Photography Contest and an Award

Dreamstar over at Wings of a Horse is having a photography contest, and the winner gets a free blog makeover! (or whatever things you'd like her to make you). The deadline is tomorrow at midnight, so go over to her blog and enter soon!

Here's my photos: (they have to be totally unedited. Rawr)

Also, I've been awarded! Sara at In Shades of Scarlet awarded me with this awhile back. Thanks Sara!

The catch is that I must list five fun facts about myself and pass the award on to a few other stylish bloggers. :)

Here are my fun (and slightly random) facts:

1. I compose worship music that my church sings. 

2. I have sang all (possible) parts in a choir (soprano, second soprano, alto, and even some tenor) I like second soprano best ;)

3. As soon as I hear a song I will instantly get it stuck in my head (as long as I know it). This makes things quite interesting, especially when I have my brother playing piano, my ipod, and my computer all playing different songs at once (ahhh!!!)

4.I'm a messy neat freak. I can't work properly in clutter, yet somehow my room continually gets in a state of disorder! 

5. And I don't like oatmeal... or cereal... but I love eggs! :D

I pass this award on to:

Meriette at The Halls of Merriette - Her layout is charming, bookish, and slightly old-fashioned feeling. :)

Keilah at Looking Through The Lens - Her photos are so cute and fun, and often tell stories.

Karis at Winsome Composition - Her layout is very sweet and girly, and she has funny, encouraging posts to match!

Ivorydancer at Another Once In Time - I just adore her header and fall look, and just the whole concept of her blog. :)

Rachel at The Cuteness Chronicle - Her blog really is cute, just like she is! :) 

So, copy the award if you have the time, post with five fun things about you and pass along the bloggy love to encourage a fellow blogger!


Before and After

I found this cool "photography thingie" from Hannah at Aspire, and I thought I would give it a try. It's a blog hop, and you're supposed to post before and after pictures of a picture you edited. Click here to go to the blog where the blog hop is held.

Here's the two I did:

SOOC (straight out of camera)




 For my edits I use Picnik, a free photo editing website. It's not too complicated, which is good for me. :) Let me know what you think of my before and afters!


Nightime Analogies

It's amazing what odd analogies I can come up with while driving at night. Last night as I was driving home from a Bible study I go to, I was going along a rather dark stretch of road. There weren't any cars within sight in front or behind me, so it was almost pitch black. Then along came a car, with the bright headlights that practically blinded me at first. And in the beam of that light, I could see that it was raining. Only where the light hit my windshield could I see the drops of rain, threatening to block my sight. Everywhere else, the rain was invisible. I turned my windshield wipers on so I could see.

This got me to thinking about an analogy. When I was driving in the darkness, I couldn't tell that it was raining at all. In the same way, it's so easy to say that you don't have sin when you are just living as a part of the world. You're only comparing yourself to others who are just as sinful as you, instead of looking at yourself in God's light. And whether you admit it or not, the sin is still there. As 1 John 1:8 says, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

Thankfully, as I saw, there is a cure for this. The cure is the truth of God's word, "a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path." In proportion to how much we read and apply God's word to our lives, that will be the measure of the light we have. And this light not only reveals the sin we must get rid of, but also helps to guide us in our path forward to holiness.

And the next verse in 1 John says, "But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This is like the windshield wiper coming and wiping away our sins. But unlike a windshield wiper, which has to continually wipe the water drops away, Jesus wipes those sins away completely. And He is faithful to do so each time we confess another sin to Him. 

Well, there you have it. My thoughts on how driving on a rainy night relates to God, light, the Bible, and sin. This analogy actually held together better than I thought it would! :)


Only the Beginning of the Adventure

I have a number of these tags floating about my draft posts, and I figured - why not make them all in one post? So here they are:

The first tag is the Music Shuffle Tag! (from Stephanie) Rules: Put your music player on shuffle. Then answer the following questions by using the title to each song that plays while on shuffle. Then tag 6 people.

I tag:

Nicole K.

Are you male or female? What Do I Know of Holy? (Addison Road) -of course, let's answer a question with another question!

What do people feel when they are around you? And Now My Lifesong Sings (Casting Crowns) - I certainly hope so.

Describe your current relationship? You Raise Me Up (Selah) -this is the kind of relationship I desire. :)

Where would you like to be right now? You Are the Sun (Sara Groves) -haha nope

How do you feel about love? Like a Lake (Sara Groves) -poetic, but hard to decipher a meaning out of this :P

Whats your life like? Here I Am (soundtrack from Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron) -fits pretty well!

What would you wish for if you only had one wish? Jesus Hold Me Now (Casting Crowns) - yes!

