Little Happy Things


^Joshua Ledet singing "When a Man Loves a Woman." He has an amazing God-given voice!
^This Disney/Hunger Games preview. So funny!



^This beautiful picture.

^This quote. So true.


^This quote/picture. So very true!
^This cake. IT'S A CAMERA! That is so cool...I wouldn't want to eat it, it's so cool looking!
And also...
This modesty blog // this Disney's Ariel-inspired wedding gown // finnick odair // camera tripods // this Britt Nicole CD // this Jason Gray CD //  and this devotional blog!
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Dreams and Reality

I am definitely not a pessimist.

When I told one of my friends that I didn't like how the last Hunger Games book ended, he said, "It's realistic." I've decided I strongly dislike reality.

Maybe watching Disney princess movies when I was younger contributed to it, but I have always been a dreamer.
I've always believed in dreaming big dreams and chasing those dreams. I believe in "happily ever after" (even if it's not in a sparkling palace). I don't (at least, I try not to) let "reality" tell me I can't dream those dreams (and achieve them).

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Some people think the world is too big or their are too many people who need help that our efforts at helping will be useless. That, of course, is not true.

I'm not sure where exactly I'm going with this post. I guess I just want you to remember this: with God, anything is possible. YOU can change the life of an orphan or homeless person. YOU can feed the hungry. YOU can dream and achieve those dreams. YOU can amount to great things. YOU can spread God's love to the people of this world who have been overwhelmed by "reality" and have immense trouble believing that God is the Creator who loves them.

Life won't be perfect. Troubles are a given. But don't let your troubles stop you from believing that you can make a difference, that you can dream.

"Reality" has us believe that our lives are pointless, that we will never amount to anything, that divorce comes hand-in-hand with marriage, and on and on and on. But you know what? That doesn't have to be YOUR reality.

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"Somebody to Love"

This is a video from the music show, "The Magic of Music," of all of us performing the song "Somebody to Love" by Queen. My sister is the lead singer, and I am in the middle of the backup singers. Hope you enjoy it :-).

p.s. This Thursday on American Idol, Marc Martel from the Christian band downhere will be performing "Somebody to Love" with other performers. I'm excited to see it ;-)! Photobucket

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The Magic of Music

This weekend has been hectic...but very fun. My sister Haley and I had the chance the participate in a show that explores the many moods of music, called "The Magic of Music." It was extremely fun, and I had such a great time!
There were four other girls in the show - E, M, A, and C - and they all did a great job. They are each very unique and have great voices. I thought their songs fit their voices very well, and the way they interpreted the songs was wonderful.
Each of us had two or more solos. Mine were "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music, "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles, and "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables. Haley sang "Evergreen" by Barbara Streisand, "Have Your Way" by Britt Nicole, and she led the group number "Somebody to Love" by Queen. The group numbers were "Thank You For the Music" (Abba), "You'll Never Walk Alone" (Carousel), "Somebody to Love" (Queen), and "I Believe" (Ervin Drake). M and I did a duet, "Ain't We Got Fun" (Richard A. Whiting), and Haley and C did a hilarious duet called "Stepsisters' Lament" (Cinderella).
I'd like to thank all of the girls in the show for being so cooperative, friendly, and wonderful! Love you all!
I'd also like to thank Dan, Anita, and Daniel...thank you so much for all you do for us and for your openness to all your suggestions. You put so much work into these shows, and I hope you all had as much fun as I did!

So what did YOU lovely ladies do this weekend?!?!?!

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My Choice to Court

I've done a post on purity before, but I thought I'd do a sort of follow-up talking about courting.
Now, before you get the picture in your head of an old-fashioned couple riding around in a carriage, let me give you an accurate definition of current "courting."
Wikipedia defines courtship like this:


"Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind."

Here is my friend Mikaylah's definition of purity from her lovely blog, Beautiful Discretion: (btw, she has great things to say on her blog and I'd definitely recommend checking it out and following it!)

"If a guy is interested in you, he would have to go to your dad, and your dad would see what his intentions are, why he wants to go out with you, and if he thinks you two could have a life together... which, of course, means marriage... If the dad says yes to y'all both courting, the couple would be allowed to date in groups with no one-on-one time, unless the parents on both sides think you can positively handle being alone, and not get involved.'

