The Glimmer of Light

Hello faithful blog readers! Thought I’d pop in and say hi.

[Also note that the majority of this post was written around a week ago.]

Life is crazy but pretty awesome nonetheless. For one thing, last week was Crazy Writing Week. What’s crazy writing week? Basically a competition to write a bunch. I wasn’t going to join, but I ended up using it as motivation to tackle all of my school-related writing. Which means I now have time to write one blog post.

So where have I been? What have I been doing? What’s up?

Life’s pretty much the same as it has been for the past year. Too much time staring at a screen. Tired of being limited because of a pandemic. But there have been ups and downs.

This week I feel motivated. Pumped. Happy. Next week I might feel discouraged and buried under schoolwork. But life is still good. All I have to do is look up from my computer to see it. In fact, I don’t even have to look up from my screen to see it. In the corners of my PC desktop are Word documents titled “Dear Lord” or “Dear God.” They are combinations of letters and prayers to God, and every word reminds me of how faithful He is. Things I didn’t see then I can see now. Things I still don’t understand I can now place in His hands.

Life’s been the same. I’m pretty much just the same, too. Same struggles, same discouragements. But I think I am growing. Slowly, painfully, I am learning some things.

I’m not finding the answers I always wanted. I still haven’t figured out the secret to being motivated, the secret to smiling when you’re down, or the secret to getting mountains of tasks completed. But I’m learning to place all those things in His hands.

I don’t understand the mysteries of the universe. I don’t know the answers to the questions vibrating through my brain. And yet, I can write letter after letter to my Father in Heaven asking and asking and asking, and He’s still listening. At the end of the day, I may not get the satisfaction and peace of having figured out just the right solution, of having perfectly put the puzzle pieces together, but it’s okay. Because His peace is the peace that surpasses understanding.

My heart might be filled with sadness, disappointment, and confusion, yet in it all his perfect peace can shine through and light up the darkness.

I’ll keep pressing on to that glorious light. I’ll keep seeking His face. I’ll never stop wanting to understand. But that twinkle of light sparkling from the corners of my mind is enough. It only takes a spark to destroy the darkness and as long as I have Him, I’ll never be without that glimmer of light.

So hold onto that glimmer and don’t let go.

Don’t Give Up

To you who feel without purpose.
To you who feel like you’ve lost your passion.

To you who feel lost and without hope.

Don’t give up.

Life may seem hopeless. It may feel like joy will never come again.

Don’t give up.

It’s not hopeless. Life has meaning. Life has purpose.

God is holding on. He will never let go.

He has a purpose for your life beyond anything you could ever imagine.

As pain drowns out everything but the numbness, hold onto hope.

When you wonder what you’re even doing living, don’t give up.

Lean into his love. Press on, even when it is harder than anything you’ve ever done.

When you cross the dawn it will be beautiful like nothing else. The passion you thought was dead will bloom stronger and purer than ever before.

Don’t give up.

You will never be tempted beyond your ability. Don’t give up.

Cling to his promises.

He will provide a way of escape. Do not heed Satan’s lies. There is hope, invisible and invincible, through Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.

He who gave his very life to save you will not let go now. He loves you deeply, overwhelmingly, wondrously, awesomely. He will never, no never, no never, ever leave you.

For he has indeed promised “I will never leave nor forsake you.”

To you who feel life is too much. To you who feel another breath is too heavy a burden to bear. To you who have lost all hope.

Don’t give up. Hope is never lost. He will give you strength.

To you who are exhausted inside and out. To you who pretend to know your purpose, who pretend to feel passion, to those who feel their whole life is fake. To you who feel no one else will ever understand.

He understands. He heals. He holds you.

You who are weary, lift your drooping limbs and raise your eyes to heaven. You who are heavy-laden, who don’t have the strength, come to Him. He calls to you:

Rest, beloved. Let your soul find rest. Wait for me, and I will give you rest.

However hard it feels, however hopeless, promise me this one thing:

Don’t give up.


Hebrews 12:12-13

1 Corinthians 10:13

Matthew 11:28-30

Isaiah 40:28-31

Hebrews 13:5b-6

Philippians 3:13-14


12 Days of Christmas | Day 9 | In Which I Attempt to Write a Christmas Story

Hello everyone! Can you even believe that there is only 3 more days until Christmas!!?!?!? I’m starting to wonder if my to-do list is even capable of being completed. 🙄

Also…today I am going to try and write some flash fiction. I haven’t even decided what it will be about. Annd…I haven’t really written fiction since October maaybe early November. So I’m feeling kind of rusty and reluctant. Maybe a little bit of nonexistent writer’s block is in there as well??

