Encouragement for the Discouraged Writer

I should be writing on my novel right now, but frankly, I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment. I am smack dab in the middle of editing 60,000 words for the third time, page 65/114 to be exact, and I just realized that I have a bunch of scenes that I need to rearrange. I’ve been fine-tuning my timeline this time around and now need to make it all fit together, something I thought I’d been doing pretty well with…until now, that is.

It’s a little overwhelming.

This is not to say that I don’t love my story, because that isn’t the case at all! This is the story of my heart, the story that God has called me to write, and I love it so much. In fact, I know that when I’m finished, 100% done with it, I’m going to miss working on it. It’s just that, like everything, it’s difficult sometimes. To the point where letting it sit seems like a pretty good option, even if it does get me no where.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.

I look forward to the day where I finish editing the last line and click Save. I look forward to using up a load of ink and copy paper to print off my masterpiece. I look forward to measuring that stack of paper with a ruler to see how thick it is, and sharing my excitement with my family and friends who have encouraged me as I’ve written it. I look forward to holding a physical copy of it in my hands and paging through it, seeing all the words that I have written.

The thing is, I’ll never be able to experience that sense of satisfaction, joy, exhilaration, and excitement if I don’t climb the mountain first. The mountain can be anything that makes writing difficult for you right now. Plotting and outlining that’s not going well, description and/or characters that seem flat, not quite sure how to get your thoughts on paper. Realizing that, after having completed the first draft, you have a lot of work ahead of you to make anything decently readable. For me, it’s knowing that I need to rearrange and major-edit some scenes to make them work with what I’ve got going on now.

And yeah, it can be really discouraging sometimes, but like I said, if you don’t work through the hard stuff, climb up the mountain, you’ll never get to savor the result at the end, or enjoy the beauty of the view at the top.

Sometimes I think that it won’t be any good when I get done, hard work or not. Sometimes I think, “I do things differently than this-famous-author-person, so maybe it’s not as good.” So let me remind you (and myself) that what you have to say? It matters. Why? Because you matter. Everyone has a unique voice with something unique to say. On the subject of writing, one guy said, “I could tell 100 different students to write a story about pirates on ship and get 100 different stories.” And this is not a bad thing! Everyone tells stories differently because they have their own voice, perspective, and imagination. So just because you have a different approach or style to writing, doesn’t mean that it’s bad or you’re not a “good enough” writer. Strive towards improvement and honing your skill and create something that is uniquely you!

The story that I’m writing, I’m writing for me, and I’m writing for God. Having other people read it (eventually-maybe-probably) is just a plus! I don’t know what God wants me to do with it when it’s done. Maybe nothing, maybe something. Who knows! The struggle is still real though, because I still want to create something that’s of good quality, you know? Even if I’m the only one who ever reads but especially if other people read it!!

So when those hard days of writing hit, remember: It will be worth it. If it’s the story of your heart, the story that you want to get on paper, the story that you feel called to write…don’t give up. Keep on keepin’ on, and don’t give up. Hard work can be a reminder of what will be produced: a masterpiece. Haha, I know, I know! So easy for me to say, right? Yeah, but it’s also true…so…easy or not, don’t give up! The hard work is worth it!

You got this, writer! *fistbump*

PS…if you want, check out Go Teen Writers. It’s my favorite writing site. Pretty good stuff!

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Today Was A Good Day

Today was a good day. I didn’t do anything exceptional; I went to church, read some Trixie Belden with my mom, and went for a drive with my both my parents. We got ice cream, my parents went down Memory Lane as we drove, and I enjoyed wearing my big floppy sunhat. (I love hats.)

Today was a day to rest and enjoy the beauty around me. See, I struggle with the whole productivity thing. I have to be so productive in a day in order for that day to be worth something. For my time not to be wasted. But, as others have been telling me and God has slowly been teaching me, that’s not a good way to think. My worth doesn’t come from how many things I check off my to-do list. It comes from my Savior Jesus. He says I am His child and He loves me with an everlasting love. I am God’s treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5) Nothing changes that. I can rest in the fact that God’s love for me isn’t based on how many things I do. It’s okay for me to set aside the list, take a breather, and do nothing for a while.