Say something wise? What A Friend We Have In Jesus

If someone says "Is this okay. . ." You say? You Can't Take Me (soundtrack of Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron) -lol I guess I don't believe people very easily :P

How would you describe yourself? Impromptu Opus 90 No. 7 (Schubert) -so I guess I'm a piano piece!

How do you feel today? Cry of the Heart (Michael W. Smith)

What is your life's purpose? Oh Draw Me Lord (Selah)

What is your motto? All Things New (Watermark)

What do your friends think of you? Times (10th Avenue North)

What do you think of your parents? Miracle of the Moment (Steven Curtis Chapman)

What do you think of very often? Attempting the Impossible (Facing the Giants Soundtrack) - yes, I enjoy attempting the impossible, I try to do it every day!

What is 2+2? Nothing I've Ever Known (Soundtrack of Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron) -haha! I guess I epically fail at math :P

What do you think of your best friend? The Time is Now (Twila Paris)

What is your life story? All of Me (Selah)

What do you want to be when you grow up? How Long? (Michael Card) -lol I'm not that impatient!

What will you dance to at your wedding? You're Not Alone (Meredith Andrews) -ah, such a sweet song! :)

What will they play at your funeral? The Warrior is a Child (Twila Paris)

What is your hobby/interest? Spring (Vivialdi - Seasons) -well, I do like spring, though I don't know how that could be a hobby. :P

What is your biggest fear? My Surrender (Steven Curtis Chapman) -my biggest fear, and my biggest joy.

What is your biggest secret? The Promise (Jim Brickman) -I guess this could be true, since I have promised to remain pure until marriage.

What do you think of your friends? Different Kinds of Happy (Sara Groves)

What will you re-post this as? Only the Beginning of the Adventure (Narnia) - and it is! :D

Next, the friendship tag, which I got from Stephanie as well. :)

Rules: Choose any amount of friends, blog friends or real life friends, and say at least two things (or more!) you admire or like about them. Tag those friends, and if they have blogs, make sure to link to them!

Cassie: I am so blessed by the community you've put together on literary ladies! And I love the cute pictures you put up on your blog. :)

Merriette: You always have interesting, thought-provoking posts, and it's been a pleasure to get to know you through blogging. I enjoy your encouraging and insightful comments on my blog, as well as on my story! (and I hope I can read some of your written works someday). ;)

And here is the last tag: Name eight books you'd like to live in for a week, and then tag eight people:

1. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (but only for a week! And only if I was well away from all the badguys and such. Come to think of it, there isn't really any place in that world that's safe.)

2. The Little White Horse by Elizabet George (awesome book. Just like a fairytale!)

3. Redwall by Brian Jacques (I think I would most like to be a squirrel or an otter though)

4. Narnia (probably in The Magician's Nephew, because it would be so cool to see Aslan creating Narnia!)

5. At Home in Mitford by Jan Karen (it would be fun to be a part of such an interesting community!)

6.Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke (back to the simpler times, where they had their values in the right place)

7. The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

8. Rescue My Heart or Alphyri (two books that I've written. Because I would love to meet my own characters! Though I'd probably end up like the author in Inkheart. :P)

I tag:
Rachel Danielle

Hope you enjoyed that! :D



Don't you hate it when you procrastinate? It seems so easy - just forget about this thing, push that thing aside until tomorrow, telling yourself you can always start fresh in the morning - yet it starts you on a steep spiral downhill. Before you know it, you're floundering around at the bottom, with all the things you put off and brushed aside falling down around your ears. And you wonder how you can ever get out again.

That's the way I've felt the past couple of weeks. I easily fall into the temptation of procrastinating, especially when there's not a lot of scheduled things in my life. I put things I like to do first, such as going on the computer, blogging, facebook, etc. All the things I don't enjoy so much or things that are actual work get put off until later... which usually means they don't happen. I've wanted to stop it, of course, but I've always procrastinated with that too!

Today I was praying about this, and I realized that the reason it's so easy to fall into this and so hard to get out is because I don't have my priorities straight. I always put myself first; in front of God, others, and what I ought to do. I'm being selfish with my time!

Here is part of the prayer I prayed this morning (I usually write down my prayers): "Dear God, You see the thoughts and intentions of my heart. Please forgive me for procrastinating, and being selfish with my time, thoughts, and actions. I want You to be on the throne of my heart, not myself. Please help me to overcome this, so I can live as a child of light, not stumbling around in the darkness. I invite you back onto the throne of my heart to rule this kingdom that is so wayward and unruly. Throw out all the sinful, selfish desires I've furnished my heart with, and refurbish it with a longing for Your glory. Kindle the lamps of love and commitment and diligence for your name. Make this heart a kingdom for Your glory! Amen."

