True Love…Is Not Only Romantic!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

That is, if it is a happy Valentine’s. Maybe it’s not. Maybe you’re struggling in your marriage or relationship, or you’re with a frustratingly un-romantic and un-Valentines-y partner, or you’re not-so-happily single.

But guess what? Happy Valentine’s Day anyway! Guess why?

Because true love is not only romantic!

You may have seen Nicole’s awesome Galentine’s Post from last week. In it, she described the amazing package of Valentine’s gifts that she sent to me (which I received, and all of which I love and am so excited about). I cried when I saw that post, because she’s right – Valentine’s is a hard reminder of the not-so-fun elements of my singleness, so it means a lot to me when other people I love reach out to me then to remind me, as my amazing sister did, that I am loved and lovely.

Here I am loving the scarf, hat, earrings – and all the gifts Nicole got me!

Tonight, I’m going on a Valentine’s date – I’m going out to dinner with my best friend, giving her a gift and a ton of nerdy Valentine’s printed off the internet, and then we’re going to watch some more episodes of The Flash together. So yes, I’m single, and I’m still celebrating Valentine’s Day, because I have a lot of love in my life.

Wherever you’re at, whoever you love, I’d like you to take a minute this Valentine’s Day to think about the idea that true love isn’t only romantic.

Can I make my point a little clearer? Why thank you. Let me dust off and climb onto my soapbox…

I love love. I really do. I love people who are in love, and weddings, and good love stories, and romantic nonsense. Love is great. But here’s the thing: that’s all romantic love, and that’s awesome. But that’s not the only love out there, nor is it necessarily/always the greatest or strongest form of love.

I’m ready for rotten fruit to be flung now, but let me proceed.

Here’s the thing: I’m a happy 23-year-old single girl who has never had a boyfriend and has only been on a few “dates.” (Try not to be too shocked.) Most everyone in my family was married by the time they were my age, so yes, I’m feeling like the odd duck out. And yes, I very much want to be married eventually. But yes, I’m trying, with varying degrees of success, to wait on God’s plan and be content and find my purpose and satisfaction in Him.

So, here’s the thing. Sometimes, especially with reminders like Valentine’s Day, I do have single-person-pity-parties about never experiencing a long-term reciprocated romantic love. And sometimes I wonder if people pity me for never having experienced love.

But hold the phone. Never having experienced love? Are you kidding me? In my 23 years of life, I have loved truly and deeply and strongly, and I have been loved truly and deeply and strongly. You know why? Because true love is not only romantic. (Is my repetition helping you get the concept in your head?)

Where did we even get this concept of “true love”? True love is just love that is true…right? So who made it romantic? Fairy tales? Kind of, but not necessarily. (I mean, have you ever read any original fairy tales? But that’s a different soapbox for another day…) Personally, I’m going to point at The Princess Bride. “And wuv…twue wuv…will fowwow you…fowevah…” Er, maybe not. Most fingers would probably point at Disney, and maybe there’s some truth in that. After all, it did give us phrases like “true love’s kiss.” But if you’re a Disney fan like I am, you’ll notice how lately they’re steering away from that concept with stories like Frozen or Once Upon a Time that show that true love can be the love between family members or friends.

So let’s talk about friendship, because this is a big deal for me.

I’ve been blessed with a lot of people at various points in my life that I would call best friends and very close friends. But, if you’ve seen my social media at all, it’s probably not hard to see that I have one relationship that’s especially, well, special: my friendship with Marissa Petty. We’ve known each other all our lives. We are almost opposite in personality, but on the same page in beliefs and opinions. Our nickname for each other is “strawberry.” We are two sides of the same coin, fire and ice. We balance each other perfectly. We trust each other and are open with each other in ways that we aren’t with other people. We are undyingly loyal to each other. Our friendship is so close that I’ve referred to her as my “platonic soul mate,” and we’re able to joke to each other about how people who don’t know us will probably think we’re a couple.

And that’s where we reach my biggest soapbox here: we need to stop over-sexualizing everything, stop downplaying friendship, and start appreciating true love. Our culture is crazy, confused, and over-sexualized. As a result, true and deep friendships often are rare and even more often are misunderstood.