Today was a day to let go of the busyness and chill. Believe me–I know how good it feels to have all those neat little check marks on your list, whether that list is on paper or in your head. But as I’m discovering here…it also feels good to sit and be. To notice the warmth of the sunshine and the bright green of new leaves–and not as I’m zipping around the house doing thisorthat. To sit, to relax, to close my eyes and thank Jesus for what He’s given me. While to-do lists help to be organized, they can also be stress factors if they’re not kept in their place.

Enjoy the day. For those of you who have a similar mindset of productivity=time well spent, don’t be afraid to take a deep breath, set aside the list for a day, and refresh. Rejuvenate. Sing a song, read a book, take a walk. You have time to get those things checked off. Your worth is from Jesus, not the number of check marks on your list. And whatever you do, whether it’s being productive or enjoying the day, love the Lord while doing it. That’s the most important thing, as I was reminded not too long ago. No matter what I do, love the Lord…

 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’       Matthew 22:36-39

 

…and enjoy the day.

Lots of love,

Emma xo

Shall We Go Zip Lining?

Shall We Go Ziplining? | Majestic Adventures

So let’s be real here guys…heights? Not my thing.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go zip lining. This was not my first activity choice. My first choice was a 3 v. 3 basketball game, which I didn’t want to miss. Lucky for me, basketball wasn’t until that evening. Translation: I had plenty of time to go zip lining.

Yeah…lucky me.

Zip lining in and of itself sounds like a bucket and barrel full of fun. (And I’m not being sarcastic here.) It’s not the zip-lining that’s the problem…it’s that whole height factor. I mean…yeah. There’s not really much more that needs to be said about that.

I got my harness on and stood in line, waiting for my turn. I was feeling pretty good about it, too. This is going to be no big deal, I thought. I mean, how hard is it to walk up the steps to the platform and slide down? This will be easy.

That’s how everyone was making it look anyways.

Everything was going fine until I started walking up the steps with my friend. I thought, is it too late to turn back? Probably…I’m up here…I can’t back out now…Fear can’t win…can’t be that hard, right…I guess I’m going zip lining, folks…

My hands were gripping both sides of the rail and I was not going to look down.

At the top, the zip liner dude in charge of the whole shebang checked my friend’s harness. After, he checked mine. Adjusted it. Checked mine again. And again. It was making me nervous.

As he admitted my friend and I onto the platform, our harnesses having passed the safety inspection, I had to ask the question that was running through my mind. Because there was no way I was going down without asking it.

“Um…is there some sort of weight limit on this thing or something?”

Zip Line Dude looked up at me and said, “Yeah, only 1,400 pounds.”

I laughed, trying to brush off my nervousness. “Oh, right, so, I should be safe then, hahaha…I’m not going to fall…”

So now I stood up there, on that platform twenty-five or so feet in the air, with railing on three of the four sides. (I never stopped gripping said railing.) It was daunting. Totally not a fan. I searched the people below for my brother, who had just finished his own zip lining expedition, and was now safely on the ground. He waved.

I took a few deep breaths as I watched my friend go down the zip line. It looked like fun, and I did want to do it. I was just a little…uncomfortable, up there where only birds, airplanes, trees, and mountaintops are supposed to be.

I didn’t want fear to keep me from trying something new, but this was…eergghhh. I’ve been listening to this great new song that was released two days ago, and I thought of it as I was up there. It’s called Fearless by Jasmine Murray. (I’ll share it at the bottom. It’s awesome!) Fearless. Well, shall we go zip lining?

“You can sit down and go off that way,” Zip Liner Dude said when I didn’t really make a move towards actually, you know, zip lining.

“Okay…yes…that sounds like a good plan…” Somehow that option sounded safer than just hurling myself off the edge. I don’t know.

I sat down, and I could hear my friends cheering me on from below. I closed my eyes. I’m going to do this. I’m not going to think about it. I’m just going to…GO!

With a scream (terror or thrill, not too sure) I was off, speeding down the zip line…it was soooooo fun guys! I went a lot faster than I thought I would, even as I scooted off the edge. Some people before me tilted upside down, but I was just excited about doing it upright, I didn’t even think about going upside down. Not that I would want to if I had happened to think about it.

I was mega excited as I regrouped with my friends. I DID IT! That was a feeling of great accomplishment.

And hey, if you have 3 minutes and 3 seconds, I really like this song. I think you might too! Happy Music Monday (on a Sunday, because I don’t feel like waiting, haha.)

