Category Archives: Story Times

My Brother, Jeremy

Jeremy Wolff is an astounding human being. For eighteen years, I’ve had a front row seat to watch him grow and mature into the dashing individual he is today. To be quite honest, I don’t think my family was sure we were ever going to get to the point where we are right now. A lot of people told my parents that Jeremy was probably never going to be able to talk in full sentences, let alone graduate from high school. Well, he proved them all wrong, because if you’ve ever had a conversation with him about something he’s passionate about, you know that he has no problem talking anyone and everyone’s ear off.

To give you some background, when my brother was in preschool, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s and ADHD. In today’s modern medical world, Asperger’s now just falls on the Autism Spectrum. According to Autism Speaks, the disorder can be defined as, “a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.” For the first few years of Jeremy’s verbal communication, he would only mimic what other people said instead of having his own original thoughts to add to conversations. He also had a very hard time putting on weight and was tiny until we discovered how many allergies he had. When we were in stores, we would always make a run for it when we heard a musical baby toy go off because the high pitched noise would make Jeremy cry. These are just a few examples of the obstacles Jeremy has overcome. With the help of many amazing people, especially my mom, he learned to communicate, finally grew, and learned how to cope with the frustrations around him.

We recently celebrated Jeremy’s high school graduation, and I shared two things I had learned from being his big sister. The first is the importance of being willing to slow down. While Jeremy and I are siblings, we are polar opposites. I am the type of person to plan their life three months in advance because I am always on the go. I’m also the kind of person who likes things to be done quickly. With Jeremy, I’ve learned that it’s not only okay but good to slow down for others. Taking an extra ten seconds to further explain something or listen to someone’s excited rant is not the end of the world. In fact, it might open your eyes up to a bigger world around you.

The second lesson I’ve learned is to never judge a book by it’s cover. Yes I know, it’s an old cliche, but it is so true. There are so many times that Jeremy was dismissed for one reason or another, and so many people have missed out on the chance to get to know him. Multiple times over the course of my college experience I have been quick to judge others by their outward appearance and first impression, along with the opinions of others. However, time and time again, when I took the time to slow down and really get to know certain people, I kicked myself for being so quick to judge. There’s a bible verse that Jeremy and I both learned in Awana that says, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” This was God talking to Samuel, who was trying to figure out which of Jesse’s sons to anoint as the next king of Israel. The most unlikely of the bunch was the one God chose, and the Shepherd David ended up being one of the greatest kings of Israel. Often times we move along with public opinion instead of forming our own. I cannot promise that I’ll never fall into the trap of jumping to a final opinion on a person too quickly ever again. However, from the experience of being Jeremy’s older sister, I can say I am getting better at treating everyone with the same amount of respect as I would like to have.

Jeremy is one funny dude. While he’s not a huge fan of photos, he has made many of our family photos experience quite hilarious. He’s also super passionate about his interests, and because of his love of talking about his favorite things, he does not know a stranger. This man can talk to anyone who knows how to hold a game controller or what an anime is for a good long while without getting tired of sharing his wealth of knowledge with them. If you wanna hear an amazing concert, just hang around our house for a bit, because you’ll end up hearing Jeremy’s amazing pipes from his bedroom. Most of all though, he’s the one boy who has been there through every heartbreak I’ve ever gone through. He’s the one who gives me his rare but blessed hugs when some guy has been dumb. He’s also one of the handful of people that has to approve any romantic relationship I have. If Jeremy approves, then I must have made a decent choice. To tack on, Jay is a total stud and any lady would be lucky to do on a date with this handsome man.

I won’t lie and say Jeremy and I are the best of friends. We bicker every other day and drive each other nuts. I irritate him and he irritates me. At the end of the day though, I know that the boy that lives down the hall from me is one of the biggest blessings God has given me. The hours we’ve spent watching Gravity Falls or quoting the Julian Smith “Hot Cool Aid video” are memories I will treasure forever. Jeremy has overcome so much and I know he will live a full life in the years to come. I am so grateful to have such a smart, funny, good-looking little brother, and I wouldn’t trade him or the lessons he’s taught me for anything in the world. As my mom says often, when you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. No two cases are ever the same, and no person with autism is just, “that autistic kid.” People are not labels. Never underestimate a person just because they are different from you. You might find you can learn a thing or two from them!