While this does not cover all that courtship is, I think it sums it up pretty well for the most part. I think of "courtship" like this:


The man (note: man, not boy) interested in getting to know me would approach my father and ask his permission to get to know me better (doesn't that sound more romantic than a guy texting you and asking you if you wanna go to a movie?). If my dad says yes, we would get to know each other as friends in group settings...fun stuff like youth group outings and game nights with my family. I believe that when two people that are interested in each other, even if their intentions are pure, can get into tempting situations if they are alone. That's why I think the group setting is the best approach to the possible relationship.

Now, why have I personally chosen to court when I am older? And why am I waiting until I'm older, for that matter? Let's tackle these two questions separately...


1. Why have I chosen to court?
I believe that purity is something very important to God (check out Psalm 51:10), and I'd like to avoid any situations that could tempt me or my potential court-er to compromise our boundaries. I also believe that a man who chooses to court rather than date shows great responsibility and maturity...the fact that he will have to muster up the courage to ask my dad if he can get to know me is pretty cool. I also believe that it is good to develop a friendship with the man you want to possibly have a romantic relationship with in the future. Besides, if he's going to be your husband someday, shouldn't the two of you be best friends? And if this man could very well be your husband someday, shouldn't he get to know your family, too? Please don't be offended if you have chosen to date, but in some (not all) dating circumstances, the boyfriend and girlfriend are a "couple" just because of...

1) peer pressure
2) fun
3) just so they have a girlfriend/boyfriend

They are most likely not thinking about marriage or thinking of the other person...they may not be mature enough for a romantic relationship. And I know this is certainly not always the case, and many people choose to date and do so wisely; courting is just something I have chosen for me personally.


2. Why am I waiting until I'm older?
Although I don't know what God's going to do with my future, I'd like to wait until I'm out of college until I even consider a romantic relationship. I will be busy with school and other things, and I'd like to finish all that before considering getting married. I also believe that teens like me are too young to date...people who date at the ages of 13, 14, 15, and even 16 and 17 most likely won't be getting married. The relationship is usually just for fun or to make them feel good...nothing of eternal value. I'd also like my potential spouse to be out of college and know what he wants to do with his life so he can support a family.

So...these are my thoughts. I'm sorry if I offended you; I certainly didn't mean to. If you have anything to share, or even an opposing opinion, please feel free to comment (in love).



What do you think about courting? Are you going to date or court, or are you unsure?
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Love Poured Out: Blog Party Link-Up


 
1. Introduce yourself a little bit for those dropping by from the link up...
Why, hello there. I'm Talia...I'm homeschooled (and I LOVE it!), I love to write, photography is one of my passions, and I like to fiddle around with web design. Nice to meet you (well, technically, I didn't meet you...because you're reading this...we're not having a conversation...nevermind....)

2. Maybe share a picture of yourself? (optional)
Well, sure.
(hint hint: ^that's me. Just in case you didn't catch that. Haha, sorry...in a funny mood at the moment)

3. What are your favorite colors to wear during the spring?
The same that I wear in the non-spring. LOL! I'm wearing black right now, actually. I like wearing pink any time of year.

4. Favorite accessories to wear?
Hmm...I like my silver hoop earrings, and pretty much any of the necklaces/bracelets I own. I love my purity ring, too, but it leaves a mark on my hand...

5. Hats? What's your opinions of them? What style do you like best? Are baseball caps unfeminine?
I don't really like hats. I like my hot pink-white-and-black beanie, though. Baseball caps can be unfeminine, but not if they're pink with sparkles! Random.

6. Where you live, what are the first signs that Spring is coming?
Flowers! And the weather gets slightly sunnier.

7. What is a normal Spring activity in your house?
School, cleaning, playing instruments, practicing for plays and such.

8. What are you looking forward to this upcoming Spring/Summer?
SO much! Oh my goodness. There's a show I'm in, two friends are coming to visit, talent show, practice for Alice in Wonderland...busy, busy, busy...

9. Are you planning on taking any trips?
Yeah, one, like four hours away to see Tim Hawkins (the comedian)!

10. Will you be involved in some sort of volunteer work this year?
Not sure.

11. Do you plan on doing something different this year than in 2011?
Yes, lots...including eating healthier and exercising more, and soo much moreeeee.