Much love, Emma xoxo

Behind the song for anyone interested…

 

Kozmo the Explorer

kozmo-the-explorer

I have a black lab mutt named Kozmo. That’s him, pictured above, bathing in the summer sunlight, one of his favorite pastimes. And of course I’m bias, as every pet owner should be, but I think he’s the most adorable puppy-wuppy on the planet.

This puppy-wuppy also happens to be eleven years old…so he’s not much of a puppy anymore. But like any mother and her child, I shall always refer to my dog as my baby, no matter how old and gray he gets. We’re best buddies, my mutt and I.

The one thing about Kozmo is that he likes to explore. What dog doesn’t? I can only imagine how monotonous it must be, trapped in the same fenced backyard, day after day, year after year. Like Rapunzel in Tangled, they must wonder what’s out there, beyond their tower.

Kozmo likes to explore beyond his tower when he can, ever since he was a little bitty puppy. Even in his grandpaw-old age,  don’t let him fool you. He still gets excited and can run fast when he wants to.

It wasn’t too long after we got the Koz, a sleek little puppy only a couple months old, that we lost him. He was so tiny (smart?) that he decided to look for the one fence picket that’s spaced a little farther apart than the rest and squeeze right through to freedom. Finally we found him curled up underneath the steps in the garage. I guess as a puppy, the world seemed too big and intimidating for him to go far. Another time he did the same thing, and the neighbor lady caught him. Eventually he grew too large for such shenanigans, thank goodness.

When that happened, Kozy decided that the back gate was a good way to escape. If we happened to forget to close it while working in the yard, he would take advantage of the perfect opportunity. Kozmo would make sure we’re not looking then bam! He’s gone. Off to explore the neighborhood. What’s really fun is trying to catch him. The Koz has a tendency to wait until you’re five feet away before running off again. It’s lovely, truly ‘tis.

Too big to fit through the fence and with the back gate securely locked, Kozmo had to figure out something else. His new plan of escape? When the screen door was open to let in some fresh air, he would push it open with his nose and walk down the stairs, to freedom, the door slamming shut behind him.

This got really annoying, because it would happen all. the. time. Whenever the screen door would slam shut, someone would shout, “Was that the dog?” One time Dad, The Bro and I were working in the yard. Kozmo needed a drink of water so we put him inside. Later, I couldn’t find the dog anywhere, but I finally figured out he’d escaped through the screen door.

To solve this problem we bought a baby gate to put up whenever we wanted the screen door open. It works great!

Oh, and here’s a question for you! Have you ever had your dog run away while hosting a costume party? Kozmo thinks that all our friends come to see him. He’s a very extroverted dog (around most humans; we never did really get around to socializing him with other animals). Using the push-on-the-screen-door-and-escape trick he was able to waltz out into the front yard as we were greeting our guests for the costume party. And off he went, exploring the neighborhood again, before any of us could stop him.

The Bro chased after him first, his black cape flying behind him, as he was dressed like a phantom. Soon he returned, unsuccessful, and Dad went in his place. Kozmo went through a few people’s backyards, but Dad finally got him back. But what’s really funny you guys, is that my parents even dressed up for our costume party. And guess what Dad was? A bum. He ran through people’s backyards, chasing our dog, dressed as a bum. I thought it was hilarious. Dad…not so much.

Another good one is when we got a phone call from some lady, her saying, “I have your dog here. He’s such a good dog. He hasn’t even tried to get the chicken off my grill!”

Yes, he’s such a good dog. Although he’s not a chicken thief, so #score! No, in all honesty, I would say that my puppy is a very good puppy. Once in a while he’s a little naughty, but for the majority of his eleven and a half years, he has been the best (also only) puppy I’ve ever had. He has to put up with me running into him in the night (it’s dark and he’s black) so I can deal with him running away. It’s a “crazy little thing called love”. (Hey Mom…you know what that is? It’s a song. Hahaha…)

Perhaps in a later post I’ll compile some of Kozmo’s silly little quirks, but for now, let me ask you: Can anyone relate? 😀

Much love, Emma xo

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3 Tips for an Improved Sledding Experience

3 Tips for an Improved Sledding Experience | Majestic Adventures

Sledding.

It’s a wonderful winter pastime; a true classic for kids and adults alike. I love sledding. It’s so fun. Of course, in order to sled, you need three things, all of which are essential.

