Valentine’s Day and Love — A Single Teenager’s Nightmare

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It is EVERYWHERE

If you are a teenager, which means if you are in middle school or high school, sometimes February can be just as harsh for you as it is for adults. Our society loves young love and you see it everywhere! Media. Music. Books. Pictures. Your Peers walking around the hallways. It is EVERYWHERE. I know I said that twice, but I am making a point. Now my personal viewpoint, especially after working with youth age for the past four and half years is you shouldn’t date yet, but that is a tangent for another time.

In reality, you are dating or your concept of dating. I mean seriously, can you even drive yet? But there are a lot of you that aren’t and I am here to give you some comfort in this time of lovebirds, flowers, and chocolates.

Single Teenager’s Nightmare

Many of you look at this time of year and think you are unworthy or ugly or too fat or whatever negative viewpoint about yourselves come to your mind. (I am telling you, you are wrong, but we will get to that). Watching your best friend giggle at some lame line their boyfriend came up with can make you vomit. And you’re trying not to still because she wants you to come over and help her pick out the right outfit for their “date.” Honey, you are not alone and I have been there. I mean you are happy for your best friend, but inside you just wish it was both of you picking out cute little outfits. By the end of hanging out, you want to climb into bed with a tube of ice cream and either a romantic YA novel, crying over the main characters love or a slasher novel, where everything is killed. It is literally a Single Teenager’s Nightmare.

Some Truth to Hold onto To

Single Teenager's NightmareThe problem is we females (and yes, I am saying me too), we tend to put our worth in relationships, whether it is with friends or a boy. Ladies, our worth isn’t found in our friends or relationships with boys. Our worth needs to be founded in Jesus Christ!

Psalm 139:14 says: “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well!”

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Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God created us and made us each unique and special. We don’t need the approve of someone who might be in our lives for only a blink of an eye because we have the approval of the one who made us and will love us forever! So even if the boy you have drooled over for the past six months asks somebody else to spend Valentine’s Day together, doesn’t mean you are unworthy of someone’s love. You are already loved more than any mortal man can give.

What to Do on Valentine’s Day

Like I said, you don’t need a man. There are many things you can do to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

  1. Get a group of friends together and hang out.
    • Go to the movies together.
    • Grab dinner and socialize.
    • Go bowling or ice skating (roller blading if you are down south).
    • Have a sleepover.

Yes, many people view Valentine’s Day about couples and their love, but we have a love for friends, right? Why not celebrate those relationships too! So don’t feel like you need to hide away in your bedroom. You can always find a way to make it a great time of year!

God Bless,

AshleyDannie

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan — A Book Dragon Review

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Red PyramidBook Review Profile of the Red Pyramid

Title: The Red Pyramid

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle Grades Fiction

Main Characters: Carter & Sadie Kane

Small Bio: Sadie and Carter Kane find out their boring archaeologist dad is actually an Egyptian magician, who is trying to save the world from Apophis (the Chaos Snake). After Set (Egyptian god) captures their dad, Sadie and Carter must find out Set’s plan and save the world before Chaos has a chance.

Favorite Quote(s):

“I saw magicians dueling in a place. A man in tattered robes, with a shaggy black beard and wild eyes, threw down his staff, which turned into a serpent and devoured a dozen other snakes. I got a lump in my throat, “Is that…”

“Musa,” Zia said, “Or Moshe, as his own people knew him. You call him Moses. The only foreigner ever to defeat the House in a magic duel.”

Reviewer Thoughts: I love mythology. The stories about good vs. evil always get my blood pumping and normally it is greek mythology I cling to, but Riordan has opened up a soft spot for Egyptian mythology now. The format for this story is much different than others I’ve read from him. This is the first book series (before the seven Olympians) he goes back and forth in point of view. His first series was all Percy, so it was refreshing hearing from both of the narrators. Also, something I always enjoy is Riordan has small references to Christianity such as the Moses part and in other books, he references how there is an all powerful God above all the mythological ones. I can’t wait to read the next adventure for Sadie and Carter!

Goodreads.com Rating: 4.06 out of 5

Reviewers Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars —  Recommend to any pre-teen who loves fantasy, mythology, and adventure.

Keep the Reading Fire Going,

BookDragon

Afraid of Me, Myself, & I (Part 3): Continue on the Adventure w/ Jason & the Nameless Girl

afraidAfraid of Me, Myself, & I (Part 3)

(See below for the links to the first two parts and catch up on their adventures)

It had been a month and still no sign of Donovan. Jason was starting to get restless, but I was enjoying trying to get back to a normal life. Well, as normal as I could remember. According to Jason, this was my third life. In a sense that my second life was me still technically alive, just reprogrammed. I don’t remember that part. All I remember is going to the school dance with Jason as high school sweethearts, kissing under the tacky disco ball our committee put up for kicks and giggles. After high school, well, that is the blur.

