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

A Bridge in a Field {Friday Fictioneer 100 word Story}

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A Bridge in a Field
© Adam Ickes

A Short Story: A Bridge in a Field

She walked cautiously on the bridge. She ran her hand gently over the wood railing, peering over. The water that once ran free through the corn fields dried up, showing only dirt and weeds.

The gazebo at the end looked as broken as her. In their prime, they saw love–created love. She twisted the diamond ring, removing it. She held it up one last time. She chucked it into the barren creek. She watched the ring fall, glistening as it dropped, but like the love she once knew, it was gone, covered by the muck.

 

Word count: 96

Past Love [A Flash Fiction/Photo Prompt Piece]

past love
copyright to SlipTalk

Past Love

She walked through the woods of her new home. The small house gave her a desire for adventure. As she manuevered through the foliage, the sun stayed hidden in the dense fog and cloud cover. Minutes turned to a couple hours when she emerged into a clearing of green meadows, but in the middle of it all was a structured not used for decades.

The foliage climbed up through the bars on the rusted Ferris Wheel, seats swaying in the breeze, singing her a creaky song of past loves. If she closed her eyes she coudl almost see the young couple having their first kiss on top in the moonlight.

word count: 107

My own flash fiction/picture prompt piece for you. I saw this on Pinterest and had to write a short story for you. Make sure you comment at the bottom or if you have a photo prompt you want me to write about send it my way! There is a writing group that does this every week! If you want to take part check out Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. She is in charge of it called Friday Fictioneers!

 

Never Stop Doing What You Love,

AshleyDannie

“Things I’ll Never Say” to the One My Heart Longs For

How do I Say this to You

 Things I’ll Never Say by Avril Lavigne

“I’m tugging at my hair/ I’m pulling at my clothes/ I’m trying to keep my cool/ I know it shows/ I’m staring at my feet/ My cheeks are turning red/ I’m searching for the words inside my head

[Pre-Chorus] (Cause) I’m feeling nervous/ Trying to be so perfect/ Cause I know you’re worth it/ You’re worth it/ Yeah” 

I started speaking without thinking, letting everything out, “Every week like clockwork I see you. We are apart of the same group and there is some foreign alien inside of me that makes me think I have to look perfect–not like I used to be. Ten years ago I would wear baggy jeans, a baggy t-shirt, and a huge sweatshirt with no make-up or purpose to my hair. Now? Now, I tend to be more girly. I now fuss over my hair, perfecting my curls or styling it up. Even the part had to be precise. Then I rummaged through my closet, trying on multiple outfits, throwing the rejects onto my bed. I even sat in front of the vanity mirror, blending, shaping, and painting the colors and shades onto my face for an “airbrushed”  look. When I finally gazed into the reflector of lies I saw me, but maybe trying to hard. Sadly, there have been many times I might not like my hair or my outfit and I go back to the rummaging or sculpting. Not tonight. Tonight I was happy with me and I didn’t let the liar change my mind.

So, I grabbed my messenger bag and keys, headed out to my car for the drive here. Everything I do around you is intentional. I park in the same area every time just in case one night we walk out the same time because I tend to stay late. I’m always early too. Mostly because my father taught me to be super early to everything, so it helps that you have to be here early as well. The problem is the interacting. We are friends, which helps, but when I get near you, my heart thuds and all I seem to talk about is all business. My nervousness makes me fear getting too personal, because if I do will you notice? Shouldn’t I want you to notice?”

“[Chorus] If I could say what I want to say/ I’d say I wanna blow you away/ Be with you every night/ Am I squeezing you too tight/ If I could say what I want to see/ I want to see you go down/ On one knee/ Marry me today/ Guess, I’m wishing my life away/ With these things I’ll never say”

“I have this image of what we could be. We believe the same things, have similar humor, have some complimenting interests, and we both have the same passion for this group. It gives me hope that someday you might realize I could be more than just a friend. The problem is I will never say anything…”

It don’t do me any good/ It’s just a waste of time/ What use is it to you/ What’s on my mind/ If it ain’t coming out/ We’re not going anywhere/ So why can’t I just tell you that I care

“Part of the reason I wanted to leave Michigan in the first place was to start a new. A fresh start to maybe get you out of my head, because I see you multiple times a week. A heart can only take so much and nothing will happen as long as I stay silent. Remember when I told you I was trying to move? Remember what you said to me? I do. I have played it over and over in my head, wondering if there is another message in it. Remember when I told you it didn’t work out? Remember how your smile reached from ear to ear? I do. I just pray it isn’t false hope.”

