Irrational Fear

Irrational Fear – Unreasonable Fear

Panic – Sudden Unreasonable terror

Technically speaking, I’m not afraid of heights. As a child, I was known to climb as high as I possibly could in any tree the adults around me would let me climb. Sometimes, my brother, sister, and I would climb to the top of our roof or treehouse and try to jump off without getting caught. So, no, I’m not afraid of heights. I am, however, afraid of falling or more specifically failing. I can’t go on rollercoasters because I’m afraid I’ll fall to my death. And sometimes, I can’t even climb stairs without a sudden panic overwhelming me for fear that I’ll manage to fall and hurt/kill myself. It’s irrational. I know. But as with my arachnophobia the logic of knowing it COULD happen is often far more convincing than the logic of knowing the odds of the bad thing not happening are in my favor.

I stood at the top of this 3-story rickety staircase for what felt like 5 minutes trying to slow my breathing and calm down enough to go back down the steps I had just climbed up. I wish I could say this doesn’t happen often, but it does. This happens all the time, not always with staircases, but often with life in general. I’m irrationally afraid of falling and failing. I regularly experience moments of rapid heartbeats & shallow breathing because of an irrational anxiety I can’t seem to shake.

Are you like this? Do you have irrational fears? It’s okay. You’ll get through it. Take a deep breath and remember 2 Timothy 1:7. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”‬ ‭(NIV)‬‬

Pride & Prejudice – Book & Movie Review (January19, 2019 – Archive)

As a hopeless romantic, I can have no qualms with any telling of Pride & Prejudice. I can have however have a favorite. While neither movie was better or worse than the other and certainly not better or worse than the book, I do have a clear favorite. In part because I prefer simple, modern writing and partly because I already knew most aspects of the story, it took me at least five attempts to read the book for the first time. After the fact I was happy to have done it and have now read it again. That said, and I NEVER say this, I actually prefer the movie to the book. Both movies took creative liberties that seemed odd, especially the six-hour BBC production, but I actually enjoyed the 2005 movie to the BBC production or the book. Perhaps it’s because it’s shorter and thus easier to digest or maybe because it caters to the wants of a rom-com fan, but probably because I didn’t have to deal with the insufferable Mr. Collins or Mr. Wickham for half as long as I was forced to do so in the book and BBC production. As, I must admit, I only like the series because of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth and I wish that we could get their story with dealing so much with the others, though I understand that would make it a much different story, so I’ll tolerate it. As I do though, it will likely only be through watching the 2005 movie instead of reading it or watching the BBC production. All the same, I recommend everyone read and watch each production at least once in their lifetime! 😊

The Chronicles of Narnia – Book Review (2018 Archive)

The Magician’s Nephew

I first read this series as a middle schooler, maybe a 9th grader. I really enjoyed it. It was one of the first series’ I read (though I didn’t finish it 🙈) & part of the reason why I fell in love with reading. There’s something to be said about reading it (or listening to it as an audiobook) again as an adult. I grew up in the church. Never once did I ever think about leaving. I take pride in my Christian faith. It is the very best and only truly good part of me. So, to read a children’s series that was written as an allegory to the Christian faith is awesome, especially when I didn’t quite pick up on the allegories when I read them as a kid. I really appreciate how C.S. Lewis imagined creation in this book. Of course, none of us could ever know how the universe was truly created, but the allegorical telling of creation in this book is so beautiful, I don’t think another human could possibly imagine it better! I also really like how he represents temptation!

4 out of 5 ⭐️ only because I’m not a huge fan of the first part of the story, even though I know it’s necessary.

The Lion, The Witch, the Wardrobe

As I said before, I read these books for the first time as young teenager, and now I’m of the firm belief that everyone should read these books first as a child and then as an adult. If it’s too late to read it as a child, every adult should read it anyway! I haven’t read any of the books since I think 2010 when the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie came out. I’m glad I’ve decided to read them again as an adult. I didn’t realize, or at least didn’t remember, that CS Lewis wrote an allegory for the crucifixion in this story! I’ve seen The Passion, I’ve read the Gospel several times, and I grew up in the church. I know the story of the crucifixion. To hear it (audiobook) told as an allegory in an innocent children’s story really struck home in a way it hasn’t before. Don’t get me wrong. The death of our actual in the flesh Lord and Savior is far more tragic than a fictional character. I know and have always known that Jesus was/is perfect and innocent of any crimes counted against Him. It breaks my heart every time I think about it. But again, to read/hear it in an innocent setting when I wasn’t expecting it really drove home Jesus’ innocence for me. He was/is perfect. He didn’t deserve any of the things done to Him, but He quietly and solemnly took it without a fight, because He loves me. This allegory really showed that to me in a new light and I’m grateful that CS Lewis tackled so many serious Christian topics with such grace that a child can read it and know the severity, but not be scared from too much knowledge and gore too quickly. It was done in a very tasteful (if that word can be used for the representation of Christ’s death) and respectful manner while still keeping the severity and importance intact!

