• test the spirits •

• College • Friends • Food • Job • House • Fashion •

These are just some of the areas in which we need to make decisions. But how do we make them? How do we know when they’re right?

A few years ago, I attended a Sunday service held by Sarah‘s dad, who is the pastor of her church. I stumbled upon my notes from his sermon and found so much truth in those words. We read 1 John 4 that day and I recommend you do as well. There is so much hope, truth, love, and words of advice in those few pages.

I’d like to share my notes from Mr. Wragg’s sermon and thank him again for speaking on this when he did.

• test the spirits •

>> Don’t believe every spirit. <<

>> Test the spirits to know if they are truly from God. <<

>> Do not be gullible + naive. <<

>> Be skeptical + stubbornly resistant of new “truths”. <<

>> Verify this new “truth” + weigh it out. <<

>> Study this new “truth” to make sure it aligns with the teachings of the Bible and Church. <<

>> Reject every idea that falls short of the Truth. <<

>> Abstain from every form of evil. <<

>> Know that false prophets will be very popular and influential. <<

>> Remember: Jesus, Peter, Paul, and John all said false prophets would come. <<

> How to know if a spirit is of God: <<

>Answer:<

1) Is Jesus confessed/acknowledged?

2) Does this work present a greater sense of movement [toward Christ]?

3) Does this work/teaching give us a greater desire to be like Christ?

4) Does this idea/work give me a desire to be where Jesus is?

5) Does this message create within me a desire for the Word of Christ?

>> We need to be concerned with holiness; not wild, secular passions. <<

>> Jesus needs to be more regularly proclaimed. <<

//I feel like He is now. In such dark times as these, where Jesus is cast aside by this culture of death, we are made stronger by the temptations we say no to. We are made stronger by the grace of God. Embrace it, dear heart. And if you can’t, but want to want to, pray for the grace, as I do, to have the courage + wisdom + strength to accept His mercy and love.//

This life is short. The harmful and damaging things we enjoy now will pass away. But we never will. We are immortal by design. How do you want to spend eternity?

It’s a choice.

One we all must make.

One we do make with every decision.

I pray for the grace that we may have the courage, wisdom, and strength to make the right ones.

Love always,

Rana

P.S.

I have a favor to ask. I’m applying for a scholarship and would love your help and support. It takes next to no time and would have a lasting effect if I got it. Here is the link. It takes next to no time (30 seconds, tops, but should be around 15  + another 5 to share)! Promise. 😉

Thank you eternally for your help in advance. x0x0

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• dual enrollment: what it is + why you should do it •

Once upon a time, I was a freshman in high school.

I hated life + I hated school.

But I repeat myself.

Ten to eleven hours a day was spent on getting school assignments done and just trying to stay on pace. I cried when my mother tore me away from my computer to take a break because I was terrified of getting behind. Breakfast, lunch, dinner – all my meals were eaten as I did schoolwork. Sleep was a thing of the past, the shadow of a memory; and the lack of it took form as the shadows beneath my bloodshot eyes.

But the summer after 9th grade, I took a course with the local college and thus began my journey as a dual (dually?) enrolled student.

I strongly support and encourage this method of learning for a few reasons.

• dual enrollment: what it is + why you should do it •

• What is it? •

Dual enrollment is the ability to take college courses while in high school in place of high school courses. These classes also count as your college credits once you graduate.

• Why do it? •

• Academically:

  • You are expected to put forth the same amount of effort and quality work as your college-level peers. It’s great college-prep + very effective. Once you are actually a college student, you’ll be leagues ahead of everyone else because you already know how to study and what’s expected.
  • You’ll be ahead of your peers once you graduate high school. They’ll be learning what you learned one, two, three years ago. (You’ll be able to help them out too which makes for a great friend + person.)
  • You’ll be academically superior to your high school peers, not to mention that your weighted GPA will shoot right up if you get good grades (oh, hello, Scholarship City!).

• Financially

  • $0.00 because you’re in high school.
  • Come on. You’re going to college for free! College credits for free!
  • I’m on track for receiving my Associates Degree by the time I graduate high school next semester. Two years of college done and that’s saved me $10,711.

• Personally:

  • Dual enrolling reignited my passion for learning. It’s something new.
  • High school assignments just seem like a waste of time for me. It’s so much busy-work and not enough learning.
  • I enjoy the atmosphere. You see and meet all types. I also find that the students and professors are generally accepting and friendly.
  • If you’re homeschooled like me, it’s an excuse to dress up a bit and look nice for a couple days out of the week.
  • If you’re an introvert like me, you’ll get just enough socialization in.
  • It’s a great place to people-watch.
  • It’s a great atmosphere for writers. Like I said, you meet all types with all different stories.
  • You’re playing on a different level. You’re expected to. And you learn to. It’s all preparation for the next level.

• Is Dual Enrollment For Me/My Child? •

  • If they excel in their high school courses.
  • If they are bored or frustrated with the courses/assignments.
  • If they complain about the work being too easy or just “busy work”.
  • If they are mature enough to spend time with people  who are 18+.
  • If they know where they stand on fundamental issues/beliefs.
  • If you want to save money.