After I prayed that prayer, I felt a sense of determination and boldness that I had not felt before. I was ready to conquer - with God on the throne, directing my thoughts, actions, and heart. I knew that He would help me get rid of this procrastination, little by little. After all, how can I procrastinate when the Almighty God is the one directing my steps?


Things I love


Going outside with my kitty


Finding a beloved old book and loving it just as much as the first time I read it.

My awesome new camera and best friend who gave it to me!

Playing around with special effects & macro:


(all pictures copyright Melody '10)

And lastly, I'd love if you vote on my poll in the top right corner! Thanks! :D


Daybook, and a Crazy Week

It's been a crazy last couple days for my family, so sorry for the longer amount of time between posts. This week we had to empty out our livingroom and diningroom/schoolroom in order to put in carpet. It was a lot of work, especially since we had four bookcases we had to empty out. I seriously think we have like hundreds, if not thousands of books! And after the carpet was put in, we had to put them all back again. Thankfully, I think things are just about back to normal now. :)

Find out how to do An Inspired Young Woman's Daybook here

Today I did my chores, put books back on the shelves, wrapped presents, and baked a lemon cake for my brother's birthday.
I'm feeling very tired, yet happy that most of the work is done.
My outfit is jeans and a grey sweatshirt with a big brightly colored heart. It says "Lovin' Life" underneath. :)
Outside my window it's a blustery day: rainy, windy, drab & dull. But I'm thankful for the rain because that means we'll be having green grass and flowers again soon!
A song that's stuck in my head is... the theme for Pirates of the Caribbean (my brother was trying it out on the piano, and you know how I am - if I hear a song, it's stuck in my head the rest of the day!)
Something (a book, song, movie, person...) that's inspired me recently is my friend (Violet), giving me one of her famous "lectures" on my story. :)
A prayer of my heart this week is that I would not procrastinate!
I am creating a cake for my brother's birthday, also, a beautiful home!
I am reading... hahaha should I even answer this one? 
A scripture verse or passage that's stuck out to me this week is James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
A spiritual lesson I'm learning is to have a cheerful and helpful attitude, no matter how tired I am.
An attribute of God I've seen this week is His peace, and unity in our house even as we're going through this crazy week.
A picture I’d like to share: 

(Poem is "A Rainy Day" by Longfellow. I thought it fit with today!)

A creative goal for next week is to figure out Christopher's character a bit more, and to edit up to chapter 11 in my novel.
Did I complete my goal from last week... not quite. I only worked on the first three chapters. :P Hopefully I'll have more time this week - and not procrastinate!


With Words, or With Music?

You know what - it's really hard for me to write. As I'm working on editing my novel, I'm realizing how difficult it is for me to put my thoughts and emotions down on paper. Especially my emotions.

Compared to composing a song on the piano, composing words on a page is challenging - like an oil painting I hardly ever get right the first time. I have to keep scraping the layers off and starting over again. But with the piano, music, melodies, and feelings simply fall from my fingers. I don't even really have to think - the music comes out from somewhere deep inside me, and just flows.

Writing is not like that. When I write I really have to think hard about each word. I often wonder if I'm really expressing what I want to say - and if I'm really writing what I feel at all. I can put together pretty phrases, interesting twists of similes and metaphors, but I find it challenging to just write what I feel. My emotions flow out so easily through my fingers on the piano keys, so why can't they flow just as easily through my fingers on computer keys? It's a mystery, to me at least.

This is kind of ironic, but I wrote a poem about this very thing. The ironic thing is that it doesn't really express my thoughts very well - perhaps I'd do better composing a song about it. :P But anyway, here it is, for your enjoyment:


With words
I can describe a scene,
Paint a vivid picture
With colorful descriptions
So that a movie screen
Flashes before your mind.

But with music notes 
I can evoke a feeling,
Transcribe emotions
Onto your very heart
So that you experience the intensity 
Of another’s passion.
(copyright Melody 2010)  

I've found this is the easiest way of expressing my heart. But what about you? What is the medium by which you catch your heart's overflow and share it with others?


Fearful Dreams, and Perfect Love

Recently I've been having very vivid dreams about things that could happen in my life. You know those dreams that you wake up and wonder, "Was that really a dream, or did that happen in real life?" And these dreams have actually been quite upsetting.

Last week I dreamed that one of my old piano teachers, who I really love and look up to, was angry with me about having a different teacher than her. She's totally not like that in real life, so I don't know how my subconscious came up with that!