Jason had left the trailer for the day to find some work. We had been moving from small town to town, sniffing out Donovan, but trying to stay under the radar. Especially since the newspaper in Boston said I died and my family had a memorial service for me.

For now, we settled in a town called Maysville, Nebraska that had an abandoned trailer park. We decided it would be safe to stay here a little longer since our funds were pretty much depleted.

I needed a walk and we needed some food, so I grabbed my black zip up hoodie and the rest of the cash we had. Flipping up my hood, I walked through the leaves falling from the trees. I smiled, remembering glimpses of jumping into piles of leaves as my dad tossed more on top of me. The memory of what he looked like alluded me.

I shook my head as I passed some teens trying to make an ollie on their skateboards. I finally came to the old mom and pop store, ringing the bell that hangs over the door when I entered. The cashier looked up to greet me, but her face fell as she took in my facial features under my hood. I waved, but the blood drained from her face. Before I took a step in she had a shotgun pulled out from beneath the counter pointed right at me. My eyes went wide in panic and the door behind me opened. A frantic Jason stopped right beside me and raised his hands up when he realized the gun pointing at me.

“What is going on?” I asked him mentally.

He replied out loud, “Apparently, you have been here before.”

I glanced over at a picture behind the girl. It was her and a man with balding hair and a scar on his left eyebrow. My brain sparked as an image of this man on the floor, bloodied with a knife sticking out of his chest flashed across my eyes.

“I…killed someone here…” I mentally whispered to him, but it must have gone to the girl and the guests that were in the store, who know saw the gun pointed at me because I could now hear the fear. My carefully constructed mental barrier broke.

“Jason, they are afraid of me,” I mentally said to him, “I don’t blame them. I am afraid of myself too.”

Jason and I looked at each other, trying to figure out how we were going to get out of this one.

Links to Parts 1 & 2

This is the Tricky Part (Part 1)

French Fries & Revenge (Part 2)

UnNerved: A Friday Fictioneer Flash Fiction Piece by AshleyDannie

UnNerved
PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Unnerved

The half egg shaped arches unnerved me. I just stared at the entrance, feeling claustrophobic.

“I can do this,” I whispered, clutching my violin.

A fellow violinist walked up beside me, “I froze in that hallway my first time too.”

“What happened?”

“I missed the concert and demoted down to second violins.”

“Oh boy.”

The fellow violinist glanced down at my shaking hands, “Trust me. Just close your eyes, take a breath, and let those strings sing. Each time you get up there by yourself it gets easier.”

“Really?”

The man chuckled, “No.”

I stared as he walked away.

 

 

 

 

This is the parameters of the story. 🙂

Friday Fictioneers
copyrighted to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

 

2017 Spring Break Beauty Tips for a Natural Beach Look

2017 Spring Break Beauty Tips

Spring Break is coming up in a few months and many of you are going to be heading south for vacation! Many teens and college students think that it is a time to party and need to paint their face up for a more mature look, but your natural look is absolutely gorgeous! But I don’t think it is a bad thing to use makeup to highlight your natural features. Here are three simple steps to do just that.

Of course, when it comes to your foundation make sure it matches your natural skin tone or maybe a slight shade darker if you are going to be doing some tanning. To be honest, if you are hitting the beach I would avoid the foundation. Next, apply your choice of mascara and lip gloss. My personal choice is black waterproof mascara and a light pink or natural color lip gloss. Lastly, with my curls, I put in Redken Beach Wave Volume, but make sure the product works great with your hair.

Now I know everyone does their natural look different so share your secrets or tips in the comments below!

2017 Spring Break Beauty Tips

 

Train Tracks of a Gypsy Soul {Friday Fictioneer Tale}

Train Tracks
PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr

 Train Tracks of a Gypsy Soul

She walked along the tracks that intertwined in this part of the city. The red-head wore an old, tattered backpack that held just one more outfit, a toothbrush, and well-used journals. In her right hand, the 16-year-old held a guitar case.

As she meandered, she searched for a train car with an open door. An old clunker started passing very slowly. Before it picked up speed she saw an open car. She threw her guitar up into the empty space and quickly followed.

Sitting on the edge, she pulled out the guitar, serenading her new gypsy soul.

Word Count: 97

 

 

 

Friday Fictioneers

Every Friday the Fictioneers come from all over the world to share 100 words at Rochelle’s blog. All genres welcome (Please exercise discretion).

Scars to Your Beautiful (Alessia Cara’s Fantastic Single!)

Hey, ladies!

Have you listened to the newer Alessia Cara Single: Scars to Your Beautiful? No? Take a gander and watch/listen before you read the rest!!!

What is it talking about?

Alessia’s song is rare and beautiful in a time of music when rappers use similes to make women feel like being a whore is the only way to feel beautiful and loved. Most artists I find that have a similar message as her come from the Christian scene, but not her. You can hear Alessia’s single playing on radio stations across the nation. Alessia released it back in 2015, but she started getting nation and global attention from it last year.