  1. A hill to sled down,
  2. A sled to sled with,
  3. Snow to sled on

All three together, you have an afternoon of fun waiting to happen. For years I have enjoyed whizzing down the hill, running back up, and sliding down again. My brother and I have made ramps and bumps to hit and invented a couple games to play.

Through it all we have accumulated quite a few sledding stories. From those sledding stories, tidbits of knowledge. And those tidbits of knowledge? Well folks, that’s what I am going to share with you today. If anything, my trial and error won’t become your own–that is, you’ll learn something from my past (and failed) experiences.

Sledding Tip #1: Don’t Walk on the Track

There is always a section for walking and a section for sledding. These are always two distinct areas; never one in the same. That way as you’re walking up, other people can sled down. As you’re sledding down, you won’t hit people walking up. Nice, right? Another plus to this is that when the snow freezes hard, your track won’t be a frozen strait of footprints. A frozen track of footprints makes for a bumpy ride. Don’t walk on the track.

Sledding Tip #2: Be Wary of Ice 

Ice is the best thing to sled on because of the speed factor. To feel the wind against your face as you speed down the hill…ahhhhh!!! It’s so fun. One year we arrived to the sledding hill only to discover that everything was covered in a layer of ice. Of course we had to stay and try it out. We slipped and shuffled our way up the hill and soared down. It was a blast! Except we couldn’t make the return trip up. The result of trying was falling flat on your back. Ice is fun, but only in limited quantities!!

Another potential hazard of ice-sliding is not being able to stop your sled when you reach the bottom and possibly hurting yourself. (My mom will be nodding and saying to herself, Mm-hmm, when she reads this.) But as long as you avoid the big ice boulders where snowplows have dumped their snow, then you’re perfectly fine!

Sledding Tip #3: Know How to Steer

I have been sledding for years. I know how to steer a sled. But if you saw me last week, sledding down the hill, trying to hit a snow ramp? You would’ve said to your buddy, “Wow, that chick needs to learn how to steer.” As you watched me circle and circle and circle and circle my way down.48-in-wham-o-snowboogie-alpine-rocket-foam-sled-15498

Last year I broke my sled while sledding. I really love these foam ones because they are nice to land on after hitting a ramp. They are pretty sturdy. Assuming you don’t land on the handle a bunch of times and break it off, like I did. When I found two new foam sleds at Salvation Army, I was stoked! Last week my brother and I got to try them out for the first time. But for the life of me, I just. can’t. stop. spinning. And I have no idea why! I’ve tried shifting my weight, sitting on the back of the sled, the front of the sled, lying on my stomach (I can go mostly straight when I do that). I usually sit on my knees, you see. Anyways, before I had it 100% figured out, I thought I would hit the ramp we made.

Bad choice. Just as I was about to hit the ramp, I turned sideways and demolished it. After rebuilding, I tried again. Only this time, I hit it backwards, flew in to the air, and landed on my side. My brother encouraged me to try it again, so I did…and I hit it straight on!! The landing was less than graceful though.

Oh, here’s another one I just remembered. Instead of ramps, my brother and I decided to make these speed bumps down the track. We dug small trenches and built bumps and hit them. The Bro went and then it was my turn. But as I went down, my sled turned sideways.

“Don’t hit it sideways!” he yelled, but I didn’t hear. As he later described to me, I looked like Superman slamming through a skyscraper and skidding to a stop, leaving a dirt trail behind me.

Practice makes perfect and once I figure out this doggone sled, I should be able to steer just fine. (It’s not me!)


Okay y’all…I think that’s it! All I can think of at the moment, anyways. 😉 All the information in this post has been gleaned from past and personal experiences, though I do not claim to be an expert. 😉  I’d love to hear about your sledding experiences in the comments below. If there’s one thing I love about winter, it’s the sledding…it’s so fun!

Until the next time, folks! Happy Almost New Year!

Emma xo

When You’re Wondering What’s Next…

When You're Wondering What's Next | Majestic Adventures

Couple nights ago as I was talking to God, I asked Him the all-important question in my life right now. “Hey God…what’s next?” I’ve reached a point where I’m about to step into a new adventure of life, and I’m trying to figure out what direction God wants me to take.