I see this a lot in the fandom community. I’m a hard-core fangirl nerd (as is Marissa), and if you spend any time among other nerds online, you realize just how quick they are to ship slash that isn’t canon. Sorry if that made no sense to you – nerds talk weirdly! In translation, fans often support gay relationships for characters that are best friends in the source material. For example: Johnlocke, Stucky, and Merthur. “Johnlocke” is from the BBC series Sherlock, where John Watson and Sherlock Holmes are, as usual, best friends. But a huge part of the fan base thinks they should be a couple. The show itself even pokes fun at how they seem like and are mistaken for a couple, even though Sherlock is asexual and John is straight. “Stucky” is Steve Rogers and Buck Barnes from the Captain America films – again, best friends with a relationship that is hugely emotional and important for both characters, but many fans want them to be a couple. “Merthur” is Merlin and Arthur from BBC’s series Merlin. The entire series is about their relationship, friendship, and deep love for each other – but fans want them to be a couple, even though it’s obvious they are not. These are just three examples of some of my favorite fictional friendships that people constantly try to make romantic.

But it’s not just fiction. For goodness sake, look at David and Jonathan in the Bible. I’ve heard plenty of people accuse them of being gay because David told Jonathan that his love was better than the love of women (2 Samuel 1:26). But it’s not romantic or sexual – just that their friendship was a truer and deeper love than all the various shallow sexual relationships David had with his romantic partners.

When people see a love that is true, deep, and life-changing, they can’t seem to comprehend how it could possibly not be romantic or sexual. No! For goodness sake, no! Sex, as designed by God, is an awesome gift that gives a special level of intimacy in marriage that is totally unique. That’s amazing. And yes, for most people romantic love and a marriage relationship is the truest and strongest relationship and form of love that they experience. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the only true love or the ultimate love.

The ultimate love is found in the God Who is love, and the only physical thing about that is the physical incarnation, death, and resurrection of our Savior. The truest love, in marriage, friendship, family, or any relationship, is the chosen, active love that mirrors and flows from His love.

So, happy Valentine’s! Whether you do anything specific to celebrate or not, I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you take a little time on a day that’s all about love to be grateful for all the loves in your life and to find ways to express all that true love.

Let’s Talk About Feminism

If your Facebook newsfeed looks anything like mine, it’s featured a lot of politics lately. Who am I kidding? It’s been an explosion of politics for months. About two weeks ago, one topic on my feed was especially explosive: The Women’s March. I’m betting it at least made an appearance on your radar.

People on Facebook tend to either be engagers (the ones doing the posting, sharing, debating, etc.) or ignorers (the ones who scroll past debates as quickly as possible). I’m usually somewhere in the middle, leaning towards ignoring. I may look at what people have shared, but I rarely interact with those posts – it gets too complicated, too messy, too time-consuming, and it usually doesn’t solve anything.

But I decided to engage in some of the discussions on the Women’s March, and, as usual, I got sucked in. It started with a few comments on someone else’s status. Then I shared an article. And that’s when it happened.

I called myself a feminist.

And then I had to spend the next few days typing out lengthy comments in response to people who were concerned about me describing myself with that particular term. That’s when I decided that this blog post needed to happen (although it took a bit longer than expected).

This post is not another response to the Women’s March, since lots of good ones (and bad ones) already exist. Instead, it’s what almost all of the discussions I had because of the march boiled down to: feminism, and in particular a Christian response to feminism.

Obviously this is a huge topic that I could write books about, so I won’t be able to cover everything, but I’ll try to sum my thoughts up both thoroughly and succinctly (and it’ll still be a fairly long post, but bear with me!).

What’s your knee-jerk reaction when you hear the word “feminism”? What immediate comes to mind? Would you ever call yourself a feminist, or do you adamantly speak out about why you’re not one? Whatever your reaction is, I doubt it’s one of indifference. Feminism is one of those words that’s charged with associations, connotations, and emotions.

Personally, I have a complicated relationship and history with the word. I do refer to myself as a feminist, but I almost always accompany that declaration with a disclaimer and a discussion of what I mean. And trust me – that title isn’t one that I adopted quickly or lightly.

I grew up in an old-fashioned, conservative, fundamental Baptist family and church. So for the first nineteen years of my life, I had nothing but negative associations with the word “feminism.” It was worldly, radical, unbiblical. It was in opposition to the family, it taught women to not be submissive to their husbands, it taught that women were superior to men, etc. Never mind the fact that I probably couldn’t have explained what feminism actually was if you’d asked me to.

Then this “sheltered” homeschooler started her college education at Western Wyoming Community College. Through a series of events, I became friends with several teachers who proudly called themselves feminists, and my perceptions of the word began to change. Then I became a part of the Honors Program and its Introduction to the Humanities class. At the end of the semester, we had to do a research paper and presentation. I decided, based on some of our class discussion, to write about feminism and how it dealt with the issue of women staying at home.