12. If you were driving a convertible on a breezy, warm day what music would be playing on your radio?
Something with a ukulele. Or just Christian contemporary music...both are wonderful :-).

13. Is there any book or movies you want to read/see this spring/summer?
Hmm....well, I just finished the Hunger Games trilogy, so cross that off. Hunger Games. Ummm...OH, right, movies...."Brave" and "Avengers." YAYAYAY!

14. Complete this sentence...please. "A Spring day is perfect with--"
FROZEN YOGURT!

15. Have you turned on your AC yet?
Nopey dopey.

16. What smell brings past spring memories to you?
Uh...I dunno.

17. During the warmer months of the year, do you tend to hole yourself up inside, or get out and enjoy the weather?
Get outside most likely.

18. Please, take a look around our Etsy shops. Is there anyway we can improve to make our
shops stand out and make a better appeal?
Etsy shops? *searches for link to Etsy shop* *scrolling up, then down...* AHA! Found it. Well, the shop looks good to me...but maybe a few items would be cool? On "Love Poured Out"?
 
There was no number 19 question! Oh, well...I will change "20" to 19...

19. (haha see<<<) In marketing- do you think it is important for a blog and Etsy to, somewhat, match?
Never really thought about it before, but sure. Then they would go together better.

21. Like blog buttons, would you share a button linked to an Etsy shop that you like?
Maybe if I loved the shop and the items.
 

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In Which I am Tired of In Whiches

Jocee and Anna did posts here and here on "finding your niche." But what exactly does that mean?

I've been slowly realizing that I am conforming and trying to be like other bloggers. Sure, you probably hear this a lot from other bloggers, but...really, I don't want to pretend to be someone I'm not.


I haven't deceived you in who I am. I mean, I tell you I love photography and writing, and that is absolutely true. I didn't just decide to grab a camera when I found out that was "the thing to do" in the blogging world. I liked photography and writing before I ever got on the blogging world...in fact, in a way, blogging is a good way for me to do BOTH of those things.


It seems to me like the whole "vintage" thing is big in the blog world. I haven't decided to like it because others do. It's simply not my thing.

But I have done small things on my blog that aren't me...things that I picked up from other blogs (you got it - the ones with gazillions of followers and bajillions of comments...we all envy them, don't we?). For example, I started beginning some of my post titles with "In Which." I never, ever did that before I got onto blogger.

I'm not saying that if somebody does something and you think it's cool and do it too that's flat-out wrong. What I'm saying is I was trying to get more followers, more comments, more stupid pageviews....more, more more...I know it's stupid. It sounds stupid to me as I'm typing this! I felt like I had to keep a balance of interesting, fun, and inspirational posts so that you would continue reading...follow...comment...but my posts should come from my heart always, and I shouldn't feel like I need to up the amount of inspirational posts because another blog is filled with them. No.
I've decided that my blog design isn't me. Sure, I really like it, but...it's not me. The lowercase letters on the sidebar? Not me. I like proper grammar and capitalization just fine, thanks. (I should practice, too, since I want to BE a writer ☺. Hehe) It's really a pretty design, but it's a bit too vintage-y for my liking. However, the typewriter on the header...love it. LOL!

So here's the dealio. A girl who starts her posts with "In Which" (minus this one, haha) is not me. I am a girl who really loves to write and take pictures, who loves to stay up late reading in bed, who loves pretty ball gowns and fancy fingernails, who is not a fan of Adele or Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez, who goes into the bathroom to sing just because it has good acoustics, who got scared of the old Star Trek TV show when she was about seven, who reads old letters over and over and cherishes precious memories. That's me.


I've found my "niche." Have you?
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Project 147 and Note to Giveaway Winners

Click here to visit me today on Project 147!

Also, giveaway winners...

Please comment below or email me at girlzofgod(at)gmail(dot)com if I have not gotten you in contact with your sponsors yet or if you have not received your prize yet. Sorry about that...we've been really busy!

Thanks!
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One Blissful Moment

There's no one in the house but me. The only sounds come from the heaters, the dishwasher, and the soft tick-tock of the clock on the wall.

