Friday, December 11, 2015

My Bible Bee Nationals Experience

     If I were to describe BB Nationals in four words, I'd say: scripture-soaked, fellowship-filled. It was so refreshing to be around other young believers who not only love the Lord, but who treasure His Word. 

A time of prayer

All the Senior division Nationalists. I'm the girl who's not following attire protocol, see if you can find me .  :)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Reliance On God

     "I can do it all by myself!" declares the stubborn five year old ignoring the offer of help from her mother as she tries desperately to reach a toy on a high shelf. Clearly, it is a vain effort for the little girl to do that which she is evidently incapable of doing. Yet as we get older, that self-sufficient, independent mindset isn't left behind with childhood but held dear and commonly encouraged. Even as believers, we can struggle with trying to do in our own strength the things which the Bible clearly states can't be done apart from God. We try to grasp the meaning of the Scriptures without seeking the guidance of the One who wrote them. We try to evangelize without the aid of the Holy Spirit. We try to be kind and charitable, but ultimately, we end up frustrated and discouraged. Philippians 4:13 is a familiar verse, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." If we can do all things through Christ, then the reverse must also be true: I can do nothing if Christ doesn't strengthen me. While meditating on a memory passage, a certain phrase struck me, "...verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself..." (John 5:19) If the Son of God Himself can't do anything apart from God, who are we to even attempt it?

Saturday, November 7, 2015


One in a million

Early sunlight

Morning Dew

Lone Leaf

Scattered on the pavement

Quiet park

Monday, September 28, 2015


   Fall brings many things. My least favorite being the cold. But the Lord said to count your blessings so I will endeavor to list the things I do enjoy about Autumn.

Garden produce




Lovely colors

Maple Tree

Straight and narrow path


Fall on the farm
(not our farm)

Friday, September 25, 2015


   Late summer brings flowers. All kinds of flowers. And being the photographer that I am, instead of simply stopping to sniff them, out comes my camera and the flowers that heretofore had lived peaceful lives, now are subjected to flashing lights, fame, and publicity. 

Pretty Poppy

Look at this cute flower hiding in the grass.

I love these! They're like flower cotton puffs.


 Rose blossom 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Trusting God Even When We Feel Lost

   “Pick up your feet!” my dad advised my younger brother and I as we marched through waist-high grass. Soon we entered the forest where there wasn’t as much brush. Thick tree trunks stretched high into the sky where their leafy limbs blocked most of the sunlight. 

   Occasional shafts of light pierced through into the semi-darkness creating the ideal setting for the opening scene of a mystery movie. I grinned. The woods were so enrapturing. But dad was moving along so there was no time to gawk. As we traipsed through the woods following a deer trail, the sound of a woodpecker methodically hammering at a tree, broke the stillness. 

   Eventually, the deer trail led to a stream, which we followed softly, careful not to disturb birds and other small wildlife. We continued on in similar manner for half an hour or so, enjoying ourselves immensely. 

   Finally, we halted, “Alright, I think it’s time to turn back now,” my dad stated, eyeing his watch. My brother and I turned to go reluctantly. Gazing at the seemingly endless expanse of trees, I suddenly realized I had no idea where we were. Trying to remain calm, I voiced my concern, “Which way is home?” My dad pointed to the west, “That way.” I frowned. “Are you sure it’s not this way,” I insisted, indicating a slightly different direction. Dad shook his head, “Come on.”  I had a choice. I could follow my dad or go the way I thought was correct. After a moment’s hesitation, I decided to defer to my father’s judgment. Subsequent twists and turns, although dizzying, eventually did lead us back home.

   During our Christian pilgrimage through the woods of life, we too can become uncertain of the way. It is easy to follow God when the course is clear and we know where we’re headed. But what happens when the journey gets tough? What do we do when we feel like God is taking us the wrong path? Do we go the direction we think is right? We shouldn’t. Trusting God, even in the midst of our own conflicting inclinations, is always the most prudent thing to do. Our heavenly Father has promised to guide, protect, and care for His children. Can we trust Him?

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

-Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Friday Memories

     I awoke to sun shining through the blinds on my window. Slowly sitting up, my eight-year old mind struggled to recall what day it was. “Oh yes, it’s Friday!” Eagerly, I jumped out of bed, exchanging pajamas with day clothes in record time. Friday was the highlight of the week. Dad would come home early and we’d all go out to eat at a nice restaurant. I hurried through the rest of the day, trying to be as obedient as possible in hopes that my mom would allow me to have juice or, even better, a soft drink with my dinner instead of water.  At last, we heard the welcome sound of the garage door opening. My siblings and I rushed to the door to greet our dad before pulling on shoes and coats. After an enjoyable dinner (alas, only water to drink, but dessert was happily received and devoured) we drove a short distance to my great-grandfather’s apartment. This was where my outlook on the evening dramatically changed. My great-grandfather (or great Giddo as we called him) was an immigrant to America from Lebanon. He had a custom that I particularly disliked. When we would come to greet him, he would pull us close and give us a loud, wet kiss on the cheek. As we entered great Giddo’s apartment, I desperately tried to think of some way to escape my pending fate. I tried protesting that I was sick and didn’t want him to catch my illness. But, being that he didn’t understand English very well, there was no avoiding his affectionate kiss. After the same occurred to my siblings, we rushed to the sink and rigorously scrubbed our cheeks with soap and water (much to our parents’ amusement). Then we sat down to watch Animal Planet under the close supervision of our mother who was quick to switch off the television whenever the ads appeared. After presenting us with a bowl of pistachios he had hand cracked in anticipation of our visit, great Giddo hobbled over to his small kitchen table and thumped down a deck of cards. My father sat down, and the two commenced to play a traditional Middle-Eastern game of Hand. After several rounds (which Giddo nearly always won), we said goodbye and left for home.