It was nearly midnight, but I decided to try and flip through my Bible and find some reassuring verses on the future or God’s leading, but nothing was really speaking to me. Feeling only a tad discouraged, I just kind of thought, “Let’s check out Matthew 10.” So I did. Near the end of the chapter, I found these verses I’d underlined earlier, and knew that this was God’s answer to me.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. ~Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)

Reading those verses reminded me. God will take care of me and all the fine-details of my life. He takes care of the sparrows, and I am worth more than many sparrows. God knows everything about me, all down to the very number of hairs that are on my head. And if He takes the time to know that detail about me (one that I don’t even bother to know myself, because why on earth take the time?) then He will most definitely take care of me and my future and everything else.

I don’t need to know what the ten-year-plan is, or the five-year-plan, or even the one year plan. I’m learning to take each step as it comes and to follow God’s guiding and to trust Him, because He knows best. After all,

A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life], But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them. ~Proverbs 16:9 (AMP)

Sometimes its not easy. There have been days where I just want to know what on earth am I going to be doing a year from now? Because I don’t know. Only God knows, and I wish He would fill me in a little bit.

When that happens, I remember that God hasn’t forgotten about me. He’s not up there scratching His head, thinking “Oh…yeah, her. Um…now what?” I remember that God has brought me here, where I am now. And when I look back on everything that God has done in my life up until this point, I know that the verse in Deuteronomy is true.

 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. ~Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) 

There have been times in the past where I think, “Wow, this is huge. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Um, God?”At the time it was hard to see what God was doing, but looking back I can see that God did just what He said He would do. Through the unknowns He lead me, He never left me, and I grew closer to Him in the process. (He also never leaves you even when you know what you’re doing, just to throw that out there!)

Those experiences, those hard times, grew me to be more like Christ. I’m closer to Him now than I was five years ago. I trust Him more now than I did five years ago. I’ve seen how God can take a situation that seems horrible at the time, and grow it into something amazing.

I know the same is true now, as I try to figure out what’s next in my life. When I get that question, “Hey, Emma, what’s the plan?” my response is, “I don’t really have a plan. God’s taking me one step at a time.” (In a world where having “a plan” is the thing, this is sometimes a shocker–but that’s okay! We’re called to be different, right?) God has proven to me in the past how He’s truly got everything in His hand. He won’t lead me wrong. One step at a time is good enough for me.

Someday I will look back on this season in life and think, “Yup, I can see God there where I didn’t see Him in the moment. He was totally working that out, just like He said He would.” Maybe it doesn’t make sense why we went through some rough patches in life. Just trust God, and know that He doesn’t waste anything.

 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. ~Isaiah 55:8-11 (AMPC)

It’s hard. It really is sometimes. I may not have it all together, but that’s the thing. God doesn’t give up on me. He loves me where I’m at, even on my bad days, but He loves me too much to let me stay that way. He wants to bring me to a place where I am trusting, relying, loving, serving Him 100% of the time. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. God’s got your best interest at heart. He loves you.

When you’re not sure where you’re headed next,

When you can’t see how this could possibly turn into good,

When you’re not even sure if God remembers that you’re still struggling to hold it all together,

Let go and let God do His thing. He knows where you’re going.

Sometimes life might feel as hopeless as completing a 1000 piece puzzle without any picture on the box to compare it to. Impossible, right?

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~Matthew 19:26

Not impossible. Because y’all, we got a God that’s bigger than everything. He’s bigger than any mountain that we can or cannot see, bigger than the boogie man, and bigger than the impossibilities of this world.

God takes care and loves the little birdies. You’re worth more than many sparrows.

He loves you.

He’ll never leave you.

Just trust.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid… ~Psalm 56:3-4a

 

 

The Case of the Missing Ring

 

Case of the Missing Ring | Majestic Adventures It’s only been a few days, but I think you’ll get a kick out of how I lost my ring (like I lost my earring a few days ago). So I thought heh, why wait?

Ironically, I lost my ring because I was trying not to lose it.

Let me explain.

My brother and I met some friends at a ball field to play some baseball. I love a good baseball game. I can usually hit a double; sometimes a triple. That might be because there’s only two or three people on a team and one, possibly two of them are in the outfield. But it’s still really fun.