In a few minutes, everyone will return.

But I know what I want to do. I pull out the piano bench, sit on the hard wood. I open the book, look at the notes...

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Then I start to play...quietly, softly, then loudly...accentuating the right notes and softening others, my fingers gliding gracefully over the keys.
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The song flows from my fingers. This is blissful. In all of the activities going on in my life, this moment of pure bliss refreshes me...soothes me.

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Then the song ends. The others return home, the noises grow louder.

But I won't forget the one blissful moment I just experienced. Because in all of the busy-ness of life, I think taking a moment to relax and just enjoy yourself is good. Because playing the piano touches somewhere deep inside...a beautiful place from which I draw inspiration...and I don't ever wanna forget.

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p.s. In case you're wondering, this is the song I was playing. That video isn't ME playing it, but it is the song I was playing :-).

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Alice in Wonderland

Most of you do not know this, but my sister, brother and I are going to be in the show "Alice in Wonderland" put on by New Artists Productions. I love doing theatre and have been in three shows - The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Mulan Jr., and The Incan Princess - two of which were with New Artists Productions. My sister and I are going to be in a music show this month as well, and I'm pretty excited for it!
So, today we found out what characters we are playing in "Alice in Wonderland." My brother is playing a mouse.

My sister is playing...

The Queen of Hearts :-). How fun is that? Haley is a great actress and I know she can totally pull off this roll.

I am playing...

Tweedle Dee! I am sooo excited for this roll, and I think it will be VERY fun! My great friend Kylie is playing Tweedle Dum, so I think we will have a really fun time playing these roles. I'm not gonna lie, I was surprised when they said that I was playing Tweedle Dee - but pleasantly surprised! I'm very excited.

So that's what I'm up to this month...+ a whole bunch of other stuff. What are you up to? If you could be in one musical or play, which would it be?

p.s. Coming soon: guest post by DJ Wilson!
p.p.s. I'm thinking about doing a Q-&-A video...maybe, maybe not. SOOO, if you have any questions - any at all, about anything - feel free to comment below ♥. Thanks a million!
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Vlog 1: Worth

So this is my first Vlog...I'm hoping that the video works (please let me know if it does!).

God loves you!

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My First-Ever Fashion Post!

I like cute, modest clothes, but I really wouldn't call myself a fashionista (haha). Fashion isn't really my "thing"...but my mom got me this really cool shirt from Sevenly! Sevenly donates portions of the profit to different nonprofit organizations. They did Show Hope once! They have a different design for every profit they donate to, and the designs are really cute. If you buy a shirt this week, a portion of the profit goes to buying jars filled with fun stuff for kids who are battling cancer! How cool is that? Click HERE to check out the Sevenly website and HERE to check out the blog.

The shirt my mom got me has a boy from Uganda on it. I thought that was really cool since we are adopting a little boy from Uganda! The shirt says "Orphans Matter."


Shirt: Sevenly
Jeans: Walmart
Shoes: Payless
Ring: Claire's

p.s. Thanks to my sister Haley for taking these pics :-).
p.p.s. Nela at Beloved Star posted about this blog, and I visited it and think it's really cool! Check it out!
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He is Risen!!!

HE IS RISEN!!! (TRULY SOMETHING TO REJOICE ABOUT!!!!!!!)

My Easter was pretty great. We went to church, my sister and I donning our summery dresses that we haven't worn for quite sometime, and then had lunch with both sets of grandparents at my grandparents' house. It was delicious - healthy, but still delicious. Ham, potatoes, broccoli salad ♥, and deviled eggs ♥ (I had three). My family has been trying to eat healthy as of late, but we were still allowed to have our chocolate crosses from Grandma and Grandpa...and, boy, were they delicious :-).

After lunch, Haley and I hid eggs for our younger siblings. They had coins in them instead of chocolate ☺. They had a fun little Easter egg hunt around my grandparents' house and then opened the eggs to find coins inside! Hehe.
Amidst all the bunnies, chocolate, mounds of food, eggs, and other Easter hullabaloo, it's great to remember - as it is every holiday - the real Reason for the season. I know people say that on Christmas, but really, it's just as true on Easter. JESUS CHRIST is the Reason for Easter - not bunnies and chocolate! Christ rose from the grave! He is so amazing...He always keeps His promises - 2,000 years ago and today. Christ's love is amazing...never forget how much God loves you, and remember the true Reason for the season! HE IS RISEN! Just as He said! And He is coming back again someday (no one knows when)!

