The bench

Take a look at the featured image. You’re probably asking yourself why I’m making you stare at an empty bench, what’s the meaning of this picture? What story is it telling?

This is one of my favorite pictures, the bench is empty now but it’s not always that way. Just think of all the people who have sat there think of all the stories that bench could tell you if it could talk. How many single mothers have sat there trying to calm her hyper kids down so she can have just one second of peace, how many young couples sat there talking about the future, how many confused teenagers wondering about whether they would pass their next test sat there?

I find myself looking at this picture for almost hours just imagining the stories that have begun and ended there. It may seem insignificant but think about it, how many lost people have sat there wondering if life is worth whatever struggle they’re going through? How many friend groups sat there laughing at some story or joke someone was telling? How many families had a picnic there?

It’s these things that make you think and imagine and wonder. Maybe that bench was where two people met, maybe they fell in love. Maybe that was where two people realized they didn’t love each other. Maybe here somebody decided to keep fighting and maybe here somebody decided to give up. Whatever stories are in this bench, whatever stories it could tell doesn’t it make you curious? Life stories have always fascinated me and this one little bench in the middle of this small park knows more life stories then we may ever know.

 

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What is beauty?

Is beauty when I have my true face hidden behind a mask of powder and cream? Is beauty perfect hair, perfect eyes? Or maybe a perfect smile?

In this world; yes. This world claims to want you to be your own person, but only as long as you meet their standards.

They say things like “True beauty is on the inside,” and “We are all beautiful,” but do they mean It? Well yes they mean It, as long as you are visibly attractive according to their guidelines.

In the morning we stand in front of the mirror judging ourselves, covering our skin in make up. But will you be perfect? Once you’ve filled in your eyebrows and turned your lips cherry red have you successfully achieved perfection?

Just because the media says something will make you beautiful by promising flawless skin and hair means nothing.

I too am guilty of standing in front of a mirror and convincing myself that I am not beautiful. This is the biggest lie I have ever told, this is the biggest lie you will ever hear.

So look again. Find one thing you love about yourself. Your eyes, your nose, that freckle on your cheek, or your dimples and hold on to that. Remember somewhere in the world somebody is standing in front of a mirror wishing they had your blue eyes, or your dimples, maybe they want your curly hair or maybe they want your smile.

Remember you don’t have to be perfect in the world’s eyes because the world is wrong. The world has everything twisted. You don’t need to fill in your eyebrows or curl your hair today. You don’t have to cover up to be beautiful. So do yourself a favor put the make up down, look yourself in the eye, smile and tell yourself “I am beautiful,” and repeat this until you believe it. If you don’t believe it, if you don’t believe that you are beautiful you’re lying to yourself.

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

So I’ve been homeschooled my entire life. I know lot of people that when I mention that I’m homeschooled, explain to me about why they’re jealous and how much they wish they were homeschooled.

Let me explain something to you, when you’re homeschooling you still have to work. It doesn’t mean sleeping in until 3pm and then sitting on the couch binge watching your favorite TV show. The second part of the word homeschool is SCHOOL.

Now if you want to be homeschooled or are a parent who wants to homechool here’s something I want you to consider.

I have been homeschooled my entire life which means limited social interaction. I have a friends from church but being homeschooled makes it very difficult to meet new people. I have been pretty shy my whole life and I honestly think it’s partially because I didn’t interact with people a lot. Of course different kids have different personalities, but if you’re homeschooling please come up with other social activities to do with your kids and other families with kids around their age.

For a while I was actually afraid to tell people I was homeschooled because it’s considered weird and it just wasn’t normal, honestly I still hate telling people I’m homeschooled. Also I have a weird fear of people especially teenagers, I often don’t want to do things with other teens because they act differently then I do. I’ve started doing other social activities weekly and I think it’s really helped me to overcome that fear but it’s still there.

I’m not saying that homeschooling is bad because there are definitely many good things about it and I’ll get to that after I explain a couple more things that I struggle with.

One is just being in a public place such as a store or riding a bus. I get nervous when people mention riding the bus or walking somewhere because I don’t think that I even no how to find my way around and I don’t have friends in my area to help me out. I also find that I get nervous checking out items at the store but that’s probably just my personality.

The last thing I would like to mention could honestly be both a good thing and a bad thing.

Age difference, one thing that I love about myself is the fact that I get along with people that are both younger and older than I am (mostly younger). I like that I can get along with kids that are much younger then me without getting annoyed or being rude. But most of my friends are younger then me making it difficult for me to be able to talk to them if I have a problem that can really be explained to a 16 year old girl.

Now what is good about homeschool? Well lots of things.

The assignments can be more exciting and fun and parents are able to help the student individually in a way that the student will understand.

Also, I do feel like I have a lot of self esteem even though I can be shy and have a lack of confidence I have high self esteem and don’t really care what the world thinks.

Another thing that is great about homeschool is that I have developed my own opinions without any influence from other students, teachers, or even curriculum. Also my faith has a huge part in this. As a homeschooled christian I have been able to grow in my faith and I haven’t been bullied for it (Yet) I think it’s important that I was able to develop my own opinion about God and the bible without having anybody discourage me from it.

I wrote this  in case anybody  wanted an opinion from a teen who has been homeschooled. It’s important to see it from both the parent and the students perspective because every child is different and even if you think everything is going well your child may have doubts that you never knew about.

If your child has concerns listen and think about it because I see why my parents had me homeschooled but I also wish that sometimes they would listen to my opinion and really understand what I was saying. Homeschooling is great but consider if that’s what’s best for you and your child.