I also really appreciate the depiction of temptation, sin, and betrayal in this book as well!

5 out 5 ⭐️’s.

The Horse and His Boy

I don’t remember reading this whole book the first time I read the series. I must have though, because I had a vague memory of it this time. 🤷🏼‍♀️ All the same, I like that this book teaches that we may understand the past in hindsight, but the future is to be seen when it becomes the present. I also like that it shows that sometimes God—analogically Aslan—always works things out for our good, even when we face bad things. And that we must always face the consequences of our decisions.

Artemis Fowl (2018 Archive)

Book 1:

My primary job is delivering for Uber Eats. That means, I spend a lot of time sitting in my car. I’ve decided to spend that time listening to audiobooks. After listening to the Harry Potter books, I decided to listen to Artemis Fowl, because my best friend raved about them, and because I had never read them before.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. In the beginning, it was confusing to go back and forth between views, but by the end it made sense. It is exciting and intriguing, and even though I really didn’t like any of the characters, I am now listening to the second book! So far, it seems like the perfect series for middle school boys, and anyone who likes Kid’s books. I have a 12 year old brother whom I think will really like these books! I’m gonna challenge him to read or listen to them this summer!

Emoji Review: 🙃🤷🏼‍♀️👍🏼

4 out 5 ⭐️ review

The Arctic Incident:

Perhaps, the series gets better with every book. I certainly liked this one much better than the first one! I even started to like the characters. 🙂 No complaints for this book and not much in the way of praise either, except that I liked it more than the first. And of course, I still think it’s a great series for middle school boys! 🙂 Emoji Review: 👍🏼😊

4 out of 5 ⭐️ rating

The Opal Deception:

Generally, I either immediately like a series or I don’t like it all. When I do like the series, I expect it to get better with every book (or season if it’s tv). With Artemis Fowl it’s different.

It’s not that I disliked it in the beginning, but I also didn’t like it. I was intrigued, but not attached. This is a new concept for me. Generally, if I’m intrigued, then I’m immediately attached. With Artemis Fowl, it’s been a slow attachment. With every book, I’ve grown more and more attached to each of the characters. And yet, I there’s one character I haven’t grown attached to. When something happens to this character, I feel nothing. A little sad for the other characters, perhaps, but nothing for this character. All the same, I’m really growing quite fond of these characters and each adventure is getting more and more intriguing!

The Lost Colony:

As a Christian, I firmly believe that demons are always evil. Therefore, I found it hard to justify the somewhat goodness of some of the new characters in this book.

With or without the demon characters, this wasn’t one of my favorite of the books. There were several scenes in which I was gasping or holding my breath, but I was neither here nor there in the like or dislike of this book. 🤷🏼‍♀️

The Time Paradox:

This may have been my favorite of them all. It’s always fun seeing characters affected by time travel. Artemis and Holly were quite amusing through this book’s adventures.

The Atlas Complex:

This one didn’t leave much impression on me. I felt rather indifferent throughout the whole story… 🤷🏼‍♀️

The Last Guardian:

I’m surprised to say that by the end of this series, I actually cared about all the characters! I didn’t like any of the characters in the beginning, but they slowly grew on me and by the end I liked them all! I will say that I was a bit disappointed with the end of this book. While the main plots were all finished, I still felt like there was something missing in the end. 🤷🏼‍♀️

#bookreview #ArtemisFowl #HollyShort #Elves #Demons #Fairies #dwarves #Butler #Elves #Fairies #Dwarves

#Crime

Beauty and the Beast (2018 Archive)

I’m not a fan of movie theaters. If I’m gonna spend that much money on a movie, then I’d rather be at home. I do make exceptions for some movies though. This was one of the exceptions.

I’ve seen a lot of fan made lists for live action Disney movies of whom should play who if the movie was ever made. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a list that didn’t have @emmawatson as Belle. I always agreed that Emma seemed like the perfect fit.

When I sat in the theater watching the movie, I was mesmerized. In recent years, Beauty and the Beast has become one of my favorite Disney Princess movies, so I was ecstatic to see it in live action. By the end of the movie, I felt like I had watched the best live action movie ever!

