A Whole Year!


Dear fellow bloggers, 'sisters', best friend, and whoever else may be reading,

2007 is officially a whole year! Well, almost. :) We have completed 364 of its' days, and I'm amazed. In one way, it seems nothing much got completed, and in some ways I really didn't change or grow. On the other hand, I learned tons in the day-to-day work (mostly schoolwork and music), and grew in some certain areas. I also met my best friend, and I can say with all sincerity that it was the highlight of my year.

I grew up in some ways. I've enjoyed being childish in some ways. I've learned lots in some ways. I think I've actually done lots. :) It's been a very good year.

Now I see that Christmas is over and a new year now dawns. A quote from that post one year ago...

"Now, a New Year is about to dawn. It is - as Anne would say - "A new year with no mistakes in it yet." Oh, dear Lord, how I want to grow closer to you this year, and to have a greater impact for you, on those I come into contact with. It's a great responsibility, I believe, to be given such a fresh gift as a brand new year, to fill with worthwhile activities and meaningful relationships."

Now, I can't say I fully fulfilled that. To be honest, I think I've missed the boat a bit in growing closer to God. I know I have some, but I've spent more time learning about growing close to God, than on growing closer to Him myself. That's what I want to do for 2008. I've tried to have a greater influence on those I meet. From little things like saying 'God Bless', to actually talking about my faith and what I'm doing about with the non-Christian lady I worked for in the Summer. I've prayed about it a lot, but I want to do more this year. I missed a small opportunity two weeks ago, and through it, God really reminded me how I "can't miss the chances when God opens up the door. They may seem so insignificant, but I may be seeing so much more." (Lyrics from 'Fifteen' by Greg Long)

It will be my first and last December 31 as a 15-year-old, and next year...well, I'll be a year older. I'm happy to enjoy today. It will never come again. After all, there are only 365 days in a year, and this is one of them. I'd better make it count. :)

I have many dreams, many hopes, many desires, and my heart and soul wander daily, but this is where I am right now. This is where God has put me, for a purpose, for a reason (or many reasons!), and I am going to do my very best--and with God's help, more--to 'bloom where I am planted'. I have plenty to look forward to here and now, and I need to concentrate on that. Dreams only show themselves in time, and I will wait.

In the meantime, I am going to do a few Hard Things, and keep living for Jesus as 'An Instrument In Christ's Hands'.

Keep well this year, and live for Jesus!
God bless,
Sheila

Merry Christmas!!!

Just wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas!!! Enjoy the presents, enjoy the big meals, enjoy the family time, but most of all, focus on the Christ child!

Hugs,
Sheila

What a year!



Can you believe that Christmas is just 4 days away? I certainly can't! This year flew by rather quickly, that's for sure. Well, I'm 15, and I've learned a lot: it's been a stretching year, it's been an exciting year, and it has really been a good year.

It's exciting to think about what's to come, but that's really not what I'm here to talk about. I'm not really here to talk about what I did all year either, so what am I here to talk about? Good question. Let's find out.

Last weekend I had a flute performance that was simply splendid. Our flute trio (Involving another local flute teacher, Marianne, my own flute teacher, Jen Cluff, and myself) played marvelously and (my personal opinion!) stole the show. It was loads of fun, and I really enjoyed it. I also played two movements of Ernest Bloch's amazing Suite Modale. It was beautiful. Lots of fun. I also had a gig playing for a children's choir I used to sing in before we moved. It was absolutely amazing, really.


Here I am (far left) playing with the choir)

It was such a blessing to be able to go back to those people and be accepted with the gifts God has given me. It turned out beautifully too. Here is an audio clip of a fantastic piece called 'There is no Rose'. The flute is me. You'll have to scroll down and turn off the Christmas music first. Just press the pause button, and you can turn it back on after if you want. :)






I went skiing again on Thursday, which is where the top picture and the next picture are from, as well. Quite a glorious day, albeit rather cold. :) (Sorry the pics are grainy, they were taken on a cell phone)



So, what have I become? I found a note I wrote to myself last Christmas, asking me if I'd changed, what I'd learned, who I'd developed into, and the one line that truly stood out to me was this: "Some things never change, simply mature." I think I'm going to hold onto that phrase. Through the many seasons of life, we mature, we learn new things, we are stretched, we develop, and the things around us change. However, if we are truly saturated in the will of God, we don't change, do we? Who we really are stays the same!

Now, that doesn't mean that, like I said, we can't mature! By no means am I saying that! Sure, we may change in the way that we might respond differently to something after a certain experience, we may be more comfortable in certain circumstances, or not wear the same kinds of clothes, but I think that is better described by the word 'maturing'. We change when we accept Jesus and become His children. We mature as we grow in Him. It's really a growing isn't it?

Yep, it's been quite a year. Remember how I said I grew up? I did: I matured.


Some things never change...simply mature.