As I was going up to bat, I noticed that my ring was starting to slip off my finger. I bought my ring, a heart-shaped opal ring (really pretty; I love it) while we were on vacation a few years ago. Since it was coming off my finger pretty easily, I slid it into my pocket and carried on as usual.

The game was over a while later (though I can’t remember who won. We can just say that my and my brother’s team won. I’m cool with that). The bro and I got on our bikes and headed home. We were in a hurry because we were going to see a concert with the family later that night, and I was really looking forward to it.

I got home and was getting ready, and that’s when I realized…my ring was gone. (Sounding familiar to those who read my last post?? Aack.) After checking the pockets of my jeans, I began to get frantic because it. was. not. there.

Where on earth was this thing??????????

We had to leave soon!!!!!! I don’t like to leave things unfinished (i.e. a search for a missing piece of jewelry).

I had really gotten used to it being on my finger, so my middle finger felt a little naked and cold.

Same tune, different words: everyone began to help me look for it. I searched everywhere. I had carried my clothes to the laundry room so I checked the whole path that I had taken. I got on my hands and knees and looked around the bathroom. My brother and I got on our bikes and back-tracked it to the ball field in search of this thing, checking the roads and everything.

Sigh. There were many tears. I couldn’t find it. I had to leave for the concert before I could find it. I was praying that I would, because I really loved that ring. It especially irked because I had been trying not to lose it but it was still lost!

Why do I lose things? I don’t mean to. I really do try to take good care of my stuff.

It’s just one of those things, I suppose.

Despite all that, however, it was a really great concert. I had a lot of fun.

Until I got home and was reminded that my ring was still gone. 😦

But you know what’s really cool?

I think God just picked my ring up from wherever I had really and truly lost it and plopped it right in front of me. Because the next morning, having still not found the ring, I ventured into our basement for something-or-other.

The light caught something just right, and in my peripheral vision I saw a glimmer. Simultaneously I felt a glimmer of hope as I turned, and looked….

In the middle of the basement floor was my opal ring.

And folks, I know that thing wasn’t there last night. I scoured those floors looking for it. Anyone for a miracle, folks? 😀

My ring was sitting right in the center. In the center!

Oh, glorious day! I was ecstatic, as you can well guess!! Ah, it was a happy day. Very happy indeed. The lost ring was indeed found. We can stamp that case closed!

But you know, it’s strange how used you can get to wearing a ring or a bracelet. It feels weird when you lose it and it’s not there anymore. (Not that I lost my bracelet last month or anything, no, why would you think I’d do something crazy like that???)

(FYI I found it. #score)

Yes, my ring and I were reunited. Would you believe me if I told you that two months later a prong in my ring became loose and the opal fell out while I was at a park?

Oh jewelry. I don’t think it agrees with me, but I wear it anyways. It keeps life interesting.

 

The Lost Earring

The Lost Earring | Majestic Adventures

Last night I was in a semi-rush trying to get ready. A friend had asked me last minute to go see a high school play and I had a little over forty minutes before she arrived to pick me up. I still had to eat and blow dry my hair, but I wasn’t feeling frazzled until I was cleaning my earrings.

And I dropped one.

And I was standing right by the sink.

Oh no.

I really needed that earring. I just pierced my ears two months ago and am supposed to wear earrings full-time for six months. My ears are allergic to certain types of metal, but I’ve found that stainless steel works just fine.

The only earrings I have that are stainless steel just happen to be the one I dropped.

Possibly down the sink. I really hoped it wasn’t down the sink.

But there’s no doubt I’ve lost my jewelry. Again. You see, it would seem I have bad luck with jewelry. Not that I believe in luck, but somehow I always do something to end up losing it. (Serious question: Should I do a part 2 later, Case of the Missing Ring?)

“Um, hey, Mom? Can you come here?” She entered the bathroom to find me on the floor as I scanned underneath the counter and dresser for my little 3mm earring. “I lost my earring.”

Together we scanned the floors. Flashlights were brought out in hopes that the light would reflect off the metal. We enlisted the the help of my brother and investigated the hallway, thinking maybe it had rolled underneath the bathroom door.

“Were any drawers open when you dropped it?” Mom asked me. I told her no, that only the cupboard door was swung open a little bit. We pulled everything out of the cupboard, but still no earring.