 

Until Next Time,

Abby                   

 

My Top Five Stage Injuries (As of March 2019)

I have found throughout my experience of almost twelve years doing live performances on stage year-round that I am a very sturdy human. More often than not, I end runs of shows with multiple bruises and a few good stories. Most recently, I closed “Little Women,” in which I got to portray Amy March (check out my most recent post for more insight). Out of all the roles I’ve played, I didn’t expect the scariest injuries I’ve ever gotten on stage to come from this one. After almost losing my right eye in the middle of Act 1, I thought it would be fun to go back and tell some my “battle” stories. So, here are my Top Five Scariest Injuries in my Acting Career (thus far).

Honorable Mentions:
“Narnia”: While doing a stage combat workshop for the giant battle at the end of the show, little Abby got smacked in the face by a very thin, metal pole of a sword.

Stage Combat Punches to the Face: One when I was playing Fred Weasley in a combat workshop, one when my scene partner was on top of me and did not aim well (or aimed a little too well I suppose), and once when I was 18 and a 14 year old uppercut my jaw. The 14 year old cried more than I did; it was funny.

Sword on hand: I don’t remember what summer it was, but one year, the skin between my thumb and pointer finger on my right hand got nipped by a sword during a rehearsal. I’ve still got a scar.

5) “Alice” – Abby’s Head vs. the Concrete
Middle school was when I really started getting into stage combat. We were doing a reimagined/modern version of Alice in Wonderland, and I was playing the Unicorn. Now, the Unicorn and the Lion come on stage while fighting each other, and the main character interrupts us. We help her figure out how to get home, blah blah blah…that’s not important.
My dear friend Brooke and I were trying to figure out a cool fight to do for our scene. Our dance room in the church we rehearsed in had very hard concrete floors, so everyone was pretty careful when they were in there. However, while trying to work out a lift, Brooke accidentally flipped me backwards, causing my head to crash super hard into the ground. This is the first time in my life that I’m pretty sure I got a concussion, but didn’t go to the doctor for it. Hindsight…probably should have. I had quite a large lump on the back of my skull for about a week. Thank goodness this was not on stage.
4) “Mulan”- Abby’s Shin vs. the Mountain
This next memory is one that happened on stage, but not during a performance. During my junior year of high school, I got to play my favorite/the best Disney princess ever. Our set was absolutely incredible: it was basically a huge mountain. It was about eight feet tall and had a bunch of levels so that we could have a lot of variation in blocking. Shout out to the parents who put together that beast.
During one of the first tech rehearsals, I was running up the mountain to save Shang from dying, as princesses do. This was at a time in my life where I was a lot more klutzy, and my foot slipped on the edge of one of the levels. My body went flying forward, and my shin connected HARD with the step. I still have a scar from the dent that was put into my leg, and I was always slightly nervous about staying on my feet during that scene.

3) “Little Women”- Abby’s Head vs. the Couch
These last three incidents were things that happened during a performance. In other words, large crowds of people witnessed these occasions. Imagine if you will; it’s opening night of the first musical you’ve performed in for over a year. You’re playing a very dramatically bratty character who often throws temper tantrums on stage. During one of these fits, you are blocked to fling yourself backwards onto a couch. Well, during the first time you have an audience to watch the show, your head connects very hard with the wooden beam of the arm rest on the couch. And let me tell you, the THUD is quite loud.

