Thursday, November 10, 2016

Reacting to the Election

To the chagrin of many of my friends, I am pleased with how the election resulted. Not to say I'm a big fan of Trump, but I really don't think Hillary was best for the job for reasons that I could say, but would probably distract from my point in this post.

Honestly, when November 8 rolled around, I was just stressed and felt stretched thin. This was one of the most stressful elections I can remember, and by the end, I was just tired. Tired of waiting and hoping and preparing for a possible result that I didn't want. Tired of being concerned about an outcome I literally had no control over. But yesterday morning, I awoke relieved.

What a strange sensation. Relief. It felt amazing, after a year of worry. But next to Trump's presidential announcement, there were pictures of crying Clinton supporters. And although, I was still happy for Trump, I truly felt bad for the Clinton supporters, even though I don't agree with anything they believe. Defeat hurts, and I could see they hurt.

The long and the short of it is, God has it all under control, and I truly believe that even if Clinton had won. God has us, even when it seems that the whole world is crashing in on itself, and the sky looks like it's falling. The Jews probably thought the sky was falling when they spent all those years in slavery in Egypt, but God freed them. No matter how bleak it seems right now, God knows what is best. So if Clinton's presidency wasn't what was best, then God did what He always does.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Book Review for "The Raven" by Mike Nappa

The Raven is an exciting, fast-paced, dramatic novel involving a private investigator divorcee and a "deception specialist" (con artist/ street magician). Together, they become involved in a plot code-named "Nevermore", the last word in Edgar Allen Poe's most famous poem. Nevermore is essentially a mystery until the last few chapters of this captivating novel. 

I loved this book because it had a dash of humor despite its very serious subject. It was thrilling, yet down to earth; action packed, yet there was some romance as well. Nappa managed to write a very complicated story, that seemed almost simplistic and easy to jump right back into. I think he is one of my new favorite authors.

I received
this book from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Book Review for "Speaking of Homosexuality" by Joe Dallas

If you are a Christian who has ever struggled with what you believe on homosexuality; if you are a Christian who doesn't even know what they believe on homosexuality; Speaking of Homosexuality is the book for you. Dallas, a former gay activist, shares straightforward wisdom on homosexuality and reaching out to those who identify as such. Rather than having a book of combatant arguments, he gives answers on tough subjects with clarity and compassion.

This book absolutely blew me away. The practical advice in this book is so usable for today's conversations. Speaking of Homosexuality is well thought- out, easy to understand, and full of truths. 

I received
this book in exchange for my honest opinion by Baker books.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dolly Rant: "Cringy"

I am in the ranting mood today, and "cringy" is my victim. Cringy is such a ridiculous word that spellcheck doesn't even get it. All I see is the word and angry red squiggly line. 

Cringy is the new word to describe anything that will make you cringe. I guess Buzzfeed was bored  with typing out the tiresome "cringe worthy", so they shortened it to the meaningless "cringy". What the heck does cringy even mean? As a derivative from the word cringe, I get it, but as a new word, it is meaningless.

The long and the short of it is these stupid, inane words have no purpose and no place in our vocabularies. Does anyone remember the annoying '90's phrase "whatev". Do you see what I mean.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

15 Years Later....

My deepest sympathy and sadness goes out to all those families who lost loved ones on that horrible day of September 11, 2001. I was only a very small child when that happened, but even so, that event has been permanently ingrained into who I am as a person. September 11 will never be a late summer's day, but a day of great horror, but also of unity. That day, we said together as a nation that we would pull together and defend those we love and avenge those whom we lost.

One thing I can promise you is that I will never ever forget those that we lost.

Monday, August 22, 2016

For He Knows the Plans He has for Me

This morning I woke up with the realization that this was the first day of my last year of school at home. I have been homeschooled since the beginning, so this imminent change is both thrilling and overwhelming (scary). I will be going to college next fall, with students and teachers and textbooks and exams. I'm not certain why I'm a tad freaked out, but I just am.

Logically, I've got nothing to be concerned about because I still will be living at home, and honestly, I am a pretty social person! The classes that I will take will take as far as my imagination and determination will allow, and finances aren't really an issue.

The long and the short of it is that I shouldn't be worried about what happens. God has my back, and I trust that He won't let me down.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
                                                             Jeremiah 29: 11-13
So my plan for this final school year? I'm going to savor every day that I have with my mom and brother. I'm going to work as hard as I can pulling down the best grade I can. I'm going to make memories, and prepare myself for next year. God's got me, and He's got plans for me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Road to Camp Perry

Big news, kiddies: I just got back from the National Marksmanship Matches in Camp Perry, Ohio!

Now, if you don't know what the National Marksmanship Matches are, it's only about 1300 people from all over the country getting together to shoot guns in competition. For two and a half weeks. In 98 degrees and 80% humidity. Crazy? Yes. Rewarding? That as well.
This is what happens when you get 11 teenagers together to shoot guns for 17 days.

How did I get to this point? Here's my story.

I started shooting with my father at the tender age of eight. He would bribe me with a Dr. Pepper, and we go and shoot off about fifty rounds of .22 ammo at our local range for couple of hours. (Can you say "daddy-daughter bonding time"?) Anyhow, I fell in love with shooting, and Dad ended up signing me up for the NRA Smallbore Marksmanship Program when I was ten.

The smallbore program is basically the gateway to competitive shooting, though very few shooters actually go through it. We practice the four basic shooting positions and earn awards for it. Picture karate, but with a lot more hardware.

I earned my Distinguished Expert award when I was 12. Most kids finish up with six months to a year, but little miss drag-her-feet decided that procrastination would keep me in the program for two and a half years. I still smile in remembrance. Sort of.

However, after I finished the program, I had no definable shooting goal for the first time in three years. I drifted for a while, but then finally came to the realization that God had not have me come this far to be wasting the talent He'd given me. So this year, I finally buckled under and started competing in matches.

In NRA across the course matches, I shoot service rifle. We shoot eighty shots total, twenty in standing, twenty in sitting, and forty in prone (laying down). Across the course matches (RMC's) are one of the most physically and mentally challenging things I do. It requires vast amounts of mental focus and positivity, as well as raw skill. However, they are so worth it. In order to qualify for Camp Perry, you must attend at least four of these in a year beforehand. Also, the team I'm on requires that I attend at least once a month. So, obviously, I've gone to a few of  them.

On July 20, I got on a red eye flight with my teammates and said goodbye to my home and family for 17 days. I traveled across eight states and ended up Ohio. I shot with some of the best shooters in the world. I had the "Perry experience". I won gold with my teammate in a two man team match. I came home on August 5 with a new understanding about stamina and determination and shooting. 

Shooting has taught me so many things but here the key points: Never give up, even though it's hard. Breathe and squeeze. The last shot doesn't matter, this one does. Don't let anyone tell you you aren't good enough, especially yourself. God gave you a talent, so don't waste it.

I'd like to thank:
God, Dad, Mom, Bob, Jerry, Jeff, and everyone else who has helped me along in my journey with shooting. I will always be grateful for it.