Matthew 28:6 {NIV}
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

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It's No Secret...

...that ever since I read the first Hunger Games book and saw the movie, I've been a bit obsessed. Hehe :-).

I finished Mockingjay yesterday, and it was...okay. But disappointing.


***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS CONTAINED IN THE FOLLOWING PORTION OF THIS POST. Please don't read unless you want Mockingjay to be totally ruined for you or you've read it before :-).***

In Mockingjay, Katniss kind of becomes...hard. It's not difficult for her to kill people. Sure, she totally cares about people...certain people...but at times she can be a bit bloodthirsty (especially for President Snow, which is understandable because he is so devastatingly evil, but...). The whole book is basically about the rebellion against the Capitol. Katniss agrees to be the "Mockingjay" - the symbol for the whole rebellion - on a few terms...

*The family cat, Buttercup, is allowed to live
*Peeta, Johanna, Annie, and Enobaria have immunity
*And Katniss gets to kill Snow

Did I mention that Katniss and her family and Gale are now living in District 13, which actually exists and is entirely underground?

Yeah.

So anyway, a group goes to rescue Peeta, but when they come back with him, he really wants to kill Katniss and attempts to choke her once. Crazy, right? Especially since they were "star-crossed lovers"? Well, turns out the Capitol hijacked his brain using lots of tracker JACKer venom and twisted his thoughts so he thought Katniss was evil. He was pretty annoying for most of the book because he wasn't...himself. So the people in District 13 are trying to get him back to normal.

Long story short, Katniss and a team of people go to the Capitol, and she is planning on trying to kill Snow. She ends up starting on fire (girl on fire...haha) and losing consciousness right after seeing a bunch of parachutes dropping from supposedly the Capitol in a hovercraft in the sky, killing a bunch of kids...along with her sister Prim.

When Katniss wakes up, someone alerts her that the war is over and the Capitol has now been taken over by Coin - the leader of the rebellion who wanted Katniss dead. Coin holds a meeting where people vote whether or not to do a Hunger Games with the Captiol kids. Doesn't that sound terrible? To my surprise, Katniss votes yes.

Katniss discovers that it was really Coin who killed all of the children in the bombing. So on the day when Katniss is supposed to shoot President Snow, she shoots Coin instead and is confined for quite some time. President Snow dies from either choking on blood from laughing or being trampled; no one really knows.

While in confinement, Katniss wants to kill herself, but finds no way to. When she's brought out of confinement, someone tells her that Paylor - a lady from District 8 who I like - became the president of Panem now and President Snow died. Katniss gets transported back to District 12, which was destroyed by bombing in book 2, minus a few of the nice houses. Peeta eventually returns to normal, and he and Katniss marry and have two children after fifteen years, and Katniss never sees Gale or her mother again. She realizes Gale wasn't for her, even though they were best friends. There are never any more Hunger Games, but her children learn about it in school. Katniss makes up a game in her head where she thinks of every good thing anyone has ever done. They make a book of good memories.

The end.

I know, disappointing, right? Katniss was really morally questionable, and I was confused as to why she didn't kill Snow and why she wanted there to be another Hunger Games. I'm glad she ended up with Peeta...I knew he was "the one" all along...but it still didn't totally clarify as to whether he was all "back to normal" after being hijacked.

I also wished that she didn't just go "oh, well" about never seeing Gale or her mother again. Haymitch stayed the drunk he always was. Effie was Effie. The prep team lived. I wish all the districts would've come together instead of just staying as separate districts. I am glad that Paylor was the new president. I kind of felt like the author had a deadline and wanted to kill people off and end it without any huge ending scene, so that part was poorly written, I felt.

On another note, Finnick and Annie's wedding was os sweet. Haha!

MAJOR SPOILER: Cinna and Finnick die. ISN'T THAT SAD?!

So, in conclusion, I was glad she ended up with Peeta, but I didn't feel like the story was extremely redeeming or...complete.
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San Francisco Trip

Where do I begin? So much went on this week that it is going to be extremely difficult to remember it all in this post! But, alas, I shall try to remember at least most of it.