I Grew Up

Dear blogging universe,



Wow, what a week this has been so far. As some of you know, I took a little trip on my own! I traveled by ferry to a small island between here (Vancouver Island), and the coast of mainland British Columbia to visit my piano teacher (who usually gives me lessons when she comes over to Vancouver Island once a week) and take some history and harmony with her. I had a gorgeous day for travel, as it was sunny and clear, and the water was completely still. The picture above was taken from the ferry. Isn't it amazing? What a wonderful Creator we have!!! Here is another photo taken off the back of the boat. The waves you see are from the wake; the water you see in the distance is what the beautiful quality of the ocean really was.


The island was so peaceful and quiet, and I learned so much! As I read that sentence, I realize that not only did I learn an amazing amount of musical knowledge, but I discovered that I am no longer afraid when I am 'out in the big world' alone. What an encouragement.

Yesterday I went to my flute lesson. So beautiful! First I had a practice with my piano accompanist, and when I finished playing, Jen, my teacher, was crying. Oh my goodness...that melted my heart. Thank you! I listened to the recording after, and you know, I think I achieved the sound I've been aiming for the last couple weeks. It just 'happened'. The one time I wasn't trying, the sound spontaneously erupted from somewhere within me. Wow, I love moments like those.

I then had a lovely flute lesson, and between lesson and trio practice (which was also wonderful and such a hoot), Jenni suggested we walk down to the coffee shop! Ah! Of course! So we walked down and went into this cute little wool shop and looked at all sorts of knitt-y and crochet-ish things, and popped into the coffee shop (where I didn't get a coffee: hazelnut steamed milk...mmmm) and promptly walked back with our drinks. She kept insisting I take a piece of her tart. You won, Jen. :P

That 10 minute excursion grew me up too. I know I'm 15, and I don't claim to be adult yet at all--I wouldn't want to be!--but I can walk down the street with an adult that's not my parent, and it's okay, it's...normal.

I'm not grown up yet--give me a few more years--but I'm growing up, and this week I took a little leap. Six months or a year ago I would have been scared out of my skin to go on my own to an odd little island where I could meet any sort of people, but I did it! I boarded that ferry with none but a tad of nervousness, and when I saw the beauty around me, it faded away. I was confident. Would I have been truly comfortable wandering down a little alley with an adult who wasn't my own parent a year ago? Would I have felt free to accept that piece of tart? I don't know. I really don't know, but I did it yesterday!!!

What amazing gifts God gives us! I thank Him for those moments, those excursions, those revelations from Him of what He has accomplished in me. They make the small things look so much more significant don't they? What better time to notice the small things than at Christmastime, when the most precious small thing--our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ--entered the world in a small stable in a small town in the middle of nowhere. That, my friend is love. That small babe who lay in the dirt and smell of an ox's stall lay there because He loved you.



Next time a small but amazing thing comes your way, one that simply knocks your socks off and maybe even grows you up a bit, think of that little child. The price He paid was paid for you.

May you have a blessed Christmastime!

Sheila

Is Christmas really coming?


Merry Christmas! It's that time of the year again, isn't it? This week is the first week of advent, and we've been enjoying reading Tabitha's Travels again this year. We light the candle(s) on Sunday evenings and enjoy that and some scripture reading together. It is so lovely! Above is a picture of our advent wreath this year, isn't it beautiful? The branches are real, as are the pine cones on it (the tree we got the branches from was laden with pine cones). Natural decoration!

I love considering the fact that last year, and for the next couple years now, I will be about the same age that Mary was when she bore Jesus. It is such an amazing fact to think about! I plan to memorize the Magnificat this year, and really play into the part of Mary. After reading God Called a Girl - How Mary Changed her World and You Can Too, I found that I could truly identify with her. What an amazing miracle she was chosen to take part in. She really was 'an instrument in Christ's hands', wasn't she? I want to play into that part more this season too.

I have a surprise or two coming! I am considering perhaps hosting a draw this Christmas! If any of you have a suggestion for a really special Christ/Christmas related prize, please comment and let me know. Your comment with the prize suggestion will NOT be published (to keep it a secret!), so if you have something to say other than a suggestion, (which I'd love!) please make a separate comment. Otherwise I have to cut and paste everything else you said into an 'anonymous' comment with your name at the bottom. I am thinking along the lines of either a craft, craft kit, book, something along those lines, but not necessarily that. You would all have a chance to enter your names! When the time comes, I will enter your name twice if you mention the contest on your blog, or I know you so well that I love you tons and just can't help but enter your name twice. :P

I'm also working on 'decorating' the blog a bit. If you see some weird, random words or bits of HTML strewn around here the next couple days, you know what's going on. I just can't get some things to work. If you're really spiffy with HTML, comment, and let me know. I may need you!

[UPDATE ON THE DECORATION: I've added my favourite snowflake making site up in the top right hand corner of my blog, above the 'about me' bit. :) Who knows what 'Popular Front' is, (looks weird to me), but the snowflake thing is really lovely. You can look at and comment on other people's snowflakes, and make your own very easily, so it's a lot of fun. Check it out!]

So, with that, a very hearty and completely politically incorrect MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all. May you have a fantastic rest of the first week of advent. :)

God bless,
Sheila
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