National Handwriting Day – The Beauty of Words

Words are powerful. Words can build you up or tear you down. Words can encourage and inspire or they can demean and accuse. Words are wonderful! The way we use words is extremely important. They can be used for good or for evil.

Rather than going into a whole post based only on my words and understanding, I thought this the perfect time to share some wonderful verses on kind words, what evil words can do, and how to use wisdom when you speak. What better place to learn about building up others with our words than in the Bible? I have used the Strong’s concordance to look up some of the words to make reading these verses just a little more powerful.

An hypocrite {that is with sin} with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour {friend, brother, companion, fellow}: but through knowledge shall the just {righteous} be delivered {strengthened, equip, prepare}.”

Proverbs 11:9

A soft {tender} answer turneth away wrath {anger, rage, displeasure}: but grievous {painful, sorrowful} words stir up {increase, burn, grow} anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright {good, please, merry, diligently}: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

Proverbs 15:1-2

A wholesome {health, remedy} tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness {distortion, viciousness} therein is a breach {fracture, destruction, hurt} in the spirit {life, breath}.

Proverbs 15:4

The heart of a wise teacheth {consider, instruct} his mouth {word, spoken}, and addeth learning {fair speech} to his lips {language, speech}. Pleasant {beauty} words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul {life, person}, and health {remedy, cure} to the bones.

Proverbs 16:23-24

He that speaketh truth sheweth forth {manifest, declare, speak} righteousness {prosperity}: but a false {liar} witness deceit {fraud}. There is that speaketh {angrily} like the piercings {wound} of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health {remedy, deliverance}. The lip {language, speach} of truth shall be established {faithfulness, prosperous, perfect, stable} for ever {eternity}: but a lying tongue is but for a moment {to toss violently and suddenly as a wave}.

Proverbs 12:17-19

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Proverbs 18:21

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil {sinners, hurtful}, speak good things? for out of the abundance {surplus} of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, that every idle {inactive, slow} word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified {freed, innocent}, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned {guilty}.

Matthew 12:33-37

Isn’t it so surreal how powerful our words can be? It amazes me to see that our words can bring either life or death. Can you imagine how much more beautiful and healthy our world could be if we spoke life and blessing to everyone we met?

There are so many other verses in the Bible about the effect our words have and how we are to use wisdom to know how to train our tongues. I find it so beautiful that God also has such grace to forgive us when we do fall into the temptation of using our words for evil. All you have to do is ask with a pure heart.

What is your favorite verse about words?

I hope you have a blessed day! Until next time friends,

Amanda

Book List Update + A Recipe

“Keep reading. It’s one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.” – Lloyd Alexander

In December, I posted my winter book list. I wanted to update you on how I’m progressing through it. I also wanted to share a fun, literary recipe from one of my favorite books that I hope you enjoy.

I finished This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was a good book. A little depressing, but I think that his novels tend to veer in that direction a little. I loved The Great Gatsby, but the ending is a little sad. Overall, I’d give it a 5-star rating because it did contain some great lessons and the storytelling was great.

I also finished Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. This book was a little harder to get through and I’m not sure why. I usually love reading Jane Austen books but this one was a little dull, I guess. I’d rate it 4 stars. It was a decent story and there were a few twists that I wasn’t expecting. Overall, it was a good book.

At the moment, I’m trying to start reading Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. I really, really wanted to read The Three Musketeers again, but I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and read another book that I haven’t read before. I will break in my new copy of The Three Musketeers soon. I can’t tell you how it is because I haven’t even read through the introduction yet, however, I will continue to update you.

Now for the recipe!

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Scrambled Eggs with Sausage and Oranges

Little Women (based off their Christmas morning)

Ingredients:

  • 8 turkey, breakfast sausages, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 8 eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced, fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Coat a medium skillet with olive oil and set over medium heat.
  • Add the turkey sausage pieces and cook until the sausage is golden brown and cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the sun-dried tomatoes and saute for 1 minute. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and water.
  • Reheat the skillet over medium heat and add some more olive oil.
  • Add the eggs and let cook until they begin to set. Using the back of a spatula, push the eggs across the pan. Let them set again and continue pushing them around until fully cooked.
  • Gently stir in the sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil. Season to taste and serve with toast and orange slices.

Thanks to Cookin’ Canuck for the recipe!

Do you have any favorite literary recipes?

Have a lovely evening friends,

Amanda

The Beauty of Winter

I am having a little bit of a hard time with the cold lately. Where we live, we don’t get snow, so it’s just cold and brown for months. Rather than allow myself to wallow in the depressing state of January without snow, I have decided to gather some beautiful photos of winter that make me happy.

My favorite way to spend a cold day is under a cozy blanket with a hot cup of tea and a good book in my hands. I also love when we light a fire in the fireplace and watch a cozy movie that makes me laugh.

What is your favorite way to spend a cold day?

Have a beautiful day,

Amanda

2018 Was a Wonderful Year!

This post is a little late, but I would still like to share with you my year in review. I hope you had an equally wonderful year!

What was your favorite part of 2018?

January

Best January ever! Julia and I started off our new year with Anastasia on Broadway. It was our first Broadway show and it was so surreal. I still can’t believe that we actually saw a Broadway show! The highlight of the year! Our lake froze solid for the first time since we’ve lived here and we walked all over it. Julia and I dressed up as Anna and Elsa and took pictures in the snow. It was fun but so cold. Oh, and Julia and I went to see The Greatest Showman…best movie all year!

February

Nothing too spectacular happened this month. How can you follow Broadway? Josh and I spent the week of Valentine’s day alone together and our parents sent us goodies from Georgia. I started rehearsals for Hello Dolly!

March

We continued rehearsals for Hello Dolly, I received a fan mail reply from Derek Klena, we took a trip to D.C. for one of Adam’s acting jobs and visited the art museum, and I taught Geography through Art.

April

April was crazy! The opening night of Hello Dolly took place in April and so did Easter. Our spring Disney trip began with Dapper Day, something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.

May

Wow! May was busy! We continued our Disney trip and attended the Flower and Garden Festival and the new Toy Story Land. I rode in the Magic Kingdom trolley car for the first time and it was a dream come true. We found robins’ eggs outside our back door and watched the babies grow (unfortunately, they were scattered by a cat). Finally, we saw Avengers: Infinity War in the AMC theater in Disney Springs.

June

Julia and I combined our birthdays this year and had a Disney party. Josh turned 21, we visited the zoo, and I finally saw Bandstand! It was amazing!

July

Josh and I saw MI-6 and I saw Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again with a friend. Both were pretty good movies. Adam made fancy pancakes for Independence Day and we took a trip to the beach to celebrate.

August

I auditioned for a role in the movie Theodora the Great and got it (that will be an interesting adventure for 2019). We had friends from D.C. come to visit and we took them to the beach. Julia, Adam and I experienced our first Comic-Con in Dover and dressed up as Kara Danvers, Marty McFly, and Lois Lane. Julia also turned 17!

September

We took our final Disney trip of the annual pass and celebrated Adam’s birthday with an Epcot fireworks cruise. He turned 15! My 23rd birthday came and I spent it with a dear friend and my favorite jalapeno cheese dip.

October

We baked a lot of things with pumpkin! The Red Sox made it to the World Series…and won!

November

We had Thanksgiving as a family. The only picture I got of the holiday was the apples for the apple pie, ha! We took a trip to Dover to an eighteenth-century market fair. Josh and I also voted with our parents.

December

We did a lot of Christmas baking this year and even created a super cute gingerbread house. Julia and I went to see the Bolshoi Ballet perform the Nutcracker through Fathom Events. Our Christmas was very relaxing and special. The first snow of the year came earlier this year than last and Julia and I went and twirled around in it. We laid wreaths in Arlington National Cemetary which was a great experience. Finally, we hosted a fun murder mystery party for our friends.

We rang in the New Year with our Grandparents by watching the ball in NYC drop and drank champagne.

I still can’t really believe that the year is over. I feel extremely blessed to have been able to experience everything that I did in 2018. 2019 will be an adventure and I’m more than ready to see what God has in store for me and my family.

Much love!