I’m pretty sure this is the first time I have actually heard an audience collectively exclaim, “oooooo” all that once. I could see the eyebrows of my music director, who was in the pit, almost fly off of his forehead. It is by the grace of God that my head hit at the fluffiest part of my wig and right where my braids were hanging out underneath my wig cap. If I had hit my head a little bit lower, things could have been a lot worse and much, much scarier. Good thing I have a thick skull!
2) “West Side Story”- Abby’s Foot (and the rest of her body) vs. the Fence
If you don’t know me in real life, let me paint a picture for you of what I look like: I’m five feet tall. That’s about all you need to know for this story. During my senior year of high school, I was playing a dream role of seven years: Anybody’s in West Side Story. Hanging out with some of my best bros, getting to dance and fight was extremely fun. Another thing that I got to do as this character was scale a 6 and a half foot chain link fence. While this was fun, it also was kind of terrifying every night, and sometimes impossible for me (which was SUPER embarrassing).
Whenever we jumped off the fence, we were told to jump forward a bit so as not to land on the “sidewalk” (a six inch platform on the stage). On one of the nights that I actually got over the fence, the arch of my foot landed on the edge of the sidewalk, causing a shock of pain to shoot up my leg. Luckily, it was a scene where I was supposed to be scared to death, so I was able to sort of play it off. At intermission, Officer Keary (one of my friend’s dad who is a police officer as well as a parent who is supportive of their child’s theatrical experiences) wrapped my foot, since the shock had left my ankle really sore. There was no visible mark left over, but man was that ankle sore for a bit.

1) “Little Women”- Abby’s eye vs. the Ice Skate
Again, I didn’t think that my scariest injury on stage would be during a show like Little Women, but alas, here we are. It’s the second to last show, and I am going through the scene in which I hit my head the week before. For some reason, my shoe is slightly loose, and for some other reason, I have a very difficult time getting the ice skates out of the box that they are set in. You would think that this would be the moment that an ice skate would fly up and hit someone in the eye, but oh no no, that’s not how my life works. I run over to my pal Libby, give her my sister stage hug, and then dash over to the coat rack that has my cape and bonnet. As I reach up for these props, the back corner of the ice skate swings up and smacks me in the eye. I half stumble off stage, dropping off the props as nicely as I could while also grabbing at my throbbing face. I feel a slightly squishy thing in the palm of my hand, and my first thought is, “oh man, is this part of my eye in my hand?” It wasn’t. It was just my contact. So, over the course of three minutes, the backstage team gets me contact solution, I miraculously get the tiny piece of plastic back into my eye, and get carried on stage for a scene in which I am crying after a near death experience. My mom just thought I really connected with the character that evening. I’ve never seen my peers that shocked on stage while still staying in character. It was super helpful to be able to actually cry during the scene, and you’d be amazed what performance energy can do for you when you have to do a happy-go-lucky production number.
After finishing my Act 1 scenes, I go downstairs, peel off my wig and curl up in Sweet Ben’s lap, waiting for one of the amazing ASMs, Elizabeth, to show up to clean my war torn eye. At this point, I’m laughing and making jokes already, and I think some of my peers thought I was a nut. Miss Elizabeth has excellent bedside manner and did a great job of doctoring the cut that was just below my eye and on my eyelid. Again, it is by the grace of God that injury was not so much scarier than it could have been. The next day, our stage manager asked me to keep cleaning the mess over the course of the day so as to prevent infection (because you can’t really put a bandaid on an eye). Me, trying to be tough or whatever, tried to clean it by myself, but ended up getting alcohol in my eye, which was quite counter productive. It was because of this that Ben ended up with the job of not only cleaning my eye every day, but also remembering/talking me into doing it. You can’t blame me for “forgetting”…it stung, okay! I didn’t like it. (However, it’s a week after that scare and the cut is almost completely healed. Huzzah for modern medicine and kind souls who are gentle and helpful.)

 
The biggest thing I have come to learn from all these injuries and every other bump and bruise I’ve gotten as a performer is to always get back up. You can’t let a misfortune scare you off from doing your best at your craft. To be completely honest, I’m sort of glad in a way to have dealt with these situations. They have made me stronger not only physically, but mentally as well. While I hope to not deal with anything more serious than I’ve already dealt with, I am grateful for the painful times that have helped me grow into a more resilient human being.

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

Strategic Lack of Effort

You sit around the war room table, ill-prepared for the battles that are about to take place. The leader of one of the neighboring factions reads the rules of warfare to the collective of five divisions. None of you fully understand these mysterious words that are being read, but you feel as if you get the gist of it and cautiously begin your mission to secure borders.

The war begins at a slow pace. The four men you are plotting against claim their territories, while you, the only female, quickly secure what used to be known as South America. You observe as battles break out in the old European territories. One faction leader in particular (a boisterous, bearded fellow who gets quite excited when he wins) seems to be unstoppable. His mark of purple terror spreads like wildfire. You realize that he must be stopped, no matter what the cost.

You send your troops north to invade North American territories, as well as to the east to join the effort in toppling the purple army. You try to defeat the lone soldier, Reginald, in Southern Europe, but have the worst luck you’ve ever seen in battle and lose three men, causing you to retreat. Some battles are successful, others devastating. No matter how the battles turn out though, the bearded general cannot seem to be thwarted by any of the other faction leaders.

Throughout the war, you form a quiet alliance with the dashing leader of the mechanical army to your right. You move past the fact that you tried to slay his prized commander, Reginald, knowing that you must stop the nonsensical violence. As battles rage on, the two of you work together to strategize the demolishment of the tank battalion. While your comrade keeps the enemy at bay, you successfully take over the North American base. Both you and the awkward, new age Nazi leader are now head to head in the race to end the war. The fate of the free world hangs in the balance.

You study the lay of the land to find the best way to victory. You realize that if that you can claim the European headquarters, you can resolve the mindless bloodshed. But, it is your ally’s base that you must invade. In a moment of bluntness, you exclaim, “If you let me conquer you, we can beat Jon!” You don’t necessarily process how odd this sentence is; you are hyper focused on winning this war.

The leader of the mechanical army agrees to your master plan. Through a blatant lack of effort, your comrade loses his headquarters to you, even while the other generals shout at him to not let his biases blind him to the end goal. The end goal though has become larger than the individual: everyone’s mission is to defeat the Nazis. After hours of struggle, you have won the war. You sign the peace treaty, but prepare yourself for the next war that will inevitably break out again in the foreseeable future.

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(Haven’t written in second person in a hot second, so I thought I’d give it a try. This was from a riveting game of Risk: Legacy that was played very late at night with my boyfriend and his roommates. Not gonna lie, was very proud of myself for winning the first of fifteen wars that will be fought over the rest of this semester, even though I thoroughly embarrassed myself with my outbursts. While the future wars are unclear, one thing is certain: we can never let Jon win. Stay tuned for possible new story times.)

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

Thoughts on Twilight…About Ten Years Late

“There’s things you don’t do after a break up: 1) Start doing drugs 2) Start smoking                       3) Read f***ing Twilight.” -A dear friend of mine in the middle of a snow storm

 

Unless you were living under a rock in the mid-2000’s, you probably heard the term, “twilight” thrown around all the time. It wasn’t because society had suddenly found interest in this specific time of day; it was due to the wild popularity of Stephenie Meyer’s romance series Twilight that had recently begun being adapted to film. I was ten years old when the first film was released, but I remember clearly my middle school friends all gawking and fangirling over either the guy who played the vampire or the guy who played the werewolf as the movies gained popularity. Fast forward to my almost 21-year-old self, who has just recently completed the book series and has a few thoughts on this polarizing saga.

48406840_1926730457443444_6715674713009422336_nFirst though, a bit more background. I grew up in a Christian household with loving parents who knew I was an avid reader that inhaled stories. However, as Meyer’s books began to rise in the ranks of pop culture, so did the Christian Blogger Moms rise to write against the story. The wrote posts saying that people shouldn’t be reading these books because they had *gasp* vampires in them (sparkly ones at that). My mom, wanting to do her best for her dorky middle schooler, didn’t let me read the book series. Personally, I had no problems with this. I wasn’t into romance and was more interested in my growing love for Star Wars. Ironically, after letting me read all the Left Behind books (which by the way, REALLY INTENSE), my parents allowed me to read Harry Potter as I would avoid reading the vampire books. So I guess, Thanks Stephenie, cause I really like the child wizard books.

IMG_3785.JPGRecently though, my mom decided to start listening to Twilight books on the Libby app, which is this nifty little thing that my local library is linked through. After listening to her talk about them for a few weeks, I rolled my eyes and started reading the first book before bed. Now, let me remind you all I am a full time college student and was working three jobs at the time when I started reading this, so it wasn’t until about two weeks after starting the book that I was able to focus on it over Thanksgiving Break. I had a long car ride and was able to finally get the idea as to why so many people liked the series. In an odd way, the mediocre romance between the klutzy human girl and the attractive vampire dude was fun and a way to let my brain relax and enjoy reading for fun again, which I haven’t gotten to do in a hot minute.

As finals creeped closer and life kept throwing massive curve balls at me, I began listening to the audio books for the last three books. Let me tell you, when you’re spending hours on end at a computer animating or walking about a half mile to the fine arts building every day, it’s nice to have an engaging story to listen to through the day. Over the course of three weeks, I managed to complete the series and I can honestly say I don’t feel like I wasted brain cells on these books. Yes, the writing isn’t the greatest; we all know this. But it was fun and something I was able to use as an escape from what seemed to be constant chaos around me. And a lot of fun things came from me reading the books in my relationships.

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  • I was able to bond with my roommate over how frustrated I would get over fictional characters.
  • I was able to make one of my buddies laugh many times with my overview of the series.
  • My suite mates watched the first movie with me the day before a much needed snow day, and enjoyed a lovely pizza night while watching New Moon.
  • Making observations with my parents on the films, such as, “Wow, that CGI wolf truly is a better actor than the actual guy.”

 

Twilight is not a masterpiece. However, the themes of sacrificial love and the power a woman has truly were inspiring to both read and watch on screen. Granted, I am thankful I did not read these in my formative years. The obsessive love between Edward and Bella is *not* healthy in the dating stage of a relationship. Our culture is saturated with the idea of the “perfect partner.” Think of Jim in the hit TV show, The Office. He’s the dream guy, right? He’s funny, cute, charming, smart, chases after the girl he’s in love with… and has a script. People don’t talk like they do on screen or in books. There are times when we can get caught up in looking for the picture perfect match when we really need to be searching for the other flawed human being that can weather the storms of life with you faithfully. However, the love that Edward and Bella share is a love that should be strived for with your spouse. While it takes time to achieve, this love comes after intentionally learning the other person, through better or worse. On top of all this, Bella is not a damsel in distress. In all four books, she is the hero who always puts the needs of others above her own. She and Edward complement one another, working as a team when things get tough, but in Meyer’s narrative, the author shines a light on how powerful a woman can be. I feel that the books do a wonderful job of showing that a woman can be powerful while also working alongside a man, which is how God intended us to function in our married lives.

There’s so many more words I could write about this series, but I will choose to leave it here for now: a fun adventure I dove into during a hard time in my life. And hey, finding biblical truths from books about blood sucking dudes that sparkle in the sunlight? Not a bad way to spend Christmas break. Twilight made me excited about reading again, and I look forward to spending more time enjoying a pastime that has shaped me into the person I am today.  

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

 

P.S. Alice is the best character in the whole dang series and I will fight anyone who tells me otherwise.

Sick Thoughts from January

Well hey, blog I haven’t touched in forever. How you doin’? I was looking through a different failed project and found this little diddy that I feel I need to reread over an over again so I don’t work myself to the point of this sickness again. I hope to be back in the blogging game for starting this month. There’s a lot to be said 🙂 Enjoy!

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Proof that I am alive ft. my Doggo and Bunny Filter Abby 

 

 

Having a doctor tell me that I need to actually rest for a few days is one of the worst things. I have stuff to do. I was supposed to teach 10 lessons today. I still ended up going to Black Box rehearsal tonight, even though my parents were very much against it. There are just certain things you have to do, right?

Okay, it’s not one of the worst things ever. Being prescribed laziness for a few days is probably what I need. BUT OH MY WORD, I HATE BEING LAZY. Letting my body heal is important, but I just wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better. Or if Bear would just tell me where that stupid time machine was, I could jump ahead to the “after” point of this sickness.

Literally, it feels like someone is tap dancing in my head. Maybe Maren got bored of my kitchen and decided to shrink down and tap dance on my brain. It’s to the point where my brain is so tired that I feel asleep, didn’t finish my train of thought, and decided to finish this page even though it’s the next day because I’m stubborn.