“What’s wrong with my tongue/ These words keep slipping away/ I stutter, I stumble / Like I’ve got nothing to say

“I’ve been wanting to tell you all this for so long…three years actually. I can’t believe I am saying all of this, but it is true. I lo…”

“Guess I’m wishing my life away with these things I’ll never say/ If I could say what I want to say/ I’d say I wanna blow you away /Be with you every night/ Am I squeezing you too tight/ If I could say what I want to see/ I want to see you go down/ On one knee/ Marry me today /Guess, I’m wishing my life away/ With these things I’ll never say/ These things I’ll never say…”

I just stared at myself in the mirror as I couldn’t finish the last line because I don’t want to admit to myself what I feel. I sigh as I pick up my bag and keys to head to the group, leaving behind the words that might forever be stuck in my throat.

(The italic lyrics are from Avril Lavigne’s first CD and the song Things I’ll Never Say)

Blind Date+Blind Ex+Blind Love =Long Lasting Marriage

My Parents’ Love Story

November 1980. It all started with a blind date, a blind ex, and blind love.

My mom’s friend knew she needed a better guy in her life and set her up with my dad. Mom always tells me she knew of him, being a year older and the reputation of being one of the “Kreager Twins,” but she didn’t actually personally know him. It wasn’t much different the other way around either. I think I remember my dad telling me he knew of Mom because she was miss cheerleader and her senior year she became head cheerleader. As I write that I really wonder where I came from. Mom was athletic, popular, and beautiful and Dad was very bold, a ladies man, and hot, according to the many girlfriends during school. (Just so you know saying my dad was hot back then makes me cringe a little. I mean he is my dad…sigh…). How did the two of them come together and create me? The writer, the reader, the non-athletic, un-popular, un-attached 27-year-old mess of a girl. I wasn’t head cheerleader or even a cheerleader for that matter and I didn’t have all the boys chasing me, but I do look at it as a blessing in disguise. To be honest, if my crazy parents didn’t raise me the way they did my previous blog post about staying a virgin in our society probably would not exist and I would be writing a totally different story.

But I am following a puppy down a long and winding road. Yes, I like puppies better than bunnies. For one you can cuddle them and two they are better pets in my opinion.

So because of the blind date, Mom fell in love right away. She knew he was the one and mostly because of the blind ex-boyfriend of hers. I won’t name names or put too much detail but what I can say he was the worst! I thank God every day that he didn’t keep my mom’s attention! Now I do want to clarify something. Her ex wasn’t physically blind–more metaphorically. He couldn’t see the damage he was doing in their relationship and according to my father he didn’t realize it until Mom and Dad had their date. I kind of laugh at the thought of him begging my father to not go on a date with Mom again. Honestly, I would have loved to be the fly on that wall!

Thankfully Mom had the great sense to leave the idiot and date my dad. Now their actual story is something I would never write without their full permission because like the rest of society relationships have ups and downs, so I am going to just give you the highlights of why I am writing this post. In the midst of their relationship they did have a huge fight and for a moment it looked like it would have ended, but Mom was blinded by God or something because it didn’t end.

I want to clarify something else. When I say God gave my mom a “blinded love” I don’t mean that in bad terms like some people might think. I believe there is a moment in every relationship where you have to make a choice–stay with them or leave. My mom came to that choice and in most circumstances many women would have probably left, but when God has a plan He makes it work His way. My parents are a product of that. God blinded my mother of the faults (that all humans have), so she could see the beautiful future she was to have with my father. I know down the road in their relationship God did the same thing with my father and someday God is going to have to blind my future husband to see underneath all the mess. That is the beauty of having God in the middle of our relationships–he takes care of us.

Anyways, the relationship continued and Dad finally realized how much he loved my mom. I have no idea the day or even month when he proposed, but I know it was winter and snowing because either right before or during the proposal Grandpa Kreager was calling Dad, telling him to hurry up because they had plowing jobs to get to.

Oh Grandpa… …such a Kreager thing to do, but that didn’t change my mom’s mind and she said yes that day. Months later in March on the 26th of 1983, my parents stood before God and vowed to love each other until death do them part.

Today it has been 33 years since my parents married and I am so thankful for their love and friendship. Like every relationship, it is more work than love that gets you through the years. As a youth leader, I have seen my girls struggle over divorces of their parents and I can say happily I haven’t had to endure that. (And my parents know my brother and I never will. It is not allowed. You think I am kidding–I’m not.)

I love to be able to look at my parents and see a great model for when I get married. I have seen the low times and the high times and the times in between. I have seen them face finances and sickness, face loss and love, face raising siblings and letting them go, face moving or staying, face jobs highs and lows, but the center of it all, whether small or large, I saw them run to God for it all. That is what marriage is, placing God in the center of it because marriage is more than just love.