As time has passed since I watched Beauty and the Beast in theaters, some of the enchantment has worn off. Maybe Emma wasn’t as good as Belle as I had hoped and thought. I certainly didn’t think of the performance much after the fact. That says a lot. I’m obsessive girl for a reason. When I love something, I tend to be a tad obsessive. That didn’t happen with this movie.

Today, I watched it again on Netflix after watching my DVD copy of the classic animated version. Throughout the first half of the movie, I was rather disenchanted. I couldn’t see why I loved it so much. She’s not the most phenomenal singer in the world and her performance didn’t seem quite as magical as I had thought the first time. By the end though, I still couldn’t think of anyone who seems like a better Belle in looks and certain mannerisms. Idk, maybe it’s because I spent so much time envisioning her as Belle, but she still seems like the best fit, even if her voice isn’t the best fit. 🤷🏼‍♀️ At times, she didn’t look like the best fit, but at other times I thought, “She is definitely Belle!” So, now I’m confused, but I still like the movie enough that I’ll certainly watch it again!

Whatever the case may be, I still want Belle’s Library!

Emoji Review: 😁🤔🙃🤷🏼‍♀️😊

4 out of 5 ⭐️

Ever After High – Book Review (2018 Archive)

The Storybook of Legends & The Unfairest of Them All:

I’m a sucker for a good fairy tale, especially if it’s a retelling and even more so if it’s the telling of the original character’s kids. Obviously, I loved this before I even opened it. I’m not generally biased though. I may love a story going into it, but that doesn’t mean I’ll love it by the end. That is what happened with this book though.

I absolutely love Raven Queen and Apple White. While their stories are a bit cliched, that’s the entire point of the book. I think Shannon Hale did a fabulous job of making this story unique, while also making it as cliche and cheesy as it was supposed to be!

I love all the characters, but my absolute favorite character in the entire series is Madeline “Maddie” Hatter! Quirky characters are always my cup of tea (pun intended 😏), but I especially love Maddie and not just because I feel like she and Luna Lovegood could totally be best friends! Haha. There’s just something about Maddie that I adore! I can’t really explain it. Oh, and Dexter is adorkable too! Haha.

I could do an entirely separate review just for the “hexcellent” puns and word plays sprinkled on every page, but I won’t. Hexcellent (I’ve seriously been thinking this way too often 🙈) Whatever After, and One Reflection are just a few of my favorites!

As each page flipped, the smile on my face and in my heart grew bigger and bigger! The story may be simple and intended to make little girls want to buy the dolls, but it’s still a great book! It’s supposed to be cheesy, so there’s not much one could complain about!

I’m a firm believer in no spoilers, so you’ll have to read the book yourself to see why I feel the way I do about it! 🤓

Emoji Response: 😁❤️😂

5 out 5 ⭐️ rating!

A Wonderlandiful World

I really wanted to love this book as much as I loved the first two, but I couldn’t. Except for a few references to the first two books, this book often felt like a different story altogether. This was largely due to the fact that it was narrated from the point of view of two entirely different characters than the first two. I understand the story is carried on in the tv show and books written by someone else, but I wish we had a bit more closure or explanation or something with Raven and Apple’s story in this book. It just wasn’t the same.

That said, I still loved it! And I will say, it was a bit more unpredictable than the first two, which I kind of liked actually!

If you read my first two reviews, then you won’t be surprised that I especially loved Maddie’s part in this book! I think it was really quite clever! 😁

And of course, the puns were still just as #hexellent as before! Haha.

I’m a firm believer in no spoilers, so you’ll have to read the book yourself to see why I feel the way I do about it! 🤓

Emoji Response: 😁❤️😂

4 out 5 ⭐️ rating!

Dear Younger Me–A Decade in Review

On Sunday, I will be 26. In 2 weeks, it will be 2020. The end of a decade and what a decade it has been! So many things have happened to me I’ve been through so many emotionally draining things this decade. So many fabulous things and so many treacherous things. I have a feeling, from knowing people and from watching people, this decade has been intense for a lot of people. I’m going to write a letter to “younger me” and it’ll be a little personal, but I want it to be for everyone. So, here we go.

Dear younger me,
I’m proud of you. You are strong. So much stronger than you ever knew you could be. Of course, that is because of God in you, but you have to accept and embrace it, so do that. In the future, accept and embrace God’s strength in you.
I want to thank you for the things you’ve taught me. I want to thank you for hanging on and for trying. I want to thank you for being you. You tried so hard not to be you, to be different, to be who people wanted you to be, but you couldn’t. You couldn’t be anyone but you and I thank you for that. The things you hated so much about yourself this past decade have become your favorite things about yourself today. So, thank you.

