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Posted in Blog Tag, Personal

Back From MIA (and the TOP TEN SONGS TAG)

Kassie from Soldier Girl Stories created this really cool tag and left the nominations wide open! (So I stole it. Hehe . . .)

(Yes, I’m back from MIA. But if you follow A Need to Breathe, you know I haven’t really been MIA, I’ve just been busy with another blog.)

Rules for the tag:

1. List your top ten songs in answer to the questions
2. Hyperlink the songs if at all possible
3. Tag as many people as you want
4. Feel free to use my graphic or one of your own.
5. Have fun!!

What’s a soundtrack song you can’t help but sing along to?

Umm . . . “sing along to”? I don’t know any . . . oh, actually, there’s a song in the movie Ice Castles (2010) that has a really catchy chorus for some reason, but I don’t know what it’s called . . . let me see . . . got it.

SAFE

What’s a song you love from a genre you don’t?

Oh my, I LOVE Easier in spite of it being a pretty techno song. The words are amazing.

EASIER

What’s a song that makes you cry every time, without fail?

Sorry, music has never made me cry. 😉

What would be your theme song?

Wow, I’ve never thought about this. I’m thinking this one:

DEAD MAN WALKING

That song, you guys. It’s hard-hitting and just plain great.

What’s a song tied to a good memory?

That would probably be Priceless. I first heard it in a time when I needed the reminder, and also during a time of just growing and maturing.

PRICELESS

If you’re a writer, what song best sums up your main character? If you don’t write…song for your favorite book’s main character?

Oh, for which book? 😉 Just kiddin’, my most recent WIP, Promised Land, makes the most sense. A theme song for Talia . . . Wow, that’s hard. Forget her. I’ll do a theme song for Owen.

ATLANTIS

What’s a song you always play on repeat?

This song just makes me happy . . . the video makes me smile . . . and the words are SO true.

LET GO

What’s the most convicting song you’ve heard?

That’s tough. At first, I thought ZION, but now I’m thinking REDEEMED.

What song reminds you most of your childhood?

Hmm . . . I don’t think of myself as being very far from my childhood yet. 😉 *cringe*

DID YOU FEEL THE MOUNTAINS TREMBLE

My dad played this song on his guitar so many times, even for our church. I’ll never forget it.

What’s your favorite song?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . It’s an official tie between HOW GREAT and DEAD MAN WALKING.

NOMINATIONS!

Over the Withers

Photos by AbbyRose

A Storynerd’s Life

Elisha – Africa Boy

Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!!

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Posted in Uncategorized

When All You Can Do Is Breathe . . .

A Need to Breathe

For about a hundred different reasons, we’ll all have days when all we can do is breathe. Since I’m there right now, let’s get through it together, shall we?

We all need to be able to find something that leaves us renewed and refreshed. Because we’re all going to have days when life just sucks the air out of our lungs.

When all I can do is breathe, I know God is taking care of the rest.

Whatever is keeping you down today, whether it’s an illness, food allergies, chronic illness, or injury (*raises hand*), get inspired. It may not look better in the morning, but your perspective can.

So let me leave you with a couple of songs that have helped me keep my head above the waters of discouragement and stress the past few days.

(By the way, I seriously recommend listening to these, even if you’re having…

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Posted in Guest Post, Personal

Welcome Back! And a Blog Collab . . .

Welcome to May and welcome back to the blog! You may be aware that I took a vacation from this blog in order to focus on my new one. But what better way to come back than a blog collab with Elisha (Africa Boy)?

We each answered ten questions, so let’s get started . . . (His answers are in bold.)

1. What is your favorite part of blogging? The feedback! Lots of people write to me with appreciation, advice, and much more. I absolutely love hearing from you guys!   Probably the interaction between like-minded people. I love connecting with followers and seeing what their blogs are like.