This honestly is the best week for me to be sick. I don’t HAVE to teach (even though I really want to because money), and classes don’t start until next Tuesday. There have been times where friends have told me to learn to “go with the flow” and just let things happen at times. It can be hard having easy going friends at times, because they function better when there aren’t plans. I, on the other hand, need plans to function properly. It just how I’m wired. So, when something like this happens and I am in a position where I can’t have plans, it’s very weird.

You know what the weirdest thing about congestion is? When you’re so stuffed up in your ears that you can’t balance well. Like, God wired our bodies in a way that if one thing is off, it throws off the whole production. Ah, look at that, I’ve just confirmed the body of Christ. If one person is off their game, it can affect the other people around them that make up the Body. Neat how spiritual revelations can come like that.

Being forced to lay around is a good time. Being forced to lay around is a good time. Being forced to lay around is a good time. The more I say it to myself, the more I begin to believe it. I guess I have to look at it from the perspective that my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. I don’t think a temple should have snot all over the walls of it. In order to make it a place that is good for God to dwell in me, I need to take care of it and let it repair itself. Ha, that’s kind of a funny mental picture. Picture this: little men like the ones who worked in the temples in Jesus’s time going around my sinuses wiping off the gunk. Then there are a few others laying out blankets on my brain in hopes that I’ll fall asleep. Plus, there are a few others sending the vitamins and medicine I’ve taken to different parts of my body to try and heal it.

I’m glad God gave us a sense of humor. Some of us are gifted with more of it than others, but I’m glad that He created an overall idea of humor for us to enjoy, even when we feel like crap.

Face Painting in the Bathroom (A Romania Story)

As craziness has begun to settle around the Wolff Household, I have finally been able to sit down and process the experiences that I had while in Romania. There are so many stories I could tell about this trip, and this one was probably one of my favorite moments from my time over seas.

The city we spent the most time in is called Serverin. During our second day of ministry, we served at our host missionary’s church: painting rooms in their family home, playing games with kids at the church’s carnival, and attending the evening church service. It had been a very eventful day, including:

*Learning that Logan isn’t the greatest painter ever

*Eating baked Chocolate Banana Boats (the best dessert ever invented)

*Watching Alishia get painted by two very artistic kiddos

*Hearing a mandolin orchestra play worship songs

* Getting to share bible stories with the help of very awesome translators (shout out to Sammy who helped me, even when I said Lazarus raised Jesus from the dead)

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Thanks for translating, Sammy!

After the church service, we got ready to load the bus to head into the city for dinner before going back to our hotel. I ran to the bathroom to change into different clothes, where I saw two girls, Dariah and Ava, washing their faces off. They were big fans of the face paint (and were the two that had painted Alishia). Before I could slip into one of the stalls, Dariah came up to me, holding one of the face painting pallets. Not knowing any English, she pointed to her cheek. I quickly painted a heart, with Ava leaning over my shoulder to see what I was doing. Once I finished my work, I pointed to the mirror and gave her a thumbs-up to get her approval.

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Ava and Dariah

To my slight disappointment, she shook her head. She then pointed to her forehead, nose, chin, and other cheek, and Ava laughed and laughed. One heart was not good enough, no sir! You have to have five to complete the look! As I was finishing my masterpiece, some of my friends went in and out, trying to stifle laughs at the ridiculous sight of me face-painting in a church bathroom, but I was having fun, and so were the girls (even though I really wanted to change my jeans and had to go).

Once Dariah was done, she pulled Ava in front of me, and pointed to all five spots on her face again. I did the same paint job, and afterwords, she ran out of the bathroom, looking for her mother. Dariah stayed behind though, and pointed to my wrist. I have a habit of drawing a little cross on my wrist; it’s a tattoo I want to get someday. She said the word for “Christ” in Romanian, and used some of the green face paint to add a tint of color over it. She then tried to draw a few lines on my palm with the green, but it wasn’t showing up very well. I took my black pen out of my pocket and handed it to her. After redirecting her from drawing on my face, she drew a little snowflake on my wrist, saying “Elsa” once she was done. Frozen creates international connections. I hugged her goodbye and joined my group on the bus, treasuring that special time.

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Ava ran off before I got a good selfie with the two of them 😛

While sitting on the bus on the way to get dinner, I thought about how special kids are. It’s amazing to get to connect with kids, especially in a different country where you can’t even understand their language. It was almost shocking to me how trusting they were of us. They had never met us. They had no idea what our lives were like. They had no reason to love us. But they did. Oh my goodness, these kids knew how to love. It was like how God loves us. We gave God absolutely no reason to love us. In fact, we were His enemy. But because of His amazing love, He sent Jesus to build a bridge for us to be able to live in His perfect love. This trip made me better understand the unconditional love that God has for us, and to be able to see the attribute of God being reflected through the people we met was life changing.

Our team went to try and be a blessing to the people of Romania, but in truth, I feel like they were more of a blessing to us. I’m so thankful for the huge moments that God revealed Himself, and for the little, precious memories that I will keep in my heart forever. And, in case you were wondering, no, I never did get a chance to change my jeans 😛

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My cross, Dariah’s snowflake, and a leftover Batman symbol. Reminders of a great day in Severin 🙂 

Until Next Time,

Abby

 

 

Redoing Homework

I am now in full swing at school, which means homework. It’s not super terrible stuff, but my literature class takes a little bit more time than other classes have in the past. So, today, I did my homework in the office of the art lab, planning to print it out there so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it at home. Well, due to the the annoying fact that school computers are the not the most reliable machines to store homework on, when I went to the library to print it out, the file was gone. Nowhere to be found, even though I saved it three times. Needless to say, I was a little less than thrilled.

Obviously, there’s a chance that I made a mistake when I was trying to save the file, but this isn’t the first time this has happened to me at school. Also,saving files is a habit now. I’ve been doing it since elementary school. It’s been engraved into my brain for the last ten years how to save a Word document, so I don’t know how I screwed it up on the computer at my college. Due to the file running away at school, I had to come home and redo the work, which was frustrating, since I had spent an hour and a half at school getting it done the first time. It’s done and printed out, ready for my class tomorrow morning, but as I reflect on the day, I have come to some conclusions.

My day was pretty swell up until 4:30 when the fiasco with my homework happened. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have two art classes, and it’s wonderful. I had worked on two projects that day in Design and Painting, and had gotten some really great feedback from my teachers.

After Paris

“After Paris” My line project for Design Project

Monocromatic Painting WIP

“Peach and Flower Still Life” WIP of my first oil painting

I let lost homework almost ruin my entire day. Something that took me only 30 minutes to redo almost messed up six hours of awesome studio time and meeting new people. Often times, I let little things screw up the good things that are going on in my life, and that’s something I’m working hard to fix.

Sometimes, things go wrong. It’s inevitable. But the way that we choose to handle those situations is up to us. God doesn’t ever give us anything that we can’t handle, and through the sucky times in life, He is always there to carry us through them. He cares about every part of our lives, and He wants to helps us through our trails, even if they are smaller ones, like having to redo homework. He doesn’t get mad when we get upset, in fact, those are the times when we can draw closer to Him.

So, what have I learned from today?

  1. I need to put a flash drive on my lanyard and use it all the time.
  2. I need to take my laptop with me to school to avoid the school PCs.
  3. Having to redo homework is not the end of the world (even though it really sucks)

Until next time,

Abby

Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Everyone has dreams and goals. Some are smaller, like learning to juggle or beating a really tough level on a video game. Others are larger, like finishing college with honors or back packing through Europe for a summer. Dreams are awesome, and goals drive us to work harder to achieve them. Even though they may seem like something that we could never reach, we still have them in our heads, and imagine what it would be like if they really came true.

Meet Suz.

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I’ve known Suz for about six years now, and she has come to be the big sister I never had. She’s one of those people that can light up a room and makes you feel special. At the age of 16, she started college at a school three hours away from home after being homeschooled her whole life. She has gone on a mission trip to Japan, ministering through musical theater, something that she has been doing for years, someday wants to return. Suz is one of the most godly women I have ever met, and one of the most driven people I know. She is also one of the biggest Disney Nerds I have ever met.