Which left the sink drain as the only logical choice. Mom sent my brother out to the garage for a wrench we could use on the pipes, and a bucket to catch everything that released when we took the sink apart. We opened up the pipes and water drained out. Mom looked for an earring, but only came up with a penny (lost when my brother was washing off his latest metal detecting finds a few months ago).

Our bathroom has double sinks, so she poured the water from the bucket into the other sink. Except our sinks are double sinks. As in, connected. All the water spilled out the disconnected pipe into our cupboard.

So we mopped that mess up, and I asked God to please help me find my earring. The lady in the parable of the lost coin found her coin, so I was really hoping here! After we threw the last soppy towel into the laundry hamper, Mom exclaimed, “Aha! Here it is!”

It wasn’t in the sink and it wasn’t on the floor–it was in the cupboard. It had fallen through the ajar cupboard door and landed inside where it rolled behind the edge.

And after much searching and plumbing we found it. Sweet!

Plus I was able to quick eat a scrambled egg with cheese and have a little time to spare before my friend arrived.

So I guess everything turned out okay. Thanks Lord!!

But just a piece of advice? Well, maybe two pieces. First: Check around the edges of your cupboard for that elusive earring. You never know where it might be tucked into. Second: If it turns out you gotta do some home plumbing and you happen to have double sinks, make sure you don’t go pouring water into the other one unless you know they aren’t connected. And you remember that they’re not connected.

Until the next time, folks!

Lots of love,

Emma xoxox

 

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You Might Know How To Make A Fire…But Can You Actually Do It?

You Might Know How to Build a Fire...But Can You Actually Do it? | Majestic Adventures

I know how to make a fire from watching Survivorman and Bear Grylls and Man Woman Wild with my brother. The experts always say that it’s harder than it looks–but c’mon, how hard can it really be if you got matches, right? Hahahahahaha.

Rewind! I’m getting ahead of myself here.

I believe I’ve mentioned before…I’m not a big camper, peoples. So when I was asked last-minute to be a camp counselor at a Christian girl’s camp, I didn’t really…want to. Camping! Camping isn’t my thing! But as much as I’ve been doing it lately (three times this year) it might become my thing, hahahaha. Anyways, I felt like the Lord was telling me that being a camp counselor for one week was a good way to serve Him this summer. So, I went.

Between the other counselor and I, we had fourteen girls with us and they kept us busy. In spite of the busyness however, things were actually going just dandy! Every night everyone would participate in what the camp calls a “Great Special”–some form of game that’s great and special. 😉 Every night the Great Special changes. One night it was kickball. Instead of bases, you had to stand in piles of rotten sauerkraut and green beans. Yuk!

Tuesday night, however, was different. Instead of the whole camp doing the Great Special together, each counselor took their girls and built a campfire, had s’mores, and the girls put together and performed their own little skit. It was rather…intimidating. I never went to summer camp as a kid and it was my first year being a counselor at one. I felt thrown into it, but the other counselor with me had had camp experience which made me feel better. Still, I desperately wanted to do a good job.

We set the girls to work gathering small sticks and things to use for kindling. The sticks were placed into piles according to size, but much to my dismay, nearly everything around us was either damp or still green. Not very, but enough that I wondered how well this was going to work. Once we had a pretty good amount of sticks to start with, the girls left and began practicing their skit leaving us to get the campfire started.

“I know how to make a fire,” I told the other counselor.

“You do? Perfect! I will leave you to it then.”

I began to build the fire. Smallest things first, the tiniest twigs and other dry stuff that’s good for starting a fire. Then build a teepee around it with a little bit bigger, bigger, bigger, sticks. Making sure to leave a way to get the match down to the small kindling.

Meanwhile the camp director was making his way around to see how us counselors were doing with our campfires. When he checked mine, he said that it looked like a really good fire, though I had yet to light it. I felt proud. A little too proud, perhaps.

After he left, the girls performed their skit for us. It was hilarious, and very long. We lost track of time, and before we knew it an hour had passed. It was time for me to light the fire. I pulled out the tiny book of matches and stuck one, holding the flame to the twigs. As the saying goes, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs so I didn’t panic when it didn’t light on the first match. But as the second, third, fourth–twentieth match was lit and extinguished, I became overwhelmed and frustrated. It was nearly dark. I had forgotten my flashlight back at the cabin. I had a headache. The girls were all asking when they could have marshmallows.