2. What are three of your hobbies? 1: NFL Fantasy Football, Pokemon cards, and knife collecting.   Training dogs, playing dodgeball, and writing. I. Love. Dodgeball. 😉

3. Describe one of your favorite memories. Hmm. There are many, but the first to come to mind is very recent. I was hanging out with a group of friends, one of which is a good friend of mine. He and I were talking about his college choices, and I really appreciated the time with him, because we don’t get to see each other often. Then, the girl that I liked (yeah, sue me) looked over at me and started talking with us. All in all, the afternoon was really fun, and it was great to hang out.    One of my favorite memories is of the first and second time I went to my youth group. Everyone was so welcoming, they just made me so happy to be there.

4. You have a choice between buying a cow, a dog, and a hedgehog – which do you pick? A cow!Then at least I could sell the milk 🙂   A hedgehog. 😉 They’re easier to take care of.

5. What is your blog about, and what can new followers look forward to? My blog is about some of the crazy stuff that happens here in Africa. I get to share a lot of my stories, dreams, and experiences, as well as some other random stuff. As I get more creative, I can tell more about the stuff that happens here!    My primary blog is about living with food allergies. I use this platform to raise awareness as well as encourage and equip other young people dealing with severe allergies. I want this blog to be a place where people can feel that someone has come alongside to inspire them on that road.

6: Is there a specific person that you would say is your role model, besides your parents and God? Hmm, probably Lecrae. That guy has seen it all, and I love reading what he says and listening to him rap about God.    I wouldn’t be able to pick one person, because so many people have inspired me. But I would say a huge inspiration for me has been the people involved in my youth group. They make up an amazing clan. 🙂

7: Do you have a pet? Yep! My dog, Mounty (short for Mountaineer. My dad is a creative West Virginian). She is 11, and is a Rhodesian Ridgeback.    *mirthless laughter* Too many, in fact. Four dogs, three cats, a few goats . . . Goats don’t count as pets, just don’t tell that to my cousin.

8: What’s the hardest thing about blogging? Probably coming up with new topics. I usually need to ask friends for ideas.    Without a doubt – deciding on new posts. 😉

9: What’s your favorite thing to do during your free time? BASKETBALL. I love playing basketball, and it takes up about 75% of my free time.    Hang out with friends (i.e. youth group), play dodgeball, read the Bible and write in my journal.

10: What genre of music do you prefer? Christian Rap! I love Lecrae, NF, KB, Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, Derek Minor, and more!    Christian is the only one I listen to, so . . .  But specifically, I like Integrity Worship and Young and Free.

And that’s it! Don’t forget to check out Elisha’s awesome blog.

Posted in Bookish Things, Personal, Writing

I Bid You All a Very Fond Farewell . . .

Hey, people! Just dropping in to let you know, well, I’m taking a vacation. From blogging. Leastwise, from blogging on this blog and my dog training blog. Because I had the crazy idea to start a third blog, called A Need to Breathe, and it has murdered my blogging schedule. Then I was sick for four lousy days and I fell behind.

And now . . . I have to catch up. Which means, I need to take a vacation.

*sighs* I’m going to miss you. 😉 I really am. Which is why I’m already making plans for the cool things we can chat about when I get back in May. This little hiatus is only for April, ’cause April is a crazy busy month. Camp NaNo? Nope. Forget it. But I do need a new writing project, then there’s the new blog, three dogs in need of training, school is wrapping up . . .

Need I go on? 🙄

At any rate, I’ll see you all in a month. Don’t disappear on me! I still have a lot of bookish things to ramble about. If you want to continue to hear from me, you can do so at aneedtobreathe.com and . . . you’ll find a newsletter sign-up there. If you can spare a half-inch in your inbox, you might want to sign up. ‘Cause one can never have too many newsletters, right?

Ah, to quote Bilbo Baggins, “I regret to announce this is the end! I’m going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell. Goodbye.”

*cue vanishing into thin air*

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Posted in Inspirational, Personal

Blogging Updates, Changes, and a Party

So . . . yeah. Big changes coming to the blogging world. Or at least, my blogging world. 😉

Mainly because I started a new blog (“you wwhhaatt?” That’s what said. Ask my evil clone.) and this one is going to take a lot of time/research/attention to get off the ground.