Here’s the funny part – I thought my research paper was going to be about how I disagreed with feminism and how I was against the way it discouraged women from being wives and mothers. But the more I researched, the further I dug into the issue, the more questions I asked, the more I wondered: do I actually disagree with this?

My research paper turned into a discussion of the many different views feminists have held of women staying at home, which turned into a discussion of what feminism actually is, which turned into a realization: feminism and conservative ideals aren’t actually totally at odds. (Hold on to that thought, because I’m coming back to it.)

My teacher selected seven students from that class and invited them to take their research and give presentations at the Western Regional Honors Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona that spring. I was invited. I was terrified. But after a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to go for it.

I remember sitting in my teacher’s book-covered office, coming to the conclusion that the heart of my presentation wasn’t really the issue of women staying at home, but rather the issue of how conservative groups interacted with feminism. And I distinctly remember telling him: “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to openly call myself a feminist though, because the people I know wouldn’t understand what I meant by it.”

Still, I did further research, I interviewed people – including our very own work-from-home-Christian-mom Nicole Elliott – and I dug into what feminism is at its heart and how conservatives react to it. And a few months later I took an amazing trip to Flagstaff, and I presented my thoughts to strangers. The last line of that presentation, my conclusion of months of research, was simply this: “All of us, when we consider the basic definition of feminism, should be able to proudly consider ourselves feminists.”

This is the group I went to Flagstaff with at the Grand Canyon — amazing people who changed my life in a lot of ways!
Here I am giving my presentation on feminism at the RHC!

I didn’t start calling myself a feminist right away or make a big deal of “coming out” about it. I honestly don’t even know when I first applied the term to myself. But after that presentation, if the topic came up, it was this concept I went back to and discussed. And somewhere along the line, I called myself a feminist, and I explained what I meant by it.
That’s my history with the word. Now, let’s have that discussion.

First off, here’s a link to the video of my entire presentation from Flagstaff. It’s about half an hour long. The best thing you could do to fully understand my thoughts is to watch the whole video right now, then read the rest of this post. However, I get that it’s a long video, so I’m going to hit most of the big ideas from it in my discussion below. If you do watch it, let me know so I can congratulate you. 😉

Flagstaff Feminism Presentation

Now, just a quick note: my audience at the Honors Conference was strangers, so I had no idea what their backgrounds, beliefs, or opinions on feminism would be. Here, however, I’m assuming that much of my audience is Christian, as wells as including lots of mommies. Of course, I still don’t know what your opinions on feminism are! But my ideas here will be a little more focused on how we as Bible-believing Christians deal with feminism.

Here we go!

The basis of this issue is simply the difference between the denotation and connotations of the word “feminism.” The denotation of a word is its basic definition, while the connotations of a word are all the other ideas that people attach to it.

The denotation of feminism is this: “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests” (Merriam Webster); “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basic of the equality of the sexes” (Google); “a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women” (Wikipedia). If you were to ask a feminist what feminism is, most of them would tell you that it’s a belief in the equality of the sexes.

The problem comes because of the connotations of “feminism,” because those are endless. As the term has developed and been claimed by various groups, it has had a lot of associations attached to it. As often happens, the most radical and extreme groups are the ones that get the most attention. This is why “feminism” has come to be associated with what I refer to as “radical feminism.” These are the people that burn bras, wear crude costumes, call for extreme legislation, have negative views of men (which is technically misandry), etc., etc. These women are what people, especially Christians, tend to think of as feminists. They are also not a representation of all feminists.

I think this is the single biggest reasons Christians (and I use that term broadly) have shied away from the term “feminist” and thus the concept of feminism as a whole. All the articles I’ve read from Christians that argue against feminism make the same mistake of faulty generalization.

One article that was shared with me after I referred to myself as a feminist on Facebook was from a Christian blog for women (not unlike this blog), called “7 Reasons I’m Not a Feminist.” This was part of my response: “This author is…defining all feminism by the most liberal and radical forms of feminism, rather than the actual definition of the word and concept. I firmly agree with all the points she makes about the Bible and its view of women. I also disagree with nearly all the points she makes about feminism as she is, as I said, only describing very radical/liberal feminism. And, honestly, even the liberal feminists I know wouldn’t agree with some of the claims she makes about feminism.”