First, an overview...
It was amazing. Seriously. I had an awesome time of fellowship, ministry, and prayer. But more on that later. (please excuse my free grammar in this post...I'm just relaying what happened and not really worrying about making it sound "pretty" ☺)
We left for the ten-hour drive to San Fran at five in the morning. We watched Kung Fu Panda and the (hilarious) movie Extreme Days, and we arrived in San Francisco before dinner. That night, the leaders of City Impact (the organization we were working with the whole week) explained things to us and we settled into our rooms (us girls got a room with a ping pong table, foosball, and a piano!). Every day that week except Monday and Saturday (since those were the days we arrived and left), we would be assigned to a different task for the entire day. The tasks available were working in the Rescue Mission, the thrift store, the kitchen, the school, and "Adopt a Building" (my personal favorite).

Adopt a Building (AAB) is an awesome program that City Impact started that is trying to plant churches in all of the buildings called "hotels" (they aren't actually hotels, they're more like run down apartments) where people live. We go door-to-door delivering hot meals and Gospel tracts and talking to people and, if they are open to it, praying with them. I did Adopt a Building with my friends from my church Katie, Willie, and Leonard and a guy from City Impact named Bobby on Tuesday. And let me tell you...it was awesome. First, we bought flowers for the lady workers at one of the "hotels," then we went and visited a man named Charles who Bobby had met previously. Charles is currently not a Christian but is very open to the Gospel. We brought him a Bible and did a Bible Study with him on the first three chapters in Genesis. Then, we visited a man named Luther who had intense back problems and was confined to his bed most of the time. He doesn't like to eat that much, Bobby told us, and it is obvious that he is very skinny and in poor health. He is not currently open to the Gospel, but with prayer, perhaps he will be. We got to visit his friend Carla, who proudly showed us the Bible City Impact had given her and told us that she had been reading it. We later saw Carla on the street while we were doing street ministry. We talked to a few others in the building, and then we took a break for lunch, then did hot meal deliveries in different groups. Many of the people just took the food and shut the door, but a few were open to talking, and a man named José let me and a pastor named Glenn pray for him.

That night, we went out to do street ministry, and I was put in a group with a lady named Laura (she said to call her LoLo) who has a big heart for God and for this ministry. We handed out sandwiches and talked to people, and many people let us pray with them and talk with them. Laura told us that many times when people do ministry, they say they are going to pray for someone and then forget about it. So, instead, we wrote all of the people's names down and actually prayed for them and are continuing to pray for them. If we didn't catch the person's name, we'd write something like "the man in the wheelchair" or "the girl with pink hair." That was my absolute favorite day of ministry. The night before (Monday night), I had been a bit discouraged because we didn't get to talk to many people about God. But on Tuesday, it was an amazing day of ministry, and we got to talk to so many people. When the time came for us to head back to the City Impact base, no one wanted to. So we called our pastor and decided to keep doing ministry for another hour.

There are a few stories from that night of ministry that I'd like to share with you. Your prayers for these people are so greatly appreciated.

A man named Quincy told us that it was his birthday the following day (Wednesday the 28th). Laura gave him her San Fran hat, and we sang him happy birthday as he danced. We met another man named Beau who had been separated from his daughter by his parents, who had purposefully accused him of a crime he did not commit, and desperately wanted to be reunited with his daughter.
We met many others who are desperately in need of the love of God, and it was impacting for ME to be able to pray with them and talk with them and get to know them.
Here's something funny...on Tuesday when we were doing street ministry with LoLo, we saw a dead rat (or mouse) that looked kind of like it was praying. SO, we all got around it and got a picture with it.

One thing I can't neglect to mention is that LoLo taught us a song that goes like this:

"Shing hai adoya, shing shing hai adoya, shing, shing, shing!"

Apparently someone at City Impact had made it up and they sang it a lot at the school. Our ministry team for Tuesday came into City Impact singing "shing hai adoya" :-).