Dear 16-year-old me,
This is the year you’ve started going to “normal” school again. You’re learning to be insecure. You used to believe in yourself. You used to love yourself. You used to not care what others thought. 4 years ago, you slowly started to care, but it didn’t really hit you until this year. I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry you felt the need to please people. That you felt like you had to be different than yourself and more like others.
If I could go back and tell you anything, then I would tell you to be yourself. I would tell you to believe in yourself. I would tell you that your friends, at least the real ones, will love you as you are. I know you’re afraid. I know you crave relationships. That you worry about them not loving you because they laugh at the things that make you who you are. That is wrong. It sucks and it hurts, but believe it or not, it’s their way of loving you. It’s totally unhealthy and ultimately unChristlike, but they are human. This is how they love you. Please love you, too.

Dear 17-year-old me,
I’m sorry life hurts so much. I’m sorry I expected perfection from you. Maybe if I had listened to Hannah Montana, then you wouldn’t have felt so much pressure to perform. Maybe you would have loved yourself. Maybe you would have remembered the beauty of being that 12-year-old girl who spun around the gym not caring what anyone thought of you. Maybe… maybe… maybe… I’m sorry for all that, but I’m more sorry that I wouldn’t change a thing. Your brokenness brought me closer to God. Your brokenness taught me to really appreciate those in my life who love me despite my crazy. Your brokenness taught me that brokenness is okay. What isn’t okay is wallowing in your brokenness instead of taking it to the Lord. Your brokenness taught me that, so thanks!

Dear 18-year-old me,
Thank you for being unashamedly obsessed with BarlowGirl and Demi Lovato. Thank you for surrendering your hurts and desires to God the day you turned 18. Thank you for letting Him use Demi and the Barlows to drag you from your pit of darkness and lead you to healing. Thank you for taking a chance and accepting Caitlyn’s invitation to a new church. You have no idea how much the Lord is going to use this church to heal you, grow you, and show you who He is. Jehovah Jireh. Jehovah Rapha. Jehovah Shalom.

Dear 19-year-old me,

I’m sorry I let you experience your first real heartbreak. I don’t know if I could have done anything to prevent it, because “the heart wants what it wants.” But I do know I could have softened the blow if I had been more honest about what I was thinking and feeling. In 6 years, your best friend will say you probably weren’t ready to handle it. You’ll deny it at first, but then you’ll realize it’s true. You’ll need a relatable movie, a lot of prayer, and a social media break before you’re ready to handle those feelings. Still, honesty is the best policy. You lied to yourself about your feelings and that’s what made it so hard.

P.S. Thanks for showing me that it’s okay to admit you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. You knew you couldn’t handle the stress of Physics and Trigonometry, so you confessed and let it go. Thanks for that. You’ll feel guilty for that decision for a little while, but eventually, you’ll learn it was the right decision.

Dear 20-year-old me,
Last year, you got your heart broken. This year, your parents got divorced. A younger you would have expected you to give up love. After all, you are a hopeless romantic who has been forever single. You fell for someone who definitely wasn’t the one, but you tried to convince yourself he could be. And your parents divorced after fighting your whole life. Love doesn’t seem so glamorous or even realistic these days. Just you wait. Would you believe me if I told you you’ll be single and turning 26 and actually be okay with it? It’s okay. I can hear you laughing. I’m not surprised. I’m more surprised that I’m not only okay with being single, but also, believe it or not, might actually want to stay this way. Anyway, thanks for being a hopeful romantic instead of a hopeless romantic. Rose-colored glasses look way better on you than jade anyway.

Dear 21-year-old me,
You did it! You moved out on your own! You got a “grownup” job and you’re totally rocking it! You’re kind of going through a weird culture shock as you encounter non-Christian society for the first time, but you’re kind of also rocking that. Everyone everywhere will immediately know you’re the church kid and they’ll love you for it. Occasionally, you’ll be treated like a child for it, but it’s cool. Mostly it’s because you’re so… innocent compared to everyone else. Trust me, you’d rather be childlike and innocent than fit in with the crowd. A lot of your coworkers will even respect and admire you for your beliefs. You’ll feel proud about that, so way to go!