Amanda

 

National Science Fiction Day – Fun & Thoughts

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I have always been strongly against Science Fiction. Why? Because I always saw it as a lame, geeky, weird choice of entertainment. Just read the description of what Sci-Fi really is:

“Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, spaceflight, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a ‘literature of ideas’.”

However, in the most recent years, I’ve changed my tune just a smidge. It turns out that I actually enjoy certain types of Sci-Fi. I have found that I like shows like Firefly, Dark Matter, Eureka, Sliders (until the stupid ending), SeaQuest, Terra Nova, Quantum Leap, Stranger Things, The Flash, and Lost. I also love superhero movies, Inception, and the occasional Men in Black movie.

All these years, I was actually a Sci-Fi geek!

Now that I know, I embrace it. I don’t watch anything dark or too alien-y because that’s just not me. But, I do like watching the occasional Science Fiction movie to either get a good laugh or enjoy some fantasy.

So, today on National Science Fiction day, you’ll probably find me cuddled up on the couch indulging in some Firefly (because we got the series for Christmas).

Though Sci-Fi is fun at times, I don’t encourage complete indulgence in it. Science Fiction is a minefield for young Christians. Science has tried to prove that God is not real from the beginning of time, so naturally, Sci-Fi follows right along those lines. There is a thin line between innocent fun and falling into pagan and occultic ideas.

My thoughts toward Sci-Fi are simple…stay away from blatantly occultic choices (example: Harry Potter, Pokemon, and Charmed to name a few). You must use discernment to decide what you should and shouldn’t be watching. I encourage you to check out this post by Tekton Apologetics to find out more on this subject.

I hope you have a fun day! Now, excuse me while I enjoy some Firefly 🙂

Amanda

“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

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As this new year begins, I pray that we continue to love, continue to give back, continue to pray for our country and neighbors, continue to share kindness, continue to be a light in the darkness, and continue to search God’s Word.

Every second brings a fresh beginning, every hour holds a new promise, every night our dreams can bring hope and every day is what you choose to make it.” – Unknown

Happy New Year dear readers,

Amanda

National Thank-You Note Day – The Art of Writing a Letter

I hope that each and every one of you had a wonderful Christmas! Our family had a beautiful, leisurely Christmas day exchanging thoughtful gifts and spending time with one another. It’s sad that it’s all over, but we have memories and love that will last forever.

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With the Christmas season at its end, I wanted to share some thoughts on letter writing, and with today being national thank-you note day, it seems like the perfect time. I’ve always had a deep love for writing and receiving letters. It transports me to a day when letters were exchanged regularly as phones didn’t exist yet. Letter-writing is an art. Whether you are writing a love letter, a letter to a friend, or a thank-you note, writing can convey many things just through your usage of words.

Here are some wonderful benefits and reasons why we should rekindle a love of writing:

  • Writing (on paper, not typing) improves hand, brain coordination. Studies have shown that taking handwritten notes improves cognitive function as well as memorization.
  • Receiving a handwritten note shows how important you are to the person sending the letter. They took the time out of their day to sit down and carefully think about what to write. It’s a thoughtful gesture that requires love and time to put forth.
  • Writing to someone forces you to take time to relax and separate yourself from the high-tech world for a short time. It also forces you to think about the person you are writing to; what they might enjoy reading about, what they would like to know about you, and maybe a funny joke or story that only they would get.
  • Writing things down, whether it’s a thought for the day or a note to a loved one, encourages creativity. Because you are awakening the brain’s cognitive functions, you are engaging your brain in forcing its own creativity without the “help” of technology. Every word, then, counts much more and has more meaning.
  • Letters are timeless and cherished by the receiver. I still have letters that friends from years past have sent. They bring back memories of my childhood and what we were both experiencing at that particular time.

I encourage you to read this post. I found it beautiful and very inspiring. The Value of the Handwritten Letter.

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Your challenge today is to write some thank-you notes for Christmas gifts. Thanking someone for their thoughtful gifts is a wonderful way to show how much their gift meant to you and how much you care.

If you looking for a pen-pal, feel free to contact me either through the comments or by sending me an email; amanda.howard@live.com. I’d love to add another person to my list of correspondents and you never know…we might be kindred spirits.

All my love,

Amanda

Resources: Huffington Post