Sunday, March 26, 2017

Dear Readers . . .

Dear Blog Readers,

I wanted to take a moment and express my gratefulness for your unending support. In the midst of my irregular posting, you continue to read. Wow. By doing so, you give me amazing encouragement. You have no idea what it means to me.

I don't have a blog for the sake of getting followers, but as any blogger knows, followers and comments are inspirations for us to keep writing. In my case, blogging is almost my only means of sharing my thoughts with people, and to know that there are people out there who care to read (and enjoy reading) my writing is a great feeling. Your support encourages me to keep it up. When I remember that I have followers, I remember that what I have to say will be heard within my small sphere of influence, and maybe it will even touch some lives.

So this post is dedicated to you, my wonderful blog followers. Your support is some of the greatest encouragement I receive in my writing, and I'm deeply touched to know that my words are affecting people's lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You keep me writing.


P.S. Be sure to check out my new blog layout! :) Also, on the right sidebar is a poll where you can vote on your favorite types of my posts. Thanks!

Monday, March 20, 2017

"Tu" v. "Usted"

This year, I'm taking Spanish 2. But it was actually last year during Spanish 1 that I came across what I am about to share with you.

The Spanish language has two forms of the word "you." The formal term for someone who you don't know very well is "usted" and the familiar word for close friends, family, and children is "tu." If you were standing in line at Walmart and started a conversation with the person standing behind you, you would use "usted." However, if that person had a child and if you were addressing him, you would use the "tu" form of the word "you." The same goes if you are greeting a friend or family member. "¿Comó estás tu?" "How are you?" It shows familiarity between you and is a recognition of your closeness.

If you've ever read Genesis in a Spanish Bible, you may have noticed that in the Garden of Eden when God speaks to Adam and Eve, the word he uses for "you" is translated "tu." Even in the midst of delivering their punishment for their disobedience, he still says "tu."

Think about how amazing this is. The God of the universe, who spoke and the heavens, earth, and all its inhabitants were created, the God over all the angels, the God who is the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end, called Adam and Eve by such an intimate name. Later, when Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, he called them also by this name. Consider the implications of such familiarity.

Remember the cases where you use "tu?" With close friends, family, and children. When God uses this word when speaking to us, He is calling us His family, and His children. This is so amazing! Think back to the days when people came before their kings and queens with petitions. They certainly would not take the familiarity to call their king by such a term. They would instead show utmost respect and honor. They wouldn't dream of being so familiar with their king, much less to have him call them by such a name. But our King, who we also bow before on trembling knees, who is so much mightier than any earthly king, calls us "tu."

Will we live as someone so close to God that He would call us "tu?"

NOTE: Happy Spring! Stay tuned for my new blog design. :)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February Highlights 2017

Pauses. Sighs. Scratches head. Sighs again.

How should I describe February? It was a relatively "normal" month. At least, as "normal" as my life ever gets. :) While I didn't get half as much done as I'd hoped, I still accomplished a decent amount and I'm pleased with the overall results.

Okay. I figured out how to describe the biggest portion of my month—stress. For the greater part of February I have been studying like crazy for my amateur radio test to get my operator license. The test was Monday night and I had the most amazing feeling going into it. Instead of being horribly nervous like I thought I would be, I had total peace. Even during the test and while waiting for the results, I wasn't very nervous. And guess what? I passed with 97%! I'm so thrilled. Yesterday morning I got my temporary call sign but I hope to change it to something more personal. I am officially an amateur radio operator! Yay!

Besides radio classes, studying, and lots of school, I've also been continuing to attend two awesome youth groups and build stronger relationships with my friends. My younger sister went to Hume Lake at the beginning of the month and had a wonderful time. While she was enjoying the snow, I had a wonderful time staying with my marvelous grandparents. I always love sitting and talking with them, and I had plenty of time to do so!

A few weeks later we went to Pacific Grove to visit with my grandparents again for a birthday. It was a nice time, and we got several more great sunset pictures. How can you not get good ones when the sun is setting over the ocean? #beautiful ;)

That's my Dad taking a picture. ;)

It was also an interesting experience in that because of all the rain and wind storms, trees were falling left, right, and center and power was out in Pacific Grove for over 24 hours! We toasted bread and heated water for coffee over the fire and managed just fine. By the time we needed to turn on the oven for our pizza, power came back on. Perfect timing. Can't go without the pizza. :)

All in all, it was a good month despite the stress. I would ask for prayers though for my Mom, who found out yesterday that she has to have some major dental work done. Thanks!

February started out as a very good month for reading, I was ahead in my plan for reaching 10 books despite the short month but then it came to a grinding halt as studying grew more intense. I managed to complete only three for a total of 738 pages plus about half of the book I'm in the middle of, A Time to Die, which will be added to March's book list.
  1. Land of Shining Water: The Icecutter's Daughter, Tracie Peterson (331 pages)
  2. Chiveis Trilogy: The Gift, Bryan M. Litfin (407 pages)
  3. Ilyon Chronicles: The King's Scrolls, Jaye L. Knight (397 pages)
However, I can say that all three books were extraordinary! I'd highly recommend all of them and I can't wait to get book three in both the Chiveis Trilogy and Ilyon Chronicles. Hopefully March will enable me to get a significant amount of reading done now that the radio test is behind me.

While I still didn't write nearly as much as I'd hoped to, I did accomplish more than 4,000 words on my Dragon Chronicles, which is actually a lot considering everything else. I also set a record for the most amount of words I've ever written in a day—the new total is 2,612! That was a happy day. :)

I've also been continuing to edit for some friends, and I'm finding that I really enjoy editing. Another accomplishment was writing my first draft of a synopsis for my Dragon Chronicles. I'm really glad to have come up with something that I think I like for it.

It was a good month for photography! With all the rain, there were lots of rainbows and everything looked fresh. In addition to the sunset pictures I have above, I also got to do a brief photo-shoot with my sister and our horses.

In a "normal" year of rain, this river is half the size. (Taken in January.)
This is one of my favorite pictures I've taken! Isn't it gorgeous?

All the above pictures are © Bethany R.

~Great Quotes~
A found a few cool quotes this month that I thought you might like too.

“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” -Annie Dillard

"If you ask me what book I'm reading I'll either go into a long winded and enthusiastic summary of the entire thing or just lift the book to show you the title and keep reading." -I can't find the author

I don't think this counts as a quote but . . . here it is. :)

~Blog Posts~
I managed four posts in February, the most popular of which was my January Highlights post, followed by A Question of Honor Cover Reveal and Faith Leads to Understanding. I was delighted to find that I got several new followers this month as well—welcome to the blog! I'm so happy that you found me. You helped me reach 40 google followers!

As far as other blogger's posts, I'll just mention two things here. The blog tours for both A Question of Honor and The Princess and I have begun! Both books release March 3, so if you are interested, be sure to check those out! Click on the book title to view each author's first post of the blog tour. I've been too busy to participate in either, but know that if I could have I would have! Congratulations Jesseca and Rebekah! I'm so excited for you both!

Wow, I guess a busy month calls for a long post but I didn't anticipate this being THAT long. Well, if you read all of that, thanks! I hope you had a great February and have a delightful March!