Dear 22-year-old me,
Your life is going to be really emotional for the next three years. You’re going to go on so many rollercoasters your head will spin, you’ll feel sick to your stomach, and you’ll feel crazy. 22 is supposed to be the fun year. That’s how Taylor Swift makes it sound, but she’s sort of wrong. I mean, 23 and 24 will be way worse, but 22 is the beginning. You’ll unexpectedly say goodbye to a couple of friendships at 22 and it’ll suck, but you’ll grow. 22 is the beginning of learning how to be okay with not being okay. I know you think you learned that at 18 and 20, but apparently not, cause girl, you’ve got a lot of learning to do. Just take a deep breath and get ready for the ride, because you’re gonna hate it but you’ll be stuck for quite a while.

Dear 23-year-old me,
You taught me patience. It’ll take you 8 months to move into your apartment and from there it will all hit the fan and you’ll run for cover. Except there won’t be anywhere to run, so you’ll kind of just… fall apart. Seriously, you’re going to find yourself sitting on the bathroom floor crying over a picture frame that won’t stay on the wall. That’ll be your tipping point. You’ll curse Eve for eating the apple, you’ll cry over that darn frame, then you’ll go sit in the living room eating fruity pebbles. You’ll laugh hysterically at yourself for being so pathetic and then you’ll cry several more times, because, well, life. You won’t break though. You’ll bend beyond your wildest imagination, but you won’t break, so I’m proud of you. Way to go! You never gave in to the pressure of all the pressure. Whoo!

Dear 24-year-old me,
You seriously quit your job. Then, you finally finished writing the Mask; Her Aid and published it! It’ll feel like the start of something new and beautiful, but it won’t be. You’ll find yourself crying a lot again. You’ll almost be evicted from your apartment. You and Savannah will fight so much and so intensely it’ll surprise you when you get along better after a few months. You’ll find joy in driving around making deliveries for food services, but it won’t pay enough. You’ll have to find a new job. Eventually, you’ll finally become a bus driver like Papa has recommended since you were 21. You’ll move in with the Mathers and studying to be a bus driver will be beyond stressful. How the heck did you end up working 2 jobs that involve driving? You hate driving! The Lord works in mysterious ways though.

Dear 25-year-old me,
Okay, so technically you’re still 25. Your birthday isn’t for another 4 days. That means 4 more days of falling or flying at 25. Anything can change in a matter of days, but let’s just pretend you’re 26, okay? 25 is going to be an interesting year for you. You thought 24 would break you again. A few times, you came so close to letting it. You even crashed and burned at the beginning of 2019 when you took on too much at one time. Seriously, you worked 12-hour shifts at Rhodes, Saturdays at the thrift store, and Sundays in youth. Are you crazy? If God needs rest, then so do you! Thankfully, this form of crashing and burning was only as bad as no longer doing youth or the thrift store. It could have been worse though. You thought it would be, but then you accepted the importance of rest. You took God up on His commandment of Sabbath. You won’t do anything on Saturdays and you’ll be okay with not always working between routes. You won’t use social media on Saturdays and you won’t obsess on Sundays. You’ll even take a social media break during the month leading up to 26. It’ll be weird, but you’ll use that time to “Live Fearless” and “…Be Brave.” You’ll also finally start working out every day. You do Zumba every morning, choreography a lot of afternoons, and concerts most evenings. It’ll be great! Best of all, you’ll learn to forgive. You’ll forgive those who have hurt you and you’ll learn to forgive yourself for hurting others. You’ll be obsessed with the Vampire Diaries and Victorious, and you’ll be friends with Shelby Gail again. Life will even be peaceful when you finally realize that accepting your anxiety and trust issues is the first step in overcoming them. I’m so proud of you for that! You’re sort of still in the process of all that going into 26, but you’ve already accomplished so much! Way to go!

And because you’re still you, you’ll ask your Shelby’s how you’ve changed since meeting them. Both will essentially say the same thing. You’re more confident and more willing to accept the unknown. So after all that mess of 16 to 26, you’ll actually be grateful for the crazy. It was hard and you’ll wish you can change things, but you never would even if you could. You learned so much in your teens and early 20’s that you’re really excited about the things you’ll learn in your late 20’s and early 30’s. Until the next decade, please keep calm and let God. Love you!

Love,
Me ❤

To anyone reading this. I hope you can learn to be brave and trusting. I hope you can accept your brokenness, repent from your sins–like my bitterness and anger–, and that you’ll trust God in the unknowns and comfort zones. Life is hard enough. We don’t need to add to it with perfectionism, fear, anger, bitterness, distrust, and all the other ickiness of brokenness and sin. From least to greatest: Love yourself. Love others. Love God.

 

P.S. It’s okay to be lame, so like… I hope you were able to read this letter to yourself with 2020 vision! 😉 😛 (I just cringed at my own poor “joke.” It’s so lame, but I couldn’t not do it. oh, well)