Wednesday, March 30, 2011


No, not the video. No, not the song. No, not the pictures.


The One Who created... all of this.


The One who, for some reason I cannot comprehend, died for me. ME! Carissa! When I was the one who deserved that death!!


The One who is changing me. Daily. Transforming my heart and mind and life.


The One who is showing me more and more of Himself and His goodness!!


The One who knows the wretchedness of who I am-- but loves me anyway.


The One who is guiding my future and preparing me for it.


The One who inhabits eternity: who is eternal, without ending or beginning.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Confessions and Time

Sometimes, before a birthday, I write myself sermons... like this one, which I wrote before I turned nineteen...

I have many hopes and dreams for these upcoming years-- most of all that I would be conformed to the image of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I want to work with Him to change my life-- and then help others to do the same. I want to set a good example in all areas. I want to be a blessing to many. I want to make a difference for Christ in this world! I want to show the world the love of Christ. I Want to help save the unborn, to show teens what they can do to further God's kingdom. I want to show the people around me what a godly family looks like. I want to be self-disciplined, humble, a person of integrity, kind, loving, thankful, holy, a servant, and so much more. I want to teach classes for girls about purity, prayer, modesty and more. I want to use my gifts for God's glory! Write for Him, teach for Him... I want to continue to learn, grow, and develop. I want to support and encourage and follow a man of God- the one He has chosen for me. I want to raise children who will change the world for Christ. 

I cannot afford to waste more time--alas--life is far too short as it is-- I must not throw away the hours! If I am to do all these things the Lord has laid on my heart and mind--I cannot afford to waste my time!

Each day must be used to the fullest--each moment captured with usefulness. These days are all I shall ever receive... 24 hours--nothing more, nothing less. 

If I do not use them-- Oh, what a waste! The only truly unreplenishable commodity--time! You cannot buy more! You only ever have the time on earth that was allotted to you! 

Each minute should be used for things of eternal value... for this time here on earth is only preparing for the eternal life! How quickly it shall pass! How soon I shall be on my deathbed! How swift the hours are! If my life thus far has so quickly fled-- how short the remaining years will go! 

Once they are gone, they are gone for all eternity! This is so desperately important! This is what life is.

It is all we get-- so, dear Lord, please enable me to use my time wisely! Let me not become distracted by this world! 

Yes... I was rather addicted to exclamation marks. Ahem. Anyways.

Well, I suppose the question now is: how am I doing with all this I now that I'm twenty? Um... sadly, I am not living up to eighteen year old me's aspirations. :( I generally waste time horrifically... and I have even more responsibilities now than I did then. So, what am I going to do about it? Good question. First, I'm going to shut off chat until I get caught up online (starting Friday). Secondly, I am going to work out a schedule with my mom. Thirdly, I am going to limit chat to TWO DAYS PER WEEK. Sorry about the caps... I have just tried this before and then failed. :( But I really think this is key, since chatting seems to have a voracious appetite for time. :P It would be lovely if my chatting buddies could hold me to this!

Any other tips for using time wisely?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Can I Fight? Please?

Sometimes, I get tired of doing pretty things. Cute things. Helpful things. Sweet things.

I want to fight. I want to do something real. Something... big.

Yes, this is Carissa writing. :P

You may not see it often, but somewhere deep down, there is this streak of... I don't know. Redhairishness. Swordmaideness. (yes, I just made up those terms...) Something like that. It shows up when you hand me a nerf gun or a light saber... suddenly my energy rises and I... well... I get really excited. I even yell "ha!"or "I got you!!!!" when I hit someone... I know, I know... not very ladylike. But hey! I do it in a skirt, okay?? :D

It shows up when I am praying for something urgent, something life and death. A major, evident spiritual battle. I get all excited about the fight. I pray hard and often.

It shows up when I see a blatant lack of logic or justice. (think evolution, abortion, feminism....)

Anyway... sometimes I just feel stuck in this "nice girl" image. I don't feel like I am really doing anything, like I am really making an impact.

But. That isn't TRUE. It's a feeling. And I have to remember that. Yes, on occasion I may be called to fight.

For now, though, I must learn to be faithful right where I am. I must fight my little "pretty" skirmishes well. And, while serving tea to a group of smiling girls or washing a bunch of tables after fellowship meal or smiling at random people in walmart or taking time to talk to (and pass a vision on to, hehe) little girls who will one day be wives and mothers or wearing skirts or staying home helping my family and learning instead of going to college or entering some bill into quickbooks or typing away at a blog post or taking my little brother to the park or... well, you get the idea... even though those things don't feel or seem like important things, they are.

See... the little things add up.

Little drops of water,
little grains of sand,
make the mighty ocean
and the beauteous land.

And the little moments,
humble though they may be,
make the mighty ages
of eternity.

Little deeds of kindness,
little words of love,
make our earth an Eden,
like the heaven above.

So our little errors
lead the soul away,
from the paths of virtue
into sin to stray.

Little seeds of mercy
sown by youthful hands,
grow to bless the nations
far in heathen lands.

Glory then for ever
be to God on high,
beautiful and loving,
to eternity. 