A NEED TO BREATHE

I’d like to be able to juggle all three blogs, but that may not happen. So I’ll keep them all going for now and see how it goes. I’m not super optimistic about keeping all three going, but this new blog focuses on something very important to me: living with food allergies.

The mission of A Need to Breathe is simply to raise awareness and offer hope. About one in thirteen children have food allergies, and teens who deal with it are at a higher risk of depression. That to me is reason enough to reach out in this way.

I’ve lived with a severe allergy since age four – being diagnosed with Celiac makes up some of my earliest memories. I want to reach out to others who are there now.

So, that’s A Need to Breathe. I would encourage you to share it with anyone you know who may benefit from it. And there’s a newsletter sign-up, you guys, because . . . yeah, giveaways. 😃 Seriously, you want to be on that newsletter.

To celebrate the launch of A Need to Breathe, I want to invite you to share a little about your blog in the comments of this post. Tell us the name of your blog and its mission – just in a few sentences. And stay tuned for more tidbits from the grand opening of a new blog. 🙂

A NEED TO BREATHE

Posted in Bookish Things, Guest Post, Inspirational, Personal, Writing

It’s Not Enough to Just Survive (a writing update)

Hey, everyone. I’m dropping in to share something I wouldn’t have shared if it hadn’t been getting such a good response from the blogging and social media world.

In short, I wrote a guest post recently (which, if you follow my dog training blog, you already know) about dealing with severe food allergies as a teen.

GUEST POST on LAMPLIGHTER HOMESTEAD (2)  This had been on my heart for a while, I just never got up the nerve to write about it. When I finally did, it was just so freeing. Most people do not understand the seriousness of food allergies. It is vital that we raise awareness, because it’s not enough to just survive.

You can find the guest post here. I encourage you to read it and share it. Any way you can. (Details can be found in the post.)

Also, I’m hoping to take this material and write a short book on the same subject. 🙂 And, while Promised Land is out of my hands this month, it’s perfect timing!

READ THE POST HERE >>

GUEST POST on LAMPLIGHTER HOMESTEAD (2)

Posted in Highlights and Goals, Personal, Writing

I’m Alive! Let’s Recap . . . (And a writing update!)

Yeaaaah . . . *hides guiltily* I am still alive. But my lack of blogging on both of my blogs might suggest otherwise. What can I say? It’s been an insane month or so. Let’s recap a little.

The weather. Blustery winds – gale is more like it – accompanied by freezing temps, snow storms literally every few days, and 40+ inches of snow already on the ground. Cool, huh? Where do we live? Alaska? Well, no, it just feels like it sometimes. 😑

This driving thing. Yeah, I just finished drivers’ ed. I’m a couple of years late, because I didn’t feel ready for it before, and I’m still not ready. 😉 I’m just completely overwhelmed about that, so yeah, I’ll get back to you later.

The school thing. Well, when drivers’ ed was taking up SO MUCH time, school fell behind, so now I’m catching up.

The blogging thing. Yep. Same. Catching up on two poor, neglected blogs. Thanks for sticking with me, people. You’re the best. 💛💛💛

The four-legged creatures. Also known as dogs, or puppies. Also known as toddlers. Also known as total craziness. So, my training endeavors with them have slowed to a crawl, partly because of drivers’ ed, partly because, well, it’s kinda hard to train one dog when there are three puppies in the house.

The writing thing. Wait, what? Writing? What writing? All I’ve been doing is editing. And thank goodness, I was almost done the Promised Land edit before I started drivers’ ed. But yes, I am now done with my edit of Promised Land, so off it goes to the editor once again! I’m holding my breath, you guys. 😊

I have to say, I’m surprised I still like my book. Usually, I hate it after a couple of months. But I’m still in love with my main characters – Talia and her struggle to identify with her faith;  Owen and his fierce loyalty, which results in terrible indecision. And then all the other characters too . . . like a certain secondary character who was only supposed to have a minor role but then ended up carrying the climax . . .

Don’t you love it when secondary characters do that to you??