Also, more recently I dreamed that on the first day of college, everyone except me knew what they were doing and where they were going. I knew no-one and had no idea where I was or even where my room was for that matter! I felt very lost and alone wandering the halls, trying to figure out what was going on. You know that sinking feeling where you don't really know what you're doing but you don't want anyone to know that you're lost... that's how I felt. When I woke up, I had to calm my heart and tell myself that wouldn't happen. But deep down inside, the doubt had been planted, no matter how I tried to shake it off as "just a dream."

As I talked it over with my mom, I realized that somehow, my fears were coming out in my dreams. Though maybe I wouldn't admit it to myself, I am scared about what it will be like at college, and about people I love getting mad at me. I thought I had conquered these fears, but here they were coming back in my life again. Was I ever to be rid of them?

Today God gave me the perfect answer. And I should have known it all along.

Perfect love casts out fear.

I know this, but I don't really know it. It's only been in my brain, not in my life. So the sermon this morning just hit home for me. The verses my pastor was preaching on were Ephesians 3:17b-19 "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

This is the answer. This is how these fears can be completely removed and eradicated from my life. If I'm resting secure in God's love, filled up with Him, there's no room for any kind of fear! If I'm rooted in the soil of His love, my tree shall grow tall and firm. I need not fear the winds of change and uncertainty that might fell a weaker tree. And if I'm grounded in the sure foundation of His Word, my building shall be solid and steadfast. I need not fear the floods of doubt that try to eat away at my mortar.

I can rest securely, because I rest in God's unchanging, never-ending love. His love is deeper than my deepest sin, higher than my highest dreams, broader than the scope of my imagination, and longer than I can see or even think. For He loves me with an everlasting love! 

This is my foundation. This is my security. This is the perfect love that casts out all my fears.


An Inspired Young Woman's Daybook #3

And..... another entry in An Inspired Young Woman's Daybook!

Find out how to do An Inspired Young Woman's Daybook here

Today I have done nothing creative... at least not yet ;)
I'm feeling tired and daydreamy... if that's a word :P
My outfit is jeans, and a swingy brown dress-like shirt.
Outside my window is the mysterious-looking lights of our neighbor's house (they shine down from each corner... it actually looks pretty cool).
A song that's stuck in my head is... I have a ton of songs stuck in my head! "I Hope You Dance," "Always" by Building 429, "Holy" by Nichole Nordeman, "Think About His Love"...
Something (a book, song, movie, person...) that's inspired me recently is the song, "Think About His Love". I ought to do that more often!
A prayer of my heart this week is that I would trust in God for the future, and redeem the time in the present.
I am creating... sadly, not much at the present! I have a few song ideas swirling around in my head, but they are refusing to take form. So I shall have to console myself with creating brilliant prose and touching sentiments in my novel I'm editing. :)
I am reading too many books still (actually, I haven't touched them since last week! For shame!)
I am thinking about my novel I need to work on editing. And also the blog post I'm working on writing for tomorrow. :)
A scripture verse or passage that's stuck out to me this week is 1 John 3: 18 "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth."
A spiritual lesson I'm learning is to meet with Jesus early in the morning - so He is the focus of my thoughts and my day.
An attribute of God I've seen this week is His sovereignty - especially in the life of a dear friend! :)
A picture I’d like to share: one of the last pictures I took that has my camera in it. Poor camera :/

 (The smudges are dirt or something on my mirror :P )

A creative goal for next week is to edit all that's from Anna's perspective in my novel.
Did I complete my goal from last week... yes! I've figured out a lot of the backstory, and also the main conflict of the story.



Hannah over at Trusting in His Love is having a photography contest. The theme is color - any color! The deadline is tomorrow, and I just heard about it today... so get over there and enter while you can! :)

Here are my two colorful pictures:


Also, I have some sad news to tell. I accidentally dropped my camera yesterday, and it broke. :( The lens is stuck half-way out, and it will only turn on to show an error message. :( So I'm pretty sure I'll have to get a new camera. Do you have any suggestions for me? I don't want it to be too expensive (like under $100 if I can), but I would like to be able to do more things with it such as macro, better quality video, higher megapixels (the one I have currently is 8.2 MP). So what would you suggest?


Blog Party!

I've never participated in a blog party before, but this looks like fun! Go over to Abigail's blog to join. :)

Here's some questions Abigail asked for you to get to know me better. They really made me think! 

1. What's your favorite time of the day, and why?

Early morning, before anyone else is awake. Everything is so peaceful, so beautiful in the first light of morning. I really feel like I can connect with God.

2. If health wasn't an issue, what food could you live off of?


Just straight chocolate bars are fine... I would also be perfectly happy with brownies, cookies, chocolate moosetracks icecream... ahhh my mouth is watering now!