Wednesday we took a free day and walked to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. We had a lot of fun going in all the shops, but the walk TO the Pier was not fun because I was (un-smartly) wearing Converse. I took them off for a bit as we walked around, but I decided to put them back on, 'cause who knows how much glass and stuff is on the ground? Actually, when we went to Ghirardelli Square, I took them off for a bit, and after I put them back on, there was a NEEDLE on the sidewalk. So, yeah...I was glad I had my Converse on then :-).

After our youth pastor purposefully got us lost in a parking garage, we went to the chocolate shop in Ghirardelli Square and sampled delicious chocolates! We went to In-N-Out Burger for lunch, and many of the kids on our team found it humorous to throw fries to the birds nearby or throw the fries at FRIENDS so that the birds would go after them! It was quite a sight, actually...And on that note, the food was great :-). That night was a worship and prayer night, and then street ministry.

Thursday we resumed regular ministry at City Impact. I decided to work in the Rescue Mission, which was an...interesting experience. I met some great people and had a good time, but helping lead worship without knowing the second song is a little out of my comfort zone ☺...In the morning, I helped arranging platters of delicious (and unhealthy) looking pastries, muffins, and all sorts of yummy stuff, and then I helped out downstairs, around the kitchen, and setting stuff up. My friend Ani and a college guy named Bobby did an opening song, "Open the Eyes of my Heart," and then a college girl named Jamie who had also arranged food on platters gave a sermon. We went back to City Impact for lunch, then returned later and helped out some more. That night, we did street ministry again.

Friday I helped in the school, City Academy. I was supposed to work with the youngest kids, but I ended up accidentally going with another group and staying with them all day ☺. But it turned out really good. 90% of the kids that come to City Academy are from the Tenderloin district (the district we were working in) and had experienced pain, sadness, neglect, etc. It was fun playing with the kids, especially three girls - Ashley, Christina, and Ajabrielle. The kids at City Academy, for some reason, liked to tell us false names for themselves (Ashley told me her name was Becky and Christina's name was Sandy). A girl named Elle Louise told me her named was Inchworm. And an adorable five-year-old (who's real name I never caught) told me my name was Leaf because she wanted to rip me up and step on me. She demonstrated this with an actual leaf.

We ate lunch with the kids, and then ended early, about 3:30 pm, because the school ends early on Fridays, apparently. Then I helped clean out the storage room (there was SO much pop in there!) and move our team's gear. We also did street ministry that night.

Saturday morning, which was my birthday ☺, after a wonderful week, we headed home. We watched "The Princess Bride." I am convinced I have the greatest friends and youth group ever. The night before, after midnight, they all sang happy birthday to me at the top of their lungs. In the bus, our youth pastor Mike got me this delish chocolate cupcake and lit matches on top, and they all sang to me. Mike got candy and snacks and we had a mini "party." It was awesome.

That night when I got home, my family, grandparents, two cousins and aunt and uncle were waiting for me with a cake. Yeah, I was surprised! I opened gifts and had dinner and some cake and a really great time. I also found out that day that I had placed 15th out of 54 in nationals in a "Patriot's Pen" writing contest. So yeah, I had an awesome day.

All in all, the week was GREAT. I learned so much - especially the power of prayer. Prayer was so vital down at City Impact, and it was extremely obvious that God was working - even in the Tenderloin. I know it has affected my personal prayer life. I was also impacted by the people on the street. I had an AMAZING time and would definitely be interested in going back.
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Project 147

There are over 147 million orphans in the world.

Many people would see that number as unreachable; they'd see the goal of helping even just one orphan unrealistic and not likely.

But not us.

James 1:27 says:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Let me (proudly) introduce you to Project 147, a project compiled of five girls with hearts for orphans and adoption.

Our mission is "to encourage you to speak up about orphans.  We offer resources, spread awareness, interview, encourage, and fundraise for adoptive families.  We want the rest of the world to love orphans as much as we do."

We know that 147 million is a huge number, but we are ready to challenge it. Even if we only impact the life of one orphan through this project, we will know that one child has been impacted with the love of Christ.

Check out the website HERE and go follow the blog HERE!


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Working On...

...a San Fran post. So much went on that it is gonna take me a little while to write it all and post! Haha! But, let me tell you this...I had an AMAZING time. Seriously. It was SO awesome, and God revealed Himself and proved His faithfulness in many ways!
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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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