So, feminism is, at its core, a belief in the equality of the sexes. Do we, as Christians, believe this? Does the Bible teach this? Yes! (Now, hang with me before you raise your concerns. I’ll get there.) All humans, male and female, are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). I believe this means that both men and women together are needed to have a complete view of the image of God in humanity, and that both men and women are completely equal in value in creation and in God’s eyes. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) – He is the only One Who perfectly never discriminates for any reason, including gender. And in salvation, all are perfectly equal before in Christ – “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ” (Galatians 3:27-28).

Now, you may be concerned that I’m headed down the road of “equality means there should be no distinguishing traits between genders, men and women can always share the exact same roles, women should never have to submit,” and so on. I’m not. God does distinguish between genders, and in some very specific cases, like the office of pastor, God does prescribe certain roles to certain genders. I’m not downplaying that fact.

In fact, I’ll argue that in some ways these distinctions actually heighten the fact that men and women are equal. The genders are different, and some distinctions can be made (although time and society often change what those distinctions are – that’s another discussion), which shows that both genders are needed and should be celebrated, equally, for a complete view of God’s image in humanity. Women are asked to submit to their husbands, yes. That doesn’t mean their husbands are more important. God the Son submitted to God the Father, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are equal. Also, younger Christians are asked to submit to elder Christians, and all Christians are asked to submit to one another (1 Peter 5:5) – that doesn’t change the equality of believers, it heightens it as they honor one another.

Now, some of the definitions of feminism define certain types of equality (political, economic, and social). These come from the history of feminism since the belief in the equality of men and women has pushed people to fight for the ability of women to hold some of the same rights as men, such as the right to vote, to get an education, to work, etc. I know that most of us wouldn’t agree with some of the specific things people push these days (such as pro-choice groups), but I still don’t believe that we can equate the entire concept of feminism with specific beliefs of some feminists. As a whole, I don’t believe the Bible condemns these broad areas of equality. (Obviously there is so much that can be discussed here specifically that I simply don’t have time to dig into, but I encourage you to dig yourself!)

Now, I have one last point to make. I’ve said that I call myself a feminist, with explanation. That doesn’t mean I’m asking you to call yourself one. I completely understand the hesitancy to use a title that groups you disagree with have used. I understand not wanting to be associated with radical feminism. I completely respect those who choose to avoid this title. I will note, however, that any title can be horribly misrepresented and abused, including “Christian” (and I believe it has been). That’s not necessarily a reason to throw out the title altogether. Maybe it’s a reason to keep the title, but explain what you mean by it. But because titles can be abused, maybe it’s less about what we call ourselves, and more about how we live. Do or don’t call yourself a feminist – but live out a belief that all human beings are equally created and loved by God and deserve to be treated with respect.

I know this is long for a blog post, and I applaud you if you’ve read it all (especially if you watched the video, too!). And I also know that I’ve barely scratched the surface of the surface, and there’s a lot more than can be discussed. I genuinely would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment! I’ll also leave the disclaimer that these are my own thoughts, and don’t necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of my fellow writers on this blog. But I hope that I’ve at least given you some ideas to think about, and maybe some ideas to dig deeper into yourself.

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New Year’s Revolution

Hi friends! Happy New Year!

Oh, wait. We’re over three weeks into the new year. (How’d that even happen?) This is the point when resolutions are starting to waver…or just flat out crash and burn, right? Unless, of course, you’re like me, in which case you haven’t even made resolutions yet.

I’ve been planning on making some good new year’s decisions, I really have. But with family visits, a month-long sickness (no joke), work at the newspaper going crazy, and Netflix binge-watching with the best friend on the weekends, coming up with resolutions hasn’t happened. Part of the problem is also that I’m an idealistic perfectionist, so I can’t just make resolutions on the fly. I have to sit down and think them up and probably write about them and feel that I’ve made them. If I can’t, it doesn’t happen.

But here’s the other part of being an idealistic perfectionist–I’m terrible with resolutions. I have grandiose ideas of what I want to do. I’ll tell myself that I’m going to read so many books, write everything I want to write, do so many Bible studies, practice my Spanish, lose weight, eat better, exercise more, get enough sleep…you get the idea. But I never do much of anything to break those big goals into small or realistic steps. So if I can’t accomplish them in huge leaps and bounds, I don’t do them at all. When I make resolutions, they crash and burn almost immediately.