I want to wish my parents a Happy Anniversary and I know there will be much more to come! I love you both so much!Love

God Bless,

AshleyDannie

What’s with Paper Towns and this so called Teen Whisperer?

Move over Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins, a new voice for young adults everywhere has emerged and he doesn’t just write for them but writes as them. Yes, John Green is moving YA Literature away from the unrealistic characters teens have fawned over in their own little fandom worlds to writing about actual teenagers and their reapaper townsl life struggles.

Quentin is a normal senior in high school, living in Orlando, who loves hanging with his friends, playing video games, and of course, crushing on his extremely gorgeous, popular next door neighbor—Margo Roth Spiegelman. In his mind, her world is perfect and untouchable, but all that changes when she knocks at his window one night, bringing him on an adventure of a lifetime. What could be better than playing pranks on all the popular people whose mission in life was to humiliate you until graduation? By the end of the night, he found a new confidence he was going to use to somehow get Margo to hang out with him and the boys until grad, but that came crashing down when he found out Margo was gone.

“I could feel her on her tiptoes and then her mouth was right up against my ear and she said, very clearly, ‘I. Will. Miss. Hanging. Out. With. You’” (Green 81).  That one line became his first clue to the mystery that was Margo Roth Spiegelman—she was leaving.

Now, Quentin’s on a mission to follow Margo’s other clues to find her, so he can have his happily ever after with the girl he has always loved from afar. But as he searches the clues he starts to see that maybe everything he thought was actually just a mask she wore to get her through living in this paper town.

Green conveys what a paper town is on his popular vlog called VlogBrothers. They are fictional places companies place on their maps and if another mapping company has the same fictional town then they know they are copying them. This does play a little bit into the novel, but paper towns have different meanings as the story moves.

It’s a paper town. I mean look at it, Q: look at all those cul-de-sacs, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the house that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper house, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And the people too (Green 58).

Green uses this starting point to fuel the symbolism of a paper town, but I will leave it at that, so no spoilers are revealed. It’s funny though reading that quote, because as soon as I read it the first time it made me think of what I thought of my hometown. All these paper thin people around me, thinking that life couldn’t get any better being on top in a small town. I, like Margo, wanted to get out of it and like her I did—the only difference is I told my parents and friends.  

I mean isn’t that every teens’ dream? To get out of the shadows, whether they are someone else’s or their own? How Green brings to life the characterization of not only the mysterious Margo and the quirky Quentin, but the detailed personalities of his friends and the misleading identity of Margo’s so called friends greatly qualifies him to be dubbed the “Teen Whisperer.” As I read, learning the different personalities of the characters, I could pinpoint classmates from my own school who acted the same—even Margo.  I guarantee you will do the same as you read. What is also very real about the story is the life lessons Green coveys and one young adult need to learn by the end is this: “She spoke quietly then, the tiniest crack in her voice, and all at once Lacey Pemberton was not Lacey Pemberton. She was just—like, a person” (Green). Green breaks stereotypes and the masquerade teenagers create as they go through middle and high school.  

Except just like every piece of writing, nothing is ever perfect. The flow of the story can be slow at times, making us wait until the third section (the book has three sections) for the story to speed up and head toward his ultimate goal, but isn’t that life? We go about our mundane routines, trying to find something exciting, but a lot of times the excitement only lasts for a day or two, just like in the novel. Oh, I might have said too much about the ending…but don’t worry I didn’t spoil it altogether. Even though the flow can be slow when it comes to the overall plot Green intertwines mini plots that include the friends which helps lead to the overall theme and I couldn’t imagine Green writing the story any other way.

So pick it up, because whether you are a teenager trying to navigate school life or an adult feeling stuck in one spot, Green’s novel will enlighten and challenge you to look beyond your own Paper Towns.

Sparks of Love (A Friday Fictioneer Piece)

 

antiques-along-the-mohawk
Photo Prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

My First FRIDAY FICTIONEERS Post. Hope You Enjoy!

(Friday Fictioneers is created by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who provides a photo prompt and writers are to craft a 100 word or less story.)        

 

It’s been forty years since she looked out this window and seen the building, which held so much love in her heart…

James? James!” the girl whispered as loudly as she dared.

                In the shadows, hands shot out, grabbing her, making her scream. She turned to find him with his wide grin and sparkling green eyes.

                “Lily,” he whispered, “You came.”

                They kissed, collapsing into each other’s arms. The kiss was passionately short.

                 “My father will kill us, James.”

                “Not if he can’t find us…”

“Mom?” a young woman pulled Lily back to the window, familiar green eyes shining.