To be completely honest I kind of hate (*ahem* I meant strongly dislike) my own writing currently, but I will try to just write SOMETHING and still share it. It’s a challenge, right? I can be competitive.

*rubs hands together*

*stares at remaining blank screen*

*begins staring at ceiling*

*glances back at computer*

Riight…so about that story…

Uuummm…I’ll be back. In a little bit. Just have to think for a while…

(This won’t really be that bad, right?)

*Ahem* I’m back again. Still not sure what I’m going to write, but I may as well write the first few sentences.

Once Upon a Time…

Kalea stared at her dim laptop screen in the darkness of the living room. Well…except for the Christmas lights in random corners of the room.

She continues to stare at her blank document. Somehow she could write analytical overviews for a living, yet she couldn’t manage to a single line of fiction.

I’m pretty sure my imagination no longer works.

Kalea’s friend Lissa, a budding entrepreneur, said she’d read somewhere that changes in environment sometimes helped with Writer’s Block.

So here she was. Instead of writing in a cheery office at 8 o’clock in the morning she was attempting to write at 10 o’clock at night. On her couch. Three days before her “unique” Christmas story was supposed to be finished. At least she wasn’t actually becoming a nightowl.

Somehow nighttime just wasn’t doing the trick in sparking her imagination.

Kalea pulled out her phone to message Lissa.

“Still trying to brainstorm ideas for that Christmas story I promised I’d write.”

A second later there was a ding. Well…to be exact it was a short portion of Carol of the Bells…you know cause everyone sets something like that for a notification ringtone.

Me too. Working on brainstorming a unique design for my business pitch a week from now”

Kalea sighed. There was a big difference between designing a product and writing a story. Not that she could do either. But writing a story should be easy…right?

“I’m actually getting pretty convinced that my imagination is dead. Like seriously.”

Kalea pressed send and turned her phone off. After staring into the distance for a while and thinking about everything else that needed to be done before Christmas, she got up from the couch. Definitely no words spouting out of her brain right now.

She walked into the dark kitchenette of her apartment and stared out the window lost in blank thought.

Literally all she wanted for Christmas was to finish this nonexistent story.

Somehow Lissa had an imagination but she didn’t. And while Lissa said she believed in God and Jesus and all that “church stuff,” she seemed to get really uncomfortable when Kalea talked about it.

Would her friends listen to her about Jesus if she could write stories? Since she’d become a Christian she’d found that even if her friends said they believed the same things as her, they never wanted to talk about it.

They like to read her reports though…and she thought they were more than “pretty” dry. They were horrid. Would they read a story?

Well if the Lord hadn’t given her an imagination, that wasn’t likely to work out. What was she supposed to do about the deadline? Ugh.

Kalea startled as she heard a knock on her window. On the fourth story. How was that even possible?

Was is a bird? It couldn’t possibly be Santa Claus…but maybe something else? Did someone try to jump off the roof? Did someone manage to climb a ladder or ride one of the lifter machine thingimajigs to knock on her window? What would they want?

She quickly reached for where she had set her phone when she came into the kitchenette and opend her Lissa’s contact.

“Umm…I think someone just knocked on my fourth story window.”

She texted frantically.

“Do you think it might be a thief? How would someone knock on a window that high up anyway?? Or could it somehow have been a bird…maybe the bird was looking at someone else??”

After a few seconds Lissa messaged her laughing emoji.

“What’s so funny?”

Kalea texted back.

“Read the text before your last two.”

Lissa replied almost instantly. Kalea scrolled up on her phone, still confused.

After a few long, drawn-out seconds Lissa offered a bit of an explanation.

“At first you were like ‘I don’t have an imagination’ then you’re like imagining all sorts of ways a knocking sound could have come from the direction of your window. 😀”

Waaait…what?

Kalea struggled to wrap her brain around it, but when she did she burst out laughing.

Texting back a cringing emoji and a laughing emoji, she looked around for her light up clock. She should probably keep brainstorming. Maybe she could manage to write at least one sentence.

I mean…it could even be about someone trying to knock on a fourth story window.

Kalea grinned.

Where is that clock anyway? She wondered peering closer at the wall it usually was.

Walking closer she realized it was face-down on the ground. Right by the window.

And that’s when she realized her imagination was most definitely not dead. Nothing had knocked against her fourth-story window. Her clock had fallen down.

The thought caused her to break down laughing.

And already a story was forming in her mind. Maybe even a story her friends would read. And think about.

Time to get writing.

THE END.


Okay that was actually fun once I got started. While that probably wasn’t very exceptional writing, I hope you enjoyed it too!

And seriously, the best solution to Writer’s Block is to write about Writer’s Block. Works pretty much every time. You should totally try it next time you just can’t seem to get any words on the page.

(I’m sorry it wasn’t as Christmasy as I was hoping!)

Also this is literally my absolute favorite example of writing about Writer’s Block. You’ve got to check it out.

Hope you enjoyed, see you tomorrow, and have an awesome and blessed Christmas!


Song of the Day:

I had a lot of trouble choosing this one today. On one hand, “3:42 AM (Writer’s Block)” by MercyMe seemed to match best. On the other hand…I was kinda going for Christmasy songs. So I guess I’ll have to pick two?

3:42 Am (Writer’s Block) by MercyMe

Be Born In Me by Francesca Battistelli (have you noticed I like Francesca Battistelli?😉).


“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

-Philippians 3:14

“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

-James 1:12

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

-1 Peter 1:13


*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation

**Also…hoping there aren’t any super back typos cause I didn’t even really edit this one. 🙂

12 Days of Christmas | Day 8 | Encouragement and Exhortation for Christmas

Hello everyone and I am so sorry that I’m so late with this post…I was supposed to write it two days ago and but I got so busy on Sunday and then completely spaced out yesterday about it.

Because I’m so late this post will be short but sweet and you should expect another post today (the post that was actually supposed to be today).

I guess what I really want to offer is some encouragement. But I don’t want to follow all the repetitive cliché “lessons” for us based on the Christmas story. I want to offer real, heart-felt encouragement amid everything.

To be honest I’ve been really worn out and just plain tired around Christmas. And it’s not so much Christmas that makes me tired, but everything surrounding it.

Finals week. Election results. So much to do and see. Crowded stores. Every room is a “Santa’s Workshop.” Anticipation and dread. Concerts to play in and see. Cards to write and read. Catching up on everything you’ve procrastinated on. Fighting winter depression. Wondering if when this year ends and the New Year begins, we’ll have measured up to our own standard. Met our resolutions. Seen if we’re good enough.

It’s exhausting. And so complicated.

This year excluded, I’ve never really felt lonely at Christmas. And definitely not the whole “singles loneliness.” This year COVID and social distancing has made me a lonely already, but Christmas hasn’t made that any worse really.

It’s not loneliness I tend to deal with this time of year but bitterness, jealousy, discontentment, and self-hatred.

It’s almost funny how jealousy and self-hatred can go hand-in-hand. One is discontentment with others (particularly in comparison to others) and one is discontentment with oneself. And while discontentment with oneself can be beneficial if it lead to dependence on God, if it simply festers into bitterness it can be a whole lot worse.

Here are 10 of the things I’ve learned work and don’t work to keep bitterness and jealousy in check (particularly around Christmas). I hope you are both encouraged and exhorted by them.

1) Lowering your expectations of Christmas so you “won’t be disappointed” only temporarily subdues bitterness and jealousy.

2) Living out peace and kindness throughout the Christmas season and particularly on Christmas day does not just happen automatically. There is no “Christmas magic” that makes people get along better. If there is no work going into it, it’s just surface peace. Loving one another takes sacrifice and effort, even on Christmas day.

3) Understanding the difference between “I deserve to have whatever I want particularly if it’s small” and “I am loved by God who will give me whatever I truly need” is very important.

4) There is so much joy in pouring your heart into a gift for another person.

5) Perfect love casts out fear

6) Most of the time others don’t know when you’re feeling lonely, jealous for attention and love, and festering bitterness. With all the busyness surrounding Christmas it can be so hard to tell if a loved one is feeling neglected or ignored. When you recognize a root of jealousy or bitterness in yourself, often all it takes is a quick note to a friend or family member telling them that you are feeling lonely or isolated for them to realize this and help fill your cup back up. It’s not about demanding love, but about recognizing when and why you are sad then communicating it instead of resorting to bitterness or unkindness.

7) If you are just feeling grumpy or irritated and you can’t figure out why asking a friend or two to pray about it can really help you sort out your attitude. Admitting you have a bad attitude does wonders.