And not only that, but also this:
"If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary." (1 Corinthians 12:17-22) 

There are so many different roles to play in God's kingdom. Just because yours appears less important right now doesn't mean it really is unimportant.

Just think about this: There's a Bible translator, right? A very important job? But he has to eat, yes? And he needs help with teaching, right? And he needs help studying the culture, correct? So... are jobs of the people who cook and teach and study less important? Hmm? If you didn't have those people, he wouldn't be able to do his job, now would he. No. So... how can they be less important? Perhaps they are less visible... but can they really be less important? I think not. Each position, each person, is necessary.

So! Don't be discouraged about your "small hard things"! Or even, haha, your "pretty" hard ones. :P :D Let's keep on fighting these so-called little battles!

For Narniaaaaaa! Aaaand for Aslaaaaannnnnnn!!! Haha, sorry, I just like yelling battle cries. :D

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Preparing for Prince Charming: Part 5

Alright, now that I've covered several things people don't talk about or think of very often, I will cover what everyone talks about but few actually really do.

Truthfully, I am quite saddened that a post like this is necessary. This should be entirely automatic... We all should've known how to cook and clean and keep a house and many other chores by the time we were ten. :P But, alas, times have changed. So here I am, writing it.

Here is an idea I had a long time ago, which I strongly suggest you girls (and you guys might even want to do one... just with different sections) implement as well. I am not married yet, but I use this book a lot already. Honestly, if there was a fire or a hurricane and I could only get one thing, this book would be it.

Gaining Practical Skills for Marriage  

You really are going to need to eat when you are married. (In fact, it will probably be one of the first things you do during your marriage.) Love alone is not going to satisfy your stomach, sorry. Not to mention guys get grumpy when they are hungry. So!

Things to learn regarding food 

Oh, before we get started, put on an apron. Okay fine, you don't have to right now. But before you do something in the kitchen, put one on. You'd be amazed what an apron can do!

1. How to prepare a wide variety of simple, tasty, healthy, and economical meals.

2. How to plan a menu well (so that you can do food prep for more than one meal at the same time)

3. Shopping... how to stick to your budget, how to make a list, how to get the best deals and healthiest foods... and how to go fast enough that your husband won't get irritated if he goes with you.

4. GMOs. What are they? How do they affect the body? How do they affect the environment? 

5.Gardening/edible landscaping. One of my friends said (in a rant) "why would you want to grow grass when you could grow an entire yard full of food?? You're going to water and weed it anyways!" What grows where? What kinds of plants hinder each other? What kinds help each other? What are cold weather crops? How do you get rid of/deter pests organically? What kinds of plants produce the most per acre? What nutrients are necessary for the soil? What is soil PH?

6. Food preservation. What if you had no fridge? No freezer? What if it was necessary to stockpile enough food from your harvest to last an entire winter? Do you know how to can? Pickle? Dry? What other methods of food preservation are there?

7. What if you couldn't buy cheese or yogurt or sour cream? Do you have any idea of how to make those things? Read about it! Find someone who knows how and learn from them. (I found someone who knows how to make cheese last night!! :D)

8. Do you know how to cook a turkey? What about a ham? Learn how to cook different types of meat.

9. Is the food pyramid accurate? Or do you just accept it because it's from the USDA and so it must be right? What happens when you combine certain foods?

10. Different cooking methods: can you cook on a grill? A gas stove? What about over an open fire? Or even just a normal electric oven?

11. What kinds of foods should you feed babies? How soon? Do you know how to make your own baby food?

12. What edible plants grow wild near you? Do you know how to prepare them?

13. Do you know how to raise animals? What about butchering them? Those two could become very important skills.

Okay, you get the idea. There's lots to talk about with food. ;)

Alright, so now you and your husband won't die. This is good--we're making progress! However, now that you've made all that food, you have a mess in your kitchen. Oh no! And the rest of your house isn't looking too great either...

Things to learn regarding keeping house

1. This all starts with keeping your areas/room clean and tidy. They are a brilliant place to begin your training. So! Figure out ways you can decorate and organize your spaces. And then make an effort to daily return them to order and beauty.

2. Cleaning supplies: if you buy normal brands from the store, what do they have in them? What effect do those chemicals have on the environment? On you and your family? How can you make your own?

3. Cleaning various rooms: Bathrooms. Do you know how to clean a mirror properly? No streaks? What about the tile in the shower? The grout? Surely you know how to clean the sink and toilet... Kitchen: have you ever tried to organize your kitchen? If you are allowed to, I suggest you give it a try. It's super fun, plus great experience for when you have an entire kitchen to set up by yourself.

4. Like I started saying, organization. This is a very important skill... learn it now and you will be very glad you did.

5. Painting, washing windows, minor home repairs (fixing little holes in the walls and leaks and such), things like that.

6. Decorating! Okay, so now your home is clean, and it's not falling apart. But it's boring. Brainstorm ways you can decorate your home with as little money possible! (and record them in your "decorating" section in the notebook you are going to make.)