I have to have social interaction or I get depressed if I don’t hang out with other teenagers. While I’m not sure being homeschooled was what was right for me and I feel like I missed out on a lot I understand why my parents made that decisions and now I don’t think I’d do well in public school.

So there’s my thoughts on homeschooling. I’ll probably write another post like this at some point.

Thanks for reading!

-Abby

 

 

 

Fear.

I haven’t been blogging much over the summer but I hope to get back into it over the school year.

A lot has happened this summer, lots of growing up and lots of changes. I think my entire perspective about myself and the world has changed. The things that I got to experience this summer have impacted my life in so many ways.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my faith and my life and I’m glad of the time I had to think because I learned more about myself and I discovered what I truly believe about the world. But what I thought about most was fear.

Fear is a huge part of life, it can stop us from trying new things. People repeat the same things when they learn that you’re too afraid to try something. They always say “God is in control,” or something along those lines. I trust God but it doesn’t make me any less afraid. Maybe it should but it doesn’t.

I’m not going to make a large list of everything that I’m afraid of. But one thing I’m not afraid of is being afraid. Fear is part of being human and sometimes we have no reason to be afraid, but a lot of the time it can’t be helped. I believe that God can protect us from harm but I have never really found comfort in prayer or when people say “God is in control,” I don’t know what your afraid of and I can’t tell you how not to be afraid. But I can tell you everyone is afraid of something and it only makes it worse if you’re ashamed of being afraid.

Goodbye 10 year old me.

Do you remember when you were around the age of 9 or 10 and you just couldn’t wait to be an adult? I do. I remember playing house and pretending I was a mom with a car and a house. 

Well I’m now 16 years and about one month old and now I like pretending I’m a kid. I keep looking around my room at my old toys that I played with, honestly not too long ago and I miss them. 

I keep asking myself why I was in such a rush to grow up, because all I want to do is become 8 year old Abby again. I want to not have to worry about the world. I already miss my childhood and I’m still I teenager. No I’m not an adult and no I’m not a kid. Can’t I just go back in time and be 10 again? Can’t I get away with mismatched clothes, carrying around my little stuffed lion not caring about what anybody else thought about it. Can’t I watch a disney movie and still imagine that I’m a princess living in a magical world? 

16 years old, wow. I grew up fast. So I guess this is goodbye, goodbye 5 year old me, goodbye 7, goodbye 10 year old me I’ll miss you, I think of you all the time and I’ll never forget you but now it’s time to grow up. 

But this is also hello, hello 20 year old college me, hello married me hello mommy, hello to future me. I don’t know what’s coming next and I’d love to say I’m ready for it, but I’m not. I can’t wait to see what’s next but I still don’t want to grow up. I know there will be a part of child me still in there that will never want to let go, but there’s a part of me that knows it’s time to grow up. 

I’m not a kid anymore, but I’m not an adult yet either.

                -Abby.

What made my summer great!

Okay, so summer’s not over yet but it’s getting close. I just want to share some highlight moments from my summer and share what I think made it so special.

Of course my very favorite part was getting to be a part of the highschool team that went on a missions trip to Costa Rica, I could never explain the impact it had on my life. I was only there for a week, but it was I week I will never forget.

Another part was when my family and I went camping at one of the state parks. We had so much fun on that trip.

Of course my birthday party was a highlight.

And then there was the summer camp I went to with Rosie and her family.

This was definitely my most eventful summer and the best one I’ve ever had. I think I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.

Now a lot of people travel and go camping during summer, so what made my summer so special?

Yes being with my friends, and family was part of it. But I big part was the fact that God showed up. Before summer I was doubting that God was listening to me, I wanted to know that I was important to him. I felt like he hadn’t spoken to me in a long time and I prayed to him all the time. I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t responding. But there were many times this summer where I felt like God was speaking to me loud and clear.

I’m now one year older, spiritually stronger and I think my love for people has definitely grown.

I’m going to miss a lot of things about being a kid but I feel like this summer I grew up and I’m ready for whatever comes next.

I hope your summer was as exciting and fun as mine.

Thanks for reading!

Love, Abby.

 

Guilt

When the day ends and the moon rises, what do you think of? What do you remember? Does guilt wash over you and hold your heart captive so you can’t even breathe? 

All you wish for, all you want is freedom. Freedom from the lies, from the pain, from the guilt. 

There’s a voice in your head screaming that it’s not your fault, not your problem, but who do you believe? Your head or your heart? 

Is it hard to sleep, to eat, to live? Everyday passes slowly. It feels like the world stopped long enough to remind you of your choices. 

Do you wonder where the guilt comes from? Is it something you did or something THEY said? Why Do you feel guilty for something  you didn’t choose and you can’t fix? 

Do they blame You? Do you blame You? Could it really be so bad you can’t let go? Have you tried to let go? 

Do they hate You? Do you hate You? Do you hate yourself because you can’t be perfect? 

Do you lie to yourself, saying that it isn’t your fault? Is that a lie? Do you even remember the truth anymore? 

Do you remember who you are? Do you want to remember who you are? 

Did you change? Did the lies become your reality? Did the guilt replace your soul, your hatred darken your heart? 

Do you change because of them? Did you do it because of You? 

Do you wonder where the old you went? Would she like who you are now? Would she want to be just like You? 

I wonder where you are. I wonder if you’ll  come back, I hope you’ll come back.