That's ELEVEN prizes! How cool is that? So, how can you be entered for a chance to win one of these lovely prizes?

(please comment separately for EACH ENTRY! e.g. i follow you 1/2)

Mandatory:
Follow Girlz of God (1 entry)
Follow Talia Grace Photography (1 entry)

Other Entries:
Heart each of the Etsy shops (1 entry per shop you heart)
Buy something from one of the shops (10 entries per shop you buy from)
Follow Kels's blog (1 entry)
Follow Emma Margaret's blog (1 entry)
Follow Melody's blog (1 entry)
Follow Bethany's blog (1 entry)
Follow Jesse Anne's blog (1 entry)
Follow Emma's blog (1 entry)
Heart an item from Lilpaper Boutique (1 entry, no extra entries for hearting multiple items)
Follow Lilpaper Boutique on Twitter (1 entry)
Sign up for the Lilpaper Boutique newsletter (3 entries) olsontrs(at)netscape(dot)net
Tell me your favorite item from each shop (1 entry for each item you tell me, in separate comments)
Add the giveaway button (above) to your blog sidebar (3 entries)
Post about the giveaway with a link to it on your blog (leave link below) (3 entries)

That's thirty possible entries! So what are you waiting for? Get entering! This giveaway will end on MARCH 1ST, 2012.
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Things I'm Smiling About {2}

~trying crab puffs for the first time and really liking them.
~eating at a chinese restaurant with friends.
~learning to play "he's a pirate" on the piano.
~family movie nights.
~giants are gonna win the super bowl (hopefully :-)).
~reading tim tebow's book.
~taking pictures.
~an upcoming giveaway i'm hosting.
~114 followers.
~a new bracelet.
~laughing & talking with friends at church.
~finding out you made a difference in someone's life.
~youth group.

what are you smiling about?



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Security, Worth, and Snow White

Nearly everybody wants what they don't have. Whether that's an iPod, a boyfriend, a good dad, beauty, or anything else, we are not content with what we have.

But why?

I think one of the main reasons we want what we don't have is because we feel either partially or fully empty and insecure. We're too busy focusing on our flaws that we don't take time to focus on (not boast about - that's different) the many beautiful things that God has created in us.

Take the story of Snow White, for example. Her stepmother, the evil queen, was too busy trying to be the fairest and the best that she didn't realize that that's not what's important.



Snow White, on the other hand, wasn't concerned with being the best or the brightest. She was just her true, kind, helpful self, which made her even more beautiful.

The truth is, God made us each beautiful in our own way, and He gave us each talents that we can use to glorify Him and shine His light. But, if we're too concerned with being the best and the brightest - wanting what everyone else has instead of being content with our genuine selves - our true beauty will not shine and radiate to its full potential. It will be hidden behind a bitter scowl or an insecure sad face.

The only One who can fulfill you is Jesus. So let's stop looking for worth in other places. Let's stop feeling insecure about ourselves, because God truly created us to beautiful - with or without the "perfect look," a boyfriend, or the best family in the neighborhood. Jesus is what we need.

(all pictures source)

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Coming Soon: 100 Followers Giveaway!

Thank you all *so* much for following my blog! You all are sweet :-). To celebrate this milestone (100 followers + 11!), I want to host a giveaway! It's almost ready, but not quite. There are still a couple of things I need to do. In the meantime, is there anybody else who would like to sponsor (if you sponsor, you can still enter, you just can't win what you sponsored :-)).

Right now, I have about 6 prizes, and I'd like to get at least 4 more if not more than that? If you'd like to know the details about sponsoring and all that, or if you're interested, email me at girlzofgod(at)gmail(dot)com. I am looking for a sponsor for a blog design, too, so if that's your thing, give me a holler :-).

Thanks a million {with a nickel on top}!

God bless y'all!
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Giveaway Winners!

If you are a winner (Beau-Nanza $10 shop credit (click the link - there's a new shop!) - Kara L., friendship bracelets - Godsgirlz1, one item from Emma Margaret Designs - Ireland), email me at girlzofgod(at)gmail(dot)com and I will get you in contact with your sponsor!

CONGRATULATIONS!
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Movie Review: Courageous



After seeing the amazing movies Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof (all made by Sherwood Pictures, who made "Courageous"), I was very excited to go see this^. I hoped it would be a great movie, and I was definitely not disappointed with what I saw!

Courageous follows the entwined stories of police deputies Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, Shane Fuller, rookie David Thompson, and a man named Javier Martinez. All of these men have one thing in common: they're dads. And as this heart-touching film progresses, all of the men - on their own personal journeys - discover what it really means to be a good father.

This movie starred these people (who were all great actors)...











< Alex Kendrick as Adam Mitchell (he's also co-producer with his brother, Stephen Kendrick).










< Ken Bevel as Nathan Hayes. (He was probably my favorite actor. He did a wonderful job!)
^Kevin Downes as Shane Fuller.
^Ben Davies as David Thompson.
^Robert Amaya as Javier Martinez.

I thought that all of the actors did a great job  - especially ^these guys, but the other actors and actresses as well.

^Awesome scene.
In conclusion, this movie was phenomenal. I loved it. There wasn't a thing about it I didn't like. There was no language, and it was a wonderful movie about being the dad that God wants you to be. It also covered some other issues like loss, heartache, purity, and a few others. What an amazing movie! 


(all pictures source)

(see the full review of the movie on pluggedin.com. Please note that the review contains spoilers!)

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Life's a Journey

It's February. It's hard to believe that a month has already gone by in 2012. It seems like we were just lighting the fireworks, cheering, and shouting, "Happy New Year!"














As the years go by at a rate that seems to get faster and faster as I get older, I am learning time and time again that life is a journey. I look back now at past obstacles and trials I went through, and I can see in a lot of those instances how God was trying to teach me something, protect me from something, or reveal Himself to me. He proves amazing and trustworthy ever second of every day. There will be bumps and hills in your road of life, but God can and will carry you through those times, even if He doesn't do what you'd like Him to do, or He doesn't answer your prayers in the way you think He will or want Him to.












So even if the scenery along your road isn't the prettiest, or even if the sky is gray, or even if the road seems endless, keep on keeping on.

'Cause God is with you every step of the way.

"So don't you give up now; the sun will soon be shining. You've gotta face the clouds to find the silver lining. I've seen dreams that move the mountains, hope that doesn't ever end - even when the sky is falling. I've seen, miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new. That's what faith can do."  - What Faith Can Do, Kutless

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." - Matthew 7:13-14

(pictures via google.com)

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etiquette and such

Girlz of God Copyright Talia DeAndrea 2010, 2011, 2012. "Genuine," "Girlz of God," and "Tania's Faith" book excerpts Copyright Talia DeAndrea 2010, 2011, 2012. All pictures Copyright Talia DeAndrea, unless otherwise noted. Please do not steal or copy anything on this blog without my permission. Thank you :-).

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