Last match. I whispered a prayer before I struck it and held it to the kindling. I got a small flame! I blew gently to try and grow it. When the embers fizzled away, I wanted to cry.

“That was the last match,” I told the other counselor with me. “What do we do now?”

We used the walkies and asked the camp director to come down. I was extremely embarrassed; the feed went through to everyone else and I learned that the other group had a fire going. When the camp director came, he brought along a blow-torch of sorts. He said the same thing I thought–the kindling was bit too green, but we also needed a little more of it. I borrowed a camper’s flashlight because by now it was seriously dark, and helped gather. And finally–at long last–we had fire.

“Thank you so much,” I told the camp director as he stood. “The girls are so glad to have marshmallows!”

Maybe he knew I was still embarrassed. “You did a good job. The other group used dryer lint,” he told me.

We had a fire, everyone got a marshmallow and a piece of chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers, and everyone was happy. In the end, I learned a couple important lessons to help me if there’s a next time…

1. Building a fire? Definitely harder than it looks

…especially on your first try. No matter how much you know about building one, it’s still a tricky business if everything’s not just so. There’s no shame in asking for help.

2. Don’t count your chickens before their hatched

especially if said chickens are a small book of matches. You go through them quicker than you think.

3. Have fun

because camp is about having fun. We still had a blast with the skit and spending time outside together and worst case scenario is eating a raw marshmallow and chocolate. Plus it’s making a memory.

4. Dryer lint

apparently really helps. Or a blow torch, but dryer lint is probably more accessible, especially at summer camp.

 

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Let’s Go Fly a Kite

 Lets go Fly a Kite | Majestic Adventures

♫♪Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest heights…♪♫

Yesterday afternoon I was humming this Mary Poppins song as my brother and I took our kites to the nearest place we could fly them. It’s been in my experience that our backyard isn’t the best place. It may or may not have to do with my tendency of letting the kite take as much string as it wants, even with a pine tree looming nearby.

Upon arrival, I was having a semi-hard time getting my kite to stay in the air. The wind was changing directions on us and coming in sporadic gusts. My brother’s kite, which in the sky I thought resembled a blue, green and pink striped flying stingray, caught the wind easily and had little-to-no trouble staying in the sky. His kite was soaring with the birds and mine was mingling with the worms.

“Want to fly mine so I can get yours in the air?” I had been trying for a good twenty minutes with no fruits to my labor, so I agreed. He handed me the little red handle to his kite and set to work.

Something about seeing the kite so high in the sky…. The field is open except along the fence line, where there are big tall maple trees, which is the direction my brother’s kite was flying. But it would be fine, I’m sure, so I let the string go, go, go, and the kite went higher, higher, higher. Soon I had all the string out.

The horror of horrors–the kite started to dip down, right towards the trees. The kite had been a gift from our grandpa and I knew my brother would be none too thrilled to have his kite stuck 50 feet in a tree. I turned tail and ran, pulling the string in at the same time.

When I turned back around, my brother exclaimed, “You were ten feet away from those trees! You’ve gotta be careful.”

Duly noted.

I began to give the kite more string so that I could eventually hang onto the little red handle. I’d dropped it while pulling the string in to save the flying stingray. A strong wind took the kite and pulled the string through my fingers and gave me string burn, the younger sibling of rope burn. It still hurts the same though.

Somehow in my attempt to regain my control, I got string burn on my forearm and where my elbow bends. More string burn to the fingers and I was done–it hurt and I let go of the kite.

The little red handle dragged along the ground as the kite gained more freedom, unrestricted from the string. “Oh no!” It began to lift off the ground, and it all happened so quickly that I didn’t do anything except stand and watch. It was five feet in the air when my brother turned around, jumped after his kite and heroically snagged it.

Now it was coming down. “It’s my kite and I love it!” He saved his kite from nose-diving into the trees by running as quick as he could.

As everything returned to normal, he told me that I should be more careful. He had that look like he thought it was halfway funny, but yet, not. I basically told him I hadn’t meant to let go, but fleeing from something that hurts is my natural reaction to pain. He told me he didn’t really trust my flying judgement anymore and I thought that I might agree with him. I really did–and do–need to be more careful.

In the end, my brother does still trust me. He proved that by actually letting me fly it again, since we never could get my kite in the air. I managed to safely maneuver it without any more close calls. And I say all’s well that ends well.

Right?

 

 

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