Alessia talked about her meaning about the song to iHeart Radio saying:

“Whether it’s in media, or in just regular life. We are expected to do, and to look like so many different things, and it’s so hard to keep up with sometimes. Everything told to us, whether it’s indirectly or directly, they get into our heads and it got to the point where now girls can’t look at themselves and just feel happy anymore. We have to find something that we don’t like, or something that we have to compare ourselves too. And that can get so tiring. It’s just such a wrong message to send to people, and it’s just a bad thing to put in our heads. So I wanted to make a song that was saying to block out all that noise, and to just appreciate yourself, and not go to these extremes to love yourself.”

She speaks so much truth to that! I struggled with body image as I grew up. (Click here to Read my story). The idea that women and girls need to conform to the ways of media has hurt growing girls’ individuality. This can be changed and fought against if we have the courage to stand up!

Emma Watson’s quote says it all for me:

“I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.”

We, as women and young ladies, need to adapt this mindset that we need to decide who we are–NOT the media! Girls, we were made on purpose no matter what others tell you! My last quote I want to share with you is from Psalm 139:14 and it is the base of this website. It says:

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

This is my life verse because it reminds me my heavenly father made me and his work in me is wonderful. The last part of this verse was a challenge to grasp. The verse says I know that FULL well. Full to me in the verse is saying I know it without a doubt. It took me a while to get to that point and it that might be the case for you too. That’s okay. God is patient and He will wait for you but know talking to Him will help the process.

 

God Bless,

 

AshleyDannie

Thoughts on Student Leadership and Why We Need Encourage It

First Thoughts on Student Leadership

Student leadership growing up was emphasized greatly in my youth group. We had a leadership team of students who helped make decisions on trips and other things. We also had leaders within our Quiz Teams, Drama, and Choir. Not that we didn’t have adult leaders, but they hand selected and allowed students to help lead in these areas of ministry as well. I remember my senior year when Mr. Leatherman elected me the student leader of the drama team when he couldn’t be there. I felt a sense of pride in the work my peers and I did in practice and creation of the skits.

As I grew, I continued being part of student leadership in college with the First Teams program at Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL. Moving from a small group leader to a mentor of the small group leaders, I continued learning about how to lead my own peers. As I walked through those stages of life, I didn’t take much stock into how important Student Leadership is. Now, as an adult small group leader, I see the immense importance of investing in student leadership.

So Where Should We Begin?

This question is what has been plaguing me during this current school year. How do I start to develop the student leaders I have under my wing? Where do I start? Will I be able to do this? Am I sure I won’t mess them up more than what they already are being teens? (That last one is a joke…maybe…) Anyways, thankfully starting yesterday I am going back to school and what is my first class? Well, it is Leadership Church & Ministry. How fitting, right? So I am starting a new journey through how to create a plan for encouraging student leadership in youth ministry. Thankfully, I have already found some sources I am excited to use:

Click the Image to take you to Doug’s Site!

Student Leadership

Any Suggestions?

If you are reading this and are like: “Hey! We have a program or resources that could help you!” Send them via a comment below! I would love to collaborate!

Until Next Time,

 

AshleyDannie

2017 Reading Challenge: Follow the Book Dragon through the Year

My Reading Challenge Thoughts

I always like to have a reading challenge for myself every year and this year I am upping the amount of books I want to read. I am going to read 50 books over the course of the year and I am going to document reviews of all of them as I finish each book. I already have a list of books I am going to start on Goodreads.com. Click here if you want to see and become friends with me on Goodreads! 
Anyways, here are the books on my 2017 To-Read Book Shelf:
2017 Reading Challenge

Many of these are from series I want to finish up or are right in the middle of. All of them are ones I am really enjoying! So be on the look out for reviews from these novels and from others. If you have suggestions about what I should add to my shelf comment below or friend me on goodreads.com and talk to me there!

If you want to do a reading challenge, but don’t know where to start comment below and I will send you some helpful hints or write a helpful hint post. 🙂

 

Sincerely,

 

The Book Dragon

Not the Plan based on a True Story {Friday Fictioneer Piece}

Plan
copyrights go to Amy Reese

Not the Plan

The elevator dinged and the doors slid open to a sterile looking hallway, but with garage doors. The trolley’s wheels squeaked on the floor as she pulled it to door 218. Her eyes, slightly swollen from tears, focused on the lock and key. The clunk of the lock as she dropped it, vibrated her very being.

She huffed as she lifted the aluminum entrance to reveal boxes of her life neatly stacked. This wasn’t the plan. These were supposed to be moved to a Florida apartment, not her Indiana childhood basement.

Tears fell as she started to load the trolley.

Word Count: 99        (Based on a true story)

Copyrights: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Copyrights: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields