How Writing has Benefited Me

Hey guys! Here's a guest post from a young writer, Jewel Dodgson. 
 
Hey! My name is Jewel Dodgson and I am 14-years-old. I have seven siblings, five sisters and two brothers. I recently moved to Tennessee seven months ago. A few of my favorite things to do in my spare time are reading, writing, and exploring the beautiful outdoors.

When I first started writing I was 12. I was writing school essays and short stories. I thought they were boring and annoying to write. Then I got an assignment to write a creative and descriptive essay. It took me about 2 days until I found a topic to write on. I was sitting at my desk in my room when BOOM! An idea hit me in the head and I ran to the get my laptop and started to type away as fast as I could.

When I started typing that essay, I realized that writing can be a whole lot of fun! That was when the door of creative writing was opened. When I found out about creative writing, I started to enjoy writing school papers. I began to see writing as a fun thing to do instead of a chore. Once I found out I actually liked writing, I started to put my thoughts on paper and started my own story. I found out that it’s a lot of fun to use my imagination to write!

  Writing has helped me to put my thoughts into words, and words on to paper. It has also helped me with communication. In the years to come, I hope to become a better writer and to explore all the different writing techniques and finish the book that I am currently writing.

Jewel with an 8 lb carp she caught in the Holsten River. 
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Counting it All Joy

  Counting it All Joy – By Hannah Loviisa

Tears. I flittered around a bit while considering what I should write about until one topic brought tears to my eyes. And that topic is tears. We look all around us and observe and experience sorrow. Why do we have trials when we pray for blessings? Is God is looking out for our best interests? When will all this suffering end?

We all ask these questions when our lives seem to be covered with shadows. We all look for answers to our hearts’ cries. We don’t always have them. God doesn’t reveal all the answers to us. But there are some truths he does reveal.

Christians suffer

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12                                         

Suffering will come to the Christ-follower. Christians don’t get to escape the consequences of the fall. From the moment we enter the world we are firmly in its grip.

Suffering is purposeful 

“…but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Rom 5:3b-4

If suffering isn’t meaningless, then what is its purpose? We tend to focus on ourselves, so let’s do that. How does suffering benefit me?

Suffering strengthens our faith. I find that the times where we grow most spiritually are the times when we suffer most. Perhaps it is because our faith is being tested.

Suffering also grows our relationship with God.

“…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…” Philippians 3:10                                                               

When I look back at times in my life when I have experienced suffering, I can see how it has enhanced my relationship with God. Because during those times I most strongly and actively sought a relationship with Him, especially through my prayer life. Do we not pray most when we are the most desperate? When things go wrong, the worldly things seem to fade away and we look to our Savior for our comfort in this life. How much greater would our relationship be with our Father if we always reached out to Him with that same longing and desire?

Suffering also encourages other Christians. If we have experienced suffering, we can be of better encouragement to other Christians to be faithful throughout their own trials. We can be a witness to the world when they see that we suffer differently. We suffer with hope. That suffering reminds us that this world is not our home. Trust in your Creator because He is faithful to bring the good work He has begun in you to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

Christian suffering can glorify God

“…you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith… may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 1:6b-7

Suffering wasn’t what God intended for us but it is part of His plan for our life, and His plan is not meaningless. We were created for a purpose, and that purpose was to glorify God. So what about in the midst of our suffering?

“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” 1 Peter 4:16

This is how we glorify God through trials; we show that He is more precious to us than anything in this world, even our own lives. And that means that while all else may get taken from us, we still rejoice because our greatest treasure, our source of joy, our glorious Author and Finisher of our salvation, will never forsake us.

The Good News

Jesus has conquered death. He suffered what we could not. He took our sins upon Himself when He died on the cross in our place and rose again victorious. Christ was the ultimate Sacrifice, the triumphant Sufferer, so that through Him we can overcome death. And the suffering will end when Jesus comes back.

Until then, we fight the good fight! We press on. The Christian can endure anything because Christ has accomplished everything. (Philippians 4:13) We have a unique opportunity to glorify God in the midst of our pain, and look forward to the day where we may, without the limitations of sin, enjoy Him forever in the place He has prepared for us.

So finally, rejoice because JESUS is ENOUGH!