So now you and your husband are still alive, and your home is inviting. Awesome! So what happens next? Well, children. Lord willing. :D And before you have children, you're going to be pregnant. (Yes, I know, shocking. But you really do need to think about that fact.)

Things to learn regarding pregnancy

1. Nutritional needs of an expecting mom

2. Exercises you should do

3. Effects of ultrasounds, etc. on the baby

4. What to expect during different stages

5. Childbirth... what options are available? What are their benefits? Downfalls? How can you naturally shorten and improve labor? 

6. Nursing... I suppose there isn't a whole lot you can learn about this besides what to eat and what not to eat. But, do read enough about it to completely convince yourself that you must do it at all costs. Because it is really hard at times. I haven't even done it and I know. :P

So, now you had your healthy baby in your clean, pretty house and you are all still alive because you made a bunch of freezer meals! Great job! Aw, he/she is so cute! :D Now what??

Things to learn regarding children

1. Care of newborns. There is actually a lot to this. I am blessed enough to remember the care of Emily, Cheryl, William and Matthew, but most of you haven't had that. For example, did you know that a part of the umbilical cord is still attached? And that you have to put hydrogen peroxide or something similar on it until it dries up and falls off? Do you know what to do if your baby has jaundice? What if your baby has trouble breathing because of phlegm?

2. Basic baby/toddler care... dressing, feeding, diaper changing, bathing, etc.

3. Childtraining... read books on this. (hehe, my sister Hannah says she wants to read books about it so she can have something to say when she and her future husband discuss it. :D) And, if possible, apply some of the things you learned to your younger siblings.

4. Homeschooling. Again, read about it. Practice teaching your siblings or other little friends. If your mom homeschools, help her with correcting school work. Learn about different styles of homeschooling and different curriculums.

5. How to introduce newborns to math (Mrs. Pearl says you can do this, and I really want to learn how!!) and music.

6. Baby signs-- we did this with Matthew, and it was awesome! If you know and teach them just a few signs (more, out, please, thank you, cereal, eat, milk, etc.) you can communicate so much earlier and better. And it helps them develop language skills!

7. "Special needs": care, prevention, cure, etc.

8. Diapers: cloth or disposable? What are the benefits and downfalls of each? *Knows them far too well.* :P Do you know how to properly pin and fold a cloth diaper?

Alrighty!! Now you are eating, have a lovely house, had a baby, and are able to take good care of that baby and any future ones. What's next? Well. Lots of things, actually, but they all kind of tie into the first few sections... So we'll just call it...


1. Sewing!! I've been doing this a lot lately (*is wearing a skirt and apron she made herself*), and it's super fun. Not to mention very very useful. It's hard to find modest clothes, so if you can add to your findings with homemade things, it's awesome. Plus it is one of those skills that in slightly different times would be essential.

2. Knitting, crocheting, etc. Good for blankets, slippers, socks, mittens, hats, scarves, purses, sweaters, and... the list goes on. Fun (once you learn it) and also quite practical.

3. Soap making. Remolding, yes... but it would be awesome to also learn how to make it. Like, from lard and lye and all that.

4. Weaving. I vaguely know how to do this, but only because I tried it nearly every time we've gone to one of those pioneer/frontier days things. haha. I'd like to actually learn it someday, though.

5. Candle making... again, remodling and dipping is fun. But it would be great to learn how to actually make them all by yourself!

6. Gardening. I kind of mentioned this before... but I'll say it again, since it could become super important.

7. Natural healing. Oh boy, I love this one. I don't know why, but I do. Get yourself some good books on this topic (ask me if you want suggestions) and read, read, read. Apply it wherever you can!

8. Frugality: how to make the most of whatever money you have. This can be really fun... I love being creative. :D Also, I wanted to mention something I learned about guys that I found interesting (and very important). See, when they bring you back money, it represents an awful lot of work and time. And if you just spend it heedlessly, wastefully-- it hurts and can anger them. So, learn to use it wisely.

9. First aid. It is entirely likely that you may have to deal with a broken arm, a really bad cut, and loads of other things that come from having active children. Do you know how to splint a broken arm? Do you know what to do if (ugh, this is nasty) someone got a finger cut off? Do you know what to do if (oh this is even worse) someone got something stuck in their eye (like a pencil)? Do you know CPR? These things could be life and death!

10. Editing. Yeah, I just had to put that on... but seriously. You're going to marry a guy, see? And he is going to want you to edit. Just trust me. I've talked to enough moms to know it's true.

11. Bookkeeping. Okay, so I lied. These aren't all exactly fun. :P Hehe. But this is a really good skill, and one I'm working on...

12. Add your own skills here. ;)

To quote an older married woman:

"Don't take for granted that life will continue its status quo, for life will surprise you. It is your responsibility to be ready. Knowledge is worth more than anything when bad times hit. Almost all families have bad times of some kind. A little information can guide you through bad times with far less pain, so it is part of preparing to be a helpmeet." -Debi Pearl, Preparing to be a Help Meet

Whew!! I need to get busy! :D I don't even have all those questions answered myself, nor do I have all those skills. :P And that isn't anything close to an exhaustive list, either.

So, farewell for now and let me know what you are learning about!