One of my resolutions is always to write more. Each of these notebooks represents one or several writing projects that I want to be working on…

Still, I do try to make some resolutions or at least have a few ideas to remind myself of the things I want to accomplish and work on through the year. One thing I did last year was an idea I took from Nicole—pick a word of the year. My word last year was “follow.” I knew that I’d be graduating from college, going back home, and trying to find a job. I knew that things would be more uncertain than anything I’d dealt with in the past. And I knew I would have to trust God and follow His will, His plan, His adventure for my life. That simple word was a huge challenge, inspiration, and encouragement to me throughout the year.

So I thought: “why not choose a word for 2017?” The problem was, I couldn’t choose! “Follow” still seemed so appropriate in so many ways, since I’m pretty up in the air about any long-term future plans. “Discipline,” “adventure,” “submit,” “content,” “abide”…all good words, all with lots of meaning for me, but nothing seemed to be clicking as the right word.

I’ve been trying to make the perfect resolutions, trying to find the perfect word…then it hit me. That’s not ultimately what I need.

I don’t just need resolutions. I need a revolution. And I don’t just need a word. I need the Word.

Let me explain. My best friend, Marissa, has this habit of referring to resolutions as “revolutions.” (It’s not because she doesn’t know the right word, it’s just a funny family quirk.) At first I just thought it was fun–then I realized how important and awesome it is.

A “resolution” is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” We make resolutions because we want to make changes, and by George, we are going to make them. Until about three weeks later, when our motivation and dedication tend to falter, anyway…

A “revolution” is “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.” (It’s absurdly ironic that I’m listening to “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton as I type this. I’m also very tempted to turn on Les Mis. Do you hear the people sing… Oh goodness I’m such a Broadway nerd. Getting back on track…) So, what does that have to do with anything?

Here’s the point: A resolution is me gritting my teeth and saying “I am going to do this!” A revolution is a change of who’s in control.

We can make decisions, but we usually don’t have enough strength to carry them out. We mess up. A lot. Especially when trying to better ourselves. Especially when trying to sin less or serve God better. Want to know why? Because we’re trying to muscle our way through and make it happen in our own strength. Just ask Paul how that works out (Romans 7:18-25). We simply don’t have the strength to do it on our own.

That’s why we need a revolution. When I’m trying to do everything in my strength, I’m letting my sinful self be in charge. There needs to be a “forceful overthrow” of our inner “social order in favor of a new system.” We need to execute our proud, teeth-gritting, self-dependent sinful nature (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5). We’re not sufficient, we’re not good enough, we’re not able, in and of ourselves…“but our sufficiency is of God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). We need a new system–one where the King is in charge (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-18). That way, He can be our strength, and in His power, we have all we need to live as we should (2 Peter 1:3). This is the revolution through the power of the Word (John 1:1-5).

We can make resolutions, but without the revolution of letting God throw down our sinful self and take control, those resolutions won’t get us far. We can pick a word for the year, but without the Word of God–Jesus Himself and His written Word–controlling our lives, it won’t accomplish anything worthwhile.

So yes, I do have resolutions for the year. I want to write: posting on this blog weekly, working on two books, and keeping up with/trying to publish smaller projects. I want to be healthier: eat smaller portions and less junk, maybe find time to exercise more, hopefully lose some weight. I want to be faithful in studying my Bible each day.

But more than those resolutions, I want the revolution of God being in control so that my writing is for Him, my health is for Him, and especially the time I spend in His Word each day is to know Him better.

And yes, I do have a word for the year. Kadima. It’s Hebrew for “forward.” (I got it from a cool scene in the TV series The Flash, not from the liberal Israeli political party of the same name. Just throwing that out there…)

Forward. Forward in my writing, forward in my still up-in-the-air life, forward in my relationship with God. Forward in the revolution.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

So, friends, have you made any resolutions? Do you have a word for the year or anything similar? How’s 2017 starting for you? And how will you move forward with those ideas in terms of this revolution? Give me your feedback in the comments!

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Sounds of Nativity

Merry Christmas, friends!

Christmas brings a lot of different associations with it. As we celebrate our Savior’s birth, many people think of cute Nativity scenes, a cozy manger, a “silent night.” But a few years ago it hit me – the reality wasn’t very cute or cozy or silent. Some of my ideas about the amazing paradox of Christ’s birth came out in this poem. I hope that you enjoy it, and that we can all take some time to be amazed at how much our God did for us when He became one of us. <3

Sounds of Nativity

(By Hannah Romero)

Listen to the Word
becoming flesh,
the night God broke the silence
with a baby’s cry.
Listen to sounds
of Nativity.