3. If you could have one wish granted (besides wishing for more wishes), what would it be?

Well, I would really love to have one of my books published, but I think getting it to that stage is part of the excitement of the whole accomplishment, so I would have to say my wish would be for my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins who aren't saved to become Christians. (And that's what's really going to matter in the long run anyways.)

4. What's one thing that you get teased about a lot?

I don't really get teased that often, (which I'm very glad of!) but I am teased when I express strong likes and dislikes. I'm usually a more "go with the flow" type of person, but every once in a while I'll state my opinion - and people usually tease me about it. ;)

5. If you could choose one movie, book, or TV show to spend your life in, which would you pick? What type of character would you be?

My first inclination was to say "Pride and Prejudice", but though I enjoy the movies and books set in that time period, I really don't think I would enjoy it. Such an idle lifestyle (if you're rich)! So, I would pick:

And I would want to be Lucy... because she had such a beautiful, childlike faith in Aslan. :)

6. If you could have one talent that you don't already have, what would it be?

To be an amazing singer. I help lead worship at my church, and I often wish my voice was stronger.

7.If money were no object, where would you go on vacation?

Well, I think it would be neat to go somewhere warmer like Hawaii, but I also think it would be cool to see all the art and historical things in England.

8. If you were an awesome singer, which genre would you sing?

(I think they read my mind about the talent I'd like to have). Well, I really enjoy singing just contemporary Christian and songs from movies... so if that's considered a genre, then that's what I'd sing!

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, what would it be? 

That would be awesome! Well, most likely Amazon.com, because they have books and music and electronics and everything I love to shop for (except clothes :P). Or I would go to Kohl's - for the clothes and jewelry and shoes and everything else I love to shop for! 

10. If you could live in any point in time, when would it be?

In my romantic fantasies, I think it would be cool to live in the Middle Ages. But I know that in reality it wasn't very comfortable or romantic most of the time. So, I'm pretty content with the present! 

11. If every outfit in your wardrobe had to be one color, what would it be? 

BROWN!!!! If you haven't figured it out yet, I love brown! And I basically have all brown as my wardrobe anyways. :P 

12. If you were one of the seven dwarves, which one would you be?(Doc, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Happy, or Dopey)

Probably Doc, since I seem to enjoy being the leader. And I can get mixed up pretty easily! :P

13. What's the last album you listened to?

Lifesong, by Casting Crowns. This is one of my favorite albums, too!

14. What's something we'd be surprised to know about you?

Hmmm... this is a hard one. Well, if you don't know me in real life, you probably would never know this about me. (If you do know me in real life this is a no-brainer!) I have a very hard time making decisions. I always want to know all the options before I decide anything, and even then I'll usually ask someone else to tell me what they think (just ask my mom!).

That was a lot of fun! I hope you enjoyed reading it and getting to know me a bit better. :)


My Friend...

I'm going to do something very uncharacteristic. Actually, two things.

1. Only one other time have I posted two posts on the same day.

2. I don't think I've ever made a post this short.

But I do have a very good reason for breaking these traditions. My friend in real life just started a blog, and I want to share it with you. Her blog is called All For The Love Of Chaos. I know she would really appreciate a comment, and encouraging words. She's been going through some difficult times, and I know it would make her day if you went over there and gave her some encouragement.

Thanks, friends! :D

Crowning Glory

I had a sort of revelation a few weeks ago. In the Bible study I go to, we're studying the gospel of John. We had just gotten to the chapter where Mary pours the perfume on Jesus' feet and then wipes them with her hair. I had never really given this story much thought - it's just a sweet story about Mary's love for Jesus, right? Well, I found out a lot more.

As I was reading through it, I realized that the focus of the story was that Mary was using such expensive perfume on Jesus, which Judas pointed out was a waste of money. But Jesus vindicated her, and said that Mary had her priorities right - that He would not be with them much longer and he was deserving of the most costly devotion they could give him.

As I thought about this, I realized another layer to the story. I thought of the verse in the Bible where it talks about woman's hair being her crowning glory. And that made me see the deeper layer. Mary was showing that she treasured Jesus not only by lavishing expensive perfume on his feet, but also by using her "glory" to serve at his feet.

This reminds me of the song, "We Fall Down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus." And I had to ask myself, "What glory of mine do I need to lay at the feet of Jesus?" I have a tendency to hold on to my "glories", such as my talents, accomplishments, and even just the way I look. But only when I pour them out at Jesus' feet, desiring them to be a blessing to Him and to point others to His life and work, shall I myself be blessed.

And I know when I do this, it is a sweet aroma to Him - just as Mary's perfume must have been.


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