Tomorrow, she will be on her way to the Disney College Program in Orlando to work as a Character Actor at Disney World. Working for Disney has been one of Suz’s dreams for a very long time, and now, she’s getting to live out that dream. But she wouldn’t have gotten to start this adventure if she hadn’t done some work to get there. She had to have good grades throughout college, go through a long application process, and then attend an eight hour audition to be a character. Plus, she has to pack up her life and move across the country and not come home until January.

Dreams are great, but dreams don’t come true just by wishing. Most of the time, you have to work hard to reach them(just ask Princess Tiana). Princess-and-the-frog-disneyscreencaps.com-799

But hard work shouldn’t scare you off from what you want to do, especially when you feel that it is your calling. A lot of the times, it’s going to be rough getting to the finish line, but you shouldn’t give up on your dreams just because it’s too hard, or it’s not “practical”. God didn’t make us to be lazy and just float through life; He made us to thrive.

cinderella1With anything you do, use it to serve God and others. You were made for incredible things, so don’t be afraid to chase after your dreams. It may take a lot of work, and it may take longer than you want it too, but the end game will be worth it. It’s hard to see her leave, but I am so happy that my friend is getting to do what she’s wanted to do for such a long time. Suz, I wish you the best as you travel to Disney World and start this new phase in your life, and I can’t wait to see what you do down there. Thanks for being such a great role model and being the sister I always wanted 🙂

Until next time,

Abby

Check out Suz’s youtube channel with video updates about her time in Orlando! https://www.youtube.com/user/SuzMelton

Story Time: Banners and Spilled Creamer

This past Thursday, I was the banner carrier for my branch of local colleges at their graduation ceremony. Along with four other people who weren’t graduating this year, we represented our respective schools while our peers graduated. I had to be at the auditorium at 10am to “rehearse”, and was stuck there for two hours. After that whole ordeal, I went to lunch with my CAB adviser and two guys who are very chatty about college plans. While I love talking to people, the best part of my day were the next two hours.

My dad works right down the street from where I had lunch, so instead of my mom having to drive up again to get me, he picked me up and I went back to his office. We hung out for a little while, but since he had a meeting, I ended up walking over to the shopping center across the street. It’s super cool how you can get there; the city has a bunch of “links” between buildings so that you can walk from place to place above the traffic. I wandered around the different levels for the next few hours, visiting a few of my favorites: the Crayola Store, the fudge factory and a really neat boutique that has a lot of artsy clothing. My final stop was on the third floor, which had a really cool coffee bar.

After looking over the menu, I went up to order. Apparently, the espresso machine wasn’t working, because my first two orders were not availble. The girl who was taking my order looked like I was going to yell at her or something, but I got a regular cup of coffee and all was good. I parked myself at the bar and started sketching. I like my coffee super blonde, so I asked for an extra cup of cream. Not really paying attention, I didn’t realize that my phone was in the way of the girl putting the cup of cream on my side of the counter. Neither one of us was able to see it until it was too late; the little cup spilled all over my place mat,  phone cased and sketch book. At this point, the barista looked like she was going to cry. She was apologizing profusely, trying to wipe up as much as she could. Now, some people might have freaked out at her, especially with a soaked sketchbook, but it was easy to clean, and wasn’t worth yelling at another human about.

After the spill, I ended up chatting with the bar tender. She opened up and was really friendly. We talked about school and art and coffee, and she was a lot more relaxed. When I left, I wondered how often this woman had to deal with rude customers. I know from personal experience that the food service industry is not the most fun job. Whenever you are short with a stranger, it could effect them for the rest of their day. Sometimes we forget that other people have the same feelings that we do; they have good days and bad days. I’m sure you’ve had a day where someone ruined it by a mean comment. You don’t know how other people’s lives are going. A cashier might be going slow because they are experiencing a lot of physical pain. A waiter might be forgetful because they have a lot going on in their mind. There are many times in life where you have the choice to give people grace or tear them down.

My encounter with the coffee lady was a short part of my day, but days after it I’m still thinking about it. I hope that next time you deal with a difficult situation with a stranger that you’ll realize that you aren’t the only one who has bad days. Maybe they’re having a rough time, and you can be the person to brighten it.

Until next time,

Abby