Previously published on Refresh! Women’s Leadership Newsletter from Partners International. 

September/October Highlights

Ah fall….

// hiking // music // football // midterm grades // job search

Here we go again into a new season!

I’m pretty sure fall is my favorite time of the year. The trees are so beautiful with their orange and yellow glows, and the atmosphere is so hot tea and sweater-weather.

As you might have seen in my previous post, I climbed Berray! It was the coolest hike I’ve done so far, and I’m hoping to get a lot more hikes in next year before the snow falls again.

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My first college choir performance is at the end of this month, so I’ve been working on all my music. I’ve also enjoyed attending the high school football games

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and trying to win my own league in Fantasy.

At a farmer’s market in Moscow they were selling these beautiful dried bouquets. (P.S. I love how red my hair looks in that picture. It makes me feel a little like Anne 🙂

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But the best part of fall is walking in the woods, or through downtown in the evening.

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I get to enjoy these lights each evening as I walk through downtown when I get off my new waitressing job. I hope we get to enjoy this beautiful season for a little longer.

Then we’ll have snow, skiing, and Christmas to look forward to.

 

We climbed Berray!

We climbed Berray . . . and it was a blast!

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Elevation: 6,177′   Berray Mountain Lookout

Just like in The Summer of Our LivesI decided to hike up to Berray mountain lookout, so I could have the same experience that Mary Ellen does in the first book of the All for Jesus Gang!

The gang all showed up at our house after breakfast, since we lived the closest to Mr. Morton. Dad piled us up in the back of the truck and drove us over to his little cabin at the bottom of Berray mountain.
“Look at how high it is,” said Major, cranking his neck back.

The Summer of Our Lives, The All for Jesus Gang book 1    ©Hannah Loviisa

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The trail was 10.6 miles round trip, and ranked as moderately difficult. It took us 3 1/2 hrs to get up, including breaks.

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There was a little pond about 3 miles up, and we followed a creek for part of the way. The mountain was covered in huckleberry and thimble berry bushes.

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Berray Mountain lookout

The lookout was awesome! We climbed up the three stair flights and went inside.

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There was a wood stove and furniture.

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360° views

It was beautiful up top, and a little colder, like the Professor said. We all paused and took in the view surrounding us. Almost every way I looked I could see for miles. Something about it made me feel closer to God – just the stillness and beauty of His creation. Overlooking in awe what the Creator’s hand had fashioned made Mary Ellen Tucker feel very small, very small indeed.

The Summer of Our Lives, The All for Jesus Gang book 1    ©Hannah Loviisa

It took us about 2 hrs to get back down. I am looking forward to writing about the hike in the book!

Here are a few more pictures!

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To Everything There is a Season

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As I drive out this morning and see the fog for the first time since summer, greeting the arrival of fall, I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:1:

For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven.

We don’t know what this new season may hold, but we know Who holds it and can trust everyday and everything to Him because He cares for us. We can endure anything, because He accomplished everything! (Philippians 4:13)

Happy fall!

 

August-September Highlights

Hey y’all!

I can’t believe it’s already September again! It feels like the summer has just flown right past. Don’t want to scare you guys but in 3 months it’ll be Christmas! Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell . . . sorry, I got a little off off track there.

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watching the rodeo – the best part of fair

 

This August was my last year showing as a 4-H member at the fair. I showed a lamb and pig for the first time, plus showing dairy goat, market goat, and poultry.

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Taking my market lamb to auction

I also got to participate in small and large animal round robin (where you show all the species as one big competition) and got 1st in both.

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washing my pig for the show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was thrilled to get some new author pictures taken,

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not used to sitting at desks after so long…

 

and started classes at the community college.

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Love watching sunsets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the best part of the summer,

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wake boarding!

was hanging out on the lake! Hope you guys all had a great summer, too!

Hannah 

 

Hey!

Hey all!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, and actually a while since I’ve been doing much consistent writing. (Oops)

I’ve been busy with all my jobs and my last fair, but I’m still working on and off on The Summer of Our Lives; the All For Jesus Gang. I’m hoping to get that competed this year. Every time I peek at it I fall in love with the characters again (and hopefully you will, too!).

Currently I’m enjoying exploring my new hometown, and learning more about my Savior – overwhelmed by His great love.