Speaking of books, I just finished reading one. (I know – one. It’s terrible. But such is the nature of an insane schedule.) Chasing the Lion, by Nancy Kimball. You guys, this book was good. Really solid and incredibly researched.

Now I’m off to update my dog training blog. Thanks for sticking with me here. I’ll leave you with a right-place-at-the-right-time photo of our cat, Sam. 🙂

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Yeah, he’s not supposed to be sitting with the pots and pans, but . . . do you honestly have the heart to tell him? ❤

What has your February looked like? Snow? Rain? Super busy? Boring? Let’s chat in the comments! I love hearing from you!

Posted in Uncategorized

We Were Created to Create

Check out this piece from Bethany J’s Journal! I had to share it with you guys today. 🙂

Bethany J's Journal

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I know some ultra-creative people. My friend Ashley can paint stunning landscapes. Gia can craft imaginative stories. Natalie can sketch heart-warming portraits. And that’s only a glimpse.

The world is oozing with creativity. Painters, poets, potters and pianists have embellished life since its beginning. They’ve blended colors and forged rhymes and morphed melodies into beauty.

Did you know you’re a creator? Whether it’s a song or a spreadsheet or a software system, every person was born to create.

Why?

Because we were created in the image of an ultra-creative (and brilliantly glorious) Creator (Gen 1:27).

Out of Nothing

My creative friends all have something in common: They need materials to work.

Ashley can’t paint without oils and Gia can’t write without words. As broad and deep as their creativity is, not one of them can fashion something out of nothing.

That’s because humans are mini-creators. Everything we make is only…

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Posted in Inspirational, Personal

HOPE.

I’ve recently experienced a burden to share something with you all that has given me an enormous sense of hope while walking through everyday stress and uncertainty. We all go through that, probably often, and if you’re there right now, I hope this gives you the blessing it gave me:

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Mm . . . that gives me peace. 🙂

I hope it encourages you. I’ll be back later for a real post! In the meantime, I’m praying for you all to have a safe and blessed weekend.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:10

Posted in Bookish Things, Reading, Writing, Writing Tips

Punctuation Pantry: the Oxford Comma (To Use or Not To Use)

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Let me put forth a public apology to my faithful readers who have not heard from this blog in a few weeks. Wanna know why? No, you probably don’t. Suffice it to say, school happened, then driver’s ed happened, then editing happened, then a whole bunch of other stuff happened . . . 🙂 Blogs are wonderful, but they suffer when our schedules get stuffed. Who can relate?

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. The Punctuation Pantry is back, and we’re here to talk about the Oxford comma. Heard of it? Oh, yeah, I bet you have.

Don’t know what it is? No problem – here goes.

I am sending Sally a get-well card, a potted plant, and a new coat.

(I’d like to have a friend who would think to send all that when I’m sick.) 😉

Did you spot the Oxford comma? It comes after the last item in a list. So, after “potted plant.” Now, the controversy surrounding this helpless little comma is that some style guides require it when others don’t. So you have people who like it and people who don’t.

Now, let’s look at that sentence again, without the Oxford comma.

I am sending Sally a get-well card, a potted plant and a new coat.

Not having the comma doesn’t make that sentence confusing. You can mentally insert the separation of the three items. But let’s look at a different sentence.

She took her cousins, Dominique, and Miss Helen to the local fair.

Got it? Now let’s take the Oxford comma out.

She took her cousins, Dominique and Miss Helen to the local fair.

See the problem? A reader might think her cousins are Dominique and Helen. Now, strictly speaking, you’d need a comma after Helen if those names were her cousins’, but that’s a story for another day.

Personally, yes, I use the Oxford comma. It just makes sense. In some sentences, it feels awkward, in some, it’s unnecessary, but in others, it literally makes the difference between a reader understanding and misunderstanding what you’re saying.

And no, you can’t use the comma in one sentence and not in another in the same story. 🙂 Sorry, but . . . no.

So, now that the Punctuation Pantry has been resurrected, tell me your ideas for what we should chat about in the world of grammar!

Your turn! What is your opinion on the Oxford comma? Do you use it? Let’s chat in the comments!