Earth did not stop to listen that night.
The tiny town was bursting at the seams,
Sons of David reluctantly answering
the call of Rome,
soldiers yelling orders,
families scrambling for room to sleep,
crowds pushing, doors slamming.
Too busy to notice a pregnant woman.
Too loud to hear her new baby cry.

Earth offered no calm that night.
A young girl, not yet married,
gave birth for the first time,
her fiancé struggling to help.
Pain, anxiety, and a baby’s gasping shrieks
echoed against cold stone and hard packed dirt,
rose over the clamor and stench of a barn.

Earth paid no attention to
the Baby wrapped in rags.
Heaven paid attention to
nothing else.

Glory was not silent,
worship was not calm.
Living creatures ceaselessly crying “holy”
round the throne
joined by armies of angels
shouting praise.
Eternity watched the eternal One
step into time,
beginning the culmination of eternity’s plans.
Every spirit shouted
glory to God
for infinite love and mercy.

Heaven burst with worship,
and God allowed eternity
to spill over
into a dark night outside Bethlehem.
Have heaven and earth
ever come so close?
Has the line between
infinity and history
ever been so blurred?

Heaven praised,
earth ignored,
but the Word echoed throughout.
The lack of silence and lack of calm
stated simply that
He did not come to be cozy.
He came to serve,
to get dirty,
to be one of us,
to suffer, to feel,
finally to die
and to conquer death.

On that first night,
uncomfortable reality
encased reality far deeper.
Physical darkness surrounded
Love’s pure Light.
Busy-ness, noise, and panic encircled
the Prince of Peace
Whose peace transcends circumstances.
Discomfort cradled
the first Comforter.
Helpless omnipotence,
Creator born,
God in flesh.
In such eternal paradox
coziness is not an option.
Superficial silence and calm
were overwhelmed
in the dawn of redeeming grace.

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About Me: Hannah

Hi friends!

I’m Hannah—Nicole’s “baby” sister and the (very excited) newest contributor to this fabulous blog! I’m a 23-year-old recent college graduate taking this crazy adventure called “life” one day at a time! I’m a writer, nerd, ENFJ, and Hufflepuff. 😉

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I grew up in a small-ish Wyoming town as the youngest of four siblings. I love some “Western-y” things, especially going camping, but other loves my family has (like hunting and sports) failed to stick with me. 😉 Still, I love the West and hope to live in some region of it for a good long while!

I had the privilege of being homeschooled from kindergarten through my high school graduation, and I credit my amazing mom for instilling a love of words in me from early on. My college education spanned five years and two schools, and I am so grateful for all of it! I spent two years at Western Wyoming Community College getting an Associate of Arts with emphasis in English and a Creative Writing Certificate. Then I transferred over to Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina for three years to get my Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing with a (rather unexpected) Spanish minor. I was able to take so many amazing classes, meet so many amazing people, and be part of so many amazing opportunities, from WWCC’s Honors Program to my BJU outreach ministry at the Greenville County Juvenile Detention Facility.

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God’s also given me lots of amazing travel opportunities through school and missions groups, including a two-month missions trip to Eastern Canada, a week-long missions trip in New York City, and a one-month study abroad trip in Spain.

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Currently I’m back home in Wyoming, living with my parents for now (because let’s face it, I don’t have the money to live on my own after paying for all that school!), and working nocturnally in the Circulation department of our local newspaper. I’m hoping to start getting some solid work done on various writing projects so that I can work toward my goal of being published!

I love a whole lot of things, so here’s a list of some of the basics: my family and friends, my church, words and stories (especially fantasy and fairy tales), writing (fiction, novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and some creative nonfiction like this blog!), collecting books and movie memorabilia, going to plays, listening to music (especially Broadway soundtracks and YouTuber covers of pop songs), social media, being a total fandom nerd/fangirl, getting into deep discussions, defying stereotypes, and the list goes on and on…

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Above everything else, I am a child of the King, saved from my slavery to sin and made part of the kingdom of Light. I believe that the Gospel is the “true myth,” the greatest story ever told which is also reality! It is the one thing that makes sense of everything else and makes hope and love possible. My relationship with God gives me my identity and so influences everything else that I do and love.

I am so excited to be joining this blog! I love talking about things I love and am passionate about, and I hope to offer some different perspectives (as the only non-mommy of the group!), as well as insight, creativity, and encouragement. 🙂

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