     Every Friday, that scene would re-enact itself with reliable consistency until February of 2011 when great Giddo had to be moved to a nursing home. A month later, he died. Fridays no longer find us at his humble apartment. The deck of cards sit unused and my siblings and I haven’t watched an episode of Animal Planet in quite some time. Whenever I eat a pistachio I find myself remembering my great grandfather and wishing that I had been more grateful for the time spent with that dear patriarch of our family. There were a great many things I now wished I’d asked him. Questions about his home country, how he survived the Armenian Genocide, and what it was like being an immigrant to America. Parents, grandparents, and especially great-grandparents are fountains of information.  So let me encourage you to grab a laptop or a notepad and pencil, sit down with or call the oldest member of your family, and ask them about their past. Don’t let that abundant knowledge, and most important, superb bonding time, slip past you.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bible Bee

Every summer, my family participates in the National Bible Bee. It's a great way to use the spare time we, unfortunately, are prone to misusing.

During this time, we do in-depth study of a passage of the Bible. This year, it's John chapters 1-6.

I know, I hold my pencil funny.

We also do a lot of memory work, which I particularly enjoy.

One of my favorite verses. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Guitar

   When I was 13, I was with my mom on her weekly shopping trip. We had stopped at Target so I could use the gift cards my grandmother and aunt had given me for my birthday. As we were wandering around, I noticed a guitar which was 50% off. I immediately wanted it. So that day, I walked home with a new guitar and absolutely no knowledge of how to play it.

   Fortunately, there was a lady at our Bible study named Nikolle who knew the basics of how to play a guitar. During the summer, she showed me how to tune the guitar and play several chords. 

   That school year, I began taking lessons at our homeschool group from Mr. Steve Abshire. He's a wonderful teacher and I thoroughly enjoyed his classes. Since then, I haven't been able to take any more lessons but I do play my guitar every couple of weeks as I try to retain what I've learned and attempt to absorb more information from various books and Youtube videos. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Flowers, Insects, and Cats

It's always nice to stop and sniff the flowers... or in my case, stop and take a million pictures of the flowers.

Lotsa lovely pink flowers.

I see you hiding in the leaves.

About to bloom.

Love the design on the petals.

Black and white.

Of course, with flowers come bees. 

I'll have you know, these bee pictures were very hard to capture.

I believe this is a Tuliptree Silkmoth.

My sister's cat, Olivia, loves to smell the flowers.

My cat, Zoe, prefers to sleep.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

I found this poem that I really liked. I especially resonated with the last two verses.

We walked among the crosses
where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle 
as TAPS began to play.

The chaplain led a prayer 
we stood with heads bowed low.
And I though of fallen comrades
I had known so long ago.

They cam from every city
across this fertile land.
That we might live in freedom.
They lie here 'neath the sand.

I felt a little guilty
my sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time
but these men lost their all.

Now the services are over
for this Memorial Day.
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,

Thanks for what you've given
no one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in heaven
from now through evermore.

-C. W. Johnson

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fear Not

A dear friend shared a verse with us that I found to be tremendously encouraging. Exodus 14:13-14 says, "And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall se them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." In the passage, Moses is leading the Israelites out of Egypt and they've come to the Red Sea. The people look behind them and see the Egyptians chasing after them. They cry out to Moses asking him why he brought them out all this way just to let them die. Moses commands them to fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He reminds them the Lord will do the fighting and they will keep their mouths shut. Oftentimes when we're under a lot of stress or are greatly perplexed, we can easily forget that God is in control of the situation and start complaining. My family is going through some terribly heart-wrenching things and I can quickly become depressed and feel like all is hopeless. I begin to lament over the problem and start going down the dangerous path of asking God, "Why?" Yet out ever-patient God calls me to fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. What a comfort to know that God will fight our battles for us. What a relief to know that we don't have to worry about the future. What pure bliss to understand that all we have to do is fear not, stand still, hold our peace, and watch Jehovah perform miracles.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Of Books and Things

I had a sudden inspiration to take some pictures of my books so here it goes.

Me in front of my personal library of 240+ books which I guard with the utmost care. 

One of the first series I ever received: Christian Heroes: Then and Now by Janet and Geoff Benge.

Out of all the books I own, these three (besides the Bible) are my favorites. The God's Plan for America series by Peter Marshall and David Manuel shows how God's hand was working through the history of America. I wish there were more books in the series.

While I was outside basking in the sun, I noticed this very photogenic leaf which was begging for a picture. 

I found this verse and edited it on top of the picture. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Some Poetry

When in trouble or in woe,
when winds of strife around me blow,
quickly to the Lord I will go.

He will lead me safe and sound,
o'er highest mount or smallest mound,
till peace at last I have found.

The Lord's my strong tower,
from adversity I'll not cower,
the Lord's my strength and my power. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Like a valiant captain and his army sweeping across the land liberating those who have been held in bondage to sub-degree weather, so spring has finally descended upon the cold, barren DC suburbs.
Thundershowers have awakened and revived the earth causing lush greenery to replace the formerly snow covered landscape. Spring is a lovely time of year. When I see all the new life springing up everywhere, I cannot help but praise God for His beautiful creation.

 New buds


Strawberry blossom 

Blueberry blossoms 

Dogwood flowers