8) Loving others who are as broken as you (if not more broken on the outside) can not only work to heal and help them, but also to renew a right spirit within you and fill you with gratitude and hope in the midst of your bitterness.

9) Remember that every day is a gift. Enjoy every moment with you loved ones and focus on the important things instead of getting caught up in trivial arguments.

10) You are loved by God. Fully and utterly loved. You are special, you are beautiful, and you have been made perfect in God’s eyes by Jesus’ sacrifice if only you accept his beautiful gift of salvation. You are made in the image of God and don’t you ever forget that. If God says you are awesomely and wonderfully made, who are you to say otherwise? If God says there is hope for you, that even now He is working in you and sanctifying you, who are you to say otherwise.


“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-Romans 8:37

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

-Romans 8:1

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.”

-Psalm 139:14


Song of the Day: Heaven Everywhere by Francesca Battistelli


*All scripture quotations are from the ESV translation unless otherwise noted

12 Days of Christmas | Day 7 | Word Study on “Emmanuel”

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Today we are doing a word study on the most requested Christmas-related word: Emmanuel.

First off, we know from Matthew 1:23 that Emmanuel means “God with us.”

“Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they shall name Him Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

-Matthew 1:23

The Hebrew word for Emmanuel is “Immanuel,” which directly translated means “with us is God.”

The word Immanuel comes from the Hebrew words “im” and “el“. Im means beside or with and El means God (kind of like Elohim I think).

Immanuel is used twice in the Old Testament, once in Isaiah 7 and once in Isaiah 8.

In the first instance, God is talking to Ahaz (through Isaiah) telling him “not [to] be fainthearted” and telling him of what is going to happen (Isaiah 7:4). If you’d like more context I suggest reading Isaiah 7 for yourself and maybe look at something like this to understand the greater context.

After emphasizing the need for Ahaz to wholeheartedly believe what He is telling him, the LORD tells Ahaz to ask for a sign and to “make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven” (Isaiah 7:11), Ahaz refuses and claims he will not “put the Lord to the test” (Isaiah 7:12).

The LORD rebukes him for his arrogance and says that the Lord himself will give Ahaz a sign. The sign of Immanuel, conceived by a virgin.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. For before the boy knows enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be abandoned.”

-Isaiah 7:14-16

It seems in this case that there were multiple fulfillments of the prophecy, one right then, and one later, when Christ was born. Because while this is the very prophecy quoted by Matthew in reference to Jesus’ birth, it was also fulfilled in Ahaz’s lifetime (before the boy conceived knew enough to refuse evil and choose good).

The Greek word used by Matthew in Matthew 1:23 to refer to Jesus’ virgin birth is “Emmanouél” which is a messianic title that means, as does the Hebrew word, God with us.

Whenever I think of “God with us” I think of the last part of Hebrews 13:5 where it quotes from the Old Testament and reminds us that “He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (ESV).

God is with us always and will never forsake us. He is always there for us to turn to and one day he will take us to be with Him forever. Never fear! He is there for you.

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.”

-Deuteronomy 31:6

Another verse I think of when I think of God with us is Ezekiel 37:27 and the verses surrounding.

“I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them.

And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.

My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

-Ezekial 37:26-28 (ESV)

Something about that verse “my dwelling place shall be with them…I will be their God…they shall be my people” makes me a little homesick for heaven.

God is with us indeed. But I simply can’t wait to truly see Him face to face and sit at his feet and worship him! I can hardly even imagine a glimpse of what it will be like. Won’t it be glorious, when we are truly His people and He is truly our God? Then we’ll be truly with him forever and ever.

I hope you enjoyed and were encouraged by this post! I’m a little later in the day than I was planning on being but oh well! I think I needed a little more time on this post, as short as it is.

Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow for Day 8. Can you believe it’s only 5 more days until Christmas????!?


Song of the Day: O Come O Come Emmanuel by Joshua Aaron

O Come O Come Emmanuel was a pretty intuitive choice for today, but what’s even cooler is the version I chose! It’s sung with more traditional Hebrew pronunciation and has sections that are actually sung in Hebrew!!! It’s so cool. Plus it’s sung live from the Tower of David.


“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

-Revelation 3:20

“And they will fight against you but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to save you,” declares the Lord.”

-Jeremiah 1:19

“In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be.”

-John 14:2-3


*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted