Tap Into Your Potential by Understanding Your Identity

Identity is what our culture is viciously fighting to own the right to. The culture is trying so very desperately to give us each labels, tell us what we are to wear, how we are to talk, even what we are supposed to eat; and it has a very good reason to. If the culture around us can have control of our identity, then it can have control of every inch of us. But really, why is identity such a big deal? Why does it matter what we place our identity in and what gives it such an authority over us?

Identity is more than just an overused word thrown around in our youth groups. More than what people think about us, and more than what we think about ourselves. Our identity gives us motivation in life, endurance to overcome trials, satisfaction in our choices, and peace at the end of the day. We strive to maintain our identity and focus on upholding the image that we have dedicated so much time to obtain. Our identity gives us passion in life and joy from day to day. Our identity gives us an automatic label; and we aren’t ashamed of it. Our identity defines our purpose in life.

However, there are two things that the culture throws at us that obscures our view of our real identity. These two things are lack of identity and false identity.

{CONTINUE READING ON PURSUE MAGAZINE}

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Creating Worlds Writing Camp (Heads Up)

cwwc-2016

Hey everyone! Just giving you guys a bit of a heads up that I’m joining CWWC starting May 1st. It is a series of writing prompts that are posted every 3 days over on Loren’s blog (BlueEyesGrayEyes.Wordpress.com ).

That means that every 3 days starting May 1st, y’all will get to read my *ahem* {creative} stories for these prompts. This goes on for the entire month of May, so these stories are probably all I’m going to be posting for the next month.

So buckle down and get ready for a month of {hopefully} exciting stories!

Book Review: The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan

Guide to Murder

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis: 

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

My Review:

In The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder, the readers are thrown into a world of fun suspense and mystery very similar to that of Sherlock Holmes. It is set in the early 1900s in Canada and is a light read however containing enough suspense to keep you reading.

The characters are all charming in their own unique ways as well as extremely likable. Readers who enjoyed Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden as young girls are certain to enjoy these women detectives who seem to always jump headlong into trouble. Their interesting disguises and witty conversations are sure to entertain the readers to the point of laughing out loud.

{Read Full Review Here}

The Mindset of Historians

Everything we know about history has more than likely come from a journal or a letter that was found or passed down through the family. These journals and letters relayed, often in descriptive details, everything that the penner endured. The importance of the pen to our ancestors is one of the top and only reasons we even know what happened in history and it is because of the pen that we continue to remember these events.

But why did they write everything down? I mean the letters are understandable, they were communicating to family and friends, but that doesn’t explain the journals and diaries. There were so, so, so many people who carried and continually wrote in journals that I have to wonder, what motivated them? Was it simply a way to pass the time? A way to express feelings and relieve stress, or was it more than that?

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Queen Elizabeth, the immigrants traveling across the sea to the New Country, the farmers dealing with Indians, the love-sick school girls, the soldiers fighting in the Civil War, the traveling nurses; what motivated all of them in a way that lacks today? Anyone who keeps a diary today would be looked at as nothing more than a young girl in 6th grade journaling a childish love-life; its just not done by anyone else in today’s culture.

I believe the difference is the way they thought. The way that their minds were wired were different than the way our minds are wired today. I, personally, believe that they journaled everything because they knew they were making history. They lived with a mindset that they were shaping the future. They lived their day-to-day lives knowing that their choices would affect future generations. 

Isn’t that completely different than our mindsets today? Everything we do today is focused on “today”. We live for the now, not caring what our decisions will lead to in the future. We, especially as teens and young adults, live for pleasure and don’t want to think about the future until the future comes. Bad choices are made, opportunities are missed, and we ourselves suffer while also causing those around us to suffer, all because of our mindsets as a whole.

It makes me wonder what caused the change of thinking. It could be the abundance of technology. It could be the lack of pressure to shape the future and push it forward, or a lack of passion for life. It could even simply be the lack of desire to be more than the previous generation. Regardless of the reason our mindsets are so different now, it still hurts me to look at my generation and stand by without doing anything to help. We are called the selfie generation, and not just because we love taking selfies. Its because everything we do revolves around us. Every breath we take is put towards something that will benefit us.

But, this post isn’t here to discourage and make us feel hopeless; its here to do just the opposite.You know how in history, revolutions and rebellions would start by one person who wasn’t satisfied with how life was around them? History was changed all because of those historians with the mindset for the future and the dissatisfied view of the world around them. Well here’s a bombshell for you, we are the historians of the future.

People will look back on us and either snarl their noses or applaud us for how we handled life. And how we handle life depends on our mindset. We can either live with the mindset to shape the future, or continue on with our mindset of living for the now. But how do we develop a mindset for the future? It seems so foreign.

I find that once I take my focus off of what I can gain from an action, and instead put my focus on what I can help someone else gain from my actions; I start living for the future. If I make a point to compliment someone who looks as if they are having a bad day, I reshape the future of their day. If I make everything I do about other people rather than about me, not only will I be blessed and more liked by people (because really, who doesn’t love being around someone who always thinks of others before themselves?), but I will also learn to love the people who I am honoring and giving them inspiration to do the same.

I want people to look back on me and my life and know that I lived to shape the future. I want people to know that I am not satisfied with mundane life of “me” that the culture is pushing on us. But most of all, I want to stir up a rebellion amongst my generation to revolt against the stereotype being put on us. I want us to be the generation that arrises and changes the course of history; not the one that sits back and watches it spiral into chaos.

I want to live for the future; and in order to do that, I have changed my mindset to that of a historian. Because I am a historian.

Christian Movie Giveaway and Review

Literature Approved is hosting a Giveaway! The prize is a physical DVD copy of the Christian PG-13 movie Wildflower. The giveaway is running from 4/18 to 4/30 and the winner will be announced 5/1.

Read the full review and enter the giveaway  HERE .

Wildflower

About the Movie: 

Creatively gifted, college student Chloe Moray (portrayed by Nathalia Ramos, known for BRATZ, Arrested Development, House of Anubis) finds solace from a difficult childhood in her extraordinary art. But when an alarming dream begins to recur nightly, Chloe starts to believe that it might be a suppressed memory and that she may have witnessed a terrible crime as a little girl. Her search for peace takes her on a journey that forces Chloe to confront her past traumas and leads her to cross paths with Josh (Cody Longo, known for NOT TODAY, Hollywood Heights, Nashville), a young man dealing with his own painful loss. Together they find in each other someone they can trust as they seek to unlock a cold-case mystery from years before. But with the authorities blocking the way, Chloe’s new-found hope is challenged in this powerful story of faith, triumph and healing.

Trailer

Thanks for reading!

Book Review: Playing the Part

Playing the Part

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan’s interest turns threatening. Lucinda’s widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta’s life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson’s estate to hide out.

Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there’s much more to him than society knows.

Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail’s matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can’t ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it’ll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.

My Review: 

Just like all of Jen Turano’s books, Playing the Part is full of fun humor, intriguing romance, and wonderful characters. Her writing style is unique and never fails to draw in the reader and keep them engaged with the story.

In Playing the Part, we pick up with the formerly introduced, Lucetta Plum, as she finally steps into the role of “main character” and we watch her story unfold. Lucetta was always my favorite character in the past two books so I was extremely thrilled when she was finally allowed to step into the spotlight. The storyline was engaging and Bram was a fascinating addition to the characters.

Fans of Jen’s previous novels will not be disappointed in her latest release and anyone who enjoys a funny book with intriguing side plots, Playing the Part is for you! As I mentioned previously, this is book three in the “A Class of Their Own” series and can be read as a standalone, however, to be better introduced to the characters, I would recommend reading them in order.

I give Playing the Part by Jen Turano, 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Would a Worm Go on a Walk? by Hannah C. Hall

Would a worm go on a walk

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis: 

A comical picture book about the unique qualities of various creatures and how they were planned to be just that way by a loving, wise Creator.

My Review: 

Would a Worm Go on a Walk? is a very well-written book that engages children and adults alike with the splendid pictures that bring to life the words that were carefully penned. There are numerous questions asked about numerous animals that are sure to build the vocabulary of young children as well as give them something to laugh at.

The conclusion of the book is heart-warming and will build the confidence of a child by how it puts value on them in such a sweet way. It builds on the truth that everything on earth was created for a reason and they are all good, “even the odd”. There is even a memory verse included that backs up the truths presented in this book.

Would a Worm Go on a Walk? would be a great book for nurseries, bedtime stories, or even as a gift to a new mother. I give is a full 5 out of 5 stars.