I’d say give it a shot no matter what. There are really no downsides (aside from the usual “new situation” + “people”).

God bless + love always,

Rana

 

 

• my tricks to (actually) get stuff done •

Hello, loves!

I have a few tricks for you today on (actually) getting stuff done. As a basically-college-student-in-high-school-with-a-massive-disorder  t e n d e n c y-towards-procrastination, getting stuff done is a pretty big thing. In fact, it’s to the point where, if I get one thing on my list done in a timely manner without procrastinating (or, at least, a minimal amount of it because, let’s be honest, procrastination is just a part of who I am now //thanks, high school//), I feel like I’ve earned some procrastinating time.

Yes. I’m that low. *hides face in shame, lives in an abandoned cave, adopts new life as a hermit*

But lately (the past two days +/- three and a half years), I’ve come to realize that there are a few things I can do that will guilt-trip motivate me into (actually) getting stuff done.

Note: I’m not using parentheses around my (actually’s) to kind of wink a ‘this-doesn’t-really-work-give-up-now’. I’m just trying to convey the point that… I’m (actually) getting stuff done.

Let’s get to it, shall we? My face will be assisting us.

• Trick #1: Find Yourself a Planner •

• how I trick myself into (actually) getting stuff done •

• I was chatting with the frabjous Mirriam Neal and she gave me advice we’d do well to remember: when filling out applications, you really need to sell yourself like an educational harlot // this mindset is the bomb diggity •

Not so I can plan all the stuff I want to do, but will never get done, and cry myself to sleep over because I can physically see what I should have but never accomplished and dream about said life as a hermit. No.

Why it works:

  • It organizes your brain.
  • You remember stuff before you forget. Mom told you to do the laundry? Write it down. Check your planner after two hours of scrolling through Pinterest and bam! I just saved your life/honor/cow’s honor/dignity/social life.
  • You get a sense of accomplishment when you check something off.
  • It creates a sense of urgency.

How to do it:

  • Either at night, or in the morning before you start your day, run through the list of things you need to get done and write them down.
  • You can also write down the things you need to get done for the week and just divvy it up by day.
  • When you remember something that needs doing, write it down.
  • Check your planner often – at least two or three times a day.
  • Don’t forget to check things off! It really feels good; plus, you can get creative with it too.

• Trick #2: Get the Hardest Thing Done First •

• get the hardest crap done first w/ help from noodles + chopsticks // it totally works •

• get the hardest crap done first with help from noodles + chopsticks + determination if you have it// this totally works//100% recommend •

Or the biggest task. Whichever you fancy.

Why it works:

  • The rest of the day feels a bit freed up. You got the biggest thing done; now the rest is a breeze.
  • If you get nothing else done, you did accomplish something big.

How to do it:

  • Prioritize!
  • And then get to do it.

• Trick #3: Know Thyself •

• say what •

• say what? // you serious? // yup. // 100% •

Get to know your energy cycle. Are you more of a morning-person (if you are, I’m shooting you a hard glare because you are not okay //but I still love you)? Get your tasks done then! More of a night owl (we can be better friends)? Make sure you get your stuff done at night. Afternoon kind-of-person? Start when you know it’s time!

Why it works:

  • You won’t be dragging at a time you’d rather be sleeping. Get stuff done when you’ve got energy.

How to do it:

  • Avoid distracting areas/people. Find an area that’s conducive to your studying (or whatever else you’re doing) vibe if you can. Then get your tasks done there!

• Trick #4: Headphones •

• I promise I wasn't trying to make a duck face. I was in a hallway at the college and it was awkward enough + my hair was on-point so •

• I promise I wasn’t trying to make a duck face. I was in a hallway at the college and posing for a picture with my planner + a computer on my lap was awkward enough; + my hair was on-point (as usual, I must confess) •

…are a blessing and a curse. They can help you zone in or give you more ways of procrastinating (stop clicking those Stephen Colbert show and K-Pop/J-Rock music video links//I’ll do it for the both of us).

Why it works:

  • You’re noise-distraction-free. You’re in your zone. Hooray!

How to do it:

  • Find a study playlist. Spotify has great options (//bless you, Spotify). Listen to it and only it. I’m just as interested in new music as you are; but we are stronger than our feelings (*channels some mentally strong book/film character and listens to only lyric-less music*).

I would tell you to ask someone to hold you accountable, but I don’t do that. I’m a very private person and don’t like anyone up in my business. But if that’s your style, go for it!

I hope this helps!

Love always,

Rana

P.S.

I wish the happiest of birthdays to my favorite cousin on her 13th birthday. You will do amazing things in your life if you only strive to become better than who you were yesterday. You will do amazing things if you trust in God and align your will to His. His plan is perfect. // Life’s not easy. It never will be. But we can get through it. We are warriors, you and I. And we will fight to be our best selves. You’re the strongest person I know. One of the funniest. And you are my cousin. What a thought… ❤

• mini cake •

• Sorry the cake didn’t turn out well; it was pretty though! •